A combined paragraph of my thoughts, the writing of James Madison Pendleton, and Edward Thurston Hiscox.
Councils and presbyteries may be called and convened to give advice in cases of the moment. They are not standing bodies; they are advisory only, and not authoritative. Baptist Churches are independent and autonomous under their Head, Jesus Christ. There is no court of appeal, whose decisions can nullify those of the individual church. Councils are advisory bodies that have unquestioned utility. Biblically-informed brethren are called to give scriptural advice in cases of serious and unresolved difficulties. There is good in hearing and heeding Godly counsel. There is danger if churches assume councils have authority over the churches. There is no higher earthly authority in ecclesiastical affairs, than the individual church. Each church acts under the truth of the Scriptures and leadership of the Holy Spirit, and, ultimately, will answer to her Head.