I went to the Masonic Lodge for my dad to recieve an advanced honor in the Scottish Rite. While there are books out there, and skeptics that would like to say masonry is cult of some sorts, I am not here to agrue this point. What I do know is that since my dad has been involved with the Masons and the Shrine Temple he has grown to be a much more confident man. There is a level of affirmation that the rituals of Masonry reaches that is much needed in our culture.
I wish I could say that churches are meeting this need. The church’s existence is to continue to preach the kingdom of God, to share the love of God, and to affirm each other until Jesus returns to take His bride home.
Why are churches falling short on their job of affirmation and lending itself to be shunned for organizations that take better pride in lifting up their people? I dare say other organizations that cater to the same need are those such as Mary Kay, Premiere Jewelry, Pampered Chef and other pyramid companies such as those. Whether churches fail on their job or not, the need for fellowship with believers is struck down when your needs are met through a church substitute.
While I feel proud of my daddy for what he has accomplished inside and outside of the lodge, I do have major concerns for him and other masons. I heard much tonight about the Great Architect and the God of nature and the Father Almighty. I am concerned though that the references to God are only part of the ritual. It seems as if mankind has a strong desire to live in a pyramidal world where we work to accomplish goals and are celebrated for doing so. This desire isn’t a bad thing at all as long as we realize it is only God’s grace and mercy through Jesus that we have the ability to create goals, strive for them, and encourage others in climbing the ladder too.
Is the Great Architect a general, tolerant, universal god who is diluted and weak or is he the God Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth, the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, the Son Emmanuel, the Holy Spirit? Rituals can easily distract from the truth and the essence. The Pharisees battled this in the days Jesus walked on earth as a man. They let their rituals get in the way of loving others.
Mainly though, my biggest thought throughout the whole ceremony, was the faith God requires of us, and nothing else. There is a heirarchy, not bad in itself but that creates a level system almost. Are you a better man because you have advanced through the rites and obtained a higher symbolic hat and pen? Rather, I wish I could preach one thing to every mason to remember: “For it is by grace you have been saved, though faith- and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God- not by works so that no man can boast” Ephesians 2:9.