Why I became a "Modern" Free-Mason by Bro. Jeff Peace
I was initiated, passed and raised in an "Antient" lodge over 19 years ago, and went on to become a member of the York and Scottish Rites as well as the Royal Order of Scotland. My experience with "Antient" Free-Masonry is much like that of many other men my age, and is probably quite similar to those who have joined an "Antient" lodge more recently. After many years of BBQ’s and suffering through the back-biting and internal politics I decided to just walk away.
The vast majority of "Antient" Masons never attend lodge or any other function. If you invite these men back they are reluctant to return because of their past lodge experiences. Too many of them have been stabbed in the back by their supposed brothers. "Antient" Free-Masonry can take a good moral man and remove his faith in the goodness of humanity. I’m not the first nor will I be the last to leave "Antient" Free-Masonry. Since 1963 the number of "Antient" Free-Masons has dropped by over 50%.
The ideas and concepts behind the new United Grand Lodge of America are both modern and refreshing. By returning to the basic principles of the "Moderns" of 1717 it has gone a long way towards restoring Free-Masonry and rendering it a viable 21st century institution. Not since the great schism of 1751 has Free-Masonry had such an honorable and noble mission — "the brotherhood of all mankind under the All-Seeing Eye of Deity." It is more than just words; it can be an achievable goal by working with other organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Amnesty International, and the Nature Conservancy.
The United Grand Lodge of America has removed the veil of unnecessary secrecy and brought Free-Masonry into the light of day. It has paved the way for a return to the enlightened natural philosophy of Spinoza and Descartes, and openly admitted that the progress of Reason and Science are synonymous with the progress of Free-Masonry. No longer do Masons have to wander down the endless tangents of the occult superstitious non-sense brought into our fraternity by the Scottish Rite in 1855. Free-Masonry has returned to its solid roots in natural philosophy, progressive science and reason.
The new "Modern" Free-Masonry offers every man the opportunity to open his mind to the world of ideas and better both himself and his family. The United Grand Lodge of America isn't just talking about a voyage of self-discovery; it is driving us towards the ultimate discovery: that we are all a part of something much greater than any single individual, and that through uniting ourselves together as one great brotherhood there is no limit as to what we can accomplish.
I don’t know about you, but I need to be continually inspired by such high and noble ideas; it helps keep me focused on what is best in life. I think all human beings need something to look up to and strive towards. Not just a single goal but a global vision of what is possible when we open our hearts and minds to one another. "Modern" Free-Masonry can and will provide that vision for all who desire it.
In the past to be a Free-Mason was to be a dues-paying member of a social club. Today, it is to join together as one great brotherhood and chart a new moral course for all of mankind. The scope of this vision goes beyond the individual to the very core of what makes us all what we ultimately want to become. For it is in this that we can all find contentment and happiness.
I became a "Modern" Free-Mason not because I wanted to be a member of a club, but because I wanted to do something good for myself and others.
— Bro. Jeff Peace
You can read previous essays by other former Antient Masons who have left their original lodges and become Modern Free-Masons:
Rite of Rose Cross of Gold | United Grand Lodge of America | Grand Lodge of Georgia | Freemasonry | Modern Free-Masonry | BurningTaper.com