J and Berry,
Let me start by saying hello and peace be with you both. For the record, I am indeed a Mason. I happened upon your site and found this thread and thought it would be worthwhile to join in on this discussion and perhaps create a few threads of my own. I am a baptised Catholic, and was educated in Catholic schools , I thank God for the discipline and education I recieved from those fine Sisters. With that said, perhaps I could offer up some insight into the fraternity that is Free Masonry.
A statement has been made that “they do not believe Christ is the only way to heavan”. To set the record straight, Masonry teaches no Dogma. Each man is free to seek his spiritual path as he see’s fit. In the USA the “Volume of Sacred Law” in the lodge is the KJV. We are taught to live our lives by the knowledge inculcated within the book. With that understanding it is clear that we do indeed promote Christian values.
Fundamentalist Christians, or “neo-christians” as I like to call them are currently choosing Masonry as their latest target for “ministry”. It is true that I can be in a lodge with men of different faiths and still recognise them as brothers. It is also true that religion and politics are not discussed when the lodge is “at work”. I think that’s one of the biggest problems that Catholics have had with Masonry in the past. I can remember the look my Dad got from Fr. McHugh on Thanksgiving day 30 years ago when he saw his Masonic ring. But they had known eachother for decades and FR. McHugh knew my father was a just man and devout Catholic.
I studied about the conflicts for many months before I decided to petition a lodge. I began to study history and philosophy with a passion that remains with me to this day. You see…after I left my parents home I stopped going to Mass. Eventually I met my wife and we began attending an Evangelical church.(She was a southern Baptist that couldn’t relate to being Catholic so we met in the middle) We became very active in lay ministry and hosted a bible study group in our home for several years. When I spoke to “fundies”, as I now call them, they told me that Masonry was of satan. So I researched and studied and poured over the scriptures and prayed fervently before making my desicion. All of that research led me to the conclusion that the neo-christian fundamentilst movement is one of intolerance, greed and hate….not the love of Christ. As a matter of fact the “fundies” believe that Roman Catholics are of satan as well! If your beliefs don’t fit into their subjective interpretation of scripture then YOU must be wrong. They will actually resort to lies and deciet to further their agenda, not very christian of them is it? I took thier claims and sought the truth to come to these conclusions. I am involved on other discussion boards and am quickly becoming a Masonic apologist. Some of the “anti” boards censor and delete post when the debate becomes one they can not defend. I don’t frequent those sites any longer, though I do indeed search for those discussion forums where all opinions may be heard. I hope that this is such a forum for free thought.
Also, we are not a “secret society”, if we were you wouldn’t know of us.
Our actions are posted in local newsprint and you will find a Masonic embelem upon entering the city, or any other city with a lodge in it for that matter. Many of my brothers in my lodge ar indeed Cathoilcs and I have discussed the issue with them as well. They see no conflict. Now if you are someone that must be evangelizing to every person you meet , in every situation, I could see how you might have a problem with Masonry, but consider this, if you were in a board room making a presentation to your CEO would choose that moment to share your testimony? Perhaps you would, perhaps not, personally I look for “teachable moments” to share my faith with others. Sorry to ramble on for so long. I hope we can have further discussions regarding Masonry and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our Order. May the peace of Christ be you all.
Tuolumne East Belt #8,