The Best One-Two Punch In Modern Times
I have, in my position as an old Past Master, mentored a Brother through the Degrees for the first time in a long time. And as his raising is imminent, I wanted to “send him off” with a good new charge. I love doing charges and have done numerous ones over the years. The most satisfying, seems to be the “On Yonder Book” charge.
But I thought it might be nice to write and deliver a new charge. One that has never been heard before. Yet what I have to say seems somehow incomplete. I just can’t seem to grasp a coherent fullness to what I want to say.
So, never one to turn down assistance, I appeal to the vast erudite Masonic audience of this website to chime in and give me a hand. What do I need to add or subtract? What do you like or dislike? What would make it better? Or should I just scrap the whole darn thing. Rip it up and start over or rip it up and forget about it?
My brother, it might seem to you that you have reached the end of your journey in the quest for Light. But that would be far from the truth. Masonry is a life long journey of learning, discovery and application,- a way of life that has many rewards for you yet to come.
For the moment let us concentrate on the Third Degree which has just been conferred on you. Its theme is Immortality. And that theme is so important for you to understand where Masonry fits into the grand scheme of things and how does it interrelate with other disciplines that guide you through this journey called “Life.”
It is vital for you to understand that Masonry is not a religion. It does not have a path laid out for your salvation. It talks about the Celestial Lodge Above, but it does not tell you how to get there. It just informs you that it is there for the taking.
Those that claim Masonry is a religion or use the Lodge as a substitute for church are operating under a mistaken concept that man can make his own religion, construct it as the Builders built the Temple. That a new designer religion called Masonry has been constructed for the benefit of the Brethren.
Even more important is the idea that Masonry is in conflict with religion and its practice thereof, that there is some sort of battle going on between the Church and the Lodge and that we must pick sides and declare a winner.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I stand before you today to dispel any such notion.
Masonry is actually sending you to your religion. It wants you to subscribe to both the Lodge and the Church.
The Legend of Hiram Abiff and the lesson of the Third Degree, immortality, cries out for you to discover HOW through your House of Worship. There is no prescription for the path to salvation in Masonry.
Masonry places upon its altar the Volume of the Sacred Law for the rule and guide of your faith. It does not interpret the Holy Book. It is there to encourage you to use it.
Masonry has other symbols to encourage you to partake of your faith. One that comes instantly to mind is “The Point Within The Circle.”
Masonry deals with the here and now. It explains what a Brotherhood is all about. One needs only to review the “Five Points of Fellowship” to realize what Masonry is teaching.
The Lodge teaches you the ways to form relationships with your fellow man
The church teaches you the ways to form a relationship with God.
Masonry teaches you how to be Noble.
Your religion teaches you how to be Holy.
Masonry is all about building character.
Your religion is all about caring for your soul.
They both have a place in your life.
But here is the moral to this story.
THEY ARE THE BEST ONE-TWO PUNCH IN MODERN TIMES.
For if you practice Masonry and apply it to your daily life while at the same time practice your religion and nurture your soul, then you will lead a happy and fulfilled life. Evil will not overtake your way of life. Notice I did not say you will be sinless. We are all sinners. We all “fall off the wagon” now and then. But practicing Masonry and a practicing _____ (fill in your religion) will send you down the path of righteousness and up the ladder to your destiny. One without the other is like a carriage without a horse. It’s a train with no railroad tracks.
Take due notice thereof, my Brother, and govern yourself accordingly.