Freemasonry: An Ideal Guide To Ending Religion’s Divisiveness– Henry Bassey

By Ikenga Chronicles November 6, 2016

Freemasonry: An Ideal Guide To Ending Religion’s Divisiveness– Henry Bassey

“May this wine I now drink become a deadly poison to me if I ever knowingly or intentionally betray any of the secrets now about to be imparted to me.”

As the initiate says these words;  words that have been spoken by countless men generations before him, he raises the hollow skull filled with blood-red wine toward his mouth drinking in long and deep swallows till the last drop.

About an hour before then, the initiate would have entered the temple blindfolded and dressed in loose-fitting white trousers and a tunic. His left leg was exposed to the knee and the left breast of the tunic had been drawn apart to expose that side of the chest. A hangman noose was put round his neck. Tonight, he was dressed as a medieval heretic before the Inquisition.

The ceremony proceeded with the initiate being led into the temple where the worship master will inquire of him to affirm that he is of age and that his desire to join the brotherhood wasn’t influenced by an unworthy motive, mercenary or improper solicitation. The initiate is then reminded of the punishment that may follow if he intentionally betrays the secrets now about to be imparted to him. After which the initiate is made to kneel in front of the altar before the worshipful master and to take the oath of fidelity by placing his right hand on the “Volume of Sacred Law” (The Bible) and reciting the words of the oath.

As the blindfold is taken off, the initiate begins to grasp the world before him. The assembly of brothers encircling him was adorned in their regalia of lambskin aprons, sashes and white gloves.  Many of these men held powerful positions in life, different political, cultural and religious affiliations; but all these meant nothing within these walls. Here all men are equal, sworn brothers of an ancient brotherhood, sharing a mystical bond. All they needed was a belief in a supernatural being–The Great Architect of The Universe.

The initiate would then be conducted around the temple by the deacon and passwords and signs revealed to him.  As he moved round the temple, he saw them, BOAZ and JACHIN, the twin pillars that stood in the porch way of King Solomon’s temple, the symbols of strength and stability.

Tonight, he has attained the rank of ENTERED APPRENTICE- the first of the three degrees he has to pass before being accepted as a full master mason.

 

***

Freemasonry is the world’s oldest known fraternity.  If you were to ask a mason what freemasonry is, the surest answer you will get is that “freemasonry is a beautiful system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. “

All freemasons begin their journey in the “Craft” by being initiated, passed and raised into the three degrees of Craft.  During these three rituals, the candidate is progressively taught the meanings of the masonic symbols, and entrusted with grips, signs and words to signify to other Masons that he has been so initiated. The initiations are part allegory and part lecture.

Freemasonry remains the least understood organization among public. It has always perplexed outsiders, and has always been an organization shrouded in mystery. People lack even the rudimentary knowledge about freemasonry, and ignorance results in confused ideas and spread of misinformation. It has a fair share of critics, and detractors, and baseless allegations have often leveled against it. But it does not answer to critics, and this has been the reason why so many misconceptions exist about freemasonry.

Freemasonry is many things but it’s certainly not evil, although some people seem determined to find it so. I have no wish to be an apologist for freemasonry. The craft (as freemasonry is called by insiders) does a lot of good. It has donated very large sums of money to charity, usually anonymously; built hospitals for children and the elderly, and it promotes levels of moral rectitude and social responsibility that are impressive and commendable.

It is the goal of freemasonry to make good men better. Color, race, political affiliations and religion have always been irrelevant to membership. The only absolute requirement is a belief in God…..any god. How a man worships God is purely his private affair. Instead of using theological definitions of God, masonry uses more general terms like Supreme Being or Grand Architect of the universe. This allows masons of different religions and cultures to gather and commune together. Freemasonry isn’t a religion. It has no specific theology, and it does not offer a pathway to salvation. It constantly reminds you of the duty that you owe to the Almighty and to your fellowmen, and expects you to follow the path shown by your religion to attain that.

Because religion and politics often drive people apart, they are never discussed in a Masonic Lodge. This masonic tradition of tolerance and open-mindedness is praiseworthy especially in today’s world where people are killing each other over whose definition of God is better.

 

  • Henry Bassey is on Twitter as @henrydennis25
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