Doctrinal Discipline for Members of the Church

What do consistories do with regular members who are not necessarily sinning in their lifestyle, but are holding to false doctrines?  Can or should such members be placed under discipline?  I recently came across this booklet by Dr. Johannes Jansen, a church polity expert from the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands in the early twentieth century.  In Dutch the title is: De leertucht over de leden der kerk.  In English that would be Doctrinal Discipline for Members of the Church.  I have prepared an outline (in English) of this 84-page booklet — you can find it here.  Jansen wrote this in 1936.  In this time the Reformed Churches were dealing with members who had membership in various controversial organizations, including the Dutch Nazi Party (NSB).  That’s the background and he does spend a few pages at the end dealing specifically with those issues.  That’s interesting from a historical perspective.  Also interesting from a historical perspective is his presentation of the approach of a Particular Synod in Leiden with the Remonstrants following the Synod of Dort 1618-19.  But aside from history, Jansen also presents timeless principles from Scripture, the Reformed Confessions, and the Church Order of Dort.  My outline includes footnotes which indicate the scriptural, confessional and Church Order references that Jansen makes.

About Wes Bredenhof

Pastor of the Free Reformed Church, Launceston, Tasmania. View all posts by Wes Bredenhof

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