Master of Arts
- Dec 4, 2001
- Reaction score
- Fort Lewis, Washington
Tulisan said:The Masons of today claim to be "the most ancient religion" and closer to early Christians then Catholics or Christians.
Untrue. The Fraternity does not espouse an official religious doctrine, nor does it endorse any particular faith. It is a fraternal organization that encourages members to pursue their spiritual life, but it does not recommend, endorse, nor teach one particular religious tradition to the exclusion of others. I will say, though, that the orientation within the lodge is predominantly Christian, and much of the ritual draws from Biblical text.
The Fraternity does, though, claim origins that predate Christ (but stem from Old Testament events), sometimes dating back to ancient Egypt. The first Masonic temple is held to have been the Temple of Solomon.
They don't view Christ as a messiah, and they claim that their religion predates Christ.
No, they dont view Christ as the messiah, nor do they hold Muhammad as the prophet of God, nor do they hold any other religion-specific beliefs. Because (wait for the drumroll...) they/we arent a religion. Not sure how to make that more clear...
However, they neglect to mention that the Masons, from when they were first created in the 1300's or so (France, I believe) until the early 1700's, claimed Catholicism as their faith, and they claimed to be Catholic in their "Old Article" until 1738 when it changed. They changed it due to their more Gnostic viewpoint, and rejection of the Catholic Church, which of course led to the Papel Decree's and such.
Remember, though, that the political (not necessarily religious) rebellion against the Vatican was in protest of the excesses of Mother Churchs leadership. The bishops were the princes of Catholicism, but they were acting far more like worldly princes than priests (what with the accumulation of wealth and all...).
Lets not forget how Catholics neglect to mention the Albigensian Crusade, called by Pope Innocent III, to slaughter French citizens because of their Gnostic Catholic practices. During the earlier Crusades, Mother Church conveniently forgave beforehand the killing of Christians in the Holy Land. Prior to this, killing an infidel was acceptable, but killing a Christian was a mortal sin. The Papal Legate to the 4th or 5th crusade (I dont recall which) is the one credited, historically, with the first kill them all, God will know his own statement.
Bottom line, Mother Church has had a history in more violent times of attacking her own Body when it served Her purposes...
Perhaps, but I don't take the view that I am "Saved" and everyone else who doesn't follow my belief system is not.
So where is the problem, then, for someone who wants to be a Mason? You encouraged me not to be a Mason, but beyond the reason that you dont like it, what genuine rationale could you provide to convince me not to attend lodge? Because you think Freemasonry is incompatible with Christianity/Catholicism?
Maybe you dont consider yourself saved and others damned, but you sure do seem to consider yourself right and others wrong. That is still elitist if you look at it objectively...
I don't believe in elitism, and I think that it is contrary to Christs teachings.
Then, following that logic, any group that excludes anyone for any reason is therefore elitist. Christians exclude non-Christians from Gods salvation regularly. Catholics exclude many non-Catholics from salvation, and in fact will deliberately move to exclude members who do not adhere and obey their rules (excommunication). Theres elitism once again...
While people are alive on this earth, they have the opportunity to be "saved." And, since I am not God and I cannot determine who is saved or not, it is not my right to judge or damn anyone. I can judge someones actions, sure, but it is not my right to believe that "I am better then so-and-so because I am saved." Who am I to say who God loves?
Exactly. So whether a Mason is or is not a good Christian, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist is pretty much only an issue between that person and his Creator, correct?
I personally feel that not only is elitism contrary to my faith, but I also feel that it is one of the biggest problems in our society.
Karl Marx didnt like it either. The simple fact is that humans, being who they are, will always separate and segregate themselves. First into nations, then tribes within that nation, then families/clans within those tribes, and so on. It is human nature to attempt to identify oneself as apart from the rest of the pack. It isnt a societal problem at all rather, the exclusivity of certain separate groups is what seems to bother you.
I agree with you in the idea that "everyone is invited" in most religions. Since I take that idea a step further as I explained above, I feel that religions (at least Christianity) does not have to be (and shouldn't be) elitist.
I see Freemasonry as very differen't, though. First off, not everyone is invited to "see the light" as they say; women, children and other 'non-whites.'
Once again, untrue. Freemasonry is a Fraternity. By that definition, it is only open to men. There is, however, an appendent body, the Eastern Star, that admits men and women. The inclusion of non-whites is something I addressed in a previous post, and there are plenty of integrated lodges to refute your claim of racial preference.
Unless something has changed, non-whites had to belong to their special lodge, and wasn't given all the info and perks.
Again, incomplete information. See my earlier post.
Then, within' the organization there is elitism. After the first 3 degree's you are told that you are a master mason, and that you are enlightened, but in reality the other higher degree's still believe that you are in the dark.
Further incomplete information, which isnt surprising from someone outside of the Fraternity.
There is no higher degree than Master Mason. The York and Scottish Rites, Royal Arch, etc. are additional instruction in other traditions, and provide further details on the role(s) of Freemasonry. It is the difference between a High School graduate and a PhD. Nothing more.
In order to be privilaged to be truely enlightened, you have to be chosen special by other members of the higher degrees.
And youre telling me that anyone and everyone can do anything anywhere? Hardly. You dont have to be specially chosen, but you do have to apply and be accepted. So what? It is still a private organization, though it doesnt necessarily exclude anyone... If you are a criminal, or a known philanderer, chances are you wont gain membership those kinds of people arent the kind of members the Fraternity wants. And from the Christians Ive met, there are a precious few who were willing to open their homes and communities to convicted felons, child molesters, etc.
Who is chosen and why are often related to your "status" in society as well as the order,
You have to be a Master Mason to apply. In that you are correct. But I have sat in lodge with Master Masons who were construction workers, ditch diggers, bank presidents and senior military officers. All men are equal before Death and Time, and so all Masons are on a level of equality.
and higher amounts of fee's are involved in the higher degree's. If you are not of appropriate status, and if you can't afford it, then you are not chosen to seek true enlightenment.
Well, I suppose that universities are bastions of elitism then, since you have to pay all sorts of tuition and fees for higher education... If you belong to the ATA and the WTF, should you only have to pay one fee since you are still a TKD student? Or, as a member of two different organizations, would it be appropriate to pay two different sets of dues?
This is highly contrary to a religion that says "all are invited." Not all are invited and not all are chosen to be a freemason.
Mother Church excludes gays. So apparently as long as you are hetero, youre okay. But gays arent allowed. So is Mother Church also open to all?
All men are free to petition for membership in the Order. Some are accepted, others are not. Same as anything else, anywhere else.
Pope Pius IX, in my opinion, made a mistake in some parts of what he was saying. He is human, so he is allowed to make mistakes. His mistakes are the same mistakes that the Church tends to make now, IMHO.
But these are mistakes made under the authority of God who is held to be infallible (and so too, therefore, is the Papacy infallible). It is convenient that Mother Church can claim divine authority when making decisions, but can claim human frailty when making mistakes...
Plus, the Catholic religion as a whole was under attack by the masons, and by other secret societies. Those Papel Decree's were reactionary to this environment.
They were under attack for political reasons, and Mother Church wanted nothing more than to protect her worldly interests... Income, as well as salvation, has been a strong interest of Mother Church for some time. It was this materialism that not only the Masons, but the Franciscans as well, railed against. Mother Church didnt agree (of course not the people who would be agreeing or disagreeing were the folks making bank at the expense of the laity), so the Masons were targeted for having spoken up publicly.
Now that the church authorities have a better understanding of the ideas of a seperate church and state, they recognize it's importance to a degree.
And isnt that nice that in the 21st century they are finally getting around to joining the 18th century...?
In my opinion, I believe that Church should be there to teach us morals, while giving us the choice (freewill) to define our values from those morals. If the Church is making the impact that it needs to make, then the ethics of the society will match those of the morals of the church, throught the freewill of the people, and everything will be fine. Government then should only regulate what is absolutely nessicary to allow this process to occur, basically keeping its hands off morals and values, and only defining ethics as much as is needed for our protection, and the protection of this process. In a perfect world, that is what should happened.
And it seems that you are thereby advocating only Christianity to teach morality. What about the role of mosques, temples, and other religious institutions? What about non-Christian traditions teaching morals? Are these somehow less moral than Catholicism or Christianity? Isnt even implying this hinting at a hidden elitism?
What instead has happened is that the Church (and traditional/cultural values) has not been having the positive impact that it should be having for sometime now.
Like the last 500 years or so...
Therefore, the values of the people do not coincide with the Catholic or Christian church exactly, causing the ethics of society (by church standards)to deteriorate as well.
Peoples morals havent changed. They have been educated, and things that are injurious to others are still frowned upon. But Mother Church is still around, and continues to work to propagate Her own existence. The ethics of society are still the same as well, but Mother Church tends to view ethics with a situational eye.
btw...before someone brings up the idea of "infallability," and "how can I say that a Pope may have not been perfect?" I'll explain what it is. "Infallability" from the church standpoint is the belief that because Jesus instituted the Church (as it is believed), the Church Doctrine/beliefs are correct. However, how people interprete these could be incorrect or correct. Also, the Pope is only "infallable" when he makes a statement "ex cathedra," otherwise it is not an infallable statement. An "ex cathedra" statement is rarely done.
Convenient, isnt it? Were always right, unless were wrong, and then were still right.