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

Evangelical Truth debate with Independent Orange Institution

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

Other Debate

Evangelical Truth response to Former Independent Orange Grand Master’s attack on Behind Closed Doors.
Biblical response to Rev. Ron Johnstone (Royal Arch Purple Chapter spokesman): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6
Grand Chaplain to the Grand Orange Lodge of England JRG Harvey book in response to Behind Closed Doors: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

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