|dc.description.abstract||This dissertation discusses the procedure used to discipline office–bearers
according to article 66 of the Church Order of the Reformed Confessing Church
in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Most of the members of the above–mentioned church belong to the Bantu–Luba
people. According to their cultural faith, they do not –believe that they are born
sinners, but that a sin is something that comes from outside, something that one
may either get hold of if one wishes to, or avoid if one does not wish or like to
have. We may therefore assume that, in addition to the Bantu–Luba people,
many other Bantu people in Africa likewise have this conception of sin.
Our study of the Bantu–Luba people’s false concept of sin show according to the
Muntu–Luba, to sin means to harm one’s fellowman, or to transgress the
ancestors’ law. However, we will show that God is not involved in all this. This is
one of the many reasons why office–bearers become angry and cause trouble
and when they are to be disciplined for transgression. This is what inspired me
to try and shed some light on the matter by means of the Word of God which
stress that man is a born sinner and that sin comes from his heart.
To achieve this goal, we have to examine church history, especially that of the
Reformation in the 16th century, a period known as “the theatre’’ of the greatest
religious revolution. There we see the importance of “ecclesiastical discipline”
which is the third mark of a true church. A disobedient church is a church on the
way to its downfall.
Two case–studies are used, one on adultery and one on simony, to show how
the application of the prescribed procedure according to article 66 of the church
order has openly caused trouble and problems in the church.
We propose the amendment of one part of the article which contains a
hierarchical element in order to give back authority to the Church Council as the
appropriate body entitled to decide on the suspension or dismissal of office5
bearers (Pastor, Elder, and Deacon) with consultation of the deputies of the
classis and of the Provincial Synod.
Finally, my intention is to submit the above–mentioned amendment to the
General Synod as a proposal to be approved and to be included as the
procedure for the discipline of office–bearers, and to serve as the replacement
of the current article.||en_US