Our fraternity unfairly suffers from many misguided assumptions about what happens within lodges and about the intentions of Masons. Although the values of Masons of Freemasonry are abundantly clear to all within the fraternity, some people outside the fraternity are convinced of ulterior motives.
That being said, Freemasonry welcomes me from all backgrounds and encourages diversity and inclusivity. Our fraternity seeks to recruit men who wish to live a moral and ethical life, to further the Masonic objectives, and act as custodians of the craft.
Any man with good moral intentions is welcome to join the craft. But what are some of the wrong reasons to become a Freemason? Let’s dive in and take a look at five of the wrong reasons to become a Freemason.
You are motivated to expose the secrets of the craft
With the advent of the Internet, you’re able to find a great deal of information about Freemasonry online. There are countless websites and even social media channels dedicated to sharing information about the fraternity.
However, most people who disseminate information about Freemasonry (myself included) are careful not to betray any of the craft’s secrets. These secrets are reserved for brothers progressing through the three degrees of Freemasonry, and their sanctity should be preserved for future generations.
It would be best if you did not aspire to become a Mason to expose the craft’s secrets. It’s not that there is anything to hide; rather, the Masonic rituals and traditions are reserved for brothers within the craft and remained that way for centuries.
It would be a crying shame if someone were to join a lodge with the sole intention of exposing many of the great mysteries and secrets of Freemasonry.
You wish to promote a religious agenda
As all brothers know, Freemasonry is not a religion. Neither is it a substitute for religion. Sometimes, people may be confused because, to become a Mason, you must profess belief in a ‘Supreme Being.’
Other than that, you are not required to divulge any of your faith’s details to anyone within the craft. A great deal of the allegories and teachings within Freemasonry are based upon passages from the Holy Scriptures. Still, it doesn’t mean you must believe in a particular religion to take value from the Masonic teachings.
Equally, you should not seek to join Freemasonry to promote a particular religious agenda or convert brothers into a specific faith or belief system. Each man is entitled to his own religious beliefs, and there is no place within Freemasonry for divisions created by religious doctrine.
You want to use Freemasonry for political gain
Political discourse is actually prohibited within Masonic lodges, given how divisive it often is. There are many opportunities for you to discuss politics in everyday life, and you should respect the fact that politics is off-limits within the confines of a lodge.
Many people assume that because many prominent politicians have been Masons (George Washington, for instance), Freemasonry has some type of political agenda and is an opportunity for aspiring politicians to gain popularity.
Moreover, many conspiracy theories with Freemasonry at the center accuse the fraternity of influencing global politics, which further plays into the misconception that Freemasonry is a political force to be reckoned with.
Brothers are required to respect their fellow Masons’ contrasting political beliefs and should not seek to join the fraternity for any type of political reasons.
You are seeking self-advancement only
Although it’s important to be proud of your Masonic ties, you should not seek to join the fraternity for self-advancement only. Joining a lodge to simply say that you are a Mason neglects your responsibility to progress on your Masonic journey.
Freemasonry is about much more than the self, and to fully benefit from the craft, you need to immerse yourself in its teachings and rituals and ensure you live by the values of brotherly love and charity.
If you’re only in it for yourself, you are detracting away from the very principles upon which the craft was built, and you will find it difficult to interact with your fellow brothers. While self-development is important, it should not be your only motivation.
You want to solicit friends for personal gain
There’s no denying that membership of a Masonic lodge puts you in contact with an incredible variety of people. Men from all walks of life and varying professions make up Masonic lodges, and their experiences are vast.
Becoming a Mason welcomes you into this incredible network of people and provides you with the opportunity to meet new people and develop lifelong friendships and professional relationships.
That being said, you should not seek membership of a lodge merely to solicit friends for personal gain. All relationships developed within a lodge should be reciprocal and based upon shared interests and values. It is amiss to use Freemasonry to further your own agenda, disregarding the needs of others.
While connection and networking is a huge draw of joining a Masonic lodge, it should not be your sole motivation. It is exploitative to utilize your position to solicit friends and connections for personal gain.
Men seek to become Masons for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s to learn the ancient secrets of the craft or perhaps the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and contribute to community projects, a brother’s intentions and motivations should be pure and ethical.
If you’re seeking to become a Mason, make sure you do it for the right reasons. This way, you will gain significant value from the fraternity and will be able to add value to your fellow Masons in a variety of ways.