What is the Orange Order??
The Orange Order - as it presently exists - came into existence after the Battle of the Diamond, near Loughgall, on 21st September 1795. The purpose of the Orange Order was to bring together the 'Protestants' of various denominations - Episcopalian - Presbyterian - Independents - Huguenots - Quakers - into one homogenous grouping to maintain their Protestant religion and way of life and as a distinctive affirmation that they intended to hold fast to the FREEDOM of religion won at such a high cost at the Reformation. The Orange Order became an international organization through emigration, military lodges and evangelism, providing the benefits of a religious and fraternal organization. Military Warrants were issued from the earliest years of the Institution and this added to the growth of Orangeism as serving soldiers carried their culture and identity throughout the Empire. Orangeism spread to Montreal, Canada in 1818, Australia in 1845, Togo in 1915 and Ghana in 1928.
The Orange Order is fundamentally a CHRISTIAN organisation, as the BASIS of the Institution states:- "The Institution is composed of Protestants, united and resolved to the utmost of their power to support and defend the .....the Protestant Religion." The Orange Institution therefore unites Protestants of all the Reformed denominations, in opposition to Biblical error and the encouragement of Scriptural truth. According to the 'BASIS', to which all members must assent before admission into the institution, "It is exclusively an Association of those who are attached to the religion of the Reformation," The religion of the reformation is both spiritual and moral (BELIEF & DUTY).
The Institution stands in the reformed tradition as the various statements contained in the 'Qualifications' illustrate:- . LOVE FOR GOD - "a sincere love and veneration for his Heavenly Father". "He should never take the name of God in vain". . FAITH IN CHRIST - "steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind". . AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE - "he should honour and diligently study the Holy Scriptures and make them the rule of his faith and practice". . RESPECT FOR SUNDAY - "he should remember to keep holy the Sabbath day, and attend the public worship of God.
There is also something of a 'bonding' between the members of the Orange Institution, because those things which we share in common and hold dear are much more important than things which may divide us.
The brotherly bond which unites the members is based on a spirit of tolerance, tolerance toward those within the brotherhood with whom there may be differences of emphasis and towards those outside the brotherhood who differ from us in religious persuasion. The Orange Institution emphasises this in the BASIS OF THE INSTITUTION which states:- "and will not admit into its brotherhood persons whom an intolerant spirit leads to persecute, injure, or upbraid any man on account of his religious opinions. IF YOU ARE A PRACTISING PROTESTANT IN THE TRULY RELIGIOUS SENSE;- REGULARLY AT YOUR PLACE OF WORSHIP, MORALLY UPRIGHT IN YOUR LIFE, AND IF YOU DISPLAY A TOLERANT SPIRIT TOWARDS THOSE WITH WHOM YOU MAY DISAGREE, THEN YOU WILL BE WELCOME WITHIN THE ORANGE INSTITUTION.
Basis of the Institution
The Institution is composed of Protestants, united and resolved to the utmost of their power to support and defend the rightful Sovereign, the Protestant Religion, the Laws of the Realm, and the Succession to the Throne in the House of Windsor, BEING PROTESTANT; and united further for the defence of their own Persons and Properties, and the maintenance of the Public Peace. It is exclusively and Association of those who are attached to the religion of the Reformation, and will not admit into its brotherhood persons whom an intolerant spirit leads to persecute, injure, or upbraid any man on account of his religious opinions. They associate also in honour of KING WILLIAM III, Prince of Orange, whose name they bear, as supporters of his glorious memory.
As Orangemen our trust is in God and our faith and dependence is in Jesus Christ, the Saviour and Lord of mankind. Our purpose is to maintain the Christian faith by word and deed; to propagate and defend that faith which we have received from the Church of the New Testament through the faithfulness of the Protestant Reformers. It is Christ-centred, Bible-based, Church-grounded. By it we are moulded in character and conduct.
The Orange Institution is set for the defence of Protestantism. This is true to the intention of Orangemen who are committed to the Christian faith with its Reformation emphasis on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as the Lord and Saviour of mankind. There are also the Protestant beliefs in freedom of conscience; the priesthood of all believers and the primary place and purpose of the Holy Bible in Christian faith and conduct.
We proclaim "Civil and religious liberty for all : special privileges for none". We do not deny to others their civil and religious liberties; we expect the same tolerance from them. We shall be strong for truth, for peace, for the making of a good, fair and just society to which we shall contribute liberally as good citizens.
Our Mission and what we stand for:
-Working together for the Betterment of Family and Community and Canada.
-Democratic Government-For the People and by the People.
-Promoting and Maintaining the Protestant Faith.
-The Public School system.
-Maintaining the Monarchy.
-Supremacy of Law
-A United Canada.
The Orange Order is a branch of the Christian Church, as the word 'Church' in scripture has always one meaning, and one only - an assembly of the people of God - a society of Christians. We encourage our members to actively participate in a Protestant Church of their choice.