Welcome to Acacia Lodge #20.
Free & Accepted Masons
What Is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is an institution which is essentially philosophical, philanthropic, mystical, esoteric, and progressive.
It is philosophical, because it leads man to the study or pursuit of wisdom, or of knowledge of things and their causes, whether they be theoretical or practical. It also leads man to the knowledge of or study of the principle of human action or reaction, and of knowledge of natural objects and phenomena.
It is philanthropic, because it is dedication to the progress and happiness of the human species, without distinction of nationality, race, sex, or religion. Masonry has been expressed by Masonic Writers as being The Fatherhood of God, Under The Brotherhood of Man. The whole human species is but one single family dispersed over the face of the earth, and we all should all love one another.
Freemasonry is both mystical and esoteric. It is mystical and esoteric by virtue that it teaches a beautiful system of morality, which is veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. It is progressive because Masonry searches for the truth, with no regard for fanaticism and without prejudice. It searches for the hidden mysteries of Nature and Science. Freemasonry does not put any obstacles in the investigation of the truth.
Freemasonry is a way of life. The Fraternity is the largest, oldest and most well known fraternal organization in the world. Many books have been written about the Craft, however for many, Freemasonry remains a mystery.
I will try to provide you with true facts and information about Freemasonry in order to correct the many misgivings the general public has about our Gentle Craft.
Some Masonic writers believe that Freemasonry can be traced to the tenth century before the birth of Christ, to the construction of the Temple of Solomon. However Masonic Historians believe that Speculative Masonry was introduced to England in 926 A.D. Freemasonry is directly descended from the Operative Masons, who built the magnificent Cathedrals of the middle ages and who traveled throughout Europe.
During the 17th Century the construction of Cathedrals began to wane, and some of the masonry guilds began to accept members who where not part of the construction trade, but rather men of good report. They became know as Speculative Masons or Accepted Masons. It was from these groups that the Craft or Symbolic Masonry is descended. These Lodges have several million Brothers [members] spread over the face of the earth.
Membership is limited to, mature males, 21 years of age, who can satisfy the requirements of membership, who are of good character, sound judgment, and of good reputation and must believe in a Supreme Being. A man comes to Freemasonry or his own freewill and accord. No suggests that you join. If one wishes to join, two Master Masons or 3rd Degree Masons, must sign an application form which will be forwarded to the Lodge to be voted on.
FREEMASONRY AND RELIGION
Many people believe that Freemasonry a religion. Freemasonry is not a religion. No stretching of one's imagination can find the necessary elements to characterize anything in ancient craft Masonry as a religion. As a total structure it has no dogma, and no theology; it saves no souls and it competes with no organized religion. It accepts good men from every clime regardless of their religious beliefs.
Freemasonry is composed of a multitude of strands of varying groups, structures, organizations, and philosophies. This fabric is interwoven with the threads of religion. The history, ethics, morality, idealism, and theology of the religions of the world intertwine with the structures of Freemasonry. Yet Freemasonry is not, by any sectarian or organized definition, a "religion."
Freemasonry is not listed as one of the many hundreds (even thousands) of recognized religious bodies, groups, systems, or structures. Freemasonry came into being out of the craft and science of the builders as well as from the deep divinely given instincts of man to rise above the material and to deal with the mystical and spiritual portion of existence.
History shows that sectarian or organized religion has many times failed to meet the spiritual needs of the human race. The reformation, renewal movement, piety groups, monastic orders, and many more spiritual endeavors were all prompted by such failures. In the same way man has utilized parts or portions of Freemasonry to fill the gap. But even when portions of Freemasonry have assumed some of the duties, trappings, goals, and structures of organized religion, it is still not a religion.
We recognize that Freemasonry and religion are permanently linked by the factors of their heritage, goals, and the nature of man. Organized religion has always had a strong ally in the lifestyle, stewardship, and commitment of Freemasons.
In summation, we would say that Freemasonry teaches the love of God, the Golden Rule, and the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God.
The Masonic Secret
In reality the Masonic Secret is that there really is no secret, other than the modes of recognition. Meetings are well publicized, and in fact are often printed in local newspapers. Our buildings are well marked as Masonic Halls, and our telephone numbers are published in the telephone directory. Not very secret!
We are in short, a private and discreet association spiritual improvement, scientific education, and artistic endeavors and for the investigation of the truth. Masonry has universal character which is spread over the four corners of the world. In conclusion Freemasonry is an inexhaustible source of moral and wisdom that will continue attracting good moral men.