Yes, Freemasonry is religion, and it’s incompatible with some Christian beliefs. Here’s why.

Discussion in 'Masonic Blogs' started by My Freemasonry, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. I’ve been a Freemason for only about four years, but I’ve already done a lot of changing in my views. One view I used to have, which I think most first years have is that Freemasonry and Christianity are totally compatible.

    Oh the many internet arguments we enter, arguing “no, we don’t have a problem with Catholics, but the Catholic Church has a problem with us,” and “Evangelical Christianity is perfectly compatible with Freemasonry.” These kind of skirmishes happen all the time. And then there’s the biggest trope in all of Masondom: Freemasonry is not a religion.

    This is all, of course, entirely from our point of view. We are an open, welcoming, tolerant fraternity, and we search for the connections that bind each other together, and not the dividers that keep us apart. Tolerance is a cornerstone of freemasonry, so it’s naturally abhorrent to us to be dragged into any argument that certain sects should be excluded. And I think this is entirely true, but that is from my point of view; the point of view of a guy who thinks he’s totally right.

    In all fairness, though, whether freemasonry is compatible with certain religions isn’t only up to us. Many practitioners of those religions make great points. I’ve even got some favorites.


    Freemasonry distracts you from God, taking time away from your family, and your worship, and that is Satan’s work.

    There are certainly men who have utterly lost themselves in Freemasonry, and it hurts their families. One only knows what it does to the man’s personal relationship with his creator. But then the same thing is easily said about any activity. People lose themselves in hobbies when they seek distractions. I’ve even seen people lose themselves in their church; so focused on the inner workings, the politics, jazzing up the service, being on the lighting committee, etc, and they eventually wonder where God went in all is this. This is not a problem with freemasonry. It’s a problem with people, and one freemasonry actually attempts to remedy in its earliest instruction to new brethren. We come right out and say: divide your time correctly, keeping time for God, family, work, etc. And that freemasonry never comes first. Ever.


    The things you do in lodge are things you should be doing in church.

    Well, woulda, coulda, shoulda. And feel free to, if you like. Nothing says you can’t flip hotcakes for your lodge on Saturday and waffles for your church on Sunday. And nothing says you can’t focus on being a better man in lodge and in church. A little double coverage never hurt anyone.

    The teachings don’t contradict, and should you find a contradiction, masonry insists you side with the obligations to God, family, and to yourself before you ever consider your lodge.


    Masons seek light, but the Bible tells us that Jesus is the light and the way.

    Right, but in freemasonry, spoiler alert, the light is the Volume of Sacred Law, which, if you’re a Christian, is the Bible. It will be sitting there, open, on the altar. And I’m personally not a Christian, but I’m pretty sure Jesus is in there. Somewhere in the back, I believe.

    Now, that’s all well and good, but these are not things I can dictate. If you, as a Christian, or are of some other faith, and you don’t find these explanations convincing, that just fine. I would say that you are in the minority of your faith, but that you have a point of view, and you have legitimate practical concerns about freemasonry. Compatibility is, I suppose, a matter of educated opinion. I would not say your faith is incompatible with freemasonry.

    Unless…

    There are some views that are completely incompatible with freemasonry. I will let the Christians argue among themselves whether these views are legitimately Christian, but there is some grist we just won’t grind.

    If you have a problem with the tolerance off freemasonry, then there’s a legitimate problem here. I got into a discussion recently with a Christian whose argument against freemasonry was that his religion taught him he was not to pray with those who practice idolatry, but run from them. In a nutshell, because masons come from all different faiths, but will pray together in lodge, a good Christian can’t be a part of that.

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    This never happens.


    Now I’ve heard probably the most common Christian argument against Freemasonry, mainly given by Catholics; there is one true way to Heaven and that is by accepting Jesus; Masonry essentially teaches that your goodness can get you to Heaven; ergo Masonry is incompatible with Christianity. I could answer that by saying that Masonry doesn’t propose any particular way to get anywhere, and that even if that were the case, one needn’t accept such a premise to join or participate in a lodge. But this prayer thing is something that I’ve never, ever run into before.

    I asked this gentleman if he would apply the same standard to a non-denominational public prayer, like at a graduation commencement or some kind of national moment of prayer after a disaster. He would. And…my brain just broke a bit. I realized, not for the first time in my life, that some people–perfectly nice people–are just completely different. And not just in a “same goals but different paths” way. Just. Completely. Different.

    Obviously there are only a relative minority of Christians with this notion. But I do, basically, get the idea. I see how the thought can be derived from scripture. It’s a Christian belief, though not a widely held one. And it’s not a belief I’d assign only to Christians. Many faiths have an extremely orthodox element that is utterly intolerant of certain ideas. For instance, the idea that irrespective of what gets you into Heaven, and your religion may have very specific requirements, God still wants you to be a good, peaceful, generous person. That’s the kind of wild idea that some religious practitioners reject out of hand.

    I really don’t think you can be a freemason and not think that.

    If you believe you should run from people practicing different faiths, rather than stand with them as you each pray to Deity for peace and harmony, then no, I really don’t think that is compatible with freemasonry.

    Worse yet, I don’t think that’s compatible with the American Way, because much like the masons, America is founded on the idea of tolerance, and from many–one. If this is a closely-held belief you espouse, then you have to admit to yourself that America, in its very founding principles, is doing it wrong.

    Religion is a lot of things to a lot of people, and I’m not going to define it for you, but it’s certainly easy to see why so many non-freemasons see it as a religion. There is an awful lot of crossover, here. Masonry doesn’t tell you what god to pray to, it doesn’t teach you how to get to Heaven, but it does teach you that being a good, honest, just person is morally and spiritually valuable, and it does teach you how to be that. And that altar in the middle of the lodge room floor is the Altar of God. And I’m hardly the only mason who has said this. There’s a beautiful passage in a masonic play, A Rose Upon the Altar.


    Freemasonry, my brother, is, truly, not a religion. But it is religion–religion in its truest, purest sense. We don’t worship a God here–we worship the Great Architect. We have His word for it–inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it to me. At this Altar…good men and true worship their Creator. At this Altar the sore distressed find comfort. Around this Altar glows the Shekinah, the heavenly light from Him to whom it is erected, for those who have eyes to see. The Divine Presence is here! This Altar is as much a holy of holies as a church. If you want comfort, kneel here and ask for it. If you want aid, here you shall find it. Here is the Book in which the promise is made…come unto me, all ye who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…This Altar is God’s.

    And there it is. I mean, argue if you want. You don’t have to agree. You may even be right. I’m sure I’ll get flack from masons and Christians alike. A masonic lodge is no substitute for your church or house of worship, and I’d never claim it is. But neither is in, nor any of these, an adequate substitute for the world God has made, or the people he put in it, and religion exists everywhere among us. And it can be practiced everywhere.

    And yes, some religious practices just don’t mix.

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    Attribution:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multifaith_space

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/usembpak/6536972213/



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  2. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    I have found Freemasonry to be incompatible with only three things, Ignorance, Superstition, and Fear. How much of these things are found in your religion?
     
  3. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    So, it's okay to post MORE anti-Christian propaganda. How does "News Bot", which I THOUGHT wasn't some kind of partisan wonk, propose to expel all Christians from Masonry, since we just can't live up to Masonic ideals?

    I realize that some people had bad experiences with Christians. It is most annoying when these people turn around and try to hijack Masonry as a substitute for therapy and an exclusive anti-Christianity club.
     
  4. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    I have never had any bad experiences with Christians.
    I've only had bad experiences with those who have claimed to be Christians but were everything but.
    The same goes for my experiences with Masons, and those who have claimed to be such.
    Your mileage might differ.
     
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  5. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    In my lodge the brothers are 98% Christian, and all of them have no issues with the compatibility between their religion and their obligations. But I have heard many a brother who have had their Christian faith questioned because they are Freemasons.

    Curiously, a brother who has been in masonry over 60 years has a son who is a minister. He told his dad he could not reconcile his faith with the principles of masonry because "masonry has too many secrets". Even after knowing his dad and seeing how he lives in private he still believes the propaganda his church teaches against masonry... even though his dad is Christian.

    The problem isn't that the two are incompatible, for millions of brothers it isn't an issue... the problem lies in continued misinformation.

    However, the sway of Christian fundamentalism on American society is becoming less and less as more folks claim a non-religious or secular worldview. The challenge for Freemasons in this next generation is showing that masonry has much to offer young men, probably more now than ever before.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  6. Isaih

    Isaih Registered User

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    My local lodge was called a "Masonic Temple". That's what was written on the front façade of the building.
    A temple is a place of worship, is it not?

    Newsbot I have problems with just about everything in your post.
    Perhaps as you are not a Christian , you may not appreciate that doing something that is contrary to the word of god, is not considered consistent with Christianity.

    Its not rocket surgery.

    I wont bore you with my bigoted Christian point of view because this is a masonic forum, and I'm sure no one's interested in it. But I will dispute your claim of the source of American values.

    America was founded by protestant Christians fleeing the pall of Rome.

    The American Revolution however was founded on Jesuit principles. According to the Roman Catholics. The very evil, the pioneers fled from.

    "Bellarmine's name should be held in benediction by every American. The concept of our form of government was first developed by the Jesuit philosophers in the 16th and 17th centuries, especially Robert Bellarmine. Our founding fathers relied heavily on Bellarmine in forming their idea of our constitutional government."
    Father Hardon S.J.
    http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Saints/Saints_005.htm


    I think confusing patriotism and Christianity therefore is dangerous reasoning.
    As Christianity opposes the antichrist pope that created the ideals of revolutionary America.
    The very antichrist that the pioneers of America were fleeing.


    The fact that so many founding fathers were freemasons, probably makes most masons feel they created the Republic.
    But if you look a little deeper, you'll see those freemasons were merely tools of the Jesuits, betraying their own protestant forefathers. Albeit unwittingly.

    Which addresses the issue of the Christian minister whose father was a good mason , but the son would not follow him into the masons, on a point of principle.
    If your father was hoodwinked, fooled, used, should you be too out of a sense of loyalty to your father?
    If so, where does it end?






    Professor Walter Veith has some interesting lectures on the true purpose of secret societies.
    This is just one of them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  7. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    I used to say the "anything but" line, but I realized that, as a Christian, myself, that treads dangerously close to the "no true Scotsman" fallacy. Thus, I admit that such people might be Christian, but they are not practiced, not taking it very seriously, or have been badly misled in it.
     
  8. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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  9. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    I speak from my own experience. When that changes, so shall what I report. I don't recall typing "anything but" in my quoted post. Regardless, who I consider Christian is far different from the majority. Anyone can take on a label. To live it takes far more. Your mileage appears to vary. As it should.
     
  10. Isaih

    Isaih Registered User

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    Bryan , you didn't have enough time to actually watch the lecture before posting a shoot the messenger attack from a Roman Catholic Magazine.
    I thought you claimed to be a protestant. What protestant worth his salt,reads or trusts Roman Catholic propaganda?

    Do you even know what a protestant is Bryan?

    Once again I suggest you read a little history. And not from Roman Catholic magazines.

    Most people I've known in this world believe what makes them happy.
    The truth rarely fits this perception and thus is ignored by the canaille.

    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
  11. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Isaih, you continue to insult and defame Freemasonry, as well as specific sects of Christianity. You admit that you have no love for either party and it appears you have nothing but your own bigoted opinion to share. In light of this, I must ask you to either subdue your passions (and prejudices), or leave this forum.
     
  12. Isaih

    Isaih Registered User

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    xTrysquare I am a seeker after knowledge.
    Imagine a world where we must bow to abject authority and comply with dogma, rather than boldly follow the light of reason, wherever it may lead, and no matter who it offends.
    The Roman Catholic church has tortured and murdered millions of people for not following their beliefs. To be prejudiced against the existence of that system is to be a bigot?


    If the McDonalds corporation tortured and murdered millions of people for not liking their special sauce, would i be a bigot for suggesting their esistence is a danger to everyone and they must be closed down?
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2014
  13. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    I DID watch the video. It's a load of crap.

    I NEVER CLAIMED TO BE A PROTESTANT. I stated that I had attended Methodist and Baptist services.
    I am very much aware of what protestantism is, I also know what a conspiracy lunatic is. I have read a LOT of history, and NOT from Roman Catholic magazines. I suggest you see a psychiatrist. No person can believe what you spew at everyone else without having a mental illness.

    Yes, truth often doesn't fit perception, as you prove quite conclusively. Your perception has no relation at all to truth. You seek truth? Then abandon your world of conspiracist lunatic lies.
     
  14. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Isaih, I never said that you weren't justified in your feelings, merely that this was not the appropriate place to continuously voice them. We have members of the RCC here who are our Brothers. They are not responsible for the past transgressions of their church any more than you are responsible for the past transgressions of your nation.
    My previous statement stands; if you can't carry on a conversation without intolerance and hatred you will be banned.
     
  15. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    Pardon me while I pop over to the thread on great quotes and post this one: A casual stroll through an insane asylum should be enough to convince any reasonable person that belief is the weakest form of proof.
     
  16. Isaih

    Isaih Registered User

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    ok the penny has dropped. Protestantism is considered insanity by freemasonry today.
     
  17. admarcus1

    admarcus1 Registered User

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    I truly think that we have someone who is helping us see the foolishness of the antimason's argument. Instead of argument, he presents credentials and citations meant to establish that Protestantism is solely defined however he chooses to define it, pushes the argument until he provokes a response which he can deliberately misinterpret (the sanity of my thinking has been questioned, therefore the sanity of all Protestants has been questioned), and then attributes the response to all of Masonry, rather than just the person who made the statement.

    Sir, if this was your intention, well done. If not, then consider your point made and rejected. Or not. Maybe you convinced someone and they turned away from this evil path. Either way, I think made your point, fun as this has been to read.
     
  18. jjjjjggggg

    jjjjjggggg Premium Member

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    I'm not sure how one blog post speaks for all Freemasons for all time. There is nothing within the principles of freemasonry that excludes Protestantism or any other religion or sect, as long as one professes belief in a supreme being. Whether or not individual masons have strong feelings about a particular religion in no way alters the ancient landmarks on tolerance and harmony.
     
  19. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    This isn't new. People have been doing this with Pike for a long time. :)

    Anyhow, I was going to address the OP with a lengthy and well thought out post however, to be honest, I've grown so tired of this type of ignorance that I find that I'm beginning to grow apathetic towards it.

    I someone joins or otherwise feels/decides that Freemasonry conflicts with their faith then they should avoid it and get on with their lives. Just because it conflicts with your viewpoints doesn't mean you can apply broad strokes to everyone else faith as well.

    There are probably hundreds of different flavors of Christianity, it strikes me as somewhat silly for anyone to honestly believe that any conflicts they find should apply to everyone else as well. That's putting it nicely.

    edit: I'm also already getting bad vibes from this thread. Please be respectful of one another and avoid mud slinging unless we'd like another closed topic.
     
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  20. Mel Knight

    Mel Knight Registered User

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    This is why I practice building a relationship with god without religion.
     
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