Freemasonry and prayer
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01-05-2017, 10:06 AM
Freemasonry and prayer
The following is from Morals and Dogma of the FREEMASONRY.
There is so much wrong with this, just wanted to see if you’re familiar with it or have any thoughts. I just found this text astonishing, disturbing and some of it quite poetic, though I disagree with the philosophy.
Page 6
“It is but a shallow scoff to say that prayer is absurd, because it is no possible for us, by means of it, to persuade God to change His plans. He produces foreknown and foreintended effects, by the instrumentality of the forces of nature, all of which are His forces. Our own are part of these. Our free agency and our will are forces. We do not absurdly cease to make efforts to attain wealth or happiness, prolong life, and continue health, because we cannot by any effort change what is predestined. If the effort also is predestined, it is not the less our effort, made of our free will. So, likewise, we pray. Will is a force. Thought is a force. Prayer is a force. Why should it not be of the law of God, that prayer, like Faith and Love, should have its effects? Man is not to be comprehended as a starting-point, or progress as a goal, without those two great forces, Faith and Love. Prayer is sublime. Orisons that beg and clamor are pitiful. To deny the efficacy of prayer, is to deny that of Faith, Love, and Effort. Yet the effects produced, when our hand, moved by our will, launches a pebble into the ocean, never cease; and every uttered word is registered for eternity upon the invisible air.”
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01-05-2017, 10:56 AM
RE: Freemasonry and prayer
(01-05-2017 10:06 AM)lb2kool Wrote:  The following is from Morals and Dogma of the FREEMASONRY.
There is so much wrong with this, just wanted to see if you’re familiar with it or have any thoughts. I just found this text astonishing, disturbing and some of it quite poetic, though I disagree with the philosophy.
Page 6
“It is but a shallow scoff to say that prayer is absurd, because it is no possible for us, by means of it, to persuade God to change His plans. He produces foreknown and foreintended effects, by the instrumentality of the forces of nature, all of which are His forces. Our own are part of these. Our free agency and our will are forces. We do not absurdly cease to make efforts to attain wealth or happiness, prolong life, and continue health, because we cannot by any effort change what is predestined. If the effort also is predestined, it is not the less our effort, made of our free will. So, likewise, we pray. Will is a force. Thought is a force. Prayer is a force. Why should it not be of the law of God, that prayer, like Faith and Love, should have its effects? Man is not to be comprehended as a starting-point, or progress as a goal, without those two great forces, Faith and Love. Prayer is sublime. Orisons that beg and clamor are pitiful. To deny the efficacy of prayer, is to deny that of Faith, Love, and Effort. Yet the effects produced, when our hand, moved by our will, launches a pebble into the ocean, never cease; and every uttered word is registered for eternity upon the invisible air.”

Sounds like an inane, rambling attempt to explain prayer in light of the concession of predestiny from a god. They concede that you can't change god's plan with it, then conflate prayer with "Faith, Love and Effort".

All they are doing is expanding the definition so it's easy to apply post-hoc rationalization to anything that occurs and then declaring it as "answered" prayer.

Quote:It is but a shallow scoff to say that prayer is absurd

Yeah, that "shallow scoff" is all that's required to dismiss this nonsense. Drinking Beverage

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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01-05-2017, 10:57 AM
RE: Freemasonry and prayer
(01-05-2017 10:06 AM)lb2kool Wrote:  "If the effort also is predestined, it is not the less our effort, made of our free will."

That is embracing a paradox, to say the least. Are Freemasons pantheists?
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01-05-2017, 03:54 PM
RE: Freemasonry and prayer
(01-05-2017 10:57 AM)Thoreauvian Wrote:  
(01-05-2017 10:06 AM)lb2kool Wrote:  "If the effort also is predestined, it is not the less our effort, made of our free will."

That is embracing a paradox, to say the least. Are Freemasons pantheists?
From a FAQ about Masonry:
Quote:An examination of the the degrees will reveal that there is a basic theology of Masonry, as follows:

There is a Supreme Being
Who created the Universe,
Who has established and revealed a moral law,
And to Whom we must give account
in a life after this.

These five points are supported by material in the lectures and related contents of the degrees, such as the discourses on the Working Tools. But there is nothing in these points that is in conflict with any major religion of the Western world. (To be sure, there are branches of Buddhism that are non-theistic, and there are those who do not believe in an afterlife, but they need not become Freemasons, nor does Masonry seek to dissuade them from their beliefs.)
Sounds like pretty generic monotheism, possibly deism, but not particularly pantheist or pagan. In fact they probably would particularly object to anything smacking of paganism to characterize themselves, as they are often accused of being "pagan" or "Satanic".
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03-05-2017, 06:15 PM
RE: Freemasonry and prayer
I presume that you are talking about 'Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry' by Albert Pike (among others). That book was only really used as a resource for candidates and members in the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite in the US, it is not a comprehensive or even fully representative resource on freemasonry as a whole. The Scottish Rite (called Rose Croix in the UK) is an appendant body, seperate to traditional craft masonry, and is the body largely responsible for this idea of a '33rd degree' freemason that permeates conspiracy theories. Interestingly, Rose Croix membership actually requires a belief in the trinity of Christianity whereas craft masonry only requires a candidate to profess belief in 'a supreme being' and for all intents and purposes appears deistic (with one official video by the United Grand Lodge of England even showing a member using the phrase 'I am not particularly religious in any dogmatic way').
In short, what 'Morals and Dogma' says doesn't tell you anything about the vast majority of freemasons. Freemasons religious beliefs are diverse, and they are not supposed to discuss religion (or politics) in Lodge.
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03-05-2017, 06:46 PM
RE: Freemasonry and prayer
My grandfather belonged to the Freemason's. He was an atheist. I think he just mumbled through all the nonsense. He joined to get away from women, smoke cigars, drink whisky and tell dirty jokes. That seems to be what his Mason friends did best.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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04-05-2017, 08:00 AM
RE: Freemasonry and prayer
In the US, the only Masonic requirements are vaguely deistic.
And yes, they don't discuss religion or politics in lodge - they really don't care what "religious beliefs" one might have. The closest they come to any "biblical" reference is putting on "ritual plays" or skits, which are quite theatrical.

Think of it as Comic-Con for boring people. Drinking Beverage

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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04-05-2017, 08:33 AM
RE: Freemasonry and prayer
This topic reminds me of something my husband and I were talking about the other day. Who joins the Elks and other organizations like that anymore? They used to be popular. There's an Elks club down the street from us and the parking lot is always empty. It seems that retired people do other things these days instead.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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04-05-2017, 09:00 AM
RE: Freemasonry and prayer
G'day mate, and welcome to TTA. Smile

(03-05-2017 06:15 PM)Skaraa Wrote:  I presume that you are talking about 'Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry' by Albert Pike (among others). That book was only really used as a resource for candidates and members in the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite in the US, it is not a comprehensive or even fully representative resource on freemasonry as a whole...

Craft masonry only requires a candidate to profess belief in 'a supreme being' and for all intents and purposes appears deistic (with one official video by the United Grand Lodge of England even showing a member using the phrase 'I am not particularly religious in any dogmatic way')...

Freemasons religious beliefs are diverse, and they are not supposed to discuss religion (or politics) in Lodge.

Absolutely correct. My late father was a Freemason (here in Australia) for more than 75 years, and you couldn't have met a more lateral thinking, pragmatic, humanist on the planet. He was also a professional engineer for more than 40 years, and although nominally a Christian, we had many meaningful talks about my own lifelong atheism—and which he never once rejected or demeaned over all those years.

To suggest that the 150-year-old work of Albert Pike (limited only to the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction) is applicable in any way to 21st-century Masonry is simply erroneous.

I'm also guessing that obvious drive-by lb2kool has only posted this single comment in order to be deliberately provocative. I note that he "found this text [Morals and Dogma] astonishing, disturbing"—which indicates that he's neither read it in full, nor comprehends most of what he has read.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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04-05-2017, 09:24 AM
RE: Freemasonry and prayer
(04-05-2017 08:33 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  This topic reminds me of something my husband and I were talking about the other day. Who joins the Elks and other organizations like that anymore? They used to be popular. There's an Elks club down the street from us and the parking lot is always empty. It seems that retired people do other things these days instead.

The Elks (BPOE) are nothing like the Masons. One of their formal entry requirements is a belief in God—plus being over 21 years of age, with American citizenship, and of good "moral character". The Elks are a serving fraternity organisation—like Rotary for example—and have far more US members than does Rotary.

But I agree that ALL of these types of service fraternities are experiencing steep declines in membership globally—probably, as you say, due to older people having better things to do with their time. Rather than sitting around getting pissed and grumbling about how "things were better in my day... harumpfff".

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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