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Source: (consider it) Thread: Freemasonry and Christianity
betjemaniac
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Are they compatible? They raise a lot of money for charity, and don't appear to be working for the downfall of western civilisation (such as it is). Yet the RC church thinks you're in a state of grave sin if you're a mason and RC (how far is this reflex anti-masonry from 200 years ago?).

The CofE on the other hand has had at least one 20th century ABC (Ramsay) who was also a mason, and still apparently numerous clergy (although they tend to have to resign when elevated to a bishopric these days - eg current bishop of Fulham).

I'm not asking the assembled masses whether I should join, but they have made noises in my life in the past, and I've always passed it up. Was that right?

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Eutychus
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What I have against freemasonry is its esoterism, secredy, and closedness, values that appear antithetical to the Kingdom of God to me.

I do have one in my church though [Big Grin]

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Stetson
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Yes!! The semi-perennial SOF Masons thread! I was actually wondering a couple of days ago when we'd be seeing the next one. Good times!

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Yes!! The semi-perennial SOF Masons thread! I was actually wondering a couple of days ago when we'd be seeing the next one. Good times!

In all seriousness I've been reading the boards daily since 2010 and I started it because I've never seen one!

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Yes!! The semi-perennial SOF Masons thread! I was actually wondering a couple of days ago when we'd be seeing the next one. Good times!

In all seriousness I've been reading the boards daily since 2010 and I started it because I've never seen one!
Well, like I say, it has been a while. I think around 2010 or shortly thereafter might have been the last one, but I couldn't say for sure.

And, for the record, my exaggerated enthusiasm was meant as hyperbole, not sarcasm; I wasn't criticizing you for starting this thread. Quite the opposite. It's somehow reassuring to see certain topics maintain a following over time.

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ExclamationMark
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A couple of thoughts

Freemasons are required to swear oaths of fidelity to Freemasonry. Thou shalt have no God before me?

A Freemason agrees that he will support a fellow Freemason before all others. Doesn't quite fit with the Christ who received all who came to Him , without favour.

It suggests to me that any kind of "dual commitment" is proscribed from first principles.

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Callan
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Years ago a church, at which I was curate, hosted a Masonic Service. I said nothing, despite my reservations, curates have to pick their fights selectively. My main impression, from the Order of Service, was that Masonic Clergy give themselves the most appallingly grand titles. At a subsequent church, one of the congo, took us on a tour of the local Masonic Temple. My feeling is that I would not join, myself, but I wouldn't fall out with someone who did.

I do have a friend who very nearly became a 'Masonic Widow'. She ditched the gentleman concerned because his finances didn't stretch to taking her out for her birthday but did stretch to coughing up for an expensive and elaborate masonic 'do' the day after. From what I can make out that was more of a personal failure than Masonic ideology.

Here endeth the attempt to parse anecdotes into data!

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John Holding

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
A couple of thoughts

Freemasons are required to swear oaths of fidelity to Freemasonry. Thou shalt have no God before me?


Well, that wipes out all oaths of citizenship, all oaths of loyalty to any person or organization, and all swowrn testimony in court. That may be your bag, but it isn't mine.

Once again (I've done this on several of these threads) I'm not a mason, but far too many faithful and honest Christians have been masons for me to believe it's anti-CHristian. It was only in the higher degrees, for example, that my father was brought to attend a Maundy Thursday commemoration of the Last Supper (I saw the order of service he brought from it, and there's nothing out of the way about it from a Christian perspective at all -- as there was nothing out of the way about the order of service he brought home after the Easter sunrise service).

FWIW, some masons will talk a lot of what I think is utter drivel about their supposed esoteric origins, from the time of Solomon's temple on. But that is mostly an 18th century romantic add on to what was in origin a standard medieval craft guild,and like most such guilds, thoroughly Christian (in the understanding of the time). I'd guess that most masons think those things are, at best, a pretty story, with no more relationship to real history than the story of a three-level universe has to real astronomy.

John

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Gamaliel
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My own view is that Freemasonry is daft rather than diabolical.

I'd never join nor would I ever be asked I don't suppose. I know they don't directly invite people to do so - or at least, aren't supposed to.

I've known a number of Masons. They are no more loopy than anyone else. Some of the anti-Masonic stuff out there is more whacky.

If someone can square it with their own faith, then that's up to them and none of my business. It doesn't float my boat but one man's fish is another man's poisson.

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L'organist
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My late father was a mason, and came from a long line of same who held what is called "grand" rank - in other words at national level - within both ordinary and in Mark masonry. During his lifetime he became increasingly disillusioned with masonry (of all kinds) and was adamant that, unless one of us asked, he would not be suggesting that we join the craft.

He was particularly scathing about the well-worn line "masons do a lot for charity" because, as he'd point out to anyone who'd listen, the charities that benefited from Lodge largesse were specifically masonic charities, the schools and hospital in particular.

My father finally dropped all masonic links and activities in his 50s, although he still had friends who were 'in'. He became ever more cynical about masonry from then on and the many shady goings-on that he heard of - not just known about such as P2 but other, local affairs - convinced him that the craft was fatally flawed, corrupt and totally incompatible with christianity or church membership.

I've been invited to become a mason over the years but have chosen not to - it all seems rather puerile and any so-called charitable activity can be better done without having to spend a fortune on Lodge dinners and fees. I don't think the sons' generation would do anything other than die laughing if anyone suggested they become masons.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:


My father finally dropped all masonic links and activities in his 50s, although he still had friends who were 'in'. He became ever more cynical about masonry from then on and the many shady goings-on that he heard of - not just known about such as P2 but other, local affairs - convinced him that the craft was fatally flawed, corrupt and totally incompatible with christianity or church membership.


That's interesting - could it have been a generational thing? I ask because my father says the same thing about the Rotary club of the 1980s, the next-door neighbour about the Round Table, and there's a bloke down the pub who still thinks he didn't get planning permission because all those who thwarted him were in the local rugby club.

Do you think it was specifically masonry, or just what happens when people with a bit of power and influence socialise together? In other words, if you've got any influence, is it beholden on you to recuse yourself from any form of club or alliance, whether because it is corrupt, or because it might look corrupt to others?

Or is it just that masonry is/was uniquely different and qualitatively worse than the things that get settled over a G&T in the golf club?

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
The CofE on the other hand has had at least one 20th century ABC (Ramsay) who was also a mason

Surely not - Fisher was.

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
The CofE on the other hand has had at least one 20th century ABC (Ramsay) who was also a mason

Surely not - Fisher was.
You are absolutely right. Thank god you can't libel the dead - if libel it is.

Although this might sound strange given their characters as individuals, I've always got many aspects of the lives of Ramsay and Fisher confused!

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
The CofE on the other hand has had at least one 20th century ABC (Ramsay) who was also a mason

Surely not - Fisher was.
Thanks Leo. I was going to say the same thing.

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Gamaliel
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There's a move round here to get Masons involved in public life to declare themselves ...

It can get silly.

I know of a planning board hearing when a particularly unpopular proposal came up for consideration, one of the journalists overhead someone behind him say, 'You watch now, all the Masons will vote for it ...'

In the event, it was unanimously turned down. He told me he wanted to turn around and ask why 'all the Masons' (if there were any) had suddenly voted it down. But the fella had gone.

All that said, Freemasonry in South Wales was supposed to be notoriously corrupt when I was growing up. But then the same applied to the dominant political parties down there and much else besides ...

I don't doubt that it went through a very corrupt phase though. Probably from the 1950s to 1970s in particular.

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Penny S
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The vicar who welcomed my family into the CofE when the Congregationalists got unfriendly, and became a family friend was, for a time, a mason. Then he resigned. He said that as he advanced, he found out things which he could not consider compatible with his Christianity. He considered himself still bound by his oaths not to reveal what those things were.

One of my life's loose ends.

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L'organist
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The current bishop of Fulham, Jonathan Baker, resigned from his Lodges in 2011 but my sources are fairly certain he has rejoined his 'mother' Lodge.

Archbishop Fisher was Grand Chaplain twice in the 1930s, having become a mason while at Repton.

A few 20th century bishop-masons: + Gerald Ellison (Chester, then London 1973-81), + Basil Guy (Gloucester 1962-75), + Percy Herbert (Norwich 1942-59); further afield ++Orland Lindsay (Archbishop of the West Indies 1986-98), and there are serving bishops in TEC who are masons. Earlier, Archbishops of Canterbury Howley, Longley and Tait were all masons.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
He was particularly scathing about the well-worn line "masons do a lot for charity" because, as he'd point out to anyone who'd listen, the charities that benefited from Lodge largesse were specifically masonic charities, the schools and hospital in particular.

Can you expand on that? I don't understand how it's any less charitable to raise money for a Masonic school or hospital than for a Uniting Church kindergarten. Or to buy chutneys and pickles a street stall supporting those affected by the Nepal earthquake.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
He was particularly scathing about the well-worn line "masons do a lot for charity" because, as he'd point out to anyone who'd listen, the charities that benefited from Lodge largesse were specifically masonic charities, the schools and hospital in particular.

Can you expand on that? I don't understand how it's any less charitable to raise money for a Masonic school or hospital than for a Uniting Church kindergarten. Or to buy chutneys and pickles a street stall supporting those affected by the Nepal earthquake.
Yeah, as far as I am aware, Masonic hospitals etc don't confine themselves to serving Masons and their families. If they did, they'd have very few patients, since the number of Masons these days is miniscule.

I guess you could argue that charities with masonic names imporoperly glorify the organization, but then how is that any different from, say, Grey Nuns Hospital?

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Gramps49
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Shriners is a part of the Free Masons. They have a large network of hospitals, though as they shrink the hospitals have been struggling financially.

Masons are very civic minded too.

I think overall free-masonry has been struggling too as millennials are hesitant on long-term commitments.

While there are many Lutherans who are Masons, my particular Synod discourages its clergy from joining abt type of lodge. Has to do with time commitments more than anything else.

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Lamb Chopped
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My grandfather was a pretty high up Mason, which concerned us as he clearly had more of a commitment to it than to Christianity for most of his life. When I looked into it (with the help of some reading materials he gave me) the biggest theological problem I found was that it appears to place all religions/faiths on one level, as many different equal paths to God--and all of them implied as further away from the truth than Masonry itself. If that is indeed what they teach and practice, it's not hard to see why it would be incompatible with Christianity, particularly with Christ's claim to be the Way, Truth, and the Life, and the only way to the Father. Going too deeply into it (for more than mere social life and do-gooding, I mean) would force a person to choose eventually.

I was very glad to see that at the end of his life, he turned back to Christianity and became quietly but regularly communicant again.

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Lyda*Rose

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These are the main theological reasons the RCC objects to Freemasonry as I understand it. Making all religions and all versions of God on equal footing, that is. As a Christian one should put Christ and the Triune God above all else unreservedly is the RC stance. And if you want to belong to a big organization that is highly charitable and has all sorts of cool rituals, why not the One True Church?

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Stetson
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Lamb Chopped wrote:

quote:
I found was that it appears to place all religions/faiths on one level, as many different equal paths to God--and all of them implied as further away from the truth than Masonry itself.
Yeah, that would be problematic, from a small-O orthodox perspective. But I don't think it's much different from what, say, Alcoholics Anonymous teaches. In most of the groups, everyone pledges allegiance to a higher-power, even though most of them probably have differing views about what that higher-power is. And some of them probably belong to churches that would condemn the theistic ideas of the other members.

Of course, 12-Steps HAS come in for criticism from the kind of Christians who worry about ocultic influences in the larger culture, owing to its origins in Jungian psychology and mystical symbolism.

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Lamb Chopped
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I've no problem with AA etc. They give you the option of interpreting and using their "higher power" idea in an orthodox Christian way. But Masonry basically tells you "this is how it is" and you either sign on for that, or you're ... well, an oathbreaker? at the very least an equivocator and dear to Macbeth's devil-porter. [Devil]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
I've no problem with AA etc. They give you the option of interpreting and using their "higher power" idea in an orthodox Christian way. But Masonry basically tells you "this is how it is" and you either sign on for that, or you're ... well, an oathbreaker? at the very least an equivocator and dear to Macbeth's devil-porter. [Devil]

I think most Masons would say that they give their members the option of interpreting "Great Architect Of The Universe" in a Christian way as well, or at least, they accept it as a valid understanding of the idea, as long as those members also respect the right of, say, Jews and deists to interpret it as THEY see fit. (Otherwise, there would not likely be many Christian Masons, if they were being directly instructed to renounce their beliefs upon signing up).

One supposedly liberal group that DOES, I believe, give its members detailed instructions about what to believe is the Bahai faith. It's not just that you can accept Jesus as the ultimate guy, or Muhammed as the ultimate guy, you HAVE to believe that Jesus and Muhammed were avatars(for lack of a better word) of the same entity, along with whoever it was who started the Bahais. Whereas Masonry in most of its manifestations allows you to bring whatever conception you have to the table, as long as it can fit the category of "God".

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mr cheesy
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Watch when a minister preaches against freemasonry. I've never seen anything like it - he was removed within a couple of months.

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fletcher christian

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I always thought that Freemasonry was at one time quite explicitly Christian but somewhere in the eighteenth century became solidly deist.

It does seem to attract a type of 'Protestant' who has a longing for ritual so long as it isn't in church, and those who were once in the BB and now would like to dress up and those who have rather menial jobs who can feel important and titled in a little club.

I can see why clergy can find it appealing though - it's a place where they can go away from the eyes of everyone else, relax knowing they wont be hassled by someone wanting to talk shop or experience the eyes of judgement if they are sat at the bar.

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L'organist
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Posted by Gee D
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
He was particularly scathing about the well-worn line "masons do a lot for charity" because, as he'd point out to anyone who'd listen, the charities that benefited from Lodge largesse were specifically masonic charities, the schools and hospital in particular.

Can you expand on that? I don't understand how it's any less charitable to raise money for a Masonic school or hospital than for a Uniting Church kindergarten. Or to buy chutneys and pickles a street stall supporting those affected by the Nepal earthquake.
I'm talking about masonry in the UK here, but here goes:

The largest masonic charities in my father's time (the 'he' referred to above) were The Royal Masonic Institution for Boys, The Royal Masonic Institution for Girls, The Royal Masonic Hospital, plus a general Samaritan Fund and retirement/care homes.

The institutions for boys and girls were joined together: up to the early 1970s they ran boarding schools for boys aged 5+ and girls 7+. The schools were originally for the fatherless children of masons or those whose father had 'fallen on hard times'; later children could be admitted so long as Papa was a mason, with fees on a sliding scale for those with fathers. The institutions also helped with bursaries for university and closed scholarships at a number of places, including Christ Church Oxford. No school places, bursaries or scholarships were (or are) open to non-masonic children. The boys' schools closed despite a vigorous campaign by a clergyman mason to keep them open; the girls' was more fortunate and is still up and running in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire.

The Royal Masonic Hospital was largely staffed by doctors who were masons; priority for nurse recruitment was for daughters of masons. Patients were exclusively masons and their families up to 1977, when it began to take non-masons. Never in the NHS, it ceased to function as a masonic charity in 2007, although the craft still own it and have re-developed the site as a purpose-built hospital for 'health tourists'.

Masonic care homes still exist - in fact they have expanded. To quote from the website of the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (the RMBI) has a history of care and support for older Freemasons and their families, as well as having some provision for people in the community.

The emphasis should be on the "some": as the population has aged so the number of 'non-masonic' people in masonic care homes has declined; while a few homes offer some respite day care, this is again restricted. I know from a relative in a RMBI home that there are no non-masons there, either as residents or for day-care, and nor were there in the home they were in previously. Although hard to prove, the resident relative is firmly of the opinion that the needs of masons trump those of members of the local community every time - informed opinion?

In a nutshell, masonic charities almost exclusively benefit masons and/or their dependents and to an extent where they cannot be honestly said to be free from bias or openly available to all in need.

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Stetson
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Thanks for the rundown on Masonic charities in the UK, Organist. I agree, if that's the kind of thing they were doing, they shouldn't have been bragging about how much they were giving to charity.

Not that I have anything against in-group benevolence, I mean, corporations with drug and dental plans for their employees are basically doing the same thing, ie. taking care of their own. But it can't really be considered a contribution to the general welfare.

In Canada, I know the Shriners sponsor burn-hospitals, which are not likely restricted to Masons and their families. And Masonic relatives and family friends have talked about doing volunteer work for various charities which I'm pretty sure were directed toward the general public(eg. literacy programs), not just Masons.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Humble Servant
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quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
A couple of thoughts

Freemasons are required to swear oaths of fidelity to Freemasonry. Thou shalt have no God before me?


Well, that wipes out all oaths of citizenship, all oaths of loyalty to any person or organization, and all swowrn testimony in court. That may be your bag, but it isn't mine.

Well, yes, obviously it does. A tangent to this thread, but seriously, Jesus condemns the swearing of oaths. Any loyalty to man-made institutions, including nation states, that is above our loyalty to God is against Christianity. But if that's not your bag...
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Anglican_Brat
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It would be interesting to review if membership in these social and fraternal organizations is declining in the same way that church attendance is declining.

The Bowling Alone thesis by Robert Putnam is that church attendance and participation is not the only thing that is waning in the west, but all forms of participation in voluntary organizations.

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant:
quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
A couple of thoughts

Freemasons are required to swear oaths of fidelity to Freemasonry. Thou shalt have no God before me?


Well, that wipes out all oaths of citizenship, all oaths of loyalty to any person or organization, and all swowrn testimony in court. That may be your bag, but it isn't mine.

Well, yes, obviously it does. A tangent to this thread, but seriously, Jesus condemns the swearing of oaths. Any loyalty to man-made institutions, including nation states, that is above our loyalty to God is against Christianity.
Well, yeah, but...

Compare the amount of Christian criticism of Freemasonry, with the amount of Christian criticism of oath-swearing in court and citizenship ceremonies. I'd say it's pretty evident that Christians, collectively, are WAY more preoccupied with the former than with the latter.

[ 06. January 2017, 15:04: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
It would be interesting to review if membership in these social and fraternal organizations is declining in the same way that church attendance is declining.


I'm pretty sure it is. Anecdotally, I went to a Masonic Christmas dinner a few years back, and the average age of the attendees must have been about 75. (Great food, though)

Ironically, though, Masonry has in now front-and-centre in popular culture, moreso than ever before. Starting with Slacker in 1990, and then The Simpsons' Stonecutters, the Da Vince Code, National Treasure etc, people do seem really fascinated with it.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Nenya
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I have known Christians of a conservative evangelical persuasion who regard Freemasonry as a tool of the dark side and anyone who is or has been involved, or whose family has been, needs thorough and specific prayer through all the different levels of it, to free them from its strongholds. I haven't asked the question but I suspect there are people in the church where I currently worship who think this. All their charity work... Satan masquerades as an angel of light... That sort of idea.

My father and brother were Freemasons - they said little about it and my mum and I regarded it as an evening where they got to skip about in little aprons and come home to tell us about the nice food they'd eaten. [Biased]

My father was definitely a man of faith and saw no conflict between that and his Freemasonry.

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They told me I was delusional. I nearly fell off my unicorn.

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Anselmina
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If you've got a search engine on your computer there's nothing the least bit secret about Freemasonry.

It may be different in England, but in Ireland it's just, in my opinion, a rather quaint excuse for the lads to get together. Ladies' nights, optional.

They are charitable, and are very supportive of one another. Hardly radical. I've known even people who don't like each other, support one another because they happen to be in the same bowls club.

As for the silly oaths. I don't suppose committing to prioritize a fellow mason in need, is much different from 'believing' in the 39 articles with your fingers crossed; or mentally hanging a question mark over the virgin birth during the creed. Or indeed deciding one verse of scripture deserves more emphasis than another.


From what I can see, it's about fellowship, friendship, raising money for good causes, complete with daft wardrobe and obsolescent language. Almost as good as church, some might say! It also has the advantage in Ireland of being one of the few fellowships were Catholics and Protestants are equal brothers. Which definitely is a hell of a lot better than the Church, in many ways!

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Penny S
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With regards to the schools, I came across this site while researching someone who had been on the staff and subsequently met a friend of mine who was a pupil at another school. The meeting was not beneficial to the pupil.

Bushey Masonic School for Boys

You might find it interesting in its view of what was regarded as charitable behaviour.

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Gee D
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L'organist, how does that differ to raising money for Nepalese children orphaned in an earthquake - you have to be a Nepalese child to benefit. As long as the test is need, I have no concerns about the need being that of a child of a mason, or of clergy of any or a specific religion/denomination, or that of a child from a particular area.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Humble Servant
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quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
and are very supportive of one another. Hardly radical. I've known even people who don't like each other, support one another because they happen to be in the same bowls club.


The issue I've always heard with masons is that they consist mainly of business people, law enforcement officials, judges and politicians. When you get that lot together "supporting one another", you have a recipe for corruption.
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Moo

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In Massachusetts forty-five years ago every parade unit that included animals was followed by a group of Shriners who cleaned up any droppings. They wore clown costumes and called themselves the Super-Duper Pooper Scoopers. They did the cleanup with tremendous flourish and got more applause than anyone else in the parade.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

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Enoch
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What's a Shriner please? Are they Masons or aren't they? And why do they have such an odd name? Googling gives an odd selection of facts and a picture of a man in a funny hat, but doesn't really explain them. I don't think we have them here.

[ 06. January 2017, 22:56: Message edited by: Enoch ]

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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John Holding

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quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant:
quote:
Originally posted by Anselmina:
and are very supportive of one another. Hardly radical. I've known even people who don't like each other, support one another because they happen to be in the same bowls club.


The issue I've always heard with masons is that they consist mainly of business people, law enforcement officials, judges and politicians. When you get that lot together "supporting one another", you have a recipe for corruption.
In the UK, perhaps, though that used not to be the case. My grandfather (a wheelwright and blacksmith) joined the masons in Exeter before 1905, and he would certainly have been out of place and uncomfortable in the company you mention.

As well, the masons are an international group. Your characterization of the masons would not be recognized in Canada, for example, though I am sure there are (or used to be) masons from all the professions you so dislike.

As for corruption, all organizations can be corrupt in whole or in part, but I have never seen it creditably argued that corruption is inherent in masonry.

John

PS -- the "Shrine" is a largely North American add-on to the masons. You have to be a 32nd or 33rd degree mason to join. They've created an amusing mythology (that no one believes) as a pretext for their meetings and service to the community. The work the Shrine hospitals do for children and burn victims has been outstanding over many decades -- and no one asks if you are a mason before you're admitted.

JOhn

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Pyx_e

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To be clear about my position, I think masonry is dark.

I know Christians who are masons and they are clearly not as graceful as they potentially could be. It diminishes their faith. Every Christian who is also a mason is less because of it.

At it's best it is a male dominated social club. Which quickly becomes a "scratch my back" club. Including business and justice issues. Offering deals a certain way and getting off minor and major crimes because of the number of police involved.

At its worst its core demonic. The "god" they worship is dark. It is a deep truth and one that many would like to mitigate but "you shall love the lord your God with all your heart." Masons can't do that.

We all have our idols but this is a spiritual organisation which runs counter to Christianity.

Pyx_e

p.s. AA is basically Christian with the Christian jargon taken out so anyone can get it. It was written by two Christian, based on the Oxford Movement and the spiritual work of St Ignatius.

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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L'organist
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Gee DBut the test isn't need: it is need in a small group of people. If people within that group don't have the need then no one who isn't of the group can benefit.

In layman's terms, you have to be a mason to benefit from masonic charities - fair enough: but to hold that masonic charitable giving per se is to the benefit of anyone who needs it isn't true. So its charity but within very narrowly defined lines.

<tangent> A friend has a splendid 19th century pudding bowl with a view of Methodist Central Hall Westminser on it: on the reverse is the legend "A warm welcome awaits you if you are not already a member of another church".

(edited to correct hideous typo)

[ 07. January 2017, 15:15: Message edited by: L'organist ]

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by Humble Servant:


The issue I've always heard with masons is that they consist mainly of business people, law enforcement officials, judges and politicians. When you get that lot together "supporting one another", you have a recipe for corruption.

Recipes for corruption don't require much of an effort when they're already most likely initiated, enabled and appear to happen quite naturally in the echelons of power. Almost as a matter of course, so far as I can see. Involvement in freemasonry might be just one more opportunity for those who are minded to corruption. But so would be attending the same golf-club, or Rotary group, or other kind of semi-exclusive club.

After all, masonic lodges also include people who aren't interested in corruption and who don't have high-powered or influential jobs. If the powerful elites are going to gather together and collude for evil purposes they're not going to do it in the contexts of everyday masonic life, that's for sure.

I'm not saying it doesn't happen at all.

I'm just saying that if anyone is seriously interested in dealing with the corruption of the police, business, legal and political communities they'd have to begin at a hell of a higher level than the local masonic lodge!

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Stetson
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quote:
p.s. AA is basically Christian with the Christian jargon taken out so anyone can get it. It was written by two Christian, based on the Oxford Movement and the spiritual work of St Ignatius.

Hmm. "...Christian with the Christian jargon taken out so anyone can get in".

So, that means that you could have an AA group that consists of ten people, none of whom are Christian, pledging allegiance to a "higher power" that none of them regard as Christian in any way, and who have never once heard the name "Jesus Christ" mentioned in a meeting, but it would still be "basically Christian"?

At what point have you so lost so many of the threads that you no longer have a coat(Or however the metaphor goes)?

And yes, I'm aware of the Moral Re-Armament influence on AA. There was a Jungian influence as well(google Alcoholics Anonymous and Carl Jung), though that might have been more through the personal influence of Jung himself. My understanding is that the program was divided into 12 steps partly because of the mystical associations of that number, though I honestly don't know all the details there.

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jayhawk
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I have to say I would come at this from the perspective of someone whose wife is an evangelical/charismatic leaning member of the clergy but also someone who was pressed from an early age (8 or 9) into helping her father rehearse his masonic oaths and rites, and her perspective is that much of it is death rituals and entirely anti-christian in nature. She did have prayer for it and experienced a very great freeing of her ability to worship afterwards. My father-in-law prioritised the very extensive cost of it over everything else financial in his life. I agree that many masons have no real commitment to anything other than something they see as helpful socially, but also with business connections. I have no doubt that the spiritual implications are very bad, but Masons who do not have that understanding given by the Holy Spirit himself are pretty much blind to it. I pray it is rooted out of the church wherever possible.
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Stetson
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Just to be clear, nothing a priori against Jayhawk's opinion, but WE ARE NOT THE SAME POSTER. I just thought some people might be confused by the avatar.

(Great taste, though, Jayhawk. Park Near Lucerne rules.)

[ 07. January 2017, 16:58: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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jayhawk
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Ah but I picked it a year before you... [Smile]

[ 07. January 2017, 16:58: Message edited by: jayhawk ]

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by jayhawk:
Ah but I picke it a year before you... [Smile]

Indeed you did, so even if I wanted to make an issue of it(and I don't), I wouldn't.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
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I think they're loopy.

They put me through school.

The two statements may be related.

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and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

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