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I was having my coffee and enjoying my Sunday morning while watching a recent rerun of an episode of The Colbert Report when the show suddenly caught my attention. Colbert’s guest was Robert Wright who has written a book entitled The Evolution of God. This is a topic that I have long been fascinated with because as I have studied the Bible over the years, I have noticed how the depiction of God evolves throughout the history of the Hebrews and eventually gets a huge makeover when Jesus begins to teach.
The God that Abraham served was extremely personal and was even willing to appear to Abraham as a human, almost like a personal angel. The God of Moses was wrathful. The God of David was often a warrior. Then as the Bible transfers to the New Testament, God becomes a universal being who exists for all of creation. This evolution is not unique to the religions which look to the books of the Bible for enlightenment, mankind is continually making God into a more loving and universal creature. Polytheism and idolatry are types of worship which continually keep disappearing and our society is now starting to make the leap from Deism to agnosticism and eventually atheism. While I have not yet read Robert Wright’s book, he explains that he came to a similar conclusion in his interview with Colbert.
This is a topic that is very relevant to Freemasonry. As Freemasons, we have carried the banner of universality in spirituality for nearly three centuries. There are very few places in the world where men of all creeds can sit in harmony and recognize each other as equals and not judge a man based on his own religious choices. Oh sure, there are plenty of examples of Freemasons that don’t understand this and erroneously regard Freemasonry as a Christian organization, but the knowledgeable Mason understands the fallacy of this idea. It is crucial that Freemasons understand the critical role of the organization in creating peaceful relations among men of all beliefs.
In this age of combative 24-hour news and increased divisiveness in issues such as religion and politics, it is crucial for Freemasons to remain the peacemakers. This is an idea that Albert Pike expounds upon in the 6th degree of the Scottish Rite and the American York Rite gives an example of peaceful religious relations in the Order of the Red Cross, when Darius offers his protection to the Jews so that they can rebuild the temple of their God. Of course, these ideas are well covered by the symbol of the Master Mason’s trowel. As society evolves and the perception of God evolves with it, Freemasons should be happy to be at the forefront of the fight for religious understanding and equality.
Today’s men can use a place to go to escape from religious and political bickering and enjoy fellowship with men of all walks of life which are bound to aid, support, and protect each other. I plan on buying a copy of the book The Evolution of God and gaining some insight into mankind’s perception of Deity. After all, couldn’t understanding someone else’s perspective do us all some good?
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