Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Orange Men Ride Goats

One of the few paintings that has nothing to do with poker, it displays a jester performing an act to entertain a royal couple. The title, "Riding the goat," has been wrongly associated with initiation into the Masonic Lodge. It is sometimes used as a joke between members and potential members. Cash was involved with the Masonic Temple, so this could possibly have been a joke for other members.

An "Unknown Mason" gives the following insight into this picture:

The Cassius Coolidge dog picture of "Riding the Goat" is Masonic in nature and yes it is sometimes used as a joke between members and potential members. It depicts one of the first three principal degrees of Freemasonry.

The dog riding the goat is wearing a blindfold. The blindfold is an important part of the first three degrees of Freemasonry and has a specific and symbolic meaning in each degree. The rope around his neck is called a "cable toe" and it too has a particular, significant and symbolic meaning in the particular degree this picture represents.

The three dogs sitting to the left at the desk indicate the three principal officers of any Masonic Lodge and on the necklace type collars they are wearing are the jewels of their office (each jewel being of a different shape and having it own significant meaning).

The dog to the right of the three at the desk is wearing a red cap. In Scottish Rite Masonry this cap is the emblem of a KCCH mason. A couple of the dogs are wearing blue caps. This too has a particular meaning in Scottish Rite Masonry. It is symbol that represents a fifty-year mason (meaning he was initiated fifty or more years ago).

So as you can see, there are things in the picture that any Mason can clearly see.

This book has rocked the Orange world in Ireland and has resulted in the resignation of large numbers of men from the Orange Order. The author is a former member of the Royal Arch Purple Order who resigned from the organisation several years ago. Being aware of the great ignorance which surrounds many of the practices and teaching of the Order he undertook an in-depth study of the institution. With much research, over the years, he discovered that many of the practices and teaching to have originated in Pagan Masonry.

Behind Closed Doors - the Hidden Structure Within the Orange Order, 

 "Obtaining any useful information on the highly ritualistic Royal Arch Purple initiation is fraught with many difficulties due mainly to the fact that both the Orange Order and the Independent Orange Institution are secret societies which zealously guard their secrets and mysteries from the uninitiated. It is fair to say they have succeeded in guarding their practices, teaching and symbolism over the years where even Freemasonry has failed. Published material on the degree is therefore rare."

Not only have many men resigned from the Orange Order recently but many more have been decided not to join this order through the reading of this book. As no one is aware of the demeaning character of this ceremony before being initiated, it is imperative to warn young Protestants males (the only people eligible to join) before joining.

The elaborate, highly ritualistic, Arch Purple initiation clearly belongs far outside the bounds of evangelical Protestantism. Such an outrageous theatrical display becomes a barrier to truth for the initiate rather than an appropriate channel to reach him. This type of nonsense is contrary to the traditional mode of service that Protestants have always enjoyed. In no place in Scripture do we see any semblance of instruction for believers to behave in such an unseemly manner. As evangelicals we must therefore oppose such evil encroachments. God's Word says: "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it" (Deuteronomy 12:32).

From the Author

I have dedicated this book - behind closed doors - to my late father Will Malcomson who brought me up in the fear and admonition of God. And having faithfully preached the Word of God for many years taught me by example that I was saved to serve.The purpose of this research has been to break through the veil of mystery and secrecy surrounding the Orange Order's secret internal ritualistic body - the Royal Arch Purple and to examine it from an evangelical perspective. In doing so I was primarily directing this publication at fellow believers, especially those within the Orange Order, enabling fair, open and informed analysis of the subject. The Lord Jesus Christ said, "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad" (Mark 4:22).

In addressing such a sensitive matter I was aware that some may question my actions or even misunderstand my motives, but it is my simple desire to lift up the name of our beloved Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ and to "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude v3).
In addressing this subject I am primarily trying to establish whether the origins, practices, teaching and symbolism of the Royal Arch Purple Order are compatible with the infallible truth of God's Word or whether, as some evangelicals claim, the Order is nothing better than veiled Freemasonry embodying much unbiblical error, and therefore worthy of condemnation. The Bible declares: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil" (1Thessalonians 5:21-22).

This book is not an attack upon Protestantism nor is it designed to undermine the traditional Unionist / Loyalist position in Northern Ireland. I have no axe to grind with any individual within the Orange Order, nor is it my intention to embarrass anyone by the publication of this book.

Lorraine Boettner in his book 'Roman Catholicism' ably outlines the evangelical Protestant position on traditionalism when he affirms, "We do not reject all tradition, but rather make judicious use of it in so far as it accords with Scripture and is founded on truth." Any time there has been a measure of true reform within the Church, there is nothing held valid simply because of antiquity or tradition. Men have submitted themselves to the instruction of God's Word, abandoning the objectionable teachings and inventions of man.

Man-made brotherhoods by their very existence are an anathema to a thrice-holy God. Whilst veiled with religious trappings and outward respectability, they are subtly designed on the devil's drawing board to be an alternative to, and a counterfeit of, the true brotherhood of believers, the Church.
This brotherhood of believers is not only ordered of God, but is created by Him for His glory and the extension of His blessed Kingdom. This body, the Church, is the sole institution ordained of God for the proclamation and defence of the Word of God, and has Christ as its supreme ruling Head. The Bible says, that God "hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:22-23).

The human body, so harmoniously fitted together, is presented in Scripture as a beautiful picture of the mystical union between Christ and the Church. By virtue of that union, the child of God enjoys spiritual unity and communion with that body of believers. The Bible says, "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ" (1 Corinthians 12:12).

The instrument God uses to bind the believer to Christ is the Holy Spirit. The true believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and is therefore joined to Christ through the work of the Spirit. The Bible says, "He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit" (I Corinthians 6:17). Every believer united to Christ is thus united to His brethren by the Spirit, all being members of the body of Christ. Ephesians 4:16 says, "The whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth."

Every member has a unique part to play in the development of the body. None are there by chance, all have been the focus of God's special grace and mercy, being chosen in Christ and purchased by His precious blood. The Bible says, "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men" (1 Corinthians 7:23).

Secret societies by their very existence are an alternative to the body of believers the Church, and thus deprive Christ of His rightful place in men's lives. Found within these institutions are all the component parts of the Church, albeit in imitation form. They even mimic God's people by portraying themselves as a brotherhood, referring to their fellow members as 'brethren' and the individual member as 'brother'. Nevertheless Jesus said, "For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother" (Matthew 12:50).

Christians have no right to undermine their privileged position within the body of believers by joining such man-made counterfeits. Such compromise, damages their walk with God, weakens their commitment to the body of believers and flies in the face of Scripture.
It is my great hope that through reading this publication many people will come to a real understanding of the true character and workings of the Orange Order and the Royal Arch Purple degree in particular and that those believers within the Order will prayerfully consider the material outlined. Jesus said, "when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13).

"The Royal Arch Purple candidate is led round the Chapter room three times in a time-honoured heathen manner...the floor of which is covered in branches and brambles, so as to ensure the journey is one of obvious suffering for the barefooted candidate.During his three journeys round the Chapter room, the candidate (without warning) is violently whipped on his legs with brambles and branches by the assembled brethren. This practice normally results in varying amounts of cuts and bruises to the initiate, depending on the brethren administering such, the candidate enduring a symbolic fall, each lap of the hall.
The whipping of the initiate's legs and the barefooted travel over brambles and branches is painfully endured by the candidate to the accompaniment of hilarious laughter from all those present, many imitating goat bleats, (reminding the candidate of his impending ride on the goat). This deeply offensive practice is carefully designed to further humiliate the nervous candidate. Amazingly, such ridiculous buffoonery is accompanied by the reading of Holy Scripture.

The three journeys of the candidate round 'the wilderness' are accompanied by three great falls symbolising the candidate's victory over death and the grave. As the candidate is led round the room the first time he sustains a fall, and is raised up, on the words "O death, where is thy sting?" He is then led round again and receives the second fall, and is raised up, on the words "O grave, where is thy victory?"
At the top of this ladder, the blindfolded Arch Purple candidate is made to kneel upon a representation of a coffin. The Royal Arch Purple lecturers then outline the importance and profound significance of this solemn act to him: "With my knees upon a representation of a coffin, my toes extended over the earth, to testify that I was duly prepared to suffer death and all its penalties, before I would divulge anything I had received, or was about to receive." Here the candidate agrees, by symbolically kneeling upon a representation of a coffin, to suffer the destruction of his own life before he would divulge the bogus teaching of this man-made counterfeit order. Yet Jesus says, "For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them" (Luke 9:56).

After the gravity of his obligation is further impressed upon the Arch Purple candidate the assembled Chapter gather at the back of the steps ('Jacob's ladder') and unfold a large canvas blanket. The blindfolded initiate, who has his back to the blanket is then told to cross his arms whilst still kneeling upon a representation of a coffin.

He is then asked, by the lecturers, "In whom do you put your trust?" The nervous candidate answers "God" (normally with a little prompting from his guide) whereupon he receives a violent push backward unto the blanket. Here he undergoes one of the most painful and humiliating experiences within the Royal Arch Purple ceremony, when he is brutally kicked and tossed upon the blanket by the assembled Chapter for a number of minutes. This practice is known as "riding the goat."
There is no greater proof of the corrupt nature of the Royal Arch Purple Order than this demeaning farce. How anyone could interpret it as anything other than an organised disgrace defies belief. One wonders how any Christian could defend such an irreligious sham and explain how it at all promotes holy living or respect for one's fellow man. The Bible solemnly states: "be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD" (Isaiah 52:11).

At the end of his "ride on the goat" the candidate is rolled up in a bundle and carried in the canvas or sackcloth sheet to the north-west corner of the Chapter room, where he is informed of the consequences of disloyalty to the Royal Arch Purple. Two lecturers converse to explain the penalties as follows: "Can you explain to me the three great and solemn penalties of a Royal Arch Purpleman? First - That I would suffer my throat cut across from ear to ear, my tongue torn out by its roots, and with my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, two and a half cable tow lengths from where the tide ebbs and flows, about twice in a natural day, before I would divulge. Second - That I would suffer my left breast torn open, my heart and vitals taken therefrom, and with my body given to the vultures of the air, or the wild beasts of the field, as a prey, before I would divulge. Third and last - That I would suffer no less a penalty thanthat of having my body severed in two, one part carried east, the other west, taken to the top of some high hill or mountain, the parts thereof burned to ashes, the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven, so that not a vestige of such a vile or perjured wretch as I should remain amongst men, more especially Royal Arch Purple men, should I divulge, part or parts, secret or sign, sign or token, of anything I had received, or was about to receive, or may hereafter be instructed in, unless to a brother Royal Arch Purpleman, well knowing him to be such, after strict trial and due examination, or upon the word of a well-known brother." One must ask, how a believer could be part of an Order that confers such evil spiritual bondage upon its members. One wonders what pathetic defence they could give for bestowing such barbaric penalties on the initiate in the light of Holy Writ, or what shred of contrived justification could be uttered to explain how such repugnant rhetoric in any way promotes the Protestant Faith?

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