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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 36 : The Infliction of Church Censures

Paragraph 5 :

36-5. Indefinite suspension from office or the Sacraments should be administered after the manner prescribed for definite suspension, but with added solemnity, that the indefinite suspension may be the means of impressing the mind of the delinquent with a proper sense of his danger.
Indefinite suspension should also be administered under the blessing of God of leading him to repentance. When the court has resolved to pass this sentence, the moderator shall address the offending brother to the following purpose:
Whereas, you, ___________________ (here describe the person as a teaching elder, ruling elder, deacon, or private member of the church) are convicted by sufficient proof (or are guilty by your own confession) of the sin of ______________ (here insert the offense), we the _______________________
Presbytery (or Church Session) in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, do now declare you suspended from the Sacraments of the Church (and from the exercise of your office),
until you give satisfactory evidence of repentance.
To this shall be added such advice or admonition as may be judged necessary, and the whole shall be concluded with prayer to almighty God that He would follow this act of discipline with His blessing.


[Historical Summary : The current PCA text dates to 1990 [M18GA, 18-8, Item 4, p. 47-48].]

Background and Comparison :
PCA 1973, RoD, 10-5, Adopted text, (M1GA, Part IV, Appendix B, p. 150)
and
Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 10-5, Proposed text, p. 51
Indefinite suspension should be administered after the manner proscribed for definite suspension, but with added solemnity, that it may be the means of impressing the mind of the delinquent with a proper sense of his danger, and under the blessings of God of leading him to repentance. When the court has resolved to pass this sentence, the Moderator shall address the offending brother to the following purpose:
"Whereas, You, A.B., (here describe the person as a Minister, Ruling Elder, Deacon, or private member of the church), are convicted by sufficient proof (or, are guilty by your own confession), of the sin of ... (here insert the offence), we the Presbytery (or church Session) of C.D., in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, do now declare you suspended from the sacraments of the Church (and from the exercise of your office), until you give satisfactory evidence of repentance."
To this shall be added such advice or admonition as may be judged necessary, and the whole shall be concluded with prayer to Almighty God that he would follow this act of discipline with his blessing.

PCUS 1933, RoD, X-§245
and
PCUS 1925, RoD, X-§245
Indefinite suspension should be administered after the manner proscribed for definite suspension, but with added solemnity, that it may be the means of impressing the mind of the delinquent with a proper sense of his danger, and under the blessings of God of leading him to repentance. When the court has resolved to pass this sentence, the Moderator shall address the offending brother to the following purpose:
"Whereas, You, A.B., (here describe the person as a Minister, Ruling Elder, Deacon, or private member of the church), are convicted by sufficient proof [or, are guilty by your own confession], of the sin of ... (here insert the offence), we, the Presbytery [or church Session] of C.D., in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, do now declare you suspended from the sacraments of the Church [and from the exercise of your office], until you give satisfactory evidence of repentance."
To this shall be added such advice or admonition as may be judged necessary, and the whole shall be concluded with prayer to Almighty God that he would follow this act of discipline with his blessing.

PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, X-5

The censure of indefinite suspension ought to be inflicted with great solemnity, that it may be the means of impressing the mind of the delinquent with a proper sense of his danger, while he stands excluded from the sacraments of the Church of the living God, and that with the Divine blessing it may lead him to repentance. When the court has resolved to pass this sentence, the Moderator shall address the offending brother to the following purpose:
"Whereas, You, A.B. (here describe the person as a Minister, Ruling Elder, Deacon or private member of the Church), are convicted by sufficient proof [or, are guilty by your own confession], of the sin of _______ (here insert the offence), we, the Presbytery [or Church Session] of C.D., in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, do now declare you suspended from the sacraments of the Church [and from the exercise of your office], until you give satisfactory evidence of repentance.
To this shall be added such advice or admonition as may be judged necessary, and the whole shall be concluded with prayer to Almighty God that He would follow this act of discipline with His blessing.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, X-5
The censure of indefinite suspension ought to be inflicted with great solemnity, that it may be the means of impressing the mind of the delinquent with a proper sense of his danger while he stands excluded from the sacraments of the Church of the living God, and that with the divine blessing it may lead him to repentance. When the court has resolved to pass this sentence, the Moderator shall address
the offending brother to the following purpose:
“Whereas, you, A. B., (here describe the person as a Minister, Ruling Elder, Deacon, or private member of the Church,) are convicted by sufficient proof, [or are guilty by your own confession,] of the sin of—, (here insert the offence,)—we, the Presbytery, [or Church-session,] of C. D., in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, do now declare you suspended from the sacraments of the Church, [and from the exercise of your office, or any of the functions thereof,] until you give satisfactory evidence of the sincerity of your repentance.
To this shall be added such advice or admonition as may be judged necessary, and the whole shall be concluded with prayer to Almighty God that He would follow this act of discipline with His blessing.

PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, X-5
The censure of indefinite suspension ought to be inflicted with great solemnity, that it may be the means of impressing the mind of the delinquent with a proper sense of his danger while he stands excluded from the sacraments of the church of the living God, and that
with the divine blessing it may lead him to repentance. When the court has re-solved to pass this sentence, the moderator shall address the offending brother to the following purpose:
“Whereas, you, A. B., (here describe the person as a minister, ruling elder, deacon, or private member of the Church,) are convicted by sufficient proof, [or are guilty by your own confession,] of the sin of (here insert the offence,) we, the presbytery [or church session] of C. D., in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, do now declare you suspended from the sacraments of the church [and from the exercise of your office, or any of the functions thereof,] until you give satisfactory evidence of the sincerity of your repentance.
To this shall be added such advice or admonition as may be judged necessary, and the whole shall be concluded with prayer to Almighty God that he would follow this act of discipline with his blessing.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 223), on X-5:
224.--V. The censure of indefinite suspension ought to be inflicted with great solemnity, that it may be the means of impressing the mind of the delinquent with a proper sense of his danger, while he stands excluded from the sacraments of the Church of the living God, and that with the Divine blessing it may lead him to repentance. When the court has resolved to pass this sentence, the Moderator shall address the offending brother to the following purpose:
"Whereas, You, A.B. (here describe the person as a Minister, Ruling Elder, Deacon or private member of the Church), are convicted by sufficient proof [or, are guilty by your own confession], of the sin of _______ (here insert the offence), we, the Presbytery [or Church Session] of C.D., in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, do now declare you suspended from the sacraments of the Church [and from the exercise of your office], until you give satisfactory evidence of repentance.
To this shall be added such advice or admonition as may be judged necessary, and the whole shall be concluded with prayer to Almighty God that He would follow this act of discipline with His blessing
.
The language "when the court has resolved to pass this sentence," must be taken as equivalent to "when the sentence has been passed" (cf. 225) ; and this and all other censures are to be administered at such time and place as the court has ordered. The "and" in the parenthesis "and from the exercise of your office," must be taken as equivalent to "or" also, since an officer may be suspended from office without being suspended from sealing ordinances.



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