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The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 37 : The Removal of Censure

Paragraph 2 :

37-2. After any person has been indefinitely suspended from the Sacraments, it is proper that the rulers of the church should frequently converse with him as well as pray with him and for him, that it would please God to give him repentance.

[Historical Summary : 1989 [M17GA, 17-6, Item 6, p. 47] and 1990 [M18GA, 18-8, Item 4, p. 48].]

Background and Comparison :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 11-1, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, 151
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 11-1, Proposed text, p. 52

3. PCUS 1933, RoD, XI-§248
4. PCUS 1925, RoD, XI-§248
5. PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, XI-1
After any person has been suspended from the sacraments, it is proper that the rulers of the church should frequently converse with him as well as pray with him and for him, that it would please God to give him repentance.


PCUS 1869 draft, Canons of Discipline, XI-1
After any person has been suspended from the sacraments, it is proper that the rulers of the Church should frequently converse with him as well as pray with him in private, that it would please God to give him repentance. And it may be requisite likewise, particularly on days preparatory to the dispensing of the Lord’s Supper, that the prayers of the Congregation be offered up for those unhappy persons who, by their wickedness, have shut themselves out from this holy communion.

PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, XI-1
After any person hath been suspended from the sacraments, it is proper that the rulers of the church should frequently converse with him as well as pray with him in private, that it would please God to give him repentance. And it may be requisite likewise, particularly on days preparatory to the dispensing of the Lord’s Supper, that the prayers of the congregation be offered up for those unhappy persons who, by their wickedness, have shut themselves out from this holy communion.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, pp. 225-226), on XI-1:
CHAPTER XI. - OF THE REMOVAL OF CENSURES.
The censure of admonition not affecting one's standing, and the censure of definite suspension terminating without further action at the time set, nothing is said in this chapter* concerning the removal of these two censures. Paragraph 1 points out how the rulers of the church should deal with one suspended from the sacraments ; and paragraph 2, how the court should proceed in restoring a suspended offender. Paragraph 3 treats of the restoration of an excommunicated offender ; and paragraph 4, of one deposed. Special regulations are given in paragraph 5 concerning Elders and Deacons restored after deposition ; in paragraph 6, concerning the restoration of offenders who have removed beyond the reach of the court ; and in paragraph 7, concerning the restoration of a deposed Minister.
227.--I. After any person has been suspended from the sacraments, it is proper that the rulers of the church should frequently converse with him as well as pray with him and for him, that it would please God to give him repentance
.
Whether a suspended offender is going to be restored or excommunicated is a pending question, and never should the status of suspension be considered permanent. He is not yet cut off.
*[This was true for the PCUS BCO, but the PCA added BCO 37-1 in 1990, presumably on the idea that some recognition needed to be made at the end of a term of definite suspension].



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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]