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posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 05:46 PM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
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)

Well said!




posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by InterceptorKnight
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.


This seems a misunderstanding to me. As a Monotheist, I believe there is only one God... there are no other ones to be "equally valid" with. This God is worshipped by Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and all other faiths, really, it's just that they worship God in different ways. Now, that's just my belief, not a Masonic belief, but I am a Christian and have no problem with anything that goes on in Lodge.

If you sincerely believe that being a Christian means that it's wrong to sit and pray with men from other Faiths, I wonder why you continue being a Mason? Being a Knight of Colombus or something might be more appropriate. I say this without rancour, of course, just mystification that you continue doing something you consider to be against your faith.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 06:21 PM
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Interceptor, you wrote:

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.


Here is the true answer, and I know at first it is hard to accept, but follow me here:

Masonry takes no position on god, His nature, His faith, His will, how to approach Him, or how to worship Him, nor even how to address Him.

Now, taking no position means, taking no position

Taking no position does not mean willy nilly acceptance of anything, it simply means that Masonry allows each brother to know god as he sees fit, which, in itself, is proof that Masonry is not a religion, but a FELLOWSHIP of men WITH faith.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 06:52 PM
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Exactly.... a Fellowship of men with faith.... Nicely said!

Now, Your religion is more than likely just the influence of where and around whom you grew up with. If a person gre up in Iraq, then they are probably Muslim. If they grew up in India, they are probably hindu or muslim. If the US Christian. Ok, now we all may different "Faiths", but the ideal is the same. We are all striving for the same things, just with different ceremonies, practices, and names. But, the basic tenets are the same.... Love one another, try to make the world a better place, and earn you space next to Om Tat Sat. YHWH, JEHOVAH, BRAHMA, ALLAH, RA, THE TETRAGRAMATON. Hu, So Ham, Ham Sa. All Energy! All Time and Space! The Seven Heavens! Known through His Four Faces (Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, Material). All Knowing, All Seeing. The Redeemer, Circular or Spiral in Nature. The Quickener, The One, The Eternal One, The Supreme Guru, I Am, The Supreme Oversoul, Lord, the Logos, The Supreme Buddha, The Light and the Sound, The Voice of the Dove, The King of Kings, The Lord of Lords, The Lord of Love, Source, The Self-Existent One, The Unnamed One, Revelation, Awe, The Divine Lover, The Refuge, The Eternal Light, The Ancient, Recent and Future of Days, The Higher Way, The Lord God of Hosts, The Living Ever Lasting Light, The Exalted One, The Provider, The Annointer, The Indweller, The Deliverer, The Alpha and Omega, The Great Spirit, The Force, The Holy Name, The Infinite Way, The Immortal One, The Protector, The Compassionate One, The Sublime, The Great One, The Wise One, The Restorer, The First, The Guide, The Everlasting, The Originator, The Merciful One, The Supreme Hierophant, The Everything, The Nothingness, The Supreme Who is One but Whose Names are Many. That which is Unfathomable or one of the many many other names........



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 07:07 PM
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Originally posted by theron dunn
Now, taking no position means, taking no position
Taking no position does not mean willy nilly acceptance of anything, it simply means that Masonry allows each brother to know god as he sees fit, which, in itself, is proof that Masonry is not a religion, but a FELLOWSHIP of men WITH faith.


You can not have or state it both ways. It does take the position that there is a supreme being. It does have a willy nilly acceptance of anything which you see fit as your personal supreme being.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 07:17 PM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
This seems a misunderstanding to me. As a Monotheist, I believe there is only one God... there are no other ones to be "equally valid" with. This God is worshipped by Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, and all other faiths, really, it's just that they worship God in different ways. Now, that's just my belief, not a Masonic belief, but I am a Christian and have no problem with anything that goes on in Lodge.


Christian "Monotheism" differs from the 2 other primary Monotheistic religions out there. The belief in Jesus Christ as the son of God the trinity sets apart Christianity. The Christian view of God is so different than some of the other views, that it is hard to say that they all have equal merit.


Originally posted by AlexKennedy
If you sincerely believe that being a Christian means that it's wrong to sit and pray with men from other Faiths, I wonder why you continue being a Mason? Being a Knight of Colombus or something might be more appropriate. I say this without rancour, of course, just mystification that you continue doing something you consider to be against your faith.


I have no issues praying with those of different faiths. The Pope himself has prayed with those of different faiths in a spirit of fellowship.
I was merely stating the common Christian and especially Catholic perception regarding the Blue Lodge rituals.
This has been something I have struggled somewhat with over the years.
I am a 3rd degree Knight of Columbus by the way.


[edit on 17-6-2004 by InterceptorKnight]



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by InterceptorKnight
You can not be a Monotheist and a Christian concurrently. Either you are one or the other. Either you are a Monotheist and believe purely in one god, or you are a Christian an believe in Christ and the Trinity. Which are you?


You and I obviously don't agree on the meaning of the Trinity. The Trinity has three persons, yes, but only one God. That's the whole purpose of the "Trinity!" Otherwise, it would just be three Gods.

I do not believe that Christ was the entirety of God. I believe that Christ was the indwelling of the Logos into human matter. That, to me, seems a Christian belief, and certainly one shared with the Apostle John.

By the way, how dare you propose to dictate to me the limits of my faith? Are you sure you're a Freemason?



I have no issues praying with those of different faiths. The Pope himself has prayed with those of different faiths in a spirit of fellowship.
I was merely stating the common Christian and especially Catholic perception regarding the Blue Lodge rituals.
This has been something I have struggled somewhat with over the years.
I am a 3rd degree Knight of Columbus by the way.


Well, that's fine, you have the right to see it as you please. I wasn't suggesting that I wanted you to STOP being a Freemason, simply that I thought it was odd you are a member of an organisation which you found upsetting.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 07:52 PM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
You and I obviously don't agree on the meaning of the Trinity. The Trinity has three persons, yes, but only one God. That's the whole purpose of the "Trinity!" Otherwise, it would just be three Gods.


I apologize for my not editting my post before you began to type your reply. Please note that I reworded the mention of the trinity before you posted your reply.


Originally posted by AlexKennedyI do not believe that Christ was the entirety of God. I believe that Christ was the indwelling of the Logos into human matter. That, to me, seems a Christian belief, and certainly one shared with the Apostle John.
By the way, how dare you propose to dictate to me the limits of my faith? Are you sure you're a Freemason?


As a Freemason, I am forbidden to discuss specifics of religion and politics within the lodge. This public forum is not a lodge.
I must differ on your personal interpretation of Jesus Christ in relation to the predominant Christian tenets. See John 1:1


Originally posted by AlexKennedy
Well, that's fine, you have the right to see it as you please. I wasn't suggesting that I wanted you to STOP being a Freemason, simply that I thought it was odd you are a member of an organisation which you found upsetting.


Once again, we are discussing common Christian perceptions, not necessarily my own firm personal beliefs.

[edit on 17-6-2004 by InterceptorKnight]



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 11:47 PM
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Well thank you for the exhaustive answer you gave me, Masonic Light!

When I was using the term "pagan", it was, obviously, in the most common sense of the word, which is usually this generality animistic rites which are referred to in the Bible and that found their source into the celtic/druid ancestral culture

Just as I thought, you confirmed me that the Freemasons were indeed mystics, if not gnostics, so I guess that this is not my spiritual bandwagon...
Even if christian members of the Rite do not see any conflict between the masonic rites and their own christian faith, there IS truly a conflict between mysticism and christian faith, as the Bible clearly says that there is only one true alliance between mens and the absolute that is God, and that is the way of the Christ.

As for the quest for Truth... Mens should search for their own redemption before thinking about finding supreme Truth... if there is one. But here that`s just my opinion, and I guess it does`nt matter to any of you.

After a second thought, I think I'll stink with Catholism... of course the Church has never been all perfect (after all the clergy is made of humans, not angels!), but at least they admit their sins, even if that takes hundreds of years.



posted on Jun, 17 2004 @ 11:53 PM
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InterceptorKnight, you wrote:

You can not have or state it both ways. It does take the position that there is a supreme being. It does have a willy nilly acceptance of anything which you see fit as your personal supreme being.

Actually, you can. You see, since MASONRY (the fellowship) takes no position on a religion, and only requires for membership that a man believe in A supreme being, however the man knows god, Masonry is not accepting, or denying anything.

Why is it so hard to understand not taking a position? Masonry does not accept any religious faith, nor does it deny any religious faith... it, in fact, offers NO OPINION on any religious belief.

Therefore, you can have both, because it is up to the INDIVIDUAL MASON, not the fellowship... further proof, by the way, that Masonry is not a religion.

I hope this helps clear that up for you...



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 12:12 AM
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Originally posted by theron dunn
Why is it so hard to understand not taking a position? Masonry does not accept any religious faith, nor does it deny any religious faith... it, in fact, offers NO OPINION on any religious belief.
Therefore, you can have both, because it is up to the INDIVIDUAL MASON, not the fellowship... further proof, by the way, that Masonry is not a religion.


Where we are differing is the focus of the subject. We both agree that the Lodge takes no position favoring one specific organized religion or another. We both agree that in order to be a member, you are required to believe in a diety, whichever form your diety may take. Also we should both agree that while the Lodge is opened and closed, prayer to this diety takes place.
My original statement refers to this prayer invoked to the Supreme Architect of the Universe. I bring this up in order to promote discussion as a response to the Christian bias that this prayer is somehow not proper because of the inferrence of this god being ambiguous.



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 12:33 AM
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But it's not a Christian bias at all. It's a bias that some people claiming to be Christians have. You say you're not inflammatory, and then you bring up arguments and refuse to say whether you believe them yourself or not? That sounds like starting an argument just for the sake of starting an argument, and it has another, uglier name which I will not bring up.



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 04:59 AM
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Originally posted by InterceptorKnight
I bring this up in order to promote discussion as a response to the Christian bias that this prayer is somehow not proper because of the inferrence of this god being ambiguous.



So by your own argument - the Christians who oppose freemasonry are in the wrong.
As you've already said, freemasonry is not a religion and it does not promote religion. It therefore stands that the Christians who oppose are trying to promote a religion in an Order where none exists.

Masonry does not treat God as ambiguous. It treats Him as personal. It's exactly the other extreme to the one which you are implying.

I have no sympathy for the argument. I see it as being close minded. It also creates devisiveness and conflict out of nothing.



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 08:44 AM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
But it's not a Christian bias at all. It's a bias that some people claiming to be Christians have. You say you're not inflammatory, and then you bring up arguments and refuse to say whether you believe them yourself or not? That sounds like starting an argument just for the sake of starting an argument, and it has another, uglier name which I will not bring up.


You missunderstand my statement. I do see merit in the position or I wouldn't have brought it up. I however have not made a firm stance on it.
When the Catholic Church and the Protestant organizations accept freemasonry without protesting the way of recognizing the diety, then you can state that there is no Christian bias. You can state that not all Christians object, but there is a bias out there.
So, you are saying that this subject is not open for discussion? Is this tabboo in this forum?



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 08:54 AM
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Originally posted by Leveller
So by your own argument - the Christians who oppose freemasonry are in the wrong.
As you've already said, freemasonry is not a religion and it does not promote religion. It therefore stands that the Christians who oppose are trying to promote a religion in an Order where none exists.
Masonry does not treat God as ambiguous. It treats Him as personal. It's exactly the other extreme to the one which you are implying.
I have no sympathy for the argument. I see it as being close minded. It also creates devisiveness and conflict out of nothing.


Um....no. I see some merit in the position, or I would not be bringing it up. I have not come to the conclusion at this point for me personally that it is contradictory to my Christian beliefs, or I would not be even bothering to discuss this, and would remove myself from my lodge.
The merit I see is that freemasonry most definitely does treat God as ambiguouis. By opening and closing the lodge with prayer, you are paying respect to a diety. By taking no stance on what this diety is, other than labeling it the Great Architect, I see this as being deliberately ambiguous.
The conflict already exists. I am bringing my own doubts along with bringing up the most popular reasons why many Christian organizations object to freemasonry for the purpose of discussion.
As I said previously, I did not think this subject was taboo to discuss in this public forum. To hang a label of a trouble maker on me instead of being willing to discuss this is being closed minded.



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 10:17 AM
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Originally posted by InterceptorKnight
The conflict already exists. I am bringing my own doubts along with bringing up the most popular reasons why many Christian organizations object to freemasonry for the purpose of discussion.


Yes, some Christian organisations believe that there's something wrong with addressing God as "The Great Architect of the Universe" rather than in a different way? So what? Most Masons don't have a problem with this, and it's not up to the aforementioned "Christian Organisations" to make a decision one way or another about what we do.

The reason you're being labelled a troll (not a "troublemaker," IK) is because you are bringing up an argument which is de facto settled. Yes, for example, much of the Southern Baptist congregation thinks there's something wrong with Freemasonry. But most Freemasons don't. There's nothing to argue. If you feel that God hates Freemasonry, then that's your belief, and as long as you don't try to impose that on other people, that's your business.

In essence, what I'm saying IK, is that it's not our responsibility here on this board to figure out for you whether you should be a Mason or not. If you decide that it's incompatible with your principles to have a "vague" God (BTW: what you call vague, I call accurate, since no-one has any true perception of God, and it is Hubris of the highest order for us to assume God's characteristics), then by all means get out of your Lodge. Just don't try to extend your personal beliefs to all Christians, as you've done already on a couple of occasions here.

To re-iterate, no, the subject you're bringing up is not taboo, it's simply already settled. If you brought up the old idea that Masons are Satanists because they sit in open Lodge with Muslims and Jews, that wouldn't be Taboo either, merely stupid and already settled: if you choose to believe some form of behaviour to be religiously "wrong," there's nothing I can do about your belief.



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 10:48 AM
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Originally posted by InterceptorKnight

Originally posted by Leveller

Masonry does not treat God as ambiguous. It treats Him as personal. It's exactly the other extreme to the one which you are implying.



The merit I see is that freemasonry most definitely does treat God as ambiguouis. By opening and closing the lodge with prayer, you are paying respect to a diety. By taking no stance on what this diety is, other than labeling it the Great Architect, I see this as being deliberately ambiguous.



Why is it so difficult to just look at it like this. When I, as a Christian, say "The Great Architect Of The Universe", I am referring to my God as I believe him to be. Now, on the other side of that coin, when a Muslim says "The Great Architect Of The Universe", in his heart, he is referring to his God as believes him to be - Allah. It's the same with any monotheist. Just because I see The Great Architect as my God, doesn't mean another man can't see it differently. Just because men of different faiths pray together doesn't mean they are praying to any other God than their own. Masons, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there is a rule that you can't mentally add "In Jesus' Name", or "Allah be praised" to the group prayer. I am having trouble believing that men who are apparently quite intelligent cannot grasp this concept. I think what these gentlemen are trying to get across is that you have to believe in A Supreme Being, it doesn't matter how you see him personally. Say I started a club, but to join my club, you have to like fruit. So what if Bob likes apples and George likes oranges, they both like a fruit, so they can both be in my club... I never said what kind of fruit you have to like. If people can come together on the fact that there is ONLY ONE SUPREME BEING, really the rest is just semantics.


Please remember I am not a Mason and I am not representing them or presuming to know more about it than anyone else, I just feel like I understand the concept, and I don't see what's so hard about it.



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by Echtelion
Even if christian members of the Rite do not see any conflict between the masonic rites and their own christian faith, there IS truly a conflict between mysticism and christian faith, as the Bible clearly says that there is only one true alliance between mens and the absolute that is God, and that is the way of the Christ.


I do not understand your reasoning here. Christianity is the most mystical religion Im aware of, and Ive studied many. This holds true especially for Roman Catholicism, which is more mystical in nature than the Protestants (especially in the Churchs doctrine of the Mystic Transubstantiation of the Eucharist). Both Thomas Aquinas and Augustine proudly wore the title of Christian Mystic, and are two of the most important thinkers in Catholicism.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
The reason you're being labelled a troll is because you are bringing up an argument which is settled. .
In essence, what I'm saying IK, is that it's not our responsibility here on this board to figure out for you whether you should be a Mason or not. Just don't try to extend your personal beliefs to all Christians, as you've done already on a couple of occasions here.
To re-iterate, no, the subject you're bringing up is not taboo, it's simply already settled. If you brought up the old idea that Masons are Satanists because they sit in open Lodge with Muslims and Jews, that wouldn't be Taboo either, merely stupid and already settled: if you choose to believe some form of behaviour to be religiously "wrong," there's nothing I can do about your belief.


So....to insite conversation and to bring out opinions by expressing an opinion differring from yours is to be an internet "troll"? Wow.........looks like I hit a soft spot.
On several occasions I brought out an opinion which you admit exists in certain Christian circles. One of them being the official position of the Catholic church. I do not pretent to speak for all Christians, I merely state that such opinion exists in Christian circles.
I am not looking for you to make my personal moral judgement, I just wish to bring out information and opinions which people have. This board obviously has people from varied backgrounds including active Masons who are knowledgeable in their craft. What better place than this to discuss such subjects in a civil manor, since we are prohibited from discussing them within the lodge? To say that because the common belief within the Blue Lodge is "x", therefore the issue is settled for all, does not make sense.
There is no need to make this personal, and if I am being disruptive to the board, I will not continue on this current line of discussion.



posted on Jun, 18 2004 @ 11:24 AM
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Originally posted by InterceptorKnight

Originally posted by AlexKennedy
The reason you're being labelled a troll is because you are bringing up an argument which is settled.


So....to insite conversation and to bring out opinions by expressing an opinion differring from yours is to be an internet "troll"?


Maybe you should try reading the post you yourself quoted. Allow me to reiterate: The reason you're being labelled a troll is because you are bringing up an argument which is de facto settled.

That is to say, the people who believe it's unChristian to refer to God as "The Great Architect of the Universe" have their belief, and the people who don't believe that have their belief. As long as neither group tries to enforce their belief on anyone else, I don't see what there is to argue. Are you saying to me that you have some factual evidence that proves that I am wrong to call myself a Christian and believe as I believe? I don't think so... you certainly haven't presented any. Do I have any factual evidence that those who believe that calling God "The Great Architect of the Universe" are wrong? I don't, no, only my deeply held belief that they are wrong. So what is there to discuss?

See, the problem, IK, is that you're confusing fractiousness about faith with actual reasoned arguement. Now, if you presented an arguable thesis such as "I do not believe that Christians should be allowed to be Freemasons," then we'd have something to discuss. Instead, you're writing "Well, here's the opinion some Christian groups have about Freemasonry. How do you feel about that?" Well, I feel it's a foolish belief and that it's wrong. What else is there to say?

[edit on 18-6-2004 by AlexKennedy]




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