The Meaning of Masonry
by Lynn F. Perkins
An argument sometimes used against Freemasonry often goes as follows: "Christians claim that only Jesus can save them. Masonry teaches each man must save himself! If you claim to be Christian how can you go against the word of God???" Then a quotation from the middle of this particular book - 'The Meaning of Masonry' by Lynn F. Perkins - will be used to validate that point.
Perkins writes: "Therefore Masonry teaches that redemption and salvation are both the power and the responsibility of the individual Mason. Saviors like Hiram Abiff can and do show the way, but men must always follow and demonstrate, each for himself, his power to save himself, to build his own spiritual fabric in his own time and way. Every man in essence is his own savior and redeemer; for if he does not save himself, he will not be saved. The reader who succeeds in getting back to the real teachings of the masters, including Jesus of Nazareth, will find unanimity of thinking on this matter." (page 95).
Of course, what the anti-Mason neglects to mention is that the author (whose Masonic credentials regrettably, are simply not given anywhere NOR is he mentioned in books like "Masonic Reader's Guide" or the "Masonic Literary Harvest" which list hundreds upon hundreds of Masonic authors) says in the second paragraph of the introduction "Of course, he would be naive indeed who would declare that what Masonry meant to him it would necessarily mean to every other Mason. The author does not know it all, or anywhere near the all of Masonry; his book might well be called 'What Masonry Means To Me'."
In the third paragraph of the introduction Perkins says, in speaking in the third person about himself, "However, he claims to possess no 'authority' because of such studies; if he is right in his conclusions, they are completely valid to him alone."
Then there's the part at the end entitled "Personal Testimony" where Perkins says "I AND I ALONE (his capitalization), am responsible for my own interpretations of Masonic teachings. Masonry does not proclaim any particular techniques whereby the Builder shall construct his spiritual edifice." A few pages later, he says "The writer knows that the Masonic reader should not and will not take what he has said 'on authority';...." Regrettably, in the late 1950's, Perkins clearly was not writing assuming the audience of today's anti-Masons.
This book is now long out of print but Amazon offers a reprint edition.
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