.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 36 : The Infliction of Church Censures

Paragraph 7 :

36-7. The censure of deposition shall be administered by the moderator in the words following:
Whereas, ____________________, a teaching elder of this Presbytery (or ruling elder or deacon of this church), has been proved, by sufficient evidence to be guilty of the sin of ____________________, we, the ____________________ Presbytery (or Church Session), do adjudge him disqualified for the office of the Christian ministry (or ruling eldership, or deaconship), and therefore we do hereby, in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, depose from the office of a teaching elder (or ruling elder or deacon) the said ____________________, and do prohibit him from exercising any of the functions thereof.
If the censure includes suspension or excommunication, the moderator shall proceed to say:
We do moreover, by the same authority, suspend the said ____________________ from the Sacraments of the Church, until he shall exhibit satisfactory evidence of sincere repentance,
or
We do moreover, by the same authority, exclude the said ____________________ from the Sacraments, and cut him off from the fellowship of the Church.
The sentence of deposition ought to be inflicted with solemnities similar to those already prescribed in the case of excommunication.

[Historical Summary : .]

Background and Comparison :
PCA 1973, RoD, 10-7, Adopted text, (M1GA, Part IV, Appendix B, p. 150)
Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, 10-7, Proposed text, p. 52
The censure of deposition shall be administered by the Moderator in the words following:
"Whereas, A.B., a Minister of this Presbytery (or a Ruling Elder or Deacon of this church), has been proved, by sufficient evidence to be guilty of the sin of ........, we, the Presbytery (or Church Session), of C.D., do adjudge him disqualified for the office of the Christian ministry (or Ruling Eldership, or Deaconship), and therefore we do hereby, in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, depose from the office of a Christian Minister (or Ruling Elder, or Deacon), the said A.B., and do prohibit him from exercising any of the functions thereof." If the censure include suspension or excommunication, the Moderator shall proceed to say: "We do moreover, by the same authority, suspend the said A.B., from the sacraments of the Church, until he shall exhibit satisfactory evidence of sincere repentance," or "exclude the said A.B., from the sacraments, and cut him off from the fellowship of the Church."
The sentence of deposition ought to be inflicted with solemnities similar to those already prescribed in the case of excommunication.

PCUS 1933,
The

PCUS 1925, §
The

PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, X-7

The sentence of deposition shall be pronounced by the Moderator in words of the following import:
"WHEREAS, A.B., a Minister of this Presbytery [or a Ruling Elder or Deacon of this church], has been proved, by sufficient evidence, to be guilty of the sin of _______, we, the Presbytery [or Church Session], of C.D., do adjudge him totally disqualified for the office of the Christian Ministry [or Eldership, or Deaconship], and therefore we do hereby, in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, depose from the office of a Christian Minister [or Elder, or Deacon], the said A.B., and do prohibit him from exercising any of the functions thereof." If the sentence include suspension or excommunication, the Moderator shall proceed to say: "We do moreover, by the same authority, suspend the said A.B., from the sacraments of the Church, until he shall exhibit satisfactory evidence of sincere repentance," or "exclude the said A.B., from the sacraments, and cut him off from the fellowship of the Church."
The sentence of deposition ought to be inflicted with solemnities similar to those already prescribed in the case of excommunication.

PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, X-7
The sentence of deposition shall be pronounced by the Moderator in words of the following import:
“Whereas, A. B., a Minister of this Presbytery, [or, a Ruling Elder or Deacon of this Congregation,] has been proved by sufficient evidence to be guilty of the sin of ——————, we, the Presbytery, [or Church-session,] of C. D., do adjudge him totally disqualified for the office of the Christian Ministry, [or Eldership, or Deaconship,] and therefore we do hereby, in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, depose from the office and degrade from the rank of a Christian Minister, [or, Elder or Deacon,] the said A. B., and do prohibit him from exercising his office or any of the functions thereof. (If the sentence include suspension or excommunication, the Moderator shall proceed to say,) We do, moreover, in the same Venerable Name, suspend the said A. B. from the sacraments of the Church until he shall exhibit satisfactory evidence of sincere repentance, [or, exclude the said A. B. from the sacraments, and cut him off from the fellowship of the Church.]”
The sentence of deposition ought to be inflicted with solemnities similar to those already prescribed in the case of excommunication.

PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, X-7
The sentence of deposition shall be pro-nounced by the moderator in words of the following import:
“Whereas, A. B., a minister of this presbytery [or, a ruling elder or deacon of this congregation,] has been proved by sufficient evidence to be guilty of the sin of ——————, we, the Presbytery, [or church-session,] of C. D., do adjudge him totally disqualified for the office of the Christian ministry, [or, eldership or deaconship,] and therefore we do hereby, in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, depose from the office and degrade from the rank of a Christian minister [or, elder or deacon,] the said A. B., and do prohibit him from exercising his office or any of the functions thereof. (If the sentence include suspension or ex-communication, the moderator shall proceed to say,) We do, moreover, in the same Venerable Name, suspend the said A. B. from the sacraments of the church until he shall exhibit satisfactory evidence of sincere repentance, [or, exclude the said A. B. from the sacraments, and cut him off from the fellowship of the church.]”
The sentence of deposition ought to be inflicted with solemnities similar to those already prescribed in the case of excommunication.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 224), on X-7:
226.--VII. The sentence of deposition shall be pronounced by the Moderator in words of the following import:
"WHEREAS, A.B., a Minister of this Presbytery [or a Ruling Elder or Deacon of this church], has been proved, by sufficient evidence, to be guilty of the sin of _______, we, the Presbytery [or Church Session], of C.D., do adjudge him totally disqualified for the office of the Christian Ministry [or Eldership, or Deaconship], and therefore we do hereby, in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, depose from the office of a Christian Minister [or Elder, or Deacon], the said A.B., and do prohibit him from exercising any of the functions thereof." If the sentence include suspension or excommunication, the Moderator shall proceed to say: "We do moreover, by the same authority, suspend the said A.B., from the sacraments of the Church, until he shall exhibit satisfactory evidence of sincere repentance," or "exclude the said A.B., from the sacraments, and cut him off from the fellowship of the Church."
The sentence of deposition ought to be inflicted with solemnities similar to those already prescribed in the case of excommunication
.
Notwithstanding the literal implication of the language here used, an officer may be deposed upon his own confession, and even when he manifests repentance (202), but he may not be excommunicated if he manifests repentance.
It may be in place here to add the following observations:
1. The censure is always to be inflicted by the court having original jurisdiction. If the Presbytery takes the place of the Session, then the Presbytery is, for that case, the court having original jurisdiction. If it should be that the court, whose duty it is to inflict the sentence, does not approve the sentence, it is bound to obey the court rendering the final decision ; but it may disclaim its own approval of the sentence even when inflicting it.
2. The court may appoint any member to act as Moderator of the court in administering censure, if the Moderator desires it ; but if one finds himself required as Moderator to pronounce a sentence that he does not himself approve, he may disclaim his approval.
3. A sentence is inflicted when formally pronounced, whether the condemned person is present or not.
4. No sentence ought to be inflicted until after the time within which notice of an appeal can be given (258).
5. The sentence takes effect from its passage (subject to 258), whether it is ever formally inflicted or not, the formal infliction being a means of grace in addition to the real sentence itself.



©PCA Historical Center, 12330 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO, 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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]