Independent Orange Order Fighting for its Very Survival
Not too long ago (in 2003), the Independent Orange Order had 26 lodges and bands marching at its annual Twelfth parade in Ballymoney. 11 years later at the 2014 Twelfth they had barely 20 lodges. By any standard, this is a swift, startling and historic demise. But what is more concerning for the Independent Order is the alarming fall in Lodge sizes. The numbers of Orangemen walking behind each band at the last Independent Orange Order Twelfth averaged no more than 10 men. Some lodges didn’t even have enough Orangemen to carry the lodge banner. Non-Orangemen had to assist with that duty. This is truly unprecedented! What is concerning current members most is that the average age of members on the march now is pension age. If this situation continues much longer the organisation will soon be resigned to the annuls of history.
The membership in Ulster today is obviously in free-fall. It has crashed from around about 2,000 members 20 years ago to only around 200 active members today. Even the most committed Independent Orangeman cannot deny that this is a colossal collapse. There is no doubt the Independent Orange Order is fighting for its very survival. More lodges will have to amalgamate soon in order to ensure the continuation of the Independent Orange Order.
Drunkenness and anti-social behaviour
The Independent Orange Order, like the senior Orange Order, has experienced great problems in recent years with the matter of drunkenness and anti-social behaviour among its members. And although this problem has existed for years in its lodges in England and Scotland it is now creeping into the Independents in Northern Ireland (East Antrim is a case-in-point). The problem of drunkenness in the Independent Orange Order coincided with the wide-scale recruitment of paramilitary elements in the aforementioned areas. Not surprisingly, the Independent’s membership (especially believers) has since dipped drastically in these areas. It has also been revealed recently that the Provincial Independent Orange Order in Liverpool is now holding its Lodge meetings in a public house on the Lord’s day. This behaviour shows the compromise that exists internally within this underground fraternity and reflects the dubious spiritual credentials of the Independent Orange Order.
In recent years the Free Presbyterian Church has distanced itself more and more from the political and the cultural and moved more towards the spiritual. Most younger Free Presbyterian ministers are not interested in joining oath-bound secret fraternities; they are more interested in a spiritual awakening. Many Free Presbyterian ministers today have a difficulty with members participating in the neo-Masonic rituals of the Loyal Orders and partnering up with ungodly men in a religious fraternities. They hold that Christians should be spiritually separated from the world, not unequally yoked. This has stemmed the flow of new members into the fraternity. Most evangelical Christians have a difficulty with ritualism. They see this as the pathway to Roman Catholicism. More and more Christians are opposed to the neo-Masonic superstitious rites of the Royal Arch Purple degree that see the candidates stripped, blind-folded, degraded and threatened against divulging any of the secrets of this Order. This has occurred over this past 20 years as the practices, secrets and rituals of the Orange Order and the Independent Orange Order have been brought into the public arena. Amazingly, a member cannot hold office within the Independent Orange Order unless they have actually travelled the degrading Royal Arch Purple degree degree.
Many Bible-believing Christians have a major difficulty with the whole concept of hiding the Scriptures behind closed doors, funny password and esoteric passwords. If these fraternities possess the truth, why do they have do so scrupulously conceal it death-threats on its members if they ever divulge the secrets? The fact is: their teaching is Masonic and unbiblical. If it were widely known more Christian would renounce them. Free Presbyterians are also uncomfortable with the senior Order of the Independent Orange Institution – the Knight of Malta. The Knights of Malta takes it name and inspiration from the secretive ritualistic Papal Roman Catholic Knights of Malta Order. Most Free Presbyterians are strongly opposed to any encroachment of the Roman Catholic Church. The leading advocate for this Catholic Order today is Mr Mervyn Storey (MLA ). All members of the Knights of Malta must have risen to the neo-Masonic Royal Arch Purple degree in the Independent Orange Order to be qualified for membership.
Former Grand Chaplain exposed
The plight and moral of the Independent Orange Order has not been helped by the recent scandal relating to its former spiritual leader Grand Chaplain David McConaghie. He was found guilty of voyeurism: having hidden a camera in DUP MP David Simpson’s office toilet. David McConaghie was also press officer for the Loyal Orders’ PR machine the Caleb Foundation. This sent shock waves through the Independent Orange Order.
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American Freemasonry is crumbling
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Orange Order PR debacle
Orange Order in disarray
Loyal Orange Lodge membership in stark decline
The decline of the Royal Black Institution
Independent Orange Order fighting for its very survival
Newspaper articles, reviews and debate following the release of Behind Closed Doors
Evangelical Truth response to Independent Orange Institution attack on Behind Closed Doors.
An indepth study of the highly-secretive Independent Orange Institution. We will look at their history, secrets and degrees of the Order.
Questions Christian Orangemen should consider
View the overall Orange degree system
A biblical analysis of the Royal Arch Purple degree