why all the confusion ?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Txmason32, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. Txmason32

    Txmason32 Registered User

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    Why all the confusion My brothers ? Why all the resentment ? Why the division among masons ? Have we all forgot how excited we were our first night at lodge waiting for the reply from the outter door ? Feeling the hand of a stranger but knowing He would not lead you in harms way ? The second you were greeted as a Brother ? What happened to that feeling ?

    Why something we had held so dear and close and had so much excitement for ,We have lost our zeal for ?

    Why do multipule lodges open several times a week each having 100 -800 members but only 5-15 show ?
    why do we in the age of automobiles Have 10 plus lodges in a 20 mile radius with 5-15 people showing up at each , all paying taxes insurance electric water ect ? Is there a sense of I dont want to lose my seat ? screw the seat it cant be about ourselves it has to be about the fraternity and what we give to the world and each other . when we got the apron did we do it for a hat (fez,derby ,cowboy hat ,prayer cap ect) or did we do it to make a difference in us and those around us . was it about Charecter and growth or power and position ?

    Why if we want change does it stay the same . Think back in 1920 GL dues were a weeks pay today they are maybe a day or even an hrs pay for most . if we dont think we are worth it niether will outsiders . Think what we could have done with all that extra income to help the fraternity grow ? To attract new men of charecter ? In the 20s were charged worth ,in the 60s we were like the walmart economics lose a little but make it up in volume > that is never ok but works as long as there is volume lol .


    sorry so scattered just brain storming .
     
  2. thor9541

    thor9541 Registered User

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    great post

    I'm a newly raised Bro about a year or so but I totally agree with the questions presented. I often state when a mason stops seeking praise and glory for himself the fraternity can prevail. There are lodges that meet at our lodge and they don't have enough to open on the third degree but, yet because " I don't wanna lose the seat " they are an embarrassment to the craft . Wake up Bros and remember what we are here to do learn to subdue our passions and improve ourselves in masonry. I'm off
     
  3. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I can't speak for everyone else, but there was a period shortly after I was raised that I stopped attending.

    Why? Because I went through so much effort to become a Master Mason so I could receive more light and learn the secrets of the fraternity only to find out I get a lot of congratulations and a few pats on the back for a job well done.

    Like I said, I can't speak for everyone, but I think a lot of people are right when they suggest we need focus less on acting like a social club and instead start offering a product that only we can offer: Freemasonry.

    Had I been more informed at the time, I probably wouldn't have ever taken a break and I'd be much better off due to getting a head start on the lessons that are to be learned...and I suspect this would be the case for many others as well.
     
  4. Txmason32

    Txmason32 Registered User

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    Another Question ? Would Texas ever vote in a GM like the MWGM of Oklahoma ?
     
  5. LukeD

    LukeD Registered User

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    Well said Bro Jones. So many Masons seek education and more light they don't know what to do with themselves, but are often left empty handed, or rely purely on self education. No matter what, I will support the Lodge and hope things get a little brighter.
     
  6. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    That excitement evolved into boredom. After being raised, new Brethren are greeted with meetings full of bill paying ceremonies, bickering about who's going to change the air filters and signup sheets for fund raisers. If I see another signup sheet I'm going to puke. I'll tell you the problem with Masonry is we no longer teach it. We rush the candidate through the Q&A's, shake their hand and expect them to stick around without learning any of the teachings and symbolism of Masonry. I don't need a Masonic Lodge to pay bills or bicker with someone close, I can do that at home. If your Lodge doesn't offer Masonry, how can you expect the new Brethren to stick around?

    It's all about politics and pride. I'd rather have 2 STRONG Lodges than 10 teetering on the brink of demise, but who's willing to give up their charter? Being the current Master of my Lodge, I've experienced my share of bickering. For the past few years, the handful, yes handful, of Brethren in my Lodge have simply become burned out. What do you expect when 3% of the membership carries 99.999% of the workload? As Master, I cut our Christmas Program and Food Booth Fundraiser. Yes, there were many Brethren who were upset, but guess what? They weren't the ones doing the work, much less being active members of the Lodge.

    Suggested Reading:

    http://www.masonsoftexas.com/general-freemasonry-discussion/10912-value-meal-masonry.html

    http://www.masonsoftexas.com/education-literature/9063-dues-dont-anymore.html

    Freemason Connect - Whatever happened to Masonic Pride?

    http://www.masonsoftexas.com/education-literature/10786-36-ways-improve-attendance-your-lodge.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
  7. Txmason32

    Txmason32 Registered User

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    I present these questions for provoking thought because with out thought there cant be change > So How bad does this need to get before change is made ? BTW a lot of lodges arent on the verge of demise ,they have 300-800 members that pay and about 10 show but it seems as long as they pay and the people there get to do what the 10 do then its all good . BTW please no one get excited and say "at my lodge we have 25-30 show up ...." if you have 500 then that is not a good percentage lol .
     
  8. CTx Mason

    CTx Mason Registered User

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    Our ancient brethren built the cathedrals and became wealthy because of it. They knew that if the secrets of how to build them were released outside of the brotherhood, so would go the wealth and power.
    After WWII, we saw a surge in membership and political power partially due to the returning veterans wishing to keep their combat brothers close in a much more peaceful and cleaner environment. Also membership had its privileges, in the form of jobs, contracts, and positions.
    A fundamental truth in business is Evolve or Die. If what you offer is not needed, then the company will not be needed, and you will soon be working for someone else.
    I see no reason why Freemasonry should not leverage the social networking capabilities inherent in our fraternity. I would definitely rather hire or do business with a Worthy Brother than an unknown from Facebook or Linked In. What does the next generation need that we and we alone are offering? Why are we relying on donations when we have so much intellectual horsepower at our disposal?
    I do not want to change Freemasonry for the sake of change, but I do believe that we can improve our communities starting at the lodges by offering more.
     
  9. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Not sure what you mean. What is the MWGM of Oklahoma like?
     
  10. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I was told by a senior officer of another grand jurisdiction, "The problem with Texas Masonry has yet to hit rock bottom. Once it does it will figure out the problems." If you look at it though it is not just Texas. It's happening EVERYWHERE with Masonry. Brothers are fighting more and more. Personal agendas are playing a part and it has become a cesspool of politics. Every year in August you see the Grand South traveling around the state visiting every MWSA meeting and MSB so they can be elected to the Grand South only to guarantee in 5 years they will become Grand Master. If all Sr. Grand Offices are elected why is it just the Grand South that campaigns (mind you campaigning is not allowed per Art. 505, but GL Law doesn't apply when you are a good ole boy).

    Members are dying off much faster than they can come in the door so we rush people through the chairs. On average in TX, within 3 years of being raised chances are if you regularly attend you will be a senior officer of the Lodge and in about 5 years you will be Master (This come from the LAMP Committee not me). Does anyone else see this as alarming? The average age for a Mason in TX is over 70 years of age. Let me repeat that OVER 70. If Texas has 94,000 members then over half of them are over 70. Within 10 years it is projected that Masonry in Texas will drop below 50,000 members and some project it could get below 20,000 before you start to see a rebuild of members. The problem is you better figure out what keeps people coming, and what keeps them long term or else, as Brother Blake said you may have 30 members left at a Lodge but if no one shows up what is the purpose? Simply put is how fast does the shiny wear off the new toy? It's like the Wizard of Oz when Dorthy looked behind the curtain. It was amazing and awe inspiring until she saw what was back there and I think that is what happens here. People see behind the curtain and don't like what they see.

    I am a big believer that it is the Mason that is flawed not Masonry so the system has been created is the problem not the lessons or teachings themselves. Just wanted to put that out there.
     
  11. Txmason32

    Txmason32 Registered User

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    it was 134k when i joined 10 yrs ago :( I am not so much concearned about The number as i am whats happeing to not attract men of good Charecter ? are there just fewer men of Good Charecter ? Why if the South is elected then are there not change minded Men running for the south ? Is there really that much corruption in the so called good Ole Boy network that a group can not make real lasting change ? BTW nice post OWLs84
     
  12. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Sure there are but you can't really ask the candidates the "tough" questions that need to be asked. Each year it is the same thing, men come around and are immediately overwhelmed with hand shakers and picture takers. Everyone wants a photo op with the "next" GL officer. When it comes time for them to speak in the meeting (if they are at a MWSA or MSB) it is the same open promises and uninspiring talking. When the floor is open everyone is to scared to "rock the boat" or doesn't want to be "that" guy so the tough questions don't get asked. We attempted this a few years back and when a few of us showed up right before he the candidates got up the MC instructed everyone in attendance that the candidates would not be fielding controversial questions. At MOT we have attempted to contact GL to obtain mailing (email or snail mail) of the candidates (just like the MWSAs or MSBs do) so we could send out a questionable to the candidates so they could answer each question. The questions would be the same and the results would allow us to post them so people could take ALL the candidates and compare them the same based on their answers and then make an educated decision on their vote. Sadly the GLoTX would not answer our multiple requests and this has not been done to date but each year we do try.

    I personally would like to see more term officers. I love the way the PHGLoTX does it. If the Grand Master is effective they vote him in. Just because you are in the Grand West that doesn't guarantee you a move to the next chair. The DDGMs are the same, if you are effective you stay DDGM and the people are knowledgeable. It's like that for all the officers of the Lodge as well. Masters routinely will do multiple terms and it is 10+ years before a Master mason can even think of the east. It seems egos don't play a part if things aren't guaranteed but earned. If you go into it knowing it may be 5+ year job (this after you are elected to the office) you may see some people take to offices more seriously because you have to have results.

    Just some observations. Don't take my word for it though, ask a PHA mason how that is done. Keep in mind you can say anything to a PHA Brother that you can to a stranger or a candidate. Our administration duties are not part of the ritual and therefore can be discussed. And I have seen a thread on here about, "I wish we could have visitation so we can do projects together" and I want to say that you can do projects together. If you are having a fundraiser invite the nearby PH Lodge and do the same for them. Find out when they are having a function and extend the olive branch. If the public is allowed so are you. Treat them as a well informed candidate and you will not be violating any obligation you have made. I promise you won't regret it, my amount of Brothers doubled as soon as I did.
     
  13. Txmason32

    Txmason32 Registered User

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    who picks who runs ? or should i say pursuedes the cannidate who fits their agenda ? And WHY if a man was about the fraternity would he not be able to see the issues and do something about them or at least act like he knew there are issues ? This is whats so frustrating and disheartning
     
  14. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    Change-minded men do run for the South, and get elected. I tried to quietly start bringing in little changes here and there. The consequence was some real saber-rattling from other brothers, and I'm not willing to jeopardize harmony in the lodge. Once I am done with my time in the East, I intend to find a small lodge on its last legs and revive it as a TO-style Lodge. I'll be happy to just be Marshall or similar officer.
     
  15. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Brother, if you decide to do this please keep us informed with your progress. I'm a fan of the TO concept myself and would love to see how your project pans out.
     
  16. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    In my opinion, it's all about politics...plain and simple. The more you brown nose and shake hands with the right people, the better chances you have at getting elected to the Grand South. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. You have to play the game to get ahead, even in Masonry.

    Why aren't there any big changes? Because Brethren with progressive ideas do not have the time, money and resources to take off a year and travel around the State, but that wouldn't be the difficult part. Gaining support from the "establishment" would prove to be the most challenging.
     
  17. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    +1 right there!!!!!
     
  18. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    I am still curious about your reference to the GM of Oklahoma and are you referring to the current one or the one that just left?
     
  19. Txmason32

    Txmason32 Registered User

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    Brother Brent , The current one MWGM Rogers .
    he is the first Mason in the United States to serve as Grand Masterwho joined Freemasonry through a Chance to Advance Class. ​

     
  20. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

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    He is a good guy. I have known him for a little while now. We are in the same valley in the Scottish Rite. He is also a full time law enforcement officer with OHP. I wasn't aware that he went through one of those though. I know that he is promoting something similar to a one day class. While it isn't what we normally think of as a one-day class there are some similarities and some big differences. I see no reason that anyone who went through a one day class couldn't at some point achieve the highest possible position in his respective Grand Lodge. Simply being raised to Master Mason in the traditional way does not necessarily make him one. That task is up to the individual.
     

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