It has been suggested recently that a Churches and Loyal Orders forum should be established to provide for closer links between the respective organisations.
It has further been suggested that such a forum may even, in some way, involve the Roman Catholic Church. Doubtless many will view this idea as a positive step, yet I wonder what the Loyal Orders, in particular the Orange Order, can possibly hope to gain from such initiatives.
The Orange Order, and I quote from its website, describes itself as an Institution “set for the defence of Protestantism”. Given the fact that members can attend the Roman Catholic mass without facing sanction, that members can be seen publicly on the 12th of July consuming alcohol and that members have accepted funding from the National Lottery – such a claim is open to very serious questioning.
That aside, if the Orange Order really does with conviction believe in historic, Biblical Protestantism and is determined to defend and promote such in Ulster then I believe that these proposed discussions with the Presbyterian Church and the Church of Ireland will prove to be utterly fruitless.
Remember, Protestantism is essentially Biblical Christianity; its fundamental tenet is the sole supremacy of the Bible in all matters of faith and practice.
I would pose this very simple question, do the leaderships of both mainline Protestant denominations believe in this with every fibre of their being?
If so, why such unbiblical practices as women ministers, bishops and elders? Where in the Bible is the authority for women to hold such offices? Why is such embarrassment expressed by senior ministers, moderators etc when the respective Confessions of Faith are quoted denouncing the mass as an “abomination” or the Pope as “antichrist”? Both of these statements can most definitely be defended from Scripture.
Why such willingness to embrace modern innovations in worship? Why such willingness to abandon the preaching of the pure gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone? Churches, such as those named above, being so riddled with compromise and ecumenism are in no position to defend, promote or maintain Biblical Protestantism.
The Orange Order will find no help from this quarter. A much more profitable course for the membership of the Orange Order would be to study the Bible, to seek God and return to the old paths of obedience to His commands.