Post by letterorhalveit3 on Feb 4, 2010 9:21:25 GMT
Im sure there are Masons (Mason being short for Freemason) that have stopped paying their dues or cant get to Lodge meetings andhavent been able to for 20 years due to age or health but still wear there rings, etc and consider themselves Freemasons and I tend to agree with that concept. Technically however, I dont know that Grand Lodges consider a Freemason who has been participatory in the Lodge or paid dues for many years to still be a Mason or if they consider them to have left the Order.
But as for Masons who have never belonged to a Lodge, it seems to me that the definition of a Freemason is one that belongs to a AFAM, FAM or Prince Hall Lodge, so I guess the simple answer to your question (in my opinion only) would be no.
"I joined to take over the world and all I got was this lousy t-shirt"
Possibly there are some people who having studied Freemasonry consider themselves to be Freemasons and try to follow the principles thereof in their lives, just as there are some who deem themselves to be Christian but have never been Baptised in any Church. It is not for me to say that such people are invalid.
Generally however to be considered to be a Freemason the person has to have been Initiated in a Masonic Lodge, of whatever Grand Lodge or Constitution depends on a number of variables and is not as such significant as far as "being a Freemason" is concerned although this will be of importance if that person wishes to visit other Lodges etc.
What you may be thinking about are Freemasons who for whatever reason no longer belong to nor attend a Lodge. Unless they have personally disowned Freemasonry and have stated that they no longer consider themselves to be such, I would say that they are still Freemasons even if they no longer take part in the activities of a Lodge. As an example I changed Masonic affiliatuon just over 3 years ago. In my former Grand Lodge I was a member of 15 different Orders over and above Craft Freemasonry. Now some of these such as Royal and Select Master and Red Cross of Constantine are not worked in my new Masonic Obedience but I still consider myself to be for example a R&SM but unable to participate in that Order at this time.