I'm going to play a game of "What if?":
What if Dan Brown's upcoming book, tenatively titled "The Solomon Key," spurs support for some controversial history or controversial interpretations of Masonry that some of the Brethren accept, while some are indifferent, and others fervently reject? Many people have been wondering what the fraternity will do to handle the publicity, in order to capitalize on it and reap the harvest of those men whom it may attract to the Fraternity.
However, if "The Da Vinci Code" has taught us anything, it seems to have divided opinions of the Christians (whose own history was the subject) right down the middle. Many people heralded the message of The Da Vinci Code, and encouraged study of Brown's, and other alternative views of their history, while many more have treated it as a heretical view, necessary to be defended against.
This disagreement had all the potential to create a schism in Christianity, except for one thing - Christianity is already schismed. There are so many churches and many of them recognize each other, but they agree to disagree on many of the finer points of their doctrine and theology.
Freemasonry, at least in the United States, is not schismed in this manner. Or, rather, any schism that exists is unbalanced, because the "regular" Grand Lodges outweigh any other competing system by an incredibly enormous amount. So what if the content of this book presents something which gains equally strong opposing views by members of The Craft? Views that some of the Brethren will welcome as a valid attraction for new candidates, and others will utterly reject as "clandestine views" (or, "heretical", as it may be.)
If this happens, will we be prepared to maintain harmony within the Lodge? Can we respect our fellow brethren, if they think things, and even encourage things different than our own personal views? Can we survive through a 50/50 split opinion on a popular and relevant topic?
I'm making no claims as to what the issue itself might be, merely looking at Dan Brown's track record, and he sure seems to know how to pull the right strings.
If you haven't already, you may want to listen to X-Oriente #005 The Perfect Storm in connection with this post, as it was part of my inspiration to write this.
Steps to the Endowment.
10 months ago