18. Church Orders—The Doctrine of Vocation

  1. Ordinary vocation to office in the Church is the calling of God by the Spirit, through the inward testimony of a good conscience, the manifest approbation of God’s people, and the concurring judgment of a lawful court of the Church.
  2. The government of the Church is representative, and the right of God’s people to elect their officers is inalienable. Therefore no man can be placed over a church in any office without the election, or at least the consent of that church.
  3. Upon those whom God calls to bear office in His Church He bestows suitable gifts for the discharge of their various duties. And it is indispensable that, besides possessing the necessary gifts and abilities, natural and acquired, every one admitted to an office should be sound in the faith, and his life be according to godliness. Wherefore every candidate for office is to be approved by the court by which he is to be ordained.

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