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The Relation of Masonry to the Bible

By Reverend Dan W. Silver
Member of Fairview Lodge #339 A.F.&A.M. Grand Lodge of North Carolina



When M. L. Williams called and asked me and asked me to speak at this meeting he asked me to speak on the subject of: The Relation of Masonry to the Bible.  Then at a later date (after I had started the work on the topic given to me by Brother Williams) when I received your Trestle-Board, I found that I was to speak on the subject of: The Relation of Masonry and Religion to the Church.  Now where do I go? And where do I begin? On either subject, you can speak for hours on end, and I am sure you do not want to be here that long.  However, if you will permit me I plan to touch on both subjects.

My life would not have been a complete life without the Holy Bible.  The Bible was a part of my life from the time I was born, until the moment I stand before you.  I was born into a Christian home where the Bible and the Church was a real part of my life.  In early childhood, the Bible or the Church did not mean a great deal to me.  At least, I did not think that they were meaning much to me.  When I became a teenager and found myself in the Navy, and many, many miles from home, with my life in danger, I found that the Bible, the Church and things I had looked on as small things became important.  It was in these days that the Holy Bible became the most important thing in the world.  I found in it the real reason for living, the desire to live and the correct way to live.  My early introduction to the Bible began to pay off.  As time passed, I found myself with a home of my own and the Holy Bible then was a real part of the home that God had granted me to begin.  It was in these early years that I began working with men who wore a fraternity pin that I knew to be the badge of a Mason.  My wife had been raised in a home that was supported by Masons so through both influences, I found myself wanting to be a part of that Secret Order that I believe was doing so much for those who needed their help.  On being introduced to the Grand Order of Masonry, almost 25 years ago, I found that the Masons already knew about this wonderful book called the Bible.  In fact, I found out that Masonry would not be Masonry without the Holy Bible.  In the center of every lodge, the Holy Bible is displayed and no lodge can carry out its work in Masonry unless the Holy Bible is opened and used.  Now with this instruction, let me lead you to what I believe the Holy Bible should mean to us as Free Masons in 1974.

Each Mason is urged, " to direct his steps through life by the Light he shall find in the Bible".  The Masons' chief objective in life, therefore, should be to obtain as much of that Light as is possible.  The problem lies in the fact that most of want to be a Mason, to wear the badge of a Mason, to fellowship as a Mason, but we do not want to pay the price to study the Light of Masonry.  Then, another problem is the fact that many of us do not know how to go about receiving more Light from the Great Light of all Masons.  So the Problem seems to be, not do we have the Light, but do we use the Light.  The Bible is upon our Altar, I have come to know that we use it in our Degree Work, in symbolic ways.  But to really learn and use the Light of Masons inside its covers, "Seek and ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these other things shall be added unto you".  These words meant, for one thing, that in our search for Truth and Light, we must first find Him " in whom we put our trust".

Here it is 1974 and we live in a fast, hurry-up world.  Someone has described it as hurry, worry, bury.  Look for a moment at how we live.  We get up in the morning and run away through a group of people to the place we work.  We begin our day with the usual "good morning", then we wait until the mid-morning break, then it is a wait until our lunch hour, then the afternoon break and then back until the mad rush home.  Then, it is the same way that it has been before; every night is the same as the night before.  Do you see what I'm saying?  We spend each day about as we spent the day before. It is still the same old "2 by 6".  We do not really seek "more Light in Masonry".  In fact, we have the Light, but the light is not usually used.  The opportunities of being to our fellowmen, a light that burns because of the Great Light, is not usually shown to those around us.  Let me get personal now.  Do those with whom you work and have business dealings know that you are a Mason you wear a ring, or do they know you are a Mason because of candle you have refused to hide under a bushel?  The candle of Masonry must burn because it has been lighted by The Great Light of Masonry.  Did your first burn and then go out?  Is it possible that it would burn if you spent more time with the Great Light of Masonry?

To me, I found that at one time in my life I was crying out for more Light in Masonry.  Some days passed, and along with most of you found that seemed to end.  Was it because suddenly we thought we had found all the Light?  Sometimes the desire to reach a goal is really better than the goal itself.  That is to say, on the way to the goal, we learn, but when we get there, we quit learning - we have arrived.  So in 1974, I believe we have forgotten that in the center of our lodge is the Great Light of all Masons.   Maybe what we need is to ask ourselves some things about this Light.  What is "The Great Light of Masonry", and what does it do?   Someone has said, "The Great Light of Masonry (the Bible) is beyond other lights as the river is beyond a drop of water, as the sun is beyond a candle, as the mountain is beyond the grain of sand.  It is the fountain in which Martyrs have cooled their faces, the pillow upon which the Saints of all ages have rested their hearts; it breaks the fetters of the slave, keeps Masons in due bounds of all mankind, takes the pain out of parting, takes the sting out of death, takes the gloom out of the grave and gives us hope that it is steadfast and sure".  Folks, that is a little look at the Great Light of All Masons, but it is a Great, Great Light because -

I.  It abides forever - It never shall go out.  "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the Word of our God shall stand forever".  A human being writes a book, puts it on sale and it becomes the best seller.  A few thousand copies are sold, before long, this book is forgotten, and another takes its place.  The Bible is inspired by God Himself and year after year, it makes the bestseller list.  It burns bright, bright and brighter.  It alone is the abiding book.  Every effort to destroy the Big Book has failed.  Every effort to put out the light has only caused it to burn brighter and attract others to its burning power.  Voltaire said "One hundred years from now the Bible and Christ will be forgotten".  But here is the irony of it in this case; the very room in which he spoke these words is now used as a Bible storehouse.  Hitler, in World War II said, "Destroy every Jew and as you finish with them kill the Christians.  If you get rid of the Bible, the book they live by, then they are dead people anyway".  Isn't it strange that every effort the Light of Masonry has failed?  No, not at all!  "Heaven and Earth shall pass away but My Word shall abide forever".

II.  This book is the Great Light in Masonry because - It is a revelation from God.  What do we mean by revelation?  I believe revelation is two things:

i.   A Light gives a revelation of what is in front of you on a dark night.  The things that you are     approaching become a fact or a reality.

ii.  A Light gives a revelation of what is behind you; turn the light around and you can see the things that you have passed.

III.  But a revelation is more than that.  Here is a family in Florida.  The son grows up and goes to California, three thousand miles away.  Once a month his Mother writes him a letter.  She reveals the things that are going on at home and the thoughts of her own heart.  She tells of the sickness in the family, the death of a neighbor, the birth of a new baby and the wedding of friends.  We call these things human revelation.  I believe that God wanted to send a message to people.  So, God breathed on certain men and inspired them to write the Bible.  He revealed how the world was made and His own great thoughts were put into the book.  The book tells of the life and death of the men of old.  It tells of mans sins and Gods love and how to be free from those sins.  It tells how to live and how to treat men.  It tells how to be a Mason and how to stay in "due bounds of all mankind".  It tells about Heaven and Hell.  This is a Divine Light.  This is a "Lamp unto our feet".  If you want to know how to be a Mason - Go to the Bible, "Gods Holy Word" and the Light of Masonry.  It is Gods word.  You will never go wrong.

IV.  This book is the Great Light in Masonry because - It has a hopeful message for life after death.  Here is a great question: "Is there any life after death"?  Where is the answer?  Only in one place, the Bible.  Why do we find that answer only in the Bible?  Because God is the only one knows about the future life.  He wrote the book and gave us our only hopeful message about life after death.  What is the message?  "They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them". (Isaiah 49:10)  "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live". (John 11:25)  The Big Book is simply telling us that if we believe in Him - then one day we will have "a house not made with hands, but eternal in the heavens".

V.  It is the Great Light in Masonry because - It keeps its freshness.  You may go to the Bible and get blessing and power from it, but you cannot exhaust it.  The more you believe it, the more power you receive.  It imparts energy, but never loses strength.  The Psalmist said, "Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee". (Psalm 119:11) If we have the Bible in our hearts, we have something fresh to use daily.  If the heart is full of His love, the devil cannot get in.  Eve let the devil get in and she began to doubt Gods word.  If we do not fill our hearts with Him and His truths, Satan will come in and wreck our lives.  A Mason was traveling in an airplane and a person who had noticed his ring wanted to argue about Masons and what they believed.  (No one can argue about Masonry unless he is a Mason.)  The Mason prayed, "Oh! God, I am no good at this; help me out".  The skeptic of Masonry began to criticize the Lodge and the Mason remembered scripture that he had heard in the Lodge, and began quoting that scripture.  Finally, the skeptic moved to another seat saying, "I can't do anything with you".  The Great Light of all Masons had won the battle.  If you are a true Mason then the Bible is on your side.  You will always be victorious.

VI.  The Bible is the Great Light of Masons because - It changes men and nations.  "Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord". (Psalm 33:12)  Our Nation is what it is today because of the Bible.  I am just a little tired of hearing men and women cut our nation to pieces.  I still get a great feeling when I see the flag.  And yes, I must say that I don't think much of those burn the flag or misuse it.  Our Nation is not what it should be, but brethren, I believe that it is the best in the world.  And, I believe the reason it is the best is because of the Holy Bible that is ours to read, ours to study and ours to live by.  Thanks be unto God for His Holy Word.  The Bible does change man.  I stand before you tonight a different person because of the Word of God.  Let me tell you a quick story:

Many years ago, I met my wife.  Somewhere along the way, I kissed the girl.  I have not been the same since.

One day I knelt at an Altar.  I kissed the pages of the Holy Bible.  Folks, I have not been the same since.

I have changed!

References

The Holy Bible

The Holy Book Upon Our Altar - Robert L. Pugh, Past Grand Master

The Gospel According to Matthew - G. Campbell Morgan

Tools for Bible Study - Kelly Miller

N. C. Lodge Manual - Charles F. Bahnson

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Last modified: March 22, 2014