Canterbury Cathedral 2
Church of England

Simony, syncretism or sacred service? Canterbury Cathedral to host Freemasons’ celebration

Canterbury Cathedral is to host a service on Saturday 18th February exclusively (if not quite secretively) for Freemasons. The Dean, the Very Rev’d Dr Robert Willis, who may or may not be a Freemason, will preside at the service, which is to be held in honour of the tercentenary of Freemasonry. The Grand Master, HRH the Duke of Kent (who is also a patron of the Canterbury Cathedral Trust), will be in attendance, along with hundreds of Masons from Kent, Surrey and Sussex, who have together raised £300,000 for the restoration of the North-West Transept. Christian Today reporter James Macintyre asked directly whether the service was linked to the donation, and a spokesperson for the Cathedral apparently responded: “Indeed.”

Well, why not? The benevolent association of Freemasons with Canterbury Cathedral has undoubtedly  helped preserve this ancient and iconic building. “For a long time, I had no idea there had been links between the Cathedral and Freemasons,’ said Roger Odd, former Deputy Provincial Grand Master of the East Kent Lodge. “Then I realised Archbishops of Canterbury had been Freemasons – people like Geoffrey Fisher, who crowned our current Queen. I also saw a picture of Past Provincial Grand Master of Kent Lord Cornwallis at a service in 1936. There had been connections, but the relationship hadn’t been re-established for some time.”

So the Freemasons kindly and very generously set about funding apprentice stonemasons. Freemasonry Today explains:

Heather Newton, stonemason and the Cathedral’s head of conservation, sees the Freemasons’ support as nothing less than a blessing. ‘We’re desperately in need of funds,’ she says. ‘It’s a huge building, and there’s always something that needs doing. The Freemasons have been immensely generous, but the fact that they’ve given much of their donation specifically for training apprentices is particularly helpful. It’s proper, practical help, and in many cases it’s been a lifeline for some very talented people. You see them develop over the course of the apprenticeship – the experience enriches them.’

The current Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is not and never has been a Freemason. It is sheer ignorance to try to tarnish his name with this event: what goes on in Canterbury Cathedral is the purview of the Dean, and absolutely nothing to do with the Archbishop. The previous Archbishop, Rowan Williams, was not only not a Freemason, he positively reviled their oaths and rituals, believing them to be utterly antithetical to the Christian faith. That was until he came to appoint senior Freemason the Rev’d Jonathan Baker as Bishop of Ebbsfleet, and then he turned a different whisker. As Roger Odd observed, Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher was most definitely a Freemason, and his penchant for the Brotherhood almost threatened disestablishment. Quite a few bishops and other clergy may be Freemasons – we don’t know: it’s secret.

There’s a bit of a fuss growing about Canterbury Cathedral hosting this service, with implications of simony and allegations of Satan worship. The Church of England examined the compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity back in 1987, and the majority (of a 7-strong committee, two if whom were masons) found the beliefs to be somewhat in tension, if not antithetical. Their final paragraph reads:

(122) This Report has identified a number of important issues on which, in the view of the Working Group, the General Synod will have to reflect as it considers ‘the compatibility or otherwise of Freemasonry with Christianity’. The reflections of the Working Group itself reveal understandable differences of opinion between those who are Freemasons and those who are not. Whilst the former fully agree that the Report shows that there are clear difficulties to be faced by Christians who are Freemasons, the latter are of the mind that the Report points to a number of very fundamental reasons to question the compatibility of Freemasonry and Christianity.

Funny how the BBC didn’t present this difference of opinion as a ‘schism’ or ‘split’ or as a ‘church in crisis’. Perhaps they just don’t care about the mental health of Freemasons.

But this report was often wildly misrepresented, with assertions such as “the Church of England over­whelmingly accepted the results of a church inquiry which accused Freemasonry of being blasphemous and hereti­cal”. The Church of England asserted no such thing. The General Synod ap­proved the report by 394 votes to 52, with 5 abstentions. The motion it approved was: “That this Synod endorses the Report of the Working Group (GS 784A), including its final paragraph, and commends it for discussion by the Church.”

The Church just didn’t discuss it very much. The Dean of Canterbury will be familiar with this report, and is manifestly content that showing hospitality to Freemasons is neither blasphemous nor heretical. Whether or not he is himself a mason, he will ensure that the liturgy at England’s preeminent Cathedral is unequivocally Anglican: it’s not as if Jahbulon will be invoked or members of the congregation will be asked to sing ‘Praise, my soul, the King of heaven’ while standing on one leg with with a noose around their necks. Of course, what each mason has in his heart or mind during the service is a matter for him, but it’s not going to be a worship service of Satanic-Anglican syncretism, as some are imagining.

But is it simony? Well, only if the Freemasons gifted their £300,000 with the proviso that they got to celebrate their tercentenary within the hallowed Cathedral cloisters, beneath the stained-glass shadows of the Ancestors of Christ. And there’s absolutely no suggestion that they did. At a basic level, Freemasonry is a charitable and benevolent association. It is tolerant and respectful of all religions and admits all men of good character who have a commitment to self improvement and to serve their communities. Atheists, however, are excluded: there is a requirement to believe in God as the ‘supreme being’, but no doctrine of God is advanced beyond that.

Would Canterbury Cathedral welcome Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists or Jedi Knights?

Yes, of course they would, for the Cathedral belongs to all the people of England, and all are welcome to worship God beneath its medieval vaulted ceiling. If any group had bothered to raise £300,000 for crucial works of restoration, they might similarly ask the Dean if the Cathedral would host an event for them, and he would doubtless consider it very carefully. Would such an accommodation constitute any kind of endorsement of these belief systems? No, of course not: not unless the act of divine worship were made using alien scriptures which took the name of the Lord in vain or denied the divinity of Christ. These things the Dean would decline.

Freemasons may belong to any faith, and they dedicate their lives to tolerance, compassion and brotherly love. The question of whether Freemasonry is a religion has been considered by the courts, and they found that when tested against the criteria of belief in a supernatural being and the acceptance of conduct to give effect to that belief:

..it seems that Freemasonry – just – falls short. That is because (i) as we understand those criteria the supernatural being is the same for all adherents, whereas the nature of the supernatural being accepted by Freemasons may differ according to their particular faith; and (ii) the canons of conduct promoted by Freemasonry are freestanding and not adopted to give effect to the belief”

There is no compulsion or expectation that Canterbury Cathedral will endorse the canons of conduct promoted by Freemasonry, but there is certainly no harm in exhorting fraternal love or blessing peacemakers. This is not syncretism. Insofar as the masons’ objectives in gifting £300,000 to Canterbury Cathedral were philanthropic and civic, there is no simony. Freemasons support the Cathedral out of reverence for sacred history, respect for mutuality, as a service to the community and a gift to the nation. For the Dean to foster fellowship and fraternity with them is a basic courtesy and a sacred service.

  • Jill

    Who knows anything about Baphomet?

    https://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/1074/1074_01.asp

    • He’s a Lizard orchestrating the Jewish-Jesuit-Masonic cabal.

      • len

        Conspiracy theorist!.

    • Anton

      Wikipedia on baphomet is good. Don’t trust Chick on anything, sadly – a mix of truth and wild nonsense.

  • Martin

    OK, Here’s the question. Should Christians accept donations from others to their funds?

    I was once a member of a Particular Baptist congregation who accepted financial help toward the upkeep of their quite old building

    Arising from that we have the question:

    Should Christians allow their buildings to be used by those who might point to such a use as evidence of their Christian background?

    At what point is the line drawn, are those who refuse to allow yoga classes in their halls wrong?

    Off on another tack, should Christians continue to meet in buildings that cost enormous amounts of money to maintain? Indeed, are cathedrals really suitable for the proclamation of the gospel?

    • IanCad

      Martin, as to your last point, I would most certainly say Yes! No matter the means, these glorious temples are the outward manifestation of the inward reverence for the Christian faith.

      • Martin

        Ian

        I think they may be monuments to Man. In any case, they’re not good preaching houses.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The Charity Commission has clear guidelines about being careful about the donations a charity can accept. The interpretation of them that the PTS follows is as suggested to us – no donation should be accepted from any source that we do not think genuinely supports or agrees with our position – even if they are mistaken as to their own position.

      My church did not want a penny for the Heritage Fund – as it is lottery money, gambling money. It wouldn’t have given us anything anyway, but…

      Yes, its no to yoga, or to ‘action for happiness’ (from whom we had a plea last week), and so on. No compromise means no compromise. Cathedrals would be great for proclaiming the Gospel, there are so many unbelievers there – when visiting I sometimes find myself drawn to mount their pulpits and sound the Gospel forth. One day I won’t be able to stop myself.

      • Anton

        I wouldn’t sanction yoga in a church building myself, although I’d be pushed to say why. The Indian Christian Vishal Mangalwadi is good on this.

        • Dominic Stockford

          We can’t all explain everything in a detailed manner, because we cannot possibly remember all of it. There’s a body [in Richmond-upon-Thames?] who produce tracts about all the cults, including one on both yoga and masonry – I go to them for help in explaining it (if I can remember what they’re called!).

          • Anton

            I know more than one such body, and find them good on weird sects that began as Christianity plus the revelations of some nutcase in 19th century America, but less good about more subtly syncretic stuff.

          • lymeswold
      • Martin

        Dominic

        I recall an occasion when I and a friend walked around a (?)cathedral singing choruses!

        My point was that acoustically they are really bad for speech, unlike those funny little chapels we see so often in the countryside.

        PTS=Protestant Truth Society??

  • Far better than the Cathedral being used to host an interdenominational service with Muslims and permit readings from the Koran as happened in Glasgow.

    • Anton

      Equally bad.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Yes. Same thing, different false god.

  • len

    Why not just invite satanists into the church and do away with any pretense of the church being’ a house of God’?.
    The church is rapidly becoming a home for every unclean thing, why be surprised that God has left ‘the church?’.

    • Merchantman

      Sadly it seems that there is much truth in what you say is going on within the church. I had revelation that to be silent on these corrupt practices is unacceptable in these troubling times. A lot easier though to reach out to Masons than Muslims.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The Church of England, please. Don’t tar all with the failings of one part.

      • len

        There are many denominations all claiming to be ‘the church’.

  • Freemasonry is blasphemous. It pretends to preserve ancient secrets handed down from Solomon’s builders and pagan mystery cults via the medieval Knights Templar. The Craft claims to offer “Light” unobtainable elsewhere that will perfect the initiate and improve society. Its “God” is the “Great Architect of the Universe”, reachable by reason alone. Its principles are relativism and naturalism. All religions are inferior to the “Light” it offers to its select Brethren. They trust rason alone, not supernatural revelation. But Christians know that salvation comes from the real Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, not the legend of Hiram Abiff.

    The higher degrees of Masonry are frankly blasphemous. The Royal Arch Degree of the York Rite reveals that the true name of God is JAH-BUL-ON, a fusion of the Hebrew Jaweh (Yaweh) with the names of pagan gods Baal and Osiris. The Scottish Rite’s eighteenth degree (Rose Croix) reinterprets the Cross and its I.N.R.I inscription as pagan symbols. They rely on natural virtue while ignoring Christ’s unique role as Saviour.

    Christianity and the Lodge can never be reconciled. Freemasonry teaches a rival religion of Naturalism, whether it plots, persecutes, blasphemes, engages in philanthropy, or behaves politely. It treats all religions as equal but inferior to its own Gnostic wisdom. Alas, the vaunted profundity on offer never manifests itself from the shadows of secrecy. Even after a man has taken every degree known in the Masonic mansion, he will be no more enlightened than when he began, but considerably farther from the true Light. The Great Architect the Universe of Deism and Freemasonry is not the Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – of Christians.

    • carl jacobs

      Good post, Jack.

    • Anton

      Actually Jack he will be less enlightened after taking those degrees, because he will have been blinded bit by bit. Otherwise I agree with every word – well said.

    • Bruce Atkinson

      Well said, Jack. There is considerable overlap between Freemasonry and Gnosticism as suggested by this overview: http://www.virtueonline.org/gnosticism-overview-bruce-atkinson

    • bluedog

      An excellent post, HJ. One recalls working in an august institution and sharing a desk with a mason. Endless sotto voce conversations took place, some half-under the desk, about various meetings and the appropriateness of certain degrees. Arcane, bizarre and frankly weird are the words that come to mind. Fortunately the was no approach to share the joys, which would have been robustly rejected. Pure superstition, and how any church could allow itself to be drawn into the net is not obvious. But then, money talks.

  • len

    ‘ The Church’ now as much as ever needs to be examined by the Light of Scripture to see if its stands the test or has it lost its way?.
    ‘Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save’.(Psalm 146)
    ( Do not trust people even those who tell you they are are ‘infallible’.)

  • Anton

    What do you expect when at least one lodge master is on the cathedral staff?

    • Vox Populi

      That explains a lot!

  • carl jacobs

    I was a pallbearer once for the funeral of a police officer. The attendance at that funeral easily exceeded 1000 people. The mayor was there. The police chief was there. The county sheriff was there. And scores of law enforcement officers from all over the region.

    The deceased was a Mason. He was buried in full Masonic regalia. And the pastor of his church let the masons conduct part of the funeral. I will never forget seeing that church decked out in the symbolism of Masonry. The sad thing was that the only spiritual content in the service was Masonic.

    1000 people heard the testimony of Masonry that day but none heard the Gospel. I don’t think I’ve ever been to another funeral quite so devoid of light.

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      Try going to a humanist funeral. I did once and will never go again, even if of a very close friend or family member. You might just as have well pitched the corpse in a hole in the ground without ceremony. Utterly depressing and without hope or consolation.

      • At least the Humanist is honest about his distain for “superstitious religion” uninformed by the “light” of reason. Freemasonry is spiritually deceptive and pernicious.

      • Dominic Stockford

        In humanist funerals there is always a moment where people can ‘remember in silence’ – stand up and start reciting the Lord’s Prayer out loud at that point. I reckon half the congregated people will join in. 🙂

  • Anton

    It is difficult to tread the path of wisdom between charismatic condemnation of freemasonry unbacked by sober fact, which sometimes borders on comments about shape-shifting lizards, and total unconcern because freemasonry is supposedly an ultimately secular movement of grown men who like to play adult versions of playground games, mingled with philanthropy.

    But the charismatics are right this time; they just need to do their homework better in order to back up what they say. Freemasonry probably evolved spiritually from the guilds of stonemasons who worked on the mediaeval cathedrals of Europe, and it became prominent in the 18th century, the ‘Age of Reason’ or Enlightenment. (Whereas stonemasons were ‘operative’ masons, this is ‘speculative’ freemasonry.) Modern English-speaking freemasonry grew out of a merger of masonic ‘lodges’ in early 18th century London, where a generation earlier freemasonry was involved in the founding of the Royal Society to study science. It spread around the world. Continental freemasonry also grew to prominence in the 18th century (Mozart was a dedicated freemason). Freemasonry has a dangerous spiritual facet which few freemasons recognise; it is a peculiar mix of Enlightenment secularism and the occult. Many fine men – including Christians – are gulled into joining masonic lodges by the fellowship, worldly advantages and mystical pomp they offer. (“My people are destroyed through lack of knowledge” – Hosea 4:6.) There are many masonic ‘degrees’, and signs and phrases by which freemasons recognise each other. Freemasons are found in society’s authority structures including the police and armed forces, finance, politics and the legal and medical professions. They are pledged to put loyalty to freemasonry and other freemasons first in all of these. In Britain the royal court is heavily masonic, and the Church of England was penetrated when its hierarchy was a strong influence on British life.

    The principal degree of freemasonry is the third degree, ‘Master Mason’. Before taking it you cannot call yourself a freemason; afterwards you can. The first two degrees (‘Entered Apprentice’ and ‘Fellow Craft’) are preparation. These three are called the ‘blue’ levels of the lodge. Typically it takes a year or two to become a freemason. Higher degrees are optional, and many masons do not proceed to further ‘enlightenment’. (In English there exist the ‘York rite’ and ‘Scottish rite’ hierarchies; the former is related to a further unification in the early 19th century.) To become a freemason you must believe in a god (a ‘superior being’) and a resurrection from the dead. These conditions give Christian initiates false reassurance, but any god and any tale of resurrection will do. And, although a Bible is placed on the Masonic altar in Western temples, elsewhere the local sacred book is used. On top of – set above – this “volume of the sacred law” are the masonic symbols of square and compass. There is local variation in the ceremonies, but freemasonry is universal. Christianity, in contrast, is about grace, not law.

    Masonic initiations and ceremonies often refer to ‘god’ but are vague about his actions, attributes and identity. “Great architect of the universe” is a common phrase (rather than the scriptural “Creator”). Christianity must not be mentioned within masonic temples, and masonic ritual scarcely refers to Jesus Christ, describing his death – which he chose – as a “dire calamity” (for whom?), and ignoring his resurrection. Masonic ritual is ultimately based on perversions of the Old and New Testaments and the idolatry of ancient Israel’s enemies.

    In all degrees the candidate takes oaths which curse himself. The penalties for disloyalty (such as telling masonic secrets to non-masons, even to interest them) are to have one’s throat cut, heart torn out, disembowelment, and so on. These penalties are not enforced, and the foulest oaths are now mentioned only implicitly – but in a way which still invokes them, and God takes seriously every word that is spoken: Matthew 12:36. In worse occult systems, such things are enacted physically. These vows and rituals are obsessed with death and blood.

    Masonic curses, like the curses in Deuteronomy 5:9, fall on descendants of freemasons for several generations. There are many references to the heart in masonic oaths, and much hard-heartedness and heart disease today. Other oaths curse other aspects of physical and mental health. A check could be done by finding membership lists, tracing descendants, and comparing the incidence of diseases, particularly heart problems and bowel cancer, against the general population.

    The core myth of freemasonry involves the building of the Temple in Jerusalem and the enthronement of a deity in it. The candidate for masonic degrees re-enacts this myth. This is allegory, for his body is the temple in which freemasonry’s demons are enthroned, degree by degree (just as the Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 6:19). In the third degree ceremony the candidate plays Hiram Abif, master builder from Tyre, who knows the ‘secret name of God’ and is killed by others seeking it. The candidate is struck on the head and falls onto a shroud or into a coffin, playing dead until he is raised (resurrected) at the third attempt. Scripture does mention a craftsman called Hiram Abi (‘Hiram of my father’) sent from Tyre (2 Chronicles 2:13), but these rituals tend to blur him with his sender, King Hiram of Tyre. Ezekiel (28:11-19) paints the king of Tyre in satanic terms, and Isaiah (14:12) gives a similar portrait of an evil ‘morning star.’ The morning star is a common motif in freemasonry; the Hebrew of Isaiah is Heylel or light-bearer, translated (literally) as lucifer in the Latin Vulgate Bible and left unchanged in the King James Bible familiar to 18th century English freemasons, by which date it had become a synonym for Satan – who masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Freemasonry is obsessed with spiritual illumination and emergence from darkness, but is this the ‘true light’ of John 1:4-9?

    Had they known about this ceremony at the start, many freemasons would have been horrified; but they are in effect signing a contract with terms unknown to them, and they are progressively drawn in and blinded so that the horrific gradually becomes acceptable to them.

    I recommend the book Freemasonry – A Christian Perspective by John Lawrence. This evangelical study of the rituals and history of freemasonry soberly reveals its incompatibility with the gospel. It is similar to the books Darkness Visible (1952) and Christian by Degrees (1954) by Rev’d Walton Hannah, which triggered the partial release of the Church of England from masonic influence. (“Darkness Visible” is a phrase attached to the third degree; it is originally from Milton’s poetic description of Hell in Paradise Lost). Hannah based his first book on an article he wrote for Theology magazine in January 1951 called “Should a Christian be a Freemason?”, which caused a stir. He eventually quit Anglicanism and England and became a Roman Catholic priest in Canada.

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      Just two questions (I’m not a Mason).

      1. Do any Masons take their made up mumbo-jumbo seriously? I suspect virtually none. It’s an empty and arcane series of fictional rituals dating back to the 18th century and no further.
      2. Does a Mason have to renounce the divinity of Christ and the concept of the Trinity at any point?

      I suspect that for almost all Masons, including clearly a lot of clergy, it’s just a slightly exclusive little club where they justify their time and eccentricities by doing good works, and therefore not incompatible with a Christian faith. Although one might ask why such Christian Masons couldn’t better devote their time and energies to the promulgation of the faith and undertaking good works in its name.

      • Anton

        My replies (I have never been a freemason): I don’t know, and No. But remember that “occult” means “hidden”. People get drawn in bit by bit and end up saying things that they would have been utterly horrified by had they read them at the start. I believe that the Holy Spirit cannot reside in a freemason.

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          I suspect the Holy Spirit works where it wants, and it often moves in ways we cannot perceive or understand.

          • Are you a member?
            The Holy Spirit’s only work in Freemasonry is to open the eyes of it members and draw them out of it.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            I already told you I’m not and know no one who is. I’m just much less dogmatic than everyone else on here, and just get fed up with all the non-CoE posters on here using anything as another excuse to knock the CoE.

          • Anton

            The CoE was largely cleansed from the masons after the Geoffrey Fisher era, thanks be to God. But let it be known that this is an occult belief system utterly incompatible with Christianity.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            I’m an agnostic on the issue. I’ve seen lots of assertion on here, but no evidence that Masonry is incompatible with being a Christian. Give me hard evidence and I’ll agree with you.

          • Anton

            Walton Hannah’s books set out the masonic oaths uttered by the candidate in detail. I have read them and was horrified. The whole ethos is about darkness and blood. The candidate plays a man dead and physically putrefying in body. I don’t own Hannah’s books but I have read them and I do have John Lawrence’s book, which sets out one of the degrees. It is too long to type. Perhaps somebody might find these online? Please read also the comments by Sentamu and Denman in another post above.

          • carl jacobs

            If you really want to learn about Freemasonry, then go here:

            https://www.jashow.org/articles/guests-and-authors/bill-mankin/christianity-and-the-masonic-lodge-are-they-compatible/

            You will find the transcripts of six programs that feature a 32nd degree Mason talking with Dr Walter Martin. You will get both sides. Then go here:

            You can see Masonic Rituals as presented by a man who departed Freemasonry.

          • Anton

            32nd degree means Scottish Rite, equivalent to 7th degree in York Rite.

          • dannybhoy

            As I understand it there’s been a resurgence. It’s easy to become paranoid but the point is that masons are committed to looking out for each other, so for example if your church needs remedial work doing and your fabric officer is a mason, he will look for other masons to carry out the work. It may be an architect who has his own list of masonic building specialists and so it goes.
            It operates along the same lines as Common Purpose..
            Common Purpose is a fraudulent ‘educational charity’ acting as a change agent being used to recruit and train the commissars and apparatchiks needed to implement the British government’s hidden New World Order communitarian agenda.
            http://www.stopcp.com/cpmindmap.php

          • Jack sees the Church of England as important to the spiritual health of this nation. Naturally, he is inclined to traditional Anglo-Catholicism and hopes to see it recover – liturgically, biblically and morally. However, it needs to sort itself out and stop embracing the world and giving credibility to its enemies.
            And Freemasonry is an enemy of the Church of Jesus Christ.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s not true now 1642. I have been asked to join a lodge by someone who was quite open about the craft, and the person I am thinking of is fairly open about his belonging , to the extent that he and his wife wear lapel badges..

          • “the craft”, yes indeed witchcraft.

          • Anton

            Yes, John Sentamu saw freemasonry and instantly recognised it as witchcraft, with which he was familiar from his time in Africa. I’ve provided his comment about this on the present thread.

          • carl jacobs

            If the CoE wasn’t such a target-rich environment of spiritual compromise, then people wouldn’t shoot at it. Your principle apologetic defense so far has been an unsubstantiated claim that Masons don’t believe their own “mumbo jumbo”. That isn’t a very good defense of the CoE.

          • Harsh, Carl. True, but harsh.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            All large decentralised organisations such as the CoE will have its unsound pockets and eccentric fringes. All major Christian denominations have the same issues (Liberation theology for one), whereas in smaller denominations insanity can take hold of the entire body (URC and ghey marriage) such as insisting of 6 Day Creationism in the face of all scientific discovery.

            As I get older and hopefully wiser I hear ever more Paul’s wisdom in my mind – “today we see as through a glass darkly” – and am therefore more tolerant or at least open-minded on things where there is no clear Biblical injunction, relying on Jesus’s two first principles or pre-eminent commandments to ascertain His Will as applied to specific institutions.

            I am therefore sceptical of the RC’s ‘magisterium’ of rules about everything (in danger of making the same errors of Judaism’s obsession with the letter of the Law and ignoring the spirit of it) while respecting the wisdom of the early church fathers, and am equally sceptical of Martin’s ironclad certainty that he knows what God had for breakfast last Tuesday and everything else.

            For me the CoE at its best incorporates this wisdom within its thinking. The honest self-questioning within the COE may have gone too far in some matters where Biblical teaching is explicit, and its humility be exploited by those who seek to undermine the faith from within, but these things do not invalidate the virtue of this humility. At its heart the Christian faith is very simple and this simplicity is sufficient for salvation.

            I don’t make these points to do anyone else down, but am reminded of Cromwell’s comment to yet another sect demanding its interpretation of Scripture be imposed on the nation (“I beseech you consider that you might be mistaken”). A little more humility on our understanding, or at least its limits, would not go amiss in this sort of issue.

            You may well be right that at its hidden heart Freemasonry may be unChristian but that does not mean that many of its members cannot be honest Christians.

          • Albert

            I am therefore sceptical of the RC’s ‘magisterium’ of rules about everything

            What does RC stand for? I only ask because I can think of no institution that might be called “RC” have a magisterium and rules about everything.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Ahhh, yes. Monarchy in your name was a good clue.
            BTW, we do not need any new information to knock the CoE. No searching is required, it is in our face daily.
            I was a big fan of the CoE 45 years ago. She’s come a long way, baby, since then, a long way down.

          • Anton

            He, not It !

      • dannybhoy

        “Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will not wrong this lodge nor a brother of this degree to the value of two cents, knowingly, myself, nor suffer it to be done by others if in my power to prevent it. Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will support the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of the United States, and of the Grand Lodge of this State, under which this lodge is held, and conform to all the by-laws, rules, and regulations of this or any other lodge of which I may at any time hereafter become a member, as far as in my power. Furthermore, do I promise and swear that I will obey all regular signs and summonses given, handed, sent, or thrown to me by the hand of a brother Fellow Craft Mason, or from the body of a just and lawfully constituted lodge of such, provided that it be within the length of my cable-tow, or square and angle of my work.”
        A man cannot serve two masters, and whether or not they do still practice all that stuff, as a mason you are making a solemn oath to the lodge and fellow masons..A Christian can only swear allegiance to Christ our Lord and to God the Father.

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          Sorry Danny. I see nothing in that oath that denies Christ. The language may be ornate, but how does it differ in effect from an oath to the Crown taken by a serviceman?

          • Anton

            Read the masonic vows.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Never seen them. Do they explicitly deny Christ or the Trinity, or promote another god over Jehovah?

          • Anton

            Nor do many blood oaths that are obviously ungodly.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Oaths are also forbidden in the scriptures. But even one taken “with one’s fingers crossed” reveals a lack of integrity; either they believe the lie or they are pretending to believe the lie. Either way, they are in trouble.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Jahbulon is thier god. A strange admixture between Jahweh [sic], Baal and Osiris.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            You’re probably right, but it has no more relevance than modern druids’ attempts’ to rebuild ancient druidism. Both are entirely modern invented confections of the deluded and over-imaginative, with no basis in ancient belief whatsoever.

          • Anton

            But nonetheless incompatible with belief in the Holy Trinity and in no other god.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            It depends I suspect on whether the person concerned takes it seriously or not or if they think it’s just some mumbo-jumbo as I suspect do most masons.

          • Anton

            Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment (Matt 12:36).

          • dannybhoy

            “Masonic tradition teaches the worship of the supreme God, the Great Architect of the Universe. Who is this God? Investigate the words of Albert Pike, 33rd degree Mason and author of Morals and Dogma, p.226: “Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim, must needs leave it to each of its Initiates to look for the foundation of his faith and hope to the written scriptures of his own religion.”
            “”We do not undervalue the importance of any Truth. We utter no word that can be deemed irreverent by anyone of any faith.
            Jesus, in John 14:6, declares Himself to be the Truth, exclusively.

            In the same paragraph, Pike makes the blasphemous statement:
            “And as little do we tell the sincere Christian that Jesus of Nazareth was but a man like us, or His history but the unreal revival of an older legend.”

            In one paragraph, he destroys the very foundation of Christian beliefs and then, as if he was totally oblivious to his own writings, states on the facing page:

            “Thus Masonry disbelieves no truth, and teaches unbelief in no creed, except so far as such creed may lower its lofty estimate of the Deity, degrade Him to the level of the passions of humanity” (Morals and Dogma, p.525)

            http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Freemasonry/christians_and_freemasonry.htm

          • Anton

            Pike was a wild man who was a mason but not an authorised masonic source.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Which sounds like calling someone ‘mad’ to discredit them when what they are saying in fact holds truth, does it not?

          • Anton

            I meant that he wrote a mix of truth and untruth about what freemasonry claimed for itself – which is therefore a valueless corpus for masons and anti-masons alike.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Possibly. I was taught about the evils of freemasonry both by experience of clashing with them, and from a 33rd order man who was saved from it by Christ.

          • Christ is on a par with Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, Darth Vader, Mickey Mouse, whomsoever.
            To a Christian that’s blasphemy and a denial of Christ.

          • Anton

            Yes, and it’s exactly why the Christians refused a place for Christ in the Pantheon when offered one, as I’ve been told.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            It would be if the oath said that, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t mention a god at all.

    • Dominic Stockford

      The Free Church of England is/was also riven with freemasonry (and the other nonsense, British Israelism). The old church building here, which I am glad to say we have now sold off, was plastered with masonic symbols – all of which had found folklore explanations which made people feel better – ‘its not really that’ – when it was.

  • dannybhoy

    We have experience of masonic influence in our little corner of the world, and I am naive enough to believe that there is a spiritual influence at the heart of freemasonry that is at war with the Gospel of Christ. I believe that spiritual influence does not mind people coming to church, being involved in church and working for the church. What it is against is the preaching of the Gospel, the blood of Christ and changed lives.
    I think in churches where freemasonry flourishes, the Gospel won’t.

    • Nothing naïve about that comment at all, Danny.

      • dannybhoy

        Thank you brother Jack.

    • Dominic Stockford

      I worked for a housing association that had clear Reformed and Protestant statement of faith – a local civil servant did everything he could to stymie the work and to prevent us receiving funds that we should have had. It took a High Court order to sort out the matter. Having cost the county he worked for many tens of thousands of pounds he was then promoted to another position. It was discovered later that he was a freemason, which rather explained his utter antipathy to us.

      Earlier, in Plymouth, a lady came to me for help. She was concerned for her safety and that of her children, the threat being from her husband. Local solicitors had refused to help, pointing out to her that her husbands father was a/the senior freemason in Plymouth and it wasn’t worth their livelihood helping her. I found another way.

      And contrary to what is said elsewhere, I knew that (in Plymouth) several local bigwig RC’s were masons.

      Beyond the theology which is clearly anti-Christ, ‘what a nice set of men’.

      • Anton

        My RC friends are very anti-FM; honour to the Roman Catholic church for practicing what it preaches in this country. I suspect the men you speak of keep it dark from their priest. Things are different in Italy, where the notorious lodge Propaganda Due (P2) had close connections with the Vatican, which came out in the wake of the Calvi affair. May Rome be able to do what Canterbury did in the era after Fisher.

        • Dominic Stockford

          I gather, Carl may be able to shed light, that masonry in the US can be another matter. But it may not be.

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          Ah, the still mysterious affair of the Vatican bank, P2 and the mafia and rumoured connections to the Bologna bombings wasn’t it?

          • Anton

            Best work I know on it is the relevant part of Gerald Posner’s book God’s Bankers. He tells all that is relevant and known and doesn’t indulge in wild speculation.

      • dannybhoy

        Thanks Dommers (I worked for a housing association years ago).
        The point you’re illustrating is that these people are obliged to help each other, and they work in concealment. If they really worked in the light we would all know about it and there would be no point.

      • Vox Populi

        I know of a number of people who have had similar experiences. Once the Masons have it in for you, they will finish you off. Just like the House of Bishops.

    • Vox Populi

      Amen! You are absolutely right. Masonry is of the devil. It cannot co-exist with the works of light.

  • “Freemasons support the Cathedral out of reverence for sacred history, respect for mutuality, as a service to the community and a gift to the nation. For the Dean to foster fellowship and fraternity with them is a basic courtesy and a sacred service.”

    All very commendable. However, Jack wonders: would Peter, out of “courtesy” and fostering “fellowship and fraternity”, have accepted the 30 pieces of silver from Judas, as a sign of “mutuality” , to help establish the Church of Christ?

    The Church cannot be bedfellows with Gnostic Naturalism, however the Masons dress it up and whatever their apparent noble motives.

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      Fair point. Perhaps the cathedral should sell indulgences to generate maintenance funds?

      • dannybhoy

        Unkind I think.

      • Anton
        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          Oh please!

        • carl jacobs

          $4.38!? That better be exceptional chocolate.

          • IanCad

            Actually Carl $4.81 for the Indulgence coin is a steal compared to the price ($7.05) you would have to pay for the equivalent weight of the plain old Canterbury Cathedral medallion.

          • carl jacobs

            The chocolate would at least be useful. But still… Almost $5 for a piece of chocolate the size of a poker chip?

          • Cathedral advertising states: “Today of course an indulgence is a pleasure hence its use on this fine chocolate. Made in England.”

            How ironic.

          • Anton

            The size of a CD, actually. I ordered a few as presents a couple of years ago. I chose the recipients according to denomination…

          • That’s not just any chocolate, that’s Holy chocolate blessed by the priests.

          • Richard Woods

            Nope, it’s not.

          • Oh! Well it should be. Make it special then.

        • Albert

          What else will they turn into chocolate? Chocolate George Careys? Chocolate women “priests”? Coming soon: chocolate same-sex marriages.

      • Perhaps it could. However, they couldn’t be shown to be effective and even the Catholic Church doesn’t charge nowadays, so there’d be a real marketing problem. They could however, run a line in “blessed” sacramental artefacts from all world religions and do selective limited issues of an upmarket range of Masonic symbols.

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          Deserves an uptick for not snapping at the bait!

        • carl jacobs

          they couldn’t be shown to be effective

          Yes, that’s the common problem across all instantiations of the practice. You just have some guy in a pointy hat saying “Trust me. You’re good.”

          • Carl, you need to the read the up-to-date Catholic position on indulgences, their conditions and effect.

          • carl jacobs

            You mean the RCC has made a new up-to-date reading of the (infallible) Council of Trent? Who woulda thunk it?

          • It’s consistent with Trent.

          • carl jacobs

            Of course it is. All changes are consistent with Trent. By definition. That’s the wonderful thing about Roman dogma. It can change while not changing. Rome can say black is now red, and black has always been red, no matter what you might have thought people in the past believed.

          • Albert

            Rome can say black is now red, and black has always been red, no matter what you might have thought people in the past believed.

            No Rome can’t.

          • Jack didn’t know Calvin wore a pointy hat. He’s always got a fat cap on in the pictures Jack’s seen.

          • carl jacobs

            Nah. he wasn’t a Roman bishop.

  • Anton

    A young Anglican priest from Africa made a telling comment using satire in the Synod debate about freemasonry on 13th July 1987:

    As an African who once worshipped in ritual ways and held traditional beliefs… was quite amazed to see the similarity between quite a number of these beliefs… the missionaries came round and said they were pagan; this report is better, it does not say that, but says that there are difficulties and questions posed.

    And this from a reviewer, Dr. D.R. Denman, of Walton Hannah’s work on freemasonry (mentioned in the lengthier post below):

    Well I remember the wave of nausea as I stood an initiate outside the masonic lodge and hear myself referred to as a poor candidate in a state of darkness who by God’s help was seeking the light. God’s grace had already shone in my heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; this I knew, and as I stood there listening to the first utterance of masonic ritual I was aware of rampant evil. In vain I sought for some acknowledgement of the Light of the Word in the worship and ritual of the degrees that followed. There was nothing. The sense of blasphemy had become, by the middle of the Third Degree ceremony, so overwhelming that I was moved to protest and to leave the Temple – never to return.

  • Inspector General

    Freemasons!

    Among our cultural elite, they are. They form part of the bedrock of our civilisation. they are not open to the unfortunate influences of so called progress. A sober lot they are.

    Magnificent fellows!

    • You a member? Or, have you been “blackballed” in the past and this is part of your latest campaign to gain entry?

      • Inspector General

        No. As a papist, one would not be invited to join. Same reason the Inspector is unlikely ever to be made an honorary Canon of Gloucester Cathedral. Or be invited to join the Dagenham Girl Pipers, come to that, but that would be because he has to intention of trannying.

        • Freemasonry does admit Roman Catholics, Inspector. Jack has been invite to join on a few occasions. However, the Church forbids it.

          • Inspector General

            For some reason, the Inspector recalls what Groucho Marx had to say about joining associations when applied to you, Jack.

          • carl jacobs

            Umm … of the Freemasons you just said …

            They form part of the bedrock of our civilisation. they are not open to the unfortunate influences of so called progress.

            So if Jack was invited to join then either:

            1. Masons aren’t part of the bedrock.
            2. Jack is part of the bedrock.

            Would the Inspector like to frantically backtrack at this point?

          • Inspector General

            The Inspector is no position to comment, Carl, as he is still reeling from the revelation…

      • Anton

        I asked the Inspector about a year ago and he said he wasn’t, to which I replied that I was glad.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    You Grace

    This whole affair sounds very odd:

    1. The Archbishop of Canterbury Welby appears reluctant to associate himself with the service to take place;
    2. Isn’t he the Head Geezer in the CoE who could put a stop to all of this (as he is uncomfortable with this)?
    3. Can we have an assurance that at the service red wine will not be drunk from a skull whilst a skeleton rattles near the communion table?

    • Inspector General

      This is all rather a breath of fresh air, CC, when compared to the Bishop-Feminist of Gloucester inviting an Imam in to call to prayer in ‘our place’….

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Inspector General

        This is not a matter for levity. Both are a repudiation of Christianity.

        • Inspector General

          Your objections noted, CC, but at this moment in time, the church is not in a position to pick and choose its, we’ll call them. nominal allies…

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Inspector General

            Allies?

            How can the Church sup from the same cup (skull?) as Lucifer’s disciples?

          • Inspector General

            It is said that being a secretive crowd, all manner of rumours have as a result been circulated. As you are among their most fiercest of critics, CC, then you must have sound cause to be thus. Whatever you have on them, then this man will not deny. He doesn’t know them that well enough to bat for them. Just clap from the touchline.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Inspector General

            Very well.

            I do hope the Dean of Canterbury Cathederal will warn the entire assembly that if they drink form the cup unworthily – then they drink damnation.

  • IanCad

    I think it was pretty good if, as seems most likely, he was fairly close on target.

    • Darter Noster

      Check out the one where he explains that Hitler was directly ordered by the Vatican to carry out the Holocaust as an Inquisition under the authority of the Council of Trent – that’s a real screamer.

      • len

        Perhaps you protest too loudly?

        • Darter Noster

          I’m not protesting at all – I just know comically badly-written, badly-informed, paranoid BS when I see it.

          • len

            Don`t know much about Chick but there are some pretty murky waters where Hitler was involved, he would ally himself with anyone who helped his cause.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Your Grace

    Again there is something fundamentally wrong.

    If the service is not a ‘payment in kind’ for the considerable sum of £300,000; then why hold the service on sacred ground?

    • Good point. The Masons only usually donate to or buy equipment for places that will benefit their organisation and their members directly.

      • Inspector General

        Not fair, Marie. The masons ran the health service in this country before 1948…

        • Anton

          Evidence?

          • Inspector General

            It’s no secret, Anton. It was their greatest charitable work, and in an age when women did not have careers in the main, the masons wives were particularly prominent therein.

          • Anton

            Fine. Evidence?

          • dannybhoy

            The BBC featured an interesting article on freemasonry. It quotes a Select Committee as stating

            “We believe that nothing so much undermines public confidence in public institutions as the knowledge that some public servants are members of a secret society, one of whose aims is mutual self-advancement.“

            http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/rita-pal/freemasonry-and-medicine_b_1017439.html
            If a senior position comes up in ANY field of human endeavour (including the Church) and freemasons are involved somewhere in the process, they are OBLIGATED by their oath to help the masonic candidate get the position.
            That is bad.

        • Pre the NHS there were voluntary hospitals with patients who had been sponsored by the subscribers. The Masons sponsored patients only after discussions as to who was worthy to sponsor and who not to. It was their own members who mostly benefited.

  • len

    Cathedrals and many Churches are becoming monuments to what once was. If selling ones integrity was essential for the upkeep of these monuments better to let them collapse in ruins.

    The Church is’ a building’ not made with human hands;
    ‘you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.'(1 Peter 2:5)

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Len

      There is no provable cause that the service will be a ‘payment in kind’ for the £300,000.

      Do you know if Christians will be refused entry, for fear of giving offence?

      • len

        Somewhat of a coincidence though?
        Or perhaps Freemasons having their ‘functions’ in Churches has become commonplace which makes it even worse I suppose?.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Christians often say, based on the sovereignty of God, that there is no such thing as a coincidence.

  • len

    Satan works in the dark.Enticements are given, but these are meant to draw one further in and when the light dawns(if it eventually does) you are tangled in a web of deception, lies, and half truths.
    Much of satanic deception is an inversion of truth .Light becomes Dark, Right becomes Wrong etc.
    We see much of this working in our society today, without inviting such things into our lives or indeed our Churches.
    Freemasonry(and other such things) starts off appearing to be in the light but end in darkness.

    • Dominic Stockford

      ‘disguised as an angel of light’

      • Sarky

        Bringer of knowledge

  • ecclesiaman

    I find HG’s comments disturbing. It shows a lack of understanding about Freemasonry. If A Buddhist or Mormon fraternity made a gift to the cathedral would they be able to conduct a service of thanksgiving? Freemasonry has a different deity and God’s attitude to worship of other deities is clear from the OT.
    It does reflect badly on Archbishop Justin unless he publicly distances himself from the activities of this false religion. As with other issues this is a test of fidelity to the Christian faith. He needs our prayers for discernment.

    • Inspector General

      The church apparently has no problem with other spiritualities unless they are too close to home. Then they must be suppressed. So Islam, you wish us Christians harm, but there is no danger greater than a closed organisation that has Christian members but is not exclusively Christian in flavour.

      • ecclesiaman

        Without wanting to be dramatic it is a case of what is actually known rather than what you think. Lots of things appear harmless but are just the opposite.

        • Inspector General

          Let’s hope Welby reads your comment and bears it in mind the next time he feels compelled to throw a garden party for Islamic clerics.

          • ecclesiaman

            I didn’t know about that, unless it was two Imam’s who were allowed in whilst Middle East Christian ministers were denied. I would prefer not to criticise Archbishop Justin but his theology seems suspect.

  • Dominic Stockford

    “The previous Archbishop, Rowan Williams, was not only not a Freemason, he positively reviled their oaths and rituals, believing them to be utterly antithetical to the Christian faith.”

    Lets give him credit for that – he was absolutely right. It is a pity he then resiled on this with his appointment of Jonathan Baker.

    Let’s be clear, Freemasonry IS a belief system – what else is jahbulon but their (false) god. Jahbulon is NOT Jesus Christ. Freemasonry is therefore opposed to Christianity. HOWEVER – if the true Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached to them why not? They need it more than any Christian, for they have not Christ, and without him they are lost. A service of ‘thanksgiving’ for a false religion is, however, shocking.

  • Inspector General

    Esteemed fellows here who deprecate Freemasonry. Is there no place for such an organisation which in one’s opinion, is a cornerstone of white civilisation. A cultural good.

    Are Christians who are Freemasons asked to reject Christianity?
    Has Freemasonry ever declared a hatred of Christianity?
    Has Freemasonry ever been found to undermine the church?

    Please, in considering, do not quote the views of single members. It is the nature of the organisation taken as whole which is everything.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Jahbulon is their god. A strange admixture between Jahweh [sic], Baal and Osiris.

      To join is clearly, therefore, a rejection of Christianity.

      • Inspector General

        Never come across that name before.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Jahbulon – Wiktionary
          https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Jahbulon
          Jahbulon. (Freemasonry) A symbolic or ceremonial name for God associated by some writers with certain Masonic rites or passwords.

          “The name of the Supreme Being, which all Masons must accept before joining a Lodge, is Jah-Bul-On. This is confirmed in Freemason Jasper Ridley’s book “The Freemasons”, where he twice refers to the Masonic god as being Jahbulon, as revealed in the Royal Arch Degree.

          Jahbulon is a composite name made up of three parts – “Jah”, being the Hebrew name for God… “Bul” refers to the Babylonian deity Baal and “On” refers to the Egytpian deity Osiris, so out goes the window that the All Seeing Grand Architect of the Universe is a Christian God because Baal is condemned in the Old Testament as being a false God! In fact, Baal worship involved human sacrifice!”

          • Inspector General

            These writers. Outside of Freemasonry are they?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Methinks thou dost protest too much! I used to have a clergy colleague, now back in NZ, who had been set free from Freemasonry by Christ (from being a very high level mason), who confirmed all the basics, and showed me some other uncomfortable stuff too.

        • Vox Populi

          You are probably a Mason on the lower end of the food chain.

      • john in cheshire

        One of Joseph’s brothers I’m not mistaken. One those who murdered the Pharaoh.

    • Anton

      What do you understand by the word “occult”?

      • Inspector General

        What does the phrase ‘no threat to the church’ bring to mind?

        • Anton

          Ignorance.

          • john in cheshire

            Or deceit.

    • dannybhoy
      • Inspector General

        Don’t you mean ‘Testimony of a Mason who found Christ’?

        • dannybhoy

          Whatever, Pedantic Pete. (must be spreading; what the heck does it matter? I tried to highlight and copy but it wouldn’t let me, so I wrote an approximation..)

          He was a mason who became a Christian/a onetime mason who turned to Christ…..dohhh..write your own title.

      • john in cheshire

        I agree, from what I understand you cannot be a freemason and a Christian. Freemasons do not worship the true God, Jesus Christ.

        • Inspector General

          Freemasonry is not a religion, John.

          • Anton

            Great, here we go…

            O YES IT IS!

          • dannybhoy

            It’s not exactly a self help group either..
            “There are Masonic organisations for men only, women only and mixed groups. Freemasonry is open to members of all religions, but a belief in a Supreme Being is necessary because promises are made in the sight of your own God and prayers form an important part of the ceremonies.”
            https://www.owf.org.uk/freemasonry/
            This affinity with freemasonry might explain your weird screwed up theology Inspector, and why as far a the Gospel is concerned you remain under God’s judgement..

          • Inspector General

            Hmmm. Perhaps that’s where Dave Allen got his “may your god go with you” from…

          • dannybhoy

            I don’t know about that, I think he was just a disillusioned Catholic. possibly bitter too because he often poked fun at the Church.

  • CliveM

    From memory I don’t believe the Masons have female members, has anyone advised the 14 ‘Liberal ‘ Bishops of this blatant sexism?

    Surely another letter to the newspapers!

    • Dominic Stockford

      There is a lodge in Kingston-upon-Thames which welcomes both men and women, and advertises it outside! I’m not sure whether they are regarded as being ‘real’ masons!

    • dannybhoy

      Women can be affiliate members. as I pointed out about the couple I know.

      • CliveM

        Affiliate! Blatant sexism. Woman as second class members.

        • dannybhoy

          Well they’re equal in as much as they both criticise the minister after services.
          One of the things I started to notice was that whilst everything ‘had to be done just so’. there was no interest in the sermon, only in where they slipped up in the service..

    • No, it’s men only but there is sort of a Masons for women called “The Gavel” They do charity work mainly I think.

    • Vox Populi

      Could we not get the champions of women’s ordination from the C of E to fight for the liberation of poor Masonic women who are refused entry into their husband’s lodges?

      • Dominic Stockford

        It would be a better use of their time…

  • Vox Populi

    Whoa! Whoa! Hold on. Just a minute. Cramer defending the Freemasons? What next? Will C of E cathedrals start accepting money from the Mafia and conduct kosher Anglican Evensong for Don Corleone and his sons?

    Cranmer’s argument that the Archbishop of Canterbury is not in charge of his own cathedral is spurious. Can anyone please tell me what the Archbishops of Canterbury and York are actually in charge of? Every time there is a doctrinal or moral cock-up people say that the Archbishop is not in charge. Well, why then did he apologise for the sadistic abuse of boys at the Irwene Trust camps? He was not responsible. He did not even know they were going on. So why take responsibility and apologise?

    If Justin is not responsible for his own cathedral let’s rename Justin Welby the Archbishop of Lambeth not the Archbishop of Canterbury. Canterbury is no ordinary cathedral. It is the mother church of the worldwide Anglican communion. It houses the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Cathedra (throne)–the seat of his teaching authority. If his teaching authority cannot hold sway over his own cathedral, what on earth is he doing in that office? Technically fudging the issue by claiming that worship is entirely in the hands of Dean and Chapter won’t work.

    Even if this is technically correct, why did Justin Welby accept £69,000 from the Masons when he was Dean of Liverpool Cathedral? Ha! Wasn’t it his decision at that time? He even permitted a Masonic Service to be held in the Lady Chapel under his authority.

    If he doesn’t not have any authority over his own cathedral the least he can do is to make a public statement denouncing Freemasonry and distancing himself from the event. That way we will at least know he is a spineless weakling and not a doctrinal jellyfish.

    Cranmer has very deftly dodged the question of what are the implications of Chancellor Geoffrey Tattersall’s recent ruling against having a Masonic symbol on a gravestone. If it is wrong to have a Masonic symbol engraved on a gravestone in an obscure churchyard, surely it is wrong to have the reality which the symbol signifies paraded in the mother church of the Church of England.

    The Report of General Synod quoted by Cranmer severely excoriated the false religion of Freemasonry. However, in the style of typical Anglicanism it ended by fudging the conclusion. There is no doubt that Freemasonry is a false gospel. It is similar to the Gnosticism the church fought against for the first few centuries of its existence. It offers an alternative salvation of ‘inner light’ to the Mason. It is syncretistic and pluralistic. God help Cranmer if he is intent on defending Masonry.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Excellent.

      • Vox Populi

        Thank you, sir!

    • bluedog

      ‘He even permitted a Masonic Service to be held in the Lady Chapel under his authority.’

      Crikey

      • Martin

        One wonders why he had a ‘lady chapel’.

    • Merchantman

      ‘……..Let’s rename Justin Welby the Archbishop of’……. Barchester ……. should God forbid that that See ever becomes vacant and naturally with Mrs Proudies express permission. Pause….One just ventures the thought er um?

    • ChaucerChronicle

      ‘Well, why then did he apologise for the sadistic abuse of boys at the Irwene Trust camps?’

      Either withdraw that statement or provide the evidence.

      • Anton

        Plenty of allegations in the public domain, including at least two witnesses who identify themselves, one a well known Anglican minister:

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/01/could-feel-blood-spattering-legs-victims-tell-horrific-beatings/

        The (apparently sole) alleged perpetrator now resides overseas.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          I can find no apology for ‘the sadistic abuse of boys at the Irwene Trust camp’. I can find an apology for a ‘link’ to the alleged suspect.

          My invitation to Vox Populi stands.

          Furthermore, Anton I know you would not condemn a man witnout good evidence.

          • Anton

            I’m condemning nobody, just providing information. Here is a report of Welby’s apology:

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/01/archbishop-canterbury-apologises-links-child-abuser-emerge/

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Here is part of the Bishop of Guildford’s statement of 6 February 2017 on the affair:

            ‘I am grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his apology to survivors on behalf of the Church, and don’t begin to believe that he knew anything of Smyth’s violent activities until his office was informed in 2013.’

            My invitation to Vox Populi stands.

          • Anton

            Perhaps it is to the Archbishop himself that you should address the question of why he apologised given that he didn’t know what was going on. Why muck around asking Vox when you can ask the man himself? (NB I fully accept that Welby knew nothing of it.)

          • ChaucerChronicle

            You are deflecting from an honourable invitation for Vox Populi.

            I find it increasingly difficult to believe that you are attempting to defend such a scurrilous statement.

          • Anton

            Friend, I’ve condemned nobody. I’ll leave it at that.

    • Albert

      Well, why then did he apologise for the sadistic abuse of boys at the Irwene Trust camps? He was not responsible. He did not even know they were going on. So why take responsibility and apologise?

      Firstly, it’s important to be clear on the facts. As I read the evidence there was no abuse actually on the Iwerne camps themselves. These were the camps Welby was at. Thus there is no connection with Welby personally.

      Secondly, I think Welby is apologising on behalf of the CofE. This seems reasonable if corporate apologies make any sense (and perhaps they don’t).

      What has happened is that the papers have deliberately presented the story in such a way as to conflate the two things (or leave the impression of such): Welby was present at Christian camps where abuse went on (false), Welby apologises for abuse at camps he was on (false), therefore Welby has some personal responsibility for the abuse at camps he was on (false).

  • Inspector General

    In the case “Cranmer’s Rabid Following v Freemasonry’ Mr Justice Inspector presided. Upon hearing what was passing itself off as evidence, he directed the jury to find the defendant not guilty on the grounds of lack of evidence. He then went on to say that he had never before come across such a bunch of unreliables prepared to ‘testify’ if that word can be used for what went on, and expressed the wish that if it was within his power, he’d have the whole unruly crowd of them locked up.

    • Anton

      Luke 12:14

      • 1642+5thMonarchy

        Come on Anton. That’s totally out of context and therefore misleading. Jesus was being asked to judge in an inheritance dispute, not a theological matter.

        • Anton

          If the inspector wants to write satirical comments in which he sets himself up as judge, he must be prepared for a few satirical queries regarding his authority to do so, and what better precedent for that than Christ’s rhetorical question? The Inspector knows how to take care of himself here…

          • Inspector General

            “Dieu et mon droit”. Ultimately derived from the point of a sword. In other words, you will be judged by those who will unless you can stop them doing so. Then you can judge them…

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            But that works only in this world IG.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            If that was your spirit in making that reply then fine, but I am wary of the tendency among some free church Protestants to select a single verse of context and construct a theology around it.

          • Anton

            Yes, that’s how I meant it.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Your Grace,
    It would seem to me that the only justification for having a service in Canterbury Cathedral for Masons would be so that the Dean could preach the Gospel of Light and Truth and that they may have no excuse when they arrive at the pearly gates that they had never heard.
    Sinners are always welcome at churches and I only wish that they should always hear the Gospel and repent.

  • The Explorer

    If the Saudis offered a large donation to the upkeep of the Cathedral provided that a Muslim service would be held, presumably the donation could be refused

    If the Saudis made the donation without strings, and then asked for a Muslim service, would the Cathedral have a moral obligation?

    Could any group that donated have a right to hold a service, or would it depend on a) the size of the donation, b) the group’s link with Christianity?

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      No of course not and the donation should be refused if any obligation, expressed or implied, are imposed. The church accepts donations from secular bodies and agnostics and atheists, and no one complains as long as no obligations counter to Scripture are imposed.

      Islam denies the divinity of Christ explicitly and asserts its superiority to Jesus’ revelation and is therefore beyond the Pale. As yet no one here has proven that Masonry does these things or that Christians cannot be Masons in good conscience.

      It’s my personal judgement that it’s better for a Christian not to be a Mason and as a subject of Her Majesty I am not in favour of secret societies per se, but I am prepared to concede that other Christians may have different judgements about these things in good Christian conscience.

      • Anton

        What would you accept as proof?

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          An oath or text central to all Masonry that explicitly denies Christ as the divine son of God and the Trinity. Such cannot exist otherwise no clergy could participate.

          In any case, aren’t there lots of different masonry orders so one may be anti-Christian and another not? I’m no expert as you can tell.

          • Anton

            But according to your criterion there would be no problem with a Christian pledging allegiance to any other god provided that the new vows make no reference to Christianity. Your criterion is inconsistent with the requirement that a Christian must worship [the Trinity in and through] Christ *alone*.

            Basically there’s the York Rite and Scottish Rite. York goes up to level 7 and Scottish up to level 32 or 33 (I’m unsure), the topmost of which is equivalent to York 7. York 7 was originally the degree of full qualification as a freemason but dumbing down took place a long time ago. These differences go back to attempted unifications and schisms some 200-300 years ago.

            What I know I learnt from a repented high level freemason followed up by a good deal of bookwork.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            No, no other God is permissible at all for a Christian. If Masonry requires a Christian to swear an oath on the Christian God and no other fine. if it requires him to swear an oath on another god or assert an equivalence of gods, then that is not permissible.

          • Anton

            Think of freemasonry as rather like the New Age. Don’t you think that NA practices are utterly inconsistent with Christianity?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            They are because they are a reversion to nature worship and polytheism. At worst I can concede, in the absence of evidence not provided so far, that masonry is tinged with syncretism.

          • Anton

            Well, read the ceremonies. They are online.

      • dannybhoy

        I accept and advocate the idea of dual citizenship for Christians, membership of clubs and societies, but not those that in anyway require an oath or ritual outside of that required in serving our Queen.

    • Merchantman

      Why we or anyone else should take the Saudis seriously apart from their Oil beats me. Effectively they have banned all religions bar none except Islam on their territory. They are highly restrictive on tourism and ban unaccompanied females from overseas.

      • 1642+5thMonarchy

        In our days of power and the Lord’s Blessing we should have conquered and colonised them and forcibly converted them. Perhaps it was for this failing that God’s blessing was withdrawn from Britain and her Empire.

        • len

          It was when Britain reneged on the Balfour Declaration that the Empire started to crumble.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            it was certainly about that time Len. I wind my wife up by saying it was the granting of voting rights to women in 1918. In case she’s looking I don’t mean it!

        • Rhoda

          People can not be forcibly converted to genuine Christianity; it is a matter of personal choice to become a follower Jesus.

          • dannybhoy

            He might be kidding..

          • Rhoda

            Just in case…

          • dannybhoy

            That’s true.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            History proves otherwise, especially from the next generation. Charlemagne conquered and forcibly converted the pagan Saxons. A few generations later the now Christian Saxons under the Ottonian dynasty saved western Christendom from destruction at the hands of the Vikings, Magyars and Muslims. So was not Christ’s cause not being advanced by Charlemagne? If Charlemagne had not used these methods a millennia of Christianity would never have happened and indeed the New World, and much of the rest, never been exposed to Jesus’ message.

          • Anton

            Charlemagne conquered the remaining pagan Saxons in Europe and gave them the choice of baptism or death. That is the way of the Quran, not the gospel. It is not based on repentance and it will not produce piety, only conformity, for grace cannot be forced down people’s throats. For centuries babies were baptised and then treated as Christians who must pay taxes not only to their rulers but to the church (tithes, made compulsory in Charlemagne’s time and collected by the authorities on behalf of the church). Christianity came to be seen as an opt-out faith, with penalties (like a nation), rather than an opt-in faith by personal conviction. Persecuted became persecutors, and religious dissent was treated as disloyalty or treason, punishable by death. Yet Jesus coerced nobody; he simply reminded people of their responsibilities to God. Politicised churches may hold many true believers in Christ, but they present to the world a Trinitarian Judaism, because governance is about law whereas the gospel is about grace. The New Testament gives no word how to run a country with its laws and social system, but only how to run a church of volunteers. It gives no definition of a Christian country. The task of the church is simply to oversee the changing of people by Jesus Christ. If those changed people can change the culture then so much the better, but that is not the church’s mandate.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            It may be unpleasant to tender consciences Anton but it opened the way for true conversion, maybe of the next generations at least that would not otherwise have been possible. I see Providence at work in this.

          • Anton

            Our task is to do what Christ commanded, not second-guess him about ends justifying means regarding the faith of future generations. Yours is another version of the argument used by mediaeval Rome to ‘justify’ the practices of the Inquisition.

            Where did Christ or Paul anywhere advocate forced conversion?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            They didn’t, but they respected the secular power, even if it were pagan. If the secular power were at least nominally Christian and achieved temporal conditions where Christianity can be preached to those to whom previously it was not available are you saying Christians should not exploit these new circumstances to win as many souls for Christ as possible? Are all the subsequent Christians in the America, Saxony and other areas invalid because a nominally Christian power conquered their ancestors and opened them up for conversion?

          • Anton

            We are judged as individuals by our individual faith. Let secular rulers do as they may, for or against the church. The church’s task is simply to convert people.

            The church is to be a portrait of Christ, so what impression do people get of Christ from a church that advocates forcible conversion?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Well, in large parts of the world if Christians had not been militant there would be no Christian church. In the 6th century North Africa was the powerhouse of Christian faith and fervour. By the 13th century it had been wiped out entirely. Certain societies are receptive to peaceful conversion by persuasion, others anything but.

          • Anton

            The church never grew faster or was more authentic to its scriptures than during its first three centuries of persecution.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            The Roman Empire’s persecution of Christians was pretty ineffectual because it did not seek to impose a rival faith but rater to force a Christian to participate in sacrifices to the Emperor cult, and even then it lacked the ideological fervour and administrative machinery to undertake these spasmodic persecutions thoroughly. Islam is entirely different, as were some of the central European pagan religions. I do wonder whether China today is another Rome or Islam in its response to the spread of Christianity.

          • Anton

            So do I ! May I request an answer, though: If the church is to be a portrait of Christ, what impression do people get of Him from a church that advocates forcible conversion?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            An imperfect one that can be corrected subsequently, but at least better than the one they would not get if these societies were not broken open for the spread of the faith.

          • Anton

            “The end justifies the means” is a view that must never be taken up in furtherance of the Christian faith. It was the view of the Inquisition and is the view that impels the expansion by force of all empires. That’s not good company for us Christians.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            I don’t think it’s as simple as that Anton. Adopting your view most of the billions who have been exposed to Jesus would not have been. The Inquisition persecuted non-RC Christians primarily and is not a relevant analogy.

          • Anton

            The analogy is that they thought the end justified the means, a viewpoint that can be used to excuse any barbarity. Going political to try to spread the gospel by coercion is second-guessing God about how he can spread the gospel (as I said, like wildfire in the first three centuries, under persecution), and presents only an inauthentic form of Christianity, a church that no longer looks like Christ.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            And yet I have seen you justify the Crusades. Islam and human sacrificing bronze age civilisations (eg Aztecs) are Satanic constructs unlike foolish Roman type paganism. They are utterly dark and antithetical to the faith and humanity, and I am not fussy how they are broken open for the Gospel.

          • Anton

            Please find and quote my words at me about the Crusades, because I know what I always write about them: that they were a matching response to centuries of Islamic violence against Europe as soon as the West had gained the resources, but that it was wrong of the papacy to peddle them as a Christian jihad in order to regain the land where Jesus walked for Christendom, because his kingdom is not (yet!) of this world.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            So you are happy to allow Satanic Islam to reign where it is already holding thrall over billions in darkness but to resist further expansion? That’s what the Byzantines thought and look what happened to them. They should have marched on Mecca in the 10th century when on top.

          • Anton

            If you read the book “A wind in the house of Islam” by David Garrison you will find a great movement of the Holy Spirit tha tis unknown to most Christians, let alone the mainstream media: conversions in numbers – as movements – of Muslims to Christ across the entire Islamic world. At a time when Islam is rising here it is not easy to look at the wider picture, but this is truly Good News. These are heartfelt conversions too, as coerced ones cannot be.

            Marching on the Hejaz a thousand years ago would have suited me fine, but Byzantine Christianity was as coercive as mediaeval Roman, and as a good protestant you will surely have a view of what that was like, and what proportion of people in it were actually saved.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            None of us know how many Byzantines were saved, but surely more than if they had succumbed to Islam centuries earlier. I am not unattracted to Byzantine spirituality.

            I am aware of the rumours of conversions in the Islamic world but it is possible the rumours are greatly exaggerated. We fund Barnabas and Compassion to support this work.

            Please name me one formerly Islamic territory recovered for Christ without prior military conquest? If it isn’t too flippant one might say we should break the eggs and let the Gospel make the omelette?

          • Anton

            I do not agree that “territory” meaning land can be won for Christ. The territory is the human heart, for His kingdom is not of this world.

            Garrison make a good case. What do you think of his book?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Haven’t seen it. Territory means people means souls that can be won for Christ. Please answer my question – name me just one?

          • Martin

            Christ saves souls, He doesn’t acquire territory. It matters not what the society says, the soul is saved, not by persuasion but by His power.

          • Anton

            I am unable to answer a question which contains a premise I disagree with. You asked: Please name me one formerly Islamic territory recovered for Christ without prior military conquest? But I do not believe that one can win or lose geographic territory for Christ. I’ve said before that I believe there can be no such thing as a Christian country, at least before Christ returns to this earth. I am not knowingly ducking your question.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            You are. Islamic Spain was eradicated, and those Muslims who didn’t leave converted. How many when on to have descendants who were genuine Christians who otherwise who have been Muslims?

          • Anton

            Steady on about my *knowingly* ducking a question! Demanding that I answer a question containing a premise with which I disagree is like asking me, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” Would you answer such a question or would you challenge the question?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            It’s a fair binary question and you don’t like the answer! Stop wriggling Anton!

            PS The correct answer is NONE.

          • Anton

            If you don’t understand that I am not wiggling then you don’t get what I am saying. That could be due to lack of clarity on my part but I cannot put my views any more clearly. I do regret, though, your imputation of bad faith to my last two replies.

            It is always possible that I have misunderstood the question, so please rephrase it as a standalone. I shall continue to reply in good faith.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            How many formerly Muslim countries (i.e. majority population) have converted to a majority Christian population without a prior military conquest by a notionally Christian force?

          • Anton

            That’s an answerable question, given a caveat about the definition of Muslim and Christian individuals. Taking self-identification as the somewhat dubious criterion for who is Muslim and who is Christian (half of the UK’s population on census forms but do you think the nation is 50% saved?) then the answer is None, to my knowledge. But so what?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Islam is extremely effective at eradicating Christianity from places where it prevails, thereby denying future generations to opportunity to hear the gospel. Atheist communism comes nowhere by comparison. To get the faith into some muslim lands requires conquest and suppression, before promulgating the Gospel.

          • Anton

            Egypt is a counter-example, for Copts have survived there throughout the church era. But more importantly I disagree with your last sentence. It reads to me as if Islam is spiritually stronger than Christianity. Yet we have the promise that the gates of Hades, ie death, will not prevail against a faithful church. Garrison’s book also documents rising conversions en masse without conquest. Brother Yun’s Back-to-Jerusalem movement speaks of sending missionaries to Islamic lands who, having come from a persecuted church, are not put out by it. I am sure that many of them provided the seed that grew into these conversions.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Islam is not spiritually stronger, just darker, more ruthless and vicious. But sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. Missionary activity is if course vital as I said earlier. Destruction without offering a better aftermath is not acceptable.

          • Anton

            I cannot assent at all to this: To get the faith into some muslim lands requires conquest and suppression, before promulgating the the Gospel. It reads to me like belief that the weapons of the Spirit are unable to ‘crack’ Islam in a spiritual battle. Yet our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual powers, says Paul in Ephesians 6.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Islam, like nazism, is different Anton from the things Paul faced. Modern technology gives totalitarianism greater coercive and brainwashing powers than ever dreamt possible before. Add in both’s Satanic dimension, and you have a remarkably effective toxic cocktail. It strikes me as a dereliction of our Christian duty to leave people in thrall to such benighted antiChristian forces and behoves us to use all the instruments we possess to open those trapped within them to freedom and the light of the Gospel.

          • Anton

            Modern technology combined with globalisation is another reason to infer that we are close to the return of Christ (if the return of the Jews and the preaching of the gospel to almost all peoples weren’t reasons enough!) I am not a pacifist and I would have fought with no thought of becoming a C.O. in World War 2, for instance, but I shall not countenance violence with intent to further the cause of Christ, which I believe is automatically self-defeating. Shall we leave it there before we start going round in circles?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Fair enough.

          • carl jacobs

            Your understanding of History is remarkably contingent, 1642.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            If you mean Providential in the way 17th Puritans understood it, and indeed earlier Catholics, yes to a moderate extent.

          • Martin

            Not many Christians in Spain.

          • Anton

            Neither of us knows. Counterfactual history is impossible and I notice that Christianity spread like wildfire across an entire continent even (I might say: especially) under persecution in its first three centuries.

          • chefofsinners

            Here’s the thing.
            War can be justified in order to create or maintain conditions in which people can choose their faith. In those conditions true Christianity will flourish, but cannot itself be imposed.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            My point exactly. Education in the faith can then begin.

          • Anton

            PS Why support Barnabas and Compassion, holding the view you do? To be consistent, shouldn’t you be funding anti-Islamic political resistance movements (regardless of how violent they are)?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Until the west adopts a military strategy I’ll support whatever tools are available, and besides where Barnabas can work effectively may be a military solution will not be required. Even if one is you still need an embryonic faith on the ground to make genuine converts.

          • Easily said now Christianity is established throughout the world and you and we have all inherited the faith from those who went before us.

          • Anton

            You can’t know how history would have gone otherwise, but if you think it hopeless to expect a persecuted faith to spread from person to person rather than by conversion of the ruler followed by imposition of Christianity as the religion of State then I offer to you the explicit counter-example of the church in its first three centuries.

          • No, we can’t know but Jack isn’t going to sit in 21st century surroundings condemning those who went before him in spreading the Gospel and endeavouring to bring Christian civilisation to the world.

          • Anton

            There are causes of legitimate violence, as in World War 2, but spreading of the faith by violence was not the way of Christ and for that reason I am in no doubt that he condemns it.

          • And the Puritans and the native Americans?

          • Anton

            Please summarise your charge and give a reference to back up your claim. But I have said here many times that I am against all polticised Christianity whether protestant, Catholic or Orthodox.

          • Jack asked a question. Do your own research.

          • Anton

            Your question was: “And the Puritans and the Native Americans?”

            Do you think I am going to provide both sides of an argument simply for your ringside viewing? Ask me a coherent question and I shall answer it. You might find yourself educated in the preparation of it.

          • Rhoda

            The church survived in Egypt! The true church seems to grow most under persecution as with the early church or modern day China, or amongst the Kabylie people of Algeria.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            90% of Egyptians are no longer Christian and the Copts survived by accepting dhimmitude, but are now leaving as fast as they can. I would also point out that the vast and far spread Church of the East was near exterminated by Tamurlaine. As I say elsewhere China is interestingly poised.

          • Rhoda

            Not all Coptic Christians are rushing to leave, many have chosen to stay despite the recent problems. This link is about Father Samaan’s work in Garbage city.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e01d4OlTi_k

        • Anton

          Conquering the area, maybe. Forcible conversion, never. It is anyway impossible in principle: you can force conformity but not piety.

          • Merchantman

            ‘Our Masters’ have it seems, absent mindedly allowed the building of hundreds possibly 1000 of Saudi funded mosques on this fair land. Not quite forcible conversion but with the tenets of Islam being so drafted to ensure there is no going back, immigrating fresh waves of wives from ‘Islamistan’ etc, etc, we are in for interesting times.

          • Anton

            Once we dump human rights legislation I’d support Bills of Attainder against certain of “our masters”.

    • Brook Aj Braithwaite

      “My castle, my rules.” Lionel Logue. Kings speech.

      If the Muslims gave a donation and asked for a service it would be allowed for sure. Because as was mentioned in the article above, the service would be an Anglican liturgy. The service would not be Islamic. Their church, their rules, regardless of how much money was donated. Just as the service for the masons would not be masonic. It will be an Anglican service.

      Take Her Majesty’s visit to the Gulf, when she attended the Mosques she wears her own golden Muslim costume. Their castle, their rules. But when the Arabs visit Buckingham Palace, She wore her typical two piece style. Her palace, her rules.

      In NZ where I come from the overwhelming majority of masons are Anglicans. Thus I would assume it is similar in the UK. If so, holding an Anglican service would not be an entirely foreign idea to most masons.

      • len

        ‘My Castle’.Well its supposed to be Gods House…But are you saying its anybody’s (which seems to be in line with whats happening in the C of E?)

  • Rhoda

    “And the cathedral was named Ichabod, saying, ‘The glory has departed from it!”

  • big bwana

    I have a good friend who, upon being appointed vicar to a certain parish in the south of England, found both church building and congregation to be riddled with Freemasonry.The interior of the building was decorated with Masonic signs and symbols; there was a Masonic altar cloth in the attic of the vicarage (presumably left in error… or maybe not.)
    When he was approached by local masons asking to hold a service in what they obviously regarded as ‘their’ church, he replied ‘Yes but I will preach and I will preach Christ’. This condition was unacceptable so an alternative building was found with an alternative preacher who, rather than preaching Christ used his platform to defame and denounce my friend.
    The opposition to the Gospel was so strong that after a number of years he came to the edge of a breakdown and had to leave
    . If Christ may not be preached at a church then that church is not Christian.

  • Inspector General

    Just out of interest, are there any following this site who are reassured about Freemasonry. That it be no more harmful to Christianity than the games of Association Football or Rugby are. Of course, our puritan betters (and Cranmer’s site is awash with them) might think different, and indeed, those of us who consume slightly more than their allotted 3 units of alcohol per day obviously worship Bacchus over Christ.

    • Anton

      Pray do not spread calumny about the Puritans. They were not teetotal at all. They drank, but they didn’t get drunk. Reserve your scorn for the temperance movement, who would have barred Christ from his own church if Matthew 11:19 is anything to go by.

      • Inspector General

        When Cromwell’s Puritans murdered a large part of Wexford’s population on Wexford bridge (and thereby acquired their land), you don’t think the bastard expected them to do it sober, did you?

        • Anton

          I don’t know. Show me some historical evidence that they were drunk.

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          There I part company with you IG. It’s a myth and it was boats, not a bridge. The boats were overloaded as they sought to escape across the harbour and many sank under the weight. Likewise the myth of a massacre of civilians at Drogheda.

          • Inspector General

            Wish that it were just myth, 1642. To assemble the army, Cromwell needed some incentive for the men to join up. He gave them, unlanded men, the greatest incentive you could hope for. the promise of land of their own. All they had to do was to take it. They did. By the way, their descendants still farm that land today. But the Irish are a forgiving lot and do not take issue as such with them.

            The Inspector’s antecedents were in the town that day, but were not rounded up, obviously…

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            The incentives were made pre 1642 to the Volunteers, well before Cromwell’s 1649 campaign when he was still an obscure back-bencher and Charles was still on the throne. Wexford was an accident. Surrender negotiations were underway and a junior New Model officer saw defenders abandoning the castle wall, and acting on his own initiative scaled it, opened a gate and part of the army nearby poured in without waiting for orders, street fighting broke out and both sides’ commanders had no control.

          • Inspector General

            Whatever happened, one truth has emerged. The number of English names that appear on the land registry. Apparently, the deceased next of kin’s rights to recover ownership did not apply.

            Anyway, what’s the problem in showing up Cromwell for what he was. England’s first, and to date only, international war criminal.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Some of us, including the RC Antonia Fraser, call him the greatest Englishman!

          • Inspector General

            Somehow one believes for all his faults, he was an honest man. To wit, not needing spin put on what he did. A fellow then who would rather the truth come out about him, warts and all. No doubt he would answer every criticism, or at least, have his own answer for.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Read his personal correspondence. A great and Godly man, all too aware of his own sinfulness and asking for God’s mercy. A Christian social conservative forced into radicalism by his times.

          • Inspector General

            Yes, if anything, he was a victim of the times he was in…

          • Anton

            I see him also as a soldier forced into politics.

          • CliveM

            As he was an MP before he was a soldier, that seems the wrong way round.

          • Anton

            They all trained militarily in their spare time in his social class. I meant that he was a natural as a soldier but less so as a politician, but thank you for the correction.

          • CliveM

            Was doing some reading a few days back and one of the comments made was that prior to the Civil War, Oliver Cromwell had precious little military experience. There is a fair bit of conjecture as to where he got his understanding in the use of cavalry from as nothing in his background would explain it.

            If I get time, I’ll try and find it.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            From reading manuals about the revolutionary tactics used by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in the Thirty Years War in which many Britons served as volunteers. Additionally in raising an army from scratch Parliament had no time to train the elaborate previous tactics of manoeuvre, fire an withdraw.

            There is no evidence that Cromwell had any military training or experience before 1642.

          • Anton

            Didn’t know about the British volunteers; interesting!

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Loads. Leslie, commander of the Presbyterian Scottish army had served with Adolphus as did many other Scots and English.

          • CliveM

            Yes that was my understanding.

          • Anton

            I do have concerns that power went to his head in the 1650s when he could not tolerate sharing power with Parliament.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            If it had he would have accepted the Crown (he twice declined it) and would not on at least two occasions tried to hand over power to Parliaments which proved unequal to the challenge. He is a better seen as a man who was trapped by events and his own achievement.

          • Anton

            He could have continued WITH Parliament rather than instead of it. Perhaps he declined the crown because he knew his son was no monarch, or because it would have appeared to taint his achievements in dealing with absolute monarchy.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            More the latter. He believed that Providence had cast down the monarchy and he would not go against God’s Will by restoring it.

            The Long Parliament double-crossed him and refused to hold the general election to which they had agreed, but instead started to fill the gaps in their ranks by effectively nominating new members themselves. It was long past time for its dissolution and only Cromwell and the Army had the authority and power to do it.

          • Anton

            I agree about the Long Parliament, but I didn’t mean that. He forcibly dissolved what was left of it too, the Rump Parliament; then later the Barebones Parliament (which included men of the movement after whom you currently take your name). That’s a lot of parliaments he couldn’t bear to work with.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            The Barebones asked Cromwell to dissolve it because it couldn’t agree on some key issues, the Rump had become an oligarchic remnant of of the Long Parliament. which was seeking to perpetuate itself without elections.

          • Manfarang

            Not by the standards of his time.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      ‘Just out of interest, are there any following this site who are reassured about Freemasonry.’

      Yes of course me, for a start.

      We need to reinstate the Witchcraft Act 1735 and advertise for a Witchfinder General. The promise of a senior civil service salary should fill the vacancy.

    • len

      Imbibing too much alcohol is unwise because it will have a detrimental affect on your health, but as always it is a matter of choice.
      Getting involved in what can only be termed ‘alternative religious practices’ will have a damning affect on your spiritual health, but we all make choices but must also accept the consequences.

      It doesn`t apparently which ‘god’ you worship in Freemasonry but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is quite particular in this matter.

      • Dominic Stockford

        ‘matter’ missing, but yes.

      • Inspector General

        Don’t forget Len. Men can imbibe but only as much as women are allowed. Ignore the truth that men weigh in at half as much again as women, it’s all to do with equality.

        There you go, something far worse than the flapdoodle that is Freemason rites. The most worshipful mankind’s law…all stand!

        • len

          Guidelines are often issued regarding drinking and eating but these change so often I do not take them too seriously.
          ‘Sugar’ nowadays is reckoned to be the most dangerous drug ever created.

          • Inspector General

            Sugar is a natural product of plants, Len. But yes you are right, refined sugar is poison. If you posses two pounds of sugar, you are advised to purchase a 40 pint beer kit. It can be harmlessly and beneficially disposed of that way.

          • len

            Sounds good to me.

  • chefofsinners

    While Cranmer claims to be in favour of maintaining the establishment of the CoE, every other article on the blog lately seems to be highlighting the difficulties caused and the compromises required by the church-state bond.

    • Anton

      Wait till next week and the next round of the gay debate in synod!

      • ChaucerChronicle

        That’s why I think Vox Populi should withdraw his remarks.

        Welby needs all our support.

        • chefofsinners

          Welby needs to cut the umbilical cord through which the state is poisoning the CoE.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            If the CofE goes ‘down’ – the Christians in the independent churches will be next.

            As soon as a ‘negative’ statement on the legal fiction of homosexual ‘marraige’ is made in a sermon the Charity Commisson will threaten tax exempt status.

            Once independent churches are ‘broken’ Christians are likely to form ‘house churches’ – these in turn will be threatened by allegations of ‘child abuse’ along the lines of Dawkins.

            We’ll then have to form a network of ‘underground churches’.

            We’ll become fugitives.

            We must support the CofE as far as we can.

          • Martin

            CC

            Maybe we should all move to WhatsApp

          • ChaucerChronicle

            What’s that? Does it reveal location?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            All smart phones do.

          • Martin

            CC

            Encrypted person to person communication. There are some loopholes but it’s generally secure.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Nothing is secure from GCHQ or the NSA. They can listen and watch you through your phone that you turned off without it seeming to be on.

          • chefofsinners

            I think Mr Putin is occupying the scarce resources of GCHQ rather more than a few traditionalist Anglicans. If still worried, maybe put your phone in a drawer.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            It came out in the Snowden leaks, and that’s just the start, and now that the government has passed the Act, supercomputers are monitoring and recording everything.

          • chefofsinners

            What was in the Snowden report was already reasonably common knowledge. If and when we begin to see churches being forced underground using electronic communications as evidence, that will be the time to communicate in other ways. However, if, say, 2% of Britons are Christians willing to be imprisoned for their faith then the practicality of jailing 1.3 million people is questionable. Likewise a large number of Muslims might be joining us in the new Gulag camps.

          • Martin

            Walk though a shopping mall and they check which shops you go in.

          • chefofsinners

            I always seem to end up in the lingerie section of department stores. I would like it to be known that this is accidental, just in case anyone is monitoring…

          • Inspector General

            You’re probably looking for a new pair of roomy knickers to wear on your head…

          • chefofsinners

            I am suspected of being a basque separatist.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Even if supercomputers and monitoring and recording everything that information is no use unless the significant facts are passed on to human beings. Not everything can be passed on because nobody would be able to see the wood for the trees. Can computer algorithms really filter out most of the dross? Even is they can do so can the humans who study the filtered information form sensible judgements about what to do with it?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            At the moment it works on key words/phrases, but as AI develops it will become more efficient.

          • dannybhoy

            Or in the sleeve of a chasuble..

          • dannybhoy

            They even know how many sheets of toilet paper you use..

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            It’s not funny Danny. It’s fact and it’s just the start.

          • dannybhoy

            In that case I shall never go to the bog again…

          • chefofsinners

            Maybe we should all move to the USA. I shall build a boat for Anglican Tories… The Mayfollower.

          • Martin

            CoS

            Don’t think it’s much better there.

          • betteroffoutofit

            No, no, no!!! I reckon that place is the root cause of all our probs!!!! In falling apart, it’s only a step or 2 behind the UK — and those marxist-deconstuctionist academics are doing all they can to hasten the process in both places. Cheering the Snowflakes on like mad, they are.

            I’m glad, though, of your recognition that the present day ‘pioneer’ is no flower 🙂

          • Anton

            Root cause is tosh. But you are right that it is no safe haven.

          • betteroffoutofit

            OK, then. It’s only attached to one root of the Tree of Death! Everything’s gone to pot on their watch, though; and I reckon Roosevelt moved things in that direction when he and Stalin got chatting — sometime around Yalta.

            And those infiltraitory marxist academics, btw. They don’t tolerate any opposition, you know. Look happy about Brexit, and you turn into an untouchable!

          • dannybhoy

            Bit modren for you innit?

          • Martin

            Danny

            I’m nothing if not a geek. 50baud is my thing.

          • dannybhoy
          • dannybhoy

            If you were closer I’d ask you to have a look at my Apple imac and find out why in the Mail programme I can’t empty old emails into ‘trash’. I delete them they all come back, I try to delete them to Google mail, they come back…

          • Martin

            Danny

            They’re a bit faster, I don’t know much about them.

          • dannybhoy

            They’re good, and yes, faster, but just as idiosyncratic as Microsoft Windows.
            What I like about them is that you don’t get as many glitches, and new OS’s are free. But their Mail programme seems to cause a certain amount of problems. I only keep mine running because it stores (and restores) all emails so its good for archiving purposes. Despite contacting their support people two or three times (another good feature) I’ve never been able to resolve it.
            If you can hate a computer programme I do.

          • chefofsinners

            To stick with a state church as it is transformed into a false religion, or to accept persecution for the truth. At some point all true Christians will choose the latter.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Chefofsinners

            I regulary converse with a lady born in 1928 (she was a pupil at Ackworth) who was a missionary in India to leprosy sufferers.

            I explain to her the topics you all discuss on here and she is astounded that within her lifetime all this has come to pass .

            She seems to have ‘visions’ that these are the ‘last days’ and quite often breaks out in singing some of the old hymns.

          • Dominic Stockford

            They are the last days – we simply don’t know how long the last days will last for.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            They’ve done it! North Korea’s just launched a ballistic missile!

            I do hope we can all watch on telly the response by US warships.

            They were warned.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Oh dear, the madman arises. Let’s hope they can put him back in his box without much loss of life.

          • chefofsinners

            A lifetime is a long time. Universal suffrage has only been with us since 1928. 120 years before that we still had slavery and the Wesleyan revival was in living memory.
            Things change quickly and they are currently changing back.
            I sing old hymns all the time. The good stuff lasts – but only God is immutable. With Him a thousand years is as a day.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            The old lady has said that local newspapers would publish, in the late sixties and early seventies, who was getting a divorce.

            How strange.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Golly Gumdrops – the last time I went to Ackworth* t’other lasses were talking about ‘doing a ton’ on the A628 from Barnsley!!! I wonder if your friend knew our old Scripture mistress (Miss D. Dunning), who had spent early years as a missionary’s daughter in Poona.

            Oh, and those Last Days — they sure look closer and closer. The more I see of what they’re [not] teaching youngsters in today’s schools, the harder it is to believe the next generation will have what it needs to hold civilisation together. Just today, I met a Hindu lad (15 yr-old), who told me that the world might well have been a better place if Hitler had won WWII… .
            __________
            *Wonderful school.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            She seems to recall a teacher D. Dunning; she (the old lady) did spend time as a nurse in Poona. She also has many photographs of Ackworth.

            I think it was Arthur Cooper who took the pupils out into the hills to teach them about nature.

            She remembers a Mary Hartley the headmistress.

            I wonder if her memory is playing tricks as there seems go have been two headmasters.

          • chefofsinners

            While in India, did she know the leprosy hospital at Narsapur? Or any of the pioneers of reconstructive surgery?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Difficult to extract information. However, found mountains of old documents.

            Photograph: Purulia Leprosy Home and Hospital (West Bengal) PARAMEDICAL AND PHYISIOTHERAPY TECHNICIAN TRAINING COURSES 1968 – 1969 STAFF AND STUDENTS

            She is there in the middle row. (Couple of the nurses look really hot.)

            Here are some of the names (her’s excluded): Miss M. Furzer, Miss C. Wood, Miss C. Salvage, Miss M. Clark, Dr Mrs Snook, Rev EQ Snook (Superintendent) and Miss R. Tootle (hot!).

          • betteroffoutofit

            Dorothy Dunning taught at B[arnsley]GHS – not so far from Ackworth, of course. A minister from the area later told me that she’d been well-respected in theological circles.

            And Ackworth – yes. I was fascinated, at the time, to learn about Quakerism and how it worked at the school!

          • dannybhoy

            That’s Derek Nimmo
            All gas and gaiters….

          • dannybhoy

            Bless her heart, I wouldn’t want to distress her.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Tax exempt status is not the survival matter people think it to be.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Correct, but it is a marker that something is no longer considered socially desirable, a precursor to further sanctions.

          • Dominic Stockford

            A bit of genuine persecution will soon bring Christians awake.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            Be careful what you wish for…

          • Anton

            It will purify the church. I have sometimes adapted a phrase of Augustine’s, which I am sure you will recognise: O Lord, persecute me, but not yet.

          • len

            Sometimes a corpse just needs a decent burial, the Cof E is getting close to that State.(no pun intended)

      • Inspector General

        Jayne Ozaane heard on BBC Radio 5 this morning. She sounds young and chipper – perhaps she’s not a lesbian at all and its just that she hasn’t met the right fellow yet.

        “Alright officer, no need for the cuffs. The Inspector will go quietly. You say your squad car has already picked up Cranmer and that we’ll be sharing a cell together. Praise be!”

      • chefofsinners

        I just can’t wait. The fifth column claim they feel ‘betrayed’. In the same way that Judas was betrayed by Jesus, presumably.

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          The fact they feel that way heartens me because it shows me they’ve suffered a major and genuine defeat. Cue effeminate and autistic screeching.

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      Disestablishment hasn’t helped the other western Anglican churches. If anything it’s one of the reasons the CoE’s not yet fallen.

      • chefofsinners

        In what way ‘fallen’?

        • 1642+5thMonarchy

          To the liberal ghey neo-pagan infiltration.

          • chefofsinners

            And the CoE hasn’t? And you think this is because it is linked to the state? The state has been holding these things back?

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            It hasn’t fallen completely, it still struggles. It’s established status has made it harder for the infiltrators in some ways as they are under much more scrutiny than say in the Anglican Scottish ‘church’. The archbishops have an eye on Her Majesty and the monarchy.

          • chefofsinners

            No, it is far more difficult to stand against the zeitgeist as an established church. The case in point is Freemasonry, which would not be allowed in any free church worthy of the name. There are numerous other examples, including women in the priesthood and the recent ‘shared conversations’.

          • 1642+5thMonarchy

            There are strengths and weaknesses. As yet I believe the strengths still outweigh the weaknesses, but it can change.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            A state church represents far more people than just Christians, so you are exactly correct. The authority of Scripture gets lost in the shuffle.

  • Are we forgetting that this service is to be held in honour of the tercentenary of Freemasonry – a syncretic, gnostic, naturalist system in direct contradiction to the Gospel of Christ.

    • Albert

      If the Church of England had anything about it, it would make it canonically impossible to be a member of the clergy and a member of Freemasonry. If they are going to use their Medieval buildings for this sort of thing, then it is high time they gave them back.

      • Maalaistollo

        The one heresy they will not tolerate in their clergy is membership of the BNP (if it’s still around).

        • Vox Populi

          Interesting. Given Cranmer’s arguments about inclusivity, if the BNP gave a large donation to an Anglican Cathedral would it host a service for them? My guess is that even UKIP doesn’t stand a chance in getting a service hosted!

  • Albert

    Two questions naturally arise:

    1. Is the service to be purely Christian, or is this ancient church to be used for Masonic ritual?
    2. Are the custodians of Canterbury Cathedral ignorant of the harm Masons have done to the Church elsewhere?

    It does seem that events like this indicate the CofE has entirely given up on ecumenism.

    • Dominic Stockford

      They’ve arrived at interfaith – but then this isn’t really news.

    • dannybhoy

      Given up on staying true to the Gospel, more like

  • Dominic Stockford

    I remembered (after some prayer) the useful place I go to for information about cults and other movements that hold views of ‘god’ that are in opposition to the one true God, Father, Son and Spirit. It is the Reachout Trust. They have a significant amount on Freemasonry and their site can be found here…

    http://reachouttrust.org/freemasonry/

    Here’s just a taster – more evidence for those who still continue to defend an organisation that teaches that God is not the God of the Bible.

    “In 1984, Grand Lodge issued a leaflet, for public consumption, entitled What is Freemasonry? It states:

    “The essential qualification for admission into and continuing membership is a belief in a Supreme Being.”

    The Supreme Being could be Jehovah God, but it could equally be Allah, Buddha or Shiva. A believer in a monotheistic God will find a serious compromise when sharing a lodge with men of different faiths, since it means not only accepting other beings alongside your particular God, but that all gods merge into one, the Great Architect of the Universe or ‘GAOTU.’ (Masonic terminology).

    We can show the apparent oneness of the Supreme Being in another way. The Observer magazine (18/6/1967) pointed out that there is “The generalised belief that the good mason, will after death dwell with the GAOTU in the GLA (Grand Lodge Above).” It’s quite clear that it is one God in one place. We can therefore come to the assumption that Freemasonry is syncretistic, all gods are one.”

    • Vox Populi

      This is brilliant and completely factual. Thank you, Dominic.

    • dannybhoy

      Good reference site that Doms, thanks.

      • Anton

        It’s improved. Was a bit wild a decade ago.

        • dannybhoy

          A decade ago!
          Just how old are you Anton?

          • Anton

            In my 50s.

          • dannybhoy

            Only another 10-15 years to go….. :0)

    • 1642+5thMonarchy

      If that is representative of the Masons’ beliefs then the cathedral has been foolish if it does not insist on a purely Anglican service (probably motivated by the common Anglican sin of not wanting to give offence) and it is difficult to see how a sincere Christian can be a serious Mason. I suspect most who are Christians just discount it as meaningless mumbo-jumbo but even then…

    • Manfarang

      There are a few Freemasons in Thailand, according to there website-
      “The truth is that Freemasonry was the first organization to allow men of different religions to join together in a social context. There is nothing in Masonic ritual which could be deemed offensive to believers of any faith. However there are some who object to the concept of socializing with non-believers (or “different” believers as may be the case). In their view, any organization that allows non-believers is deemed unacceptable. If Freemasonry has a mission in the 21st century, then surely it is to fight against this bigotry and intolerance by extending the hand of brotherhood to men of all races and creeds.
      We in Thailand are particularly fortunate. Each of our lodges has men of several different religions each working in harmony”
      However I don’t think I shall bother to join them.

      • dannybhoy

        I think that’s a very sensible decision Manfarang.. I know people who have joined and done well as a result, but I cannot see how any Christian can join something that demands an oath of loyalty towards fellow masons.
        Love ye one another says the Lord, Be salt and light in the world, leave your trouser legs unfurled…

        • Manfarang

          I suspect Freemasonry is something of a western import, rather as the Rotary Club is.

          • dannybhoy

            The Rotary Club, Lions are both involved in raising money for good causes. It’s all out in the open, so no problem.

          • Manfarang

            According to the preacher, “A secret society has secret meeting places and may even keep secret its aims and objectives. Its members keep secret their membership of the society. There is nothing “secret” about Freemasonry in any of those senses, whose aims are well-known (“brotherly love, relief and truth”).
            Although Freemasons have tended to be unnecessarily secretive about their ritual, the only true “secrets” of modern Freemasonry are the ceremonial means of
            demonstrating that one is a Freemason. These signs (which are “private” to
            members) are of ancient provenance – medieval stonemasons developed
            secret signs and passwords as an early form of trade unionism – and have
            great symbolical value as a symbol of the importance of fidelity and the need
            to preserve confidences in human relationships. Masons use these so-called
            “secrets” to test and prove the good character of those who choose to join the
            fraternity.”

          • dannybhoy

            According to what preacher?
            Anyways Manfarang, may I ask you what your own faith is?

          • Manfarang

            The Truth About Freemasonry
            by Ian Ellis-Jones
            AN ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE SYDNEY UNITARIAN CHURCH ON SUNDAY, 6 AUGUST 2006

          • dannybhoy

            Here’s the link.
            Those interested can make their own minds up..

  • len

    The C of E needs to decide what is really important, its buildings ,or the Gospel message that Christ entrusted His Followers with?.

    To have a service in honour of Freemasonry (even if it is an Anglican service) in the minds of some/many with be seen as the Cof E endorsing the principles of Freemasonry.

    • Inspector General

      It’s buildings are of the most import, Len. Feel free to worship in a field, on your own…

      • chefofsinners

        Feel free to worship in the buildings. You’ll be alone pretty soon.

        • len

          LOL . The Inspector might have some masons for company?.

          • Anton

            The masons can rebuild the stone building. We shall rebuild the church.

      • len

        Worship is good in an open field. Suited Jesus OK.

        • Dominic Stockford

          And Paul, and the Wesleys, and many others who really preached the Gospel.

    • dannybhoy

      That’s how I see it, and the folks who don’t see anything wrong in it are often the same people who equate Christianity with doing good works, embracing any other religion or philosophy as long as they too, believe in doing good works.
      It’s the Brotherhood of Man.
      Christ Jesus came not to bring salvation through his death on the cross, but to teach us to do good works
      Those early Christians who suffered horrible deaths in the arena or by crucifixion need not have suffered so had they realised that the real heart of Christianity is to do good works….

  • chefofsinners

    Well, I agree wholeheartedly with Cranmer and Welby, who are people of unimpeachable honour. I shake them warmly by the hand, in a slightly strange way, and look forward to that promotion they promised me.

    • carl jacobs

      Oh so THAT’S why the impenetrable disguise. It protects your secret identity. You’re one of them, aren’t you?

      • chefofsinners

        No. Not unless you are.

        • dannybhoy

          (Carl and Chef roll up a trouser leg and start contorting themselves…)

          • bluedog

            An astute point. Now that gender has become fashionably fluid, one imagines that lodge masters have their work cut out policing the sexuality of the membership. Apparently there was a time when members strutted around with the left breast exposed to demonstrate their masculinity, but is this still enough?

          • dannybhoy

            That’s a moob point…

  • Anna

    It is often the ‘little folk’ who will stand up for the Christian faith – nurses, elderly bed and breakfast owners, bakers and air flight attendants – putting their livelihoods on the line. The ones with any power or influence prefer to remain discreet and politically correct. Of course, they will do a few things behind the scenes – things which are considered harmless, and won’t shock; and equally produce little or no impact – to assuage their consciences, while helping them retain their privileges. The latter are mostly to be found in the COE, the former in the evangelical or charismatic churches. So it is no surprise that the Anglican churches are emptying despite their beautiful buildings, and funds from questionable sources. Their lamp stand is being removed, and the glory has departed.

  • maigemu

    I am assuming the C of E and the Archbishop have no problem in accepting lottery money? I have.

    • Sybaseguru

      Why? In my case its to do with gambling and the evil of taking money off the poor (as most lottery punters are it seems) to give them a vague hope of becoming rich. I don’t see the Freemasons in the same light – in fact sponsoring apprenticeships seems a very good cause. A more appropriate question would be “would you accept money from a government training scheme” to which most Christians would answer “yes”

      • Maalaistollo

        The lottery has indeed been described as ‘a tax on the stupid.’

  • maigemu

    From a brief survey of the likes on comments it would appear that most of the Archbishop’s flock are dissenters on this one.

  • Anton

    Petition to Parliament to stop abortion on the NHS:

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/178191

    Please consider signing it.

    • dannybhoy

      H’m,
      What is being proposed instead? I mean if they did stop what is likely to happen? Paying clinics, backstreet abortions, what?
      If we could get away from abortion on demand that would be a start, or selective (gender) abortion..
      I support Christian Concern, and the situation for Aisling Hubert who tried to bring a case against two doctors practicing gender abortion and got landed with huge costs instead..
      http://www.christianconcern.com/gender-abortion
      I don’t want to be presumptuous but signing a petition because it wants the NHS to stop doing abortions seems a little futile Anton…?

      • Anton

        It’s taxpayers’ money and as taxpayers for most of our lives we have a legitimate right to protest, if we wish. I wish to. I’m condemning nobody else if they don’t.

        I’m glad to say that the Elders in the congregation I’m part of sent their collection from the service 8 days ago to Aisling Hubert’s fund at Christian Concern.

        • dannybhoy

          I don’t disagree Anton, but you want a petition to have a good chance of at least being heard, and I don’t think this one as presented has a good chance.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Back street abortionists have done a better job than NHS surgeons.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Besides the Socialists won’t object – after all they believe it’s just a ‘blob of jelly’ that’s fished out with a coathanger.

      • IanCad

        You are most likely correct Danny. I signed it anyway. Let them know that Moloch has not yet won.

        • dannybhoy

          Hello Ian,
          I wasn’t trying to pour cold water, I just thought it could have been better set out.
          Good that you signed it but I haven’t.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Done.

    • David

      Done !

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Good man!

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Gentlemen and officers

      I do hope you will consider sigining the petition. It does not seek to ban abortion merely its availability on the NHS. It is a step in the right direction.

      Before anyone of us dares to debate human rights let us all consider that if the chance to be born is extinguished – then the debate over all other rights is meaningless.

      • David

        “Before anyone of us dares debate human rights let us all consider that if the chances to be born is extinguished – then the debate over all other rights is meaningless’

        Quite so, quite so ! Your succinct statement gives the lie to “human rights”, which is really about creating law that puts the rights of one group of people, with their particular ego driven wants and needs, over those of another group. It that isn’t divisive I’d like to know what is !

    • IanCad

      Thanks Anton. Signed and confirmed.

  • David

    A very late comment from me.
    Given the beliefs of Free Masonry Cranmer is obviously right to point to this abuse of a place of Christian worship. The article reminds me that Cathedrals have always been more about worldly power, wealth and display than the ways of God. Their creation, at an unimaginable cost, may have been ostensibly to bring glory to God, but was more an opportunity for rival Bishops, rulers, cities and provinces to display their temporal influence through wealth and the exercise of raw power. It is therefore little surprise to me that a number of Cathedrals are leading on the way on the false path towards the de-Christianisation of the nation.
    The decision maker in Anglican cathedrals is of course the Dean, who enjoys a high degree of autonomy. As I understand it the local Bishop and other clergy, let alone the laity, have little to no influence other than commenting on those decisions afterwards. Deans seem very focussed on fund raising, by almost whatever means, to maintain and improve their soaring edifices. This is hardly the Great Commission in action.

    • dannybhoy

      Yes, the reason for these great and beautiful buildings was as much to show off wealth and confidence as it was to honour God..
      ” 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[b] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” Acts 17:24
      I personally don’t believe God’s intention was that the Church should concentrate on buildings as much as sharing the Gospel. Yes we may need buildings for assembly or storage of materials etc., but I think the intention is that we should utilise what is available.
      The Vineyard Churches rent or buy up commercial buildings and that seems to me a very practical solution.

      • David

        Totally agree Danny.

        I recently moved my ministry from a liberal benefice which thought similarly to “the cathedral” described here, and where thoughts regarding the buildings as heritage dominated. For several years I tried preaching the gospel but to no avail. So now I have joined a growing Bible led, although still C of E, church. The difference is astounding.
        There are many green shoots within the vast structure of the C of E, but the media ignore the excellent work that they do, as it sells more newspapers to point to the ridiculous and controversial, and but also because it fits the mainstream media’s liberal world view.

        • Manfarang

          The Daily Mail, Express,Telegraph, and Sun all with a world view.

        • dannybhoy

          Our congregation/pcc is at the point now whether we decide to mothball the building until such times as we have a new generation with the vision and energy to put it to good use. Meantime we have our home group and the Methodist chapel..
          Quite interesting is that though the wife and I have not felt led to leave the parish church and join the Methodists, it seems as though the Lord is moving things along anyway. We are getting to know more of the Christians who live in our village but attend church elsewhere. I would love to see some more inter-denominational home groups spring up around us.

          • David

            Interesting. God bless you and all concerned.

    • IanCad

      I’m not sure that I agree with you on this David. To assert, as you seem to do, that the primary motivation for their creation was to flash medieval bling, would require a window into the souls of those involved.
      I know not what was in the hearts of the builders and designers of such magnificent temples, but the sight of them today can only serve those of the present age that, once, and not so long ago, we as a nation were not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
      If that is all they mean now, it is enough.

      • Anton

        I agree with David that the cathedrals were above all overt statements of the Roman Catholic church’s worldly power. That does not preclude their employment of the finest mediaeval engineers and artists, of course.

        • IanCad

          Indeed Anton, they may well have been viewed as symbols of power by some within the hierarchy but I am not prepared to assign such base motives to all the Roman Catholics no matter how much I disagree with their theology.

          • David

            “I am not prepared to assign such base motives to all Roman Catholics ”

            Neither am I Ian. You are missing the point.
            It is the decision makers, and the overarching power structures from which those decision makers drew their status, that I am referring to; or in plain English, those who decided to build and finance such edifices.

          • Anton

            Exactly so.

          • IanCad

            Not to belabour the point David – as I am just about to do! – But, accepting that many popes and princes of the church did have a great appetite for pomp and power, there were doubtless others whose love for God found expression in the building of such glories.
            We can argue over the unscriptural theology of Rome, but I still contend that there were many then, and still are now, who serve God by living up to the light they are granted.

          • David

            Err yes Ian.
            There is no disagreement around the principle behind that specific point.

  • Anton

    His Grace tweets that he’s got hold of the liturgy involved…

  • Manfarang

    According to one preacher, “Each Freemason believes in a God of his own
    understanding and Freemasonry does not ask a candidate to define his
    concept of God when seeking admission to the fraternity nor does
    Freemasonry itself makes any demands as to how a member thinks of the
    “Great Architect of the Universe”. Further, Freemasonry has no confession of
    faith, doctrinal statement, dogma or theology, offers no sacraments, and has
    no holy days. It offers no doctrine or plan of salvation (whether by faith,
    works, secret knowledge or any other means), does not proselytize, and
    seeks no converts. Highly naturalistic in orientation, Freemasonry does not
    profess revelation, but teaches that it is important for every person to have a
    religion of their own choice and to be faithful to it in thought, word and deed.
    It raises no money for religious purposes, and has no seminaries or clergy. “

  • The Explorer

    Masonry seems to have two very different sides to it: practical and mystical.

    In the days of Apartheid, the Broederbond modelled itself on the Masons to ensure that positions of influence went to the right people (ie the right sort of Afrikaner). That’s the practical side of Masonry.

    The mystical side is something else entirely: a syncretistic attempt to show the unity of all religions by tracing everything back to ancient Egypt.

    The average policeman, lawyer, businessman or whatever probably joins in the hope of getting promotion/increased business. The religious side of things hardly features, or is something you have to put up with to secure the benefits of membership.

    But it’s three hundred years of the mystical side that is to be celebrated.

    • Anton

      Celebrated? At Canterbury Cathedral, sadly, but not by me – or you, I hope.

      A young Anglican priest from Africa, familiar from his upbringing with witchcraft, instantly recognised what freemasonry really was and made it clear in the Synod debate about freemasonry on 13th July 1987:

      As an African who once worshipped in ritual ways and held traditional beliefs… was quite amazed to see the similarity between quite a number of these beliefs… the missionaries came round and said they were pagan; this report is better, it does not say that, but says that there are difficulties and questions posed.

      And here is a testimony from a Christian who stepped back form becoming a freemason at the last moment, Dr. D.R. Denman (reviewing Walton Hannah’s whistleblowing work on freemasonry):

      Well I remember the wave of nausea as I stood an initiate outside the masonic lodge and hear myself referred to as a poor candidate in a state of darkness who by God’s help was seeking the light. God’s grace had already shone in my heart to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; this I knew, and as I stood there listening to the first utterance of masonic ritual I was aware of rampant evil. In vain I sought for some acknowledgement of the Light of the Word in the worship and ritual of the degrees that followed. There was nothing. The sense of blasphemy had become, by the middle of the Third Degree ceremony, so overwhelming that I was moved to protest and to leave the Temple – never to return.

      • The Explorer

        Yes. The practical side of Masonry I find very understandable: with the virtues and vices of a typical old-boy network. But the mystical side of it I find really sinister.

        • Anton

          I don’t see how they can claim it goes back to Egypt when the central myth of freemasonry, around which most of the degree ceremonies are constructed, is (their version of) the building of Solomon’s Temple. But freemasonry is not rational…

          • Manfarang

            It probably goes back to stonemasons’ guilds during the Middle Ages, but then in the Middle Ages they weren’t always rational.

          • dannybhoy

            They ain’t always rational today either…

          • Manfarang

            One man’s loony is another man’s sage.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s very profound Manfarang, very profound…

          • The Explorer

            Quite. It is significant, however, that the Masons were instrumental in bringing Cleopatra’s Needle to London.

          • dannybhoy

            I would guess that freemasonry really got going through the big building projects across Europe. After all in the Middle Ages craftsmen had guilds and it is only logical that as these guilds developed they would introduce means of looking out for each other. It seems to me that a lot of the historical/mythical stuff is mostly fanciful. But because the notion of a God is involved, there will be a spiritual dimension to it that wars against the Gospel of our Lord, and that is what we see happening in the Church.

          • Anton

            They call stonemasons ‘operative’ masons and themselves ‘speculative’ masons. It seems to have been very strong in Scotland and perhaps came south with the Stuarts; certainly the Royal Society was founded by freemasons soon after the Restoration, and the tercentenary this year is simply of a unification of various London lodges.

          • The Statue of Liberty was conceived by Freemasons, financed by Freemasons, built by Freemasons, and installed by Freemasons in a Freemasonic ceremony.

          • dannybhoy

            Never knew that either..

            Provincial Grand Lodge of East Lancashire
            The Statue of Liberty and Freemasonry
            http://www.pglel.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/the_statue_of_liberty_and_freemasonry.pdf

          • The Explorer

            Bartholdi got the idea for a giant statue after seeing the statues in Egypt. I believe the ‘on’ of Jahbulon is supposed to be Egyptian.

          • carl jacobs

            The wonderful thing about objects is that the intent of the builder always remains with the builder. The Masonic origin of an object means nothing to those who care nothing for Freemasonry.

          • Yet the symbolism remains and operates at a subliminal level.

          • carl jacobs

            But that’s my point. The symbolism doesn’t remain. It is not in the object. It is rooted in memory of the community that developed the symbol. It doesn’t communicate to those outside the community because it contains no objective information.

            Freemason membership numbers are 25% what they were 50 years ago. Americans don’t know about it and care even less about it. I would suspect the average American does not know about the Freemason connection to the Statue of Liberty. I didn’t know until this very day.

            Whatever the intent behind its construction, the Statue has been expropriated by civic American culture. That is what defines it – and not the Masons.

          • “I would suspect the average American does not know about the Freemason connection to the Statue of Liberty. I didn’t know until this very day.”

            That’s why Freemasonry remains influential. It’s hidden in plain sight.

          • carl jacobs

            What evidence do you have that the Masons are influential?

          • Just do some reading around about European history – not the nut-jobs.

          • A lot of evil Masonic symbols are hidden in the architecture of Cathedrals. It’s almost as if they are mocking the Church.
            Read secrets of the Cathedrals.
            http://www.deepertruth.com/journal/article-1.html
            http://atlantisrisingmagazine.com/article/secrets-of-the-cathedrals/

          • Interesting .

          • Anton

            When the Jews went into Canaan they were told that everything was theirs but they were to tear down altars to false gods wherever they found them. The principle remains clear; its application, less so.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, because they knew what those altars were. A Protestant organization bought an old Catholic seminary to found a college. They removed the crucifix from above the altar. Why? Because the image is inherently wrong? No. Because they understood the association with the Mass. They were not removing the object. They were denying what the object represented.

          • maigemu

            Our church was sold its building by anglo-catholic nuns who wanted the consecrated premises to continue as a Christian place of worship. There was some irony there. The first week crucifix and altar were removed, the later as the floor of a member’s patio.

          • dannybhoy

            Interesting.
            Can something built (and dedicated) for a purpose lose all connection (both physical and spiritual), with the reason for its inception; or does it continue to somehow exert an influence?
            I think you’re probably right, but I’m not 100% sure.

          • CliveM

            Think church buildings. There are people whose only connection with them will be ones now used as pubs. I’m sure they will have no understanding of the symbolism.

            Tbh even now I couldn’t tell you what Masonic symbols are tied up in the SofL!

          • dannybhoy

            I’ve never been in a pub that once was a church, AFAIK. I personally wouldn’t be comfortable of I knew,, (must be the Puritan in me..)
            What I do know is that I have been in places that have made me uneasy -or fearful even, where I have had to remind myself of my standing in Christ Jesus.

          • betteroffoutofit

            Yes, dannybhoy – I too sense that buildings (and other places) hold ‘vibes’ related to events they have ‘witnessed.’ I especially notice it in The Tower of London, and at Hadrian’s Wall.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s right. I remember when I first visited Glencoe, I was on my own and there was no-one about, There wasn’t a great deal to see really, but I was very aware that ‘something’ was going on around me. Just out of the corner of your eye, an awareness of some unseen activity.. As a Christian I can’t exactly rationalise it, but I do know my senses were picking up something.

          • CliveM

            You’ve got an overactive imagination!

          • CliveM

            My point still stands I think though.

            With regards the SofL, a lot of people interpret the symbolism differently.

          • dannybhoy

            You are a good sensible fellow with your three feet firmly planted on the ground.

            What meaneth SodfL??

          • CliveM

            Statue of Liberty!

          • dannybhoy

            Statue of Liberty to you too, but what meaneth SodfL?

          • CliveM

            It refers back to Carl’s comment.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Right on.

          • Manfarang

            Clearly the Anti-Masonic Party did not have a lot of influence in New York.

          • len

            There is a theory that ‘the statue of liberty’ actually depicts ‘Lucifer’ the Light Bringer.
            Not sure where this theory comes from, or the validity of it.

          • Anna

            That statue always seemed rather sinister to me. I could never understand why a ‘nation under God’, presumably the Christian God, would erect a statue like that.

          • Bruce Atkinson

            Statues are, by their very nature, idolatrous. Unless they are of Christ. We cannot therefore put much stock in what they are trying to promote.

      • Richard B

        Over 20 years later I can recall being startled at the deep anger clearly seen in a ghostly demonic spirit as it left me whilst a non-Anglican prayer minister quietly broke the power of FM over my life.
        Having been brought up Catholic I’d been deeply puzzled why the man had been talking about masonic influence in bishops! It was nothing to do with me at all – but I had read deeply all about it and was amazed at what he’d ‘kicked out’. Only then did I realise I’d been under the influence of a dear ex-mason in the occult stuff in which I’d been active.
        Most amusingly, the chap ministering could have been the ex-FM’s double!
        So that clearly shows the pernicious, demonic consequence of coming under the authority of FM, even if unwittingly!

        • dannybhoy

          Such is the hidden workings of the evil one, that he can gain access into our lives..

          • Richard B

            BUT ONLY if we let it gain access by the way we think, feel and live; hence wisest and best course of action is to be covered by and live under the Blood of the Lamb 🙂

          • dannybhoy

            We don’t often mention how the enemy of our souls can affect our lives on this log, but I most certainly believe he can, and whilst I agree we can go overboard and paranoid, he can sometimes have a hold on some part of lives..

    • len

      Both sides of the same coin.

  • A man is walking through the park when he notices a fight on the football field.

    “What’s going on?”, he asks a spectator, watching from the side-lines.

    The other replies “It’s a match between the Masons and the Knights of Columbus.”

    “What’s the score?” asks the first man.

    “I don’t know. It’s a secret.”

    • dannybhoy

      You made that one up Jack?
      As bad as one of mine…

      • It’s an old joke ….

        • dannybhoy

          Been cleaning out the attic?
          Time someone put it out of its misery then.. ;0)

    • Anton

      But they told you who was playing…

      • dannybhoy

        Cynic,,