Monday, February 10, 2014

Recovering God in Freemasonry written by Brother John L. Hairston

It is in the grandest honor to have the opportunity to be an ambassador for the One, Great and Universal Architect of the Universe.
As a Grand Chaplain we are given the further duty of representing the Volume of Sacred Law in the assembly.
The badge presents to the Craft an Open Book, which has historically represented the Holy Bible. The ritual charging us "to be steadfast in the faith of our acceptance", freemasonry defines its objective as unifying a brotherhood on the commonality of belief in the Supreme Being; at the same time, forbidding all forms of sectarian discussion in the lodges.
With the elimination of religious debate, the Craft is left to confront the greater enemy, SELF. The object of religion is to lead man to God; the object of Freemasonry is to lead man to the Man God created.
The Progressive Science is the science of YOU.
I believe the most important part of the degree work is the examination by the Secretary. The Secretary, in his preliminary address, lays out the design and work of Freemasonry to the Candidate; his first official encounter with Freemasonry is being informed that Freemasonry is "far removed from all that is trivial, selfish and ungodly".
The Gem here is that, while freemasonry forbids sectarian discussion, it doesn't forbid the presence of God in Freemasonry.
Freemasonry's structure for human living was an approach to maintaining a delicate balance between the earthly and spiritual components of our lives. Hence, the further revelation of the Square and the Compasses as symbols of appropriate proportions of Life Skills and Resources.
King Solomon's Temple was erected to be a House  to meet the Supreme Designer of All Seen and Unseen. It was built for the intent purpose of Housing the Glory of God, also called the Shekinah. The Temple was to serve as the source of the Glory of God on earth.
This should serve as a model for our Jurisdictions, a Grand Lodge connected to an operative concept of God.
The "disconnection" between God and Freemasonry can be traced legitimately to the publishing of Anderson's Constitution of 1723, but has more to do with the individual; their personal experience and interpretation of that experience. Is there an active God in the Craft?
As long as the Shekinah rested in the Holy of Holies the prosperity and glory of Israel was renowned. And we then find the outcome of Israel's fate, the Shekinah no longer abided in the Temple, as recorded in a prophetic vision of Ezekiel:
"Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cheribums."
The next Chapter records the condemnation of Jerusalem. The entire city suffered from the Shekinah departing the Temple. And so this Organization becomes dark when we attempt to separate the presence of God from the Craft; when it is only sectarian discussions that are forbidden in our assemblies.
I am not being fanatical, I am not suggesting making a lodge a place of worship; rather, we understand the fact that no matter how tyled our meetings are, we are no secret to the All Seeing Eye. He takes record of all proceedings, in all rooms, wherever members may find themselves. We often lose sight of that fact, and miss the opportunity self improvement because we take pleasure in living like God doesn't exist in Freemasonry.
Despite the broad difference of beliefs, and guides for those beliefs, they all point to a moral life and relationship with the Omniscent. The Supreme Being you give allegiance to is the God and Father of all, whether we share the same beliefs or not. Freemasonry does in the lodges what Religious Community can't seem to achieve; the gathering of HUMANITY under the All Seeing Eye of God.

Pillared by the Church's dogmatic regard for Freemasonry and Freemasonry's desire for ultra-esoteric meaning to symbolism and philosophy, we find the definition of the Supreme Being becoming more vague; more human. Freemasonry separated from the concept of God is paganistic; a system of vice and paperwork deadlines.