Christianity in Freemasonry

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by Purkaple, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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  2. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    Your spirit of discovery is always impressive.

    In this case there had a been a suicide a few yards away. In WW1 a prisoner escaped and hanged himself in the little gully next to the path. The place is called Held's Hole after the man that hanged himself.
     
  3. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed!
     
  4. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Doesn't that truly depend upon how you're defining the word and the metaphoric use of it?
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
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  5. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Yep.

    It is interesting to note light is often introduced; "Let there be light".... "shine a light on this matter" into a state of darkness, much as we use knowledge being introduced to ignorance. .... not sure what to comment about "sun rises' and "darkness (night) falls" but there might be something subconscious in this around the sun.... but whether light or darkness is symbols for knowledge, truth, goodness, will vary depending on which one your discussing and who's discussing it and in what context and in what paradigm....

    Coach, do you think there is any absolute truth in this matter ? (Assuming you believe absolute truth exists ? I waiver, but never fully reject it..)
     
  6. flameburns623

    flameburns623 Registered User

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    Since the overwheling majority of Christian critics of Freemasonry discourage joining the Masons but do NOT often object to the Moose Lodge, the Elks, the Eagles, the Optimists, Amway or other multilevel marketing enterprises, Oddfellows, local parachurch charitable organizations, etcetera--it is disrespectful to assume that most of these churches only discourage Masonic Lodge membership as a means of social control, to husband more of a churchmember's time or money, etcetera.

    There are organizations, religious or otherwise, like this: but there are some very very large Christian church bodies which deeply object to only a select number of "ungodly associations", with Freemasonry often topping that list.

    Until sometime between the two World Wars, for example, the Quakers (Society of Friends) were noteworthy for several things: "plain dress", (they often actually wore garb, bereft of buttons or bright colors, somewhat resembling what the guy on the Quaker Oatmeal box is wearing, tricorner hat and all); "plain speaking", (they used the first person singular English pronouns 'thee' and 'thou', to avoid exalted or vain affectations such as the use of the first person plural 'you'; they were militant pacifists: AND, Quakers refused, adamantly, to swear any sort of oath.

    This latter was so deeply rooted in Quaker history--and yet Quakers had played such an important role in American history--that our system of law has been shaped by the Quakers: there are Constitutional provisions for conscientious objection to war, AND most jurisdictions and states allow people to "affirm" a legal document or statement rather than "swear" to such things.

    Quakers have changed a whole lot in the past eighty to a hundred years. They are still a "Peace Church", but you don't see many tricorner hats these days, nor hear of anyone who still uses such expressions as "How art thou?" in everyday parlance. But, their objections to oath-swearing were adopted by other older Evangelical bodies and can be the first objection that some Christians raise to membership in Masonry.

    Other groups are militantly against ecumenical cooperation with non-Christians where possible. (Some of these bodies define "Christian" very narrowly, btw--they may not think theirs is the Only True Church, but they deeply question the salvation of anyone not endorsing a pretty narrow spectrum of theological beliefs.

    Again, joining any organizations which admit "cultists" or non-Christians would be objectionable to such faithful.

    Then there are those groups which, having looked at Masonic ritual pretty closely in the past thirty years--the Lutheran Church/Missouri Synod, the Southern Baptist Convention, and Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI of the RCC are among these--and several such Christian bodies or individuals question deeply whether there are not serious compromises with sound Christian theology within our Ritual.

    To name but a few: the graphic nature of the penalties named in our various rituals are seen antithetical to the sort of promises Christians should be uttering.

    There is a sense, rightly or wrongly, that Masonic ritual implies a salvation-by-works theology.

    That Christians are constrained in Freemasonry from their ordinary duty to share the Gospel at all times.

    That Deism and Universalism (meaning, universal salvation for all good hearted people) are readily deduced from the Freemasonic Ritual.

    And that Masonry's alleged historic associations with occultism (Mackey and Aleister Crowley, for example), and its secrecy make it a body not of "good report", no matter how honorable its individual members may be.

    There are other Christian churches, in fact most of them, which do NOT raise these issues and ehich even see Masonry as complementary to Christian living.

    But, these few things I just enumerated are representative of the common objections of some Evangelical groups. AND, btw, of some other faiths, including at least some Orthodox Jews and some Muslims.
     
  7. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Thanks Flame. Some interesting points, but all saying the same thing, incompadibility with a Church, not the Christian Religion, but a Church's view of that religion.
     
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  8. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    I note the Christian tradition of a Prince of Peace and a Prince of Darkness. This might suggest that darkness exists independently.

    For those interested in theology, it may be worth reading the Sumerian traditions for a more precise identification of the two Princes.
     
  9. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Or it might suggest the two are inseparably intertwined.
     
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  10. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    A very curious theological proposition - that Christ is both dark and light. You may well be correct but it is an heretical (chosen) position.

    I suspect you have not read the Sumerian version of the princes from which the militarization of the 18th degree arises.

    The 18th degree also has a distinctly heretical Christian overlay.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2017
  11. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Exactly!
     
  12. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Truth to what matter? There are so many to choose from here.
     
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  13. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    An intressting fact here is that the RCC dont have any objection to Scandinavian freemasonry due to the fact that only christians are admitted.

    Also of note is that a few priest in the church of Sweden got reported to the church authorities for being Swedish rite freemasons, this led the funny thing that the persons responsible for the investigation got acess to the rituals. People hoped that the rituals would then become public but instead they became classified.
     
  14. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    I wasn't alluding to the two being combined in one Prince, more that the two Princes were intertwined. Equally heretical in some eyes.
     
  15. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    In a Ying and Yang model was what came to my minds eye...
     
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  16. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    Like this with S&C?

    [​IMG]
     
  17. flameburns623

    flameburns623 Registered User

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    Among Christians, those groups most committed to submiiting themselves to either a conservative, systematic theology of the Scriptures, or the systematic teachings of a tradition (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodoxy), are most likely to have qualms about Freemasonry.

    Those who see their faith in messier terms, as providing comfort, solace, meaning, and truths--but NOT Absolute Truth--those who see their faith more as a pilgrimage than as a destination at which they have arrived--are most likely to feel that Freemasonry is compatible with and even helpful to their faith.

    Fowler's Stages of Faith Development may also be relevant here. Fowler's ideas have become popular to help people passing through a faith crises. Fowler postulated six stages of natural progression of faith. Only a very few ever attain the sixth stage. Nearly all pass through the first two stages as a natural part of maturing.

    As people mature they typically reach what is defined by Dr. Fowler as Stage Three faith, a faith which admits to some areas of uncertainty and of areas of growth -- but, basically people in Stage Three are focused upon discovering The Truth, and feel themselves in possession of a good portion of this. Only rarely do mature, healthy adults naively presume themselves in full possession of The Whole Truth--that tends to be the preserve of those fanatics discussed earlier in this thread. I will return to those in a moment.

    Most Stage Three individuals are aware that others also think that they have The Truth, and that the other's Truth is a different Truth in some sense. But, they try not to think too deeply or often about this. Those others are just wrong, or at best have some fragments of the Truth. The mature Stage Three individual focuses on living their own Truth.

    This may or may not include becoming a Freemason. Masonry doesn't actively try to deny that "my Church" is the One True Church. (Or, the One True Political Party, for that matter: any ideology can become the One Truth for some: even the Lodge, itself).

    However, the whole enterprise of bringing men of good will from all sorts of philosophical backgrounds, political beliefs, and faiths is not conducive to a militant conviction that I am right and all y'all are wrong.

    Most who feel this way probably shy clear of the Lodge, and develop good reasons for doing so. They just join a good church, or some other great Cause, and serve there.

    About half of us, btw, will pass into Fowler's Stage Four: faith crisis. Maybe due to an abusive Church, maybe due to a life tragedy, maybe because we suddenly intuit that we do NOT have The Truth: that The Truth either lies elsewhere, or else that the best we can do, in this life, is to find a handful of truths--lower-case "t"--and use those, as well we can to help others and to serve God.

    Around half of us revert back to Stage Three: we convert to a new Church or religion, or political cause, we find a new Truth.

    We find closure to our grief, we resolve the abusive situation.

    We go back to Stage Three -- or may more like Stage 3.5. We are not exactly the same, we have integrated a few elements of Stage Five.

    A few people remain 'stuck' in Stage Four, in angry atheism or agnosticism, or in bitterness, resentment of the organization which failed us, etcetera.

    Freemasonry may snag a few of those, the ones who believe in God but hate Him or at least His Church, or who are disillusioned in the Party or ideology which once represent their One Truth. They may not generally be our best or most effective members.

    And some people remain on the interstices between Stage Three and Stage Four-- chronically on the cusp of a faith crises, which drives them to extremes. Those are the fanatics, and they deserve our compassion, our sympathy. They are sufferers of a most exquisite torment, ever afraid of losing their Faith, and often directing that fear towards the Lodge (or some other evil--but we experience it as anti-Masonic fervor).

    Because, many, perhaps most Masons probably are numbered among that other, nearly-half, of those who pass through Stage Four. Many of us achieved Stage Five: we are less focused on having The Truth, more accepting that this life presents us with many, seemingly contradictory truths. We believe, we hope, that somewhere, somehow, someone will reveal to us the Grand Unifying Truth, the thing that will weave together all the other truths.

    Meanwhile, however, we have what we have and do with it what we can. We accept thay tge quest for knowledge and wisdom can be ambiguous, messy at times. But what we have found succors us, strengthens us, and givesus hopevand a desire to help others.

    We glean a few more bytes of wisdom, and we pass those in, in our Lodge, in our service to our families and communities, in the caring and the compassion we show to those need it. In our fraternal charity towards our fellow Lodge Brethren.

    As annoying as they can be, our compassion should include the anti-Masons. We don't have to endorse them nor even engage them: but we can realize what is likely to be driving them, and we can make them objects of our prayers.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  18. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    The RCCs problem does not just come from a theological standpoint (I belive it would be easier if it did) but also from geopolitical, there is a lot of Freemasonry in the continent that is downright anti-chatolic and fights politicaly against the vatican.
     
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  19. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    Is it worth pointing out that Truth is a reification - the turning of a quality (trueness) into an object independent of context or reference point?

    Thus we measure a wall with a plumb line to see if it is true (to the direction of gravity). But if we move the wall it is unlikely to be true.

    What then is truth? To what is it true? To the Bible? To a belief system? To an eyewitness account?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(fallacy)
     
  20. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    A platonic view ?

    So no absolute truth for you James ?
     

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