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Pike, Pentagram, Masonry, Kaballah

To: private email
From: rod 
Subject: Pike, Pentagram, Masonry, Kaballah
Date: Mon, 21 Dec 98 13:42:04 -0600

I just re-read the June,1998 Short Talk Bulletin and was impressed
(again) by the fine work that our Brother deHoyos consistently does.
For those listers (both U.S. and elsewhere) who do not subscribe to
the STB I have extracted a portion of the bulletin and hope that it
will encourage you to subscribe. For those who get the STB I
encourage you to re-read this one, keep it handy, and use Brother
deHoyos' work as a fine example disagreeing with a tongue of good
report.

-----------------------------
(from Short Talk Bulletin Vol. 76  June 1998  No.6)

   FALSE ACCUSATIONS
 ANTI-MASONIC ABUSE OF
SCOTTISH RITE LITERATURE

                 By: Art deHoyos

 (Art deHoyos is a Past Master of McAllen Lodge
#1110 of McAllen, Texas. Bro. deHoyos together
with S. Brent Morris, co-authored the Book Is It
True What They Say About Freemasonry?)
 This article is reprinted (in part) from the May
1998 Northern Light with permission. The full text
is available in that issue.
                     =8BEditor

A Pennsylvania pastor urged members of
his church to disassociate themselves from
Freemasonry and announced that Masons
would be ineligible for membership in his
church. Using a 19th-century Masonic moni-
tor as a source, the pastor has condemned
the fraternity based on a lack of understand-
ing and an unwillingness to hear the truth.

 I recently read Pastor David S. Janssen's "Sermon
on the Rituals of Freemasonry," which is a compila-
tion of three anti-Masonic sermons he delivered on
Sept. 28, 1997, at State College Christian and Mis-
sionary Alliance Church, State College, Pa.

 Anti-Masons are generally content to condemn the
fraternity based on their misunderstanding of the
sources they haphazardly select, and Pastor Janssen
is no exception. 

 In this instance the single source selected by Pas-
tor Janssen was a 1914 printing of Charles T.
McClenachan's The Book of the Ancient and
Accepted Rite (first edition, 1867).

[snip] .........................

Pastor Janssen's Top Ten
   Misunderstandings

 Pastor Janssen outlined ten reasons why he
believes Freemasonry is incompatible with the
bylaws of his church. Here are just a few examples
to demonstrate his many errors. (The pastor's alle-
gations are in bold [marked by *...*], while Art deHoyos' comments
follow).

 1. *Freemasonry freely uses pagan religions as an
inspiration for their ceremonies*. One of the hall-
marks of early Christianity was its adoption and
transformation of pagan ceremonies and symbols.
Using the pastor's argument, no Christian should
use a Christmas tree, burn a Yule log or eat ginger-
bread cookies, because of their =B3pagan origins." The
use of Christmas trees resembles a practice forbid--
den in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 10:2-5), while
the latter two symbolized human sacrifice and
cannibalism.
 To be consistent, Pastor Janssen would have to
give up the observance of Easter, as the name
derives from a pagan festival celebrated at the vernal
equinox, in honor of the Teutonic goddess of dawn,
Eastron or Austron.

 2. *Freemasonry teaches Universalism, that all
will be ultimately saved*. Pastor Janssen found a
passage in McClenachan's book which he, as a non-
Mason, interprets differently than I do, as a Mason.
It reads, "The Masonic system regards all the human
race as members of one great family=8Bas having the
same origin and same destination; all distinctions of
rank, lineage, or nativity, are alike and unknown." I
don't believe this passage teaches universalism (uni-
versal salvation). Rather, it reminds me of Acts
17:26. Further, I suggest that the words =B3same desti-
nation" can refer to a bond of universal brotherhood,
irrespective of the "rank, lineage, or nativity."

 3. *Freemasonry teaches the principles of pagan
religions as truth*. In support of this, Pastor Janssen
quotes from the "argument=B9s or rationale of the old
25=B0 (disused in 1880). which employed an allegory
that mentioned "the fables of Osiris and Ormuzd
and Typhon and Ahriman" (emphasis added). Pastor
Janssen objects to the use of "the symbols and alle-
gories of the mysteries," but not having read the
complete ritual he seems unaware of the Old Testa-
ment setting

 4. *Freemasonry teaches that the cross is not the
most important symbol of the world, but rather
the pentagram*. This is a misapplied reference to
the old 25=B0, which mentioned that among the mys-
teries of Magism, gnosis (secret knowledge) and
occult (hidden) philosophy, the pentagram was con-
sidered "the greatest and most potent symbol=B2 The
ritual does not say that the pentagram is the greatest
Masonic symbol, or that it is greater than the Chris-
tian's cross. It merely makes a comment on the pen-
tagram in the context under discussion.

 5. *Freemasonry teaches astrology in its rituals*.
The passage which Pastor Janssen objects to begins,
"The world, the ancients believed ...." Had Pastor
Janssen paid attention to these introductory words he
should have understood that the passage is describ-
ing ancient beliefs, not Masonic beliefs or practice.
It's almost amusing that Pastor Janssen accused
Albert Pike for the "offending" passage. In a letter
written to a friend, Pike wrote:

 "I think that no speculations are more barren than
those in regard to the astronomical character of the
symbols of Masonry, except those about the Num-
bers and their combinations of the Kabalah. All that
is said about Numbers in that lecture, if not mere
jugglery, amounts to nothing .... The astronomical
explanations of them, however plausible, would
only show that they taught no truths, moral or reli-
gious. As to tricks played with Numbers, they only
show what freaks of absurdity, if not insanity, the
human intellect can indulge."

 6. *Freemasonry does not affirm the uniqueness
of the Old and New Testaments*. Pastor Janssen
seems to desire some type of special Masonic
proclamation on the uniqueness of the Bible.
 He expresses the dissatisfaction at the fact that the
old 17=B0 (disused in 1870), noting common motifs,
suggested an interdependence of the Mosaic laws
and those of other cultures.
 A course in comparative religion would help him
see the similarities between Hammurabi's Code and
the Ten Commandments, and the parallels between
the Biblical Noah and the Mesopotamian hero
Utnapishtim in the Gilgamesh Epic. These do not
detract from the value of the bible as the "ines-
timable gift of Cod to man."
 As the "Great Light of Masonry," the Holy Bible is
afforded respect and admiration by all good Masons.

 7. *Freemasonry states that it is not a religion,
then affirms that it actually is*. In essence, the pas-
or says, =B2I don't care what Preemasonry says. I
know better.=B2 Citing older versions of the 4=B0 and 20=B0.
the pastor notes that "primitive" Freemasonry
"approache[d] religion." Pastor Janssen should learn
that similarity is not equivalence. The movies Ben
Hur and The Ten Commandments are religious, but
they are not religion. Similarly some Masonic ritual
dramas are religious in character, but they do not
reach sectarian dogma.

 8. *Freemasonry uses the Kabalah as a base of
teaching*. Although there were references to the
Kabalah (a form of Jewish mysticism) in some
early Scottish Rite degrees (and still are in some
jurisdictions), they are presented in a form which is
consistent with the setting of the drama. They por-
tray one group's attempt to discover the truth. Just
as there arc many types of "Christianity," there are
many types of "Kabalah." In fact, there was even a
type of "Christian Kabalah" which was used to
convert Jews. Pastor Janssen, not having studied
the rituals, is incapable of assessing the context of
the discussion.

 9. *Freemasonry believes it alone is the guardian
of spiritual truths given at the dawn of humanity*.
This refers to a statement in the old 8=B0 (disused in
1871), in which it was stated that Freemasonry pre-
served "divine truth, given by God to the first men
...." The context of the degree makes it apparent that
they are the moral truths of integrity, virtue and
charity. Symbolic Masonry does encourage their
practice and maintains that they will better mankind.

 10. *Freemasonry contains material shared in
common with Spiritist groups*. Pastor Janssen
alleges that the double-headed eagle originated with
17th century alchemy. Actually, it was used by the
Holy Roman Empire with the two heads looking
East (to Byzantium) and West (to Rome). The sym-
bol was later adopted by the Masonic "Emperors of
the East and West" which was an ancestor of the
Scottish Rite.

-----------------------------
EOF

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