A Bible-Based Look At the Grange
The Grange is formally known as "The Order of the Patrons of Husbandry." Openly, it seems a relatively harmless organization like the Farmers Co-op. However, beyond the basic membership level there are higher levels where you must swear oaths and partake in secret rituals.
That alone should be a problem for Christians (cf. Matt. 5:34-37). However, it is actually quite a pagan organization. The higher degrees (5th-7th) are named after the pagan goddesses Pomona, Flora and Demeter. The four lower degrees correspond to the four faces of the great mother goddess and she is worshipped in witchcraft.
Thus, these are some serious associations. We would be very careful of an organization which invokes the names of pagan goddesses-many of which were worshipped with human sacrifice-even in "fun." Paul teaches us.
But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.-1Cor. 10:20
This tells us that those pagan (Gentile) goddesses are actually demons! We get down on our children for playing DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS (as well we should) and calling up demons "in fun," so why should we let adults get away with it?
It is important to understand that in Europe, and in many rural parts of the US; there used to be (and sometimes still is) a pagan underpinning to the farming culture. This is not, of course, to say that all farmers are pagans; or anything of the sort. However, one does not have to reach back too many decades to find farmers planting by phases of the moon. Check out the FARMERS ALMANAC and see how deeply rooted it is in astrology. Now this may have appeared to be superstitious eccentricities, but it is rooted in some of the darkest rites of paganism or witchcraft.
WHAT'S BENEATH THE SURFACE?
Witchcraft (anciently called Ba'al worship) was a pagan (shamanistic) religion deeply involved in the agricultural needs of the community. This was only natural. If the crops did not grow, the community would starve-it was that brutally simple! Thus, many of the rituals of Witchcraft, even to this day, revolve around the cycle of the seasons and the times of planting and harvesting. Even the feasts of the LORD in the Bible were set around times of planting and harvesting. The difference was, though; in the deity worshipped, the MANNER of worship and in the world-view of the people doing the rituals.
Primitive farmers (and modern occultists/witches) believed in what philosophers called the doctrine of the Microcosm/Macrocosm. This was the idea that everything in the universe (Macrocosm) had a correspondence in human beings (the Microcosm) and thus, if anything happened in the universe it affected humanity-and vice-versa. This is exemplified in the familiar practice of astrology where the planets (Macrocosm) are felt to have an impact on the birth and daily life of people (Microcosm).
Similarly, if you do something in the proper ritual setting with human beings, it will impact the cosmos. For example, as witches, at certain festivals of the year, we would leap over a burning fire. We believed that as high as we leaped, that so high the crops would grow that year. It was also believed that female witches who jumped naked over the fire would be rendered more fertile and be able to conceive. In Europe, and in parts of the US, in older days the farmer and his wife would have sex in the fields right after planting during the full moon. They believed that he-sowing his seed into his wife (Microcosm)-would impact the entire crop yield for the year favorably (Macrocosm).
Though these practices might seem eccentric, most would say that they are relatively harmless. The problem with them is simply that they are contrary to the Biblical view of the world. The core of ancient agricultural worship and modern Witchcraft is essentially ritual sex and sacred prostitution. This was why the LORD was so firm with the Israelites about not mixing with other peoples, marrying them or worshipping at their altars. That was why He commanded Joshua to wipe the Ba'al and Molech worshippers completely out of the land!
Additionally, the Bible teaches that God is not to be manipulated with weird rituals. He is a loving Person who is to be petitioned in prayer. So therefore it is not the seasonal festivals that are wrong, per se; but rather the deities invoked and the rituals practiced. This brings us back to the Grange.
WHERE DOES THE GRANGE COME FROM?
Grange material states that the highest (National) degree "…represents a harvest festival in honor of Demeter, Greek goddess of agriculture and fertility." While that is intriguingly vague, things get more specific elsewhere. In an historic work on the early years of the Grange, we learn much more. We will see that this "harvest festival" is actually one of the most horrific ceremonies of witchcraft.
This book states that the Order was begun in 1867 by William Saunders and Francis Marion McDowell. McDowell, we are told, made "…the most unique contribution because of his earlier initiation into the Eleusinian Mysteries by the Duke of Ascoli, High Priest of Demeter, in Paris, France." Now some terms in there need explaining.
The Eleusinian Mysteries were so-called because they were celebrated at Eleusis in ancient Greece, near the city of Athens. They were (and are) celebrated as one of the most sacred feasts (called sabbats) of witchcraft-during the time of the Fall Equinox, called Harvest Home (c. September 22nd). Of course, the best known witches sabbat is Samhain, or Halloween, but Harvest Home is almost as important a feast. The Grange history explains it as follows:
We now know that the ritual of [the Grange]…draws practically all, if not all, of it symbolism and ritualistic lore from the Eleusinian Mysteries…indeed, this may have been the first true culture for it was the foundation of enlightened agriculture. Adherence to the principles of agriculture of the mythological Demeter, Goddess [sic] of cereals, fruits, and flowers resulted in great progress in transplantation, fertilization, and cultivation of crops as well as in the breeding and care of livestock…this constituted what amounted to the purest form of religion in a pagan world. It was taught in the temples of Demeter and Ceres to live a life of service to your fellow man and then at the close of this life you would enter "…another and a better world where everlasting Spring abides and never-fading flowers."
As it happens, this "better world" described here is called "the Summerlands" by witches and occultists. However, if one did not know that, it sounds reasonably harmless. But it is actually playing fast and loose with the facts. What this book calls "enlightened agriculture" actually involved debauched sexual rituals, ritual castration, and animal and human sacrifices! I would also draw your attention to the capitalization of the "Goddess" Demeter. Most Christians would be uncomfortable with affording that sort of respect to a pagan deity. To call Demeter "mythological" in no way vitiates the fact that for thousands of years real people worshipped her and that there are still thousands worshipping her today. I used to be one of them.
DEMETER'S "APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION"
The Grange book goes on to say that the Eleusinian Mysteries were eventually banned by Theodosius in 393 A.D., and they basically went "underground" and developed "…a comprehensive system of passwords and signs by which they could recognize one another and prove their identity." This is quite similar to the mythology circulated about Freemasonry, but there is still more.
This underground society is called the "Knights of Demeter," and the book states that it came down to the 17th-19th century where it centered in Italy and France. It is in the latter part of the 19th century the High Priest of the Order was this Duke of Ascoli. He, in turn, "…bestowed full power by Apostolic Succession on Brother McDowell and invested him with all the regalia, paraphernalia and appurtenances that belonged to the office of the High Priest and proclaimed him henceforth to be 'High Priest of The Assembly of Demeter in the Eleusinian Mysteries.'"
This McDowell, recall, is one of the two founders of the Grange! Obviously, it was felt that "Demeter" would not play well in the heartlands of Protestant America, so the more innocent sounding term, "Grange" was substituted for public display. This means that McDowell was essentially, and in fact, made a pagan high priest of a pagan goddess! He is said to be responsible for much of the ritual work of the Fifth through Seventh Degrees of the Order.
Also, we are carefully NOT told the precise nature of this original Order or its beliefs. This is disturbing, because in the last half of the 19th century Italy and France were centers of extremely high satanic activity. The world headquarters of Satanism was in Italy, and Rosicrucian, witchcraft and Hermetic occult groups sprouted like weeds all over both nations. Thus, the spiritual atmosphere over there was anything but wholesome!
Without taking the time to go into further detail; the fact is that the other major influential founders of the Grange, such as Oliver Hudson Kelley and John R. Thompson were Freemasons. Another, Aaron Grosh, was an Odd Fellow and a Universalist minister; and is credited with adding the "numerous Biblical admonitions in the Ritual." What a source for Bible teaching! Any Christian would agree that this is quite a heady brew, spiritually, to be the fountainhead from which flows the Grange! However, it gets much worse!
THE DARK SECRET
It is interesting to note that most of the common sources do not go into any detail about what the rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries actually were! Two practicing witches write,
This time of the Equinox was the time of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the greatest mysteries of ancient Greece, and although all the details are not known (initiates kept the secrets well), the rituals of Eleusis certainly based themselves on corn-harvest symbolism.
An occult encyclopedia informs us:
It is difficult to come at what occurred in the inner circle; but there appears to have been two grades in the celebration…Regarding the actual ritual in the hall of mystery, a great deal of controversy has taken place, but it is certain that a dramatic representation was the central point of interest.
The drama definitely revolved around the legend of the descent of the goddess into the underworld to find her lost daughter, Persephone-probably one of the best-known Greek myths. This is one of the two core mysteries of Witchcraft, both ancient and modern. In a slightly different form, this legend of the goddess' descent into the underworld (Summerlands) is the central sacred ritual drama involved in making a witch high priest or high priestess!
The bottom line is that these rituals involve birth, death, and reincarnation. They are tied into a circular view of history in which things are ever-repeating themselves with the cycle of the seasons. In winter, things die-in the spring they are reborn and then fertilized. They reproduce and then die and the cycle starts over. However, this simple natural cycle which began with the Fall of man in Genesis 3 has been raised to the level of a sacred mystery or drama by these "Mysteries." It is utterly opposed to the Biblical view of history and of nature!
There is yet a deeper secret within these ritual dramas which is too horrible for even most occult writers to reveal. However, as a former initiate of these rites now saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, I can tell you precisely what was involved. Tied intricately into the symbolism of the Eleusinian Mysteries and "Harvest Home" is the Rite of the Divine King. Sadly, this "king" has nothing to do with Jesus Christ.
Rather he is the so-called "high-priest-king" who reigns over the land. This king, if the land is not bearing crops well, must be ritually slain so that his blood can spill out and fertilize the soil anew. I was such a high-priest-king, and I reigned over my covendom for seven years. Had those seven years been "lean" years, with drought or other kinds of crop failure, I have to tell you that I would have been gladly slain in an act of ritual sex with my high priestess-queen that the land might live and bear better fruit-a martyr to the goddess Demeter.
This is the black and awful secret which lies at the heart of the Eleusinian Mysteries; and it is the other central core mystery of goddess worship. Only by slaying the Divine King (also known as the "Fisher King") can the blighted land be healed. Now today, these things are taught as myths and are the subject of literary papers, poetry, scholarly books and even films. However, for a tiny group of zealous pagans they are still real; and they are still being practiced.
It is something which I once took with great seriousness and devotion; because I believed it would be a great honor to be thus slain for the goddess. It was only the grace of God that I went on to become a High Priest "emeritus" so to speak; for the seven years I reigned were good years. I thank God for the sake of Jesus Christ for that now, nearly two decades later!
However, there are many others in witchcraft that still believe and practice these ancient mysteries with solemnity. These secrets are guarded with blood oaths so horrible that even the Masonic oaths pale by comparison. I have no doubt that most every September 22nd, somewhere in the world; a man is slain by having his throat slit from ear to ear while in the embrace of his goddess, "Demeter."
This is incredibly evil, and I apologize for even having to speak of these abominable practices. They are rendered even more awful because they are actually blasphemous parodies of what the real Divine King, the Lord Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. Remember that Satan is the great counterfeiter, and that all of these countless pagan religions which practice human or even animal sacrifices are just the devil's attempt to draw people away from the cross.
We need to clarify that it is not being alleged here that the Grange is somehow involved in human sacrifice; or indeed that most members of the Grange are even aware of where some of these strange names and rites originate. There is no proof of that. Whether or not such practices are being done is known only to the perpetrators (if any) and the LORD Himself. We certainly cannot judge.
Just as the Mason, the typical Grange member is probably involved in an organization about which he knows little. Many would be astonished at the origins of their organization as shown in their books and expounded in this document. However, the Grange member-innocently or not-is in an organization which is steeped in an evil as ancient than the Lodge!
It doesn't matter whether or not the Grange actually practices paganism, occultism, or human sacrifice. What matters is that it has chosen to wrap itself in a panoply of symbolism right out of the pit of hell. It honors pagan goddesses and teaches a "gospel" of works. We call to your mind the quote cited above from the Grange book:
It was taught in the temples of Demeter and Ceres to live a life of service to your fellow man and then at the close of this life you would enter "…another and a better world where everlasting Spring abides and never-fading flowers."
Now that is not the gospel of Jesus Christ-by a country mile! It is the gospel of the cults, the gospel of every religion on earth! It is "another gospel," (Galatians 1:8) and as such it is pronounced accursed by Paul! Not only that, it promises the devout Grange member eternal residence in the "heaven" of pagans and witches!
Whether or not the Grange actually does any of these things, or simply has adopted the outward trappings of these ancient pagan cults isn't really material. The Bible tells us to "abstain from all appearance of evil." (1Thess. 5:22) That is not a suggestion, it is a commandment from God.
How a man or woman's Christian witness would be compromised by having to sit in meetings of the Grange with unbelievers and watch as the very demonic deities which opposed the spread of the gospel in Paul's day are lauded and praised? And you may be certain that there are Grange members that are not Christians; just as there were at its foundations. In summary, a Christian should not be a member of the Grange for these simple reasons:
1) Secrets oaths are required.
2) Such membership "unequally yoke" the Christian man or woman with unbelievers.
3) All of the arguments relating to Freemasonry apply in that the Grange takes time from Christian service, money from Christian missionary outreaches and charitable works, and the Grange does not glorify Jesus Christ.
4) The teaching of a pagan gospel of works mocks the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
5) The exaltation of the names and rituals of bloodthirsty pagan goddesses makes it impossible for Christians to abstain from the appearance of evil and may also cause weaker Christian brothers to stumble into sin.
6) Just as the Masons, the spiritual authority or headship of the Grange flows down from a "High Priest of Demeter" who is de facto a witch high priest, whether he knows it or not. This pagan headship leaves an "open door" for Satan to break through the hedge God has around His children and attack them because ""legally," such Grange members have a foot in Satan's (Demeter's) Kingdom.
If you are involved in the Grange, it is our recommendation that you get out of it at once and that you get down on your knees and renounce it before the Lord Jesus Christ as sin and ask Him to forgive you for it. He will be delighted to do so (1John 1:-7-9) If you have spouses or children, you may need to pray with them to break generational curses as well (Exodus 20:5).
(c) copyright, 2009 Ed Decker, all rights reserved Saints Alive In Jesus
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