Masonic Frequently Asked Questions
What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is the world's oldest fraternal organizations. The lessons Freemasonry teaches in its ceremonies, are to do with moral values. A Freemason is basically encouraged to do his duty to his God, his family and those who dependent on him. He is to help his neighbours through charity and service. None of these ideas is exclusive to Freemasonry, but all should be universally acceptable and Freemasons are expected to follow them.
What are your rituals or initiations?
They are allegorical plays that teach moral lessons.
Who can join?
Masonry is open to all adult men of good character who believe in a supreme being.
Is there a religious test?
No religious test shall ever be required of any petitioner for the benefits of Masonry other than a steadfast belief in the existence and perfection of God and no Lodge in this jurisdiction shall receive any candidate without the acknowledgment of such belief.
Is Freemasonry a Cult?
No. Masonry is not a religion or Cult. Religions and Cults do the following (though details vary from one to the next): Practice sacerdotal functions, Teach Theology, Ordain Clergy, Define sin and salvation, Offer salvation Perform sacraments, Publish or specify a Holy Book , Describe or define the Deity. Cults publish books which they will claim to be the same as or superior to the Holy Writings... Most cults can be traced back to a single individual whose teachings pervade the group. Masonry does none of these.
What does Masonry require?
All that Masonry requires of Masons is to be good men and true, or men of honour and honesty. Regardless of our personal opinions on subjects that may be controversial, we should meet as brothers and friends.
Is Masonry a secret society?
No. Freemasonry is not a secret society. There is no secret about any of its aims or principles. Its constitutions and rules are published and are available to the public. All Freemasons are free to acknowledge their membership and will do so in response to inquiries for respectable reasons.
Is Masonry against religion?
No. Freemasonry is far from indifferent to religion. Without interfering in religious practice it expects each member to follow his own faith, and to place above all other duties his duty to God by whatever name He is known. Its moral teachings are acceptable to all religions. Freemasonry is thus a supporter of religion.
Is Freemasonry a Religion?
No. Freemasonry is not a religion and promotes no doctrine, dogma, or converts. Freemasonry has no cosmology, eschatology or theology. Freemasonry offers no sacraments nor does it claim to lead to salvation by any definition. Freemasonry has not, nor has it ever claimed the prerogatives of religion. Freemasonry believes that men of all faiths can dwell together in peace. Freemasonry requires its members to believe in God but will not dictate those beliefs except insofar as they coincide with the teachings of Freemasonry. The teachings of Freemasonry are built on the virtues of Faith, Hope, Charity, Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. The "search for light" found in Freemasonry is a reference to a quest for knowledge, not salvation.
Is there a Masonic God?
No. The names used for the Supreme Being enable men of different faiths to join in prayer (to God as each sees Him/Her) without the terms of the prayer causing dissension among them. There is no separate Masonic God; a Freemason's God remains the God of the religion each member professes. Masonry leaves it up to the individual Mason to choose his pathway to God. The Mason is expected, quite properly, to get that spiritual guidance from his own denomination, which he is encouraged to support with both his energy and his personal finances.
Do Masons hate God?
No. Freemasons meet in common respect for the Supreme Being as He remains Supreme in their individual religions and it is no part of Freemasonry to attempt to join religions together. The Bible, referred to by Freemasons as the Volume of the Sacred Law, is always open at every Masonic meeting.
Why does Masonry use a 5 pointed star?
Eastern Star uses it with one point down to represent the light of the star coming down to earth. For Masons the star with one point up is a symbol of man, with the 5 points representing the head, hands, and feet. The Scottish Rite uses it to represent the blazing glory of God which fills the entire universe, and that God reveals Himself to mankind through nature.
What does Masonry Teach?
Masonry teaches moral lessens through allegorical plays, and the use of symbols with the tools of the operative masons. Masons seek to improve themselves and help others by showing them a way to improve their lives. Freemasonry is many things - Courtesy in Society - Concern for the unfortunate -Fairness in Work - Forgiveness for the Penitent - Honesty in Business - Help for the Weak - Kindness in the Home - Love for one another - above all - Resistance towards the Wicked - and Reverence for Supreme Being.
Who does Masonry accept into membership?
Masonry accepts people from every religion, race, and country. You are not turned away for your differences, you are accepted because of them.
What do Masons do?
Masons take good people and tries to make them better, by showing then how they should act, and live their lives. Masons give 2 million dollars a day to charity. Masons help their family, their friends, their neighbours, their community, and even strangers when they are in need. Masons generally help their community without any recognition.
What are the qualifications to become a Mason?
One must be a man, of lawful age, good character, and hold a belief in the existence of a Supreme Being.
When did Freemasonry begin?
Masonry is said to have started around the time of King Solomon, but no proof has been fond to substantiate that. These men were known as Operative Masons because they worked in stone. In 1717 Speculative Masonry (not workers in stone but it moral character) started with the opening of the United Grand Lodge if England. Thus Freemasons are free thinking individuals.
Are Freemasons a Christian organization?
No. Masonry is neither affiliated nor apposed to any religions. Masonry welcomes all religious beliefs. All Masonry asks, is that you work toward one's personal understanding of the great architect, whom ever you believe that is.
What do Masons believe?
Masonry believes that everyone has a choice, that the golden rule should be followed, and that your religion and politics is your business. The principal object of Freemasonry has always been to perfect the individual and to guide mankind toward a better, more harmonious development. The individual Mason is a Builder on the Temple of Human Brotherhood; a Mason is both the trowel and the cement which combine the units of society. The brotherly love he extends to others is the trowel; the appreciation and affection he arouses are the cement which helps to bind people closer to each other.
What is the purpose of Masonry?
One of its most basic purposes is to make good men even better. We try to place emphasis on the individual man by strengthening his character, improving his moral and spiritual outlook, and broadening his mental horizons. We try to impress upon the minds of our members the principles of personal responsibility and morality, encouraging each member to practice in his daily life the lessons taught through symbolic ceremonies in the lodge. One of the universal doctrines of Freemasonry is the belief in the "Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God." The importance of this belief is established by each Mason as he practices the three principle tenets of Masonry: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
What should I believe?
Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it.
Do not believe simply because it has been handed down for many generations.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumoured by many.
Do not believe in anything simply because it is written in Holy Scriptures.
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of Teachers, elders or wise men.
Believe only after careful observation and analysis, when you find that it agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all. Then accept it and live up to it.
What is the All Seeing Eye?
The all-seeing eye means that the supreme being sees us for who we really are... we may fool others but God knows everything.
What are the secrets of Freemasonry?
Try to be a better man.
Treat your neighbour like you want to be treated.
Be in reverential awe of the all mighty, in whatever form you believe He or She takes.
Ask for God's help when you're about to try something big.
Be good to yourself and avoid situations that make you less than what you are capable of being.
Keep your faculties intact if it's within your power to do so.
Be a good citizen.
Don't let your love for masonry lead you into pointless or counterproductive arguments.
What benefits will I enjoy if I become a member?
Masonry is not about getting benefits, Masonry is about what you can do for others. As brothers we offer each other fraternal affection and respect. Together we will support each other in adherence to this creed, so that we and our communities will be the better because of our fraternity and its principles.
Can women be Masons?
No. While the "ancient charges" of Masonry state that no woman can be made a Mason, the practice has existed for a very long time. No, women would be recognized as a Mason at this time in Regular Masonic Lodges.
Is the dollar bill the work of Masons?
No. Congress declined the first committee's suggestions, and designs of the dollar, as well as those of its 1780 committee. Francis Hopkinson, consultant to the second (1782) committee, used an unfinished pyramid in [his] design. Charles Thomson, Secretary of Congress, and William Barton, artist and consultant, borrowed from earlier designs and sketched what at length became the United States Seal. None of the final designers of the seal were Masons.
Was Albert Pike an Anti-Mason?
No. Albert Pike is popular with anti-masons for three reasons. First, Leo Taxil falsely accused him of claiming that the God of Freemasonry was Lucifer (Note his public confession); secondly, Susan L. Davis and Walter L. Fleming, without documentation or proof, claimed him as a leader of the Ku Klux Klan; and thirdly, Pike's extensive writings are easily quoted out of context to demonstrate pagan or occult leanings. In the 861 page book Morals and Dogma, Albert Pike makes a total of four references to Lucifer [pp. 73, 102, 321, 324]. In each he uses the word Lucifer in the popular usage as a synonym for Satan; on page 321 he points out the paradox of the Latin root meaning of the word as the bringer of light. Although we may disagree with his personal beliefs, he is clearly not exalting Satan. In context he also makes it very clear that his book is a treatise on comparative religion and is not a book of Masonic instruction.
Did George Washington renounce Freemasonry?
No. He remained a member of the Craft from his initiation into the Lodge at Fredericksburg, Virginia No. 4 on Nov 4, 1752 until the day he died on December 14, 1799, when he then, at his widow's request, received a Masonic funeral.
What about the Masonic Bible?
There is no Masonic Bible. The Bible used is the King James version of the Holy Bible, which is used in some Christian Lodges. This Bible only has a short Masonic history section added to the front.
What is the difference between Freemasonry and Masonry?
Masonry refers to builders in stone or Operative Masonry , Freemasonry refers to builders in character or Speculative Masonry, but there is no difference in their usage today.
How can I understand Masonry?
How can I make you understand a song without you hearing it, a fragrance without you smelling it, or a thought without you thinking it. You can learn about Masonry, but the only way you can understand Masonry, is by joining it.
What is a 33 Degree Mason?
A 33 Degree Mason is a mason who has devoted his life to helping his community and Masonry, as well as everyone he comes in contact with. A good person in every way, so much so that he is recognized for his efforts by have the 33 degree bestowed on him.
What does it mean to be a Master Mason?
Being a Master Mason is a lot of responsibility. You must be true to yourself and be reminded everyday that being a Master Mason you reflect on all of Masonry. You must not just receive brotherly love, but give it and show it towards everyone. You are in a chain of brothers and sisters, which starts in your heart and through hands, but which spreads around the globe. Be careful you are not the weakest link, so that this chain won't break because of you.