PCA HISTORICAL CENTER
Archives and Manuscript Repository for the Continuing Presbyterian Church


The Historical Development of the Book of Church Order

Chapter 41 : References

Paragraph 5 : On Tempering a Resort to References

41-5. Although references are sometimes proper, in general it is better that every court should discharge the duty assigned it under the law of the Church.
A higher court is not required to accede to the request of the lower, but it should ordinarily give advice when so requested.


DIGEST :

BACKGROUND AND COMPARISON :
PCA 1973, RoD, 15-5, Adopted text, as printed in the Minutes of General Assembly, p. 153
and
Continuing Presbyterian Church 1973, RoD, 15-5, Proposed text, p. 57
Although references are sometimes proper, yet in general it is better that every court should discharge the duty assigned it under the law of the Church.
A higher court is not required to accede to the request of the lower, but it should ordinarily give advice when so requested.

PCUS 1933,

PCUS 1925,

PCUS 1879,

The


PCUS 1869 draft,
The

PCUS 1867 draft,
It

COMMENTARY :
F.P. Ramsay, Exposition of the Book of Church Order (1898, p. 245), on
§251.—V. Although references may, in some cases, be proper, yet it is generally conducive to the good of the Church that every court should fulfil its duty by exercising its judgment.
A thing should be done by the appropriate organ; and only when the special distribution of powers among the courts adopted in the Form of Government seems really to put a work upon an unfit organ, ought references to be resorted to.
§252.—VI. A reference ought, generally, to procure advice from the superior court, yet that court is not bound to give a final judgment, but may remit the whole case, either with or without advice, to the court by which it was referred.
The superior is not bound to give a final judgment, even when the reference asks for it.

Chapter Index [links are to Paragraph 1 in 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]

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