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 THE LODGE

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Damian
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PostSubject: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:20 pm

Apostle?, anyone?
Can you tell me what you have discerned about the Masons A.K.A The lodge. I have heard rumors and reports, but I have heard that lodge members themselves start the rumors for their own enjoyment and laughter, yuh know for kicks.
However, it seems that it can be whatever you want it to be, and it seems good networking and for "brotherhood."
So if there is any prophetic information on this, please share.
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Jane
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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:22 pm

I personally believe that this movement is NOT of holy and divine origin.
Freemasonry is a worldwide fraternal organization. Its members are joined together by shared ideals of both a moral and metaphysical nature, and, in most of its branches, by a common belief in a Supreme Being. Freemasonry is an esoteric art, in that certain aspects of its internal work are not generally revealed to the public. Masons give numerous reasons for this, one of which is that Freemasonry uses an initiatory system of degrees to explore ethical and philosophical issues, and this system is less effective if the observer knows beforehand what will happen. It often calls itself "a peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols."
History of Freemasonary
Freemasonry has been said to be an institutional outgrowth of the medieval guilds of stonemasons (1), a direct descendant of the "Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem" (the Knights Templar) (2), an offshoot of the ancient Mystery schools (1), an administrative arm of the Priory of Sion (3), the Roman Collegia (1), the Comacine masters (1), intellectual descendants of Noah (1), and to have many other various and sundry origins. Others will claim that it dates back only to the late 17th century, and has no real connections at all to earlier organizations.
Much of this is highly speculative, and the precise origins of Freemasonry may be lost in history. It is thought by many that Freemasonry cannot be a straightforward outgrowth of medieval guilds of stonemasons. Amongst the reasons given for this conclusion, well documented in Born in Blood, are the fact that stonemasons' guilds do not appear to predate reasonable estimates for the time of Freemasonry's origin, that stonemasons lived near their worksite and thus had no need for secret signs to identify themselves, and that the "Ancient Charges" of Freemasonry are nonsensical when thought of as being rules for a stonemasons' guild.
Freemasonry is said by some, especially amongst Masons practising the York Rite, to have existed even at the time of King Athelstan of England, in the 10th century C.E. Athelstan is said by some to have been converted to Christianity in York, and to have issued the first Charter to the Masonic Lodges there. This story is not currently substantiated (the dynasty had already been Christian for centuries).
Some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints note similarities between the church's sacred "Endowments" performed in LDS temples, and masonic rituals. Some Mormons have said this similarity may be because the Masonic rituals are descended from those given by God at the Temple of Solomon, and still contain many of the original truths. It may also be that early Mormon leaders (including Smith) were members of Freemasonry and incorporated its liturgy into the new religion.
A more historically reliable (although still not unassailable) source asserting the antiquity of Freemasonry is the Halliwell Manuscript, or Regius Poem, which is believed to date from ca. 1390, and which makes reference to several concepts and phrases similar to those found in Freemasonry. The manuscript itself refers to an earlier document, of which it seems to be an elaboration.
It seems reasonable to suppose that, whatever its precise origins, Freemasonry provided a haven for the unorthodox and their sympathizers during a time when such activity could result in one's death, and that this has something to do with the tradition of secret meetings and handshakes. As the Middle Ages gave way to the Modern Age, the need for secrecy subsided, and Freemasons began to openly declare their association with the fraternity, which began to organize itself more formally.
In 1717, four Lodges which met at the "Apple-Tree Tavern, the Crown Ale-House near Drury Lane, the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul's Churchyard, and the Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Westminster" in London, Englandcombined together and formed the first public Grand Lodge, the Grand Lodge of England (GLE). The years following saw Grand Lodges open throughout Europe, as the new Freemasonry spread rapidly. How much of this was the spreading of Freemasonry itself, and how much was the public organization of pre-existing secret Lodges, is not possible to say with certainty. The GLE in the beginning did not have the current three degrees, but only the first two. The third degree appeared, so far as we know, around 1725.
Opinions about the origins, objectives and future of Freemasonry remain controversial from the times of its inception to our times. For example, Shoko Asahara, founder of the controversial Japanese religious group Aum Shinrikyo, has prophesied in some of his sermons that "in the future, Freemasonry will merge into united stream" with Aum Shinrikyo.
According to Sir Richard Burton, "Sufi-ism [was] the Eastern parent of Freemasonry." (See, F. Hitchman, Burton, Volume 1, p. 286) The possibility that Burton was correct is examined in detail by Idries Shah in his book entitled The Sufis, beginning on page 205.
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Jane
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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:23 pm

affraid Organizational structure
Main article: Grand LodgeThere are many different jurisdictions of governance of Freemasonry, each sovereign and independent of the others, and usually defined according to a geographic territory. There is thus no central Masonic authority, although each jurisdiction maintains a list of other jurisdictions that it formally recognizes. If the other jurisdiction reciprocates the recognition, the two jurisdictions are said to be in amity, which permits the members of the one jurisdiction to attend closed meetings of the other jurisdiction's Lodges, and vice-versa.
Generally speaking, to be recognized by another jurisdiction, one must (at least) meet that jurisdiction's requirements for regularity. This generally means that one must have in place, at least, the ancient landmarks of Freemasonry - the essential characteristics considered to be universal to Freemasonry in any culture. In keeping with the decentralized and non-dogmatic nature of Freemasonry, however, there is no universally accepted list of landmarks, and even jurisdictions in amity with each other often have completely different ideas as to what those landmarks are. Many jurisdictions take no official position at all as to what the landmarks are.
Freemasonry is often said to consist of two different branches: the Anglo and the Continental traditions. In reality, there is no tidy way to split jurisdictions into distinct camps like this. For instance, jurisdiction A might recognize B, which recognizes C, which does not recognize A. In addition, the geographical territory of one jurisdiction may overlap with another's, which may affect their relations, for purely territorial reasons. In other cases, one jurisdiction may overlook irregularities in another due simply to a desire to maintain friendly relations. Also, a jurisdiction may be formally affiliated with one tradition, while maintaining informal ties with the other. For all these reasons, labels like "Anglo" and "Continental" must be taken only as rough indicators, not as any kind of clear designation.
The ruling authority of a Masonic jurisdiction is usually called a Grand Lodge, or sometimes a Grand Orient. These normally correspond to a single country, although their territory can be broader or narrower than that. (In North America, each state and province has its own Grand Lodge.)
The oldest jurisdiction in the Anglo branch of Freemasonry is the Grand Lodge of England (GLE),(the Moderns)founded in 1717. This later became the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) when it joined with another English Grand Lodge (the Antients) in 1813. It is today the largest jurisdiction in England, and generally considered to be the oldest in the world. Its headquarters are at Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London.
The oldest in the Continental branch, and the largest jurisdiction in France, is the Grand Orient de France (GOdF), founded in 1728. At one time, the Anglo and Continental branches recognized each other, but most jurisdictions cut off formal relations with the GOdF around the time it started unreservedly admitting atheists, in 1877.
In most Latin countries, and in Belgium, the French style of Freemasonry predominates. The rest of the world, accounting for the bulk of Freemasonry, tends to follow the English lead.
Most jurisdictions allow their members to visit Lodges in recognized jurisdictions without reservation, leaving it to the foreign Lodge to confirm that the two jurisdictions are in amity. The UGLE, on the other hand, requires its members to check with them before visiting lodges abroad to confirm amity - for example visiting American lodges is discouraged.
Lodges
Contrary to popular belief, Freemasons meet as a Lodge and not in a lodge. (This is similar to the distinction made by Christians who meet as a church, with the actual building officially considered no more than a meeting place.)
According to Masonic legend (see below), the operative lodges (the Medieval lodges of actual stonemasons) constructed a lodge building adjacent to their work site where the masons could meet for instruction and social contact. Normally this was on the southern side of the site (in Europe, the side with the sun warming the stones during the day.) The social part of the building was on the southern side, hence the social gathering of the lodge is still called the South.
Early speculative lodges (which included members who were not actual stonemasons) met in taverns and other convenient public meeting places, and employed a Tyler to guard the door from both malicious and simply curious people.
Lodge buildings have for many years been known as Temples. In many countries this term has now been replaced by Masonic Centre. (Shriners and their Temples.)
In North America, Masonic Lodges are typically known as "Blue Lodges", and are the foundation of a collection of further "appended" Masonic groups or bodies: York Rite, Scottish Rite and The Shrine. To be a member of these other bodies, a man must pay dues to a Blue Lodge. The Blue Lodge and its ceremonies establish the fundamental bond which makes all Masons "brothers", and is the cement which binds all other appendant Masonic bodies together.
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Jane
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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:24 pm

pale Specialist Lodges
Some specific specialist lodges exist within many Masonic jurisdictions.The most obvious are the specially constituted Lodges of "Research and Instruction" (R&I). These are associated with a world-wide organization of Masonic research, typically specialising in discovering and interpreting historical records and the meanings of Masonic symbolism left unrecorded, and for preserving and developing Masonic ritual. Membership in these many Lodges is typically open to interested members of other, normally-constituted Lodges.There are also Lodges formed by groupings of persons with similar interests or background, such as "old boy" Lodges associated with certain schools, universities, military units, or businesses.
Concordant and appendant bodies
Freemasonry is associated with several appendant bodies, such as the Scottish Rite, which is actually a complete system of Freemasonry, developed on the Continent (particularly in France), and the York Rite, which includes three sovereign and distinct rites, including the Holy Royal Arch, Royal and Select Masters (aka Cryptic Masonry) and Knights Templar.
In regard to the (Masonic) Templars, this particular organization is limited to Royal Arch and Cryptic Masons of the Christian faith and does not in any way impose this requirement on the entire York Rite system, as is commonly and erroneously believed.
Other groups include the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners), the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm (Grotto), the Tall Cedars of Lebanon, the Society of Rosicrucians, and the Ancient and Heroic Order of the Gordian Knot, among numerous others, all of which tend to expand on the teachings of Craft or Blue Lodge Freemasonry - often with additional so-called higher degrees - while improving their members and society as a whole. The Shrine and Grotto tend to emphasise fun and philanthropy and are largely a North American phenomenon.
Different jurisdictions vary in how they define their relationship with such bodies. Some consider them wholly outside of Freemasonry proper. Others may give them some sort of formal recognition (or not). Some of these organizations may have additional religious requirements, compared to Freemasonry proper (or "Craft Masonry"), since they elaborate on Masonic teachings from a particular perspective.
There are also certain youth organizations (mainly North American) which are associated with Freemasonry, but are not necessarily Masonic in their content, such as the Order of DeMolay (for boys aged 12­21 who have Masonic sponsorship), Job's Daughters (for girls aged 10-20 with proper Masonic relationship) and the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (for girls 11­20 who have Masonic sponsorship). The Boy Scouts of America is not a Masonic organization, but was first nationally commissioned by Freemason Daniel Carter Beard. Beard exemplified the Masonic ideals throughout the Scouting program.
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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:27 pm

Suspect Membership
Freemasonry accepts members from almost any religion, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and so forth. In Lodges following in the Continental tradition, atheists and agnostics are also accepted, without qualification. Most other branches currently require a belief in a Supreme Being. But even there, one finds a high degree of non-dogmatism, and the phrase Supreme Being is often given a very broad interpretation, usually allowing Deism and often even allowing naturalistic views of "God/Nature" in the tradition of Spinoza and Goethe (himself a Freemason), or views of The Ultimate or Cosmic Oneness, such as found in some Eastern religions and in Western idealism (or for that matter, in modern cosmology). This leads some to suggest that even Anglo Freemasonry will, in practice, end up accepting certain kinds of atheists‹those willing to adopt a certain brand of spiritual language. Such claims are difficult to evaluate, since many Anglo jurisdictions consider any further enquiry into a prospective member's religion, beyond the "Supreme Being" question, to be off limits. However, in some Anglo jurisdictions (mostly English-speaking), Freemasonry is actually less tolerant of naturalism than it was in the 18th century, and specific religious requirements with more theistic and orthodox overtones have been added since the early 19th century, including (mostly in North America) belief in the immortality of the soul. The Freemasonry that predominates in Scandinavia, known as the Swedish Rite, accepts only Christians.
Generally, to be a Freemason, one must:
be a man, if joining a masculine jurisdiction (the case for the majority of jurisdictions), or a woman, if joining a feminine jurisdiction (unless joining a co-Masonic jurisdiction with no gender requirement),
believe in a Supreme Being, or, in some jurisdictions, a Creative Principle (unless joining a jurisdiction with no religious requirement, as in the Continental tradition),
be at least the minimum age (18­25 years depending on the jurisdiction),
be of sound mind, body and of good morals, and
be free (or "born free", i.e. not born a slave or bondsman).
Traditionally, membership was limited to men only, and the degree of recognition that should be accorded to feminine and co-Masonic jurisdictions is still a matter of great controversy. The "free born" requirement does not come up in modern Lodges, and there is no indication that it would ever be enforced, but remains there for historical reasons (it is often interpreted as meaning something like "freethinking"). The "sound body" requirement is today generally taken to mean physically capable of taking part in Lodge rituals, and most Lodges today are quite flexible in accommodating disabled candidates.
Freemasonry upholds the principles of "Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth" (or in France: "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"). It teaches moral lessons through rituals. Members working through the rituals are taught by "degrees". Freemasons are also commonly involved in public service and charity work, as well as providing a social outlet for their members. There is considerable variance in the emphasis on these different aspects of Masonry around the world. In Continental Europe, the philosophical side of Freemasonry is more emphasized, while in Britain, North America, and the English-speaking parts of the world, the charity, service and social club aspects are more emphasized.
While Freemasonry as an organization does not directly involve itself in politics, its members have tended over the years to support certain kinds of political causes with which they have become associated: the separation of Church and State, the replacement of religiously-affiliated schools with secular ones, and democratic revolutions (such as the United States and France on a smaller scale, but on a larger scale in other places such as Mexico, Brazil, and repeatedly in Italy). In some places, especially Continental Europe and Mexico, Freemasonry has at times taken on an anti-Catholic and anti-clerical overtone.
Many organizations with various religious and political purposes have been inspired by Freemasonry, and are sometimes confused with it, such as the Protestant Loyal Orange Association and the 19th century Italian Carbonari, which pursued Liberalism and Italian Unity. Many other purely fraternal organizations, too numerous to mention, have also been inspired by Masonry to a greater or lesser extent.
Freemasonry is often called a secret society, and in fact is considered by many to be the very prototype for such societies. Many Masons say that it is more accurately described as a "society with secrets".
The degree of secrecy varies widely around the world. In English-speaking countries, most Masons are completely public with their affiliation, Masonic buildings are usually clearly marked, and meeting times are generally a matter of public record. In other countries, where Freemasonry has been more recently, or is even currently, suppressed by the government, secrecy may be practised more in earnest.
Even in the English-speaking world, the precise details of the rituals are not made public, and Freemasons have a system of secret modes of recognition, such as the Masonic secret grip (by which Masons can recognize each other "in the dark as well as in the light"); however, Masons acknowledge that these "secrets" have been widely available in printed exposés and anti-Masonic literature for, literally, centuries.
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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:39 pm

Shocked Prince Hall Masonry
In 1775, an African American named Prince Hall was initiated into an Irish Constitution Military Lodge, along with fourteen other African Americans, all of whom were free by birth. When the Military Lodge left the area, the African Americans were given the authority to meet as a Lodge, form Processions on the days of the Saints John, and conduct Masonic funerals, but not to confer degrees nor to do other Masonic Work. These individuals applied for, and obtained, a Warrant for Charter from the Grand Lodge of England in 1784 and formed African Lodge #459. Despite being stricken from the rolls (like all American Grand Lodges after the 1813 merger of the Antients and the Moderns) the Lodge restyled itself as the African Lodge #1 (not to be confused with the various Grand Lodges on the Continent of Africa), and separated itself from UGLE-recognised Masonry. This led to a tradition of separate, predominantly African American jurisdictions in North America, known collectively as Prince Hall Freemasonry.
Widespread racism and segregation in North America made it impossible for African Americans to join many so-called "mainstream" Lodges, and many mainstream Grand Lodges in North America refused to recognize as legitimate the Prince Hall Lodges and Prince Hall Masons in their territory.
Presently, Prince Hall Masonry is recognized by some UGLE-recognized Grand Lodges and not by others, and appears to be working its way toward full recognition. It is no longer unusual for traditional lodges to have significant African-American membership.
John Marrant the Huntingdonian minister preached to the Prince Hall Lodge on 24th June 1789. His Nova Scotia congregation was significant in the successful agitation for repatriation by Black Loyalists as well as the subsequent revolt which occurred in Sierra Leone in 1800.
Ritual and symbols
The Freemasons rely heavily on the architectural symbolism of the medieval operative Masons who actually worked in stone. One of their principal symbols is the square and compasses, tools of the trade, so arranged as to form a quadrilateral. The square is sometimes said to represent matter, and the compasses spirit or mind. Alternatively, the square might be said to represent the world of the concrete, or the measure of objective reality, while the compasses represent abstraction, or subjective judgment, and so forth (Freemasonry being non-dogmatic, there is no written-in-stone interpretation for any of these symbols). The compasses straddle the square, representing the interdependence between the two. In the space between the two, there is optionally placed a symbol of metaphysical significance. Sometimes, this is a blazing star or other symbol of Light, representing Truth or knowledge. Alternatively, there is often a letter G placed there, usually said to represent God and/or Geometry.
The square and compasses are displayed at all Masonic meetings, along with the open Volume of the Sacred Law (or Lore) (VSL). In English-speaking countries, this is usually a Holy Bible, but it can be whatever book(s) of inspiration or scripture that the members of a particular Lodge or jurisdiction feel they draw on‹whether the Bible, the Qur'an, or other Volumes. A candidate for a degree will normally be given his choice of VSL, regardless of the Lodge's usual VSL. In many French Lodges, the Masonic Constitutions are used. In a few cases, a blank book has been used, where the religious makeup of a Lodge was too diverse to permit an easy choice of VSL. In addition to its role as a symbol of written wisdom, inspiration, and spiritual revelation, the VSL is what Masonic obligations are taken upon.
Much of Masonic symbolism is mathematical in nature, and in particular geometrical, which is probably a reason Freemasonry has attracted so many rationalists (such as Voltaire, Fichte, Goethe, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain and many others). No particular metaphysical theory is advanced by Freemasonry, however, although there seems to be some influence from the Pythagoreans, from Neo-Platonism, and from early modern Rationalism.In keeping with the geometrical and architectural theme of Freemasonry, the Supreme Being (or God, or Creative Principle) is sometimes also referred to in Masonic ritual as the Grand Geometer, or the Great Architect of the Universe (GAOTU). Freemasons use a variety of labels for this concept in order to avoid the idea that they are talking about any one religion's particular God or God-like concept.
Shocked Degrees
There are three initial degrees of Freemasonry:
Entered Apprentice
Fellow Craft
Master Mason
As one works through the degrees, one studies the lessons and interprets them for oneself. There are as many ways to interpret the rituals as there are Masons, and no Mason may dictate to any other Mason how he is to interpret them. No particular truths are espoused, but a common structure - speaking symbolically to universal human archetypes - provides for each Mason a means to come to his own answers to life's important questions. Especially in Europe, Freemasons working through the degrees are asked to prepare papers on related philosophical topics, and present these papers in an open Lodge, where others may judge the suitability of the candidates' ascension through the higher degrees.
Freemasonry in the Arts
Mozart was a Freemason, and his opera, The Magic Flute, makes extensive use of Masonic symbolism. Two books that give a general feel for the symbolism and its interpretation are:
Freemasonry: A Journey Through Ritual and Symbol by W.K. MacNulty, Thames & Hudson, London, 1991
Symbols of Freemasonry by D. Beresniak and L. Hamani, Assouline, Paris, 2000.
The British author Rudyard Kipling also made use of Masonic symbolism and myth in his story, The Man Who Would Be King, which was later made into a film. Two adventurers are taken to be representatives of Alexander the Great because of their Masonic emblems.
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Jane
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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:41 pm

affraid Freemasonry in the Language
An expression often used in Masonic circles is to be on the square, meaning to be a reliable sort of person, and this has entered common usage. Another phrase from Freemasonry in common use is meeting on the level (without regard to social, economic, religious or cultural differences). The practice of Freemasonry is referred to amongst its members as the Craft, a term also used to distinguish the basic level of Freemasonry from other Masonic orders. A Mason who has served as Worshipful Master is known as a Past Master, which has passed into common use to indicate an expert in a subject.
Landmarks
Landmarks are the ancient and unchangeable precepts of Masonry, the standards by which the regularity of Lodges and Grand Lodges is judged. However, since each Grand Lodge is self-governing and no single authority exists over Craft Masonry, even these supposedly-inviolable principles can and do vary, leading to controversies and inconsistency of recognition. Some examples of common landmarks include:
A belief in a Supreme Being is required of all candidates for the degrees. The definition of "Supreme Being" is generally left to the candidate's discretion.
The modes of recognition are to be kept inviolate. They consist of covert gestures made with the hands, called signs; distinctive ways of shaking hands, called grips and tokens; and special identifying passwords, most often based on Hebrew words of the Old Testament. Variations have crept in over time, and often the modes of recognition will mark a Mason as coming from a specific jurisdiction.
The legend of the Third Degree, involving the building of King Solomon's Temple, is an integral part of Craft Masonry.
The government of Lodges in an area, usually geographic, is in the hands of a Grand Lodge, specifically the Grand Master or Provincial Grand Master. A Grand Master rules autocratically, but is elected democratically. He may attend any meeting, anywhere within his jurisdiction, at any time and may conduct the Lodge at his pleasure.
Each Lodge is governed by a Master, variously styled Worshipful or Right Worshipful Master, and two other officers, called the Senior and Junior Wardens.A Senior and Junior Deacon assist the Master and his Wardens by passing messages and guiding candidates around the Lodge.
The Inner Guard is situated by the door of the lodge to lock and unlock it as the need arises, to admit latecomers and candidates.
All Lodges, when at work, must be tyled, that is, the door is guarded so that non-Masons may not enter or overhear the proceedings. The Tyler or outer guard, as his name implies, is situated outside the door of the Lodge "being armed with a drawn sword to keep off all intruders and cowans to Masonry".
affraid Religious Tolerance
Opinions about Freemasonry around the world may differ from place to place, but Freemasons always stress non-dogmatism and tolerance (albeit often within certain defined limits). This openness has led to friction between Freemasonry and organizations which hold a negative view of ecumenism, or are themselves intolerant towards other forms of belief and worship. Masons have been opposed throughout history by various religious groups, such as some Protestants and certain Muslims.
In general, there are two doctrinal objections to Freemasonry made by established Christian denominations, Catholic and non-Catholic alike:
The ecumenical nature of Masonic membership, which is at odds with the claims of exclusivity of belief that distinguish the various religious denominations.
The "esoteric" aspect of Masonic ritual, which is seen as synonymous with Gnosticism, declared heretical and suppressed by the early Christian church. (Manifestations of Gnosticism also appeared in the Jewish and Muslim communities, as Kabbalah and Sufism respectively; however, these movements have survived within Judaism and Islam.) Gnosticism is identified with the early Christian churches west of the Red Sea, such as the Egyptian and Ethiopean Coptic churches. The Nag Hammadi scrolls, discovered in Egypt, in 1945, which contain such apocrypha as the Gospel of Thomas, are considered to be Gnostic inspired or influenced. Thus, the possible connection between Gnosticism and the mythical Egyptian roots of Freemasonry is a subject of interest. The Rosicrucians, a modern Gnostic movement, claim such a connection.
The most vigorous opposition to the fraternity has come from the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is openly hostile to Freemasonry, deeming it at least partly responsible for the French Revolution and the resulting decline of the church in Europe. The Knights of Columbus and other Catholic fraternal organizations were established to provide alternatives to Freemasonry for observant Catholics. (Ironically, one of these organizations, Opus Dei, has been the target of accusations similar to those leveled against the Freemasons.) Although most Freemasons in the English-speaking world are Protestant, some Protestant churches hold that Freemasonry is incompatible with being a member of a community of Christian faith, based on the scriptural holding that "no man can serve two masters".
The first papal condemnation of Freemasonry came in 1738 from Pope Clement XII in his papal bull "Eminenti Apostolatus Specula", repeated by several later popes, notably Pope Leo XIII in the "encyclical Humanum Genus" (1884).
The 1917 Code of Canon Law explicitly declares that joining Freemasonry entailed automatic excommunication; the revised Code issued in 1983 does not explicitly name Masonic orders among the secret societies condemned in canon 1374. According to some interpretations of canon law, Roman Catholics are forbidden to become Freemasons by their church, though Freemasons do not bar Roman Catholics and it is not unusual to find Catholic members. The Eastern Orthodox church forbids its members from being Masons. Freemasonry is also discouraged by some denominations of Protestantism.
However, in a letter to the United States Bishops from the Office of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the interpretation was made clear - the prohibition against Catholics joining Masonic orders remains. Many Catholic Masons in the US choose to rely on the letter of the law.
One reason the Free Methodist Church was founded in the 1860s was that its founders believed the Methodist Church was being influenced by Freemasons and members of secret societies. The Free Methodist Church continues to prohibit its members from also joining societies such as the Freemasons. Recently the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest association of Baptists in the United States, also stated that participation in Freemasonry is inconsistent with its beliefs.
This form of criticism has been markedly reduced, since modern nation states like the USA and Europe in general are founded on religious tolerance, and many adherents of the religions that formally opposed Masons now believe in the main Masonic principles.
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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:42 pm

Twisted Evil Criticism that Freemasonry worships Satan
While the practice of any given magical or mystical system is not specifically associated with Freemasonry (mainstream Masonry has always tended as much to rationalism as to mysticism), there are some groups of Masons, such as Masonic Rosicrucians, that may interpret Masonic ritual magically (or "hermetically"), which is their right as Masons, given the fraternity's non-dogmatic stance.
However, the very existence of hermetic interpretations within Masonry has lead some Christians to label Freemasonry as "Satanic". This charge is commonly made about any hermetic society that has ritualistic practices reserved for the initated.
Many Anti-Masonic activists quote Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma to "prove" that Masons worship Lucifer. The oft-quoted section (Chapt. XIX; p.321) reads:
The Apocalypse is, to those who receive the nineteenth Degree, the Apotheosis of that Sublime Faith which aspires to God alone, and despises all the pomps and works of Lucifer. Licoifer, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darknesss! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual or selfish Souls ? Doubt it not! for traditions are full of Divine Revelations and Inspirations: and Inspiration is not of one Age nor of one Creed. Plato and Philo, also, were inspired.
Some Masons counter that the critics who cite this as evidence of Freemasonry's Satanic leanings ignore the first part of the passage while emphasizing the association of Lucifer with Light. Alternately,the argument is made that because a Pike claims the works of Plato and Philo were as divinely inspired as the The Apocalypse of Saint John, and b that Plato and Philo were pre-Christian pagans, and c that all pagan beliefs are Satanic, and therefore d that Pike (and Freemasonry) practice Satan worship.
Other Masons counter simply by pointing out that Masonry is non-dogmatic, and hence Pike's opinions about it are his own personal (and now somewhat out-dated) interpretations.
The Roman Catholic Church has repeatedly condemned Freemasonry, and although not claiming that it is directly Satanic, the church has claimed that Freemasonry has "led on or assisted" "partisans of evil" (from Humanum Genus).
Much of the landscape of Washington D.C. is thought by many to be inspired by, or directly designed by, Freemasons, including the layout of national buildings, the mapping of streets and roadways, and the placement of national monuments. This has caused some to speculate that some of the esoteric practices and symbolism in Freemasonry, seen as "occult", have embedded themselves within the structure of several governments - in this case, the United States.
Criticism of Masonic Blood Oaths
The traditional Masonic obligations, sworn by a candidate during the initiation ritual, are sometimes called "blood oaths", particularly by those critical of the fraternity. The candidate wishes severe physical punishment upon himself should he ever reveal the secrets of Freemasonry to a non-Mason. While many non-Masons are horrified by this, Masons defend the traditional obligations as no more literal than the commonplace childhood "blood oaths", like "cross my heart and hope to die"‹a very psychologically powerful way to express a serious bond or promise.
In addition, some Masons argue that the bloody punishments mentioned in the obligations are, historically, references to the punishments that the state used to inflict on defenders of civil liberties and religious freedoms, such as Freemasons. But in spite of repeated attempts to defend them, by the early 1980s, the "blood oaths" had become quite problematic from a public relations standpoint, and many Masonic jurisdictions replaced them with more politically correct "bloodless oaths".
Some conspiracy theorists look at certain historical killings and deduce that they were done as a fulfillment of the blood oath. In particular, Jack the Ripper is theorized by some to have been a Mason made psychotic for having to carry out a blood oath, and who then killed random people in the same fashion. Masons counter that the Ripper mutilations have no similarity to the symbolic punishments of the Masonic obligations.It should be noted that there are only 3 penalties that Masonry can actually impose on a member: censure, suspension of membership, and expulsion.
Criticisms of the process of becoming a Freemason
It is commonly held that individuals become Freemasons through invitation, patrimony, or other non-democratic means, but officially an individual must ask freely and without persuasion to become a Freemason in order to join the fraternity.This arrangement is said by some to conflict with the Freemasons mission to "make good men better", on the basis that a hidden society cannot promote itself publicly. If the society is secret, it is argued, how is a good man supposed to be attracted to it?
In practice, Freemasons have been known not to question the motives of anyone seeking membership, but clearly members are going to prefer those individuals who can offer something of value to the group, and will thus indicate to potential members some clue that they may be appropriate candidates; it is then incumbent upon the seeker to make the request.
Many of these myths have taken hold in the imagination of "conspiracy buffs" partly because many Freemasons, like government intelligence agencies and big business, and understanding the value of misinformation, have had a tendency of allowing the uninitiated to argue amongst themselves, so that the truth remains private. Masons have only in recent years attempted to make their organization more open to public view.
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Jane
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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:43 pm

Given the research that I have done, it is my PERSONAL OPINION that this movement/organisation is not divine or divinely inspired by our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST
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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:44 pm

wow!! Great i see you have done your research. One criticism though, I believe the Catholic church have their own satanic promotions. So any claim of The Papal system will be hard to swallow. If the Masons had it roots in the Knights Templar, they will more than likely have roots with the Catholic Church, since These knights played an important part in the crusades. The Catholic Church is not without fault. Being the inventors of this Religion we call 'kristianity' the so called protestant movement is slowly going back to that order, just watch certain programming on TBN, and you will see what I mean. They are infultrating the body of Christ, and some believe they will have a big part to play in the persecution of The Body of Christ, some believe that institution is the ten headed beast spoken of in Rev 13, 17. Having come from this order, and knowing their doctrines, and how contrary it is against the Word of God, i understand the deceptions, very subtle deceptions. So i can only surmise, that secretly they too are governed by The Evil Spirit. As the bible says when you judge another you judge yourself. So I will be very careful when using Catholic statements to back up any claims. I would see is useful only form an informational basis, but to use it to back up an argument, would go against the very position I am trying to prove. I am not talking in absolution that all members of the Catholic Church are evil, some trully believe they are following the right. However, any official statement, as the on you have quoted, that comes from this institution, would come from the highest powers in Rome. The teaching of this clergy produces blindness; the veneration for the congregation, superstition; the authority and influence, poverty.
I can't go into to much of this but seeing that you can do good research, look them up and tell me what you come up with. You seem to have a penchant for such deep abd hidden things in society, but I would be careful with any statement made by The Catholic Religion. They make and break their own laws, they prevent the followers from entering the Kingdom as they don't enter in themselves. Like The modern Day Judaism Christ reuked in many of his bold statements. "Woe unto them," check Luke 11:43-52. Certainly nothing is new and under the Sun.
Also check this website http://www.worldslastchance.com
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Jane
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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:47 pm

lol! Agreed. I support what you say about the catholic cult, only one point to note they were the only people i found with a public view about the masons. cool...
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Damian
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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:47 pm

yeah they also publicly denounce child abuse then transfer priest who admit guilt and are convicted of such actions. They preach first commandment and then say is ok to have statues of 'God's mother.' Public statements only prove the hypocracy.
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http://www.worldslastchance.com
insight into chp. 17 of The Book of Revelation
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Apostle Vivian

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PostSubject: Re: THE LODGE   Fri Dec 08, 2006 4:49 pm

I am truly thrilled by the depth of discussion that this topic has been generating. I will add my two bits by stating that I will refuse to be part of any organization, as prestigious as it may be, that requires me to sleep in a coffin as part of its initiation rights or to wear outfits emblazened with monograms of skulls and cross bones as part of its ritual dress. And what about this affinity that the masons seem to have with sexual orgies of the days of the Pharoahs by placing such prominence and emphasis on the obelisk, which is really a depiction of the erected penis of a man. In no way this can be giving glory to God, regardless of how many times they mention the name of God or Jesus in their literature and declarations.

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