Yep.Doesn't that truly depend upon how you're defining the word and the metaphoric use of it?
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.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.
Or it might suggest the two are inseparably intertwined.
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.
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.
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
A platonic view ?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?