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Joining Freemasonry

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posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 11:34 AM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
I was repeatedly told the Freemasonry would not help me financially, that I should not join looking for "easy answers," but that I would have to put work in to my own understanding, and that I should not join unless I felt I would be able to pay my yearly dues without injury to my own economic stance.



Crimony, are the dues so much that it is a concern that it would affect your "economic stance"? What if (like me) you have no "economic stance") to begin with? I mean, we eat, but after bills and living expenses we don't have any extra, really... I just find it strange that an organization that is so charitable (no doubt because of the contributions and dues paid by members) would turn a candidate who only wants to learn and better himself away because of money... Do the dues vary from jurasdiction to jurasdiction? The way it sounds to me is like the dues are alot. It would just be a shame to not be able to become a Mason just because I am, shall we say, "economically challenged"... Have you known this to hold a person who really wants to join back?

Thanks
-A




posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 12:07 PM
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You are grievously misinterpreting what I said.

All I said was that I was told that I should not join if I felt the dues would be difficult for me economically. The dues at my Lodge are $120 a year. (middle of the letter P.S. -- that's $120 Canadian)

For some people, especially people the age I was when I joined (try diagramming this sentence!), $120 a year is a hardship.

No, the Lodge usually will not turn away serious candidates if they do not have the money for dues. The question was asked so that they were clear that I was not just joining Lodge because I thought it would somehow fill up my pocketbook.

Sheesh! This is the problem I have with talking about Masonry in general. You say one little sentence, and people inflate it, and add speculation, until one simple statement is made into a whole thesis on what Masonry wants and does not want. "What do you mean, Masonry requires you to believe in God?!?! Well, in my (erroneous) opinion, the word "God" only means the Christian conception of God, meaning that Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, etc., will not be admitted! And, since (in my once again erroneous estimation) Christianity is more prevalent amoung caucasians than other people, that must mean that you won't admit non-white people! And, that must mean that you hate non-white people!! OMG, I guess that means that Freemasonry is the same as the Klu Klux Klan!!!!"

I know this isn't what you intended, but maybe just take what I say at face value next time? I'm not trying to "sneak one past you."

[edit on 17-6-2004 by AlexKennedy]



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 12:28 PM
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Masonry is a good tool for the mind. It is the study of nature (self) as well as the natural sciences, astrology, numerology, history. But do you know how it all started? The Moors created the science of Masonry to a time on near immemorial antiquity.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 12:47 PM
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"Sheesh! This is the problem I have with talking about Masonry in general. You say one little sentence, and people inflate it, and add speculation, until one simple statement is made into a whole thesis on what Masonry wants and does not want. "What do you mean, Masonry requires you to believe in God?!?! Well, in my (erroneous) opinion, the word "God" only means the Christian conception of God, meaning that Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, etc., will not be admitted! And, since (in my once again erroneous estimation) Christianity is more prevalent amoung caucasians than other people, that must mean that you won't admit non-white people! And, that must mean that you hate non-white people!! OMG, I guess that means that Freemasonry is the same as the Klu Klux Klan!!!!" "

Kennedy, don't get your panties in a bunch.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 01:00 PM
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Relax. They do not only mean a christian god as Masonry itself is not Christian in nature. Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell even Farrakan are Masons. Don't believe the hype.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
I know this isn't what you intended, but maybe just take what I say at face value next time? I'm not trying to "sneak one past you."

[edit on 17-6-2004 by AlexKennedy]



Alex, I have read many of your posts, and believe me, I would not think you were trying to "sneak one past me", I assure you. You are one of the people who I direct my questions to because of the respect I have for your opinion, or take on a given situation or instance. Forgive me if I sounded disrespectful or if I came off as trying to "catch you in something". I honestly am only trying to find out all I can so I can make a good decision on whether or not to petition my local lodge. I should probably just go ahead and call the guy whose number I have, (he's the Junior Warden) but after reading alot of the posts on ATS I have come to value yours as well a a few others opinions on such matters, more than someone I have never talked to. I thank you for your reply, and again, I meant no disrespect.

Thanks,
-A



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 01:10 PM
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No problem at all... see, once again, I'm not good at expressing myself by typing. I wasn't trying to indicate anger at you, just irritation with a world that presumes broad supposition based on the tiniest indications.

Now, and I do mean the following Angrily, Miltie, I didn't ask you to call me "Kennedy," and the next time you do it, I will set you to ignore... OK?



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 02:01 PM
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There seems to be some freemasons in here that are quite well informed about their own organisation, so I'd like to challenge you with a few questions:

-Is freemasonry -without being a "cult" in litteral terms- a mystic and pagan rite? I am asking as I saw many relations between the old structure of symbolism that is proper to european alchemy and the weird codes used by freemasons.

- What is the relation between the Great Architect and the christian God? Are they the same? If they are the same why is it that they are "named" differently? More importantly, if the Great Architect is a spiritual entity/being who is the sole creator and/or ruler of the Universe, but not the same "person" as God, then why should we not consider Freemasonry as a RELIGION like the others?

I'd like it if you would answer those question as precisely and honestly as you can, as I am personally considering joining the local lodge, but being a Christian, I'd very much not like to go inside a society that has "conflicting spiritual values" with christianity, if you know what I mean...

Thanks for your time!



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 02:17 PM
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Q. Is freemasonry -without being a "cult" in litteral terms- a mystic and pagan rite?

A. There are many branches of Freemasonry, some have pagan and mystic roots, some have Christian roots, etc etc etc etc; the sources are truly as broad as man's knowledge and the "liberal arts and sciences".

Q's. What is the relation between the Great Architect and the christian God? Are they the same? If they are the same why is it that they are "named" differently? Why should we not consider Freemasonry as a RELIGION like the others?

A. A member must profess to believe in and believe in a Supreme Being. Your choice who or what that is. If you believe in a Christian God, you are eligible on that entry criterion. Men of many religions are Freemasons.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 03:05 PM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
The dues at my Lodge are $120 a year. (middle of the letter P.S. -- that's $120 Canadian)


Stupid question alert:

How much is that in US $?
My Blue Lodge charges $30 per year for Master Masons, $15 per year for Past Masters.

To Axeman:

If a Brother is financially unable to pay his dues, they can be remitted by action of the Lodge. This is different from cases where Brothers neglect to pay their dues, and can give no good reason for it. In such cases, their memberships are suspended.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light

My Blue Lodge charges $30 per year for Master Masons, $15 per year for Past Masters.



Do most lodges collect dues on a monthly or yearly basis - or does it vary from lodge to lodge? Also, I know there is an application fee to be paid when you petition, is it a set amount? If so, how much? You said the Blue Lodge amounts, does each degree bring with it an increase in dues? I've read in other threads about "paying your money" when you go to get your degrees (above the 3rd) - I just wonder is this a one time fee, or does the amount you pay in per year increase as you recieve your degrees? I'm sorry if these questions sound trivial... Thanks again

P.S. does "$15 for past Masters" mean Worshipful Masters of the Lodge? Just want to be sure I completely understand you.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 03:24 PM
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Originally posted by Echtelion
-Is freemasonry -without being a "cult" in litteral terms- a mystic and pagan rite?


I suppose it depends on what you mean by “mystic” and “pagan”. If by “pagan”, you mean “pre-Christian”, then yes, much of Masonry is derived from Greek philosophy and systems of symbolism from antiquity that pre-date Christianity.
But, technically, the word “pagan” is derived from the Latin “pagani”, meaning “country dweller”, and was used by the medieval Roman Church to denote those rural communities who refused to convert to Catholicism. In this sense they (erroneously, IMO) likened non-Catholic beliefs to “ignorance”.
If by “pagan” you mean a religious system that worships multiple deities, the answer is no.
If by “mystic”, you mean direct experience of truth without relying on a fixed dogma, then I would say yes, Masonry qualifies, and the word “mystic” is found often in Masonic Rites.



- What is the relation between the Great Architect and the christian God? Are they the same? If they are the same why is it that they are "named" differently? More importantly, if the Great Architect is a spiritual entity/being who is the sole creator and/or ruler of the Universe, but not the same "person" as God, then why should we not consider Freemasonry as a RELIGION like the others?


The term “Great Architect of the Universe” was coined by John Calvin, who was not a Mason, and was a theologian of the Reformation. He uses this term several times in his “Institutes of the Christian Religion”.
The term was not used in Masonry until Rev. James Anderson published his Masonic Constitution in 1724. Anderson, who was a Calvinist Presbyterian minister, was familiar with Calvin’s book, and adopted the term Great Architect of the Universe from it because of its reference in symbolism to the arts of building and masonry.
“Great Architect of the Universe” is not a “name” of God, but merely a title, denoting that Almighty Father who has laid the plans to His Universe, and constructed it.
God is not exclusively called “Great Architect of the Universe” in the Lodge. He is also called “God”, “the Lord”, “Heavenly Father”, etc.
All Masons believe in the Great Architect of the Universe, and seek to serve Him by serving our fellow men. Whether or not our individual religious beliefs about God are correct or not, is a different story, and must be left to the individual to decide for himself. For this reason, disputes concerning religious beliefs are not entertained in the fraternity.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by The Axeman
Do most lodges collect dues on a monthly or yearly basis - or does it vary from lodge to lodge?


Dues for one year are payable in advance on Dec. 31. After this, in my jurisdiction, a Brother has until the following Oct 31 to pay before he is suspended for non-payment. If a Brother is destitute, or in poor health, the Lodge can remit his dues.
The Grand Lodge charges dues on each member, and in most cases, dues are the only income a Lodge has. It is necessary for a Brother to pay his dues on time if at all possible, so Lodge bills can be paid (utilities, property taxes, etc.), as well as Grand Lodge dues.
In my jurisdiction, Grand Lodge charges every Lodge $10 per year per member. Out of this, $6 per member goes to Grand Lodge expenses, and $4 per member goes into our Masonic Relief Fund, which assists destitute Brothers, their widows and orphans.



Also, I know there is an application fee to be paid when you petition, is it a set amount? If so, how much? You said the Blue Lodge amounts, does each degree bring with it an increase in dues? I've read in other threads about "paying your money" when you go to get your degrees (above the 3rd) - I just wonder is this a one time fee, or does the amount you pay in per year increase as you recieve your degrees? P.S. does "$15 for past Masters" mean Worshipful Masters of the Lodge? Just want to be sure I completely understand you.


In my jurisdiction, only Master Masons pay dues. Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts are not required to pay dues because they cannot attend business meetings (which are opened on the Third Degree), and thus do not have voting privileges.
Each Lodge sets its own yearly dues, as well as initiation fees for each degree. My Lodge charges an initiation fee of $30 for the First Degree, $30 for the Second Degree, and $70 for the Third Degree. The Third Degree fees include first year’s dues, an Heirloom Masonic Bible, a copy of Mackey’s Ahiman Rezon, and the Apron.
All of the Degrees after the Third are conferred in Temples of the York Rite and Scottish Rite. If you join one (or both) of these organizations, you will pay fees and dues to them, in addition to dues in your Blue Lodge.
As for your last question, yes, Past Masters are those Brothers who have served at least one term as Worshipful Master.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
The Third Degree fees include first year’s dues, an Heirloom Masonic Bible, a copy of Mackey’s Ahiman Rezon, and the Apron.


Would that be a Christian Bible, or whatever book corresponds to the Master Mason's chosen religion? Just curious - also, how long have they been giving out the Heirloom bibles? I wonder if my grandfather would have had one, but he left the Lodge in probably '57 or '58. Thanks again

[edit on 6/17/04 by The Axeman]



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 04:24 PM
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Masonic Light:

Oh, My Goodness!!! Do you mean to say that you didn't think to Google the exchange rate from Canadian Dollars to American Dollars? Tsk tsk tsk. Well, I guess this just goes to show that even the mighty sometimes drop the old proverbial ball.

Sorry. Just kidding around. $120 Canadian, as of today noon, is worth about $86.40 American.

I am amazed at your low rates down there... do your Lodges not have to pay rent on their halls?

The Axeman:

Up here, a MM is always presented with the holy book of his religion. If someone does not mention which religion they are, they are given a Bible (since everyone by default takes their obligation on the Bible, and of course we ask them beforehand if this is OK. Muslims take their obligation on the Koran, etc.) I know of one Sikh brother up here, but for whatever reason he has never asked for his holy book (the Sri Guru Granth Sahib) to be on the altar. Of course, Sikhs ar very open generally, so I'm not surprised that he is OK with just the Bible.

Rudyard Kipling reported that when he went to India, he attended a Lodge with (I believe) 7 holy books open on the Altar.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 04:43 PM
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Wow, your dues are even cheap for me AK.
But, we are a small lodge and have to pay the mortgage.
Remember one thing about the dues... People do not make money off of the dues in Masonry. At the end of the year we give the left over to a few orphanages. So, in retrospect, the dues are not that much to help a worthy cause.

Freemasonry is open to everyone one. Why not refer to God as God? Well, is Gods name God or Allah or.......? He/she has never told me his/her name, so it is better to be generic as not to offend anyone and give the lodge an open atmosphere. But, if God did give me his name and adress, I could send some really cool invitation for birthdays and stuff. What an incentive eh?


[edit on 17-6-2004 by JCMinJapan]



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 05:28 PM
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We actually sometimes refer to God as "God" in Lodge here, sometimes by other titles. We have to remember that "God" is a title, not a name. Comparing the words "God" and "Allah" is like comparing apples and oranges. I have heard many of my Muslim friends refer to God as "God," even though they may prefer to "name" him "Allah" (Which means what, you may ask? Why, "The God," of course... you see, arguments are often based on people not knowing what they're talking about
)

In fact, for all the Abrahamic Relgions, as well, I believe, for Hinduism, the "names" we use for God are simply "Cover Words." The True Name is considered ineffable and probably unpronounceable (in a fundamental way) in these faiths, hence the Hebraic tradition of using "HaShem" ("the Holy Name," I believe), when talking about God. Similarly, I believe there are 99 titles used for God in the Koran, and probably the descriptors used for God are innumerable. As monotheists, I believe we are constrained to believe that all these descriptors refer to the same Entity, and thus it seems to me (poor, ignorant, Pollyannaish me) that it should be impossible for two monotheists to have a religious war (an opinion I believe I share with the Prophet, MPBUH)



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 05:32 PM
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Q. Is freemasonry -without being a "cult" in litteral terms- a mystic and pagan rite?


That depends on how you want to define "cult". By some liberal stretches of the definition, Christianity itself is a cult. In the strictest sense? No, Masonry is not a cult. As for Pagan rite? Define Pagan rite. Much of contemporary Christianity contains pagan rites within it... Christmas, All Saint's Day, Easter as just a FEW examples.


Q's. What is the relation between the Great Architect and the christian God? Are they the same?


Great Architect of the Universe is a TITLE, not a name. Like Father, or GOD or Allah... not a name, simply a title.


If they are the same why is it that they are "named" differently? Why should we not consider Freemasonry as a RELIGION like the others?


Others, what? Freemasonry is not a religion in the sense of a church for several reasons.

1) We offer no religious philosophy
2) We offer no means of approach to the deity
3) We do not ask a man how he knows god
4) We offer no religious catechism

Masonry is a group of men with a faith in god, however a man knows god, dedicated to being better men. The reason for the confusion is that we require a man to profess a faith in god and the immortaility of the soul BEFORE he can become a member, but we never ask a man HOW he knows god, and never try to offer him a way TO god. But like any group of men with faith, we ask god's blessing in all our undertakings.

Masonry holds no position of religious dogma or faith, except that a man HAVE faith in god, whether the man knows god as Buddah, Krishna, Jesus, YHWH, Jehovah, Thor or any other permutation. Nor is proslytizing allowed in lodge. Two subjects are not discussed in lodge, particular faith and politics, as these are divisive and we seek that which unites.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 05:36 PM
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Originally posted by The Axeman
Would that be a Christian Bible, or whatever book corresponds to the Master Mason's chosen religion? Just curious - also, how long have they been giving out the Heirloom bibles? I wonder if my grandfather would have had one, but he left the Lodge in probably '57 or '58. Thanks again


It's a King James Version published by Heirloom, with a Masonic index. This is the one we give our new members (it's the blue one on the bottom for $25):

www.macoy.com...

As for the other Brethren’s question:

My Lodge has been able to keep dues amounts down because we own rental property which supplements our income. But I don’t know of any Lodge in my area that charges more than $40 per year for dues.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 05:37 PM
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Originally posted by Echtelion
What is the relation between the Great Architect and the christian God? More importantly, if the Great Architect is a spiritual entity/being who is the sole creator and/or ruler of the Universe, but not the same "person" as God, then why should we not consider Freemasonry as a RELIGION like the others?
I'd like it if you would answer those question as precisely and honestly as you can, as I am personally considering joining the local lodge, but being a Christian, I'd very much not like to go inside a society that has "conflicting spiritual values" with christianity, if you know what I mean.


Here's my personal take....... In order to be a Mason, you must recognize that there is a spritual being greater than ourselves. It can't get much more vague than that. Because the ceremonies in the lodge do not prescribe how to worship this being, and merely invoke a general recognition, Masonry is not in itself a religion. The specific act of prying to a diety however is religious in nature, so you can not say that religion plays no part in the lodge, or there would be no requirement of belief in a greater being.
Where the conflict arises for many Christians and for Catholics in particular is precisely this vague acceptance of any and all Gods. You can worship any god you choose and be in compliance with the Masonic requirement. Because there is the reference to the "Great Architect", and there is prayer during the meetings and ceremonies, there is the perception that as a group you accept all gods as equally valid, and are not praying specifically to Jesus Christ and to God the Father. This is a significant issue, as you are expressly forbidden to worship any other Gods as a very basic and core tenet of our faith.



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