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I see your name floating around here, so I am going to address you on behalf of myself and the church. Thanks for your wonderful work on the church order commentary. It is of great service to me and to the church as a whole.

I do admit you have gotten me in trouble though.

Did you realize that your commentary on the differences of council, consistory, elders, and deacons, in CO Art 35 seems to contradict the 2008 Manual of CRC church gov't, Art. 52? 

This came up in a recent discussion at our church as we reviewed our responsibilities.

Take care, and regards,

Todd Zuidema


Thanks, Todd.  You're very kind.  And I do love discussion on the contents, so thanks for the critique.

Yes, I'm sorry, I do realize that my commentary on council, consistory and diaconate contradicts the 2008 Manual, first paragraph on Article 52, and that's because that paragraph directly contravenes the Article itself.  This comment was not in any of the Manuals that preceded it.  It suggests that "consistory" is really just an antiquated reference to what we now call council.  But the truth is that Synod 1988 made deliberate decisions on what is "council's" and what is "consistory's" responsibilities so that "consistory" in Article 52 was intentionally chosen.  Note my comments on this development under Article 35.

It remains true, of course, (and perhaps that reduces your "trouble") that consistory and diaconate both report to the council and it is entirely possible and legitimate for a council to weigh in on an issue, including a worship issue, and overturn what the consistory has decided.  It also remains true that some churches have never truly "obeyed" the 1988 decisions and still do not operate with a "consistory" separate from the "council."

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