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Freemasonry is compatible with Christianity?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by Ave Maria, Jan 15, 2005.

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  1. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    I think the main problem with this statement is the idea of "exclusively." The sources quoted all have the truth of the statement that Jesus said was central. So all sources quoted teach the central truth of the Christian revelation. A system that thus teaches the central truth of Christianity cannot be called a "false system." It has to be called a system which contains at least some truth, and that among the truths it contains is the central truth of Christianity. Otherwise, by declaring the entire system "false," you have called the central truth of Christianity false also.

    It's the same fallacy I've tried to point out many times before, that is made with so many accusations of Freemasonry: taking the part and presenting it as the whole. And I’d have to say, that by the very fact that each of these quotes is an expression of a CENTRAL TRUTH of the Christian faith, as Jesus declared it to be, it is a reasonable assumption that there ARE other comparable truths to be found.

    But this raises another point you have totally ignored. So far in this exercise, we have only observed ONE truth found in the Bible as compared with other religions. How many MORE, do you suppose, might be contained within other systems, that may also be true, also be found in the Christian revelation, also were written centuries earlier, and thus also would be non-derivative, and also be thereby attributable only to divine revelation? The fact is, unless someone were to explore this in any comprehensive manner, the extent of comparisons has not even begun to be explored, and therefore any conclusions that you might make without further examination, are simply your own unexamined opinions.



    Neither may you make this assessment without further examining the truth statements and truth claims of each of the sources quoted, to find out the extent to which each may express truths found in Christian teaching. At what point do you give up the totality of your assessment? What if 50% of one of these should turn out to be comparable to Christian teaching? What if it turned out to be 60%?

    And what if teachings found therein can be shown to be true statements even though no parallel expression of it may be found in the Bible? It certainly could not be thrown out as “false.” I think your stance, which appears to be, “if it’s not entirely, 100% the same as the Bible, then it has to be discarded as false,” is not a workable standard at all, because it automatically must dismiss some truths on the basis that single truths cannot be dealt with separately but have to be subsumed into the whole. The very fact of the above quotes illustrates the fallacy of such a position, for to accept it, one must automatically throw out the Golden Rule as false, since it was also revealed in those systems. And if you have declared it to be false, then you have declared part of the Bible to be false as well, since your standard admits of no exceptions.



    Basically, you just said “false gods are false.” Gee, ya think?

    And there is no "god of Freemasonry." Who God is to the individual Mason is up to him. And anyway, even if the claim were so, who would the God of Freemasonry be? The opening prayer, found in all lodges anywhere you look in Masonry, indicates He is the one who said “wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I will be there in the midst of them,” which would be Jesus, since He is the one who said that. There's more problems with that for the NON-Christian than for the Christian in lodge.



    Well, since none of them had READ Romans 2:14-15, since the sources I cited were all written centuries before Romans was even written, they did NOT get that revelation from “True Divine Revelation in Holy Scripture.”

    But you sure got one thing right, they definitely got it from True Divine Revelation, or else they plucked it out of the air, because it came independently of, and prior to, the scripture revelation you cite.



    The concept of “inspired writing” is totally foreign to anything I said. Where on earth did you get that? All I said was, what they wrote down was TRUTH. And I said that ALL TRUTH IS GOD’S TRUTH. And I said that since what they wrote down was most definitely TRUE—seeing how it’s THE central teaching of Christianity in JESUS’ description of it, AND since it came PRIOR to the writing of this truth in the NT, AND since it also came INDEPENDENTLY of the biblical revelation—then there is no way they could have gotten this any other way than by DIVINE REVELATION.

    “Divine revelation” simply means God revealed it to them. The fact that they wrote it down in their sacred books simply indicates their own understanding of the source, by placing it in a compilation of things they also considered to have come by revelation.

    I anticipated you would try to spin this into something I did NOT say, and so I qualified the remarks with:



    Therefore, your claim trying to make it sound like I claimed anything about “inspired writing” is revealed for the spin job it is, for I CLEARLY said nothing of the sort, and I CLEARLY indicated that I was not stating what you just claimed I said.

    Your quoting Romans 2 only serves to further support my point, since all I was claiming was the reception of this truth, as expressed in the above quotes, by divine revelation. Or as you choose to word it, “what is placed by God in the hearts of the men.”



    Calling them “false” is a claim in itself, which is exactly what I was referring to. Anything containing truth is not false, it is truth and falsehood mixed. What you have FAILED to show is, just how much is true and how much is false. You may throw out the baby with the bathwater all you wish, it does not validate the practice. Nor does simply claiming it to be a valid approach validate it either.



    So how much is “just enough?” You’ve made no attempt to show this at all. You have cited Romans 2 and the Gentiles’ ability to recognize the right from the wrong, but you fail to see that this is the surest corroboration of how they managed to receive the revelation of a central Christian truth: they recognized that this was the divine will, and they gave the surest indication of it by putting it in the one place that would most surely indicate that estimation of it, the book of writings they considered divine. Your entire post tries to duck and dodge its way around this, but this fact still remains, and you have further supported this fact by citing Romans 2.

    Now I will further support the thesis also by citing from Acts 17, where Paul declares that all men are “made of one blood,” which is a true statement: all descend from Adam, all also descend from Noah. God also “determined the times set for them, and the exact places where they should live.” Then Paul makes the conclusive declaration of exactly why God did this: “God did this so that men would seek for Him and perhaps reach for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” In many of those times and places into which God divided people, there has been no Christian revelation. But at all times and in all places, there has been SOME form of revelation: we ALL have the natural revelation in creation, and now in examining the quotes cited in my previous post, we have also seen that in other writings than the Bible, there has been at least SOME divine revelation, even though most of us as Christians would not agree that their revelation is on the same plane as the Christian revelation of God in Jesus Christ.

    And yes, as you said, God gives ALL of us enough revelation to lead us to Jesus Christ. But so far I’m having trouble getting you to accept the implications of your own statement well enough to see that the Golden Rule, discerned independently and prior to the Christian revelation by those within other religious systems, of necessity must be PART of that “enough revelation to lead us to Jesus Christ.” After all, for God to give us “revelation,” even the “enough revelation to lead us to Jesus Christ,” that revelation must also of necessity be TRUE. So far all you’ve done is go head over heels trying your best to show that even the truths found in other religious writings has to be labeled “false.”



    I sure would like to see that in context. I would like also to see a specific reference where you got this from. My copy of the Louisiana Masonic Monitor doesn’t seem to have it anywhere. Could you help me out a little by citing the page number where you found this?

    Louisiana, like all other U.S. Lodges, has the Holy Bible on the altar for its VSL. Ritual content, is replete with Christian references, and is devoid of any other religion-specific content.

    The Louisiana Masonic Monitor also has this statement in the dedication of a Masonic Hall:



    It also says in the MM degree:



    There are three distinct references to Christ in this one paragraph from the lecture. The first is a direct reference to the Second Advent; the second is from Revelation 5:5; the third is a common reference to Jesus, especially in Christian hymns, and refers to John 11 and the raising of Lazarus.

    Any Christian Mason worth his salt will instantly recognize who this is. It’s the NON-Christian Masons who should have the problem with “the God of Masonry,” as you term it, because if there were any God to whom Masonry MUST be attributed, then by all that is contained in its ritual, its prayers, and its principles, the Christian God is the only one to whom it possibly COULD apply. Expect another post shortly in which I shall prove this even further.
     
  2. AndrewCS

    AndrewCS Member

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    Rev Wayne,

    I need to ask you a very straightforward question.

    Do you believe that Freemasonry is acceptable aligns itself with the word of God.

    I ask that, as you have been ordained and have accountability to God to teach people like me the real truth. I present myself to you as a teachable brother of Christ.

    God bless you Rev
     
  3. O.F.F.

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

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    As did Andrew, I ended my last post with a simple "yes" or "no" question. We know you are a Mason, and therefore you obviously feel compelled to reply as a Mason. But as a "pastor" can you please simply answer our questions with a "yes" or a "no" and stop dancing around the issues and playing Masonic games?

    I know the problem with this statement is that it suggests that there is no such thing as a "false system" of beliefs. Truth by definition is absolute pastor, are you implying that there is no such thing as absolute truth?

    Then you are guilty of contradicting yourself and violating this same fallacy. You are taking part (the Ethic of Reciprocity found in most religions) and presenting it as the whole truth in order to make the claim that there is no such thing as a false system as long as it contains one iota of truth.

    Yet such a position is self-defeating. By your logic we would have to abandon and remove from our court system the concept of Perjury. According to the law of the "man of the Apron" (MOA) a person can testify part of the truth, rather than "the whole truth and nothing but the truth" and not be rendering a FALSE testimony. Do see how your logic is a self-defeating proposition?

    On the contrary, this raises a point you have totally ignored, and I am surprised that being as educated as you are in both English as a major in college and the Word of God as a seminry-trained graduate. Unless, of course, you are being deliberately dishonest. How can you reconcile the fact that most of these religions have mutually exclusive ideas and concepts that are contrary to one another, and with biblical Christianity?

    Moreover, one does not have to explore this in any comprehensive manner to see the fallacy of your claim that one element of truth makes their whole theology true. Let's just take one example where the Koran says God has no Son.

    So pastor, how can God have a Son and not have a Son at the same time? How then can you say that Islam is a true faith system? Again, truth by definition is absolute, so given ALL the religions of the world, only one can emerge as true, not all --- the rest are FALSE! But this is just one example, we can take elements from the other religions you support as true and prove them to be false as well.

    If it were 50% or 60% true it doesn't matter. A half truth is a WHOLE LIE!

    I could go on, but I must head out to work now. But let me answer this with a question to you.

    Pastor how much could you lie to your wife and still be telling her the truth as long as some elements of your story to her are factual?

    Sort that out and let me know what you come up with.
     
  4. George the 3rd

    George the 3rd Prestidigitator

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    And while you're at it "Rev" Wayne, I'd like to know if you have stopped beating your wife! ;) As simple "yes" or "no" is all that is required here!
     
  5. O.F.F.

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

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    And I thought telling those half-lies to her was bad enough. I can't believe he beats her too!
     
  6. George the 3rd

    George the 3rd Prestidigitator

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    I didn't think you would have a hard time believing anything bad about Wayne!:cool:
     
  7. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    The games are all yours (and Andrew's too, apparently). With all the insistence being laid on this, it literally REEKS of Pharisaic qualities, with the ones insisting on the question lying in wait with a ready accusation to either the simple yes or the simple no.

    I should know, I've seen you ask enough of them.

    Oh, you'll definitely go on---and on, and on, and on, and on......

    Your analogy is a false one. We were not discussing stories, we were discussing BOOKS considered sacred by various religions: books which have not been composed at a single sitting, as stories may be, but which have been written over many generations.

    And since we were dealing with books not considered sacred by the Christian religion, there is no question that we do not consider it in the same manner in which we view the written record of revelation we call the Holy Bible. At the same time, we are confronted with the fact that the central truth Jesus named in answer to the question "Which is the greatest commandment," has been found in other writings than the Bible, prior to and independent of the Christian revelation and the words of Jesus.

    You make little pretend analogies about lies and truth, and treat the question with ridicule and scorn rather than offer any serious inquiry into the matter, so how can anyone take it otherwise than, you simply do not wish to consider it at all?

    For one thing, I never made any claim about "systems" being true, only about certain truths being found within "systems." The discovery of a comparable truth from Christianity being found independently of and prior to the Christian expression of the same truth, expressed in a collection of other statements presented as that system's truth claims, makes the divine nature of the revelation of at least that one truth, extremely hard to refute. So far I have not seen anything resembling a refutation of what I stated about other systems having received by divine revelation the truth of the Golden Rule.

    Secondly, I do not beleve Islam was among those I quoted, so it is disingenuous of you to criticize what I have said by making reference to something I did not present.

    Thirdly, I agree with you, the statement you have quoted is antithetical to the claims of Christian faith. But it is irrelevant to anything I have stated or any claims I have made. There are still at least these systems from which I have quoted, which have in their teachings the very same thing taught in the Golden Rule. There is still the fact that they have apparently received this by divine revelation, as every indication that can be determined suggests they received it independently of the Christian revelation, and every one of them predates the Christian revelation. There is still the fact that the appearance of even one truth within any of these systems precludes our calling any of these systems entirely false.

    There is, then, still the fact that by calling the entire system false, one is accepting a false premise. And since false premises cannot lead to true conclusions, the premise must either be abandoned, or due cause shown to prove that it is actually true.

    So far, you have neither abandoned the premise, nor have you given due cause why a system containing some truth must be labeled entirely false.
     
  8. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Gee, I don't know, Andrew. Suppose you read on, and you tell me?

    OPENING PRAYER

    Most holy and glorious Lord God, the great Architect of the Universe, the Giver of all good gifts and graces! (James 1:17)
    Thou hast promised that "where two or three are gathered together in Thy name Thou wilt be in the midst of them and bless them." (Matthew 18:20)


    CLOSING PRAYER

    Supreme Architect of the Universe! Accept our humble thanks for the many mercies and blessings which Thy bounty has conferred on us, (2 Corinthians 9:5)
    and especially for this friendly and social intercourse. Pardon, we beseech Thee, whatever Thou hast seen amiss in us since we have been together, (2 Chr. 6:37, James 4:3)
    and continue to us Thy presence, (Psalm 51:11)
    protection, and blessing. (Deu. 28:8, Psa. 24:5)


    BENEDICTION AT CLOSING

    May the blessing of Heaven (Gen. 49:25, Malachi 3:10)
    rest upon us and all regular Masons! May brotherly love prevail, (Hebrews 13:1)
    and every moral and social virtue cement us!

    PRAYER AT INITIATION

    Vouchsafe Thine aid, Almighty Father of the Universe, (Eph. 4:6)
    to this, our present convention; and grant that this candidate for Masonry may dedicate and devote his life to Thy service, and become a true and faithful brother among us! Endue him with a competency of Thy divine wisdom, (James 1:5)
    that by the secrets of our art, he may be better enabled to display the beauties of Brotherly Love,
    Relief and Truth, to the honor of Thy holy name!–Amen.

    ENTRY UPON THE 1ST DEGREE

    Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

    It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments.

    As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore. (Psalm 133)

    LAMBSKIN APRON

    The LAMB has in all ages been deemed an emblem of innocence; (Lev. 4:32, 1 Pet. 1:19)
    he, therefore, who wears the lambskin as a badge of Masonry is thereby continually reminded of that purity of life and conduct, (Psalm 24:3-4, Matt. 5:8)
    which is essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, (Hebrews 12:14, Rev. 21:27)
    where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides. (Acts 7:56, Rom. 8:34, Col. 3:1, Heb. 1:13)

    Our Institution is said to be supported, by WISDOM, (Proverbs 4:7)
    STRENGTH (Deu. 33:25)
    and BEAUTY; (Psalm 29:2)
    because it is necessary there should be wisdom to contrive, strength to support and beauty to adorn, all great and important undertakings. Its dimensions are unlimited, and its covering no less than the canopy of heaven. (Isaiah 40:22)
    To this object the Mason's mind is continually directed, and thither he hopes at last to arrive by the aid of the theological ladder, which Jacob, in his vision, saw ascending from earth to heaven; (Gen. 28:10-22)
    the three principal rounds of which are denominated FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY, (1 Cor. 13:13)
    and which admonish us to have faith in God, (Mark 11:22, 1 Pet. 1:21)
    hope in immortality, (1 Cor. 15:54)
    and charity to all mankind. (Gal. 6:10)


    ENTRY UPON THE SECOND DEGREE

    Thus he showed me, and behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumb-line, with a plumb-line in his hand. And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, a plumb-line. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumb-line in the midst of my people, Israel: I will not again pass by them any more. (Amos 7:7-8)

    CHARGE AT CLOSING

    Let the world observe how Masons love one another. (1 John 4:7)
    These generous principles are to extend further. Every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. Do good unto all. Recommend it more especially "to the household of the faithful." (Galatians 6:10)
    By diligence in the duties of your respective callings; by liberal benevolence and diffusive charity; by constancy and fidelity in your friendships, discover the beneficial and happy effects of this ancient and honorable Institution. Let it not be supposed that you have here labored in vain (1 Cor. 15:54)
    and spent your strength for naught; for your work is with the Lord and your recompense with God. (Ruth 2:12)

    Finally, brethren, be ye all of one mind; live in peace, and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you! (2 Cor. 13:11)

    ENTRY UPON THIRD DEGREE


    Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
    while the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
    in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves,
    and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets,
    when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;
    also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way,
    and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail:
    because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
    Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecc. 12:1-7)

    PRAYER AT RAISING


    Thou, O God! knowest our down-sitting and our uprising, and understandest our thought afar off. Shield and defend us from the evil intentions of our enemies, and support us under the trials and afflictions we are destined to endure, while traveling through this vale of tears. Man that is born of a woman, is of few days and full of trouble. He cometh forth as a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with Thee; Thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; turn from him, that he may rest, till he shall accomplish his day. For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. But man dieth and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up: so man lieth down, and riseth not up till the heavens shall be no more. Yet, O Lord! have compassion on the children of Thy creation, administer them comfort in time of trouble, and save them with an everlasting salvation.–Amen. (Job 14)

    BENEDICTION AT THE LAYING OF A CORNER STONE

    Glory be to God on High, and on earth peace, good will toward men! (Luke 2:14)
    O Lord, we most heartily beseech Thee with Thy favor to behold and bless this assemblage. Pour down Thy mercies, like the dew that falls upon the mountains, (Psa. 133:3)
    upon Thy servants engaged in the solemn ceremonies of this day. Bless, we pray Thee, all the workmen who shall be engaged in the erection of this edifice; keep them from all forms of accident and harm, and grant them health and prosperity while they live. And finally, we pray that when our earthly toils and labors are ended we may all, through Thy mercy, wisdom and forgiveness, attain everlasting joy (Isa. 35:10)
    and felicity in the mansions prepared for us (John 14:2-3)
    in that temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Amen. (2 Cor. 5:1)

    AT THE DEDICATION OF A MASONIC HALL

    In the name of the Great Jehovah, to whom be all honor and glory, I do solemnly dedicate this Hall to Freemasonry.

    INVOCATION AT DEDICATION OF A MASONIC HALL

    And may the Lord, the giver of every good and perfect gift, (James 1:17)
    bless the brethren here assembled, in all their lawful undertakings, and grant to each one of them in needful supply, the Corn of nourishment, the Wine of refreshment, and the Oil of joy. Amen. (CORN, WINE, AND OIL: Deu. 7:13, 11:14, 14:23, 18:4, 28:51, 2 Chr. 31:5, 32:28, Neh. 5:11, 13:5, 13:12, Hosea 2:8, 2:22, Joel 1:10, Haggai 1:11; OIL OF JOY: Isaiah 61:3)

    BENEDICTION AT FUNERAL

    Now may the presence, (Matt. 28:20)
    comfort (2 Cor. 1:3-4)
    and strength (Isa. 40:31)
    of our Heavenly Father and the peace that passeth all understanding (Philippians 4:7)
    abide with us all, now and always. AMEN.

    INVOCATION AT LODGE OF SORROW

    "Almighty and Eternal God, (Deu. 33:27)
    in Whom we live, and move, and have our being, (Acts 17:28)
    we pray that Thou will grant each of us health, happiness, and well being in the coming year. We hold the hope that each of us and all our Brothers whom we hold dear, will be present when we close this Lodge of Sorrow at the end of its appointed time. But should it be your will to call for workmen from among our ranks, then help those remaining to see the Wisdom in Your choice. (Chaplain may add further words as he sees fit.) AMEN"

    And that's only the tip of the iceberg, believe me. As I said before:

    If there is anyone who should have any problem with the ritual content in Masonry, it would be the NON-CHRISTIAN, not the Christian.
     
  9. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Sorry, Mike. I must have missed that post of mine. Could you point out by citing date, time, and post# in which I even came CLOSE to saying "one element of truth makes their whole theology true?"

    You've been a stickler for rules around here, so I must insist that if you quote me, you do not misrepresent my position. As it stands with this particular comment, I'd say it violates Rule 1.11; as it stands with the general tenor of other comments you've made on this same page, I'd say you are also skating mighty close to 1.7 and 1.9, if not already in violation (and hopefully I am correct in assuming the rule is no longer in effect that was once in place making this reminder a violation, otherwise, my apologies to any mod who sees this).

    All I ask is that you stick to the topic and not to me, and that you represent my comments fairly--direct citation would certainly be preferable to such comments as this one.

    Wrong again. What I have shown is the PART, not the WHOLE. And I have made no such claim as you suggest, about there being "no such thing" as a false system. I have simply pointed out that your CLAIM about it being "false" is unprovable as long as it claims truth in any form. And since there is at least ONE provable truth; and since the one truth these systems, as cited, have been PROVEN to contain, is a truth at the very HEART of Christian teaching, then it stands to reason that (1) an accusation of these as "false" must necessarily involve an accusation of falsehood against the Golden Rule, since you have subsumed the part into the whole and made it a part of the accusation as well; and (2) since a truth at the heart of Christian teaching is found in these systems, no such designation of it as "false" can be accurately made until each has been thoroughly considered in some comprehensive fashion, for in doing so it cannot be determined exactly what other truths may be included as well.

    If someone here has seen any kind of approach to this question from a comparative religions standpoint and can offer any light on the answer to (2) as I have just described it, I certainly invite comment here. I am certainly aware of common themes and motifs among many religions, including Christianity, but I can't say I've seen anything definitive stated on this matter in any systematic way.

    Nobody said anything about a "half truth." Are you trying to say the Golden Rule is only half true? That would be absurd. What I DID present was, the presence of the Golden Rule in these sources, which is a statement WHOLLY TRUE, negates the attempt to label the systems WHOLLY FALSE. Blanket proposals simply fail to consider all points. And we are not addressing one truth, we are addressing a collection of truth claims, as would be the case no matter what religious system we were addressing. By your methods, if someone were to present one point which they felt was provably false in the Bible, they could use the one point to discard the whole. And you mischaracterize what I have said: I am not trying to take one truth and subsume the whole into the one and make the whole system true; rather, I am trying to point out to you the falsity of attempting to subsume the whole of other systems into the false points you see within them, and by doing so dismiss the whole as "false."

    No, but I DO see how your re-framing is a disingenuous proposition. Anyone can figure out what's wrong with what you just said. Just because a peron witnesses to their testimony being "the whole truth and nothing but the truth" does not mean it is to be taken as a blanket testimony in toto concerning all points to which they have testified. A person can tell the whole truth in all that they say but one point, and then be found guilty of perjury upon the one point, if they were not being truthful on the one point.

    Suppose I post a list of sayings here about dogs and call it "The Truth About Dogs." And the sum total of my list contains the following points:

    1. Dogs bark.
    2. Some dogs have fleas.
    3. Dogs are not cats.
    4. Dogs are brown.
    5. Dogs have tails.

    The list would be essentially true, with the definite exception of #4. But the whole could not thereby be declared false, for most of it is essentially true. Nor could the whole thereby be declared true, for the fourth proposition is never true in any case. Certainly some exceptions could also be noted in the case of #1 and #5, but generally speaking they are true statements. But had either of those two stated the matter as "ALL dogs," then they would not be true as long as some exceptions could be proven. So the fact is, there can be no dogmatic (yep, you got it, pun intended) pronouncement about the truth or falsehood of the whole.

    In like manner, you are dealing with the same issue in trying to make a dogmatic pronouncement about the falsehood of an entire system which has been proven not to be entirely false. Considering the fact that no one here has attempted any comprehensive presentation of ALL truth claims involved, an assessment of falsehood (or truth, for that matter) of any of the systems cited, in toto, would be based on speculation or opinion rather than provable information, and would therefore be an incomplete assessment.




     
  10. AndrewCS

    AndrewCS Member

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    Thanks for that Rev,

    Because the Freemasons repeat some scriptures does not make them Christians nor mean that Freemasonry is Christian based.

    I am sure you are familiar with the passage where satan quotes scriptures. Therefore, from the scriptures one understands that the devil knows and quotes scriptures and he is certainly no Christian.

    Luke 4

    1
    And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
    2
    Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
    3
    And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
    4
    And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
    5
    And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
    6
    And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
    7
    If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
    8
    And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
    9
    And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
    10
    For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
    11
    And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
    12
    And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
     
  11. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    If this were simply "quoting Scriptures," then perhaps I'd say, "you've got a point there."

    But very little of what I cited has quote marks around it, and in fact most of it involved just a few words here and there within what was said, which I recognized as scriptural and tracked down the references. Most of what was cited were prayers.

    I seriously doubt whether someone was sitting with an open Bible composing the above materials. It gives every appearance of having been simply composed extemporaneously with the basic topic or situation in mind. Since it does, and since the content is as rich as it is, it suggests a ready familliarity with the Word. And since these were not composed at the same time or by the same person, and certainly in a wide chronological range, it speaks of quite a number of Masons who have been well-versed in the Holy Bible, enough to have its words flow from their pen as they prepared these.

    Not that it's any surprise, since it's been well-established that Masonry is founded on biblical principles.


    No, but the fact that they wrote these things with the intention of founding Masonry on biblical principles, coupled with the fact that the rituals give direct evidence of it, certainly counters the attempt to turn this thing back to satanism again. I thought we were past that foolishness, but some people are pretty persistent with it.

    But perhaps you'd prefer something that states it a little more directly? Try this one:

    Or we can get even more direct than that:

    And if that isn't enough to be convincing, just take a look at what this Mason says about his fellow Masons who fail to see the Christian bearing of Masonry:


     
  12. AndrewCS

    AndrewCS Member

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    Blah blah blah.

    Sorry, Freemasons do not follow the word of God.

    Perhaps some words but not the WHOLE WORD of God.

    God Bless
     
  13. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    My, my. Got our knickers in quite a twist, don't we? Sorry, but I find it hard to take anyone serious who can begin with blah blah blah and end with God bless, in practically the same breath.

     
  14. AndrewCS

    AndrewCS Member

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    Yup,

    It all depends if we take it seriously.

    God Bless
     
  15. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Exactly my point: "blah blah blah" says it all. My kids are more serious than that when they're playing their video games.

    Since you've apparently opted out of the debate, I'll wait till someone more "serious" comes along.
     
  16. O.F.F.

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

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    And the one "truth" at hand that you are stressing is the moral value of the Ethic of Reciprocity or "Golden Rule." Okay, so what's your point?

    As I pointed out earlier, based on Romans 2:14-15, God placed this and other moral and ethical values in the heart of mankind when He created us. The fact that it appears in so-called 'sacred' writings that predate Christianity is no surprise, since He is eternal. The fact that it was divinely instilled and later written in them, in and of itself, doesn't validate these religions as being true.

    Every person shares certain inherent or "inaliable" rights, which come from God, simply because of our membership in the human race. People are individually very different; they come in two different genders; they have different personalities and varying idiosyncrasies; different sizes, shades of color, shapes and races. And, they have different degrees of skill and ability. They follow different religious beliefs and economic systems, speak many different languages, and participate in many different cultures. All human beings are equal in importance to God, and all should enjoy basic fundamental human rights. So from that standpoint, I concede, the Ethic of Reciprocity is a moral virtue found in many religious systems. Your point has been established, so now let's move on from there.

    The fact is, religions may be superficially the same but fundamentally very different. Superficially, aspirin and arsenic are basically the same because they both come in tablet form, but we know one of these forms will kill you. Like Freemasonry does, you keep trying to stress the similarities of different religions. But, what's most critical are their differences.

    As Christians, the vital questions we must ask are:

    "What is different about the religious claims made by the various religions of the world, or any organization that makes religious claims; such as Freemasonry?" And:

    "How do these claims compare to the claims made in biblical Christianity?"

    The answers we get from these questions is the most important thing to examine. Because then, all we need to do is test them to determine if these "systems" are true or not.

    Again, no one is trying to refute your discovery, I am simply saying that discovery of ONE common virtue claimed by many different religions doesn't necessarily make these religious systems similar, nor does it make them true.

    I didn't examine in any great detail from which religions you compiled your list of Ethic of Reciprocity. My point was, it may very well be a virtue found in Islam too, but Islam is a false system because it fails the Christian Doctrine Test. As I referred to in my last post, it is incoherent to think that God can have a Son (Christian Doctrine), and not have a son (Islamic Doctrine) a the same time. Therefore, on that basis alone Islam is a false system, because it denies the deity of Christ and His divine "Sonship."

    If you are a true Christian pastor, than I trust that you agree that Jesus' divine "Sonship" to God is a fundamental and essential Christian Doctrine; am I right? If so, then you MUST agree that Islam is a FALSE system, and as a Mason when you come in contact with a fellow Mason that happens to come from the Islamic faith, YOU (as a Christian, and as a pastor in particular) are OBLIGATED to let him know this fact. If you do not let him know the TRUTH on this matter, you are in violation of your call as a pastor and as Christian to make disciples that love God and share His love (the gospel) with the world.

    Okay, if you want to split hairs that's fine. Again I'll concede, one can find a valid truth claim or two, here and there in most religions, but that does not permit us to therefore declare that these religious systems are all entirely true. This includes, of course, the religious claims made by the system called Freemasonry. By the way, Freemasonry also fails the Christian Doctrine Test. And, any "system" that does not pass the Christian Doctrine Test is an entirely FALSE system, from a biblical point of view.

    Since Freemasonry claims to be a fraternity, and not a religion, it shouldn't even make religious claims or require religious beliefs for its membership. However, since it does, Christians must examine its religious claims and requirements in light of Scripture; and not join if there are any conflicts in what it teaches vs. biblical Christianity.

    Doctrine of God

    Christian Doctrine -- God is the Trinity. God is three simultaneous persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are One.

    Freemasonry -- Makes no definitive declaration of who God is, requiring only that its members believe in "a" Supreme Being.

    Implication -- Freemasonry accepts any god of any Mason, rather than the God of the Bible exclusively. Therefore, no Christian should be associated with such an organization.

    The Holy Bible

    Christian Doctrine -- The Holy Bible is the ONLY inspired revelation from God, and the final Authority on religious matters - inerrant - without error or contradiction.

    Freemasonry -- The Masonic Order accepts any so-called "sacred writing" from any religion of any Mason, rather than the Holy Bible exclusively. Therefore, no Christian should be associated with such an organization.

    Salvation is attained by

    Christian Doctrine -- Forgiveness of sins is not conditioned by anything that we do other than repentance, but it is all a gift of God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone -- and not of works or human effort.

    • Eph. 2:8, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."
    • Rom. 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
    • Also see, John 3:14-18.
    Freemasonry -- Teaches Masons that they can enter the "Celestial Lodge above" by living a pure life and rectitude of conduct.

    God, His Word and His Salvation Plan for Mankind are three of the most important and most essential doctrines of the historic Christian faith. Since Freemasonry fails the Test regarding these Christian Doctrines, it is therefore not compatible with our faith and no Christian should be involved in it.

    Picking your favorite ice cream is a harmless preference, unless you are allergic to one of its ingredients. But choosing your religious beliefs, or accepting those of your fraternity, is kind of like choosing the right medicine; if you're wrong it could kill you -- both literally and eternally! (Revelation 20:11-15)
     
  17. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    That’s pretty weird, if you ask me…..from a standpoint of “human rights,” you agree that I found the Golden Rule expressed in the written sacred records of other religions?




    It wasn’t a “discovery,” I’ve known this for years. Convincing you of it was quite a different story, it took three or four years to get this admission:

    Thank you, and yes, we WILL move on, but I’m afraid we will not be moving in the direction you would like, and I will demonstrate why. The fact is, since this is a CENTRAL truth of Christian faith, its appearance in the teachings of other religious faiths DOES open the door to understanding that there are very likely quite a few MORE teachings that are the same. (And actually, there are, like comparisons to the 10 commandments and other such codes.)

    Now that you have made that acknowledgment, we can move on to addressing the significance of your admission as it concerns this thread.



    Wrong on that point. The ONLY thing Masonry is interested in are the similarities, and they have stated that to be the case in more ways and places than you can count, but perhaps most directly in their statement in the comments found in the Old Charges, “On God and Religion”:



    The “religion in which all men agree” has been their claim; you have at long last admitted not only the possibility, but the definite occurrence of it in regard to one of the central truths of Christianity. We are now on a path toward establishing even further the fact of Masonry’s claim of the “religion in which all men agree.”

    I’m really not interested in addressing “claims,” or at least, I’m not interested in addressing claims that are irrelevant to the topic of compatibility. What you have finally admitted here, after long hemming and hawing over it, is ONE point of compatibility among the religions cited. Masonry has consistently spoken of a system of truths that are compatible among all monotheistic religions. Therefore, “the most important thing to examine,” as you put it, is not “testing the systems to see if they are true or not,” for that would be an exercise that does not even address Freemasonry at all. It would instead be an exercise to determine whether the other religions teach the same thing as Christianity, which actually does not address “compatibility” either.

    I will illustrate from the things you posted:



    Strange, coming from one who has consistently raised issues about “Muslim Masons, Hindu Masons,” etc. etc.



    This has nothing to do with the compatibility between Christianity and Freemasonry. As pointed out, this is a test of whether Islam is Christian. You could have saved the effort too, I could have told you without looking that Islam is not Christianity.



    Well, we already went through over 80 pages in another thread dealing with those inherent conflicts, and it was determined that none of the accusations raised ever established any. Surely you aren’t suggesting we go through all THAT again?


    Royal Arch is Trinity all the way--Jehovah is the God described therein, and in the version I have, they sing a couple of verses of "Holy, Holy, Holy," a Trinitarian hymn. The Tau cross is the main symbol, and there are three of them placed in form in the emblem of the degree. You start getting in the higher degrees, and Jesus starts showing up. But of course, that means, the level of attack by the antimasons increases in due proportion, in order to make the warnings more dire, in hopes no one will notice.
    That’s the most facetious exercise in illogic I’ve seen in quite a while. You clearly said “Masonry makes no definitive declaration of who God is.” In other words, if you’re looking for “Supreme Being” to be fleshed out, it simply isn’t there. Yet somehow you come up with an “implication” that no Christian should be associated with such an organization?”

    You have just tried to suggest incompatibility on the basis of what Masonry does NOT teach??

    You might as well say, no one should be a schoolteacher, because there is no prohibition against hiring those of other religions, and the school system “makes no definitive declaration of who God is.”

    The same would be true of the Boy Scouts, Kiwanis Clubs, Lions Club, etc. etc. ad infinitum.

    More of the same illogic, but this time with a definite mis-statement. Masonry does not accept “any sacred writing,” Masonry accepts men, no matter what sacred writing they may adhere to. Masonry is not any one of the religions, nor is it trying to be, so it makes no establishment of which one anyone should belong to.

    The only reason Masonry would use the Holy Bible exclusively everywhere, would be if all Masons were Christians, which they are not. But the fact that other books are allowed for those of other faiths, is a completely irrelevant point in regards to “conflicts.” It is no conflict for Masonry to allow those of other faiths to take their obligation on the book of their choice; nor is it any conflict for Masonry to allow for those in other lands where Christianity is not the dominant faith, to have another sacred book as their choice and the choice of their religion. I can't recall where and when it was, but recently, as I understand, there was a decision somewhere in the U.S. involving someone of another faith wanting to take the oath as a witness on another sacred book, and a decision was made in a U.S. court that allows it. What Masonry does is no different.

    As I’ve pointed out already, there is plenty from within the Bible that is found in the rituals of Masonry at practically every turn. There is NONE from any other “sacred book.” If anyone should have a “conflict,” then, in association with the book on the altar, it would be those of other faiths, not Christians.




    Another mischaracterization. As shown already in our recent and lengthy discussions in a thread nearby, purity is a requirement for entry (Psa. 24, Heb. 12:14, Rev. 21:27), as well as “rectitude of conduct” (consult Paul’s lists of behaviors that will prevent entry if you do not believe me). And since the only thing that Masonry says about these things is that they are “necessary for entry,” which is affirmed in Christianity in the places cited, there IS no conflict.

    I’m afraid your insistence on head belief or rational assent or whatever you call it, is no better than the faith of devils, who “also believe and tremble.”

    And there is absolutely NOTHING in what is stated in that lecture to suggest incompatibility with Christian faith. “The purity and rectitude of conduct so essentially necessary” is the purity and rectitude of conduct accomplished by Christ. The symbology of the Lamb clearly draws that imagery to my mind, and so that is what I’m reminded of. I don’t know any Christian in lodge who would NOT be, unless they were a new Christian and did not yet know the references in Scripture to Jesus as the Lamb. HIS “purity and rectitude” were REQUIRED; if they had NOT been, it would have been cruel for the Father to put His Son through the agony of the Cross. So when I hear the lecture and see Christ in the symbology of the Lamb, I am reminded of “the purity and rectitude of conduct so essentially necessary,” because I am reminded of HIS.

    No conflict.



    All you have shown is that Freemasonry is not Christianity. You keep applying a test for CONFORMITY or COMPLIANCE and calling it a test for COMPATIBILITY. Your very test itself, then, fails the test for even BEING a test for "compatibility."

    The main problem that continues with your whole approach is, Masonry speaks of "that religion in which all men agree," and you insist on dwelling on "that religion in which all men DISagree" to make your points. The very thing you put the most attention on, therefore, is the very thing that Masonry does not include within that sphere of "religion in which all men agree."



    OR: unless you were unknowingly picking insulin instead. You wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?
     
  18. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Mike,

    In retrospect it might be helpful if you would define for us your view of "compatibility." Since that is part of the topic of the thread, and since what you have been describing in your conclusions that there are "conflicts" and "incompatibility," it might go a long ways toward heading off a lot of unnecessary "talking past one another" and wasting bandwidth, if we could find define the terms as Freemasonry uses them.

    So far, what your posts have suggested in regard to the term, do not reflect the definition of "compatibility" as Masonry intends it with the idea of the "religion in which all men agree." But there is more to the "religion in which all men agree" than you have ever purported to the expression. It actually is fleshed out just a bit more in the 1738 version of Anderson's Constitutions:

    Anderson does not go into detail as to what the "three great articles of Noah" might be, but there are other sources from which it may be found out. It derives from the Jewish Talmud, which had varying numbers of "articles of Noah," depending on which of the Jewish commentators you might consult. Generally there are 7, as this number is considered God's number of perfection. The John J. Robinson Center's Masonic Research Branch has expressed an interest in returning to the Noachide principles. The following comments were made at thetracingboard.com:

    Anderson's second edition of the Constitutions was one such attempt to define this. The article continues:

    Notice that: "it stands to reason that all of humanity is responsible for certain moral and ethical duties." That is very well in accord with Masonry's "religion in which all agree," and in accord with your estimation of "inalienable rights" and the innate laws known to man through being created in the divine image.

    Welcome aboard, sailor, you don't appear to be as far o.f.f. as you had imagined. Your suggestion of the image of God revealing moral truths to us, just may be the ticket to understanding the "religion in which all men may agree," since it stands to reason that the divine image will produce that same inner revelation or recognition in every person. That makes Masonry's idea of a common set of religious truths common to all humanity a much more viable prospect.
     
  19. O.F.F.

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

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    That's too bad, Christians and their pastors, should be concerned about the differences. After all, we are called to be set apart (i.e. sanctified 1 Thessalonians 4:3) from the world, not to assimilate into it.

    These are erroneous examples, because schoolteachers, Boy Scouts, Kiwanis Clubs, Lions Club, and other social civic organizations do not REQUIRE belief in A SUPREME BEING.

    As for the Masonic requirement of works to earn salvation you said:

    You need to pull your Apron down, as you are starting to reveal your apostasy more and more. Not only does your statement mischaracterize the biblically accepted Christian position on how salvation is attained, you contradict your own denomination's position on the matter:

    Did Christ come to establish a "religion in which all men agree?" Of course not, and apparently neither did the UMC. So why would a Christian participate in such a religion? No need to answer. It's clear where your allegiance lies.
     
  20. Rev Wayne

    Rev Wayne Simplicity + Sincerity = Serenity

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    Point taken; but Boy Scouts take an oath to God and country, and the Order of the Arrow has very specific Masonic overtones to it. Some civic organizations open with prayer. And at one time the Rotary Club prioritized seeking Masons for membership. I stand by the analogy. The only one for which you can even remotely claim to have a case would be the schoolteacher. Consider it withdrawn—although I do retain its application in countering antimasonic claims about witnessing.
     
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