Every Lord’s Day, we confess that we believe in the communion of saints. This precious doctrine means that Christ’s Church is genuinely and really one, and that when we gather in worship, we are gathering together with all true saints everywhere, and we are doing so in the heavenly places, as we assemble in the name of Christ Jesus before the Father.
Also every Lord’s Day, we pray for an area evangelical church by name, asking God’s blessing on their endeavors. We do this for the same reason—we believe in the communion of saints. Denominational boundaries can be used by God, but they are not mandated by Scripture. The unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace is mandated by Scripture.
So when we pray for other CREC churches, as we also do every Lord’s Day, we do not do this in a sectarian spirit, but rather in a catholic spirit. A number of us just got back yesterday from the CREC Council in Houston, along with the presbytery meetings, and we were delighted with the spirit there, as well as the decisions made. One of them, incidentally, was to form seven presbyteries (there had been two previously), and our church is now in the newly formed Knox Presbytery, instead of Anselm. But if we want God to continue to bless the labors of our hands, at the local level, in the work of church planting, in the labors of the presbyteries, and in the national and international work, we absolutely must maintain a spirit of biblical catholicity, and steer far away from any attitude that wants to shout, “hooray for our sect.” And of course, cultivation of that spirit begins at home . . . with your neighbor.