Ulster Christian Review of Behind Closed Doors (Issue 27)
The author lives in Banbridge in County Down and is a member of Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast. After many years of research, he has written this book detailing the inner workings of the Royal Arch Purple Order, an organisation within the loyal orders. The Arch Purple is somewhat secretive – hence the title of the book – but this book examines the origins, practices teaching and symbols of the Order in the light of scriptural teaching.
Since much of what takes place ‘behind closed doors’ then we have nothing by which to judge the accuracy of this book. We have the author’s own word for it after his extensive research that the bizarre practises which he details do indeed take place regularly and form part of the order’s rituals. Although originally abhorred by mainstream Orangeism, the Arch Purple has gained a degree of credence this century and former hostility has all but been extinguished. Orange lodges with a Royal Arch Purple Chapter simply hold the Chapter meeting at the end of a regular lodge meeting.
Malcomson details every step of the extreme inauguration ceremony of a Royal Arch Purple man and explains the various oaths taken and commitments entered into. These are shown to be in most cases to be contrary to Scripture – at best wildly erroneous and at worst almost blasphemous. The inescapable conclusion of the author is that this is not an order that evangelical Christians should have any part of. As Ian Murray once said, “Error preached as truth, has contributed to the delusion of multitudes who are lost.”
It is not an easy book to read, dealing as it does with issues totally unknown to the vast majority of us. It has a very definite and specific target – the Royal Arch Purple and it hits that target very hard. The rest of us may only be interested onlookers in the dispute but this book is disturbing in its implications for those who hold on to membership of loyal orders despite the obvious unscriptural nature of many of the practises.
The Editor – Trevor Ramsey
The response of George Dawson (Imperial Grand Master of the Independent Orange Institution).
Readers response (including the author of ‘Behind Closed Doors’ – Paul Malcomson).
Second response of George Dawson (Imperial Grand Master of the Independent Orange Institution).
Evangelical Truth reply to George Dawson
Evangelical Truth response to Independent Orange Institution attack on Behind Closed Doors.