.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 56 : The Administration of Baptism
(The Baptism of Infants and Children)

Paragraph 4 : Of Instructions Regarding Baptism

56-4. Before baptism, the minister is to use some words of instruction, touching the institution, nature, use, and ends of this sacrament, showing:
a. That it is instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ;
b. That it is a seal of the Covenant of Grace, of our ingrafting into Christ, and of our union with Him, of remission of sins, regeneration, adoption, and life eternal;
c. That the water, in baptism, represents and signifies both the blood of Christ, which taketh away all guilt of sin, original and actual; and the sanctifying virtue of the Spirit of Christ against the dominion of sin, and the corruption of our sinful nature;
d. That baptizing, or sprinkling and washing with water, signifies the cleansing from sin by the blood and for the merit of Christ, together with the mortification of sin, and rising from sin to newness of life, by virtue of the death and resurrection of Christ;
e. That the promise is made to believers and their children; and that the children of believers have an interest in the covenant, and right to the seal of it, and to the outward privileges of the Church, under the Gospel, no less than the children of Abraham in the time of the Old Testament; the Covenant of Grace, for substance, being the same; and the grace of God, and the consolation of believers, more plentiful than before;
f. That the Son of God admitted little children into His presence, embracing and blessing them, saying, “For of such is the kingdom of God”;
g. That children by Baptism, are solemnly received into the bosom of the Visible Church, distinguished from the world, and them that are without, and united with believers; and that all who are baptized in the name of Christ, do renounce, and by their Baptism are bound to fight against the devil, the world, and the flesh;
h. That they are federally holy before Baptism, and therefore are they baptized;
i. That the inward grace and virtue of Baptism is not tied to that very moment of time wherein it is administered; and that the fruit and power thereof reaches to the whole course of our life; and that outward baptism is not so necessary, that through the want thereof, the infant is in danger of damnation;
j. By virtue of being children of believing parents they are, because of God’s covenant ordinance, made members of the Church, but this is not sufficient to make them continue members of the Church. When they have reached the age of discretion, they become subject to obligations of the covenant: faith, repentance and obedience. They then make public confession of their faith in Christ, or become covenant breakers, and subject to the discipline of the Church.
In these or the like instructions, the minister is to use his own liberty and godly wisdom, as the ignorance or errors in the doctrine of Baptism, and the edification of the people, shall require.
He is also to admonish all that are present to look back to their Baptism, to repent of their sins against their covenant with God; to stir up their faith; to improve and make right use of their Baptism, and of the covenant sealed between God and their soul.
He is to exhort the parent to consider the great mercy of God to him and his child; to bring up the child in the knowledge of the grounds of the Christian religion, and in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and to let him know the danger of God’s wrath to himself and child, if he be negligent; requiring his solemn promise for the performance of his duty.
The minister is also to exhort the parents to the careful performance of their duty, requiring:
a. That they teach the child to read the Word of God;
b. that they instruct him in the principles of our holy religion, as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, an excellent summary of which we have in the Confession of Faith, and in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly, which are to be recommended to them as adopted by the Church, for their direction and assistance, in the discharge of this important duty;
c. that they pray with and for him;
d. that they set an example of piety and godliness before him; and endeavor, by all the means of God’s appointment, to bring up their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

[DIGEST: The text approved in 1973 for the PCA was that of PCUS 1933, which in turn dated back to the text of the first approved edition of PCUS Directory for Worship (1894). The only difference between PCUS 1894 and the series from PCUS 1925 through PCA 1973 is the capitalization of "Word" in the latter texts.
A major revision of this paragraph, and of the Directory for Worship as a whole, occurred in 1975, when the Constitutional Documents Committee presented its case that the 1933 PCUS BCO was defective in a number of places [cf. Commissioners Handbook for the Third General Assembly, pp. 7, 14-15 and M3GA, 3-70, p. 83]. The present text at 56-4 largely dates to this revision. What was proposed in the Commissioners Handbook is found to be taken, with few changes, from the Westminster Assembly's Directory for the Publick Worship of God of 1645. [Note: Apparently there was a rush to get the material to the printer, as the text in the Handbook even retains the 17th -century style of punctuation found in the 1645 text, where colons are used instead of the more modern convention of semi-colons.]
The Third General Assembly approved the proposed text with only one significant change, namely the deletion of "...Christians, and...", in the second paragraph, thus rendering it "That they are Christians, and federally holy before Baptism,". While this change might be seen as a rejection of the 1645 Westminster text, it was at the same time the adoption of a text that is in conformity with the American text of the 1789 PCUSA Directory. The Southern Presbyterians, in their first adopted Directory (1894) had deleted the entire statement and substituted in its place, "that the promise of the gospel is to the believer and his house;". It was this latter phrase that was originally adopted by the PCA at its formation in 1973. Thus with the 1975 revision the PCA moved historically back to the founding of American Presbyterianism, at least with regard to this portion of this paragraph.
In 1981, chapters 56, 57 and 58 were given constitutional status [M9GA, 9-65, #6, p. 137]. Later, an attempt to introduce a new Directory for Worship was defeated in 1988, and that proposed text would have included changes to BCO 56-4 [M16GA, 16-77, III, #1, pp. 49-57.]
Finally, in 1988, Covenant Presbytery overtured the 16th General Assembly to change some of the wording of BCO 56-4 [M16GA, 16-3, B., p. 59], and this overture was adopted at the 17th General Assembly [M17GA, 17-6, #9, pp. 51-52].

ANTECEDENT TEXTS:
PCA 1975, DfW 57-4, adopted text, Minutes, 3-70, p. 83-84.

Before baptism, let the minister use some words of instruction, touching the institution, nature, use, and ends of this ordinance; showing:
That it is instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ: That it is a seal of the Covenant of Grace, of our ingrafting into Christ, and of our union with Him, or remission of sins, regeneration, adoption, and life eternal; That the water, in baptism, represents and signifies both the blood of Christ, which taketh away all guilt of sin, original and actual; and the sanctifying virtue of the Spirit of Christ against the dominion of sin, and the corruption of our sinful nature: That baptizing, or sprinkling and washing with water, signifies the cleansing from sin by the blood and for the merit of Christ, together with the mortification of sin, and rising from sin to newness of life, by virtue of the death and resurrection of Christ; That the promise is made to believers and their children; and that the children of believers have an interest in the covenant, and right to the seal of it, and to the outward privileges of the church, under the gospel, no less than the children of Abraham in the time of the Old Testament; the covenant of grace, for substance, being the same; and the grace of God, and the consolation of believers, more plentiful than before; That the Son of God admitted little children into His presence, embracing and blessing them, saying, "For of such is the kingdom of God";
That children by Baptism, are solemnly received into the bosom of the visible church, distinguished from the world, and them that are without, and united with believers; and that all who are baptized in the name of Christ, do renounce, and by their Baptism are bound to fight against the devil, the world, and the flesh; That they are federally holy before baptism, and therefore are they baptized; That the inward grace and virtue of Baptism is not tied to that very moment of time wherein it is administered; and that the fruit and power thereof reaches to the whole course of our life; and that outward baptism is not so necessary, that through the want thereof, the infant is in danger of damnation; By virtue of being born of believing parents children are, because of God's covenant ordinance, made members of the Church, but this is not sufficient to make them continue members of the Church, when they have reached the age of discretion, they become subject to obligations of the covenant: faith, repentance and obedience. They then must make public confession of their faith in Christ, or become covenant breakers, and subject to the discipline of the Church.
In these or the like instructions, the minister is to use his own liberty and godly wisdom, as the ignorance or errors in the doctrine of Baptism, and the edification of the people, shall require.
He is also to admonish all that are present to look back to their Baptism, to repent of their sins against their covenant with God; to stir up their faith; to improve and make right use of their baptism, and of the covenant sealed between God and their souls.
He is to exhort the parent, to consider the great mercy of God to him and his child; to bring up the child in the knowledge of the grounds of the Christian religion, and in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and to let him know the danger of God's wrath to himself and child, if he be negligent requiring his solemn promise for the performance of his duty.
The minister is also to exhort the parents to the careful performance of their duty, requiring:
That they teach the child to read the Word of God; that they instruct it in the principles of our holy religion, as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, an excellent summary of which we have in the Confession of Faith, and in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly, which are to be recommended to them as adopted by the Church, for their direction and assistance, in the discharge of this important duty; that they pray with and for it; that they set an example of piety and godliness before it; and endeavor, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring up their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

PCA 1973, DfW 10-5, text as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 158
Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, DfW 10-5, Proposed text, pp. 69-70
PCUS 1933, DfW X-5, (§ 347), p. 170-172.
PCUS 1925, DfW IX-4, § 338
Before baptism, let the minister use some words of instruction, respecting the institution, nature, use, and ends of this ordinance; showing:
"That it is instituted by Christ ; that it is a seal of the righteousness of faith ; that the seed of the faithful have no less a right to this ordinance, under the gospel, than the seed of Abraham to circumcision, under the Old Testament ; that Christ commanded all nations to be baptized ; that he blessed little children, declaring that of such is the kingdom of heaven ; that the promise of the gospel is to the believer and his house ; that household baptism was practiced by the apostles ; that we are, by nature, sinful, guilty, and polluted, and have need of cleansing by the blood of Christ, and by the sanctifying influences of the Spirit of God."
The minister is also to exhort the parents to the careful performance of their duty ; requiring,
"That they teach the child to read the Word of God ; that they instruct it in the principles of our holy religion, as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, an excellent summary of which we have in the Confession of Faith, and in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly, which are to be recommended to them, as adopted by the church, for their direction and assistance, in the discharge of this important duty ; that they pray with and for it ; that they set an example of piety and godliness before it ; and endeavor, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring up their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

PCUS 1894, DfW IX-4, p. 112-113.

Before baptism, let the minister use some words of instruction, respecting the institution, nature, use, and ends of this ordinance; showing:
"That it is instituted by Christ ; that it is a seal of the righteousness of faith ; that the seed of the faithful have no less a right to this ordinance, under the gospel, than the seed of Abraham to circumcision, under the Old Testament ; that Christ commanded all nations to be baptized ; that he blessed little children, declaring that of such is the kingdom of heaven ; that the promise of the gospel is to the believer and his house ; that household baptism was practiced by the apostles ; that we are, by nature, sinful, guilty, and polluted, and have need of cleansing by the blood of Christ, and by the sanctifying influences of the Spirit of God."
The minister is also to exhort the parents to the careful performance of their duty ; requiring,
"That they teach the child to read the word of God ; that they instruct it in the principles of our holy religion, as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, an excellent summary of which we have in the Confession of Faith, and in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly, which are to be recommended to them, as adopted by the church, for their direction and assistance, in the discharge of this important duty ; that they pray with and for it ; that they set an example of piety and godliness before it ; and endeavor, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring up their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

PCUSA 1789, Directory for Worship, VII-4, p. 193-194.

Before baptism, let the Minister use some words of instruction, respecting the institution, nature, use and ends of this ordinance:
Shewing,
'That it is instituted by Christ; that it is a seal of the righteousness of faith; that the seed of the faithful have no less a right to
this ordinance, under the gospel, than the seed of Abraham to circumcision, under the Old Testament; that Christ commanded
all nations to be baptized; that he blessed little children, declaring that of such is the kingdom of heaven; that children are federally holy, and therefore ought to be baptized; that we are, by nature, sinful, guilty and polluted, and have need of cleansing by the blood of Christ, and by the sanctifying influences of the Spirit of God.'
The minister is also to exhort the parents to the careful performance of their duty: requiring;
' That they teach the child to read the word of God; that they instruct it in the principles of our holy religion, as contained in the Scriptures of the old and new Testament; an excellent summary of which we have in the Confession of faith of this Church, and in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly : which are to be recommended to them, as adopted by this Church, for their direction and assistance, in the discharge of this important duty; that they pray with and for it; that they set an example of piety and godliness before it; and endeavour, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring up their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.'

PCUSA, 1786 draft, ¶-4-7, p. 77.
Before baptism, the Minister may, occasionally, use some words of instruction, respecting the institution, nature, use, and ends of this ordinance : Shewing ;
'That it is instituted by Christ; that it is a seal of the righteousness of faith; that the seed of the faithful have no less a right to this ordinance, under the gospel, than the seed of Abraham to circumcision, under the Old Testament; that Christ commanded all nations to be baptized; that he blessed little children, declaring that of such is the kingdom of heaven; that children are federally holy, and therefore ought to be baptized; that we are, by nature, sinful, guilty, and polluted, and have need of cleansing by the blood of Christ, and by the sanctifying influences of the Spirit of God.'
The minister is also to exhort the parents to the careful performance of their duty : requiring ;
'That they teach the child to read the word of God; that they instruct it in the principles of our holy religion, as contained in the Scriptures of the old and new Testament, and excellently summed up in the Confession and Catechisms of this Church; that they pray with and for it; that they set an example of piety and godliness before it; and endeavor, by all the means of God's appointment, to bring up their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.'

The Directory for the Publick Worship of God; agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster... [1645]
Of the Administration of the Sacraments: AND FIRST, OF BAPTISM [paragraph 4]:

Before baptism, the minister is to use some words of instruction, touching the institution, nature, use and ends of this sacrament, shewing,
That it is instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ: That it is a seal of the covenant of grace, of our ingrafting into Christ, and of our union with him, of remission of sins, regeneration, adoption, and life eternal: That the water, in baptism, representeth and signifieth both the blood of Christ, which taketh away all guilt of sin, original and actual; and the sanctifying virtue of the Spirit of Christ against the dominion of sin, and the corruption of our sinful nature: That baptizing, or sprinkling and washing with water, signifieth the cleansing from sin by the blood and for the merit of Christ, together with the mortification of sin, and rising from sin to newness of life, by virtue of the death and resurrection of Christ: That the promise is made to believers and their seed; and that the seed and posterity of the faithful, born within the church, have, by their birth, interest in the covenant, and right to the seal of it, and to the outward privileges of the church, under the gospel, no less than the children of Abraham in the time of the Old Testament; the covenant of grace, for substance, being the same; and the grace of God, and the consolation of believers, more plentiful than before: That the Son of God admitted little children into his presence, embracing and blessing them, saying, For of such is the kingdom of God: That children, by baptism, are solemnly received into the bosom of the visible church, distinguished from the world, and them that are without, and united with believers; and that all who are baptized in the name of Christ, do renounce, and by their baptism are bound to fight against the devil, the world, and the flesh: That they are Christians, and federally holy before baptism, and therefore are they baptized: That the inward grace and virtue of baptism is not tied to that very moment of time wherein it is administered; and that the fruit and power thereof reacheth to the whole course of our life; and that outward baptism is not so necessary, that through the want thereof, the infant is in danger of damnation, or the parents guilty, if they do not contemn or neglect the ordinance of Christ, when and where it may be had.
In these or the like instructions, the minister is to use his own liberty and godly wisdom, as the ignorance or errors in the doctrine of baptism, and the edification of the people, shall require.
He is also to admonish all that are present,
To look back to their baptism; to repent of their sins against their covenant with God; to stir up their faith; to improve and make right use of their baptism, and of the covenant sealed thereby betwixt God and their souls.
He is to exhort the parent,
To consider the great mercy of God to him and his child; to bring up the child in the knowledge of the grounds of the Christian religion, and in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and to let him know the danger of God's wrath to himself and child, if he be negligent: requiring his solemn promise for the performance of his duty.

OTHER COMPARISIONS:
RPCES, 1973 - Directory of Worship, XI-2 and XI-3 [selected portions]

2. Of the Administration of Baptism to Adults.
...
Before the baptism, the minister should state briefly the institution, nature and purpose of the sacrament: that it was instituted by Christ; that He commanded His disciples to baptize believers of every nation; that it is a sacrament wherein the washing with water seals and signifies our engrafting into Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord's.
...
3. Of the Administration of Baptism to Infants.
After previous arrangement, the child shall be presented by one or both parents, signifying a desire that the child shall be baptized. The minister should give some words of instruction as to the institution, nature and purpose of this ordinance, pointing out that: It was instituted by Christ; it is the seal of the righteousness of faith; the children of believers have the same right to it under the Gospel as the children of Abraham had in the case of circumcision under the Old Testament; that our Lord blessed the little children, declaring that of such is the kingdom of heaven; that our children are within God's holy family covenant; that we are by nature sinful, and have need of cleansing by the blood of Christ and the sanctifying of the Spirit of God.
The minister should exhort the parents as to their duty.
To pray with and for the child, setting an example of true godliness before him, teaching him, in time, to read the Word of God, and instructing him in the principles of our most holy faith as set forth in our Confession and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and endeavoring, by God's help, to bring up their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The minister should ask them publicly if they are willing to assume these duties before the Lord, and having received an affirmative answer, proceed with the baptism.

OPC, 2005 - Directory for the Public Worship of God, IV-B
B. Holy Baptism
1. Before the administration of the sacrament of baptism, the minister shall give instruction as to the institution and nature of the sacrament:
Baptism is a sacrament ordained by the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a sign and seal of the inclusion of the person who is baptized in the covenant of grace. Teaching that we and our children are conceived and born in sin, it witnesses and seals unto us the remission of sins and the bestowal of all the gifts of salvation through union with Christ. Baptism with water signifies and seals cleansing from sin by the blood and the Spirit of Christ, together with our death unto sin and our resurrection unto newness of life by virtue of the death and resurrection of Christ. Since these gifts of salvation are the gracious provision of the triune God, who is pleased to claim us as his very own, we are baptized into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And since baptized persons are called upon to assume the obligations of the covenant, baptism summons us to renounce the devil, the world and the flesh and to walk humbly with our God in devotion to his commandments.
2. When an infant is to be baptized, the minister shall proceed to give instruction as to the ground of infant baptism:
Although our young children do not yet understand these things, they are nevertheless to be baptized. For the promise of the covenant is made to believers and to their seed, as God declared unto Abraham: "And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee." In the new dispensation no less than in the old, the seed of the faithful, born within the church, have, by virtue of their birth, interest in the covenant and right to the seal of it and to the outward privileges of the church. For the covenant of grace is the same in substance under both dispensations, and the grace of God for the consolation of believers is even more fully manifested in the new dispensation. Moreover, our Saviour admitted little children into his presence, embracing and blessing them, and saying, "Of such is the kingdom of God." So the children of the covenant are by baptism distinguished from the world and solemnly received into the visible church.

COMMENTARY:
[none available at this time]

OVERTURES AND AMENDMENTS:
1975 - Commissioners Handbook for the Third General Assembly, pp. 7, 14-15 and M3GA, 3-70, p. 83].
57-4. Before baptism, the minister is to use some words of instruction, touching the institution, nature, use, and ends of this sacrament, showing:
That it is instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ: That it is a seal of the covenant of grace, of our ingrafting into Christ, and of our union with Him, or [sic] remission of sins, regeneration, adoption, and life eternal: That the water, in baptism, represents and signifies both the blood of Christ, which taketh away all guilt of sin, original and actual; and the sanctifying virtue of the Spirit of Christ against the dominion of sin, and the corruption of our sinful nature: That baptizing, or sprinkling and washing with water, signifies the cleansing from sin by the blood and for the merit of Christ, together with the mortification of sin, and rising from sin to newness of life, by virtue of the death and resurrection of Christ: That the promise is made to believers and their children; and that the children of believers have an interest in the covenant, and right to the seal of it, and to the outward privileges of the Church, under the gospel, no less than the children of Abraham in the time of the Old Testament; the covenant of grace, for substance, being the same; and the grace of God, and the consolation of believers, more plentiful than before: That the Son of God admitted little children into His presence, embracing and blessing them, saying, For of such is the kingdom of God: That children by baptism, are solemnly received into the bosom of the visible church, distinguished from the world, and them that are without, and united with believers; and that all who are baptized in the name of Christ, do renounce, and by their baptism are bound to fight against the devil, the world, and the flesh: That they are Christians, and federally holy before Baptism, and therefore are they baptized: That the inward grace and virtue of baptism is not tied to that very moment of time wherein it is administered; and that the fruit and power thereof reacheth to the whole course of our life; and that outward baptism is not so necessary, that through the want thereof, the infant is in danger of damnation, or the parents guilty, if they do not condemn or neglect the ordinance of Christ, when and where it may be had.
In these or the like instructions, the minister is to use his own liberty and godly wisdom, as the ignorance or errors in the doctrine of baptism, and the edification of the people, shall require.
He is also to admonish all that are present.
To look back to their baptism, to repent of their sins against their covenant with God; to stir up their faith; to improve and make right use of their baptism, and of the covenant sealed between God and their souls.
He is to exhort the parent.
To consider the great mercy of God to him and his child; to bring up the child in the knowledge of the grounds of the Christian religion, and in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and to let him know the danger of God’s wrath to himself and child, if he be negligent; requiring his solemn promise for the performance of his duty.
The minister is also to exhort the parents to the careful performance of their duty, requiring:
That they teach the child to read the Word of God; that they instruct it in the principles of our holy religion, as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, an excellent summary of which we have in the Confession of Faith, and in the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Westminster Assembly, which are to be recommended to them as adopted by the Church, for their direction and assistance, in the discharge of this important duty; that they pray with and for; that they set an example of piety and godliness before it; and endeavor, by all the means of God’s appointment, to bring up their child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

1981 - M9GA, 9-65, Item 6, p. 137
Item 6 -
That Chapters 56, 57 and 58 of the BCO be adopted as constitutional.
(Clerk's Note: These chapters have already been approved as a part of the Book of Church Order, but due to the temporary notation at the beginning of the Directory for Worship, the constitutional authority of this portion of the Book of Church Order has been questioned, and thus these particular chapters are being submitted for the advice and consent of the presbyteries in order to give them full constitutional authority. Minor editorial corrections in punctuation have been made by the Clerk.)


1988 - M16GA, 16-77, III, Item 1.
A New Proposed Directory for Worship for the Presbyterian Church in America [including changes to what is now BCO 56-4]
1. That we leave the Directory for Worship in its present status in the Church and dismiss the entire matter.
Adopted
. [thus rejecting the proposed Directory]

1988 - Overture 18, from Covenant Presbytery
[M16GA, 16-3, B., p. 59]
Whereas, the benefits of the covenant family and the sign and seal of infant baptism are applied to the children of believing parents regardless of whether the children are born to or adopted by the parents and ... (Genesis 17:22ff., WCF 28-4)
Whereas, the efforts of the Lord's church to provide alternatives to abortion have brought about increasing numbers of children being adopted by covenant households and...
Whereas, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are the heavenly Father's adopted sons and daughters having all the rights and privileges of the children of God and are fellow heirs with Jesus...
Therefore, Be It Resolved that the Book of Church Order, 56-4, lines 29 & 30 which presently reads "By virtue of being born of believing parents children are ..." be changed to read, "By virtue of being children of believing parents they are..."
And Be It Further Resolved that the Book of Church Order, 57-5(1), which presently reads, "Of the number of those who were baptized in infancy as members of the Church of God by birthright,..." be changed to read, "Of the number of those who were baptized in infancy as members of the Church of God as children,..."
Adopted by Covenant Presbytery at the Spring Stated Meeting, March 1, 1988 at Cleveland, Mississippi.
Attest: Barry G. Waugh, Stated Clerk.

1989 - M17GA, 17-6, Book of Church Order Amendments, Item 9
9. That Overture 18, p. 59, from Covenant Presbytery be answered by:
a. amending BCO 56-4, lines 29 & 30, which presently reads, "By virtue of being born of believing parents children are..." be changed to read, "By virtue of being children of believing parents they are..."
b. The current language of BCO 57-5(1) be retained.
Explanatory Note: The Committee thought that reference to "born of believing parents" needed to be changed but that "birthright" has always included adopted children.
Adopted [by unanimous vote of 42 presbyteries]

CONSTITUTIONAL INQUIRY:

To date [through 2008], no constitutional inquiries have been lodged regarding this paragraph.



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Chapter Index [links to Par. 1 of each chapter]:
FoG..
1
2
3.
4
5.
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
I. King & Head of Church
.§1.
§4
§5
RoD
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
II. Preliminary Principles
§1
§2
§3
§4
§5
§6
§7
§8
DfW
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]