What Can We Tell Our Friends About Freemasonry?
By Right Worshipful Brother Morris Rozen
Address at Lodge Marina
21 September 1999
Frequently we have been asked this question: What can we tell our friends about Freemasonry?”Our Order has been called a secret society, and for that reason many of its members are of the opinion that nothing may be told concerning it without violating an obligation. Nothing could be further from the facts.
Freemasonry is a Society with secrets and these are very few indeed. We can tell our friends who are interested in Freemasonry some of the things for whichit stands and some of its basic beliefs. Every mason must believe in God, the creator of the universe and the father of all mankind. This is not an expression of theology but rather one of faith. Every mason believes that the Volume of the Sacred Law is the great light in Freemasonry and is the rule and guide of his faith.
There are also certain basic beliefs concerning man himself which form a part of our Masonic beliefs. First, man is immortal and this lesson forms one of the basic thoughts of our Masonic teachings. Man has the right of choice and the sum of his choices form his character. In the final essence, character determines destiny so far as the individual is concerned.
Man has two great duties: to love God and esteem Him and to love his fellow man as himself. By example, Freemasonry teaches the use of prayer as the means of human communication with the divine.
Freemasonry believes in the exercise of brotherly love as a means of accomplishing the great objective of mankind, the brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God.
Freemasonry practices charity in its own ways through the operation, even here in Cape Town, of our Abbeyfield Home and Desmain Lodge. We care for some of our deserving Members who approach old age, provide aid for our widows, and education for the orphans of its Brethren as well as those parents who may not be able to afford the cost of educating their children.
Freemasonry is an institution devoted to teaching. It teaches man tolerance and courage, good citizenship, and develops character through the inculcation of its tenets of brotherly love, relief and truth. As its primary objective, Masonry seeks to build a better world by building better men to live in and govern it. In practising its tenets and inculcating morality and the acceptance of the responsibilities of citizenship, our Order is seeking to lay the foundation stones of a stronger and better world.
Freemasonry is not a religion though it is religious in that it believes in and worships God. It also teaches that what man believes about God is his own business. This is the basis of his choice of religious affiliation, which belongs to the individual. Most active Freemasons are active in their own churches, synagogues, temples or mosques.
No Freemason of any consequence tries to hide his identity, nor does he sneak off in the dead of night to keep a rendezvous at some dark and lonely place. We have nothing to hide - rather the opposite! Our many buildings and temples carry the Masonic emblem. This must be obvious to the world at large that here is a place where Freemasons meet. No attempt is made to disguise these buildings or erect false signs.
We have much to give the world by putting into active practice the fundamental principles and ideals of our Craft. This is the main purpose of our Freemasonry and this is no secret. In this day and age we find ourselves living in a world torn by conflict. A world torn apart by political, racial, and moral unrest. It is a noisy, unstable world full of problems, difficult situations where populations are split and torn apart because of their own political agendas. Tolerance is something that has never been displayed by most of these groups and sects.
If only all the politicians in every country of this world were active and practising members of our Order this planet of ours would surely be a far happier and safer place to live in.