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Jay
Master Mason

Posts: 304
Registered: Feb 2010
 Posted May 10th, 2010 12:17 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
The query:



Greetings Rev. Barnett-Cowan,

I was raised in the Anglican faith, but have only ever attended church a handful of times as a young child.

In the time since, I have become a Freemason and have recovered my spirituality. Part of recovering my spirituality is to also regain my religious faith.

I also want to instill this faith in my children, so they do not have to wait 30 years as I have to seek out enlightenment.

However, I need to know the position of the Anglican church with regards to Freemasonry. I know a number of denominations are openly against it, but I cannot find any information on the position of the Anglican church.

Thank you,
Jason Lloyd


the response:


Dear Jason:

I am glad that you are finding a way to grow in your religious belief, though I'm sorry that you haven't had the experience of being nourished in the faith of your baptism in our church.

While there are some Anglicans who are very critical of Freemasonry, others are avid practioners of it - indeed, for many years in Toronto bishops were Masons. We do not have an official position on the subject.

As the practices of Freemasonry are secret, it is difficult for someone who is not a member to evaluate whether any of them would be contradictory to Christian teaching. I think that the critical question for you to ask is whether the centre of worship is the same as the Christian God, Father Son and Holy Spirit, who alone creates, redeems and sustains human beings.

I understand that there are elements of pre-Christian imagery coming from early Egyptian religion, for example. Is it Egyptian gods and goddesses who are being invoked? That would obviously be idolatry, something forbidden in the Ten Commandments. I suspect (but cannot know) that the higher levels of Freemasonry might bring one closer to pagan practices than is experienced by the early levels of participation.

I would encourage you to look at either the Book of Common Prayer or the Book of Alternative Services and read the promises of baptism, the creed and the 10 commandments. Do you find Freemasonry consistent with these? Also, you may well find the opportunity to talk about the connection of Christianity and Freemasonry with some of your fellow Freemasons, since I suspect that most will, like yourself, have had a Christian upbringing.

I wish you well in your religious journey.

Alyson Barnett-Cowan
Director, Faith Worship and Ministry
Anglican Church of Canada
   
skiendhu
Super Moderator

Posts: 2635
Registered: Dec 2004
 Posted May 10th, 2010 02:00 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Well at least the Rev. Barnet Cowan didn't condemn us out of hand, but lack of knowledge aparently makes her a little bit suspicious of the craft.
Practical experience is the best teacher
   
S. T. Lehane
Master Mason

Posts: 1569
Registered: Oct 2006
 Posted May 10th, 2010 02:15 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Interesting. Thanks for sharing that.


Fraternally!
   
Jay
Master Mason

Posts: 304
Registered: Feb 2010
 Posted May 10th, 2010 03:47 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Quote:
skiendhu wrote:
Well at least the Rev. Barnet Cowan didn't condemn us out of hand, but lack of knowledge aparently makes her a little bit suspicious of the craft.



No official position sure beats an outright ban.


That being said, the stance of "doing what you think is right" certainly tells me that there is no Nanny doing the thinking for me on these issues.
   
canuck
Mastermason

Posts: 295
Registered: Dec 2009
 Posted May 11th, 2010 02:46 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
I appreciate the fact that she actually asked you to seek for the answer yourself. Her position is - you know what Freemasonry preaches, check again what your church preaches - and compare. It's very refreshing when a church official is not dogmatic in his/her approach.
www.victorialodge.ca
   
S. T. Lehane
Master Mason

Posts: 1569
Registered: Oct 2006
 Posted May 11th, 2010 02:56 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
I was impressed by her response. It was reasonable.





(Edited by S. T. Lehane)

Fraternally!
   
Prometheus
Member

Posts: 502
Registered: Feb 2008
 Posted May 11th, 2010 08:29 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Are you sure that you want to listen to a Cowan?

Just kidding.

Pretty straightforward letter Bro.

Good luck with your spiritual search.
   
Jay
Master Mason

Posts: 304
Registered: Feb 2010
 Posted May 11th, 2010 10:00 AM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Quote:
canuck wrote:
I appreciate the fact that she actually asked you to seek for the answer yourself. Her position is - you know what Freemasonry preaches, check again what your church preaches - and compare. It's very refreshing when a church official is not dogmatic in his/her approach.


Exactly!

I appreciated the openess of her reply.



She did raise an interesting point in that a number of Anglican clergy have been masons over the years. Pretty tough to condemn the craft when you have so many of your deacons, priests and bishops practicing it.


AN intersting note is that the Anglican Church in each country is autonomous. So the Canadian church takes this position while the Archbishop of Canterbury maintains that Freemasonry is incompatible with the church.

   
canuck
Mastermason

Posts: 295
Registered: Dec 2009
 Posted May 11th, 2010 01:57 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
The Orthodox church has an interesting position on Freemasonry... There is no official condemnation yet, but many Archibishops and Mitropolits in the past have condemned Freemasonry as "work of the Devil". Yet, since the church in each country is independent, there is no official stance...
What's more interesting is that there are couple of bishops, from the 19-th and 20-th century, who are canonized and are declared Saints by the Orthodox Churches world wide - who were masons!
The paradox here is - according to the Orthodox doctrine, a Saint can not err. So - if they didn't err by being masons, and were declared Saints long after their death, how can some local bishop claim that Freemasonry is a work of the Devil?

www.victorialodge.ca
   
Jay
Master Mason

Posts: 304
Registered: Feb 2010
 Posted May 11th, 2010 03:58 PM   IP           Reply with quote Edit Post Delete post
Quote:
canuck wrote:
how can some local bishop claim that Freemasonry is a work of the Devil?



Happens all the time in every religious denomination.


Some figurehead attempts to control his flock and decypher the meaning of biblical passges single handedly.
   



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Freemason Discussion Group :: Freemasonry :: Religions And The Craft :: Response from the Anglican Church of Canada on Freemasonry
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