It would seem that Freemasonry is one of the most controversial subjects in existence. There are many questions that arise concerning it but never one straight answer. Its ironic how both Masons and non-Masons or anti Masons each has their own views and concepts regarding it.
Some feel that Freemasonry is some form of religion. Although there are some Masons that will suggest this, most Lodges take the stand that they are not a religion. Their one main tie to religion is that candidates for membership must believe in a “Supreme Being. According to them, all members are encouraged to be part of an established religion but it is not mandatory to become a member. The choice of the word “Supreme Being” is interesting in that is it a play on words? Where as many Christians would take it as being God do the Masons take it as being one of their “Supreme Leaders”. Again, it is one of those questions that the answer leaves room for conjecture. Their propose themselves as a Fraternity that considers high morals, being charitable and philosophical as the credentials for their organization. The Freemasonry has no individuals that they refer to as clergy or ministers implicating some form of religious tie, no do they teach salvation or sacraments.
Non-Masons will express concerns about terms such as temple, worshipful, and craft for example. All terms that are used explicitly when in comes to the Freemasonry. They will respond to these concerns with retorts such as there are many types of temples around such as Labor Temples, or Temples of fine arts. Yet these are not connected to any form of religion. Not all Mason buildings are referred to as temples such as those that are called Lodge halls and Masonic centers. It is interesting to note though if one goes back in History that the Masons feel there was a connotation to the Temple of Solomon as being a form of Lodge.
If we were to go back in History the term worshipful would have been a common term for that era. This would date back to the 1800’s when Freemasonry was becoming established so it would seem it has just been a term that has been carried forward through the years. The definition of this word according to Freemasons as they accept it is in reference to meaning honorable or respected. Now as we have said according to many Masons they do not have clergy yet others will tell you they do have a chaplain and they engage in-group prayer but this does not make them into a religion. Again it seems that a play on words are present and there is not cut and dried answer as to whether one would consider the Freemasonry a definite religion. Alternatively, do they perceive themselves as religious?
It is known that the Freemasons rely strongly on allegory for their teachings. The confusing answers to some of the questions makes one wonder if these answers are based on allegory as well and are not wholly factual in the true sense. In other words as said many times before a play on words.
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