.

The Historical Development of the PCA Book of Church Order

Chapter 37 : The Removal of Censure

Paragraph 5 :

37-5. The restoration of a deposed officer, after public confession has been made in a manner similar to that prescribed in the case of the removal of censure from an excommunicated person, shall be announced to him by the Moderator in the following form, namely:
Whereas, you, ______________ , formerly a teaching elder of this Presbytery (or a ruling elder or deacon of this church), have been deposed from your office, but have now manifested such
repentance as satisfies the Church; in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by His authority, we, the _______________ Presbytery (or Church Session) do declare you absolved from the said sentence of deposition formerly pronounced against you; and we do furthermore restore you to your said office, and to the exercise of all the functions thereof, whenever you may be orderly called thereto.
After this there shall be prayer and thanksgiving, and the members of the court shall extend to him the right hand of fellowship.


[Historical Summary : The current PCA text dates to _______, though the substance of the paragraph remains that of PCA 1973 and all PCUS editions back to the first draft of 1867. No similar provision is stipulated in any of the earlier PCUSA editions. The current text has "teaching elder" in place of "Minister" and supplies blank lines in place of the older form "A.B." or "C.D." for name insertions. PCUS 1879 and the earlier draft editions also had the older form "viz" instead of the "namely". Apart from other differences of capitalization, the most notable difference among these several editions is seen in the early draft versions, where "in the same Venerable Name," is included as part of the form of announcement.]

Background and Comparison :
1. PCA 1973, RoD, 11-4, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 151
2. Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 11-4, Proposed text, p. 53
3. PCUS 1933, RoD, XI-§251
4. PCUS 1925, RoD, XI-§251
The restoration of a deposed officer, after public confession has been made in a manner similar to that prescribed in the case of the removal of censure from an excommunicated person, shall be announced to him by the Moderator in the following form, namely:
"Whereas, You, A.B., formerly a Minister of this Presbytery (or a Ruling Elder or Deacon of this church), have been deposed from your office, but have now manifested such repentance as satisfies the Church; in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his authority, we, the Presbytery of C.D., (or the Session of this church), do declare you absolved from the said sentence of deposition formerly pronounced against you; and we do furthermore restore you to your said office, and to the exercise of all the functions thereof, whenever you may be orderly called thereto."
After which there shall be prayer and thanksgiving, and the members of the court shall extend to him the right hand of fellowship.

PCUS 1879, Rules of Discipline, XI-4

The restoration of a deposed officer, after public confession has been made in a manner similar to that prescribed in the case of the removal of censure from an excommunicated person, shall be announced to him by the Moderator in the following form, viz:
"Whereas, you, A.B., formerly a Minister of this Presbytery (or a Ruling Elder or Deacon of this church), have been deposed from your office, but have now manifested such repentance as satisfies the Church; in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by His authority, we, the Presbytery of C.D., (or the Session of this church), do declare you absolved from the said sentence of deposition formerly pronounced against you; and we do furthermore restore you to your said office, and to the exercise of all the functions thereof, whenever you may be orderly called thereto."
After which there shall be prayer and thanksgiving, and the members of the court shall extend to him the right hand of fellowship.

PCUS 1869 draft,
The restoration of a deposed officer, after public confession has been made in a manner similar to that prescribed in the case of the removal of censure from an excommunicated person, shall be announced to him by the Moderator in the following form, viz:
“Whereas you, A. B., formerly a Minister of this Presbytery, [or a Ruling Elder or Deacon of this Congregation,] have been deposed from your office, but have now manifested such repentance as satisfies the Church; in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by His authority, we, the Presbytery of C. D., [or the Session of this Congregation,] do declare you absolved from the said sentence of deposition formerly inflicted upon you; and we do furthermore, in the same Venerable Name, restore you to your said office, and to the exercise of all the functions thereof, wherever you may be orderly called thereto.”
After which there shall be prayer with thanksgiving, and the members of the court shall extend to him the right hand of fellowship.

PCUS 1867 draft, Canons of Discipline, XI-4
The restoration of a deposed officer, after public confession has been made in a manner similar to that prescribed in the case of the removal of censure from an excommunicated person, shall be announced to him by the moderator in the following form, viz:
“Whereas, you, A. B., formerly a minister of this presbytery, [or a ruling elder or deacon of this congregation,] have been deposed
from your office, but have now manifested such repentance as satisfies the church; in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by his authority, we, the presbytery of C. D., [or the session of this congregation,] do declare you absolved from the said sentence of deposition formerly inflicted upon you; and we do furthermore, in the same Venerable Name, restore you to your said office, and to the exercise of all the functions thereof, wherever you may be orderly called thereto.”
After which there shall be prayer and thanksgiving, and the members of the court shall extend to him the right hand of fellowship.

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 229), on XI-4:
230.--IV. The restoration of a deposed officer, after public confession has been made in a manner similar to that prescribed in the case of the removal of censure from an excommunicated person, shall be announced to him by the Moderator in the following form, namely:
"Whereas, You, A.B., formerly a Minister of this Presbytery (or a Ruling Elder or Deacon of this church), have been deposed from your office, but have now manifested such repentance as satisfies the Church; in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by his authority, we, the Presbytery of C.D., (or the Session of this church), do declare you absolved from the said sentence of deposition formerly pronounced against you; and we do furthermore restore you to your said office, and to the exercise of all the functions thereof, whenever you may be orderly called thereto."
After which there shall be prayer and thanksgiving, and the members of the court shall extend to him the right hand of fellowship
.
If an officer is restored to the communion and to office at the same time, then it would be proper to pronounce first the sentence of restoration at the end of 229, and then this sentence of restoration at the end of 230.
An officer does not need to be reordained at his restoration, the act of restoration being itself the undoing of the deposition.



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