Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) HIV.

Christian Discipline

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 67

Christian Discipline

Article
67

The Purpose of Discipline

The purpose of Christian discipline is:
1. To vindicate the honour of the Lord,
2. To maintain the purity of the Church, and
3. To promote the welfare of the believer.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 68

Christian Discipline

Article
68

Who Is Subject to Christian Discipline

All members of the church are subject to Christian discipline respecting both doctrine and life. Likewise, all members are responsible to watch over and admonish one another in love.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 69

Christian Discipline

Article
69

The Means of Christian Discipline

Christian discipline is exercised exclusively by spiritual means, which are:
1. Admonition: Tenderly and solemnly confronting the offender with his sin, warning him of his danger and exhorting him to repentance and to greater fidelity to the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Rebuke: A form of censure more severe than admonition, which consists in setting forth the serious character of the offence, reproving the offender, and exhorting him to repentance and to more perfect fidelity to Christ.
3. Suspension: Depriving of the privileges of membership in the church, or office, or of both, either for a definite or an indefinite time.
Suspension of an officer-bearer from the privileges of membership shall always be accompanied by suspension from office, but the latter does not necessarily involve the former.
4. Deposition: Depriving an office-bearer of his office.
5. Excommunication: A solemn declaration by a church assembly that it no longer regards the offender as a member of the Body of Christ.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 70

Christian Discipline

Article
70

Disciplinary Steps only after Investigation

Disciplinary measures shall be applied only after an adequate investigation has been made and the accused has been given ample opportunity to present his case.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 71

Christian Discipline

Article
71

Private and Public Offenses

Christian discipline is concerned with offenses that are either private or public.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 72

Christian Discipline

Article
72

Private Offenses

Private offenses are those which are known to an individual only or, at most, to a very few individuals. In these cases the rule prescribed by Christ in Matthew 18: 15-17 shall be followed.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 73

Christian Discipline

Article
73

Public Offenses

Such private sins as have been dealt with according to the previous article shall be deemed to have assumed the character of public offenses if the admonition and rebuke of the Session also is despised.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 74

Christian Discipline

Article
74

What is a Public Offence

Public offenses are such as have become widely known.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 75

Christian Discipline

Article
75

Reconciliation of the Offender

Public offenses shall be reconciled by the session upon sufficient evidence of repentance. In case of extremely grave offence a session may demand public confession of the sin. This shall not take place without the concurrence of presbytery.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 76

Christian Discipline

Article
76

Suspension of Members

Communicant members who obstinately reject the admonition and rebuke of session shall be suspended from the privileges of communicant membership.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 77

Christian Discipline

Article
77

Excommunication of Members

Communicant members who have been suspended and persist in disregarding the admonition and rebuke of the session, shall finally be excommunicated with the use of the prescribed form.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 78

Christian Discipline

Article
78

Announcement before Excommunication

The session, before excommunicating anyone, shall make three announcements in which the obstinacy of the sinner and the nature of his offence are explained, and the congregation is urged to pray for him and to admonish him.
1. In the first announcement neither the name of the sinner nor the sin shall be mentioned;
2. In the second announcement (with the concurrence of the presbytery) the name of the sinner and the sin shall be made known;
3. In the third announcement, the congregation shall be informed that, unless the sinner repents, he will be excommunicated at a specified date.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 79

Christian Discipline

Article
79

Reconciliation of the Excommunicant

When anyone who has been excommunicated desires to become reconciled to the church, the session, having satisfied itself as to the sincerity of his repentance, shall announce this fact to the congregation. If no valid objections are presented, he shall be restored to the fellowship of the church, with the use of the prescribed form.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 80

Christian Discipline

Article
80

Rebuke of Baptised Members

Mature members by baptism who are delinquent in doctrine or life, shall be rebuked, and if they persist, shall be excluded from the Church of Christ.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 81

Christian Discipline

Article
81

Return into the Membership of Baptised Members

Members by baptism who have been excluded from the church and who later repent of their sin, shall be received again into the church only upon public profession of faith.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 82

Discipline of Office-bearers

Article
82

Suspension and Deposition from Office

Office-bearers, besides being subject to general discipline with all other members of the church, are also subject to special discipline which consists of suspension and deposition from office.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) HIVa.

Christian Discipline

Discipline of Office-Bearers

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 83

Christian Discipline

Discipline of Office-Bearers

Article
83

Special Discipline of Office-Bearers

Special discipline shall be applied to office-bearers if they violate the form of subscription, are guilty of neglect or abuse of office or in any other way seriously deviate from sound doctrine and godly conduct.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 84

Christian Discipline

Discipline of Office-Bearers

Article
84

Concurrence of Suspension from Nearest Session

Suspension from office shall ordinarily precede deposition and shall be imposed by the session only with concurrence of the session of the nearest church in the same presbytery.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 85

Christian Discipline

Discipline of Office-Bearers

Article
85

Deposition with Concurrence of Presbytery

If the suspended office-bearer does not give heed to repeated admonition and rebuke on the part of both the session and the presbytery, the session shall depose him with the concurrence of presbytery.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 86

Discipline of Office-bearers

Article
86

Deposition of a Minister

In case of a minister such a deposition shall not take place without the consent of presbytery and all the synodical examiners.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 87

Christian Discipline

Discipline of Office-Bearers

Article
87

Suspension Lifted upon Repentance

The suspension of an office-bearer shall be lifted either upon sufficient evidence of repentance or by successful appeal.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 88

Discipline of Office-bearers

Article
88

Prerogative of Assembly

The lifting of suspension upon sufficient evidence of repentance is the prerogative of the assembly which imposed the suspension.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 89

Discipline of Office-bearers

Article
89

Restoration of Deposed Office-Bearer

A deposed office-bearer shall not be restored unless he gives sufficient evidence of repentance and it be evident that this restoration will be for the good of the church.

Kerkorde RCNZ (1977) Art. 90

Christian Discipline

Discipline of Office-Bearers

Article
90

Censura Morum

Office-bearers shall, before the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, exercise Christian censure (censura morum) among themselves and in a brotherly spirit admonish one another with regard to the discharge of their office.