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The Scottish Rite in English Freemasonry - the Christian entrance requirement dilemma

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posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 07:59 AM
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I have a problem with the entrance requirement for the English Constitution's Scottish Rite, and after dwelling on this for years, I have decided to open it for discussion, and I am open to new ideas that I might have missed. I am hoping to open a debate on the topic, although as most Masons on this site are American, I might be preaching to the converted.

The Scottish Rite in English Masonry (called the Rose Croix) is only open to Christians.

Historically, the English Constitution took its Charter from the Southern Scottish Rite Jurisdiction at a time when the Southern Jurisdiction was still Christian only. A lot of Brethren at the time objected to the Christian requirement (for reasons explained by Pike in the quote below), and shortly afterwards the Scottish Rite (Southern) became open to members of all religions, as in the Northern Jurisdiction. However, in the short period that the Southern Jurisdiction was Christian only, the English started the English Rose Croix and took their Constitution from the Southern Jurisdiction, with the condition that the Christian pre-requisite was to be considered an unchangable Landmark, and so have never been able (or willing) to change it.

Pike was one of those strongly outspoken against the Christian prerequisite. In Morals and Dogma, he said:

“If, anywhere, brethren of a particular religious belief have been excluded from this Degree [18° Knight Rose Croix], it merely shows how gravely the purposes and plan of Masonry may be misunderstood. For whenever the door of any Degree is closed against him who believes in one God and the soul's immortality, on account of the other tenets of his faith, that Degree is Masonry no longer.”
― Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry

Grand Lodge is of the opinion that the lessons in the Degree are of a Christian Nature, and therefore non-Christians could not possibly benefit from the lessons. They also claim that the Rite was originally Christian, and therefore the entrance requirement was intended to preserve the original symbolism/Lessons/Secrets contained in the Degree.

However, I agree with Pike that it ceases to be Freemasonry due to these restrictions. The key is the “one God” part of his quote where, as was Pike’s opinion all along (and mine), that all religions that believe in only one God are worshiping the same God, and therefore, their exclusion from the 18th Degree is based on the man-made institution of religion, not on their belief in the same one God, which then ceases to be Freemasonry as it goes against its First Principles, and contradicts the constitution.

I would be interested to hear from both English Freemasons who disagree with me, as well as American Masons who are not Christian (or are) on whether or not they feel they have benefited from this Rite i.e. Do you concur or disagree with the English Grand Lodge's Stance on the Christian requirement.




posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 08:12 AM
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I'm not a mason.. But it strikes me that I believe in one god. I came to this on my own accord. Then I went back and read some of the bible and I'm like ok some of this does actually make sense.
So what I'm saying is that I would get everything I needed from the mysteries without ever being a Christian.

So while I don't know the ritual or teachings specific to masons I know in my own life the mystery of it all was better served being non religious and finding the one spirit through me first. Later going back (bhuddism in the army) it's like oh yea these guys are talking about what I know..

So the best way to me is direct to the source. Which also means I'm not a mason for the same reason I'm not a Christian. Life is my mystery school. And whoa did I get a blast of learning this past year ha.



I'm hoping you get some masons to say their part.



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 08:40 AM
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a reply to: Saurus

In Scotland, it used to be that Catholics couldn't be masons, it was only for Protestants, but I don't know if that is still the case. Is that where the idea of a 'one God' requirement came from (ie not a trinity) or has this got nothing to do with Scotland?



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 08:48 AM
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originally posted by: beansidhe
a reply to: Saurus

In Scotland, it used to be that Catholics couldn't be masons, it was only for Protestants, but I don't know if that is still the case. Is that where the idea of a 'one God' requirement came from (ie not a trinity) or has this got nothing to do with Scotland?


I've never heard before that Catholics were not allowed to be Masons in Scotland, although the converse is true - i.e. Masons were not, and are still not, allowed to become Catholic.

But I do know as fact that Catholics are accepted into Freemasonry in Scotland today.

It would be interesting to find out the history of Masonry in terms of a Catholic/Protestant conflict in Scottish Masonry if this is indeed the case. I'll have a chat to one of my Scottish (and Irish) Brothers...


edit on 18/3/2016 by Saurus because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 08:52 AM
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a reply to: Saurus


The Scottish Rite in English Masonry (called the Rose Croix) is only open to Christians.

Its probably because they are the closest clan to the anti-Christ that there is.

So if they said that they are only open to Luciferians who want to usher in the antiChrist, then their membership of naive beginners would plummet in a day.

But stating Christians only is a instant winner for new 'blind' members.

Secondly, when their anti-Christ takes control of this planet, they will have the right to terminate all non-Christian clans.



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 08:54 AM
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a reply to: Saurus

Please take my comment in the spirit that it's intended - curiosity only...

Masonry is effectively a private club and like most private clubs it may have membership rules. If you don't agree with them then why would you wish to join?



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 08:55 AM
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originally posted by: Rapha

It's probably because they are the closest clan to the anti-Christ that there is.


Why do you say this?

What about this Rite makes it anti-Christ?



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 08:56 AM
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a reply to: Rapha

Ant-Christ? Luciferians? Do you really believe in such wacky nonsense?



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 08:56 AM
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originally posted by: Saurus
What about this Rite makes it anti-Christ?


Because it is not the exact same flavor of Jesus as his beliefs.



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:05 AM
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a reply to: Saurus

It might be competely irrelevant, it's just the first thing that came to mind. Interestingly, I just read this:


The oldest records held within the Grand Lodge are meeting minutes of the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel) No.1 which date from 1599.[2][3] The connection between the craft of stonemasonry and modern Freemasonry can be readily established in Scotland.[4] This direct connection can be traced from the oldest Masonic written records in the world and which are the property of the Grand Lodge.[5]


en.wikipedia.org...

If the oldest records date to 1599, it would be reasonable to assume they weren't also the first ever records and Masonry existed prior to that. This was roughly Mary Queen of Scots era, and sectarian divide was rife in Scotland then. So there's a good chance the rule was created solely to keep Catholics out. I didn't know they could be Masons now, but then there's a lot I don't know about Masonry.

Really interesting thread, it'll be good to see what others think.



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:06 AM
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originally posted by: beansidhe
If the oldest records date to 1599, it would be reasonable to assume they weren't also the first ever records...


There are references to lodges circa 1,000AD.



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:07 AM
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Exclusive mens clubs. We don't have enough of those.

boys and their toys



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:08 AM
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a reply to: Saurus




The Scottish Rite in English Masonry (called the Rose Croix) is only open to Christians.


I think this very fundamental to the foundation, dont you think?


And im not even a freemason



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:08 AM
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originally posted by: uncommitted

Masonry is effectively a private club and like most private clubs it may have membership rules. If you don't agree with them then why would you wish to join?


Fair enough. I do agree with you.

I am however, debating this from a purely scholarly point of view.

I happen to be a non-Christian in this Christian-only Rite. This happened because, when joining the Degree, I was asked if I believe and support the Christian faith. I do, because it's values are the same as in all other religions, so I could answer 'Yes' in good conscience. However, although I support the Christian faith, I do not believe in the divinity of Christ.

From a scholarly point of view, I am particularly curious to find out if non-Christian American Masons have benefited from this degree, and how, because the English Grand Council is of the opinion that a non-Christian cannot benefit from the 18th Degree in particular.



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:08 AM
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a reply to: Saurus

I know parts of the York Rite in the US have a "Christian only" requirement, and I believe an oath is taken to defend Christianity or something. (not a member) And some of the degrees in the Scottish Rite do deal with Christ and Christian teachings, but much like Pike, I also believe that all monotheistic religions pray to the same creator, they just give him different names. So to me, the only requirement should be that you are a master mason. (as all the religious requirements are met there).

I don't disagree with you and think if it's masonic and recognized as such, then if you are a mason, that's good enough. Otherwise, what's the point? You can't meet on the level, but be on a different plane. (IMHO)



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:09 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus




posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:12 AM
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originally posted by: Saurus
From a scholarly point of view, I am particularly curious to find out if non-Christian American Masons have benefited from this degree, and how, because the English Grand Council is of the opinion that a non-Christian cannot benefit from the 18th Degree in particular.


The Christina-only requirement is not a mandate we have in the Northern Jurisdiction otherwise I would not have joined.

I found that all of the Degrees I have seen have been performed to underscore what was taught in the Blue Lodge and that the metaphor(s) used in each can cause one to rethink different aspects of those lessons.



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:13 AM
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a reply to: Tsuro

You gonna start with your mindless, non sequitur videos again? Maybe mix in the usual gypo/primate nonsense you like to talk about? What does this have to do with the topic?



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:14 AM
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a reply to: network dude




and I believe an oath is taken to defend Christianity or something. (not a member) And some of the degrees in the Scottish Rite do deal with Christ and Christian teachings


wtf?

Am i missing something?



posted on Mar, 18 2016 @ 09:17 AM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

Do i think its a requirement as a non mason, yes..

or i cant see it fulfilling its core values..

ksigmason had a invitation, did he not?

try following his example..




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