A Publication by Rev Ivan Foster, a Free Presbyterian minister

(October 1999 Issue)

A review of Behind Closed Doors by Free Presbyterian Minister Rev. Ivan Foster. In it he shares his view of the Orange Order and the highly ritualistic Royal Arch Purple Order


Mr. Malcomson’s book undoubtedly highlights a very unpalatable element within Orangeism.


This is no new subject, as is evident by the author’s quotations from many articles and books by evangelical writers. Christians, those who were Orangemen as well as those who were not, have written against the particular ritual, which is the main subject of Mr. Malcomson’s book, from early last century up until the present time. Bible-believers have always been opposed to the ritualistic paganism of Freemasonry and all that pertains to it. Orangeism, with its ritualism, in this matter bears a close resemblance to Freemasonry.


The author claims that 95% of Orangemen have been initiated as Royal Arch Purplemen and that every member of the Royal Black Institution as well as the Independent Orange Order, is likewise an initiated Purple man. That means that the vast majority of those belonging to the Loyal Orders have been participants in a ritual which the author, like many before him, says is pagan in its origins, irrespective of the attempts to give it some veneer of “Christianity” by the employment of phrases and terms from the Word of God. The book details what is claimed are the exact procedures used in initiation into the Royal Arch Purple Order. If the book is accurate, and I have no reason to doubt it, then no Christian should submit himself to such a pagan ritual. Those being initiated become involved in a denial of gospel truth that beggars belief. This can not rest easily upon any Christian’s conscience. It must surely trouble those who are true Christians and who have submitted themselves to this ritual. I cannot believe that any Christian who has been initiated into this Order can look clinically at this initiation rite without a sense of shame both for its anti-Christian character and its plain foolishness. It is at best schoolboy tomfoolery of the lowest order and, at its worst, bordering on the occult.


Unless Christians who belong to the Royal Arch Purple Order can refute Mr. Malcomson’s claims and those of successive Christian writers, then they must find it very difficult to justify a claim that they have God’s approval for their membership of an organisation that engages in such a ritual.

Rev. Ivan Foster

For more information, please William Schnoebelen’s enlightening book Masonry Beyond the Light

Protestant/Evangelical opposition to the Loyal Orders

United Protestant Council initial report into the Royal Black Institution application
United Protestant Council exhaustive report into the Royal Black Institution application
The Association of Baptist Churches in Ireland report on Loyal Orders
A Theological Report by the Church of Ireland – on the RBI
Reformed Presbyterian Church and the Orange Order
The Covenanter Witness (Reformed Presbyterian)
The Burning Bush – A Publication by Rev Ivan Foster, a Free Presbyterian minister.
Baptist Magazine
Rev. Norman W McAuley (Presbyterian Church in Ireland)
Independent Methodist Pastor Paul Johnston
The English Churchman (Rev Dr Paul Ferguson)
Church of Ireland General Synod Sub Committee
Ulster Christian
Omega Times – Newspaper of New Zealand Evangelist, Barry Smith
Take Heed Ministries (Cecil Andrew)
British Churchman (Johnny Larner)

Former Royal Black Deputy Grand Chaplain (Rev. Canon Brian T. Blacoe)
Former Royal Black Lecturer, Orange Worshipful Master and Royal Arch Purple Worshipful Master (Malcolm McClughan)
United Protestant Council Chairman (David Carson)
Former County Down Orange Treasurer, Worshipful Master, Deputy Master, and Chaplain – Jackson Blakely
Former County Londonderry Orange and Royal Arch Purpleman Andrew Evans
Former County Armagh Orange, Royal Arch Purple and (Red Cross) Blackman Alex Newell
Former County Tyrone Orange Chaplain and Orange/Small Purple Lecturer Paul Stewart (also former Red Cross Blackman)

Lodges Examined by the Bible by John R. Rice