FREEMASONRY: DIFFERENT MEMBERS, ONE BODY
There is much controversy over the authority of Grand Masters regarding other houses, over Heads of other houses and their authority, ladies and their places in Freemasonry, etc. We do not presume to try to teach others in this matter, but we do share what we do in Arkansas. Being a preacher, I usually seek answers in the Holy Bible for clarification, and it is to that Great Light that I turn to for the substance regarding this matter.
THE STRUCTURE OF FREEMASONRY: 1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-31 (Interesting Reading)
THE GRAND MASTER - THE HEAD - The brain, the center of power and being.
THE GRAND LODGE - THE HEART - The head and heart are husband and wife, and both are styled MOST WORSHIPFUL!
THE SUBORDINATE LODGES - THE BODY PROPER - Without it, no need for 1 & 2.
THE CONCORDANT OR AFFILIATED BODIES - Necessary for the movement of the body.
A. ROYAL ARCH - AN ARM.
B. KNIGHTS TEMPLAR - AN ARM.
C. CONSISTORY - A LEG.
D. SHRINE - A LEG.
"The four corners of your temple."
"The four 'principal' tribes of Israel." Exodus 25 and Numbers 25.
These are the main structures of Freemasonry, following the numerical equation found in Freemasonry called the 3, 4 and 5 steps, for a total of 12, the "number of the people." This explained thusly, and is found in Exodus 25:8-18:
3 - Three cavities in the body; ABDOMINAL CAVITY; CHEST CAVITY; BRAIN CAVITY. These 'cavities' represent the first Three Degrees of the Blue House, from which all others follow or emanate from them. This is why the Third Degree is called the "HIGHEST DEGREE!"
4 - THE CONCORDANT OR AFFILIATED BODIES, OR "GATES TO THE TEMPLE." 2 arms, 2 legs. These represent the Royal Arch, Knights Templar, Consistory and the Shrine, the 'Mobility of the Order.'
5 - EXODUS 26: tells us of the measurements of the Temple, and therefore, the five represent the female houses, coming from the 'fingers' and 'toes' of body. These are your APPENDANT BODIES of Eastern Star, Heroines of Jericho, Cyrenes/Crusaders, Golden Circle and Daughters of Isis.
What happens if there is disharmony in the body; in the lodge, the chapter, the temple, the consistory, the commandery? Matthew 5:29, 30. If a member of the body offends, you don't kill the body; get rid of the bad member! These are Jesus' words! So it goes with the System of Freemasonry. It's the philosophical rendering of "one bad apple spoiling the whole barrel."
On the other hand, when all parts of the body are working in peace and harmony, success is realized, membership grows, finances increase, publicity abounds, negative comments cease, etc. This will put you in Union with Christ, as found in 1 Corinthians 6:15-17 give us alternatives; follow the wiles of the world, or follow the teachings of Christ and get a just reward. When all parts of the body are working together in peace and harmony, we will become one in the spirit with God, and is not this what we are looking for?
When we become one with the workings of the Head (Grand Master), the Heart, the Grand Lodge and the Subordinate Lodges, the arms and legs move in the right directions, giving more meaning to the purposes of the body, finger and toes provide the stability of the whole. No part of the body is considered "little" just as no part of the body is considered "big." There are no "Little Masons" just like there are no "Big Masons!"
The Head and Heart are in command; the body proper gives life; the arms and legs give mobility and the extremities (fingers and toes) give stability. The Three Degrees can do without the other parts, but couldn't move or hold anything. Could go to an object, but without the fingers and toes, could not pick it up to eat or use it. A tail does not wag a dog in any sense of the word, and all orders go down, never up!
We are many members, but just one body! Whether we sink or swim as a fraternity will depend not on who is the oldest or the biggest or the most colorful, but how we have worked together as a body, not your thing, my thing, but OUR THING!