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i was asked to join the freemasons

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posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 04:43 PM
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reply to post by gdmfs2200
 


Don't you think you should do the honorable thing and discuss it with your grandfather?

Don't you think it would be dishonorable to join the Masons only to share their secrets with those who haven't earned the right to know them?




posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 05:02 PM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


Originally posted by getreadyalready
I still disagree with you. We do not die and get reborn into Masonry, although we do act out the death of a former Mason, it is allegory and symbolism and commitment to one's ideals. It does not forgive us of our sins, nor promise us any reward in Heaven.

Again, I understand where you are coming from, but baptism itself can be considered to be the exact same thing. The person does not really “physically” die during baptism either. Just because something is symbolic does not necessarily remove any spiritual power from it. Again, what the end result is (forgiveness of sins, etc.) does not change that Christians are only supposed to have one “death and rebirth into Christ”, symbolic or otherwise.

Originally posted by getreadyalready
Also, we do not pray to a "generic" God. We pray to the "one, ever-living creator of the Universe." As you said, that may not seem significant, but what you call generic, I call semantics.

All other true religions also accept that there was a “creator”. I don't care if you go with the American Indians, the Ancient Greeks, or even the Satanists. They all believe this way. Its not acceptable for a Christian to equally acknowledge all these other faiths “creator” figures.

Think about it in reverse of what your thinking. You, and others here, are thinking that Christianity is insulting other faiths by not accepting them as equal, but that is not so much the problem. The problem is that you are denying your own faith by doing this. For Christians, we can accept that you don't believe the same as us and respect that, but to acknowledge another deity to be an equal as our own is to “deny that Christ is the one true God”. That is a major no-no for a Christian.

Originally posted by getreadyalready
The big disconnect between me and Christians, and hardcore Christians and Masons is the steadfast requirement to accept that Jesus Christ died for my sins, and Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father/Creator.

The idea is that sin separates us from God, as God is infinitely holy, even a single sin disallows us from his presence. Since we cannot pay the price for even a single infinite sin, so we need a mediator, and that mediator can only be God himself. Only someone who is infinitely holy can pay the infinite price for that sin.

I know that's confusing, so I hope it makes sense.

Originally posted by getreadyalready
I don't believe in any kind of damnation or hell, although I believe if we refuse to evolve spiritually, we eventuallly run out of opportunities and cease to exist on any level. but that is just my belief, not Masonry.

You might be surprised by what some of the early church fathers believed on the topic of hell. Look up the Apocalypse of Peter (the Christian one, not the Gnostic one). Much of what people believe about “hell” today is not biblical, its propaganda from Roman Catholicism. They, of course, used fear as a big motivator to get peoples compliance and willingness to preform “works” for the Church. I am pretty sure that the word “hell” is not even in the bible, there are a bunch of other words that have been translated into the word “hell” in modern translations.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 05:48 PM
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reply to post by defcon5
 



For Christians, we can accept that you don't believe the same as us and respect that, but to acknowledge another deity to be an equal as our own is to “deny that Christ is the one true God”. That is a major no-no for a Christian.


But it is not "another deity" it is the same deity by a different name.

Although, I am somewhat arguing just for the sake of arguing, because I agree with the fact that a true "Christian" has to believe in the infallibility of Christ, and therefore also believe accepting Christ as one's Savior is the only way to reach the Father/Heaven. So, on a religious basis, I entirely agree with you, and I don't believe others with more moderate views should call themselves Christians. I don't believe in the same thing, but I do respect that a Christian should believe those things, and should not accept anything less.

On the issue of Masonry though, this does not conflict with anything in Masonry. If you can be on the same football team as someone from another religion, or work in the same workplace as someone from another religion, then you can be in Masonry with someone from another religion. We are not symbolizing our own death and rebirth. In fact, even Hiram Abiff was not reborn, he was simply moved from the shallow grave of his murderers to a more proper grave, and his death was permanent. When Masons act out this scene as part of our degree work, we are simply being told the story of Hiram Abiff, nothing is ever said or done to indicate we are being killed or reborn. In fact, we are told specifically that we will be playing the role of Hiram Abiff. There is also nothing to indicate any type of spiritual journey, salvation, or anything else. He was simply an honorable man that stuck by his word even though it cost him his life.

We all should be so honorable, Mason or otherwise. Would you give up the secrets of your friends to save your own life? If the answer is no, then you would be a good Mason, but if the answer is yes, then you can be neither a good Mason, nor a good Christian, nor a good man in general.



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 06:30 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 
The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


Originally posted by getreadyalready

For Christians, we can accept that you don't believe the same as us and respect that, but to acknowledge another deity to be an equal as our own is to “deny that Christ is the one true God”. That is a major no-no for a Christian.

But it is not "another deity" it is the same deity by a different name.

But its not just the name. Simply because two faiths both believe in a creator, does not make them the same being, or in any other way even slightly similar. There are even other faiths who don't believe that we were created by a single being, but rather a pantheon of beings, or even through some other sort of natural event.


Originally posted by getreadyalready
We all should be so honorable, Mason or otherwise. Would you give up the secrets of your friends to save your own life? If the answer is no, then you would be a good Mason, but if the answer is yes, then you can be neither a good Mason, nor a good Christian, nor a good man in general.

Christianity already teaches morals according to what they believe is God's Word, so why does a Christian need to be retaught that through the perspective of masonry? What if the two conflict? Is a mason supposed to believe that masons version is superior to their faiths?

Which brings up one more question. If masonry is so accepting of all these other faiths, and does not seek to change anyone’s view of their faith, why do I always get so many disagreements from members here when I bring up Christianities arguments as to why its incompatible? If its so accepting, then there should really not be any discussion here, masons should just accept that Churches say that its a conflict.

For example, lets say that I decide to join, but I tell them I cannot participate in the initiation, swearing an oath (another thing many religions have an issue with), or common prayer, will they still let me join?

If the answer to this is “yes”, then its probably an okay organization for a Christian to join. If their answer is no, and they seek to argue the points with me to change, or override, what my faith teaches... Then they are seeking to change my faith, and are by definition teaching another “religion”.

Now what happens when someone believes that teaching is divine in nature? Are they just supposed to override what their god teaches because the masons disagree with it? That would be putting masonry before your God, making it a god, and thereby idolatry.

I guess that a big part of the point is that according to Christianity no one is to tell you to act in conflict of your faith, or Gods teachings. Masonry does that, and seeks to rebut the problems with arguments of how "innocent" it is, rather then changing their procedures. If you are willing to risk that, then maybe you should re-examine whether you're really a Christian or not, because its arguable that you are not putting God first.

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 06:45 PM
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reply to post by defcon5
 


I think the point is that it's up to the individual to make his decision if masonry is the right choice for him. The church should not be telling anyone what they can and cannot do. The church is nothing more than men who are supposed to be there for guidance in spiritual matters, but somehow evolved into selling salvation for 10%.

Learning to subdue your passions is a key lesson that most Zealous fanatics could benefit from a great deal in my humble opinion. None of us KNOW if our beliefs are 100% correct and we will not until we die. That much is pure fact and is undisputed.



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 06:54 PM
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reply to post by defcon5
 


Moved the most important question to the top to answer first!

For example, lets say that I decide to join, but I tell them I cannot participate in the initiation, swearing an oath (another thing many religions have an issue with), or common prayer, will they still let me join?


Absolutely! We do not take any oaths. We give an obligation to keep our word, but it is not an oath. In the US, most people place their hand upon the Holy Bible to take their obligation, but you could choose any Holy Book you wish. You will never be forced to pray, although you will be given ample opportunities to pray, and you may do so silently or aloud. No one will force you to pray. You will have to believe in one, ever-living creator and not be an atheist, but we won't ask you who you believe that creator is, and we won't question why you believe what you believe.


Christianity already teaches morals according to what they believe is God's Word, so why does a Christian need to be retaught that through the perspective of masonry?


Nobody ever said there was such a need. There are plenty of ways to become a good person, an honorable person, a spiritual person. Masonry is just one way that some people choose to supplement their other beliefs. We don't recruit, and we don't expect anyone to "need" us. In fact, if someone is in need of what we teach then they might not be a good candidate. You already need to have a strong moral fiber to become a Mason.


What if the two conflict? Is a mason supposed to believe that masons version is superior to their faiths?


They wouldn't conflict. But, if someone perceived them to conflict then it means they don't have a good understanding of one or the other.


Which brings up one more question. If masonry is so accepting of all these other faiths, and does not seek to change anyone’s view of their faith, why do I always get so many disagreements from members here when I bring up Christianities arguments as to why its incompatible? If its so accepting, then there should really not be any discussion here, masons should just accept that Churches say that its a conflict.


I don't think this makes much sense? If someone doesn't understand your faith, and they keep trying to tell you what is wrong with your faith, wouldn't you want to correct them? What if they don't understand your job, and they keep telling you your job conflicts with your faith, but you know better, wouldn't you correct them?

When people say it is incompatible, it is always non-Masons saying such things. (Or, sometimes disgruntled ex-Masons I suppose.) So, when Masons debate you on this particular subject, it has nothing to do with accepting your own faith, it only has to do with misinterpreting what Masons do, teach, or stand for.


If the answer to this is “yes”, then its probably an okay organization for a Christian to join. If their answer is no, and they seek to argue the points with me to change, or override, what my faith teaches... Then they are seeking to change my faith, and are by definition teaching another “religion”.

Now what happens when someone believes that teaching is divine in nature? Are they just supposed to override what their god teaches because the masons disagree with it? That would be putting masonry before your God, making it a god, and thereby idolatry.

I guess that a big part of the point is that according to Christianity no one is to tell you to act in conflict of your faith, or Gods teachings. Masonry does that, and seeks to rebut the problems with arguments of how "innocent" it is, rather then changing their procedures. If you are willing to risk that, then maybe you should re-examine whether you're really a Christian or not, because its arguable that you are not putting God first.


This part is just all completely false. No Mason ever tries to override what any faith teaches, and if anyone ever did such a thing they would be brought up on Masonic charges and not welcome in the fraternity. And, if any potential Mason was open to changing their own faith so easily, they probably wouldn't be a very good candidate for Masonry. In fact, we don't "teach" anything at all. There is memorization of the things you need to know to be recognized as a Mason, but it is not very religious in nature. There are some Bible passages in the context of how they relate to one's journey in Masonry, but if you actually went through the degree work you would see how mundane they really are. There is nothing religious in Masonry that has ever been said to me that I haven't already heard 1000 times in normal daily cliches.



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by defcon5

Hey ML, glad to see you're still around after all these years. Your ears must have been ringing, eh?


Thanks!



No, ALL mainline Christian churches teach this.


Sort of, but again, what you call "mainline" are the Roman Catholic Church, its offshoots (Protestantism), and its estranged sister (the Eastern Orthodox communion). Which I've already conceded.



Then what is the point of the “morality” plays? What is the “upright masonic man”? Etc...


A morality play is designed to demonstrate the practice of morality.



I recommend that you go read my links above about “Against Heresies”. This was written by St Irenaeus BEFORE the formation of the Catholic Church or any of the Protestant Churches. He was the student of Polycarp, who was himself the student of John the Apostle. So his training was pretty close to “right from the mouth of Christ”, and already he was having to write a book in an attempt to stem the tide of other “outside” religious teaching from entering into Christian teaching. If you want to know the incompatibility between Gnosticism and true Christianity, I recommend reading his book.


Irenaeus was a Roman Catholic bishop who popularized the notion that the entire Christian world should be subservient to the Bishop of Rome (RCC pope). He challenged Valentinus, the Gnostic Christian bishop, who had been a student of Theudas, who had been a disciple and student of the Apostle Paul. There is no actual historical reason to consider Irenaeus more authoritative in Christianity than Valentinus. Indeed, the former promoted the dogmas that turned the RCC into a dictatorship, while Valentinus was a man of wisdom and peace.



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 09:17 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


spirit, body and mind...



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 10:29 PM
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Originally posted by defcon5
Both Gnosticism and Cabala are considered heretical by Christianity.

These are not necessarily separate from the Christian faith. I'm fairly gnostic in my Christian faith and there is much to Christian mysticism. Only those who see free thinking as a threat to their control would be against both gnosticism and the kabbala (sp?).

While I've never joined an order, I have also been looking at Martinism and the rosicrucians.



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 10:38 PM
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Youve been fooled. They never solicit membership. They dont have to. If you WERE....someone (not a MASON) was pulling your one pant leg up...down.



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 10:41 PM
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reply to post by metodex
 


My father was nearly stalked to join. They pressured him until he did. So clearly the 'rule' you were told to believe does not apply always.

I'm certain that none of you would know the truth about just what the 'Mason's' do if your not on top of the heirarchy.Your only told what 'they' want and 'need' you to know.
edit on 10-4-2012 by Egyptia because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 10:44 PM
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reply to post by Egyptia
 


Im certain that's innacurate. If a man doesn't want to be a mason, no one will ever force them to do so. It would be extremely hard to force any one unwillingly into such a long process any way.



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 10:52 PM
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reply to post by W3RLIED2
 


You are so wrong! When they have their eye on someone, for what ever purpose they don't let up. My dad eventually joined but he went through a period of fear until he finally did so. He has been one ever since and he has become a good puppet.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh to some of you but I saw the transformation in my father whom I loved and adored. I no longer know his soul like I used to. It has been taken over by a spirit that is not him. A part of him exists but the rest is a different spirit that I don't recognize.
edit on 10-4-2012 by Egyptia because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 10:53 PM
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reply to post by Egyptia
 


A good puppet? What exactly does he do that makes him seem puppet like?



posted on Apr, 10 2012 @ 11:26 PM
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You are so wrong! When they have their eye on someone, for what ever purpose they don't let up. My dad eventually joined but he went through a period of fear until he finally did so. He has been one ever since and he has become a good puppet.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh to some of you but I saw the transformation in my father whom I loved and adored. I no longer know his soul like I used to. It has been taken over by a spirit that is not him. A part of him exists but the rest is a different spirit that I don't recognize.
edit on 10-4-2012 by Egyptia because: (no reason given)


Okay yeah now I am going to have to chalk your posts up to delusional. We never ask anyone to join much less pressure them. Perhaps an overzelous mother may pressure a son in order to please the father.....I have sadly seen that.....but masons do not do this. Certainly we do not invoke fear.....how would we cause fear? threaten to with hold our secret pot luck recipes? I mean really what in the world does anyone find so scary among our brothers? Not "movie" masons or boogie man mason stories but among any collection of masons at a lodge? It's uusally a collection of softhearted old men, who are the first to come help when help is needed, unless you have a complex fear of not living up to grandfather's respect we don't hold much in the way of power.....

as to the spirit mumbo jumbo.....I wonder about your so called thological convictions if you beleive such.....you do realize no man nor force can take a man's soul from him.....as it is not his to give. All men are capable of redemption, and therefore all men at all times regardless of what befalls them are very much in possesion of their own spirit. Perhaps he through masonry decided to be more tolerant, charitable to people of other faiths, less inclined for thumping, and lecturing...would that be the sort of evil that befell him....?



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:54 AM
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Originally posted by Egyptia
reply to post by W3RLIED2
 


You are so wrong! When they have their eye on someone, for what ever purpose they don't let up. My dad eventually joined but he went through a period of fear until he finally did so. He has been one ever since and he has become a good puppet.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh to some of you but I saw the transformation in my father whom I loved and adored. I no longer know his soul like I used to. It has been taken over by a spirit that is not him. A part of him exists but the rest is a different spirit that I don't recognize.
edit on 10-4-2012 by Egyptia because: (no reason given)


did you ever think that your irrational fear of masonry is what is holding YOU away from HIM? People don't last forever and time is a very valuable commodity. It's the one thing that is truly irreplaceable. I would suggest talking to your father. Ask him all about what masonry is. Ask him if he enjoys it. Don't sit back and think you know everything. When you get older, you will see that your perceived knowledge right now is nothing. But it will take years to see that. I am a recovering teenager. I once had the knowledge you posses.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 07:57 AM
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Originally posted by Egyptia


You are so wrong!


No, he's absolutely right. No one can become a Mason until they state, on their honor, that they come of their own free will and accord, without mercenary motives, and wish to do so from a desire of knowledge and to contribute to the relief of their fellow men.



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 08:03 AM
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Originally posted by W3RLIED2
reply to post by Egyptia
 


Im certain that's innacurate. If a man doesn't want to be a mason, no one will ever force them to do so. It would be extremely hard to force any one unwillingly into such a long process any way.



It's hard to get the people that DO want to be Masons to get through the whole process. It's hard to get degree work scheduled, get candidates there, get them to learn their catechisms and get back for more degree work later. If the ones that actually want to become Masons have a difficult time arranging schedules and getting it done, imagine how hard it would be to get someone there that didn't want it in the first place.

This was just a silly and irrational accusation. Nobody forces anyone to become a Mason, what would the point of that be? An extra $70 a year to fund the Lodge?



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 08:07 AM
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i actually glad of topics such as this as my perception of Masons is they seem to be Villified by most people for no real reason
as i posted yesterday i dont know much about masons but the limited knowledge i have aquired i have no fear of such people and no reason to doubt they have a hidden agenda
and thanks to all who have posted in this and other topics referring to masons i am going to do lots of reading and hopefully gain a bit more knowledge of such people and what they really are about

i`ll quote what i posted yesterday

"i dont know much about the whole mason thing but i do know of 1 elderly gent who had serious mental health problems and got into legal problems with debts etc
a friend of mine put this elderly gent in touch with a Barrister/Lawyer (who is a mason) who took on his case for him and got all the elderly gents debts wiped in court for free

what did this lawyer charge this old man? Nothing
what did the lawyer make from this act?Nothing
so in my eyes anybody or any organisation that would do such a thing for an elderly man out of pure kindness
would get my support anyday "


people doing such acts as this will get my vote and support any day of the week
also if any of the mason members know of literature i could read that is relevant i would me more than greatfull for pointers in the right direction

edit on 11-4-2012 by YipMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 08:07 AM
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reply to post by gdmfs2200
 


if you are going to join them to spy for those interested in information......DON'T join!



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