I get really tired of people complaining about the Westminster Standards. These people want us to broaden our horizons beyond confessional boundaries so that we can be more ecumenical. I would like to ask these people, aren’t there enough generally evangelical denominations? Why do we need to become one of them, as well? The entire modern ethos is utterly opposed to confessional churches. It is surely not generally evangelical churches that need to be encouraged right now, but rather confessionally Reformed churches. NAPARC is about the only bastion of confessionally Reformed churches in North America, and all of NAPARC put together is pretty tiny. And even within NAPARC churches, there are strong pushes away from confessionalism. So, when you get right down to it, confessionally Reformed churches are rare birds, dare I say, even an endangered species.
This push comes from a misunderstanding of the true nature of the church. Does the true unity of all believers consist in a denomination, or does it consist of all those who have faith in Christ Jesus? I would argue strongly that it is the latter. We do not all have to belong to the same denomination to be truly ecumenical. True ecumenicity is not visible, but invisible. Of course we should not give up talking to brothers and sisters in other denominations. Far from it. However, when it comes to our identity, why are we so often embarrassed to be part of a confessional denomination? I would strongly encourage everyone reading these words to prayerfully consider becoming more confessional, not less. These boundaries are not hurtful things, but helpful things. See here, here, here, and here for some other thoughts related to boundaries.