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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 36 : The Infliction of Church Censures

Paragraph 6 :

36-6. Excommunication is to be administered according to one or other of the two modes laid down for indefinite suspension, or to be inflicted in public as the court may decide. In administering this censure the moderator of the Session shall make a statement of the several steps which have been taken with respect to the offending brother, and of the decision to cut him off from the communion of the church. He shall then show from Matthew 18:15-18 and 1 Corinthians 5:1-5 the authority of the church to cast out unworthy members, and shall explain the nature, use and consequences of this censure. He shall then administer the censure in the words following:
Whereas, _________________________, a member of this church has been by sufficient proof convicted of the sin of _______________________, and after much admonition and prayer, obstinately refuses to hear the Church, and has manifested no evidence of repentance: Therefore, in the name
and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, we, the Session of ________________________ church do pronounce him to be excluded from the Sacraments, and cut off from the fellowship of the Church.
Prayer shall then be made that by God’s blessing this solemn action of the court may issue in the repentance and restoration of the offender, and in the establishment of all true believers.

[Historical Summary : .]

Background and Comparison :
PCA 1973, RoD, 10-6, Adopted text (M1GA, Part IV, Appendix B, p. 150-151)
and
Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 10-6, Proposed text, p. 51
Excommunication is to be administered according to one or other of the two modes laid down for indefinite suspension, or to be inflicted in public as the court may decide. In administering this censure the Moderator of the Session shall make a statement of the several steps which have been taken with respect to the offending brother, and of the decision to cut him off from the communion of the Church. He shall then show from Matthew XVIII. 15-18, and I Corinthians V. 1-5, the authority of the Church to cast out unworthy members, and shall explain the nature, use, and consequences of this censure. He shall then administer the censure in the words following:
"Whereas, A.B., a member of this church has been by sufficient proof convicted of the sin of ..., and after much admonition and prayer, obstinately refuses to hear the Church, and has manifested no evidence of repentance: Therefore, in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, we, the Session of the church of C.D., do pronounce him to be excluded from the sacraments, and cut off from the fellowship of the Church."
Prayer shall then be made that by God's blessing this solemn action of the court may issue in the repentance and restoration of the offender, and in the establishment of all true believers.

PCUS 1933,
The

PCUS 1925, §
The

PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, X-6

When the sentence of excommunication has been regularly passed, the Moderator of the Session shall make a public statement before the church of the several steps which have been taken with respect to their offending brother, and inform them that it has been found necessary to cut him off from the communion of the Church. He shall then show the authority of the Church to cast out unworthy members, from Matt. xviii: 15-18, and 1 Cor. v: 1-5, and shall explain the nature, use and consequence of this censure, warning the people that they are to conduct themselves, in all their intercourse with him as is proper towards one who is under the heaviest censure of the Church. he shall then pronounce sentence to the following effect:
"WHEREAS, A.B., a member of this church, has been, by sufficient proof, convicted of the sin of _____, and after much admonition and prayer, obstinately refuses to hear the church, and has manifested no evidence of repentance: Therefore, in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, we, the Session of the church of C.D., do pronounce him to be excluded from the sacraments, and cut off from the fellowship of the Church."
After which prayer shall be made that the blessing of God may follow His ordinance, for the conviction and reformation of the excommunicated, and for the establishment of all true believers.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, X-6
When the sentence of excommunication has been regularly passed, the Moderator of the Session shall make a public statement before the Congregation of the several steps which have been taken with respect to their offending brother, and inform them that it has been found necessary to cut him off from the communion of the Church. He shall then show the authority of the Church to cast out unworthy members, from Matt. xviii: 15-18, and 1 Cor. v: 1-5, and shall explain the nature, use, and consequence of this censure, warning the people that they are to conduct themselves in all their intercourse with him, as is proper towards one who is under the heaviest censure of the Church. He shall then pronounce sentence to the following effect:
“Whereas, A. B., a member of this Congregation, hath been, by sufficient proof, convicted of the sin of——————, and, after much admonition and prayer, obstinately refuseth to hear the Church, and hath manifested no evidence of repentance: Therefore, in the dreadful name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, we, the Session of the Congregation of C. D., do pronounce him to be excluded from the sacraments, and cut off from the fellowship of the Church.”
After which, prayer shall be made that the blessing of God may follow his ordinance, for the conviction and reformation of the excom-municated, and for the establishment of all true believers.

PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, X-6
When the sentence of excommunication has been regularly passed, the moderator of the session shall make a public statement before the congregation of the several steps which have been taken with respect to their offending brother, and inform them that it has been found necessary to cut him off from the visible church. He shall then show the authority of the church to cast out unworthy members, from Matt. xviii: 15-18, and 1 Cor. v: 1-5,
and shall explain the nature, use, and consequence of this censure, warning the people that they are to conduct themselves in all their intercourse with him, as is proper towards one who is under the heaviest censure of the Church. He shall then pronounce sentence to the following effect:
“Whereas, A. B., a member of this congregation, hath been, by sufficient proof, convicted of the sin of——————, and, after much admonition and prayer, obstinately refuseth to hear the church, and hath manifested no evidence of repentance: Therefore, in the dreadful name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, we, the session of the congregation of C. D., do pronounce him to be excluded from the sacraments, and cut off from the fellowship of the church.”
After which, prayer shall be made that the blessing of God may follow his ordinance, for the conviction and reformation of the excommunicated, and for the establishment of all true believers.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, pp. 223-224), on X-6:
225.--VI. When the sentence of excommunication has been regularly passed, the Moderator of the Session shall make a public statement before the church of the several steps which have been taken with respect to their offending brother, and inform them that it has been found necessary to cut him off from the communion of the Church. He shall then show the authority of the Church to cast out unworthy members, from Matt. xviii: 15-18, and 1 Cor. v: 1-5, and shall explain the nature, use and consequence of this censure, warning the people that they are to conduct themselves, in all their intercourse with him as is proper towards one who is under the heaviest censure of the Church. he shall then pronounce sentence to the following effect:
"WHEREAS, A.B., a member of this church, has been, by sufficient proof, convicted of the sin of _____, and after much admonition and prayer, obstinately refuses to hear the church, and has manifested no evidence of repentance: Therefore, in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, we, the Session of the church of C.D., do pronounce him to be excluded from the sacraments, and cut off from the fellowship of the Church."
After which prayer shall be made that the blessing of God may follow His ordinance, for the conviction and reformation of the excommunicated, and for the establishment of all true believers
.
For the excommunication of a Minister, see 226. Nothwithstanding the language here used assumes that no one will be excommunicated who confesses his fault, yet, unless repentance accompany confession, the court may excommunicate ; but no one is to be excommunicated who manifests repentance.



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