Saturday, August 30, 2014

From Genealogy To Freemasonry To Religion: A LinkedIn Group Conversation

Well, I should have expected it but I posted a discussion on LinkedIn with the hope that people would keep to the topic of the group and the intention of the post. Basically, I had taken a post from a few days ago regarding the tour that I gave to a perspective candidate on Tuesday night and how we shared a commonality in our journey to Freemasonry. Our similar stories revolved around the genealogy that we had done on our respective families. With that in mind, I thought that those in the various genealogy groups that I am in would appreciate this coincidence. I also wanted the post to serve as an introduction to masonic records as a valuable genealogical tool.

Thankfully, there were a few people, masons and non-masons alike, which read this post and contributed to the discussion in the way that it was intended. However, there were others that proved to me that the anti-masonic movement is still alive and well (and now on LinkedIn). My favorite fallacy was posted by a supposed former Brother who wrote the following:

Freemasons Hall in London is very helpful with enquiries about masonic ancestors. It is indeed a fascinating subject.

However, having myself been Master of four lodges including one in the Antient and Accepted Rite, I concluded that Freemasonry is in fact a major perpetrator of heretical ideas, notably indifferentism, pelagianism and relativism or modernism. These heresies, pushed to their logical conclusion, deny God, and this is what Freemasonry, despite apparent assertions in its ritual to the contrary, also does.

Further down in the discussion I found the following comment:

I suggest that all should read "deadly deception" and find out the true background of masonry - i havebhad the opportunity to denounce all 33 rd degrees and curses over me ( unknowingly ) by two grandfathers - an uncle and my father .... I agree this forum is for Genealogy NOT masonry!

Please do not write me back - i have 14 books on masonry and breaking free from it! I have studied for years as a born again spirit filled Christian.

So, if I said that I have 15 books on Christianity and have proven all aspects of the New Testament to be false, does that make me an expert? According to this comment it does. But, per her request, I am not writing her back (this post doesn’t count).

This largely religious argument is based on a very simple egotistical view, primarily promoted by the Roman Catholic Church, which is that one cannot see other religions or views of G-d as valid. To support such a view is the same as declaring that there is no G-d and that man is the true center of the spiritual universe. Well, that is there argument and there argument is flat out wrong.

While we accept men of all faiths, we see religion as an individual relationship with G-d based on a man’s proclaimed faith. We do not promote one faith over another and we do not hold one faith above another when considering a candidate. In fact, we do not discuss religion at all during lodge. The ‘faith’ that binds us together, and is a requirement in order for a man to become a Mason, is that we all believe in G-d. The comments such as the ones mentioned above make me wonder how secure those individuals are in their own faith especially those who have no understanding whatsoever of Freemasonry beyond the propaganda.

We are a world full of billions of individuals. While many of our beliefs and associations align and religion (and religious beliefs) are held very close by many of us, we are all still very different. As someone who spent time in my life choosing my faith, I hold those beliefs close to me. However, that journey has also given me substantial insight into the individual process of belief and the varying views that people and religions as a whole hold. If anything, Freemasonry has strengthened my faith in my chosen G-d.