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Something I noticed about my petition.
Posted: 01 March 2017 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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So first before I say what I noticed I want to make clear it isn’t a problem for me personally. However I did find this interesting while filling out the petition.

As we know Freemasonry requires belief in a supreme power to join. Now before I got my petition I thought it would simply ask the generic, “Do you believe in a supreme being/Higher power.” Mine instead asks, “Do you seriously declare, upon your honor that you firmly believe in the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the divine authenticity of the Holy Scripture.”

From the context of the wording this is clearly specific to the Abrahamic religions and I was wondering why. Like I said this isn’t a problem for me personally because the answer is yes but what about any Pagans or others that wish to petition that do simply believe in a supreme being but not necessarily one denoted from the Abrahamic religions? As I understand Freemasonry has members from all sorts of religious backgrounds. Wouldn’t this variation of the question potentially be problematic at some point?

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Posted: 01 March 2017 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Just so you know, each GL jurisdiction can be a little different. While a belief in a Supreme Deity is standard through out freemasonry, some jurisdictions will take it a little bit further and add small touches such as you mentioned above. Some will require that the dogma you believe in includes the immortality of the soul. Some will require that you believe there is a Supreme Being who was responsible for creation… so forth and so on.

And while the wording you mention was probably originally written by a Christian follower, it doesn’t limit your choices of supreme being to just the Christian God. First the word “god” whether capitalized or not is basically a generic name of deity. The addition of the “immortality of the soul” while it is part of the Judeo-Christian or Islamic belief is not exclusive to those faiths. But it could cause you to pause and reflect. For example, most jurisdictions will all Buddhists to join, but Buddhism is a very all encompassing title for a religion that actually contains a few different belief systems. Some Buddhist simply follow the teachings of Buddha and may not recognize any supreme being outside of themselves. While some Buddhists may believe in a Supreme Being and follow the teachings of Buddha but believe that once you die you cease to exist. And others may believe in a cycle of reincarnation (and this would be a form of immortality of the soul as it never dies but rather cycles through existence forever).

As for divine authenticity of the Holy Scripture, again I’m sure that the original intent was that of the Christian Bible, it could also include the Torah or Q’ran or any other “Holy” book followed by a particular faith.

So what I am saying is that unless it expressly says you must believe in Christianity or any other individual religion (pick one) then you are free to apply the words to your own chosen faith.

And by the way, it is Kurt Cobain.

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Bro. David Howard
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Sr. Deacon - Howard E. Palmes Lodge #917, Mobile, Alabama

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Posted: 01 March 2017 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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The bit about holy scripture could be in relation to the fact that Masons take their obligations on a book of holy scriptures, which represents God by being the actual word of God.  If an initiate does not recognize a volume of sacred law that represents the actual word of God, then it could be that those who penned your petition text may have felt that an obligation on such a book would not be binding for one who doesn’t believe it a volume of sacred law.

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Dan

Past Master, Columbian Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Boston, MA
Senior Deacon, Friendship Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Wilmington, MA
32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Boston
Shriners International, Aleppo Temple - Wilmington, MA

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Posted: 01 March 2017 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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I see, so it may initially appear to be referring to the Abrahamic God and one of those holy texts because it uses the same style of language but it’s actually worded this way to be more clear? I appreciate the quick responses I was just curious because the wording caught my eye…I had actually gotten a petition once before via print out a few years ago via the Grand Lodge of Texas website that the wording was on the more generic side and I was a bit confused..Not really a big deal of course but I always appreciate having this resource here to clear up anything I get confused about.

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I would rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I’m not
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Posted: 01 March 2017 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Dragonslayer - 01 March 2017 10:21 AM

I see, so it may initially appear to be referring to the Abrahamic God and one of those holy texts because it uses the same style of language but it’s actually worded this way to be more clear? I appreciate the quick responses I was just curious because the wording caught my eye…I had actually gotten a petition once before via print out a few years ago via the Grand Lodge of Texas website that the wording was on the more generic side and I was a bit confused..Not really a big deal of course but I always appreciate having this resource here to clear up anything I get confused about.

The wording is common to our rituals. Our rituals have been changed in small ways through the years and each jurisdiction is a little different but the old phrases and wording is always there. You will get used to it. I find it quite amusing to use that kind of phrasing outside lodge with my brothers, it’s like a secret language only Masons understand.

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John Ruggiero, 32°
Master, Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, MA.

God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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Posted: 01 March 2017 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Thanks for the reply John much appreciated. I enjoy learning history and rituals etc. I suppose that’s why I get so curious. Heh the secret language only masons understand bit is pretty funny. I can only imagine the look of confusion on some people’s face.

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I would rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I’m not
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Posted: 01 March 2017 10:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Dragonslayer - 01 March 2017 10:11 PM

Thanks for the reply John much appreciated. I enjoy learning history and rituals etc. I suppose that’s why I get so curious. Heh the secret language only masons understand bit is pretty funny. I can only imagine the look of confusion on some people’s face.

I can assure you that you will hear very similar words as soon as you are elected to receive the degrees.

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John Ruggiero, 32°
Master, Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, MA.

God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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Posted: 01 March 2017 11:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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The degrees seem like something I will throughly enjoy. I look forward to updating everyone upon being initiated.

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I would rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I’m not
-Curt Cobain

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Posted: 03 March 2017 02:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Do you seriously declare, upon your honor that you firmly believe in the existence of God, the immortality of the soul, and the divine authenticity of the Holy Scripture

I’m going to break it down how I read it.

“the existence of God” = being that it does not elaborate on who or what god is if you can yes they you meet that.

“the immortality of the soul” = do we go to a place of afterlife as an individual soul, are we reincarnated, do we join the force of nature, etc.  Basically anything other than “we cease to exist”.

“divine authenticity of the Holy Scripture” = Do you believe god in some manner, at some point in time, left some writing to say “hey guys”.  Since it doesn’t say “the dive authenticity of the Holy Scripture still in existence and/or accepted by large corporate religions of the world” that is a very large area.  Here is another way to think about it:  do you believe that before the reality we currently have there existed a god.  If the answer is yes then you can say with certainty that you believe in Genesis 1:1a “In the begging God..”.  If you believe in those four words and no other part of the Bible then you do indeed believe in the authenticity of the Holy Scripture.

Granted the above are my thoughts and could be totally off base.

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DeWayne
Kensington-Bethesda Lodge No. 198 - Senior Warden
RAM, RSM, KT, KM, SRICF

I’m living in the DC area now.

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Posted: 17 March 2017 06:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Brother John - 01 March 2017 02:06 PM
Dragonslayer - 01 March 2017 10:21 AM

I see, so it may initially appear to be referring to the Abrahamic God and one of those holy texts because it uses the same style of language but it’s actually worded this way to be more clear? I appreciate the quick responses I was just curious because the wording caught my eye…I had actually gotten a petition once before via print out a few years ago via the Grand Lodge of Texas website that the wording was on the more generic side and I was a bit confused..Not really a big deal of course but I always appreciate having this resource here to clear up anything I get confused about.

The wording is common to our rituals. Our rituals have been changed in small ways through the years and each jurisdiction is a little different but the old phrases and wording is always there. You will get used to it. I find it quite amusing to use that kind of phrasing outside lodge with my brothers, it’s like a secret language only Masons understand.

Very true. I am a relatively new MM, a little over two and a half years, and am still learning….and learning a lot!

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