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Unorthodox Doctrinal Discussion orthodox and unorthodox Christians only - A forum to discuss/debate theological doctrines not accepted by mainstream evangelical Christianity (eg. full preterism, unitarianism).

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  #1  
Unread 28th November 2010, 05:22 PM
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The evil of Freemasonry

You might be interested in a letter I recent wrote ...

The Most Worshipful, the Grand Master

I am appalled at what I read in the recent publication of the proceedings of the September 2010 Quarterly communications. I am referring to the comments made by the Grand Treasurer on page six and seven of those proceedings as appearing in the recent edition of The Queensland Freemason.

Without any foundation the Grand Treasurer has labelled members of Cooroora Lodge with ‘a despicable act of betrayal to the brotherhood’. His comments could only have been made with the knowledge, and indeed, the support of yourself and Grand Lodge.

To direct the words ‘despicable act of betrayal’ at anyone other than someone charged and found guilty of an act of treason is an act of emotional and psychological violence that cannot be otherwise justified or defended. For too long Grand Lodge has hidden behind the facade of never speaking ill of any Brother to attack and belittle those who happen to question the puissant power of the Anne Street echelon. The virtue of silence has been a convenient and effective camouflage to expedite the vitriol that has emanated from Grand Lodge without fearing any avenue of redress. In this respect, the cruel and bitter criticism directed at otherwise well respected Brethren is akin to the scourge of domestic violence which has also hitherto hidden behind a wall of silence.

It is time speak out.

As a serving member of Cooroora Lodge, where I had the pleasure to sit with my father, I am aware and bear witness to the proceedings in closing the lodge. To brand our collective decision as you have born witness thereto is both tragic as it is unconscionable. The procedure that the Brethren followed was in line with Masonic principles and practice.

The ensuing course of conducted persued by Grand Lodge has led to the expelling of two members who have done nothing morally, ethically or criminally questionable. Another member has been emotionally and psychological scarred by the experience.

In the process of pursuing particular members my personal communication to Grand Lodge has been appropriated and used as evidence in a court case against honourable men for no good purpose other than to cause personal anguish and unnecessary legal expenses. The only reason I was alerted to the actions of Grand Lodge was when my name, to my complete surprise, appeared in a newspaper report. That a private communication should find its way into the public domain to be used in this cavalier fashion has caused personal anguish and distress, a point I made to the Grand Secretary personally for which, incidentally, I have never received an apology.

To carry such motion as moved by the Grand Treasurer against Cooroora Lodge members is not only ethically questionable but totally destroys ... calls for harmony within the Brotherhood. Furthermore, to attempt to justify the ‘grab for cash’ mentality of Grand Lodge by appealing to scripture for biblical support likewise demonstrates a peculiar manipulation of those texts to validate behaviour which is otherwise unsupported, and indeed condemned, by those very texts to which such appeal has been made.

To besmirch my father’s name, along with others, demonstrates the complete lack of those Masonic ideals of which you at length illustrate ...

That we as members of the Grand Lodge only pursue the highest and the best.
That each and every one of us sets the highest standards of morality and virtue, and that we constantly guide our conversations and even our very thoughts within the compass of propriety.

... and demonstrates the hollowness and insincerity with which you apply those ideals.

Living with the events that unfolded leading up to and surrounding the closing of Cooroora Lodge has not been easy. I have endeavoured to justify and ameliorated the actions of Grand Lodge by remaining silent. But by remaining silent I now realize does nothing but serve the interest of those who use emotional and psychological bullying as a way of getting their own way.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. (Martin Luther King Jr. (1928 - 1968).

It is time to speak out against the silence that allows the cycle of cruelty and abuse to continue and flourish. Enough is enough. It has to stop - it will stop - but only when the tyranny of silence is broken.

My own integrity cannot allow me to belong to an organization that is so hypocritical of its own ritual and principles. I therefore resign forthwith from the United Grand Lodge of Queensland.
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  #2  
Unread 30th November 2010, 05:17 AM
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Hmm .. I would have thought some comment would have been forthcoming.
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  #3  
Unread 30th November 2010, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wayseer View Post
Hmm .. I would have thought some comment would have been forthcoming.
I refrained from commenting because, as you may know, my opinions are very similar to your own on this matter.

I would think, however, that pro-Masonic posters here might have stepped up to this plate by now.
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  #4  
Unread 30th November 2010, 05:03 PM
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I haven't chipped in because I do not know the details that provoked the GL's actions. Cordially, Skip
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  #5  
Unread 30th November 2010, 05:49 PM
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Yes. I am interested in why the Grand Lodge would make this accusation and what was involved?
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  #6  
Unread 30th November 2010, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by wayseer View Post
Hmm .. I would have thought some comment would have been forthcoming.
Okay. Here is my comment. It's just as well. You had no business being there to begin with (absolutely no disrespect to your father or mine). I'm sorry, Brother, but you did ask for a comment.
I'll go away now.
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  #7  
Unread 30th November 2010, 08:32 PM
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I haven't chipped in because I do not know the details that provoked the GL's actions.
For once, my sentiments exactly. Whether it's my kids, or the church, or the lodge, there are always disagreements, mainly because they all involve human beings. My thought from the first read was, "Okay, now what's the other side of the story?"
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Unread 30th November 2010, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev Wayne View Post
For once, my sentiments exactly. Whether it's my kids, or the church, or the lodge, there are always disagreements, mainly because they all involve human beings. My thought from the first read was, "Okay, now what's the other side of the story?"
Cooroora Lodge was formed back in the early 20th century in a small rural town under a warrant from the English constitution, well before the UGLQ came into existence. The finances for the land and temple came from the early members. As with small rural communities it declined to the point where it was no longer viable to maintain the expenses associated with keeping a temple in good repair and the building and land was sold.

The proceeds were placed into a non-profit organization controlled by the trustees of lodge while the lodge itself met in another temple. The income from the investment of the proceeds was distributed to local charities.

UGLQ thought that the proceeds belonged to them and embarked on a process to gain access to those funds. The lodge members decided that this practice was not in accordance with the wishes of the foundations members and subsequently distributed the remaining funds to various charities and closed the lodge handing back the warrant.

GL in what could only be described as an act of retaliation expelled two members, enacted court proceedings in a belated attempt to gain access to those funds and has sought to vilify the remaining members of the lodge.

To claim that the members performed a 'despicable act of betrayal' was the last straw. At no stage has any member of Cooroora acted in a way that might justify such a charge. To denigrate worthy men who acted in accordance with Masonic line and rule for the purely selfish ambitions of GL is not what Freemasonry should be about.

I might add that at no time has there been any suggestion that the lodge acted outside of the law of the State.

I had hoped that good sense and common curtesy might prevail. It is more that apparent that such virtues have escaped the thinking and motivation of GL. Consequently, I saw little choice but in resigning.

The point of my post is that evil left unchallenged will continue to be perpetuated in a cycle of behaviour that has the effect of stopping the best enduring qualities of humanity. To stop otherwise good men from exercising those qualities that should be admired and encouraged is an act of evil.
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Unread 1st December 2010, 01:22 AM
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Tough situation. Sounds very similar to what potentially could play out at some point in my denomination. The United Methodist Church, somewhere back in the 60's or 70's, began making sure that every Methodist Church drew up a statement, signed by the trustees of each church , declaring that all properties of the church were held in trust "for the United Methodist Church." He went to a great deal of explanation (most of which I didn't follow) telling us how the "United Methodist Church" is actually a non-entity. There is no such body anywhere within the structure to which the name would apply. The properties being held in trust, therefore, for an entity which exists only in name, it would be difficult, he said, for someone to sue the church in general.

But I have heard someone else say that the trust clause was for other purposes, to give the general church an advantage, should any church ever take a notion that they were going to withdraw ffom the denomination. Whether one story is true, or the other, or both, or neither, I have no idea. We brought the idea up in one of our UM polity classes, and all the professor would say was, if a church wanted to pull out and maintain ownership of the properties, a good first step would be to incorporate. I think the rest of us came to a consensus, though, that a small church trying to pull out would not be challenged in court, while a larger church would.

The trust clause arose during the 70's, when it had been revealed that the UMC gave a chunk of money to the World Council of Churches, and that the money had been used to foment revolution in third world countries. The outcome was, a lot of people became disillusioned with the hierarchy of the church and began talking of pulling out. The climate of the time, then, suggests the latter claim may just be true.

We now face a similar climate, though for different reasons. In our conference, insurance for pastors had been handled by "apportionment," each church being allotted a percentage of the total. Naturally, that put the larger churches in a position of carrying the brunt of the load for many of the smaller churches. Within the last few years, with health care costs increasing exponentially, it was feared that if the system continued, it might put an unnecessary hardship on the larger churces. And so it was voted to take them out of that system, and each one pay its own way. Smaller churches who did not realize that the larger churches had been covering for them for years, took things the wrong way, and thought the move was a calculated one to force small churches to either consolidate or close their doors. Most of the churches thus affected, were the small town or rural churches, a conservative, grass-roots arm of the church who had been the main ones protesting the allocation of funds to the WCC all those years ago, and it quickly became apparent those wounds were still festering. Add to that a liberal hierarchy and the disagreement of these same churches with many general church policies, and you have a tempest in a teapot at the moment. It didn't help any in our own conference, even though the bishops had taken a pay cut the year following the financial collapse, that the conference voted a pay raise last year for all conference eimployees, at a time when many people, and many of them United Methodists, were struggling.

The General Conference, of course, views matters differently on the trust clause issue. Their main point of contention has been John Wesley's very strong stance against schism in the church. Our church has been connectional from the beginning, and they appeal to his well-known stance about schism in speaking against the idea that a church ought to be able to separate from the larger body. Quite a few people have their eyes on this one to see what will be the outcome.

I guess if the right issue comes along, it really doesn't matter what the organization is, peel the skin back and we'll find that all of us can be ugly underneath.
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  #10  
Unread 1st December 2010, 08:42 AM
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I fail to see how these events constitute "the evil of Freemasonry", other than perhaps at the local level. To declare that such actions represent "the evil of Freemasonry" is falsely generalizing to the greater what is perceived locally. Every lodge, every business, every church, every organization has its problems and issues both large and small, but generalizing about an entire organization based upon the actions of a few is quite disingenuous.

That said, this reminds me of the events surrounding Halcyon lodge and the Grand Lodge of Ohio which resulted in them severing ties with their Grand Lodge.
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Freemasonry is an ongoing study of morality and virtue based on ideals derived from many philosophical and religious sources. Its foundational teachings are clearly inspired by the Holy Bible. Being a Freemason does not make one a man of integrity, but it provides the necessary tools to become one.
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