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All Articles For Decency and Order

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Rev. Cammenga is pastor of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, Michigan. Since it is proper that the matrimonial state be confirmed in the presence of Christ’s church, according to the form for that purpose, the consistories shall attend to it.  Church Order, Article 70. Historical Background Article 70 concerns the “confirmation” of marriage. The language of the article reflects the Dutch scene in the nineteenth century. Early in the century the Dutch government had assumed the responsibility for performing marriage ceremonies, as the church had urged it to do at the synods of Emden (1586) and Dordrecht (1618-’19). Thus...

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In our previous articles, dealing with the subject matter of the twenty-first Article of our Church Order, we have attempted to make clear the following: (a) The origin and history of this article, (b) That good Christian schools are those that thoroughly furnish the child of God unto every good work, (c) That requisite to the establishment of such schools and, therefore, the basic problem of Christian education, is the capable and properly trained instructor, (d) That the consistory is obliged to do its utmost to procure such teachers for the instruction of the youth of the church as well

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Rev. Cammenga is pastor of the Protestant Reformed Church of Loveland, Colorado. The proceedings of all assemblies shall begin by calling upon the name of God and be closed with thanksgiving.  Church Order, Article 32 An Article of Long Standing Article 32 calls for prayer at the beginning and conclusion of all ecclesiastical assemblies. This kind of article has had a place in Reformed church orders as far back as that adopted by the Synod of Emden in 1571: When they have thus gathered, the minister of that place, or if there is none, the one who presided in the...

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Rev. Cammenga is pastor of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, Michigan. “As Christian discipline is of a spiritual nature, and exempts no one from civil trial or punishment by the authorities, so also besides civil punishment there is need of ecclesiastical censures, to reconcile the sinner with the church and his neighbor and to remove the offense out of the church of Christ.”  Church Order, Article 71. Introduction Article 71 introduces the fourth and last section of the Church Order. The section is entitled “Of Censure and Ecclesiastical Admonition.” The following overview of the articles in this section may...

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Prof. Cammenga is professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. “To those who remove from the congregation, a letter or testimony concerning their profession and conduct shall be given by the consistory, signed by two; or, in the case of letters which are given under the seal of the church, signed by one.” Church Order, Article 82. Transfer of Membership Article 82 deals with the transfer of membership from one congregation to another within the church federation. The article provides for the transfer of membership by means of the granting of a “letter or testimony concerning...

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Prof. Cammenga is professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Previous article in this series: October 1, 2008, p. 11. “The ministers of the Word, elders, and deacons shall before the celebration of the Lord’s Supper exercise Christian censure among themselves, and in a friendly spirit admonish one another with regard to the discharge of their office.”  Church Order, Article 81. Introduction The practice of censura morum is longstanding in the Reformed churches. From the beginning of their existence, the Protestant Reformed Churches have followed the practice. Last time we began our consideration of Article 81 by tracing...

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Rev. Cammenga is pastor of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, Michigan. In case any one errs in doctrine or offends in conduct, as long as the sin is of a private character, not giving public offense, the rule clearly prescribed by Christ in Matthew 18 shall be followed.  Church Order, Article 72. Background Articles 72 and 73 concern private sins.* Article 72 prescribes how private sins are to be handled. Article 73 forbids the members of the church informing the consistory about private sins. Our Church Order and Reformed church polity makes an important distinction between private and public...

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Rev. Cammenga is pastor of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, Michigan. The classis shall authorize at least two of her oldest, most experienced and most competent ministers to visit all the churches once a year and to take tied whether the minister and the consistory faithfully perform the duties of their office, adhere to sound doctrine, observe in all things the adopted order, and properly promote as much as lies in them, through word and deed, the upbuilding of the congregation, in particular of the youth, to the end that they may in time fraternally admonish those who have...

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Rev. Cammenga is pastor of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church in Grandville, Michigan. Instructions concerning matters to be considered in major assemblies shall not be written until the decisions of previous synods touching these matters have been read, in order that what was once decided be not again proposed, unless a revision be deemed necessary. Church Order, Article 46 Background Article 46 was written in a day when there were no typewriters, computers, fax machines, copy machines, or reliable mail services. In those days no printed agenda for the major assemblies was sent to the delegates in advance of the meetings. Instead,...

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