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pfeifco
Master Mason

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 Posted November 5th, 2007 10:42 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Does anyone know what the current definitive stand that the "Christian Reformed Church" has on Freemasonry?

I know that there are differences between the:

  • Christian Reformed Church (a.k.a. Dutch Reformed Church - name change circa 1904)
  • Reformed Church of America
  • United Reformed Church in North America
  • The Protestant Reformed Church
I believe the difference revolve around Freemasonry.

The reason I ask is because my brother (biological that is) married into a "Reformed Church" family and has converted to said church. I am not sure to which flavour of the "Reformed Church" he now belongs (I believe it is the CRC).
NOTE: We live in Southern Ontario Canada - if that makes a difference.

I want to get some background on the various 'flavours' before I approach him on the subject of my entry into Freemasonry.

Thank you for any information you may have.
   
S. T. Lehane
Master Mason

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 Posted November 6th, 2007 09:09 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
http://www.crcna.org/pages/positions_lodge.cfm


Fraternally!
   
pfeifco
Master Mason

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 Posted November 6th, 2007 10:02 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Yes I have seen this page already . The crcna.org site is one of the first sites I visited.

But there is no real detail here.

Quote:
www.crcna.org states:

Lodge and Church Membership Position
There is an irreconcilable conflict between the teachings and practices of the lodge and those of biblical Christianity, and therefore simultaneous membership in the lodge and in the church of Jesus Christ is incompatible with and contrary to Scripture.

History
From its beginning the CRC has held a strong position against lodge membership. In fact, it was one of the issues that caused the CRC to separate from the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1900 a report on lodge membership was adopted; another was adopted in 1977.

References
Acts of Synod 1900, pp. 96-101
Acts of Synod 1958, pp. 67-68, 416-22
Acts of Synod 1974, pp. 58-60, 504-67
Acts of Synod 1975, pp. 101, 547-69
Acts of Synod 1977, pp. 102-06, 575-96
Quote:
... CRC has held a strong position against lodge membership. In fact, it was one of the issues that caused the CRC to separate from the Dutch Reformed Church.
Yes that was in 1857 what is their current position. What does the "1900 a report on lodge membership " actually say and what does the 1977 report say.

If you assume the Lodge and Church Membership Positon statement above is current or at least as of 1977 then members of the CRC can not be members of a lodge.

When they say "the lodge" do they specifically mean freemasonry, or is this a blanket statement including freemasons and odd fellows etc. etc.?

This page raises more questions then answers about the CRC's (Christian Reformed Church's) positon.


What about the other flavours of the "Reformed Church":
  • Reformed Church in America
  • Protestant Reformed Church
  • Orthodox Christian Reformed Church
  • United Reformed Churches in North America
What is their position on freemasonry.
   
Negredo
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 Posted November 6th, 2007 07:08 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
It's pretty apparent to me that they still stand by their original 1877 statement, which would hardly be surprising.

When they say lodge, I'm sure they could lump in all the others that utilize the lodges system (since many are confused by them anyway), but I think they are specifically going after Freemasonry.

Then again, if you are still unsatisfied, you could be proactive and get a straight answer from the horse's mouth rather than bounce it off of us:

http://www.crcna.org/pages/contactus_new.cfm

In other words, go where no man has gone before and contact them!!


Seek and ye shall find...
  
canuck
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 Posted November 7th, 2007 02:01 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
I agree with Negredo - you should contact them and ask directly. But from what I read, I think that the answer won't be very positive...
How does this affect you brother?
  
pfeifco
Master Mason

Posts: 975
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 Posted November 7th, 2007 03:08 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Quote:
canuck wrote:

How does this affect you brother?
I do not know yet. I haven't told him I am a mason yet.
I have only been one for a mason days now.

As I said before my brother converted to the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) to marry his wife.
I am not sure how set he is in the CRC ways. But as you know sometimes converts are more zealous then a person brought up in a faith.
   
pfeifco
Master Mason

Posts: 975
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 Posted November 8th, 2007 01:25 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Ok I did as Negredo and canuck sugested and went straight to the horses mouth.

Here was the question that I sent to both the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) and the Reformed Church in America RCA.

Quote:
I if I read my history correctly the "The Christian Reformed Church" (CRC) split from the "Reformed Church in America" (RCA) in 1857 over issues that included the perceived
liberalization of the church in areas such as the use of hymns instead of only Psalms, Christian education, and the role of Freemasons in the church.
That is to say; the CRC thought the CRA was to liberal in these areas. I conclude from this that officially the CRC DOES NOT allow its members to be Freemasons and the RCA DOES allow its members to be freemasons.



Here is the response from the RCA:
Quote:
Greetings,

Again, I cannot speak for the CRC or their beliefs. I also cannot speak to the beliefs of Free Masons or their societies.

As far as the RCA is concerned, free masonry hasn’t been an issue for over 100 years, so your conclusion that one can be a member of both the RCA and a freemason is correct, based upon the actions of our General Synod back in the 1800s.

Phil
(I have removed Phil's last name for reasons of spam)
(I am unsure of Phil's position at RCA)


Here is the response from the CRCNA
Quote:
I will let the RCA (with whom we have a very friendly relationship now, not like in 1857!) speak for itself.

The CRCNA does not like to see its people joining lodges. Most certainly one could not serve in an ecclesiastical office (minister, deacon, elder, ministry associate) if a member of a lodge. If a “confessing member” was found to be part of a lodge, that member would be urged to withdraw from the lodge. I don’t think we would expel such a person from church membership, but certainly not allow him or her to take leadership positions within the church.

Hope this is clear.

Rev. Bruce
(I have removed Bruce's last name for reasons of spam)
   
canuck
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 Posted November 8th, 2007 05:26 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Well - all u have to do now is ask your brother to which one he belongs...?
  
A.T.Smith
Master Mason

Posts: 1739
Registered: Jul 2006
 Posted November 8th, 2007 05:49 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Quote:
canuck wrote:
Well - all u have to do now is ask your brother to which one he belongs...?


.....and keep your fingers crossed.

A Brother in our Lodge recently had an almost identical reaction from his Church (Church of the Nazarene), as that of the CRCNA posted here.

He has simply accepted the fact that he will not become an elder, and continues attending Church and Lodge regularly.

On a side note, I've got a book from the evangelical camp, specifically on Masonry, in which they quote (fairly recent) anti-Masonic rhetoric from the following Christian denominations:

-Orthodox Presbyterian
-Lutheran (Missouri)
-Eastern Orthodox
-Catholic German Bishops
-Reformed Presbyterian
-British Methodist
-Baptist Union (UK)
-Church of Scotland
-Free Church of Scotland
-Church of England
-Russian Orthodox

.......to name a few.

Under the Shadow of Thy Wings
   
pfeifco
Master Mason

Posts: 975
Registered: Apr 2007
 Posted November 8th, 2007 10:15 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Oh no my mom is Lutheran (converted from Catholic)!!

Seriously! Well we will have an interesting Christmas get together this year to say the least.
   
skiendhu
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 Posted November 8th, 2007 10:25 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Isn't it good to be a member of a fraternity that is accepting of all religions.
( I hate to use the word "tolerant")
I'm sure that if some religions were not so "intolerant" this would be a much better world to live in.

Practical experience is the best teacher
   
S. T. Lehane
Master Mason

Posts: 1569
Registered: Oct 2006
 Posted November 9th, 2007 10:27 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
The interesting question is why do they think we're "bad"?
Fraternally!
   
Dave Mavity
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Posts: 2371
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 Posted November 9th, 2007 01:07 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Quote:
S. T. Lehane wrote:
The interesting question is why do they think we're "bad"?


Because Masonic membership requires tolerance of other religious faiths, which means those religions lose their competitive membership edge among Brethren.
"Eroding of the Market," as it were.

Also...well...if you are busy practicing Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth within Masonry, who has time to screw around with giving time and money to Churchianity, Inc.?

The Church of England on that list gave me a chuckle.
Bah.
Ask me why I left.
(Edited by Dave Mavity)
(Edited by Dave Mavity)

Dave Mavity
Academia Lodge #847 F&AM, Oakland, CA: Traditional Observance, baby.
Golden City Lodge #1 AF&AM, Golden, CO
Oakland, CA Valley A&ASR

Intra Nobis Regnum Iehova
   
pfeifco
Master Mason

Posts: 975
Registered: Apr 2007
 Posted November 9th, 2007 02:54 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Here is my exchange with the "Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada" (ELCIC)

My Question:
Quote:
I understand the "Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod" has a strong stance against Pastors and laypeople being freemasons but what is the official position of the "Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada" on this point ?


Their First response:
Quote:
Greetings,

The ELCIC has no official position which specifically cites freemasonry.

With all best wishes!

+Michael

Bishop Michael J. Pryse,


My follow-up question:
Quote:

Does ELCIC have any official position which indirectly applies to
freemasonry or lodge membership in general?


Their second response:
Quote:
There is a provision in the church's constitution which reads:

"No ordained minister shall belong to any organization which in its
documents, rites or practices contradicts the Gospel of salvation through
faith in Jesus Christ."

Some have interpreted this to be an indirect reference to freemasonry,
however, in my experience such a connection has never been made through an
official action of the church.

With all best wishes!

+Michael

Bishop Michael J. Pryse,



So in conclusion:

  • The "Christian Reform Church of North America" - Against Freemasonry
    The CRNA heavily frowns upon members being Freemasons. Freemasons can not take a leadership position in the CRCNA and members of would be counciled to leave freemasonry but they would not be excommunicated.

  • The "Reform Church in America" - For Freemansonry
    The RCA has had no issue with Freemasonry for over 100 years.

  • The "Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada" - Neutral on Freemasonry
    The ELCIC has a vague clause in their constitution which some interpreted as a stance against Freemasonry but not officially by the ELCIC. So technically Members and Church leaders can be Freemasons - but you may get looked at sidways.

  • The "Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod" Against Freemasonry
    The "Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod" explicitly forbids members to be freemasons.
    Quote:
    Bylaw 3.925 of the Synod's Handbook summarizes the rationale for the Synod's longstanding position on the lodges: "Pastors and laypeople must avoid membership or participation in any organization that in its objectives, ceremonies, or practices is inimical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the faith and life of the Christian church." It is because tenets and practices of Freemasonry conflict with the biblical Gospel of Jesus Christ that our church from its very beginning has held that membership in this organization conflicts with a faithful confession of this Gospel.

    Many examples from the official rites and ceremonies of Freemasonry could be cited to illustrate the reasons for the Synod's position, but the following is one example. The second section of the Entered Apprentice degree reviews what has taken place in the initiation rite and closes with this definition of the Lambskin of White Leathern Apron given to the candidate: "The Lamb has, in all ages, been deemed an emblem of innocence. He, therefore, who wears the Lambskin as the badge of a Freemason, is constantly reminded of that purity of life and conduct which is so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides." This statement holds out the promise that "purity of life and conduct" is "essentially necessary" for entry into life hereafter with the divine being called the "Supreme Architect." Such an assertion stands in direct conflict with the apostolic Gospel, and therefore endangers faith. St. Paul affirms in his epistle to the Galatians that "by works of the law shall no one be justified...for if justification were through the law, then Christ died to no purpose" (Gal. 2:16,21).



   
S. T. Lehane
Master Mason

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 Posted November 9th, 2007 06:08 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Masonry does not teach a path to salvation. It encourages you to seek those kind of answers in your own VSL.
Fraternally!
   
A.T.Smith
Master Mason

Posts: 1739
Registered: Jul 2006
 Posted November 9th, 2007 06:19 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Quote:
Dave Mavity wrote:
The Church of England on that list gave me a chuckle.


Yeah, they dedicated a whole chapter to that one.

Story was, that some people got upset because three quarters of the Churches leading figures were also Masons.
(which wouldn't be surprising)

Apperantly those "Leading figures" were able to quash the protest, and force the up-starts to resign.

.....who knows.

Under the Shadow of Thy Wings
   
Dave Mavity
Super Moderator

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 Posted November 10th, 2007 01:11 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Quote:
S. T. Lehane wrote:
Masonry does not teach a path to salvation.


No, it doesn't. It teaches the wholly blasphemous idea that we are to do good works and treat our fellow man as brothers because that is simply what we are meant to do.

Luciferian heretics. They should string us up, the lot of us.
(Edited by Dave Mavity)

Dave Mavity
Academia Lodge #847 F&AM, Oakland, CA: Traditional Observance, baby.
Golden City Lodge #1 AF&AM, Golden, CO
Oakland, CA Valley A&ASR

Intra Nobis Regnum Iehova
   
S. T. Lehane
Master Mason

Posts: 1569
Registered: Oct 2006
 Posted November 10th, 2007 03:43 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post


In the age-old debate of faith vs. works, Masonry is always criticized for emphasizing works, but in order to come through the Western gate, you have to first profess your faith publicly and without reservations.

Once we've established that we all have faith within the lodge, how can they criticize us for trying to do good works, and better ourselves?

Such Christians are missing the point of their own faith... Paul wrote "Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith."

By traditional Christian dogma, your works won't save your soul, no matter how great they are. But "Faith without works is dead."

How can it be "bad" to strive to do good deeds, and to make yourself the best person that you can be, and to live up to higher ideals?

Again, according to Paul, “Against such things there can be no law.”


(Edited by S. T. Lehane)

Fraternally!
   



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