Why did you become a Freemason?
From: "Robert S. Iliff" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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