The Death of Freemasonry: When Change Changes You

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by Squire Bentley, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. Squire Bentley

    Squire Bentley Premium Member

    220
    147
    63
  2. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    2,910
    3,345
    183
    I read through this, struggling through the typos and poor spelling, but never fully got a grasp on the specific resolution: something about someone doing programs, an assignment easily handled by the fraternity in its present form.
     
    Bill Lins and CLewey44 like this.
  3. Squire Bentley

    Squire Bentley Premium Member

    220
    147
    63
    It seemed pretty clear to me that Stewart is proposing doing away with Lodges and Grand Lodges and having a National Body only that subscribes Masons and to which dues would go to. One National Body for the whole U.S.A. One small building, one website, one entity. No local Lodges, no Grand Lodges. That would be very easy to support and maintain. And that my Brothers is indeed a paradigm shift.
     
  4. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

    654
    710
    113
    That in itself tells me all I need to know (or can know with out further clarification on what is meant). In my experience, the "age of woke" (I assume millennial's) crave tradition and meaning in everything they do dismissing everything else as not worth their time nor important.

    Freemasonry has become (I'm about to generalize) an organization that exists so it can have members to pay the bills. The paying of the bills has become the main if not only focal point lodges address. Perhaps there is 2-5 minutes for education, and / or a charity someone is advocating for, but that's about it. No internet Mason's or non-lodge membership program is going to fix anything until we as an organization decide who we are and why we actually exist. This MUST come from the top down; things are to far along for anything else. Bah... now I'm ranting myself lol. Maybe I'll blog on it! ;)
     
  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    3,935
    2,387
    133
    Somewhere I have an invitation form for membership in the AMORC. That Rosicrucian order is organized like that. If I had wanted that I would have submitted that application.
     
    CLewey44 and Chaz like this.
  6. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,686
    519
    113
    For some years I have been surveying elderly brethren and without exception all have said that the craft ritual is less powerful than when they first entered Masonry.

    I think this is the key. If little Light flows during the ritual the brethren do not get the spiritual nourishment they seek and many then find better things to do.
     
  7. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

    3,195
    2,020
    183
    They do realize they are admitting to allowing the ritual to fade, right?
     
    Bloke, CLewey44 and Glen Cook like this.
  8. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,686
    519
    113
    >they are admitting to allowing the ritual to fade, right?

    It may surprise some but there are at least 6 sources of Light in a functional Masonic temple, not including the brethren. About 5 years ago when I was Master of my craft lodge, I was on the floor for the obligation of an apprentice and there was a strong flow of liquid Light from the East - symbolized by the rising sun. The light flowed down the steps and on to the floor. Initially I could feel the tingling of the light around my lower legs but it got deeper and deeper and eventually reached my shoulders.

    The next morning the secretary sent me an email - all in capitals - saying that the next Master would have to go some to beat what happened the previous night.

    The event was however rather rare and, in retrospect, closely connected to the caliber of the candidate.

    The various sources of Light are intelligent and may or may not be attracted by the brethren and temple, and being intelligent have their own agenda. And, at a cosmic level, the tide has changed. We can see this throughout society with old institutions and old beliefs fading away. The agenda of the new incoming tide is not very clear yet, but signs can be seen in the determination of the human race to care for the planetary temple, starting with ecosystems and extending to oppressed humans.
     
  9. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    2,910
    3,345
    183
    Thanks. As a member of a national grand lodge, and an elect d officer in national and international bodies, if you think you have seen politics on the local level, you ain’t seen nothin’. Further, there will be costs to become and remain a national officer. This will be beyond the means of many members.
     
    Bill Lins likes this.
  10. David612

    David612 Registered User

    863
    694
    93
    I put it to you that masonry dose not need a paradigm shift rather masons do-
    Now that I have some grasp on the craft it’s quite evident that waiting for someone else to change the things you don’t like in the craft is rather pointless-
    You shape your ashlar, not grand lodges structure, not the long business meetings and certainly not complaining online.
     
  11. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    4,292
    3,027
    133
    I think his point of not making membership based on local lodges but rather a peak body was clear - all the rest was preamble.

    A few years ago one of our GMs had the catch phrase "Make lodges places men want to be and bring their friends" or similar. I think it really is that simple and the easy test on how to run a lodge. One issue is, if a good man wants to be among good men but tires of the ritual - where does that leave him ? Bored. A lodge here had about 12-20 at year meeting in the lodge room, but 70-100 at their dinner which followed it. The problem was it morphed into a dining club in many respects and struggled to get officers. They failed to make the lodge room a place men want to be and bring their friends. For a Lodge room to work - it cannot be repetitive. Constantly swapping the men who given charges because of how they give them helps us, but also making sure we balance ritual with interesting education - which doe not mean a 50 minute lecture - but short interesting discussions and presentations which do not drag on and these discussions being varied. We're lucky as an immigrant city in a lodge of diverse men which is a real resource; one night we had a Queenslander, Brazilian and Paraguayan talk about there masonic experiences, but we've had talks from a farmer and how he built and runs his business, the standard talks on symbolism etc but all in the standard format of a group of friends being together and enjoying their time together - that's part of what makes a lodge a place men want to be and bring their friends - trying to keep it interesting - but also knowing the engine of the lodge is friendship and what fosters that is allowing time for men to talk - the great untapped resource in a lodge is positive conversations about diverse things, often where we learn a thing or two..
     
    Héctor Prior likes this.
  12. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,686
    519
    113
    >often where we learn a thing or two..

    And hence start the work of the FC?
     
  13. Winter

    Winter Premium Member

    743
    875
    113
    That article left me with more questions than answers.

    So, a person can join Freemasonry and not belong to a local Lodge? Do they join online? Or does their local lodge do the work of putting them through their degrees and examining them only for them to say, "See you later!" afterwards because they are a member at large and have no commitment to local Freemasonry? And how does this proposed new layer of membership, that doesn't belong to their local lodge, allow Freemasonry to start to grow again? Do we want Freemasonry to grow again or is this another writer pining for the artificial membership numbers of the 1950's? Sorry, but I can't get behind anything in that article.
     
  14. Bro. David F. Hill

    Bro. David F. Hill David F. Hill Premium Member

    255
    232
    63
    It's really easy. Freemasonry isn't about the dinner or the meeting. It's about the oath that you took and the promises that you made. Just like people have become part-time members of their faith, the same is true for Masonry. The thing is, these are not clubs but a way of living. Now think about this; you did this with your hands on the Bible. There's a word for lying to God and a price to pay for doing it. Each person must face his Higher Power one day and at that time he will have to face judgement for the things that he did or didn't do during his life.

    Brother David Hill
     
    Brother JC and Bloke like this.
  15. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    2,078
    2,067
    133
    For some, but not all. Whenever I here this statement, I already know assumptions, generalizations and dogma is about to follow.
    For some, but not all.
    For some, but not all.
    You've switched topics. You started out talking about Freemasonry, not Masonry. You can join the former and never experience, know or pursue the latter, ever.

    That being said, you're using the two words synonymously and the word "people" to indicate "congregations" to indicate attendance at an institution is required to participate in one's faith. This is patently incorrect. And the same goes for both Freemasonry and what Freemasonry points members toward: Masonry.
    For some, but not all.
    Here's comes the preaching...
    Well, some members did. Some actually used the book of their faith when they were allowed to.
    Assumptive Statement, implied threat, unnecessary guilt trip...
    Implying that "Higher Power" = "God" AND that the faith you are basing this assumption upon is universally accepted as true.
    Your projected judgment is not universally accepted. There exist faiths that teach these judgments occur every day during one's lifetime and not "one day". Other faiths don't teach judgments occur at all; just natural consequences for all actions taken and untaken.

    It's truly is not "really easy" when thought and research is applied. It should be as simple as possible, but not simpler to the omission of reality.
     
  16. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    3,935
    2,387
    133
    This issue can happen with men who are "Made a Mason on site" in jurisdictions that allow it. While that term sounds like it only applies to one man at a time it can also happen with members of classes who get their degrees "All the day in one day" in jurisdictions that allow it.

    The newly obligated Brother isn't automatically a member of any one lodge. Almost always but not actually always. Plus he can't be an officer until he completes his proficiency and chances are he didn't understand that when he showed up at the event. Great for someone who wants to get into the Shrine but for a blue lodge they might never see him again except in the form of his annual check.

    That said there are now a LOT of Past Masters who got at least one of their degrees at a festival. For statistics it ends up with the same roughly ten percent we get in attendance after doing individual degrees. Once I learned that I lost interest in complaining about festivals. They worked for the Scottish Rite and now they are working for blue lodge. Still, I am gratified that so many young guys want the individual degrees, long form proficiency and so on. But that gratification is about me while the degrees are about the young guys.
     

Share My Freemasonry