Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest fraternal organisations, and in Scotland,we are lucky enough to reside in the country with the oldest documented History of Freemasonry.
The lessons Freemasonry teaches new entrants during its ceremonies, are about living your life to a set of high moral values, without crossing into the realms of religion.
Despite what many people claim, Freemasonry is not in any way a secret society. Freemasonry’s so-called secrets are solely used as a ceremonial way of demonstrating that one is a Freemason. The real point of a Freemason promising not to reveal their secrets is basically a dramatic way of promising to keep one’s word in general.
Freemasonry also cannot be called a secret society, because Freemasons do not promise to keep their membership a secret. Where and when Freemasons meet are matters of public record, and more and more, we are involved in public charitable events which showcase our contributions to the good of society.
It is ironic that Freemasons used to keep quiet about their membership. They were and still are taught, never to use membership to advance their own interests.
Critics have taken this silence as something secretive and potentially malevolent but nothing could be further from the truth.
Masonic ceremonies are secular morality plays, which are learned by heart, and acted out by members of the lodge for the benefit of the person who is becoming a Freemason, where each ceremony has a different morality message for the candidate. A major reason why Freemasons do not go around broadcasting the content of these ceremonies, is quite simply that it would spoil it for the candidate.
The same way you would not tell someone the ending of a good book or a film, you would not tell someone about the ceremony.
Freemasons are required to profess a belief in a Supreme Being.
Their ceremonies include prayers, which are not in any way a substitute for religion. It offers no theological doctrine, no sacraments, and does not claim to lead to salvation.
By having prayers at its meetings Freemasonry is no more in competition with religion than, say, having a meal where grace is said.
Freemasons are not allowed to discuss religion or politics at meetings, as these topics can easily lead to heated discussion rather than enlightenment.
Freemasonry’s aim is to encourage its members to discover what people from all different backgrounds have in common.
A Freemason is thus basically encouraged to do his duty first to his God, and then to his family and those who are dependent upon him. He is to help his neighbours through charity and service.
None of these ideas are exclusive to Freemasonry, but Freemasons are expected to follow them.
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