Pagan to Orthodoxy

Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
31
Location
New England
A bunch of you say I'd have to drop FreeMasonry but I don't understand  ???

My brothers in the fraternity have actually lead me to embrace God in my heart. I'm just confused that a group that has done so much good, I would have to leave. I had to prove I believe in God in order to join. Can anyone explain this better to me?
 

mike

Protostrator
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
24,873
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
29
Location
Białystok / Warsaw
What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?

Freemasonry is a semi-religious occult cult with pagan rituals and symbolism.
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
31
Location
New England
But that's a misrepresentation. If you look at the picture under my name, there is a G in the center representing God. when your in lodge your not allowed to discuss politics or religion, except that there is a lot of quotes from the bible, you have to believe in God to join, not only that, you have to kiss a bible to show that you truly mean it. servants to God. i have never seen construction tools "the symbols of masonry" to be pagan.
 

Jason.Wike

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
1,046
Reaction score
0
Points
0
It really is its own religion even if people do not recognize it as such. It has its own rules, litmus tests, ontology, sacred writings and mysteries. The fact that is relativistic and allows people to believe in any 'God' automatically causes it to clash with any belief that requires an exclusive belief.
 

Romaios

Archon
Joined
Jun 13, 2008
Messages
2,940
Reaction score
0
Points
0
When I think of Masonry, this comes to mind:

They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
(Gen. 11:2-4)
I could never see the Holy Trinity we worship in Orthodoxy as one and the same with the Great Anonymous Architect/Mr. G of the Masons...
 
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
31
Location
New England
Jason.Wike said:
It really is its own religion even if people do not recognize it as such. It has its own rules, litmus tests, ontology, sacred writings and mysteries. The fact that is relativistic and allows people to believe in any 'God' automatically causes it to clash with any belief that requires an exclusive belief.
I feel that it doesn't answer the question. In America, you are allowed to believe in any god you choose. to me, you told me that being an American clashes with any belief that requires an exclusive belief.
 

Shanghaiski

Taxiarches
Joined
Dec 26, 2009
Messages
7,981
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
41
Location
Wisconsin, USA
Thaddeus_Prenderghast said:
Jason.Wike said:
It really is its own religion even if people do not recognize it as such. It has its own rules, litmus tests, ontology, sacred writings and mysteries. The fact that is relativistic and allows people to believe in any 'God' automatically causes it to clash with any belief that requires an exclusive belief.
I feel that it doesn't answer the question. In America, you are allowed to believe in any god you choose. to me, you told me that being an American clashes with any belief that requires an exclusive belief.
In some cases, perhaps. Just as the early Christians were killed by the Roman state because of their exclusive belief. Christianity is exclusive.
 

Alpo

Merarches
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
9,878
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Thaddeus_Prenderghast said:
A bunch of you say I'd have to drop FreeMasonry but I don't understand  ???

My brothers in the fraternity have actually lead me to embrace God in my heart. I'm just confused that a group that has done so much good, I would have to leave. I had to prove I believe in God in order to join. Can anyone explain this better to me?
First off, I'm truly sorry that introductory thread turned into a thread about Freemasonry.

That said I believe God and holiness can be found in Freemasonry as seems to be in your case. Same way God and holiness can be found in, say, Islam or ancient Greek philosophy. Does it mean the we should convert to Islam or start studying Greek philosophy? Nope, since Orthodoxy contains the fullness of truth and we are are to avoid participation or membership in non-Orthodox religious institution. Freemasonry is not a religion per se but AFAIK it demands faith in one God but doesn't specify that it is the Christian God and that is way too irenic position for traditional Christianity.

I recently watched an interview of Master Mason in Grand Lodge of Finland (or something like that. How should I know Masonic titles in a foreign language ;D) Heikki Mäki and in that interview he explained that the basic point of Freemasonry is that there is both bad and good in all of us and we are to act according to virtues, virtuously and inner goodness that is in all of us. Superficially speaking that might sound very Christian idea but actually it is quite the opposite since according to Orthodoxy we are saved by Grace and work out our salvation in union with God.

While doing good deeds and believing in one God are certainly good things mixing inclusive ideas of God and talk about our inner goodness without any reference to the grace of Christian God sounds rather problematic from traditional Christian perspective. IMO that's why being a Freemason is
incompatible with being a Christian.
 

Jason.Wike

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
1,046
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Thaddeus_Prenderghast said:
Jason.Wike said:
It really is its own religion even if people do not recognize it as such. It has its own rules, litmus tests, ontology, sacred writings and mysteries. The fact that is relativistic and allows people to believe in any 'God' automatically causes it to clash with any belief that requires an exclusive belief.
I feel that it doesn't answer the question. In America, you are allowed to believe in any god you choose. to me, you told me that being an American clashes with any belief that requires an exclusive belief.
It does if you think it is more than human convention and will go to God and say "But I can believe whatever I want and its ok because we down here decided so." To be "American" doesn't require you to think everyone else is right and ok, just that you do not impose your beliefs on others. To believe in relativism (It doesn't matter what you call God, its all the same, there is no objective, singular truth) does.
 

biro

Protostrator
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
23,164
Reaction score
9
Points
38
Age
47
Website
archiveofourown.org
Thaddeus, if you are looking for a fraternal or social group, why not try to find something with which to be involved at church? It's a good way to meet people, it helps the parish and you won't have to worry whether it's compatible with the faith. Just a thought.  :)
 

Ava

Jr. Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Hello Thadeus,
Though I am for the most part a silent observer of these forums, I sympathize with your situation having similar experiences.
I believe one thing to remember reguarding inquiring into the Orthodox faith is that we as inquirers and catechumens can take our time preparing for conversion.
I believe that you should not drop anything you believe that is helping you to be a good person out of haste or just because everyone tells you that you have to.  In my experience (and I believe this is true among most parishes) priests are patient.  Mine is incredibly patient with me.  Because of that, I learned that Christ is patient too.  I am so grateful.  I am still a catechumen after a year and even though I'm longing for my first bapitism, I trust in my parish to let me know when I'm ready because they are so patient. One reason I was attracted to Orthodoxy was the priest's ability to listen and not giving me a hellfire speech that I was so used to elsewhere.  He allowed me to discover my misdirections by guiding me through the history and study of the faith.

What I will hope you will experience is that even though Freemasons have many good-hearted people in the organization (which they absolutely do), the richness of Orthodoxy perhaps will allow you to determine on your own terms when you need to leave the organization with a free heart and without regret.  In other words, your departure from Freemasonry is required with conversion, but don't do so until you are convinced in your heart that you are ready to do so; and then convert.  I believe you could possibly leave freely with great study and prayer.
Good luck!
 

Tommelomsky

High Elder
Joined
May 13, 2012
Messages
511
Reaction score
0
Points
0
OP: As I am just being a catechumen, my advice was meant in a good way. But as experience, it took me a short time to realize when inquiery become something more serious, that choises had to be made. Habits had to be forgotten and learning to live, behave, get accustomed to new traditions and learning takes a lot.

I understand that this is not easy for you. What you should do, is think it through and ask: How much does God matter to you? What are you willing to do for God? Are you willing to be a servant for God? I think many ask themselves these questions often and perhaps even daily.
Perhaps this sound like a superman-christian-a-like thing, but it is not meant like that from my side. It can be helpful questions.

Wishing you best of luck in your inquieries. There are many good resources out there, helpful people and some of them, you can find in the forum.
 

Nathanael

High Elder
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Messages
536
Reaction score
5
Points
18
Conversion books may help you. Such books are a great benefit for me. Especially if it deals with other beliefs and religions. For example the books: "The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios" and "born to hate reborn to love"
 

Arachne

Toumarches
Staff member
Moderator
Site Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2012
Messages
11,999
Reaction score
10
Points
38
Age
48
Location
Camulodunum
Carl McColman is a particularly good choice of writer. I personally love his style of writing, and the accounts of how he went from paganism to the RCC are insightful for anyone.

You can check his site before his books: http://www.carlmccolman.com/
 

jah777

Archon
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
2,153
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Here is the official statement from the Orthodox Church of Greece concerning Freemasonry:

http://orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/masonry.aspx

This provides a good and authoritative summary as to why Orthodoxy and Freemasonry are not compatible.

Some additional comments on this subject from Fr. Alexey Young (now Hieromonk Ambrose), can be read here:

http://www.roca.org/OA/70/70t.htm

While the Orthodox position on Freemasonry may be upsetting to you, I encourage you to seek the truth with humility and sincerity.  Study the roots of Freemasonry and its fruits, and also study the history of the Orthodox Church and the lives of the saints.  May God enlighten you on your journey.
 

Hiwot

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Jun 26, 2011
Messages
1,934
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
43
Location
USA
NicholasMyra said:
You people wound me sometimes.
I feel ya :)

a Jew , a Pharisee even could bring himself to talk about the communality in what the pagans were worshiping,for the sake of making them listen to what he has to say and winning them over for Christ, we apparently have a lot to learn from him on how to talk to those who are interested and are willing to listen to what we have to say...
 

Velsigne

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Feb 4, 2011
Messages
1,043
Reaction score
0
Points
0
NicholasMyra said:
You people wound me sometimes.
Sorry, it was me who asked him about his moniker.  I was just trying to make polite conversation. 

Thaddeus, I'm sorry.  I hope you will still look into Orthodoxy.  Obviously I've never been a Mason since I'm female, but I've a long time friend who is one, and he is generally a good person if you overlook the fact that he was always proposing we get married even though he was married at the time.  It was great because I always had the excuse "but you're married already!" until he got divorced.  Fortunately he's on a different continent now and has found the woman who will probably care for him for the rest of his life, I hope. 

We worked together years ago as a team, so we got pretty close, just as friends, not physically.  He is really a gentlemen with a great heart, despite his talk sometimes.  And I used to tick him off by finishing his crossword puzzle on first break and he wouldn't have his favorite pastime during lunch.  Good times.  We still talk on Skype, and he always asks, "Are you still Orthodox?"  and I say, "yeeeess" and he just looks away.  lol  Doesn't seem like it's done a lot for him spiritually, I know his soul is still looking, or maybe he just has not experienced a deep spiritual life, I'm not sure.  I just know I care about him and want him to be okay, and sometimes he worries me.  I've never mentioned anything about him being a Mason except when we first started working together, he talked about it a bit, and the one time when we were working on his Mason lodge building.  He said normally a woman would never be allowed in the building, but he would let me use the restroom  ::)  How can you not like someone that charming?  (I have to leave out the rest of his rationale since it's x-rated).

I hope you can get some real exposure, like in a real church, not just online, and get a spiritual sense of what it is, then maybe you can love us despite our possibly being less than appealing messengers of our faith.

May God help us all.
 

Seraphim98

High Elder
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Messages
583
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
64
Location
MS
Dear Thaddeus P.

Perhaps I can be of assistance in understanding the Orthodox stance on Freemasonry. I am not a Mason, but my brother is, as was my father, several uncles and great uncles and both my grandfathers (Scottish Rite). I'll grant you that in may areas Masonry seems like a great Christian friendly civic organization…and to an extent it is…in certain places.  My elder relatives joined it at a time when the lodge was a good connection to have in hard times. They looked after their own, helped members find jobs, gave assistance in time of trouble, helped with educating the kids, many good things. Indeed where I grew up its reputation was so positive that most of the deacons of the Southern Baptist Church I grew up in were numbered among the Masons.  I did have one uncle who moved up North though, and the Baptists up there felt very differently, they would not let him become a member unless he left the Masons. They had no dealings with secret societies and did not believe them compatible with the Christian faith as they understood it. At the time I had no desire to join the Masons, but had no animas against them either. It made me curious, and over the next few years I snooped around to find out what I could.

During this time I encountered two things that gave me particular pause.  The first was some of the oaths Masons make as they are initiated at various stages of the way…a few of them included things clearly of a sort no Christian should ever bind himself to, things like if he should betray the secrets of the organization his tongue should be cut out, then be murdered in some gruesome fashion on a river bank… ick. In fact the first political party in the US was organized as an anti freemasonry party, and one of the inciting incidents in its formation was some group of Masons taking that oath very seriously and actually murdering a former loose lipped member in that matter. Granted that was one of few and last time such a deed was heard of…but still it is indicative that at least once not too far in our past, such dreadful oaths were taken seriously.  How could once make an oath to God subjecting yourself to be mutilated and murdered or binding yourself to murder and mutilate another who had proven unfaithful…that is not an oath worthy of Christ who gave Himself for us while we were faithless, and who ever condescends to us though we remain inconstant and forgetful.  If, however, these oaths, are just seen as a bit of gruesome fun, it is no less a thing inconsistent with the Christian teaching to be sober minded, one's yea being yea and one's nay, nay. If we vow things to God things we don't really mean, how is that good, especially if those vows are not lawful?

The second thing I encountered was at a friend's house who had been at one time an active Mason. He had a book of the Scottish Rite on his bookshelf and one time while over there I picked it up and began to thumb through it, spot reading here and there.  At one point my eye fell on a paragraph discussing mystic powers and it quite explicitly equated those powers and the powers shown by Christ with magic.  That surprised me.

Still, questionable things aside, every Mason I knew was a decent and honorable man, many devout Christians of one stripe or another.

Some years later a third thing happened. I joined the Navy and traveled to Rhode Island for my training command while there…at a hotel I think, I came across some Masonic literature, a lodge news magazine of sorts..perhaps a regional one. Anyway I began to read it and found myself more and more repelled by what I found. I don't quite know how to describe it…but it was like Masonry that had few if any remnant cultural ties to Christianity, that its various rites and ceremonies had supplanted those things in the lives of it members. It was like it was it's own religion separate from other belief systems by in large…or viewed itself as superior to them in some way. It was nothing like the Masonry I grew up with down South. The Masons I knew would not have recognized the Masonry I had encountered in that publication.

As I read more from Masonry's critics I learned that it has a chameleon aspect. Where a culture has strong religious character, it morphs to fit into that culture, keeping its rites and ceremonies yet interpreting and experiencing them (for most) in the context of that culture…but where faith was weaker, its particulars expressed themselves more strongly and without dissimulation.

Since then I've become Orthodox (and am becoming)…and it makes some pretty exclusive truth claims…claims that cannot be superseded by any others' no matter how much civic good they may do in different places. Though we rejoice in good will and mercy whoever communicates these things, we no admit that these other conventicles, and communions participate in the fullness of what Christ delivered once and for all unto the Saints. In Christ is the fulness of grace and Truth, and St. Paul said of the Church, His Body, that it is the pillar/foundation/bulwark of the Truth.  We cannot serve two masters, we cannot make exclusive oaths to Christ such as we make at our Baptisms and Chrismations and keep oaths to other institutions elsewhere that set themselves higher than the bonds of the Spirit in Christ.  

Consider the Masonic oaths to look after lodge brothers and their families.  In itself this is not a bad thing, but look at how those oaths are structured…they place loyalty to the lodge and its brothers above any obligation outside the lodge. If one man had claim in Christ on a Masonic member and another nonChristian…or even Christian Mason having an unjust position made a similar and exclusive claim, the Mason in the middle is honor bound by his Masonic oaths to prefer his Masonic brother over his Christian brother even if the Masonic brother's cause is less just…even antithetical to the Christian faith. Now, granted people are not machines, and things may not always work that way in practice, but it is part of what it means to be a Mason, exercised or not.  

For now, while you are inquiring, learning, it may not be much of an obstacle…talk to a priest. But if you desire at some point to enter the Orthodox faith, then you will be require to make exclusive oaths of allegiance to Christ that supersede and nullify those of the lodge. It is not to worry though, the service of Christ is better, and nothing precludes you from doing good to or for anyone that is in your hand to do, either singly or with others.  You will have to make a choice though. That choice however need not be rancorous. The Lodge is not the Temple, nor can it be…but I think, perhaps for certain ones it may point to the temple. If you had a good Lodge, with good people, they can be remembered with thanks, the good you received likewise can be remembered with thanks, but it's not a place you can stay and become an Orthodox Christian, for all the good you may find, there is still too much incompatible and inconsistent with the Orthodox Christian faith.

And you may rest assured whatever you lay aside that is in part will in time be met with a fullness that you never dream existed. Just read the lives of holy souls like St. Seraphim of Sarov, Mother Gavriella, Elder Paisius, Elder Cleopas, Elder Paisios, Elder Porphyrios….they will make your heart leap and sorrow at the same time…leap for in them grace was abundantly poured out upon the earth in our own era and times…that such lives could exist outside the pages of the Bible is wonder…and a proof of Orthodoxy if you will have it (seed reproduces in kind). It is also a sorrow for in the light of their sacrifice and accomplishment we see how far we really have to go before we even set our feet to the foothills of holiness.  

I once had a correspondence with a Pagan woman who was friendly, but not convinced about Christ or any of that. I recommended her the story of Elder Porphyrios, and the next time I talked with her, she was convinced by him to follow Christ….and having read his life I can surely believe it…some stories too incredible to be believed except that many of their witnesses still live.  There are wonders, Thaddeus, wonders to behold…but the path there travels through hard lands…the seekers will find, hard though the way may be.
 

Ava

Jr. Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2011
Messages
36
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Seraphim98,
What a beautifully written post.  Thank you for sharing on the public forum!  :D :angel:
 
Top