Contention Among Brethren

Masonry recognizes the right of differences of opinion and freedoms of individual thinking and action on matters where no fundamental principles of the Order are involved; but friction, partyism, schisms, and dissentions in the brotherhood are forbidden. One of the main sources of strength in Freemasonry is unity, solidarity, and conformity in ritual and fraternalism. Here are the Biblical warnings against friction and contention in fraternal relations, and directions for preventing and correcting these evils. ( Matthew 5:23,24 - Mark 3:24,25 - 1 Corinthians 3:3,4 - 1 Corinthians 12:14-26 - James 4:11 )

Biblical References

Matthew 5:23,24

23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

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Mark 3:24,25

24 And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. +++ 1 Corinthians 3:3,4 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

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1 Corinthians 12:14-26

14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked. 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

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James 4:11

Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

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This page is adapted from the Glossary at Phoenixmasonry — Used with permission.

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