Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Saving Freemasonry"

I came across one young man's take on "saving" Freemasonry. He's got a pretty short list, actually.

How To Save Freemasonry From It’s Greatest Enemy: Freemasons

I read a lot of blogs, articles and books on Freemasonry. I see brothers concerned with the state of Freemasonry. Some are concerned with quantity and some are concerned with quality. Both groups are only trying to do what they feel is best. On one end, you have the “mason in a day” approach and on the other end you have the Traditional Observance Lodge movement. There are also some of us, probably most of us, who like the materials we have been given by our Grand Lodges and just want our brothers to use them. Just use them. That’s all. Get rid of the short forms, only do one degree per man at a time, enforce memory work, have a list of articles from the Grand Lodge to be read at each meeting on the hidden mysteries of Freemasonry, allow the consumption of alcohol after the meeting in the lodge and that’s it. No need to start new lodges. No need to force a dress code. Freemasonry can be done in casual clothes, too, if the ritual is spot on. It is all a matter of preference, not divine law. Just make a few, simple changes to the ones we have and we will REALLY see an improvement. Put more Masonry in Masons. If this plan is adopted and enforced by the Grand Lodges, we will maintain unity and quality AND…I think we will start to see some numbers again.

My generation wants the old school brotherhood, the fun and the fraternity. We want the brandy and cigars. We also want the esoteric stuff. We want to earn it. We want the rituals. We want the Jedi, the Hogwarts. There is no need for a new book or anything fancy. Just put what I have suggested into motion and viola, our Craft is back on track. It has to start at the top and from the grassroots.

Young Freemasons have to do their part. Hang in there with your lodge. Don’t start a new one. Start living these reforms. Be patient and loving to your older brothers. Show some respect. They kept it alive this long when our fathers wouldn’t join. Eventually, we will outlive the naysayers and we will be Freemasonry. Just maintain quality and wait. It will be our Masonic conspiracy.


Read the rest here.

H/T to Matt Johnson

9 comments:

bsory said...

Brother Johnson, well put! As a 22 year old Master Mason I agree with much of what you said. Although, I don't believe the alcohol part would ever pass in my home state of Tennessee, I do think much of your advice is going to be put into practice very soon. I was lucky and blessed enough to have joined a lodge that embraced newer, younger members. They put me in the line right off the bat and if elected, I'll be serving as Worshipful Master next year at the age of 23. I waited four years before joining any appendant bodies. And while I have thoroughly enjoyed receiving the York and Scottish Rites, and Shrine ceremonies, the degree of Master Mason is still the greatest honor I have ever received. I will always stay active in my Blue Lodge. If there is a York Rite meeting on the same night my Blue Lodge meets, you better believe I'm at my Blue Lodge meeting. I also agree with what you said about our generation and the traditions. I don't want change any more than my grandfather. I'd vote down any type of "short form" or "one day class" simply because that's not how it's always been and I'm not about to be the generation who changed it. I earned my title as Master Mason by spending months learning the memory work by sitting down with a Brother and him teaching it to me. Not only did that teach me the memory work, but it taught me what a Brother was. I enjoy spending time with my college friends but I'd much rather be sitting in lodge with my Brothers (no matter what their age) sharing in the Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth that can only be found in a Blue Lodge. Thanks for the article Brother!
-Brandon Sory, 32 AASR Mason
Senior Warden, Phoenix Lodge #131
Nashville, Tennessee

TemplarSeth said...

As a young Freemason, I couldn't agree more with this Brother. Spot on!

Trevor said...

Ditto what he said.
WB Trevor Gerson

Matt Johnson said...

I didn't think I would get this much reaction. Thanks all! I really prize unity so if I offended, please accept my apology. I will keep on writing! I have a question. How do you feel about Masonic fiction like "The Man Who Would Be King" or "National Treasure"? I have some ideas.

www said...

I agree. I joined masonry for the history for the thoughts behind it and the camaraderie. I expected the mystic thoughts of old and revolutionary ideas. Instead it ends up being a mixture of each persons aches and pains mixed with the jovial joke. My brothers are my brothers but I see more fighting over money and power with in the lodge than I imagined. I guess I am a bit naive. I would welcome more social outings and less physical meetings. To truly be a brotherhood and not forget the act part of the Meet, ACT, and Part.

rhunker said...

As a 35+ year Mason, I've experienced those who don't want to change anything and those who want to change everything. Bro. Johnson, you're spot on...well said.

Richard, Henderson, NV

Kurt said...

Bro. Matt:

As a 32 year old Past Master of a new lodge, yow are spot. The main hurdle that we face in the restoration is those that don't want to change, at all. They could care less if younger guys come into a lodge, let alone become active. They will do everything in their power to maintain the status quo, running the new guys off. Once the new guys leave a lodge, there are they have three choices: 1) Find like-minded brethren in another lodge, 2) Find dissatisfied brothers in other lodges and start a new lodge, or 3) Leave Masonry all together. Unfortunately, the third option is the most often taken. S, I agree with you on every point except starting new lodges. New lodges give brothers and prospective Masons that other option to keep them in Masonry and quickly implement your suggestions. I encourage you to take a look at what our lodge (specialisprocer.org) and several others across the nation (like Bro. Hodapp's Lodge Vitruvian) are doing.

Fraternally,

Kurt

Matt Johnson said...

I made this article a tad smaller after some meditation. I am really unqualified to be giving advice on certain subjects! I am so pleased to have been included on my favorite blog by my favorite author. I am working on a book in the vein of "National Treasure" and "The Lost Symbol" and the past Grand Lecturer who has been a mentor to me is going to eyeball it first as well as my main mentor and WM. I also plan to follow their sage advice and wait a full year before joining the Scottish Rite, which I fully intend to do, especially after getting my hands on "Esoterika" today! WOW! You should all get a copy. thanks again.

Matt Johnson said...

BTW, if you still want to read my article it is now at thethreedegreesoffreemasonry.blogspot.com