[quote="TEPO, post:14, topic:309185"]
I'm not so sure I agree with this paradigm. Secrecy and fraternalism tend to create a 'High Society' type of culture, which is not in line with the definition of a Universal Church based on humbleness -one of the core teachings of Jesus IMHO.
In other words, there is a difference between:
A.) keeping secret as a form of protection, such as what we see in Saudi Arabia today, where Christians are persecuted, and,
B.) Keeping secrets in order to maintain a 'high society' type of fraternity.
...With the casting pearls and giving unholy things to dogs, we should take into consideration the Catholic interpretations of those quotes..
...So this is how I percieve the secrecy of freemasons and Mithra, and their common relationship in contrast with the secrecy of the ancient Church.
...But the Mass or even the stations of the Cross is more than a play, unlike the underlined section above. In Catholicism, we are to believe in things like transubstantiation and that we really are worshiping Jesus as God, not merely His teachings... We are taught that He is the word made flesh, not the other way around. :o
I cannot comment on the current Freemasons, since I am not a member of their fraternity. However, it is my understanding that they were once a Mystery School, but have since degenerated into merely a fraternal organization.
That said, the Mystery schools, like Mithraism, the Mysteries of Eleusias, the Egyptians Mysteries, etc. were not meant to create a tiered society, nor to segregate those who were considered to be "better" or a "higher class." In fact, in order to be a part of them, a person basically had to abandon all attachment to the material world.
You are correct in your view that one reason Christianity was kept secret was as a form of protection. However, the same is true of the Mysteries. However, what is being protected, both in the Mysteries and in the early Church are not just the physical lives of the practitioners. Jesus and Paul actually talk about some of the reasons for the secrecy, which I will get into. Before I get into the various forms of protection that make that secrecy necessary, let's look at the whole quote by Jesus regarding pearls before swine. I originally threw it in just as an allusion, but it is instructive to see it in its entirety, because in it he makes his intentions clear.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
With that as a context, we can get into the various forms of protection accorded by secrecy:
1) Protection of the lives/well-being of those participating in the Mysteries. This is the one you mentioned, and the necessity of this is obvious. The teachings of the Mysteries (and the early Church as well) are an affront to sensibilities of most people, and a repudiation of a materialistic way of life. There are those who would seek to cause harm to the practitioners seeking the Truth, which is what Jesus referred to when he said they will "turn again and rend you."
2) Protection of the sanctity of the Mysteries themselves. This refers to the necessity to treat holy things with respect. If you are a Eucharistic minister, you would not hand the Consecrated Host over to someone who you know is practicing witchcraft, and only wants the host in order to steal it and do horrible things to it. That would be sacrilege, and a disrespect for our Lord. The same principle applies here. It doesn't have to be witchcraft. There are those in the world who make a mockery of religion. Who treat holy things as a joke. And those people are excluded, not out of malice or elitism, but merely to allow them the time to become more mature, so they can approach God in good faith and with a humble heart, thus reaping the spiritual benefits of the rituals, rather than accumulating bad deeds by profaning That which is holy. Thus Jesus warned about the swine "trampling the pearls under their feet."
3) Protection of the souls of those who are not yet mature. This is somewhat related to my previous point, but it goes much deeper. Paul talked about this in 1 Corinthians 3, where he discusses feeding the Corinthians with milk, rather than meat, because they are carnal. The teachings and practices of the Mysteries (and the early Church) were extremely potent. And they could be used for ascending to the heights of holiness, but if used with a polluted mind, and a heart still enmeshed in sinful desires, they would damage the person's soul, serving rather to fortify their desires and deepen their suffering. If you give meat to a baby, it will get sick. The same is true of the Mysteries. So they were concealed out of love for those who were not ready, in order to protect them from the consequences of their own sinful nature, and were revealed once the person was mature enough to utilize the practices to draw closer to God.
4) Protection of those who might be harmed by the Initiates into the Mysteries. As I mentioned earlier, and as you alluded to in your post about the Pharaoh and the boats, the practices taught by the Mystery schools harnessed incredible amounts of energy, and out of recognition that "there is none righteous, no, not one" (Romans 3:10), the practices were kept out of reach of those who might use them to cause unjust harm to other people.