This post falls between two stools, yet I decided to put it in the church order (as opposed to the church office) forum because of the interesting comments that Thomas Cartwright makes regarding the consent of the congregation: ... For as the fault growth, so our Saviour Christ would have the number of those before whom he should be checked and rebuked, likewise grow. Therefore from a private admonition, he riseth unto the admonition before two or three: and from them to the Church; which if we should say, it is but one: then unto a dangerouser wound, should be laid an easier plaster. And therefore our Saviour doth not rise from two to one (for that were not to rise but to fall, nor to proceed, but go backward) but to many. But Paul is the best interpreter, who in a case of excommunication, declareth that the same is to be done in the presence, and with consent of the assembly, whereof the party which is to be excommunicated, is a member. ... For more, see Thomas Cartwright on excommunication, congregational consent, and ruling elders.