One Holy Catholic (Universal, not Roman) and Apostolic Church
The earliest creeds that we know of, and many of the Reformed confessions (including the Belgic Confession and the Westminster Confession) speak of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The term creates a gag reflex among the faithful these days, because "Catholic" is so widely associated with the oxymoronically titled "Roman Catholic Church."
I think my stances on the apostacy of the Roman Catholic Church, its departure from orthodoxy, and the invalidity of its claim to be a part of the visible church of Christ (because, for one example, of its claim via Vatican II that Muslims worship the same god as the Roman Catholics) are sufficiently well known that no one will get the wrong idea from reading this post.
One pseudo-Reformed web site recently posted an article entitled "Is Independency Possible," and stated that the author has asked independent Christians how they know that they are part of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The web site was, fundamentally, targeting a Reformed preacher in northern Idaho, who was ordained in an irregular way.
The answer that an Independent should give is the same answer that Presbyterians should give. We are part of the Church Universal and Apostolic, because we believe the gospel taught by the apostles and prophets in Scripture, and we associate with others who do the same.
The visible church is the congregation of the outwardly faithful.
We do not appeal to an unbroken succession of bishops/elders as the Roman Catholics vainly attempt. Nor do we assert that there is a sacrament of ordination in which the Apostolic authority is transmitted mysteriously to our bishops/elders by those who went before.
Although ordination by other elders is the ordinary, Biblically exemplary, and best way for elders to be ordained, and although ordination by a presbytery of elders is an excellent implementation of that Biblical principal, there is nothing to prevent a body of Christians in suitable circumstances (for example, if all the elders have been martyred) from ordaining men from among their midst to serve them. The body of Christians (the local church) has been provided by Paul with the guidelines for selection.
For a group, like the website in question, to adopt a sacramental view of ordination is to take a step on the road to Rome. To all such folks, I exhort: Return to the principles of the Reformation! Do not be lifted up with the vanity that corrupted and destroyed the church of Rome - a congregation whose faithful adherence to Scripture was renowned for centuries.
Yes, Independency is possible. There are arguments against independency, but the idea that Independents are outside the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church is pseudo-papist propoganda, and nothing more.
Praise be to our glorious King in allegiance to whom the elect everywhere are all united in faith!