Masonry - Fact or Fiction?

Saturday, 21 March 2015 19:08

As we ponder the serious nature of the all important questions that may arise when

attempting to discuss the subject of this article, it is necessary that we firstestablish or determine the answer to the question "What is Masonry?"Masonry throughout the years has been misunderstood, mistaken, mislabeled and misrepresented. It is time that we take a close look at what our organization is and what it should be.

Masonry, in its purest form, could be classified as second only to the Holy Scriptures as they relate to instructing mankind in the art of living to one's full potential.Masonry can best be understood by separating it into two categories,

1. Masonry and a Mason individually and 2. Masonry as a group of Masons.

1. We must first establish the fact that all men are not proper material to be introduced to Masonry. Masonry does not make a man good. It takes a GOOD MAN and makes him better. In accordance with this theory, it is necessary that a Lodge investigate fully the life and character of a candidate before bestowing any degrees upon them. So, to an individual Mason, Masonry is simply a WAY OF LIFE in which he has dedicated himself to a clean, wholesome life uncluttered with the usual stains, vices and excesses that cause an ordinary man's downfall. He is expected to uphold his name and reputation in every facet of his life; at home, in his community, on his job, in his church and his neighborhood or wherever life takes him. He is further expected to study and improve himself in whatever areas possible to better provide for himself and his family. Education has been proven to be the road to success and should be utilized as such.

    1. Masonry as an organization, in its true form, is considered a cohesive group of men joined together in brotherhood and dedicated to the ideology that the improvement in the life of each individual brother improves the life of all mankind by providing role models, leaders and exemplary examples for generations to come. The basic teachings and principles of Masonry include the time honored four cardinal virtues of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice as well as the virtues of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.

We have arrived at the above definitions of what our forefathers meant for Masonry to be. Through fifty-eight years of membership, study and extensive service to the Masonic Organization and based on the above stated principles and our own real life experience, we can definitely affirm that Masonry is FACT and not fiction.

So, if Masonry is fact, where does fiction fit in?

The fictional part of present day Masonry can best be explained by reference to the scriptural phrase: "Many are called, but few are chosen."

You may have noticed that in defining Masonry, we have purposely referred to it as being in its purest form. It is inevitable that you will find, in any organization consisting of men of diverse nationalities, sects and opinions, members who fail to adhere to its principles and, due to their indiscretions, cause the uninformed public to view us with disdain; thereby damaging our reputation and public image.

A few of Masonry's greatest critics have labeled us erroneously as a devil-worshipping cult. This is the ploy of those who through ignorance, choose to ridicule that which they don't understand. We have yet to find any of these critics, who can present a plausible reason for their assumptions.

In conclusion, we find that Masonry is basically fact; however the unrestricted conduct of some of our members in public situations has left us vulnerable to assertions of the fiction of the Masonic ideology.

Masonry should be considered seriously, not as a fraternal playhouse, a Greek fraternity or a collection of good ole boys. Being able to shine ritualistically by repeating its lessons verbatim, does not make one a Mason, neither does it promise you swift promotion through the ranks of Masonry to wear the purple of the fraternity. The teachings of Masonry as a way of life must be lived to reach its fullest potential. Practice what you preach; walk the walk; talk the talk and live the life. You will be surprised what Life has in store for you.

Albert E. Foster, Sr. 33°

Sr. Past Grand Master

Prince Hall Grand Lodge

Michigan Jurisdiction

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