Firstly hello to all admin, members & readers - and thank you for maintaining this forum which is helping me get information about Freemasonry.
There are many questions on my mind and your clarifications are most appreciated.
Firstly, while reading the replies in other threads, I read a reply by a moderator to a question of a religious aspect, and in it mentioned how membership was restricted to Christians up to a certain year until when it was decided, in England, to allow non-Christians in, and considered it as: “they met… and started on the same square”... something like that.
I apologize for destroying the line, but I do not recall it to exactitude, and can no longer find that post since I browsed many threads. If someone could kindly write that bit again about how membership became open to non-Christians and the line since I found it so simple yet deep in meaning.
On another note, I am curious to know if there was another online forum prior to this one since the oldest post is dated in 2007 - if there has not been one, I would like to know why this recent online forum establishing, etc.
I would like to help you learn more about Freemasonry. Membership is restricted to men who believe in God. Only an avowed atheist, cannot petition the Craft. Your personal religious beliefs and practices, are a matter of extreme privacy. You need not believe in Jesus of Nazareth to petition Freemasonry.
Membership is open to Jewish men, Muslim Men, Hindu Men, Buddhist Men, Unitarians, etc. Masonry is non-sectarian.
If you choose to petition Freemasonry, you are welcome to get more information here, or at your local lodge. Just let us know.
Thank you for your reply and courtesy in your offer.
Yes, in reading one of the threads about a belief in a superior being, there was a mention that it used to be ‘Christian exclusive’, until it was changed in England; the rationale given was a one liner: “... they met, and parted on the same square”. the line isn’t complete/accurate hence my inquiry of the correct line.
I am a Christian Catholic; the reason for my inquiry is simply because I found a lot of wisdom in that line, and wished to read it again, and could not find the post as I had been going through all the threads. :) So if possible to re-write it, thank you.
In my preliminary learning process about Freemasonry to evaluate the possibility, I am trying to envision through the information about it’s historical development, coupled with the historical contexts of the times of each historical data I read respectively, the kind of a fraternity that it is, it’s direction, and current status.
Hence my interest into if there were online forum for the lodge prior to 2007 and the triggers of the evolution if not.
NO question is inappropriate. The purpose of this discussion board is to assist individuals like yourself, in learning more about Freemasonry. In order to petition Freemasonry, the individual applicant must profess belief in the Supreme Being. How a man believes, and his individual religious practices, are left to the individual. The applicant must submit some basic paperwork to lodge of his choice. The exact wording varies from state to state (There is no one form used nationally). The applicant is encouraged to complete the form accurately and honestly.
If your friend is sincerely interested in petitioning Freemasonry, I would encourage him to contact the lodge in his area of residence, and/or the Grand Lodge in his state, for a more definitive answer.
Masonry accepts men of many different faith backgrounds, how an individual worships or believes is a matter of extreme privacy. Roman Catholics are certainly welcomed to petition.
Please keep in mind that the moderators of this board are volunteers, and it may be some days before a question posted here is answered.
If you or your friend has achieved a favorable impression of Freemasonry, and either of you wish to take the process forward, please let us know, and we will assist you in locating a lodge, and submitting the required paperwork.
I believe what you are looking for concerning God and religion is the first principle enuntiated in the first printed constitution, printed in London in 1723. I will quote it in full:
The Constitutions of the Free-Masons
Containing the History, Charges, Regulations, etc.
Of that Most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity,
For the Use of the Lodges
The Charges of a Free-Mason
To be Read
At the Making of New Brethren,
or when the MASTER shall order it.
I. Concerning God and Religion
A Mason is oblig’d, by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine. But though in ancient Times Masons were charg’d in every Country to be of the Religion of that Country or Nation, whatever it was, yet ‘tis now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that Religion in which all Men agree, leaving their particular Opinions to themselves; that is, to be good Men and true, or Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Denominations or Persuasions they may be distinguish’d; whereby Masonry becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain’d at a perpetual Distance.