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THE ORDER OF THE CROSS

The Order of the Cross is an informal Christian fellowship founded in 1904 by John Todd Ferrier. All members of the Order are pacifist and vegetarian or vegan. The Headquarters of the Order is in London, England and there are local groups of members in the United Kingdom, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The Spiritual Aims and Ideals of the Order include the following:

The Order has for its service in life the cultivation of the Spirit of Love towards all Souls; helping the weak and defending the defenceless and oppressed;

Abstaining from hurting the creatures, eschewing bloodshed and flesh-eating, and living on the pure foods so abundantly provided by nature;

Walking in the Mystic Way of Life, whose Path leads to the realization of the Christhood.

Before founding the Order, Reverend Ferrier was a minister in the Congregational Church in Macclesfield, England. In his farewell address, given when he left the Church in 1903, he spoke these memorable words: "I have heard the cry of the animal world, and I leave you that I may in one form of my future work fight the battle of the souls that are down lower than myself in the scale of evolution, but which some day will come up to bless the life that has had compassion upon their helplessness. But I have seen and heard more than that. I have seen it as a vision before me that men will continue to have a thousand diseases with which he is afflicted, and that he will never he healed of them till his vision of life is truer, his ambition higher and less earthly, and his sympathy and love become like the sympathy and love of God and the Christ whom he professes to revere and serve".

Reverend Ferrierís numerous addresses and writings constitute the Teachings of the Order of the Cross, published in over 40 books and booklets. The scope of these Teachings is vast, including such themes as the nature of the human Soul, the reality of Angelic ministry, the path of a Soulís growth through many incarnations, the Fall which intercepted that growth, and the eventual return of the Earth and all Souls to a state of harmony, peace and joy. The latter process is the true Redemption, embracing "Purity in diet, humaneness towards all creatures, compassion for all who have known misfortune, justice for the oppressed, truer and nobler thoughts concerning social questions, more reverence for womanhood and parenthood, greater desire to reach out unto the realization of loftier manhood and womanhood, and so to live and serve for the blessing of all."

Much is written about the Master, known as Jesus, and his mission. We learn that the names given to him, Jesus, Christ and the Lord, were not his personal titles but indicated states of life or consciousness attainable by all Souls. The word Jesus, for example, signifies the pure life which naturally implies compassion towards all humankind and creatures. Throughout the Teachings the theme of Divine Love is dominant; thus we read "Let Love distinguish you. To be the child of Divine Love, both in its realization and manifestation, is more to be desired than earthly inheritance and power. For love enriches the life. Love exalts the vision. Love ennobles purpose. . . . . Let the Good of Love, and the Truth of Love, ever be expressed in all your ways. For the Good of Love is its healing power, and the Truth of Love is its Radiance".

In the Orderís Teachings many of the stories presented in the Gospels as events in the life of the Master are given an allegorical interpretation. They are shown to apply to all seeking Souls, often to their everyday lives. Thus the Birth Stories are shown to apply to the birth of the Jesus, Christ and Lord states of consciousness within a Soul. In place of a literal virgin birth, we have the concept of these states being born to Souls who are pure in their way of life, their intent and desires. Compassion towards the creatures and the adoption of a vegetarian diet must be embraced. Even the traditional view of the birth of Jesus pictures the event as taking place in a manger with attendant creatures, indicating that they rejoiced and shared in the event. In the book, "The Master: His Life and Teachings" we find the following words:

"The life of that one in whom the Christ-child is born must be a friend of the creatures. It could not be otherwise. The ox in the stall, the ass in the stable, the sheep in the byre, the dove in its cote, and all creatures in their several degrees of unfoldment, are related to such a life by indissoluble ties, even that of the Oneness of all true life, and by the fact that the gentle creatures have been the venues through which the Soul has passed upwards in its true evolution before the Divine Love. To be born in the stable or byre, and cradled in a manger, therefore, means very much more than to be born amid lowly conditions. For the Soul truly was cradled amongst the creatures. And when the Christ-child is about to be born within the Soul, the life awakens to the consciousness of its relationship to all the creatures, its duty unto them, and the service it must perform in making manifest the Divine Love then awakening within the Soul."

Other Bible stories and events, including the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, the Ascension, Pentecost, many of the parables and so-called miracles, are interpreted to bring out hidden meanings, often applicable to us here and now in everyday life. We are given a tremendous vision of Godís purpose for this World and of His unfailing Love, ever patient but steadfast in its endeavours to reach out to all humanity and creatures, to the Earth itself and even to the great Universe beyond.

More quotations and information about the books published by Order of the Cross may be found on our website*. Apart from the last one, the quotations in this article are from the book "Lifeís Mysteries Unveiled".

* www.orderofthecross.org

-- Gabriel Buist

 

 

 

[ The Order of the Cross ] Ellen G. White ] Nourishing Ourselves ] Life as a Vegetarian Tibetan Buddhist Practitioner ] Is Nothing Sacred? ] Does God Support Factory Farms ] Eighteen Reasons Jews Think They Should Not Be Vegetarians ] A Spiritual Imperative? ] The Universal Prayer Circle for Animals ] Press Release ] Church Silence Promotes Violence ] Spirituality and Your Diet ] How to Encourage Christians to Become Vegan ]