But for every yin there is a yang. Or as Sir Isaac Newton stated, "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."
There's a new Masonic blog, The Square and Compass, operated by an unnamed Entered Apprentice, who, judging from his choice of published links, is from Lewisville Lodge No. 201, in Lewisville, Texas.
Welcome to Masonry, brother, and welcome to the Masonic blogosphere.
I applaud his newfound enthusiasm for Freemasonry, and for blogging, but I question his direction.
His most recent article is a long list of reasons why Freemasonry isn't a religion. His list is lifted from a work titled "'Freemasonry and Religion' by Bro. Jim Tresner, Ph.D., 33rd degree."
The blogger says that he has made it his "priority to educate [himself], Masons and Non-Masons, as well as other Christians about the honor and joy of being a part of our Ancient Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons."
In doing so, in my opinion, he seems to be under the impression that Masonry is a Christian organization, or that it operates under Christian rules, a "fact" he wants to share with his fellow Christian travelers.
His interpretation of the Five Points of Fellowship is:
- To Serve
- To Pray for our Brothers
- To Keep the Business of the Lodge Confidential
- To Support All Who Are in Need
- To Counsel
Here's the line from his page on the Five Points that made me want to write this article: "Each day, we must serve first our church, then family, brothers, friends, and even strangers we see in need."
Is this what the Five Points of Fellowship mean to you? Serve first our church?
In the article meant to explain that Masonry isn't a religion that he has copied from Bro. Tresner's work, it says, "And [Masonic principles] are not in conflict with Christianity. Masonry has nothing to do with the religion taught in the Mysteries. Rather, we are concerned with the ethics and morality taught there, ethics and morality which have been ratified by Christianity."
And in yet another one, written by Bro. Rev. Neville Barker Cryer, it states: "As in the case of King Solomon’s Temple we, as Freemasons, can withdraw into our lodges from the rush of the busy world, and in a quiet and solemn atmosphere, find inspiration to put into practice, in the world outside, the lessons we derive from the Holy Bible and our Masonic principles."
So on one extreme, there is Jean's "Freemasonry is a religion, and a Satanic, unchristian one at that." On the opposite extreme, we have this Christian brother's "Masonry is not a religion, but we get our lessons from Christianity."
From various comments, I know that no one who regularly posts on the Taper agrees with Jean that Freemasonry is a religion. Masonry offers no dogma or religious creed, and no "path to salvation." But, as wrong as Jean is, does that mean that the new blogger's explanation that Masonry is not a religion, but since he is a Christian he's going to treat it, more or less, as if it is a religion or an extension of his religion, is correct by default?
I assume Jean colors her (his?) opinion of Masonry with a fundamentalist Christian worldview inspired by conspiracy-minded anti-Masonic websites. And I color my opinions by having been chewed up and spat out by a lodge full of evangelical Christians who see lodge meetings as a Tuesday night prayer meeting. I wonder if that's the kind of lodge our new E.A. blogging brother from Texas has joined.
I have no answers, just questions. What do you think?
Update, Wed., August 29: All the links listed above to the Square and Compass blog have disappeared. It seems the blog has been taken offline.
Image: The Letter G from inside the lodge room at Lewisville Lodge No. 201 in Lewisville, Texas, from an online collection of G's from Texas. It's one of a handful in the collection that appears to be made with stained glass, and the only one that is superimposed with a cross.
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