Evangelical Truth reply to Mr George Dawson’s letters
At the time of this letter George Dawson was Grand Master of the Independent Orange Institution.
Having analysed the substance of Mr George Dawson’s two letters of complaint to the Ulster Christian (28 & 30) objecting to the Ulster Christian’s review of Behind Closed Doors, we are left wondering what his actual grounds for concern really are. He fails to advance any biblical arguments to refute Behind Closed Doors. What is more, he fails to answer any of the Ulster Christian readers concerns about his position (Ulster Christian 30), choosing rather to fudge the subject with evasive replies and inaccurate generalities.
This is most marked in his refusal to condemn Freemasonry in a question from Ulster Christian reader A Evans. We are not surprised at his unwillingness to condemn Freemasonry, as to do so would force him to condemn his own Order – the Independent Orange Institution (with its neo-Masonic Royal Arch Purple degree).
Whilst he is careful to conceal his pro-Masonic views in public, he privately attacks the strong biblical stance of the book’s author Paul Malcomson against Freemasonry. In a secret internal Independent Orange memo to his members, he complains: “Mr Malcomson would have us reject William of Orange who was a member of the Masonic Order. He would also have us reject all the Hymns of Charles Wesley. Charles Wesley was after all a prominent Mason.”
This logic is flawed in the extreme in that his reasoning is built upon a sandy foundation. Man’s opinions or example (however well known or spiritual they are) never prove what is right or wrong. The Bible alone is the litmus test. This is an elementary standard Protestant fundamental. The Protestant Reformation being built upon three great principles, ‘Sola Scriptura’ – By Scripture alone, ‘Sola Gratia’ – By Grace alone, ‘Sola Fide’ – By Faith alone. The actions of others (whether they are Christian or not) in no-way justifies Freemasonry or the bona-fides of its practices and teaching. This is not the way evangelicals prove something is authentic. It is surprising that a professed evangelical would assume such a position.
Isaiah 8:20 says: “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
Galatians 1:9 states, “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Romans 3:4 puts it well, “let God be true, but every man a liar.”
Scripture alone must be the evidence that determines what is right and wrong.This foundation is rock solid.
Besides all this, the material he outlines is wildly inaccurate. Firstly, King William of Orange died on 8th March 1702 – fifteen years before speculative Masonry was formed in 1717. Secondly, there is absolutely no historic evidence that Charles Wesley the hymn writer was, before or after his conversion, a speculative Freemason. Such is a scurrilous attack upon the character and memory of both these men. Mr Dawson certainly needs to check out his facts.
Mr Dawson also sidesteps four pertinent questions advanced by the Ulster Christian contributor Mr Paul Johnston.
1) “Is the RAP initiate assured he can make an obligation to the organization which will not hinder him in his duty to God, country or one’s self and then finds this to be contradicted by sealing him to keep the secrets of his fellow RAP men in everything except ‘murder and treason’? What about theft, fraud etc.?”
2) “Christian’s are taught ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’, is it true the RAP man is only bound to the promise not to have ‘unlawful carnal knowledge of a brother RAP’s wife, mother, daughter, sister or any near or dear female relatives’? Surely he should be bound to have no unlawful carnal knowledge with anyone?”
3) “Is it true the RAP initiate is told he has received the ‘light’ which is later referred to as the ‘marvelous light’ knowing that both terms refer to Christ Jesus, and rather than receiving it through the ministry of the Holy Ghost, one receives it through the ministry of the Worshipful Master?”
4) “Is the RAP initiate told he will get to the ‘Grand Lodge above’ by ‘the careful regulation of his life’, yet there is no mention of the blood of Christ or his atoning work, repentance or forgiveness from sin.”
Mr Dawson fudges these important queries by stating “Question one and three are as a result of a lack of understanding, or a lack of knowledge, of context.” He then adds “Question 2 is as inaccurate in content as it is nonsensical”
This is not an explanation (or justification) for these practices but a blatant avoidance.
Mr Dawson continues: “The extensive list of evangelical leaders mightily used of God in this country, and overseas, ranging from Rev. Hugh Hanna and Rev. TC Hammond in previous generations to Rev. Ron Johnston and Rev. William McCrea in this, are testimony to the fact that Evangelical Protestantism is not damaged by recipients of the Royal Arch Purple Degree. Are these men guilty of promoting paganism as Mr Malcomson and his supporters suggest?
Please note Mr Dawson presents no Scripture to support his argument. There are no biblical examples. There is not one text from the Old or New Testament. There is nothing explicit or nothing obscure. The reason is, the Royal Arch Purple degree is extra-biblical. Its home is Freemasonry and its formulators were committed Masons. This degree has nothing to do with biblical Christianity but belongs deep within the dark recesses of pagan Masonry.
Mr Dawson throws out a wild claim in regard to Rev. Hanna and Rev. Hammond, making no effort to substantiate his assertion, saying they “were recipients of the Royal Arch Purple Degree.” Where does he get this information? Like many historic claims made by secret society spokesmen they lack validity. They are factually and fundamentally flawed.
Whilst the Rev.Johnston and Rev. McCrea are members of the neo-Masonic RAP, this proves nothing on its bona-fides.
Again, Mr Dawson builds his argument upon sand. The spiritual authenticity of any religious organisation, teaching or practice is not determined by the adherent but by the Scriptures. This is a common argument within the “Loyal” Orders.
Interestingly, whilst many evangelicals today have been lured into the degrading Arch Purple Chapter, Rev. Hanna and Rev. Hammond lived in a day when Orangeism strongly opposed the iniquitous practices and the erroneous teaching of the Royal Arch Purple and Black degrees. Mr Dawson provides no evidence to prove that either man was a member of the neo-Masonic Royal Arch Purple Order. The reason is they weren’t. In fact, there is strong evidence to the contrary. They, like most Bible-believing Christian in their day, considered these Orders as pagan and anti-Protestant. If they had joined the RAP or Black they would immediately have been expelled from the Orange Order, which they weren’t.
Defending the justness of any belief or practice by listing the names of men who are, or were allegedly, part of the Order, whether famous or little known, Christian or non-Christian, reveals a fundamental flaw in any position. This reasoning is contrary to the consistent evangelical Protestant view of what truth is and how it is determined.
Jesus said in John 17:17: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Paul the Apostle, “what saith the scriptures” (Romans 4:3). On this overriding test alone, the RAP stands naked, exposed and condemned.
Evangelical Truth debate with Independent Orange Institution
Ulster Christian review of Behind Closed Doors
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 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.
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
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