[Square & Compasses]

Why did you become a Freemason?

From: "Robert S. Iliff" <iliffrs@gwsmtp.nu.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 10:08:37 EST
From: "ROBERT S. ILIFF" <ILIFFRS@gwsmtp.nu.com>
Subject: Why I Joined Freemasonry

I was recently raised as a Master Mason in Union Lodge #31 Niantic CT, in November 2000 and installed as Senior Steward in December. My newly discovered brethren are among the most unassuming and benevolent men I have met in my life. As it is my nature to become immersed in most all of my undertakings, I have tried my aptitude in designing a WEB page for our lodge. While looking for vision for my page, I was both shocked and bewildered by the anti-Masonic attacks that some "pious" individuals have posted on various zones on the Internet. My Christian experiences are broad, visiting a myriad churches and denominations all with limitless convictions and formalities. Searching for truth, the object of my being, and rebirth came as no easy task. What I encountered was confusion, ambiguity, intolerance, and, most prominently, fear. Harsh persuasion, it's mechanism being fear, may be one of man's most commonly adopted means in approaching neophytes.

There are many faiths in this world and discovering one that satisfies you is a serious and very private undertaking. Adoration of our creator has as many rituals as the cultures which perform them. Could it be that only one doctrine, creed, or religion, is actually The Supreme Being's only agreeable veracity? My invocations are to God the Father through the saving grace of Jesus Christ; but God has many names embraced by worldwide followers of different cultures. Perhaps the inability to articulate various words or names, or the ability to manifest the Divine Creator with names according to their culture has to do with the contrast in sacred writings. It is my supposition that God did not want man's spiritual pilgrimage to be so confounding. God's hope of Tolerance, acceptance, brotherly love, uprightness, virtue, temperance and compassion towards fellow man may be achieved by his intimate knowledge of his flock and their customs. Our limited knowledge of the almighty leads some fanatics on the same path as the lip server. My place of worship teaches me the word of God that is most beneficial to my understanding. The Masonic Lodge allows me to extend my fellowship in the fraternal bond of other moral and upright men, bound together in the cement of brotherly love and affection. Race, creed, political affiliation or manner of supplication to deity is not considered in open lodge as it is forbidden. The Masonic lodge is NOT a religion, nor is it intended to replace religion. Our manner of instruction makes use of symbols and allegory to inculcate profound truths brought to light by the sacred word of God. Our lectures are beautiful and inspiring. Our rituals are solemn and dignified. We do not teach or pledge salvation; that is the charge of our respective churches. We strive to treat every man equally as a child of God and a brother of our being. These good works are called for by God, not as a toll to enter the kingdom above, but to keep us within due bounds of all mankind. Be mindful of your preaching! Do not allow yourself to become pharisaic. Man's charge is not to judge, but to give good counsel. Encourage your brothers to choose prayerfully concerning all of his endeavors. Secure trust in God that He will guide your brother on the footpath of his calling. Our merciful Father will not mislead any of his children, nor would he allow any to be misled, if their purposes were noble. Those who criticize, judge, harass or employ harsh persuasion in the name of God and his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, must take time to think CAREFULLY of your motives, relative to God's will. I beseech you not to judge any institution based on unsubstantiated hearsay, no matter how conclusive it appears. Have no anxiety of our secrets, however few. They are harmless and serve only utilitarian purposes. Lastly, enjoy the sublime power, wisdom, and love of God in every moment of every day and allow others to do the same.

Peace be with you.

Brother Robert Iliff Jr.

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