By-Laws for PCA Church

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Puritan Board Senior
I'm working on revising our by-laws. The current by-laws, which are very old, contain the following...

No part of Article III or Article IX shall ever be amended or changed in any respect

How would one go about revising the bylaws with a section such as this?

Can you email me the Bylaws offline? If so, I can take a look and give you a better answer. This kind of corporate law is what I did.

Can you email me the Bylaws offline? If so, I can take a look and give you a better answer. This kind of corporate law is what I did.

It's hardcopy only (that's how old it is).

Article III is the article on "Doctrine" which is where there are some actual problems...

There's no mention of the infallibility of Scriptures.

This is an issue: "all human beings are born with a sinful nature, and in the case of those who reach moral responsibility, become sinners in thought, word, and deed."

Plus they have faith preceding regeneration.

Article IX deals with property, which basically just says that we own the property as an individual church and won't lose it if we change denominations.
I have an almost identical problem, larry. But the answers are probably different as we are so far apart!

I have to wonder if it's even legitimate to have a statement about not amending the by-laws...wouldn't that put them on par with Scripture?
I would guess they were just trying to keep future error from creeping in, while not realizing they had error in front of them. No advice or solution here, though.
Well, Larry, here is the short answer: if they are corporate Bylaws (which they probably are) the Board of Directors/Trustees always has the power to rescind, change or adopt new Bylaws. The only exception would be if there was a similar prohibition in the Articles (or Certificate) of Incorporation.
If you are amending the bylaws, you probably should have a lawyer involved. It could turn out to be a simple process, but you do need someone who knows the legal issues.

If you don't have a suitable lawyer in the congregation, perhaps one of the other churches in the congregation could help.
I too work with bylaws in my practice. The only way to give an accurate answer is that you provide the exact language of the bylaw dealing with "doctrine" and the bylaw which "prohibits amendment". You could scan it into PDF form and email it to Fred and/or me.

If it becomes clear that this provision could not be amended, one could add a NEW bylaw provision that expands upon and "clarifies" particular points of doctrine to the church's satisfaction, provided it is not 'directly' contradictory to the non-amendable provision. This would be a less than satisfying and could be viewed as a back door amendment to the original.

Another bit more cumbersome option is dissolving and/or merging the old corporate entity into a new corporate entity with a brand new set of bylaws. Could be accomplished at one congregational meeting.

Just some thoughts.
Are these PCA-wide Bylaws? Or do local churches have their own Bylaws? If it is PCA-wide, how can it be that old, since we as a denomination are not very old?
Also, I don't understand how the PCA ever would have believed in age of accountability. I mean, did we change our minds just in these past 35 or so years?

If these are not the denominations, but your local church's, bylaws, maybe the fact that they contradict the denomination would allow for their easy removal?

Sorry, I don't really know anything (obviously) about this and have only asked more questions!
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