To Die Or Not To Die

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by Squire Bentley, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Squire Bentley

    Squire Bentley Premium Member

    Wor. Istvan Horvath supplies a reasoned response to the question is Freemasonry dying? One has to wonder why it takes a Canadian Mason to subdue his passions and approach the issue using logic and reason instead of emotion. I am sure your comments will do the same.
    Bloke likes this.
  2. David612

    David612 Registered User

    This isn’t a new perspective-

    I’d venture that people are leaving masonry as they are sick of discussing the same issues and this very discussion exemplifies it, how many times have brethren written and article about the issues with masonry?
    I bet it’s far more than those that put their words to work and actually enact the change they want.
  3. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    Nice article... ...could have used a 4th category Reaction:

    D. Stop your Pitiful and Unwarranted Panic - All is Preceding as Necessary and Freemasonic organizations are merely experiencing a long overdue Phase Two Part A activities! Like it or not!

    1. Removing the Warts (minimal impact and haphazardly on going) - Blemishes upon the Craft caused by West Gates not being properly guarded

    2. Trimming the Fat (in process, hence the reduction) - Unnecessary and costly baggage weighing the organization down!​

    A. Next to useless memberships that contribute nothing but dues money, etc.
    B. Burdensome Property (land, buildings, etc. that does not generate at least equitable revenues to support and justify ownership)
    C. Top Heavy Structures - GL activities that contribute little to nothing of substance to the local lodges and actually burden the local lodges more than benefits them.​

    3. Cutting Out the Cancer (yet to occur) - Mistletoe Masonry (Appended Bodies All!)​

    4. and Buffing Up (don't hold your breath on this one!) - Practicing what is preached, professed, prescribed, proclaimed, etc. by Ritual!​
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
    LK600, Winter and Brother JC like this.
  4. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

    "In reviewing what comments were posted in various places it seemed as if everybody had an opinion but nobody commented on the data."

    Indeed. More - the "solutions" are never backed up by numbers over a long period of time. While some worthy brothers might disregard membership numbers and rather speak to the wellness of the spirit of Freemasonry, I would suggest if the spirit was really so healthy, we'd be growing.. but I can't see a good solution in the English speaking world...
  5. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

    I'm not sure any level of Healthiness could offset the vast increase that took place many a year ago and the subsequent losses. While I believe current numbers should be expected, I also believe separately (Mostly) Freemasonry is NOT healthy in many areas and a re-invigoration needs to take place (practice what we preach). Many locations / people need to realize we are not members for the main goal of supporting the Lodge (building, bills etc), the Lodge exists to support the members (providing a place to learn / explore / fellowship).
    Bloke and hanzosbm like this.
  6. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    Good article and good discussion.

    It's been said by a few different people in a few different ways, but I think almost everyone on the side of "we need to fix things" agrees that before things can improve, a large amount of the toxic causes for our problems need to be removed first. Call them whatever you want, but the members who pay dues yet either cause these problems or enable them to continue will be exactly what prevents us from healing. I think we also need to recognize that these members who stifle growth are also running off the new members that we actually want. Having good men join and then leave is worse than never having them join to begin with because it means that when we do finally get back to a good place, our pool of potential members is much smaller (unless those who have left decide to return). If we knew how long it would take, I'd be inclined to shut the west gate until we cleaned house..
    And please don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting kicking people out. To be fair, those members joined an organization that was exactly what they were looking for. It's just that it isn't the organization the rest of us want it to be.

    Here is my suggested roadmap for progress:
    1) Become the change you want to see. To begin with, if we're going to be sitting on our high horses talking about what we want Masonry to look like, then we'd damn well better lead from the front. Don't tell people what you want Masonry to look like; show them. Be the better man we profess that we create and become a beacon that others look to and want to emulate.
    2) Guard the west gate VERY closely. Be upfront with candidates about what we're trying to create, let them know if that's not what they're here for to look elsewhere. Then, find out for yourself if they are the kind of man you want to join. Quit allowing the old guard to check a box with the investigation committee. Every MM has a vote, which means if someone gets in who continues the problems we have now, it's your fault. Don't be afraid to drop a cube; that's what it's there for. Yes, that means our numbers will shrink, but just like pruning a rose bush, you have to cut back before you can grow.
    3) Keep pushing. Make continued efforts to affect change with Masonic Education, Presentations, votes to increase dues (if that's what your lodge wants), etc. My old lacrosse coach used to say "just keep taking shots, one of them is bound to get through". It all adds up over time. Those who are here for that kind of thing are more likely to stay. Those who are opposed to it will either become uncomfortable and leave, or, maybe find out they enjoy it. Even if they do neither and simply sit there grumbling, at least it's happening.
    4) Use the momentum. If we are successful in guarding the west gate, those who want change will continue to gain ground against those who don't. The old guard will become fewer and fewer and the new blood will become larger and larger. This will allow the pace of improvement to pick up and I truly believe things will improve rapidly once this starts to happen.

    It's not all doom and gloom; the changes I'm talking about are already starting. I can see it and I hope you can too. Just looking at these forums, the interest from young men based on the topics we are looking to foster can be seen. The problem is, we are currently wasting a lot of this potential. Still, more and more TO/EC/SO lodges are popping up. More Masonic Education is happening. The interest is there and it's growing. We have a long road ahead, but we're on our way.

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