Rowan Williams Forces a Provincial Episcopal Visitor to Bail on the Masonic Lodge

He’s not much on dealing with many heterodoxies in the Anglican world, but Rowan Williams gets tough on Freemasonry:

THE Principal of Pusey House, Oxford, the Revd Jonathan Baker, is to resign as a Freemason after being encouraged by the Archbishop of Canterbury to reconsider his membership before his consecration as the next Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

It was announced earlier this month (News, 13 May) that Mr Baker would be one of the two new Provincial Episcopal Visitors, to replace Mgr Andrew Burnham, a leader of the RC Ordinariate, who seceded in January…

Mr Baker said that he had reviewed his priorities. “Archbishop Rowan had invited me in discussion to reconsider, amongst other com­mitments, my membership of Freemasonry.” He had decided to resign “because of the particular charism of episcopal ministry and the burden that ministry bears”.

Although this on its face is the right thing to do, given the way he’s messed around with TEC’s follies, it doesn’t make much sense.

The relationship between the Lodge and the Anglican/Episcopal world is more complicated than the latter would like to admit.  Ever wonder why both Lodge and Episcopal churches (and now North American Anglican ones) have Senior and Junior Wardens?  (I had some fun with this issue a while back here.)  And at least one of Williams’ predecessors as Archbishop of Canterbury (Geoffrey Fisher, who crowned Queen Elizabeth II) was very enamoured with Freemasonry, along with other prelates of the Church of England.  In a day when denying the basics of Christianity is the stock in trade of many ministers in the Anglican Communion (especially in the “North”) why Rowan Williams has given a pass to so much while attacking this is another mystery.

The core problem with Christians of any kind being in the Lodge is that Masonry is syncretistic.  It teaches that a) all religions have basically the same goal and b) that Masonry itself is a kind of “super religion” which transcends the rest.  (That applies to Anglophone Masonry; Continental Masonry is atheistic.)  It denies the unique nature of the salvation of Jesus Christ.  This is no different than many of Katharine Jefferts-Schori’s pronouncements on the subject, and one should recall that GC2009 voted down a resolution affirming the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as our road to God.

“You blind guides, to strain out a gnat and to swallow a camel!” Matthew 23:24, TCNT.

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