.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 24 : Election, Ordination and Installation of Ruling Elders and Deacons

Paragraph 5 : On Resolving Close Voting

24-5. On the election of a ruling elder or deacon, if it appears that a large minority of the voters are averse to a candidate, and cannot be induced to concur in the choice, the moderator shall endeavor to dissuade the majority from prosecuting it further; but if the electors are nearly or quite unanimous, or if the majority insist upon their right to choose their officers, the election shall stand.

[DIGEST : The current PCA text dates to an amendment adopted in 2005 [M33GA, 33-8, Item 1, p. 49-51]. This last revision of BCO 24-5 began with Overture 2 from Eastern Canada Presbytery (M32GA, 32-48, III, 2, pp. 153-154), which sought to correct an observed error at BCO 20-5. After minor editing by the Committee on Constitutional Business, the Overture was adopted and sent down to the Presbyteries for advise and consent. The paragraph had originally been added to the chapter in 1993 [M21GA, 21-10, Item 3, p. 49]
It is interesting to note that the intent of this paragraph is virtually an incorporation of Ramsay's comment (1898) on the PCUS BCO at VI-3-4, where he communicates much the same idea: "The principle, that a majority shall rule, is a practical necessity rather than an inherent right ; and for this reason there should be a great desire to have the same mind. The failure to be unanimous is a failure that should be always lamented. And it would certainly be in order for a majority to recede from its own choice, just as it is in order for a minority to give up its opposition ; but either must judge for itself what is the will of Christ in a given case."]

ANTECEDENT TEXTS :
PCA 1973, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly
[no comparable text]

Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, Proposed text
[no comparable text]

PCUS 1933
[no comparable text]

PCUS 1879

[no comparable text]


PCUS 1869 draft
[no comparable text]

PCUS 1867 draft
[no comparable text]

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order
(1898)
[no comparable text for discussion; however, compare at VI-3-4]



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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]