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Biblical Content and/or Christian Interpretation of Masonry

Discussion in 'Controversial Theology (Christians only)' started by Rev Wayne, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Skip Sampson

    Skip Sampson Veteran

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    Oh, he saw it all right, but hoped to ignore it. His intent is two fold: 1) defend Masonry at all costs; 2) avoid admitting to error. His actions on this forum, and elsewhere, bespeak a terrible inferiority complex, which is something that can be overcome if one wants to do it. My guess is that my highlighting of his errors really triggers that complex and has much to do with his insults to me. But what can we expect from a Mason other than that? Truly a sad, sad group of men. Cordially, Skip.
     
  2. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Well, if it isn't Mac and Tosh, the Goofy Gophers. They were absolutely the politest couple of cartoon critters you ever saw. The dialogue was invariably something like this, with every task they tried to accomplish:



    Thanks for the parody, I'd almost forgotten how hilarious those guys were. I'd probably go see if I could find any of their old videos on YouTube, if this wasn't so much funnier.
     
  3. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Sorry, but you guys are forgetting the "pecking order" that Skip established much earlier on the forum. It's been declared by both of you that there is an order of priority of GL documents, and that you cannot assert a lesser GL source over a greater.

    THOSE ARE YOUR RULES, NOT MINE.

    Now, if you wish to change the order, you must do so by the same method in which you established it to begin with: make it declaratory.

    So far, all y'all have managed to do is look foolish trying to reverse your own stated claims by trying to insist on GL website materials over what is found in ritual.

    That's an absurd claim for something that is not a "definition" at all:

    How is that a "definition?" All that statement really says is, the definition will be different for brethren of different religions.

    See, even YOU recognize it's not a "definition," and you go on to mention a couple of examples of "interpretation," which is the clearest indication the statement you highlighted is not a "definition." Look at a synonym list for "interpretation" and you find:

    And all one has to do to find what the MICHIGAN "definition/interpretation" is, go to their ritual, which SUPERSEDES anything found on their website anyway. And THAT definition is, that "Lion of the Tribe of Judah" is connected to the Christian Dispensation. And from their link to the MSA understanding of it, we find the further information about the Christian "interpretation" of it, that it comes from Rev. 5:5, and refers to Jesus Christ.

    Once again, many thanks for uncovering the full trail that leads us to the full understanding of Michigan ritual's portrayal of it, and corroborates the position already taken by the GL of Michigan in that AUTHORITATIVE source, SUPERSEDING any GL page, whether theirs or otherwise--by your OWN earlier rules--thus establishing the understanding of the term for their jurisdiction.

    But once it's DEFINED SPECIFICALLY by any jurisdiction, then all bets are o.f.f. for any "open interpretation"--ESPECIALLY in cases where a source HIGHER ON THE PECKING ORDER is the one declaring the more SPECIFIC rendering of it.


    Duly noted, Mike, but the fact is, "Masonry" does no such thing as you just stated--INDIVIDUALS do. And my conviction is equally strong about the truth of biblical symbolism--which is why I do not waver on the matter when it comes to undeniably Christian references like "Lion of the Tribe of Judah," the "Christian Dispensation," "resurrection of the body," and equally exclusively Christian references.

    You and Skip, by way of contrast, play right into the hands of those who would "re-interpret" the matter to make it something else, when you choose to part ways with a fellow Christian on the matter, and side with the idea of "open interpretation" of exclusively Christian references. I'm sure that if there are Masons reading this, who are of the incorrect persuasion that "Lion of the Tribe of Judah" is NOT a specific Christian reference, they are going to be EMBOLDENED by your support, to simply go and do more of the same thing you guys keep posting from the minority report, and thus further proliferate the untruths expressed in that false and particularly ill-worded and ill-thought-out declaration about what the "Jewish Mason" (or others) will believe.

    I just don't think you guys have really properly thought this out and realized the repercussions that will occur and the falsehood you are encouraging by taking the position you do of opposing the interpretation of Christian symbolism for what it IS, rather than for what some obviously otherwise-minded people try to SAY it is.



    You guys can go into conniptions on this all you want to. But if you really believe, as you seem to, that after all the dogmatic pronouncements in earlier discussions, in which both of you hammered down the pecking order and vehemently and INSISTENTLY refused any variation from it, that anyone having been on the receiving end of it is going to roll over and play dead and accede to your wishes, when you start trying to reverse your earlier pronouncements when things don't go to suit you in a subsequent argument: you'd better re-think your strategy, because I ain't budging one iota on this one.

    You made your own bed, so either lie in it (ironic, that one), or pull the covers over your head and cry yourself to sleep.

    The ball is in your court, guys: either man up and chalk up the loss and deal with it; or do the only thing you CAN do to change that pecking order, and get yourselves sat down at a table across from each other and decide what the NEW pecking order will be. Because until you DO that, I'm still operating under the pecking order you have already established.



    And answer just one simple question for our readership before you go any further, so THEY can be clear on this also:

    DOES ritual, or does it NOT, supersede materials found on GL webpages?

    In your earlier pronouncements, this was not even debatable. There were things that I had posted from GL websites, which either you, or Skip, or both, more than once, declared to have been nullified/superseded/trumped, or whatever other term you care to use for it, by monitors and/or rituals.

    I now declare the same, on the basis of your earlier insistences on the "pecking order," as well as, on the basis of an established pattern by the two of you, of enforcing that pecking order in any instance where any such comparison of sources arose.

    Gentlemen, I await your response.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  4. Skip Sampson

    Skip Sampson Veteran

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    Untrue. Here's your comment:
    Notice use of the plural word "theories." You might consider being more clear in your comments in the future.

    Also untrue. You identified the Research Lodge and the magazine title, but neither specific edition nor page, all of which is needed for a proper cite. The FL GL has online magazines and the request for link was under the assumption that the Research Lodge did no less. Thus a request for one link does not support your contentions. As noted, I only insist on cites. BTW, what was the edition and page number of the article?

    No, it doesn't.

    Maybe, but it is the most specific. Others are very context-related. For example, I mean Jesus when talking about the Messiah; masonry means any mediator you might name, as we've abundently seen in GL documentation. With GL views in mind, I'll have to see Jesus being specifically identified as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah in Masonic documents before being convinced that is who they are referring to. To date, you've shown some proof that the connection exists in PH Masonry, but not in what I'd call mainstream Masonry. You've certainly tried hard, but haven't yet found the proof, and we've shown you the reason for that.

    Untrue. Websurfing refers to browsing the internet or web sites; in short, what you do on Google. It is not the case when the MI GL's search function takes you to the MSA source. Since the MI GL has outsourced such things to the MSA publication, it's authority transfers as well. I believe the MI GL also financially supports the MSA, which again conveys a certain amount of authority to its publications.

    Untrue. The definition does not supersede the ritual, it expands upon it. As we've seen in Masonry, Christian terms and phrases are often reinterpreted, so only a spiritually blind Mason (excuse me for the repetition) would take those terms on face value. We've shown ample evidence that it CAN be expressive of other meanings. That you've ignored the proof is immaterial; you are entitled to you own opinions, but not your own facts.

    Had I wanted to hide something, I wouldn't have cited it, to say nothing of how to find it. You'll note I told you to 'search' the MI GL website, a clue you managed to miss completely. Finally, I cited the specific publication from whence the quote came, to say nothing of its publisher. Your innuendo is truly pathetic, but very Masonic. Such behavior is all you have left. In the battleground of ideas, you are unarmed.

    Notice the first thing the article stated, which apparently causes you no problem:
    Having gotten the Masonic definition of the Messiah out of the way, the article goes on to discuss the symbology of the lion in various societies and religions. You'll notice the name 'Jesus' doesn't appear in the article at all, an interesting, but not surprising, omission. More to the point, and as Mike pointed out, your highlighting of that part of the article is a pathetic attempt to draw attention from the blunt first sentence. The article is clear that Jesus is not the only Messiah, but only one of many messiahs. And you find nothing wrong with that. Well, don't forget to include that statement in your next sermon on the meaning of the Messiah and Jesus' role as such. Oh, and you might complain to your GL about the MSA's unChristian position, since your GL probably supports it. If the SC GL proclaims the God of the Bible, as you've asserted, I'm sure they'll be outraged over the statement.

    Untrue. The article, which you now indicate is authoritative within the MI GL, merely identifies the "Christian interpretation of the phrase" and not the Masonic one. Had you read further, you'd have found this statement:
    Notice the three choices of interpretion, none of them specifically identifying Jesus.

    No problem. Should have been pretty easy for just about anyone but you. Cordially, Skip.
     
  5. O.F.F.

    O.F.F. An Ex-Mason for Jesus

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    Skip, can you believe this guy? He actually thinks me and you can establish the "pecking order" of Masonic information. You could almost see the veins about to pop out of his neck as he went on and on about something you and I really have no more control over than he does.

    Skip, I will not speak for you, but I trust you might agree with me. My feeling on this matter is that if it comes directly from the Grand Lodge (e.g. rituals, monitors, websites, training material, etc.) or indirectly from the Grand Lodge, (e.g. tacit endorsements by making available the work of Masonic authors in their librairies, or on recommended reading lists, etc.) as well as in the case of them using the MSA to define certain terms on their behalf; IT IS ALL AUTHORITIVE, period.

    And NO "pecking order" is required, since it directly or indirectly comes from the Grand Lodge anyway; which is what makes it authoritative in the first place. Therefore, it is ALL OPEN GAME! If you didn't see his veins about to pop out of his neck from his last post, now watch how this gives him an even worse conniption!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  6. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    I WAS clear:

    Notice that the singular is used; "the IDEA that Masonry originated in ancient times."

    Is English a second language for you?

    I DID give proper citation:

    (John S. Nagy, "The Ashlar Unfolded," Pillars of the Portico Masonic blogsite)

    This was my source. You seem to forget, the Florida piece was simply mentioned, not cited. Mentions do not require citations, quotes do.

    And I couldn't agree more. But in a system which is avowedly symbolic, and "alludes to" rather than states, in order to entice the reader to investigate further rather than spoon-feed, it's quite natural for it not to appear. It's also quite natural in such a system, when they want to get the point across that it IS Jesus being referred to, to use other terms instead, like "the sepulchre of our Lord" (AR), or to refer interpretation of LOTTOJ to the "Christian Dispensation" (Michigan ritual), or to refer to Him "who brought life and immorality to light" (various monitors), or to "the lamb that taketh away the sins of the world" (Texas Monitor), or any of an abundance of equally unmistakable references.

    And as I've so often pointed out, C.I.E.

    But you're talking about "Masonry," not MICHIGAN MASONRY.

    Problem is, you've tried to apply that "GL documentation" in a way that (1) imposes upon one GL's RITUAL (in the specific instance, Michigan GL) that which is stated by ANOTHER GL's LSME--an assertion which no GL in its right mind would permit you or anyone else to do, ever; and (2) violates the "pecking order" that you yourself chose to impose upon this discussion some months ago, and to which no one offered a challenge. That's why, given the current circumstances and your past insistences, I extend to you the same courtesy and likewise refuse to allow you to violate the general understanding of that "pecking order" of Masonic materials.

    Therefore, your remarks are duly noted, but dismissed by your own standards.

    You already have. Since you don't seem to believe so:

    Is "Lion of the Tribe of Judah" a reference to Jesus Christ from Rev. 5:5, or is it not? (And don't go ducking the question with stated opinions by other people, on who they SAY it is, or "could be." For once, man up and either say yes it is, or no it's not.)

    Is "the lamb that taketh away the sin of the world" a reference to Jesus, or is it not?

    Is a reference to "Him who brought life and immortality to light" a reference to Jesus, or is it not?

    Is "sepulchre of our Lord" a reference to Jesus, or is it not?

    Remember, Michael's assumptions about you guys being "biblically knowledgeable" are on the line here.

    Wow, I'm speechless. I'll let you and Michael talk on this one, I'm sure he probably has some choice words for you on this one.

    Already agreed. Maybe you missed what I stated. So I'll thank you kindly to refrain from continuing to try to establish points with which I am not in disagreement any longer. As I pointed out to you, the inherent authority for the site still resides with Michigan.

    That's why, by the order of GL materials which you have labored so endlessly to establish, the MSA material is subordinate to the material found in the Michigan ritual. There's just no other way anyone can take it, because that's the only way that YOU YOURSELF HAVE DEMANDED in past discussions that it be.

    All I can do is hold you to an equitable standard, and insist in like manner that you abide by the same standards yourself.

    Which prompts the natural question: how do you like your crow?

    "You believe?" You also believe in concordances over lexicons, and apparently you believe in marrying prostitutes.

    A "certain amount," sure; but certainly not enough for MSA to begin superseding Michigan ritual, and even to the audacious point of doing so on their own webpage!



    That's why I DON'T take it at "face value," but let MICHIGAN be the arbiter of the meaning. And they CLEARLY express it from a Christian standpoint.

    We'
    Sure. But what you have NOT shown, is that Michigan DOES make it "expressive of other meanings." They made it clear which one they've settled on.

    you are entitled to you own opinions, but not your own facts.

    Nor are you entitled to YOUR own facts--especially since you have so few facts to begin with. And even though you TRIED to use the MSA material to REFUTE what Michigan clearly declares in their ritual, you unwittingly provided the key link in the chain that establishes it beyond any doubt: the DIRECT mention of Jesus Christ as the Lion of Judah, described as the "Christian interpretation," further cemented by directly referencing the one place from whence the phrase originates, Rev. 5:5.

    And once again, thanks for your help in providing the information from their website that clinches this one beyond any possible doubt.

    Yes, including the Christian--the one MICHIGAN declares.

    Wrong. It does not say any such thing, only speaks of INTERPRETATIONS, not "messiahs."

    Oh, I'm very clear on who Messiah IS. I don't preach Masonry, after all, I preach the gospel. And I'm also clear on who Lion of the Tribe of Judah IS, NOT who someone ELSE "interprets" Him to be, which the two of you seem to prefer.

    Well, I've seen biblical illiteracy of deplorable proportions from antimasons before, but never at this level. How do you miss things like this:

    What strange denomination did you transfer your membership to, which has adherents who do not recognize that "Christ" refers to Jesus?????

    It's bizarre enough that you don't recognize a verse which has only one specific referent, being Jesus Christ in Revelation 5:5, and keep siding with those who wish to interpret it otherwise; but how in the WORLD do you dismiss a reference to "the Christ," declaring it not to be a reference to Jesus, despite all the ABUNDANCE of references in the NT to "Christ Jesus," "Jesus Christ," and like expressions????

    I mean, some of you guys' errors are pretty innocuous: a staircase in place of a ladder is not a particularly devastating error of interpretation, though an error, nonetheless; and a view that the veil of the temple was not rent, and the temple area still to be considered inviolate, certainly exhibits a propriety of intent, even though the claim itself is physically impossible; but of all the totally blind and bizarre statements I've ever seen either of you make, I've never seen the like of this one.
     
  7. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Lame, even for your standards. Nobody said any such thing. Y'all established the "pecking order" for Masonic documents as pertains to the parameters that will be the guideline for discussions here.

    You don't have to speak for him, he has already spoken:

    "Rituals, monitors, and training documents." In addition to this, we also have the patterns established by both of you, of insisting over and over in discussions, on producing "rituals or monitors," indicating that training documents, though on a higher plane in the pecking order than "commentaries," are a peg lower than the rituals and monitors themselves. This was confirmed at another point when it became a point of insistence on BOTH your parts, in a discussion of NC materials, that Masonic Code "supersedes" a quote from an LSME booklet. Masonic Code, as some but not all readers here may already recognize, is generally a part of what is included in the monitor.

    You're too late, dude. Skip already set the parameters we have all abided by, when he set them forth last December. If you have a problem with any of it, you probably should negotiate it with him. Especially since you yourself engaged in the back-patting you two are always doing, at Skip's every application of the pecking order, from day one, ever since he introduced it.

    Not really. Wake up and smell the crow cooking.


    Skip established it, you supported it, and though no formal agreement was necessary, we have all operated under it ever since. It is not what you just tried to redefine it as, as some kind of attempt to dictate to Masonry what their pecking order should be. It's simply a general guideline under which all of us here have operated, setting parameters for the discussions on the forum. Therefore, since your characterization of it is false, so is your attempted dismissal of it.

    But of course, I must give fair warning to the readers here, in YOUR words, having given you this corrective response:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Skip Sampson

    Skip Sampson Veteran

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    Absolutely. We've seen it over and over again. He has no sense of balance and is intellectually dishonest. Masons are just too deep into the Craft to discuss it rationally. Criticism of Freemasonry is almost always seen as criticism of the Mason.

    I agree with that.

    I take the opposite position. I think there is a pecking order therein; here is how I described it in 2004:
    I still go with that order, though I would add monitors to the primary sources as they are directly related to the ritual. The order of priority comes into play depending upon what's being discussed. Were it matters of Masonic law, I wouldn't consult the ritual. Were it what Masonry teaches, I wouldn't first consult the Code.

    Over the past few years, far more GL materials have become available, and I've started to see the contradictions among the GL's and among the sources within each jurisdiction. This is especially true between the rituals and training materials. But since they are both Pri 1 sources, with the latter expanding on the former, the contradictions are easy to sort out without disturbing the pecking order.

    What has also become clear is that GL's can easily change anything but the ritual, due to the ritual's historical development. I think that is the main reason we see apparent disconnects between ritual and training documentation: the former is what they are supposed to teach, the latter reflecting what they really believe. There may come a time when the training documentation supersedes the ritual, but I'm not there yet. Cordially, Skip.
     
  9. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    One of your more cogent presentations, Skip, and greatly appreciated. I had an objection or two as I read through it, but I think those were covered by the additional comments at the end. About the main point of disagreement I find would be the reasons for the observable differences that have been noted. With the cultural climate that prevails in the last couple of decades, of "political correctness," there are more and more people who seem eager to be hospitable toward the opinions and feelings of others.

    At the same time, there seems to be a move in Masonry of trying to move toward, in the exoteric work at least, a position of truly exhibiting a position in line with what they have declared for so long, but never really managed to achieve, of neutrality and openness of opinion. But lodges in this country, I'm afraid, are far from being neutral in reality, even now. Christians still populate the lodges in numbers that are by far, percentage-wise, FAR out-distancing any other group you might find represented. And I don't just say that as a Bible-belt Mason either, the Grand Lodge of Michigan and its stated position on the Lion of the Tribe of Judah is a prime example that Christian sentiments and expressions still hold a lot of sway in other localities in U.S. Masonry. California is really the only place I can honestly say seems to be perhaps a bit diffferent in that regard.

    So where I disagree is in your assessment of what Masons "really" believe, in consideration of the different expressions found. As regards "Lion of the Tribe of Judah," I truly think the changes which have occurred are expressive of a desire of presenting a position of neutrality in the documents where it is occurring. I don't think it reflects "what they really believe," though, I think the ritual does that, and in general expresses the reality in specific terms, as it relates to that specific jurisdiction, whereas documents like the educational materials cited, are more expressive of the neutrality that is considered to be descriptive of Masonry in general.

    Naturally, you have disagreed with much that has been presented concerning the GL of Michigan, primarily because it presents quite a serious challenge to some of your pet presuppositions. I think your denial that "Christian Dispensation" can be taken for exactly what that entails, is pure intellectual dishonesty, and ought to have no part in such discussions.
    And there still stands the issue that the "re-interpretations" that I have seen posted, ALL have the fatal flaw as a feature, of containing false claims on the matter of the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah." Those having been more than sufficiently covered, I shall not repeat them here. But so far what I have stated on the matter of their false premises, stands valid and unrefuted by anyone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  10. Skip Sampson

    Skip Sampson Veteran

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    Such movement is at the GL level, and I think the subordinate lodges are irrelevant in that process. What you are suggesting is a disconnect between the average Mason and their GL leadership.

    I look upon it as 'de-christianizing' the craft so to be more secular in their orientation. Look at the evolution of the Blazing Star as proof.

    And you'd be wrong. Cordially, Skip.
     
  11. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    No, what I am suggesting is a disconnect between the ideals that any group may declare as their standard, and the actuality. Most Masons are Christians, and that dynamic has especially been true in U.S. Masonry. As has been noted by many a Mason, even though Freemasonry is non-sectarian or neutral, the very fact that Masonry has primarily flourished in English-speaking countries where Christianity prevails, makes Christian interpretations pretty much a given. There have been quite a few persons, as well, who have been able to look at its origins and recognize its roots as Christian.

    I wouldn't go with "secular" as readily as with "non-sectarian." "De-CHRISTIANizing" carries with it an almost automatic connotation of "let's remove this because it's Christian in bearing or content," when the actual reason for it is more easily attributable to "let's change it because it does not reflect the non-sectarian stance Masonry is known for."

    As for "de-christianizing," there has certainly been a lot more claimed in that regard than can be shown. A lot of people try to suggest that such a move was done by decree of the Duke of Sussex who was its head at the time of the 1813 merger. But there is no record of any such overt declaration, and George Oliver said of the effort, if one ever existed, that it certainly was unsuccessful. About all that can be accurately stated, is that there has been a gradual decrease in occurrences of overt statements recognizable as Christian. But the recent discussion shows they are definitely still there. I agree with Mackey on the matter, that the very symbols themselves were put in place as direct representations of various points of the Christian faith. I also take the development of Freemasonry as a product of the Reformation, and the autobiographical accounts of John Coustos tend to bear this out. England during the Reformation was a hotbed of a place to live, up until the very point at which Freemasonry began to "come out," beginning the Grand Lodge era.

    Oh no I wouldn't. And your increasing levels of denial and evasion speak for themselves.
     
  12. Skip Sampson

    Skip Sampson Veteran

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    Actually, I'm doing neither. I've shown you where you are in error; now I'm just repeating that fact. Cordially, Skip.
     
  13. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Yep, only you're not repeating facts.
     
  14. Skip Sampson

    Skip Sampson Veteran

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    On the contrary: your comments are untrue. And that's a fact. Cordially, Skip.
     
  15. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Here are the facts--contrary to your claim to have presented the "facts":

    You reposted a pecking order you had referred to before, which contained, among other things:

    This is the order as you put it in a post here, to which you added:



    The only problem is, though this is the DECLARED order of things, we are still faced with what has been your distinct PRACTICE on forum. And when the chips are down, your standby materials that you have consistently called upon as authoritative, have been:

    Monitors and rituals have been your stock in trade in every instance where you have begun trying to claim the weight of authority for your posts.

    Now, what we need to do, is come to some understanding, given (1) your DECLARED position; (2) your ACTUAL position, as evidenced during the heat of debate; and (3) the qualifying remark with which you followed up your repost of your stated position.

    Putting the three together, we can only come up with the following order of materials that would fall under your #1 category of primary:

    (1) Rituals
    (2) Monitors
    (3) Training materials like LSME

    Here's the rationale:

    First, as to why rituals at the top of the list:

    (1) You put rituals at the head of the list yourself.
    (2) Even when implying that LSME might be taken on par with rituals, you still said "NEARLY" co-equal--clearly putting them a cut below.
    (3) You stated the matter plainly, that "they [rituals] are the most reliable sources."

    Second, as to why monitors in the second position:

    (1) Your constant practice of insisting on "rituals and monitors."
    (2) Your own statement that "the Code supersedes the LSME."
    (3) The fact that in most GL's the Code is itself a part of what appears in the monitor.
    (4) The fact that all of the degree material--lectures, symbolism, etc.--in the monitor IS a part of the ritual, albeit exoteric in nature.

    Third, as to why LSME in a position below both monitor and ritual:

    (1) Your own practice of not including it as part of what you consider authoritative when in the heat of debate (always "monitors and rituals," not "monitors and rituals and training materials").
    (2) Your own statement that LSME is superseded by the Code, which appears in the monitors, and therefore places it in a position above that of LSME.
    (3) The incorrect claim that the LSME's purpose is to "expand upon and explain the ritual." Apparently that is not always true, because, as we have noted, there are instances where the LSME takes it upon itself to "re-define" (your term, not mine, and is the term you used to describe the matter in several instances where you spoke of it) what is found in the ritual. Anything that is "re-defined" is NOT "expanded upon," nor is it "explained"; rather, it is given an understanding which it DID NOT HAVE BEFORE. Some folks in Masonry, as with most any organization when it comes to leadership, get frustrated at an inability to have things their own way, and being unable to change the ritual, have simply begun trying to garner support for changes at a different level. (That they have been minimally successful at the LSME level, is no reason to suddenly bolt from your own declarations and try to sympathize with them, especially when you do so less out of an interest in the facts, than an interest in trying to bolster a losing argument.)
    (4) Therefore, since you have given rituals the pre-eminence in the order, you simply cannot take a document of lesser authority in your "pecking order," and try to assert its content over what is found in ritual. (But in essence, that's the square peg you've been trying to jam into the round hole from the very minute you became aware of the damage that Michigan ritual does to your claims.)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  16. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Skip,

    Since your stated approach has been described as, addressing individual Masons with materials from their own jurisdiction, I suppose the question should have come to mind long ago, in our previous discussions about rituals and monitors in comparison with LSME materials: why did you never bother to address any of this from my own perspective in SC?

    The thing (as I recall) that you kept trying to impress upon the readers was, that even though the rituals and monitors of various jurisdictions specifically state that the book on their altars is the Holy Bible, you thought somehow you could make a case for something to the contrary by citing statements referring to "VSL" in some of the LSME booklets (and as I had to point out to you more than once, that was a direct contradiction of the "pecking order" that you yourself had posted with great fanfare).

    Why it never occurred to me at the time to check out our own LSME statements, it occurs to me now, and so I am happy to post what is found there:

    As you can see, there is none of what you found elsewhere, the Holy Bible is the Great Light upon the altar, not VSL.
     
  17. ChristianMasonJim

    ChristianMasonJim A Christian Freemason

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    (Hi Wayne, it's been a while!)

    FYI, the Grand Master himself stated (I was at the instructional meeting) that a tyled lodge CANNOT be opened without the Holy Bible present and open on the alter. Should a candidate of another religious background wish to obligate himself on different VSL, he is free to do so, however the Holy Bible MUST always be present and opened on the alter. And it makes sense if you think about it: The rituals are based, at least in part, on the Old and New testaments, yet the obligation is taken in a manner that is personally sacred and meaningful to the candidate.
     
  18. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    It is my understanding, too, that should someone choose to be obligated on some other book, the Bible remains on the center of the table and open, and the other book is placed on the table unopened. I've been told that this is intentional, and symbolically significant.
     
  19. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Guess Skip's not interested, or busy? Seen him lurking, but without comment.
     
  20. Skip Sampson

    Skip Sampson Veteran

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    Mainly because I do not have one and your GL did not answer my email asking how to get a copy.

    If you wish to send one along, I'll provide you an address.

    You are among the majority of Masons who do not bother to read GL training documentation, yet are quick to comment on what the GL teaches. Cordially, Skip.
     
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