The Ruling of the Church

“As the Word of God is the life and soul of this Church, so this godly order and discipline is, as it were, sinews in the body, which knit and join the members together with decent order and comeliness.  It is a bridle to stay the wicked from their mischiefs.  It is a spur to prick forward such as be slow and negligent, yea, and for all men it is the Father’s rod, ever in readiness to chastise gently the faults committed, and to cause them afterward to live in more godly fear and reverence.  Finally, it is an order left by God unto his Church, whereby men learn to frame their wills and doings according to the law of God…”

‘The Order of Ecclesiastical Discipline’
The Scottish Book of Common Order  1564




Historic, Reformed Books of Discipline




Binnie, William – The Concurrence of Popular Election and Official Ordinationp. 132, 16 pages



Binnie, William, Church Discipline, p. 98, 7 pages, from his The Church




Independent Churches do not have the Authority for Greater Excommunication

Presbyteries do.


Fox, John – ‘What are the Chief Obstacles Hindering Excommunication’  1551  from ch. 8 of De Censura Ecclesiastica Interpellatio, as appended to Book 3 of George Gillespie, Aaron’s Rod Blossoming, pp. 274-276

Fox is the one who wrote Fox’s Book of Martyrs.  He gives three main reasons why the practice of excommunication was being resisted as to its implementation in the churches in his day, namely: 

(1) persons’ minds being on the wealth and stature of this world,
(2) nominal Christian persons which serve their own belly and sins, and
(3) those who are not convicted of their sins, pervert the Scriptures and promise themselves a wicked liberty of sinning.




Related Pages

Church Government

The Regulative Principle of Church Government


Congregationalism and Independency

Church Membership