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All Articles For Vanden, Berg G

Results 261 to 266 of 266

In our liturgical study the next matter for consideration is the Form of Excommunication as it appears in the back of our Psalter. The material or content of this form is inseparably connected with the broader subject of ecclesiastical censure or discipline, since excommunication is but one step, the final step, in this process. When the ecclesiastical machinery of discipline is activated by gross sin in the church and there remains no evidence of repentance in the sinner, the end result is excommunication, and where this is necessary the form which we purpose to discuss is to be used.

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(Treating the Form for the Ordination of Elders)  Of the various ordination forms used in our churches, the form for the ordination of elders and deacons is undoubtedly the most familiar to us. This stems from the fact that this form is read in the assembly of public worship at least once a year. Far less frequently is the form for the ordination of ministers read, and, in almost all of our churches, occasion has never arisen for the form for the ordination of missionaries to be read. 

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The prayer which brings to a conclusion the service of ordaining one in the ministry of the Word must not be construed merely as a part of the “form.” Although it certainly belongs to the Form of Ordination, it is much more than this. If careful consideration was given to all that preceded, particularly the exhortations and charges given to the newly ordained minister and the congregation, this prayer will not be uttered as a mere “form,” but it will express the spiritual consciousness of the church and her minister.

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“Therefore, in the first place, the office of elders is, together with the ministers of the Word, to take the oversight of the Church, which is committed to them, and diligently to look, whether everyone properly deports himself in his confession and conversation; to admonish those who behave themselves disorderly, and to prevent, as much as possible, the sacraments from being profaned; also to act (according to the Christian discipline) against the impenitent, and to receive the penitent again into the bosom of the Church, as doth not only appear from the above mentioned saying of Christ,

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In our last article we emphasized that the deacon’s office, apart from the question whether or not Acts 6records its historical origin, is divinely instituted and has the sanction of the Word of God. Christ will have deacons in His church as well as elders and ministers of the Word. The church that has no diaconate, or where the diaconate fails to function according to the mandate and calling of God’s Word, suffers a very serious lack of something that is essential to her existence.

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The last time we emphasized the necessity of Christian discipline. In every institution founded within the society of mankind there must not only be laws by which that institution is governed, but there must be proper maintenance and enforcement of those laws. This enforcement constitutes the indispensable discipline upon society through which order is maintained, transgression is punished and without which society is destroyed by lawlessness. The latter is characteristic of our age and is a root factor in the massive disruptions of civil, industrial, social and even ecclesiastical life.

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