Article 75 — Re-admission
When someone who has been excommunicated repents and desires to be again received into the communion of the church, the congregation shall be informed of this desire in order to see whether there are any lawful objections. The time between the public announcement and the re-admission of the sinner shall be not less than one month. If no lawful objection is raised the re-admission shall take place, with the use of the adopted Form.
Excommunication is the ‘ultimate remedy’. Although it does not happen very often, when a person in question does repent, and subsequently desires re-admittance to the community of the church, it may be seen as being a result of the ‘ultimate remedy’ having been applied.
He who covers his sins will not prosper.
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. (Proverbs 28: 13).
This mercy includes the re-admission to the community of the body of Jesus Christ, together with all the benefits thereof, e.g. the joy of participating in the Table of the Lord.
The re-admittance procedure is sequel to that of church discipline. The congregation is informed. Silent approval is obtained when no lawful objections have been brought forward. After a period of at least three Sundays the person is re-admitted into the congregation by publicly confessing his/her sin, for the purpose of which the accepted Form is used.
Undoubtedly this will create joy, not only in heaven (Luke 15: 7 and 10), but also within the congregation of the Lord Jesus Christ here on earth!