My Concerns regarding Masonry

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Eric Edwards, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. Eric Edwards

    Eric Edwards Registered User

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    I have to say that I do believe Christ's suffering and Resurrection is the only way to salvation

    since He said. I am the way the truth and the light and NO man comes to The Father

    but by me. This does not mean I run around telling people they are going to hell or disrespect other people in their religion.

    I want to join your fraternity badly. I have done countless hours of

    research and soul searching. OF COURSE I have come across some very weird

    info on masonry most of which is probably false. I have a friend who is a 32°

    mason who signed my petition. I am not going to run around and ask everyone in a

    lodge what their beliefs are but I just want assurance that Masonry can co-exist

    with Christ. I am a Christian first and then a mason should I be raised one.

    I also believe salvation is by grace through faith alone. I do however think that

    faith produces works and that evidence of faith is found in works. The epistle of

    James clearly states faith without works is dead. I have one final concern which I

    hope you can answer... In my degrees will I have to take vows to other gods that

    I do not believe in? I have read that to be a shiner you must take a vow to Allah etc...

    Thank You So Much,

    Eric
     
  2. scialytic

    scialytic Premium Member

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    What did your friend say?
     
  3. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry, but doesn't Allah mean God? That's always been how I've understood it anyhow.

    Either way, did you turn in your petition yet? You will be, or should have been, asked if you had a faith in deity. I've been a MM for eight years and haven't ever encountered anything in the Blue or York Rite degrees that's contrary to mine, or anyone elses, faith.
     
  4. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    Check www.texasyorkrite.org/commandery/ to see if that site clarifies the topic for you.
     
  5. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    The first steps in Masonry only require one to believe in Diety. There is no right or wrong Diety. Nothing is "forced" on you.

    In the upper degrees of York Rite Masonry, at a certain point there is a clarification as to which Diety as BroBill just pointed out.
     
  6. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    My beliefs are exactly the same as yours.

    I can speak only in regard to Masonic (blue) Lodges and the Scottish Rite when I say absolutely not. We only require that one who wishes to become a Brother among us believes in a Supreme Being- we don't care what you call him, and your Deity is the only one you must show your allegiance to. As I do not belong to the York Rite nor the Shrine, I have no knowledge of their requirements.
     
  7. Eric Edwards

    Eric Edwards Registered User

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    The York Rite seems cool. I like the name Knights Templar of Texas.

    Thank you for the posts so far. I saw pictures of red fez hats with islam written across them. Allah may mean God but Allah is not the God of the Bible as they are diametrically and dogmatically opposed to one another at the fundamental level. I also saw a video by a "ex mason" who said that at some level you had to drink wine from a skull and vow something about the sins of the owner being on your head should you ever break a vow. The thing is for a outsider it makes it a hard decision to make because
    you want to make sure the lodge is in alignment with your religious conviction. I am from texas and conservative and while I do not hate people...I don't regard Islam in high esteem. I see it as a geo political agenda masked in a religion.

    My friend basically told me almost all the guys in his lodge were born again Christians which made me feel good.

    I have no problem saying you can slit my throat, pull my tongue out by the root etc..
    I understand that is symbolic and is teaching the value of keeping loyalty to the brotherhood. I read that the UGLE took that out of the vows as well. I don't know if that translates over to Texas and the U.S. or not but either way I think I am okay with the vows.

    I guess another question would be let's say you want to become a shiner or advance to
    a very high level but you discover in the vows something your not ready to vow.
    Is it okay to back out or would you be expelled for deciding against that degree?

    To answer your question future brother-Jones I have one signature so far.
    My friend basically said my signature will get other guys to help you.
    I need to go back to lodge on a stated meeting night for dinner and
    see if some of the officers I met a month or so ago will sign as well.

    I have a good idea what I will be getting in the blue lodge and that's fine with me.

    I must admit the Hiram Abiff ritual reminds me a lot of baptism which sort of
    bothers me but I am sure being a non-member there is symbolism I am not
    aware of. I got really curious about masonry after seeing the special on the
    discovery channel. I have even read most of morals and dogma and another
    book called The Masonic Myth which is a pro-mason book written by a brother.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  8. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    99% of what info you find on the internet is misinformation, if that puts you at any ease. ;)

    You won't get expelled for having concerns about your vows but it could halt your advancement until you're ready to accept them. I can't speak for the Scottish Rite, but I'll point out again that I haven't found any of the vows or anything questionable so far in my Masonic career. I'd be surprised if there was anything diabolical in the Scottish Rite though.
     
  9. Eric Edwards

    Eric Edwards Registered User

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    Thank you. How long have you been a mason and are you a member of any of the bodies? I am sorry if my questions are offensive in any way and you guys probably get asked these type of things all too often but... I am just trying to lay my reservations to rest as anything I do I do @ 100%
     
  10. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Check your email, that should help.
     
  11. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    If you are turning to the internet for some of your research, I recommend the web pages for the Grand Lodges (each state has one) and perhaps Lodges of Research.

    You can search on "Grand Lodge of ........" (fill in the state).

    I understand the instinct to turn to the internet, but I always recommend against it. It tends to create false expectations. I always recommend visiting a lodge a few times and meet the brothers; spend time with them and talk to them about your interest.
     
  12. Cigarzan

    Cigarzan Premium Member

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    BroBill, you stole my thunder! Eric, go ahead and petition if that is what you really want, confident that nothing in Masonry will conflict with your firmly held beliefs. As an aside, your beliefs are mine.

    I think nothing has hurt the Fraternity as much as the internet. I was raised pre-internet and had absolutely no idea about the workings of the lodge. I joined because of the men I knew and respected who were Masons. It was a truly enlightening experience. Nowadays guys google everything and know all the ins and outs before even darkening the door. Beside this, it can cause false impressions about what Masonry is...making good men better, period. It's not about magical, mystical or occult knowledge that so many seem to grasp after and become disillusioned after their initiation.

    Masonry is about building. Building yourself into the man you can be.
     
  13. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    I know Arab Christians. These Arab Christians come from families that have been Christian since before the fall of the Western Roman Empire--that is, before the foundation of Islam, and before any English-speakers became Christian. Do you know what word they use when they want to refer to "God" as we English-speaking Christians refer to Him?

    They use "Allah", because that is the word that Arab-speaking Christians have been using long before Mohammed was even born.

    "Allah" means "God" (as in "The God", distinct from any old "god"), and it has meant "God" to Arab-speaking Christians before any English-speakers used the word "God" to refer to Him.
     
  14. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    If you are looking for a boogie man to the Christian faith you will not find one.

    Yet, there are things that some Christian churches take umbrage with. You should be aware of these and go in with both eyes open and more importantly an open heart.

    1. You can not proselytize except to live your life in a manner and form that is Christian while you are in lodge. You can not proselytize at a bank, in the armed forces, working as a law enforcement officer, etc. But many Christian groups focus in on this and claim that Masonry is anti-Christian because of it.

    2. In lodge you will pray with men regardless of their faith. I pray with Buddhist, Muslims, Jews, Druze, the occassional neo-pagan, etc. There is no prayer wherein we say..."Oh, Buddha, etc." But there isn't a prayer where we say "In Christ name, amen" either. If your church claims this is yoking you to an unbeliever, then you might be in trouble. I personally searched the Bible and found that this one guy named Jesus didn't seem to avoid people of other faiths (think lady by a well)...but some churches take a different slant.

    3. The Hiramic legend is reminiscent of a resurrection. It is not a resurrection, but certainly maintains that flavor. There is no promise that Masonry gets you any kind of salvation whatsoever. But, there are statements that you should be good, pure, and moral and that these things will be judged by God.


    There is a difference between the teachings of Christ and what Christian churches profess...some additions, some deletions, etc. But if your church community is important to you and they have a strong feeling on Masonry or its practices...you might be forced to choose. I was. I am denied membership in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod because of my Freemasonry. It was a hard choice, but I made it.

    I don't think every man is going to make the same choice and its okay to choose your church.

    Ask your pastor how he feels if its going to matter to you down road.

    Me personally, I won't be a member of a church that does not trust my decisions or bars membership in groups based on false information or superstition. But, I would also support a man that says...I don't care why my church says so...they don't like Masonry so I am going to make life a little easier and avoid it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  15. scialytic

    scialytic Premium Member

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    Technically Allah is the same God as the God of Abraham. The diversion is between Isaac and Ishmael (from a historical perspective). You should also note that Islamists do believe in Jesus, just not that died for our sins, etc. Not to get too theological, but wanted to point out that they refer to the same God, but differ based on other historical events.
     
  16. Eric Edwards

    Eric Edwards Registered User

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    In that light they are the same God. In the light of the person hood of God they are not. God is love as expressed by Christianity.

    Prophet of Doom - Islamic Quotes - Fighting
     
  17. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    That website is garbage. You'd be well served taking a class at your local community college on Islam, and for that matter world religions in general.

    Masons may swear their obligations on the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, and the Bhagavad Gita. If you go into Masonry believing that one of those other religions are inherently evil, chances are you will eventually run into trouble. Masonry is at its heart universal. We speak of the Great Architect, not Jehovah, Allah, Yahweh, Shiva, or anything else specifically at Blue Lodge.

    Bottom line is you will never be compelled to swear allegiance to a God other than the one you believe in, or for that matter do much discussing of religion at all. Freemasonry is not a religious organization. In Texas, our members are predominantly Christian. I feel pretty confident that the next largest group are deists, which is what our founding fathers were, and those folks rarely identify themselves as such and don't wear it on their shirtsleeve. In my experience none of our members do - religion and a man's relationship to his God is his own affair outside of very neutral sort of prayers. Again, universality.
     
  18. scialytic

    scialytic Premium Member

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    I guess my point is that you are the determining factor. An idol is not an idol until you make it an idol by idolizing it. A statue of Buddah or Krishna is not an idol to me. Your faith and belief is what makes you a Christian. Noone can change that but you. I am ignorant in true way of these things, as I am trying to start this journey, like yourself, so I should have remained silent. Best wishes and I hope you find the assurances you are looking for.
     
  19. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    This is a good topic, and as already said by other other I can only echo that there is nothing in masonry that will interfere with your religion or obligation to Christ - whether you are very religious.
    Masonry requires a belief in deity, but leave it completely up to you what that means. Which is one of the things I really like about it personally.

    My best suggestion would be go to visit some lodges in your area and get a feel for them. Masonry is also to a large extent a fraternity and a brotherhood, and it's important that you fit in with the people in your lodge.

    And lastly remember that there are no stupid questions, so ask away. There are plenty of people here who will be happy to answer and help you.
     
  20. Eric Edwards

    Eric Edwards Registered User

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    I think I understand what most of you all are saying. My friend told me unless your a Christian you probably aren't in
    the lodge I am thinking of joining. He also repeated my belief that Christ was the only way to salvation. I will admit
    I have wondered at times whether or not another religion or all religions could be a road to God. I however after much
    careful consideration decided that if that was the case there was no point in Jesus dying. I don't think God sent him
    to the cross because He wanted a good story for a certain group of people. I do not believe that someone who has
    never heard the gospel will go to hell when they die. I think Christ will offer himself to them upon or after death.

    “the gospel was preached also to those who are dead” (1 Peter 4:6)

    I think God judges only by the light we have. In that light I guess I am a bit universal however I honestly think
    many of the worlds religions are created by the evil one to lead men astray. I mean if all religions lead to God
    why did Jesus claim to be the only way? If we believe the bible to be our set of plans or your VSL then we believe
    that every word is God's divine word. If all religions lead to God why did God become angry in the Bible about
    idol worship? After all wouldn't it just be a way for those men to act out their moral beliefs etc...

    If all religions lead to God why would God send a messiah to Israel who already had a covenant
    with him and establish a new covenant?

    That covenant being the stone which the builders rejected. Christ being the cornerstone
    of the faith upon which ALL other living stones are built.

    I know religion is not discussed in lodge but since this is a website
    I suppose we can discuss such things. I guess I am also curious when you look at the definition of religion
    masonry seems to fit it. Many of the writers also seem to suggest it to be one.

    Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion and its teachings are instruction in religion. -Albert Pike

    "The religion, then, of Masonry is pure Theism"
    Albert Mackey [33rd degree Mason and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of the thirty third degree Scottish Rite] 'Lexicon of Freemasonry' p 404
    [HR][/HR]"The meeting of a Masonic Lodge is strictly a religious ceremony. The religious tenets of Masonry are few, simple, but fundamental. No lodge or Masonic assembly can be regularly opened or closed without prayer"
    T. S. Webb 'Masonic Monitor' p 284
    [HR][/HR]"The truth is that Masonry is undoubtedly a religious institution, its religion being of that universal kind in which all men agree"
    Albert Mackey [33rd degree Mason and Secretary General of the Supreme Council of the thirty third degree Scottish Rite] 'Textbook of Masonic Jurisdiction' p. 95


    Were these men who many masons revere speaking out of line?

    I know I am probably raising questions that may annoy someone but
    I really want to know what insiders say not outsiders.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012

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