PCA HISTORICAL CENTER
Archives and Manuscript Repository for the Continuing Presbyterian Church


The Historical Development of the Book of Church Order

Chapter 6 : Church Members

Paragraph 3 : Of All Baptized Persons

6-3. All baptized persons are entitled to the watchful care, instruction and government of the church, even though they are adults and have made no profession of their faith in Christ.

[Historical Summary : The wording of the current PCA text dates to the 1869 PCUS draft, III-1. Note however that the current text does not capitalize the word "church", whereas PCA 1973 and earlier texts did.]

BACKGROUND & COMPARISON:
1. PCA 1973, 6-3, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 130
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 6-2, Proposed text, p. 7
3. PCUS 1933, VII, § 28
4. PCUS 1879, III-2

and
5. PCUS 1869 draft, III-2
All baptized persons are entitled to the watchful care, instruction and government of the Church, even though they are adults, and have made no profession of faith in Christ.

PCUS 1867 draft, III-1
All baptized persons are in covenant with God, are members of the church, and entitled to its watchful care, instruction and government, even though they are adults, and have made no profession of faith in Christ.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
(1898, pp. 42-43), on III-2 and 3:
30.--II. All baptized persons
however long they may have persisted in not embracing Christ,
are
by reason of the covenant still binding upon all the parties,
entitled to the watchful care, instruction and government of the Church, even though they are adults, and have made no profession of faith in Christ.
31.--III. Those only who have made a profession of faith in Christ are entitled to all the rights and privileges of the Church.
For if they are not yet competent to act for themselves, there are some rights and privileges that they are not yet capable of exercising and enjoying ; and much more is this so if they neglect to have faith in Christ. They cannot be recognized as having this faith if they do not profess it
.


Chapter Index [links are to Paragraph 1 in 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]

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