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Grand Master Charvonia’s Recommendation No. 10


Removal of the our Great Light, The Holy Bible

Masonic scholars from around California have come together to help prevent the destruction of Freemasonry that is coming from within the upper ranks. At this year's Annual Communication, Grand Master Charvonia’s Recommendation No. 10 will be again up for a vote. This legislation is titled “Updates Ritual and Ceremonies to Use the Term “Holy Writings” When Describing the Volume of the Sacred Law.” The title of this resolution is misleading in itself. Add to the fact it was buried at the bottom of the 42 pages of legislation which was submitted last year. This resolution is, in reality, an attempt to remove the Holy Bible from Masonry itself. Charvonia did not even have the respect to include our Great Lights name in the title of his recommendation. If we remove our true Great Light of Masonry, we are condemning ourselves, as well as future generations, to work in the dark. This change cannot happen, for if it does, Masonry will ultimately be destroyed. Those pulling strings will manipulate our laws and leave us with a cheap replica of what we have now.
We are not here to divulge the Secrets of Masonry, but rather to shed light on the forgotten history of Freemasonry in California and to expose those attempting to break the promises made to all the Brothers who came before us. Our goal is not to bring a personal view to this, but rather a historical view.
Since the founding of our Grand Lodge, the Holy Bible has been our Great Light in Masonry. This fact can be traced back to the first Proceedings of our Grand Lodge when Past Grand Master Chas M. Radcliff gave his Annual Address. He stated “The Bible, (that great light in Masonry) informs us that "no man liveth and sinneth not,” yet we can live as we shall have wished we had when our bodies shall be squared and numbered for the quarries of earth.”

In the Proceedings of 1861-1862, the Grand Orator Humphrey stated on page 389 that “This being the end and mission of Masonry--to inculcate these teachings manifest the wisdom that established it, that thereby truths and historical lessons might point the mind to the real aim of life, and impress upon it, through signs and mysteries, the great teachings of Freemasonry, which are the teachings of the Holy Bible -the eternity and self-existence of God-His omniscience and omnipotence - and the rich honors laid up by him for the Mason in truth. Masonry teaches all this, and her teachings are true, for they are drawn from the fountain of truth - the Word of God itself.

In the Proceedings of 1885-1886 on page 647, it professes that “If we are to believe tradition, there is a peculiar romance about the early organization of our Order. It came into existence in the far East, amid the grandest specimens of God's handiwork, and in an age of faith that reached even beyond the skies. It was cradled under the fostering care of Patriarchs and the sacred precepts of prophecy and religion formed the corner-stone of the edifice. Yet Masonry acknowledges no sect but the human race, no religion but that taught in the Bible, whose God was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

In 1897 an interesting set of events took place, similar to what the Grand Lodge of California is doing now. The Grand Lodge of Peru decided to remove the words Holy Bible from their ritual and replace the Bible with their book of constitutions. This act mirrors what our Grand Lodge is doing now. We cut off recognition from Peru, as did most other Grand Lodges and it wasn't until that the Bible was returned, that they were again recognized as "true Masons." In our Proceedings from that year it states “WHEREAS, During the year 1897 the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge F. and A. M. of Peru, acting in direct contradiction to the Constitution of said Grand Lodge, and in open violation of the fundamental principles of our Craft, issued a decree ordering the Bible to be removed from the altars of the Lodges and replaced by the Constitution of said Grand Lodge, and authorizing the formation of female Lodges, which decree, by reason of the dominating influence of the said Grand Master and a number of co-conspirators co-operating with him, was sanctioned by the said Grand Lodge of Peru at its regular session of September, 1897 ; and,
WHEREAS, At the quarterly session of said Grand Lodge on May 6th. 1898, the said conspirators were defeated, the said Grand Master removed, and Bro. J. A. Ego Aguirre, a true and loyal Mason, was elected and installed Grand Master of said Grand Lodge, and which change restores the Law to its honored place on our altars and re-establishes our ancient land- marks and the practice of true and ancient Masonry within that Grand Jurisdiction. Now, therefore,
Resolved, That we, the Grand Lodge F. and A. M. California, duly assembled do hereby extend to our brethren of the Grand Lodge and Grand of Peru our fraternal greetings, expressive of our unanimous and most emphatic approval of their prompt and loyal disapproval and correction of the said irregular and un-masonic proceedings of the said conspirators ; and we unite in expressing our earnest hope that the present custodians of the sacred trust committed to their care ma.y long live to cherish and defend the ancient landmarks of our Order.
To further elaborate on that, the Grand Lodge of CONNECTICUT had this to say on page 664 in those same proceedings, which clarifies the stance our craft has had since the beginning. “The Grand Secretary reported that CHRISTIAN DAM, as Grand Master of Masons in Peru, has issued his edict, wherein he recites to the Masons under his jurisdiction the following:-
According to Catholicism the Bible is a sacred book, in which the revealed word is deposited and as such cannot be freely examined and criticized; that the Bible cannot be considered as a foundation of scientific knowledge or history, nor as a basis of morality, and he does decree that on all Masonic Altars the Bible shall be removed and replaced by the Constitution of the Order of Freemasonry, and that in all rituals the word Bible shall be stricken out, and that the words "the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Peru " used in its place.
This action was referred to the Committee on Jurisprudence, who reported:-
WHEREAS The Grand Master of Mason in Peru has issued an edict "that on all Masonic the Bible shall be removed and replaced by the Constitution of the Order of Freemasonry, and that in all rituals the word "Bible" shall be stricken out and the words "the Constitution of the Grand Lodge of Peru" used in its place.
WHEREAS, That in so doing he has removed the Great Light, one of the necessary constituents of every regular Lodge, from the altar of Freemasonry, in violation of its ancient landmarks. “

On page 671 the Grand Lodge of England stated this “Resolution. That so long as the Grand Lodge of Peru, or the Lodges holding thereunder, require or authorize the holding of Lodge meetings from which the Volume of the Sacred Law is absent, or in the ceremonies of which no mention of the Bible is made, they cannot be recognized as true and lawful Masonic Lodges or Bodies.” Below that it states “Resolution. That this Grand Lodge requests that His Royal Highness the Most Worshipful Grand Master will be pleased to take such steps for giving effect to the foregoing resolutions as he may consider consistent with the honor of Grand Lodge; and to take such further steps, if any, as he may deem desirable for the recognition of those brethren in Peru who determine to abide by the Ancient Landmarks of the Order. “

On page 714 the Grand Lodge of Arkansas said this “You may also say that the Grand Lodge of Arkansas has of date January 19, 1898, as you will see by the enclosed circular, withdrawn its recognition from the Grand Lodge of Peru, because the said Grand Lodge of Peru has excluded the Holy Bible from its altars in its Lodges and established the Book of Constitutions of the Grand of Peru therefor. We most emphatically decline to remain in friendly relations with any Grand Lodge which does not recognize the Holy Bible as the Great Light in Masonry. “ The Grand Lodge of Mississippi had this to say just below: “Your committee, to which was referred certain communications from the M.·• W.'. Grand Master and Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas, submitted this Grand Body by Bro. William Kellis, Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of Arkansas near this Grand Lodge, would report that the subjects therein contained are of a grave nature and should not be hastily acted upon.

The first item pertains to a withdrawal of recognition from the Grand Lodge of Peru because it has excluded the Holy Bible from its lodge-rooms and substituted the Book of Constitutions in its stead.
This step of itself is sufficient to place any Grand Body of Masons beyond the pale of fraternal intercourse with those who have ever held the Bible to be the Great Light in Masonry, and the Grand Lodge of Mississippi most ever align itself with those who revere and subscribe to the teachings of this Great Light. “

Bro. EDWARD SPALDING had this to say “This building of character is under the great light of Masonry, the Bible. The very first stone in the Masonic Temple is a belief in God, and in his revelation to man, and in every degree its teachings are impressed upon the brethren, in both precept and example. Upon every condition in life, and under every form of personal experience, it pours its light of patience, courage, and trust. Its code of laws, the great storehouse whence the nations of the earth draw their wisest dicta; its moral code, the foundation of all systems of modern equity. It guides the nations, rules the people, enlightens the home and ennobles man. It whispers in the ear of childhood, marches with men in the battle of life, pillows his head in the hour of death, and unlocks the gates of Paradise to the ransomed soul. Its history is the stirring story of the nations that walked in the ways of righteousness end wickedness. Its biographies, lives of the wisest, bravest and wickedest of men; of women, who, with Miriam, sang the deliverance from peril, or, like Mary, ran with glad feet to tell of the risen CHRIST. Its poetry matchless, from the earliest known, that of Job-unexcelled in the sublimity of its theme, in the splendor of its diction in the loftiness of its thought; to David, whose psalms express every of grief or joy to which the human heart is subject, whose music has come down to us the tones of sweet bells over the silent sea. Its prophecies, full of warnings to men and nations, foretelling the history of Earth, until the apocalyptic vision of JOHN, of the gathering of the redeemed, and the song of the unnumbered multitude, whose voices, like the sound of many waters, filled the dome of heaven.
The Bible inspires the_highest efforts, the sublimest thoughts; like the coal of fire that touched Isaiah's lips, it awakens the loftiest ideals. In architecture, the grandest conceptions are temples erected to the worship of God. It touches the lyre of the musician, and sublimest strains are heard in the oratorio of the creation by Hayden, and Handel's Messiah, with its grand hallelujah chorus, worthy to be taken up by the assembled hosts of heaven. It touches the lips of the poet, and begets the triumphant songs of Earth by Dante, Milton, Tennyson and Longfellow. Orators and statesmen have drawn inspiration from its pages, and if destroyed it could be recovered from the living literature of the earth. Its history our history, its heroes our examples; its poetry our songs, its warnings our instruction, its prophecies our hopes, its heaven our abiding home. It shines in the face of the Entered Apprentice upon his first introduction into the Lodge, and is thenceforth hie companion and guide in the perilous path of life, and is borne in solemn procession to the grave at his burial, and amid the sounds of falling clods and sighing friends, floods with light the gates of death, and reveals the jeweled portals of the eternal city. Driven from the schools of our land and denied to opening minds of the young, I thank God that the Bible has found a consecrated place upon the altars of Masonry.

The Grand Lodge of Peru removing the words Holy Bible gave enough cause for US Lodges to not recognize them, the same as our Grand Master has done with Grand Lodges this year with his Edicts. With profounds statements from the Grand Lodge of England such as “or in the ceremonies of which no mention of the Bible is made, they cannot be recognized as true and lawful Masons.” and the new Grand Master of Peru himself stating “or in the ceremonies of which no mention of the Bible is made, they cannot be recognized as true and lawful Masons.”

So as you can clearly see, the Bible has been, and always should remain on our Alters and be called by its rightful name, The Holy Bible.

In the Proceedings 1899-1900: Page 30: “50th Anniversary of Masonry in California. On Ritualistic work. If we in California have been guilty of creating innovation, it would seem that the duty rests upon us of restoring, as nearly as practicable, the ancient work.”

Proceedings 1903-1904: Page 1092: Talks about the Bible being the rule and guide of our faith. It also speaks about the Saints John. These two men are known only because of their relation to the Founder of Christianity. One was the forerunner and the other the beloved disciple of Jesus Christ.

On page: 24, it once again states that the Bible is the rule and guide of our Faith. That no attack by any man or set of men, be they Priests or laymen, Kings or peasants, or what not, will ever shake us from our foundations.

Proceedings 1906-1907: Page 699: The Holy Bible is specifically stated as a rule and guide of our faith.

The Regius Manuscripts: Noted as the Oldest Masonic Document in history was created between 924 and 939 it speaks of Christ and what is found in the Bible. It is considered the oldest known Masonic document, yet the Bible is much older. That is really our oldest known Masonic Document, and it has been made clear, through our Ritual and our recorded history. That is why it lays on our Alter. The secrets of Freemasonry are contained within the Bible itself.

To put things into perspective, the first complete Bibles in existence are the Codex Vaticanus written between 300-325 and the Codex Sinaiticus which dates back between 330-360. To put that in contrast, the oldest Bible as we know it now is 600 years older than the Regius Poems.

We must also keep in mind who our Lodges are dedicated to; the Holy Saint’s John’s. That passage of ritual has been in place since the dedication of our Lodge. The wording is very precise. It references the “Holy Writings” and “Holy Bible” as the same source. This is because of the deep ties Masonry has with the Holy Bible. If you alter any part of the dedication of our Lodge, you are changing a significant part of who we are. Saint John, the Evangelist, represents the Old Testament and Saint John the Baptist represents the New Testament. This is why each of them is supporting one side of the Bible.

That emblem is another paramount part of Freemasonry, which cannot be altered without removing the symbolism of what it is. This act is equal to the removal of “God” from the letter “G”. Altering elements, in order to be politically correct, is absurd and will ultimately destroy Freemasonry. This is all to appease those who do not respect the history and traditions of our craft. If we continue with our current leadership, we will, at the very best, be left with a cheap imitation of what Freemasonry is all about.
The Holy Bible has been our Great Light in Masonry from as early as our records can tell. What our records can't tell us, our Ritual does.

To those who are new to the craft, the Holy Bible was the ONLY book allowed on the alter up until 1994 when a resolution passed that allowed additional Holy Writings to be placed on the Alter. There is a list of approved Holy Writings and they must align with our beliefs to be on that list. This topic will be discussed in a future release. Here is what the current Grand Lodge ISN'T telling you. When this resolution was passed, certain “Safeguards” were put into place to ensure the Bible remained a predominant part of our Lodge. By instilling those Safeguards, we made a promise to those Brethren who came before us, many of whom are not around to vote this year. We feel that this resolution is disrespectful to all Masons who have gone this way before, without changing our craft to fit their own money driven agenda. Those Safeguards were:

This resolution is part of a long-term strategic plan to change the very structure of Freemasonry here in California. You may ask why and the answer is simple; money. Our Grand Lodge is attempting to recreate Freemasonry in its own image to gain more members. They do this because those pulling strings are living the high life off our per capita.

Stay tuned for more. We have only just begun to expose those attempting to destroy our beloved craft.

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