It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Freemasonry is not a religion

page: 1
11
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 07:35 PM
link   
In regards to the discussion from another thread:

Freemasonry can be religious, but it is not a religion. It does not meet the basic requirements. A Brother of mine talked about this subject and this part resonated with me:


Just because we shut the door of a lodge room and declare it tyled, does not mean that God has left the room. He shines as a light in your life and he should. He will be with you at dinner, with you at church, with you outdoors and in, and he will be with you in lodge.


From Masonic Info:


Religions do the following (though details vary from one to the next):

- Practice sacerdotal functions - Masonry does NOT!
- Teach Theology - Masonry does NOT!
- Ordain Clergy - Masonry does NOT!
- Define sin and salvation - Masonry does NOT!
- Perform sacraments - Masonry does NOT!
- Publish or specify a Holy Book - Masonry does NOT!
- Describe or define the Deity - Masonry does NOT!

Here are other sources that explain how Freemasonry is not a religion:

freemasonry.bcy.ca...

a reply to: Tangerine
Religion is more than prayer and the use of prayer doesn't make a religion.
edit on 18-2-2015 by KSigMason because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 07:40 PM
link   
Freemasonry is not technically a religion, but many of the teachings are esoteric in nature.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 07:56 PM
link   
a reply to: KSigMason

Masonry has intrigued me, had the invite.

The part about prospering from acts alone still bothers me.......

Like any "religion". Pay your dues.

A candle can be lit many ways, it shouldn't require a price.

Pay by blood and sweat, pay by cash.....the scale is going to balance regardless.

Nothing new under this sun.


Cheers.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 08:48 PM
link   
a reply to: KSigMason

Freemasonry is a religion at its core with a secular outer shell.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 09:14 PM
link   
What degree is he?
edit on 2/18/2015 by GoldenObserver because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 10:06 PM
link   
Totally agree. nice and concise info. Masons have a variety a religious views and beliefs.



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 10:48 PM
link   

originally posted by: KSigMason


Religions do the following (though details vary from one to the next):

- Practice sacerdotal functions - Masonry does NOT!
- Teach Theology - Masonry does NOT!
- Ordain Clergy - Masonry does NOT!
- Define sin and salvation - Masonry does NOT!
- Perform sacraments - Masonry does NOT!
- Publish or specify a Holy Book - Masonry does NOT!
- Describe or define the Deity - Masonry does NOT!

Here are other sources that explain how Freemasonry is not a religion:



Not all religions have clergy so the practice of sacerdotal functions and the ordination of clergy is not a necessary characteristic of religion. For example, eccletic pagans of any of a number of pagan religions do not have clergy. However, unless I'm mistaken, the Master Mason leads his fellow masons in prayer and in the performance of ritual, functions performed by clergy. Unless I'm mistaken, the Master Mason is "ordained" by masonic ritual.

Theology is simply the study of God's attributes. The Masonic prayer already cited describes God as "father" and "almighty". According to the "Statement on Freemasonry and Religion" prepared by the Masonic Information center ( www.msana.com...), "Mason believe there is one God..." "Masonry primarily uses the appellation, 'Grand Architect of the Universe'" which certainly describes the attributes of God and qualifies as a theology.

Not all religions teach sin and salvation. Those concepts do not exist in some religions. For example, they do not exist in pagan religions.

Not all religions publish or specify a Holy Book although the Freemasons do specify a Holy Book. According to "Freemasonry and Religion" by the Masonic Information Center ( www.msana.com...) have a Volume of the Sacred Law, defined as "the rule and guide of life" and "an essential part of every Masonic meeting. The Volume of the Sacred Law in the Judeo/Christian tradition is the Bible; to Freemasons of other faiths, it is the book held holy by them".

Furthermore, "the obligations taken by Freemasons are sworn on the Volume of the Sacred Law".



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 11:16 PM
link   
I suggest that a reasonable way to determine whether Freemasonry is a religion is to determine whether, IF Masonry were practiced as a government function, it would violate the Establishment Clause. I think this is a valid test because the Establishment Cause has been codified in law and tested in court.

Alcoholics Anonymous is another group that takes pains to declare that it is not a religion. Courts have ordered people to participate in AA and cases have been brought in court arguing that it is a violation of the constitution precisely because AA is a religion. Courts have carefully considered the arguments on both sides and it has ultimately been determined that AA is a religion.

The arguments that prevailed in the court ruling that AA is a religion include the following:
The program contains expressions and practices that have always been religious.
A predicate of religious-oriented practices and precepts tied together by a tenuous application of a coercion concept.
Deistic symbols and allusions.
The 12-Steps and "The Big Book" form the basic guidelines of AA.

Now let's look at the steps of the 12-Steps that are religious in nature:
2. Came to believe that a Power (capitalized) greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God (capitalized) as we understood Him (capitalized).
5. Admit to God (capitalized), to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely read to have God (capitalized) remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly ask Him (capitalized) to remove all our shortcomings.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God (capitalized), as we understood Him (capitalized), praying only for knowledge of His (capitalized) will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

I can find more references to God, etc. in "the Big Book" but I think this should suffice except that I'll add that "the Big Book" explicitly states that atheism is unacceptable.

Now compare this to Freemasonry.







edit on 18-2-2015 by Tangerine because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 11:24 PM
link   

There are some interesting books out there which show many Freemasonic connections to our societies, religions, and political leaders, including connections between the Order of Malta with the Pope and Rome, and the Freemasonic doubleheaded eagle with England. England and Rome use Freemasonic symbols at the highest religious levels, elements in relation to Christianity - or should I say Jehovah Witness's brand of Christianity. We have such books as Christian by Degrees, Masonic Revealed in the Light and the Faith of Jehovah, Testament for a New World, The Seven
Books Containing a Sense of Spiritual Wisdom, given to us by
the Knights Templar. Therein, the Table of Contents reveals a Book of Jehovah and the book of Jehovah's Kingdom on Earth, with the Knights emblem. We see that Jehovah's Kingdom on
Earth is no more than a Masonic Kingdom, like the British United Kingdom. Jehovah Witnesses, along with the Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists and, as we said, all the other York Rite Masonic cults in America, are consistently spreading. They are the shock troops, so to speak, for Freemasonry, who spread the message for the kingdom to the rest of us in this nation to accept their Masonic Kingdom. They, unbeknownst to themselves, are the forerunners for a New World Order. However, unfortunately, they have no idea in this world, just what is coming. They have been duped, and they are too proud and arrogant to understand that duplicity.
Maxwell - Matrix of Power - How the World has been Controlled by Powerful People Without Your Knowledge (2000), pages 19-20



posted on Feb, 18 2015 @ 11:38 PM
link   
a reply to: Profusion

The OP's topic is about whether Freemasonry is a religion.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 12:04 AM
link   
Atheists can not join Masonic lodges and, as a requirement of membership, every candidate must state that he has a personal belief in God. The fact that this God isn't specified didn't get AA a free pass and it shouldn't give Masonry a free pass.

No regular lodge of Masons may be opened without the Bible, or other sacred book holy to its members, opened on the altar. Masons refer to this book as the Volume of the Sacred Law. Clearly, the Masons have a holy book.

The York Rite's Knights Templar Order specifically requires candidates to swear to defend the Christian religion. A few of these degrees teach lessons of morality using events from the New Testament.

The theology of Masonry describes the attributes of God (ie. Architect of the Universe and father).

The mere act of opening the holy book and placing it on the altar (note that the Masons call it an altar) and the Master Mason leading fellow assembled Masons in prayer are sacerdotal functions.



edit on 19-2-2015 by Tangerine because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-2-2015 by Tangerine because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 04:15 AM
link   
In all fairness, and I'm playing the devil's advocate here, Freemasonry itself has inadvertently contributed to the confusion of whether or not Freemasonry is a religion:

Without quoting specific ritual, in our first degree tracing board, the ritual states that our Lodges are positioned due East and West because all places of Divine Worship are, or ought to be so positioned.

In the same Lecture, it explains why our Lodges stand on Holy Ground, and why the ground of Freemasonry is Holy.

And then, it goes on to state that we hope to ascend to the ethereal mansion by means of Jacob's Ladder.

And these are all examples from a small part on a single lecture!

We, as Masons, understand the context for these passages, and realize that they form part of an entire series of moral lessons, each designed to provoke thought, rather than to dictate what we should do. However, to the uninitiated and popular world who are not Masons, I can easily understand why one might get confused.

The following question is designed to provoke thought, and not to argue that Freemasonry is a religion - that is not my intention:

What about a Mason who, rather than seeing our lessons as something to philosophize about, decides to take every lesson literally, and lives exactly the way the ritual dictates, without thinking about the lessons deeply, as he should? Wouldn't Freemasonry be a religion to such a Mason? He might say: I can get to heaven by through Faith, Hope and Charity alone - this is my course in life. This is what I am going to do. Is that not religion?

Once again, without initiation, a person may not understand the purpose behind the ritual, and this could lead to confusion. On a side note, this is why Initiation and Secrecy are so vital to our entire Masonic Structure. A person studying our ritual without initiation will easily miss the purpose behind statements in our ritual such as those I have posted above.


edit on 19/2/2015 by Saurus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 04:55 AM
link   
Double post
edit on 19/2/2015 by Saurus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 04:56 AM
link   

originally posted by: Saurus
In all fairness, and I'm playing the devil's advocate here, Freemasonry itself has inadvertently contributed to the confusion of whether or not Freemasonry is a religion:

Without quoting specific ritual, in our first degree tracing board, the ritual states that our Lodges are positioned due East and West because all places of Divine Worship are, or ought to be so positioned.

In the same Lecture, it explains why our Lodges stand on Holy Ground, and why the ground of Freemasonry is Holy.

And then, it goes on to state that we hope to ascend to the ethereal mansion by means of Jacob's Ladder.

And these are all examples from a small part on a single lecture!

We, as Masons, understand the context for these passages, and realize that they form part of an entire series of moral lessons, each designed to provoke thought, rather than to dictate what we should do. However, to the uninitiated and popular world who are not Masons, I can easily understand why one might get confused.

The following question is designed to provoke thought, and not to argue that Freemasonry is a religion - that is not my intention:

What about a Mason who, rather than seeing our lessons as something to philosophize about, decides to take every lesson literally, and lives exactly the way the ritual dictates, without thinking about the lessons deeply, as he should? Wouldn't Freemasonry be a religion to such a Mason? He might say: I can get to heaven by through Faith, Hope and Charity alone - this is my course in life. This is what I am going to do. Is that not religion?

Once again, without initiation, a person may not understand the purpose behind the ritual, and this could lead to confusion. On a side note, this is why Initiation and Secrecy are so vital to our entire Masonic Structure. A person studying our ritual without initiation will easily miss the purpose behind statements in our ritual such as those I have posted above.



I don't think it matters in determining whether Freemasonry is a religion whether Masons take the lessons literally or metaphorically. Many people of various religions take the rituals and lessons and holy books of their religions metaphorically. Many adherents of religions have varying concepts of God/gods. So, obviously, that can't be the determining factor in whether or not something qualifies as a religion.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 04:57 AM
link   

originally posted by: Saurus
originally posted by: Tangerine
Atheists can not join Masonic lodges and, as a requirement of membership, every candidate must state that he has a personal belief in God.


Correct


No regular lodge of Masons may be opened without the Bible, or other sacred book holy to its members, opened on the altar. Masons refer to this book as the Volume of the Sacred Law. Clearly, the Masons have a holy book.


Each Mason has his own Holy Book. ALL are opened when Lodge is opened. There is no particular book that has to be there. If no Christians are present, the Bible is not open.


The York Rite's Knights Templar Order specifically requires candidates to swear to defend the Christian religion. A few of these degrees teach lessons of morality using events from the New Testament.


Correct, although to be precise, it is the Christian "Faith", not the Christian Religion.


The theology of Masonry describes the attributes of God (ie. Architect of the Universe and father).


Not quite. Although references to "Father" are still present in the ritual, it is clearly understood and expressly stated that all references to the Supreme Being, by whatever name that Deity is called in the ritual, is to be interpreted as the Deity (and having the attributes of the Deity) of the individual Mason.


The mere act of opening the holy book and placing it on the altar (note that the Masons call it an altar) and the Master Mason leading fellow assembled Masons in prayer are sacerdotal functions.


Small point - the Chaplain says the Invocations, not the Master.


edit on 19/2/2015 by Saurus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 04:58 AM
link   

Pastor Ray Hagins, - a Prince Hall Mason explains this perfectly. He states, “All spiritual belief systems (religions) are based on the life, deeds, and events of eponymous people that have been culturally literalized and incorporated into the cognitive reality of the people within that culture.

An “eponymy” is a fictitious character, who a person (or a group of people) name or characterize themselves after for the sake of giving validity and identity to their own existence.


Freemasonry and freemasons are not exempt from this statement. You were not born masons, but have attached yourselves to a idea. This idea is not genetically your own idea but you feed it with belief.

"The term cuckold is applied to one unwittingly investing parental effort in offspring that are not genetically their own."



The masonic foreign installation of I AM will solidify a false reality, belief or perception thereof. This false perception of reality is superimposed by the mind over its natural environment.

By belief, the word is made flesh, and the body believes itself to be a proud mason, but in reality...

It's all made up.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 05:04 AM
link   
At the risk of being repetitive, I will post a quote by Manly P. Hall (because he says it more eloquently than I can), which to me sums up the "religious" aspect of Masonry concisely and clearly.

Disclaimer: This quote is meaningful to me, and is what I believe, but does not necessarily reflect the views of other Masons or of Freemasonry:

“The true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth. All true Masons know that they only are heathen who, having great ideals, do not live up to them. They know that all religions are but one story told in diverse ways for peoples whose ideals differ but whose great purpose is in harmony with Masonic ideals. North, east, south and west stretch the diversities of human thought, and while the ideals of man apparently differ, when all is said and the crystallization of form with its false concepts is swept away, one basic truth remains: all existing things are Temple Builders, laboring for a single end. No true Mason can be narrow, for his Lodge is the divine expression of all broadness. There is no place for little minds in a great work.”
~ Manly P. Hall



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 05:06 AM
link   

originally posted by: Saurus

originally posted by: Tangerine
Atheists can not join Masonic lodges and, as a requirement of membership, every candidate must state that he has a personal belief in God.


Correct


No regular lodge of Masons may be opened without the Bible, or other sacred book holy to its members, opened on the altar. Masons refer to this book as the Volume of the Sacred Law. Clearly, the Masons have a holy book.


Each Mason has his own Holy Book. ALL are opened when Lodge is opened. There is no particular book that has to be there. If no Christians are present, the Bible is not open.


The York Rite's Knights Templar Order specifically requires candidates to swear to defend the Christian religion. A few of these degrees teach lessons of morality using events from the New Testament.


Correct


The theology of Masonry describes the attributes of God (ie. Architect of the Universe and father).


Not quite. Although references to "Father" are still present in the ritual, it is clearly understood and expressly stated that all references to the Supreme Being, by whatever name that Deity is called in the ritual, is to be interpreted as the Deity (and having the attributes of the Deity) of the individual Mason.


The mere act of opening the holy book and placing it on the altar (note that the Masons call it an altar) and the Master Mason leading fellow assembled Masons in prayer are sacerdotal functions.


Small point - the Chaplain says the Invocations, not the Master.



OK, but there are Holy books. Even so, there are religions with no Holy books: Wicca for example. Hinduism has several Holy books.

Architect of the Universe is a whopping big attribute of a deity and that qualifies as theology. Yeah, there are Christian churches that claim that Father doesn't mean male but I'm not buying that, either.
It doesn't matter if there's one deity or many. One might say that Freemasonry is polytheistic. After all, in many, maybe most, polytheistic religions, believers vary in the specific deities they "worship". Yikes, a chaplain!
Sure sounds like a religion to me.

Look at my explanation for why AA was determined by the courts to be a religion and tell me if you think Freemasonry falls into or outside those guidelines and why.
edit on 19-2-2015 by Tangerine because: typo correction



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 06:39 AM
link   
Freemasonry is not a religion, because we as a collective organization, don't have a specific God to worship. We address the Great Architect of the Universe, but that's in a generic way, due to the many people of different beliefs. The Volume of the Sacred Law could be any "sacred" book (Shruti, Talmud, Christian Bible, Qur'an, Dhammapada), and is depending on the jurisdiction.

We don't sing like in a church, we pray (even atheist pray) that don't make us a religion.

At the end of the day I go to the church of my election (as so does every other mason). Because If I want to worship God I will go to my church not the Lodge.



posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 07:01 AM
link   
a reply to: Tangerine

If a little league baseball game in the south says a prayer before and after a game, does that make baseball a religion? Does it make that team a religion? Here it's always a prayer "In Christ's name", so a specific deity is mentioned.




top topics



 
11
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join