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Pastor Russell's Gravesite + The Masons = Urban Myth
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Charles Taze Russell died in 1916, the Pyramid marker was installed in 1921 (5 years after his death), and the The Masonic Temple was built in the mid 1990s, these items have nothing to do with Pastor Russell's grave.
The Masonic Temple is not on the cemetery grounds, it is a different property altogether.
The Rosemont United Cemetery was never a Masonic cemetery.
The sudden death of Pastor Charles Taze Russell, Editor of THE WATCH TOWER, has created a profound impression upon his many friends throughout the world. Hundreds of letters and telegrams received, further evidence the love and esteem in which he was held, and express unqualified desire to cooperate in continuing the great cause for which he stood so many years. Brother Russell left Brooklyn in the evening of October 16, to fill appointments in the West and Southwest, but was obliged to start homeward before his scheduled time, owing to ill health. It was on a Sante Fe train at Pampa, Tex., that he died. Brother Menta Sturgeon, who accompanied him on the trip as his Secretary, telegraphed the information to the headquarters of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY at Brooklyn, adding that "he died a hero."
The body lay in state at Bethel Home Saturday, and at The Temple throughout the day Sunday. In the afternoon at the hour of 2, funeral service was held for the congregation, and in the evening a service was conducted for the public. At about midnight the body was taken to Allegheny, Pa., where in the Carnegie Hall, at 2 in the afternoon of Monday, service was held by the Pittsburgh congregation, of which he had been resident Pastor for many years. Interment took place in Rosemont United Cemeteries at Allegheny, in the Bethel Family plot, according to his request. We rejoice to know that instead of sleeping in death, as the saints of old, he is numbered among those whose "works follow with him." He has met the dear Lord in the air, whom he so loved as to lay down his life faithfully in His service. - November 15, 1916 Watchtower, WTB&TS
"I desire to be buried in the plot of ground owned by our Society, in the Rosemont United Cemetery, and all the details of arrangements respecting the funeral service I leave in the care of my sister, Mrs. M. M. Land, and her daughters, Alice and May, or such of them as may survive me, with the assistance and advice and cooperation of the brethren as they may request the same. Instead of an ordinary funeral discourse, I request that they arrange to have a number of the brethren, accustomed to public speaking, make a few remarks each, that the service be very simple and inexpensive and that it be conducted in the Bible House Chapel or any other place that may be considered equally appropriate or more so." - Last Will and Testament, 6/29/1907.
There is nothing in his will about Masons or even wanting a Pyramid located there.
The pyramid marker was used as a marker for all (275) of the Watchtower Society burial plots in the Cemetery, nothing more. People visiting the Cemetery could look for the pyramid marker to locate the (275) burial plots.
We do not set up any place to worship the dead. We worship a "God of the Living"
Russell is not buried UNDER a Pyramid.
During his return from a ministerial tour of the western and southwestern United States, the already-ill Russell died from the result of multiple ailments on October 31, 1916 in a train car as it approached Pampa, Texas. He was buried in Rosemont United Cemetery, Pittsburgh. The gravesite is marked by both a headstone and a seven-foot tall pyramid memorial erected by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society in 1921.
The cross and crown symbol is not exclusively Masonic. If the Watchtower fault-finders are correct, should we then assume that all Christian groups that use a cross and crown are somehow related to the Masons. These antagonists cannot have it both ways regardless of how hard they try. Some of these people "function" on a level that would be considered true ignorance, others are masters of deception.
Another change in viewpoint involved the “cross and crown” symbol, which appeared on the Watch Tower cover beginning with the issue of January 1891. In fact, for years many Bible Students wore a pin of this kind. By way of description, C. W. Barber writes: “It was a badge really, with a wreath of laurel leaves as the border and within the wreath was a crown with a cross running through it on an angle. It looked quite attractive and was our idea at that time of what it meant to take up our ‘cross’ and follow Christ Jesus in order to be able to wear the crown of victory in due time.”christianity.about.com...
Concerning the wearing of “cross and crown pins,” Lily R. Parnell comments: “This to Brother Rutherford’s mind was Babylonish and should be discontinued. He told us that when we went to the people’s homes and began to talk, that was the witness in itself.” Accordingly, reflecting on the 1928 Bible Students convention in Detroit, Michigan, Brother Suiter writes: “At the assembly the cross and crown emblems were shown to be not only unnecessary but objectionable. So we discarded these items of jewelry.” Some three years thereafter, beginning with its issue of October 15, 1931, The Watchtower no longer bore the cross and crown symbol on its cover.pastorrussell.blogspot.com... - 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, WTB&TS
In his own words:
"We note also that the Order of Free Masons, if judged by its past history, has some secret object or scheme, more than fraternity and financial aid in time of sickness or death. And, so far as we can judge, there is a certain amount of worship or mummery connected with the rites of this order and some others, which the members do not comprehend, but which, in many cases, serves to satisfy the cravings of the natural mind for worship, and thus hinders it from seeking the worship of God in spirit and in truth—through Christ, the only appointed Mediator and Grand Master. In proportion as such societies consume valuable time in foolish, senseless rites and ceremonies, and in substituting the worship of their officers, and the use of words and symbols which have no meaning to them, for the worship of God, in his appointed way—through Christ, and according to knowledge and the spirit of a sound mind—in that proportion these societies are grievous evils, regardless of the financial gains or losses connected with membership in them." — June, 1895, Zion's Watch Tower, page 143
"There are certain conditions,—the low gate, the narrow way, the difficult path.Although I have never been a Mason, I have heard that in Masonry they have something which very closely illustrates this" ... "Many Masons shake hands with me and give me what I know is their grip; they don't know me from a Mason. Something I do seems to be the same as Masons do, I don't know what it is; but they often give me all kinds of grips and I give them back, then I tell them I don't know anything about it except just a few grips that have come to me naturally." — June, 1913; Convention discourse. - "The Temple of God" - "Convention Report Se
He emphasizes this, saying, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you." (#Joh 13:34.) Ah, we get the thought that the Church is a blessed brotherhood of all those who not only love God supremely, so that they delight to do His will, even at the cost of self-interest, but who also love one another as Christ loved them, which signifies to the extent of willingness to lay down their lives for one another! We look in vain for such an organization amongst men. We perceive various bundles or organizations under various names, all professing love, but none of them even dreaming of union with such bonds of love. We are not forgetting the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, the Episcopalians, the Lutherans, the Roman Catholics, etc. But none of these claim to be such a brotherhood as our Lord has described. They do indeed claim to give special attention to each other’s interests, and to have certain reverence for God, but not to the extent that our Master intimated—not to the extent of laying down their lives in doing the will of the Father and in their love for the brethren. - Sermon Book / SM697 - The Brotherhood of Christ
"This brings before us the whole question of orders, societies, etc., and what privileges the New Creation has in connection with such organizations. Is it right for them to be members of these societies? We answer that while Church associations are purely religious, and labor and beneficial organizations in general are purely secular, there are still other orders which combine the religious and the secular features. As we understand the matter, for instance, the Free Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, etc., perform certain rites and ceremonies of a religious kind... We place upon one level all of those who have any religious ceremonies, teachings, etc., and consider them all as parts of Babylon ... We admonish the New Creation to have nothing whatever to do with any of these semi-religious societies, clubs, orders, churches; but to "Come out from amongst them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing." (`2 Cor. 6:17`)" —1904; "The New Creation", pp. 580-581
I am not judging at all, I am merely saying, so far as I can tell. But my understanding is, that all of these are bundles, and each bundle is getting tighter. Some of you know a great deal more about Freemasonry than I do, and I am not here to say anything against it, because I do not know anything to say, and I do not know as I would say it if I did know it. The Lord did not send me to preach against Masonry or Odd Fellowship, nor against Presbyterianism or Methodism. Our opportunity is to tell the truth, to preach the true gospel of Christ, and the Lord says that this message is to have its effects on the different hearts. Now, if you find yourself in any kind of a bundle, you know that is not the program so far as the wheat is concerned. The wheat is to he gathered into the garner; it is not to be put into bundles in the present life. The wheat is to be free. If you find yourself in any kind of a bundle, better get out of the bundle. Trust in the Lord, and be in harmony with Him, and this will take you out of all kinds of bundles and human organizations, I believe.
I should, perhaps, say a cautionary word here to the effect that I would understand this would mean, for instance, that if I were a carpenter I would prefer to be at liberty, but if it were demanded of me that I should join a union before I could have work, and that I must pay so much of my money into that union's coffers, I should join. I should understand that I was making so much of a contribution to the general weal of the carpenters, and I would have no hesitation in the matter, because there is nothing of a religious kind there. There is nothing that would fetter my heart or mind. But if that organization should do anything I could not approve, I would feel perfectly free to withdraw at any time. So I would make that limitation. But, so far as wheat and tares are concerned, I think there are plenty of bundles all around you, and I notice, too, that these different worldly organizations, if we may so call them in contradistinction to church organizations, are also taking the same methods the church people are taking. It used to be very easy to withdraw from one of the churches and you could say, "I will thank you for a letter," and then they would take the letter and never deposit it, but burn it up, if they desired. And so with the Masons; they had a method by which anyone desiring to leave the order could ask for a demit and he would get that without any particular question. I have been informed that now this is changed somewhat. If you are a Presbyterian, and you wish a letter, they say, "To which church do you wish the letter addressed?" You say, "Oh, just make it out anyway." "Oh we do not do that now; we will give you a letter to a certain, particular church and it is to he deposited there--good when deposited there." And so I am informed that our Freemason friends are doing the same thing; they do not give demits now. If you wish to be transferred to another lodge they will transfer you, but they do not give demits now in the same way they formerly did.
A Brother: Brother Russell, I am a Mason and, unfortunately, hold a high position in the order, and I would like to make a little correction on that. A Mason is perfectly free to leave when he feels so disposed. No restraint whatever is placed upon him.
Brother Russell: I told you in the beginning that I did not know about it myself; I was only relating what a brother told me.
Another Brother: I was a Mason in a different jurisdiction from that of the brother. It may he all right in his particular jurisdiction, but it is not the same in other jurisdictions, as I know.
Brother Russell: You will notice that we never have anything to say against any of these. We have not said an unkind word about Freemasonry, and you never read anything unkind that we have ever said about it, and I do not wish to say anything unkind about Presbyterianism, or Methodism. I think that many of the dear friends in these denominations are good people, and I appreciate their characters. What I talk about sometimes is Presbyterian doctrine, and they talk about it, too. And I have read things they have said about Presbyterian doctrines far harder than anything I have ever said. I sometimes quote in the Watch Tower some things Presbyterians say about their own doctrine, and I occasionally quote in the Watch Tower something the Methodists say about their doctrine, because they say it stronger than I should wish to say it. —1908, Convention Question Meeting - "The Question Book", pp. 318 - 319
Alleged connections with Freemasonry
Several decades after his death, it was alleged that Russell had links with Freemasonry. Some have claimed that various symbols Russell employed in his published literature are Masonic in nature, and that such associations implied he engaged in occult activity. In later editions of the Studies in the Scriptures series a winged solar disk was stamped on the front cover, a symbol that is also associated with Freemasonry. However, Russell's use of the winged solar-disk originated from his understanding of Malachi 4:2, which denotes a sun with wings, as a symbol that Christ's millennial Kingdom had begun to emerge. Some critics also cla
Several decades after his death, it was alleged that Russell had links with Freemasonry. Some have claimed that various symbols Russell employed in his published literature are Masonic in nature, and that such associations implied he engaged in occult activity. In later editions of the Studies in the Scriptures series a winged solar disk was stamped on the front cover, a symbol that is also associated with Freemasonry. However, Russell's use of the winged solar-disk originated from his understanding of Malachi 4:2, which denotes a sun with wings, as a symbol that Christ's millennial Kingdom had begun to emerge. Some critics also claim that the pyramid near Russell's gravesite is Masonic, because of its shape and its use of the Cross and Crown symbol, although this remains disputed. Despite these claims, the Grand Lodge officially stated that Russell was not a Freemason, and the symbols used are not exclusive to Masonry but pre-date the fraternity. The Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology notes that Russell's supporters, along with other Christian churches have "shown a marked aversion to Spiritualism and other occult phenomena. Very early in the group’s history Russell attacked Spiritualism (which he called Spiritism)". In June 1913, during his trans-continental speaking tour, Russell gave a discourse in a Masonic hall in San Francisco, where he stated: "Although I have never been a Mason ... Something I do seems to be the same as Masons do, I don't know what it is; but they often give me all kinds of grips and I give them back, then I tell them I don't know anything about it except just a few grips that have come to me naturally". Throughout his ministry he stated that he believed Christian identity is incompatible with Freemasonry, and that Freemasonry, Knights of Pythias, Theosophy, and other such groups are "grievous evils" and "unclean". An official Freemason website states: "Russell was not a Freemason. Neither the symbols found in the Watchtower nor the cross and crown symbol
originally posted by: Prene
a reply to: sapien82
In America its very easy to legitimize things by getting a government stamp. Americans believe any book published, anything with a upc or factory style packaging is legit. This goes for anything touched by feds also.
originally posted by: Blueracer
originally posted by: Fools
I wonder what in the hell is going on yesterday (Aug 30). Here is the vlogger I found this information from:
You posted on August 1st but you said yesterday was August 30. How is that possible?