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Initiation and the Volume of Sacred Law: What qualifies a text as divine? Is there a list I can choose from?
Posted: 01 March 2019 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I am anxiously expecting alot of thought provoking questions should I be interviewed by Freemasons. That is why I want to use this forum—to prepare my mind.

I believe in superior extraterrestrial intelligence. I suppose the foremost among them would be my God. I am willing to submit my ignorance to something superior. I just cant say I know God, and I don’t believe any of the religions of this earth have a divine text that truly represents the divine. 

When I think about I cant see how one would qualify a text as divine. Freemasonry is not a religion so how can it classify a religious text as sacred and divine? Is there a list I can choose from?

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Posted: 02 March 2019 12:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Heiligenschein - 01 March 2019 09:23 PM

I am anxiously expecting alot of thought provoking questions should I be interviewed by Freemasons. That is why I want to use this forum—to prepare my mind.

I believe in superior extraterrestrial intelligence. I suppose the foremost among them would be my God. I am willing to submit my ignorance to something superior. I just cant say I know God, and I don’t believe any of the religions of this earth have a divine text that truly represents the divine. 

When I think about I cant see how one would qualify a text as divine. Freemasonry is not a religion so how can it classify a religious text as sacred and divine? Is there a list I can choose from?

The Volume of Sacred Law resting on the altar of the lodge is the book most of the members use in their faith. If you are taking your degrees you can request the book of scripture you hold dear to be placed on the altar for your use when you need it during the ceremony.  In other words,  you define the book you consider Devine. There are some jurisdictions that have a list of acceptable books but not all.

Lodges in Israel,  for example open with a Bible, Tanak, and Quran on the altar.

In my lodge, we would explore each candidate’s faith to determine which books should be used and ask the candidate to bring his book if we didn’t have a copy.

Understand that belief in a Supreme Being is a requirement for anyone to be considered for membership. Silly “belief systems” like the giant spaghetti monster would get a candidate rejected before he filled out his application.

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Posted: 02 March 2019 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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I would suggest that if you cannot simply tell us what is the “Volume of the Sacred Law” for your own belief you need to go away and work that out for yourself as we cannot tell you and wouldn’t dream of trying to.

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Posted: 02 March 2019 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Brother John - 02 March 2019 12:18 AM

In my lodge, we would explore each candidate’s faith to determine which books should be used and ask the candidate to bring his book if we didn’t have a copy.

Understand that belief in a Supreme Being is a requirement for anyone to be considered for membership. Silly “belief systems” like the giant spaghetti monster would get a candidate rejected before he filled out his application.

So what is a legitimate belief system? One that is established and already has a following? Where is the wisdom in following what millions of others already believe? What if the truth is not here yet on such a mass level, in 2019?

Is something wrong with a faith in a superior intelligence and being that is deduced only from reason itself? As I see it thats what my beliefs are.

Mike Martin - 02 March 2019 06:34 AM

I would suggest that if you cannot simply tell us what is the “Volume of the Sacred Law” for your own belief you need to go away and work that out for yourself as we cannot tell you and wouldn’t dream of trying to.

are the mysteries of Freemasonry so closely entwined with the current religions that I need to believe in one of them? Do you see how that is like saying that “Freemasonry created all religions so pick one”

Does that mean I can only learn Christian Freemasonry or Hindu Freemasonry etc.?

What if it is precisely the mysteries of Freemasonry that will give me the faith to believe in one of the established religions?

I dont want to have to join an irregular Liberal order just because of this because like most if not all Freemasons, i am basically worship oriented and submissive to a divine power. I just cant afford the time to find some established system outside of Freemasonry when I can learn the mysteries of Freemasonry itself

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Posted: 03 March 2019 02:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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The only qualification is a belief in the Supreme Being. You don’t need to follow any particular religion. You don’t need to be a member of an organized religion.

I mentioned “silly” belief systems because others before you have asked if that were acceptable.

If you believe in the Supreme Being and are accountable to that being, that’s all the effort we need to put into it.

Remember,  joining a lodge and becoming a Mason is not a right but a privilege. We must all be satisfied that any applicant will add to the harmony of the lodge.  Those who come to us filled with arguments and intend to bend us to their concepts of what is right will be disappointed. We have been around for centuries and will continue to select those we find who are ready to begin a journey of self improvement and service to humanity. It only takes a single negative vote to eliminate a candidate.

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Posted: 04 March 2019 05:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Heiligenschein - 02 March 2019 08:24 AM

Some stuff

For me I would already be saying no it’s not for you. Freemasonry is not a religion, the most that it does is reinforces a Freemason’s own belief system. If you’re not able to understand that I think you should look elsewhere.

However, we do like to give people the benefit of the doubt so maybe we could do this in a sensible fashion:

1) Why do you want to be a Freemason?
2) What do you think you will bring to a Lodge?
3) What do you think you will get out of membership?

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Posted: 04 March 2019 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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In my jurisdiction, there are three questions a man must be able to answer in the affirmative before being allowed to join:

  - Do you believe in the existence of a supreme being?
  - Do you believe that that supreme being will reward virtue and punish vice?
  - Do you believe that that supreme being has revealed His will to man?

From what you have said, I think you would have a hard time answering yes to all three and thus would not be a good fit for Freemasonry, nor Freemasonry for you.

The Craft is not for everybody and just about every Mason I know would agree that there are many paths to enlightenment. I wish you well on your journey, my friend.

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Posted: 04 March 2019 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Lark - 04 March 2019 07:34 AM

In my jurisdiction, there are three questions a man must be able to answer in the affirmative before being allowed to join:

  - Do you believe in the existence of a supreme being?
  - Do you believe that that supreme being will reward virtue and punish vice?
  - Do you believe that that supreme being has revealed His will to man?

From what you have said, I think you would have a hard time answering yes to all three and thus would not be a good fit for Freemasonry, nor Freemasonry for you.

The Craft is not for everybody and just about every Mason I know would agree that there are many paths to enlightenment. I wish you well on your journey, my friend.

Which jurisdiction is that?

I only have trouble with the third question. I cant believe the whole of Freemasonry to be that dogmatic.

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Posted: 04 March 2019 07:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Heiligenschein - 04 March 2019 06:17 PM

Which jurisdiction is that?

I only have trouble with the third question. I cant believe the whole of Freemasonry to be that dogmatic.

Ontario.  It is common enough in that wording; other jurisdictions use much the same. You are of course encouraged to look around, but I doubt you will find that much difference.

As to ‘dogmatism’, please keep in mind that it is you coming to us. You need of course not accept our beliefs, our systems, our ‘dogma’. Neither should you consider joining an organization whose values you do not share.

Again, good luck.

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Posted: 05 March 2019 04:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Heiligenschein - 04 March 2019 06:17 PM

Which jurisdiction is that?

I only have trouble with the third question. I cant believe the whole of Freemasonry to be that dogmatic.

... and the English/Scottish/Irish Constitutions will ask the same thing; in general terms we mean the Bible, Torah, Koran etc. .. the Book that contains the Creator’s revealed Will of whatever Faith you hold. It is the Book that you would take your Obligation on; if there’s isn’t one that the members of the lodge you intend to join deem acceptable, then it’s highly unlikely that they would accept you as a member.

By that I mean that if you was to say “the writings of L.  Ron Hubbard”, then they might say “er - no” or “er - ok” .. it’s down to what the existing members are happy with - and another lodge may answer differently.

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Posted: 05 March 2019 06:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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@Lark I know. I am just looking for internal consistency and that I am talking to the right members. If something is not internally consistent rationally then I would suspect I can keep looking for another member who may have greater understanding of Masonry’s rules.

Thanks for wishing me well.

@Richard George Ok. Hopefully i wont have to move to another country.

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Posted: 05 March 2019 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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In general Freemasonry is very consistent jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The differences are minor and mostly the result of reaction to some crisis that the Grand Master had to make a ruling on. There are lists of these “Edicts” online and in print. Each Masonic Jurisdiction (each state in the US and country in other places) is sovereign to itself. There is no global government of the Fraternity. As a result, there are going to be minor differences.

Let me make something clear here. You are knocking on the door of our Fraternity. This is not something anyone should do lightly or with any intent to amuse oneself or just start an argument for the sake of arguing. We cannot (and will not even try to) change our Fraternity to suit what you think is right and fair. There are lots of other organizations out there that are closer to what you may be looking for. You should explore what they have to offer.

I chose to become a Freemason and have worked hard for many years to become a leader within the Fraternity. I and all the other Masons who have patiently answered your questions are volunteers and have been truthful with you. If you don’t like our answers, that’s OK. As has been stated above, Freemasonry is not for everybody.

I, too, wish you well on your journey.

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Posted: 05 March 2019 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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You might find this useful to read; it might answer some of your questions;

https://www.ugle.org.uk/about/book-of-constitutions  - in particular, pages x - xv.

It details what the various Constitutions who have mutual interchange/communication expect from each other and their members.

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Posted: 06 March 2019 12:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Michael01101011, since you do not include even a general location in your profile, it make it even more difficult to give you a suitable answer.
If you have done any research at all, you will have found that even most of the parallel orders have a similar requirement and that you need to be able to answer the basic questions in the affirmative.

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Posted: 07 March 2019 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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This is a new one.

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Posted: 08 March 2019 03:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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W Br Gleason - 06 March 2019 12:49 PM

Michael01101011, since you do not include even a general location in your profile, it make it even more difficult to give you a suitable answer.

Local time for him is GMT-4 putting him somewhere here ..

Standard Time
Anguilla
Antigua and Barbuda
Aruba
Barbados
Bolivia
British Virgin Islands
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Grenada
Guyana
Puerto Rico
Saint Lucia
Trinidad and Tobago
US Virgin Islands

Daylight Saving Time (DST)
USA on Eastern Daylight Saving Time

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