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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 36 : The Infliction of Church Censures

Paragraph 1 : On Proceeding with Humility

36-1. When any member or officer of the Church shall be found guilty of an offense the court shall proceed with all tenderness and shall deal with its offending brother in the spirit of meekness, the members considering themselves lest they also be tempted.

[Historical Summary : The current text dates to the PCUS BCO Revision of 1925. As Ramsay points out, the text here reflects the Biblical injunction of Galatians 6:1, which was previously cited in BCO 32-1. This stipulation is not found in the PCUSA's Revised Book of Discipline (1858) nor is it in earlier PCUSA editions.]

Background and Comparison :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 10-1, Adopted text (M1GA, Part IV, Appendix B, p. 150)
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 10-1, Proposed text, p. 50
3. PCUS 1933, RoD, X-§241
4. PCUS 1925, RoD, X-§241
When any member or officer of the church shall be found guilty of an offence the court shall proceed with all tenderness and shall deal with its offending brother in the spirit of meekness, the members considering themselves lest they also be tempted.

PCUS 1879, RoD, X-2

When any member or officer of the Church shall be guilty of a fault deserving censure, the court shall proceed with all tenderness, and shall deal with its offending brother in the spirit of meekness, the members considering themselves, lest they also be tempted.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, X-2
When any member or officer of the Church, shall be guilty of a fault deserving censure, the court shall proceed with all tenderness, and shall deal with its offending brother in the spirit of meekness, the members considering themselves, lest they also be tempted.

PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, X-2
When any member or officer of the church shall be guilty of a fault deserving censure, the court shall proceed with all tenderness, and shall deal with its offending brother in the spirit of meekness, the members considering themselves, lest they also be tempted.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 222), on X-2:
221.--II. When any member or officer of the Church shall be guilty of a fault deserving censure, the court shall proceed with all tenderness, and shall deal with its offending brother in the spirit of meekness, the members considering themselves, lest they also be tempted.
(Cf. 172.)



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10
11
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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
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60
61
62
63
[FoG = Form of Government ; RoD = Rules of Discipline ; DfW = Directory for Worship]