[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: July 1999

This person has written twice, with the same question, calling me to task for not answering the first time:

Message-Id: <37A09403.751DB946@bellsouth.net>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 13:48:52 -0400
From: f0x@bellsouth.net
To: masonry-ask@MIT.EDU
Subject: Qestion

The same question twice are you going to answer?

I consider myself a person who believe in a supreme being. I grew up in the Christian. I read on your homepage that all a person has to do is believe in a supreme being. My question is, if a person's supreme being is Satan would he be allowed to join as well as a Christian. You also stated that religion is not discussed. My mother is an eastern star and I want to join eventually. I wanted to be able to give my service to others that are serving God not a Satanic cult.

Mr. or Ms f0x@bellsouth.net can see my answer below.

They did not receive an answer the first time they asked, because they did not have the courtesy to type their own username correctly. My attempted reply (which took some time and effort) bounced.

It is hard to answer messages when the wrong address is given. It is discouraging to take the time to answer a message and then have the reply bounce.

MORAL: Please check to make sure you are giving your username correctly.


Message-Id: <379F24D1.367B4619@bellsouth.net>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 11:42:09 -0400
From: f0x@bellsouth.net
To: masonry-ask@MIT.EDU
Subject: Qestion?

I consider myself a person who believe in a supreme being. I grew as a Christian and I have a strong belief in God. I read on your homepage that all a person has to do is be0lieve in a supreme being. My question is, if a person's supreme being is satan would he be allowed to join as well as a Christian. I also read that religion is not discussed. My mother is an eastern star and I want to join eventually. I wanted to be able to give my service with others that are serving God not satan.


To: f0x@bellsouth.net
Subject: Re: Qestion? 
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Wed, 28 Jul 1999 11:42:09 EDT."
             <379F24D1.367B4619@bellsouth.net>
--------
} I consider myself a person who believe in a supreme being.  I grew as a
} Christian and I  have a strong belief in God.  I read on your homepage
} that all a person has to do is be0lieve in a supreme being.  My question
} is, if a person's supreme being is satan would he be allowed to join as
} well as a Christian.  I also read that religion is not discussed.  My
} mother is an eastern star and I want to join eventually.  I wanted to be
} able to give my service with others that are serving God not satan.

First of all: I honestly don't know any religion that considers "Satan" as "Supreme Being" -- really. The idea of a "Satan" as a "chief of all the infernal demons" or whatever is a purely Christian invention. (It's true! You could look it up!) This means that even people who are "Satan worshippers" actually acknowledge that there is a Higher God who is Supreme in the Universe -- they just don't choose worship Him, if you see what I mean.

Secondly, since Masonry teaches that the Supreme Being is Designer and Creator (we say "Great Architect" or "Grand Geometer") of the Universe, and that we can learn practical moral lessons from the beauty and coherence of the Universe, it is unlikely that a "Satan worshipper" would find anything of value in the lessons of Masonry, and would not be interested in joining.

[On a theological note: the followers of Gnostic or Arian beliefs are frequently confused with "Devil worshippers" by certain mainstream Christian sects. However, they actually believe (in the briefest terms) that the Creator of this physical universe is an evil demi-urge who is actually subordinate to the true benevolent Supreme Being -- an "adversary" or "satan" as it were, playing in his own sandbox. These believers would probably not be comfortable in Masonry, since they see the Universe not as a template of order and beauty, but as a malformed source of illusion.]

But yes, someone who did believe in God, but who, despite that, wanted to worship "Satan" or "money" or "success" or "power" or "self-righteousness" or any lower idol could answer "Yes, I believe in a Supreme Being" and if they didn't say anymore than that, they could probably join a lodge. So you never know. But as I say, they would soon discover that the lessons and practices of Masonry would be valueless to them, and would probably not continue as members.

As your Bible says, "by their fruits you shall know them" -- and you can judge the quality of men in Masonry NOT by invading the inner recesses of their consciences, but by observing their kindness and good works in daily life.

Finally, and most simply, if you decided to approach any particular lodge about joining, you really could just ask them directly: "If someone came to this lodge and said that the Supreme Being that they believe in is Satan, would you accept them as a member?" Somehow, I think you'll get a satisfactory answer.


+---------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Gary L. Dryfoos <dryfoo@mit.edu>| PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus GL Mass.
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142  |   & Mt. Scopus Lodge AF&AM, Malden ""
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/  | 32~; MPS; B'hood o/t Blue Forget-Me-Not;
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Internet Lodge #9659, E. Lancs UGLE
|               Grand Rep. of the GL of Russia near the GL of Massachusetts
|   "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
|    whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
|    or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."
+===========================================================================


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