Recently raised but have questions

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by paul2426, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. paul2426

    paul2426 Registered User

    7
    4
    3
    i was recently raised but have some questions that are making me feel a little uncomfortable most of which resolves around religion.

    I know that masonry does not care what religion you are and allows you to believe whatever you want. However, it seems to me that Mason's believe that all religions worship the same God and this is a belief that I simply cannot accept as a Christian.

    This has been weighing heavily on me o the point of questioning if I should retract my membership from my lodge. I have family asking me if Jesus would have been a mason? Sounds crazy, I know, but it does make a point.

    Any insight brother Mason's can provide will be appreciated.
     
    Vonte Kirkland likes this.
  2. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,309
    3,037
    133
    Um... this is an old topic which people get different answers to. For me, Christianity and Freemasonry are completely compatible. Smarter people than me have given answers in both camps.

    I dont think Freemasons or their lodges worship any God. I think its members each all have their own religion and they think of their God when terms like the GAOTU are used. I think Freemasonry does call on you to respect the faith of others. If you're ritual speaks of "One God" then for you, it might be Jesus. (Or a Trinitarian view).

    Personally, I think one religion *might* be right... but that means a lot of us are getting it wrong. As an individual, that is a view I had before becoming a Freemason.

    One thing I know, is if you google this, you will certainly get Christians forcefully saying Freemasonry and Christianity are not compatible. You also get many Christian Freemasons (and Brothers of other religions) saying they are completely compatible.

    Another question is, because Parliament (or Congress) open with prayer, does that make those legislative bodies religions, no, like Freemasonry, they ask their God to bless and support what they do as we do as Freemasons.

    I guess a good question is this. Do you think Freemasonry is a religion, and do you feel you are Worshiping a single God as a lodge ? I say "no" to both of these questions.

    Reflection is good. Men often say Freemasonry brings them closer to their God.... looks like it's providing a prism for you to do some reflection...

    Let's hope some smarter brother than me comes along to help :)
     
  3. paul2426

    paul2426 Registered User

    7
    4
    3
    Thanks for the insight. Like you say, just about every Christian point of view is negative. I would really like to meet a pastor or something that is a mason so I could pick their brain. I guess I'm worried about getting to vested making friends and forming bonds with my new brothers. If I turn around feeling it's not for me, it will put me in a bad position.
     
  4. Ressam

    Ressam Registered User

    291
    29
    18
    Hello.
    Could you, please, explain this words a little bit?
     
  5. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,687
    518
    113
    How could God have left the human race without the one true religion through all those ages until Jesus?

    Long ago St Augustine wrestled with this problem. He eventually concluded that the one true religion had always existed and that only recently has it been called Christianity.

    It is on this level that Freemasonry approaches religion, with the possible exception of some the Grand Lodges in southern USA.

    A related problem is the meaning of the word "god". The first of the 10 Commandments deals with this:

    Exodus 20New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

    20 Then God spoke all these words:

    2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me.

    4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.


    Thus we see that the Lord God does not permit the worship of other gods. Nevertheless Solomon who had been given the gift of wisdom by this God, worshiped the gods of his wives - and since he had a lot of wives, that was a lot of gods.

    So when do we write "God" and when do we write "god"?

    I was brought up a Roman Catholic and their theologians dodged this issue somewhat by referring to "the Causeless Cause". The Masonic equivalent is the GAOTU.

    Thus we can agree there is a Creator without having to argue about whose Lord God is superior.
     
    Keith D. McKeever Jr. likes this.
  6. paul2426

    paul2426 Registered User

    7
    4
    3
    As a Christian I of course do believe in a single God, but do not believe all religions worship the same God. I do respect all other religions, just do not believe that they all have the same idea in who our creator is. Or instance if someone was to tell me God looks like an elephant or something, I couldn't assume it's the same... I just have a hard time generalizing all religions into one.
     
  7. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,687
    518
    113
    If you are determined to separate the gods, try this:

    Deuteronomy Chapter 32

    8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.

    9 For the LORD'S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.


    Here we have TMH dividing the peoples of the Earth and the Lord God only gets the sons of Jacob. So which Lord Gods had the remaining peoples?
     
  8. paul2426

    paul2426 Registered User

    7
    4
    3
    I'm really not trying to get into a debate, just wanting to know if freemasonry teaches that everyone's God is the same. if everyone's God was the same, then there would be no reason for me to believe that Jesus is my savior since another religion doesn't believe in him... I am ok with everyone praying together and for your prayer to be to whoever your God is. I just want to know if masonry believes everyone's God is in fact the same God.
     
  9. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,687
    518
    113
    Here is Anderson in 1723

    A Mason is oblig’d by his Tenure, to obey the moral law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times Masons were charg’d in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ’tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish’d; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain’d at a perpetual Distance.



    Nevertheless it is true that some Grand Lodges and some orders require declaration of Christian beliefs. Afaik these are the only examples in which Freemasonry teaches that a particular religion is preferable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
  10. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    2,929
    3,366
    183
    I am a Christian. I am not aware of anything which would prohibit a Christian from accepting we believe in the same God. There are many Christian ministers of many faiths who are Masons. They have no problem with this.

    Let me suggest we do all worship the same God, we just aren't all correct in how we view him (by which I mean my view is correct and all the rest of you are wrong :)).
    However, so what if we don't all worship the same God. Why is that a problem?
     
    NY Masonry, Bill Lins and Ressam like this.
  11. Ressam

    Ressam Registered User

    291
    29
    18
    Thanks for your answer!
    IMO, God is -- The Perfection. And, He, how to say correctly, does not have all these emotions, which Humans have.

    Agree!
    God is One, for everyone.
    And, -- The Spiritual Development Law is -- same too, for everyone.
     
  12. paul2426

    paul2426 Registered User

    7
    4
    3
    I'm not concerned if grand lodge allows different beliefs or religions. Just asking if they assert that whatever your religion is, you are all worshiping the same God. Basically, what I am getting at is that for me to feel comfortable in being a member, I would have to hear that masonry requires a belief in A God, but not require that we believe everyone's idea of who God is is the same. Of course I believe there is only one God that created everyone and everything, but someone else may have a completely different version of God. Like I said I really don't care if brothers believe in another God, just don't want to be told that everyone's version is ultimately the same
     
  13. paul2426

    paul2426 Registered User

    7
    4
    3
    Thanks glen, you are sort of getting what I am getting at.
     
    Derek Harvey and Ressam like this.
  14. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

    589
    236
    63
    Mr. Paul we accept men of all faiths, so, no we do not think that all faiths are the same: but I think that if all faiths meet the level they might find the truth. And for the RECORD, I vote for Jesus/ Yeshua / Yahweh. IJS
     
    Derek Harvey, Bill Lins and Ressam like this.
  15. Ressam

    Ressam Registered User

    291
    29
    18
    How Jesus is Saving you?
     
  16. paul2426

    paul2426 Registered User

    7
    4
    3
    I am new to masonry and hope I'm not ruffling any feathers. I love the friends I'm making and enjoy the rituals and lodge, it's just the religious aspects that give me questions. I not only want to figure it out for my own well being, but also so I can defend the craft and its ideas if need be. I know I should be asking the brothers in my own lodge about this stuff and I probably will. I just don't want them to think I may leave after spending so much time teaching me the work. Just trying to find clarity I guess.
     
    Derek Harvey likes this.
  17. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,309
    3,037
    133
    Both are good things :)


    I would simply say, Freemasonry is not a religion but a fraternity which accepts men of all Faiths.

    Like Parliament, it opens with a prayer, but that does not make it's activities a Religion or even religious. Parliament is hardly a religious group. That said, a requirement of membership is a belief in a Supreme Being. This nebulous term allows diverse men of faiths such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc, as well as men who are not from any particular religion to all unite. Freemasonry looks for common humanity that unites rather than beliefs which divided. Indeed, the only two topics which cannot be discussed in lodge are religion and politics , because these are often two topics which divide rather than unite. As Freemasons, through prayers, we do ask what/who we refer to as the Great Architect of the Universe to bless our activities and our members, but what the GAOTU means to each member will vary and is in no way really defined, nor is there any demand or suggestion (in my ritual). For one Mason, the GAOTU might be Allah, for another Jesus, or for another something else. When I hear the phrase GAOTU, I know it is used in the Bible and interpret it according to my own faith. Freemasonry is designed for members to do that, and for many, it deepens their connection to their own religious beliefs as Freemasonry can act as a trigger to do so because it calls Brothers to become reflective and examine their own beliefs according to their own compasses, their particular religion often being a significant guiding principle. That's exactly what you are doing Paul.
     
    Derek Harvey and Ressam like this.
  18. Travelling Man91

    Travelling Man91 Registered User

    983
    393
    63
    Although this is a good conversation, this is one of the reasons why religion is not discussed in a tyled lodge.

    Sent from my 831C using My Freemasonry Pro mobile app
     
    Derinique Kendrick likes this.
  19. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

    1,638
    1,545
    113
    I didn't read all of the replies, but the point of believing in a God or Allah or whatever you may call it, is to have something binding you to your obligation. The use of GAOTU is to sort of be generic. I don't mean that disrespectfully but that way it covers all names that represent the creator of our universe or God.

    Masonry is not a religion so any religion is accepted except no religion. The fact of the matter is, there will always be Christians, Muslims, Jews and numerous other religions in the world and Christians will never convert all non-Christians, Muslims will never convert all non-Muslims and so-on, so for you to coexist with them, interact in a social manner doesn't mean you're believing less in your God. It doesn't mean that your opinion of Jesus being our savior is any less or whatever a man's belief is. Masonry is not a strictly Christian fraternity. If you think that it's causing spiritual injury to your relationship with God, then it may not be for you. If you see it for what it is, and that's a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols, you will further see how it will not interfere with your religious beliefs and you should fear no danger. It's a great fraternity that I think will bring you closer to God and spirituality.
     
    Center and Keith D. McKeever Jr. like this.
  20. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

    3,206
    2,029
    183
    When we "invoke the Blessing of Deity," one Brother sees an elephant, one sees a bearded man in a cloud, one sees a woman, one sees a state of mind...
    none of us are perfectly right, none are perfectly wrong, but each and every one of us sees our Creator, our Divine Spirit, our god. We have all reached the same place in our belief.
    Don't get hung up on words and definitions when approaching the Divine. (My 2p.)
     

Share My Freemasonry