Is <title>Evangelicals & Catholics—<title>Beyond <TS 04.02, Feature—25,100></p><title>The Plight of the Ukrainian Catholic Church under <Palestine Symposium—56,200></p><title> <TS 02.02, Feature—13,100></p><title>Decalogue for Ecumenical Discipleship by Donald Charles Lacy

Decalogue for Ecumenical Discipleship

A Call to Daily Commitment

by Donald Charles Lacy

In a world that seems to be shrinking on a daily basis we are being led by the Holy Spirit into exciting and challenging areas and arenas. As disciples of Jesus the Christ we are no longer just witnessing in more or less carefully defined communities. Most of us discover ourselves in daily contact with persons seeking to be more than they are under the banner of Christ. In many cases our option is not the decision whether to relate to this one or that one. It is the option of helping to determine the quality of the relationships that by the sheer force of today’s living has brought them into being. Therefore, our ecumenism must be intentional and have the hallmarks of a practical discipline.

Dare we suggest a “decalogue”? Yes.

1. Daily affirmation that Jesus calls His followers to be one.

An early morning prayer time or a regular devotional period can be enriched by recalling and/or reading John 17:20–23 along with whatever else may be on the agenda. Just don’t put it in some secluded spot and give it the last 30 seconds! The memorization of this passage so that it can in fact be a part of our thinking and feeling processes should not be overlooked. We seem to place in our memories many other less significant ideas that may be a part of personal systems already overloaded with questionable items.

It is this daily affirmation of Christ’s call to be one that brings to the conscious level a sobering and magnificent acknowledgement: The Holy Spirit is at work in ways pointing to our Lord’s call being fulfilled. In short, He will no longer be denied a positive answer to His prayer. “Oneness” is not any longer one of the lesser lights on earth, merely shining brightly in the far away heavens. It is a light ever-increasing in brightness in the here and now, which shines in and through people, places, and things with or without their permission.

2. Daily praise for the infinite variety of religious expression evidenced in the Universal Church.

Too long we have sifted and sorted in order to be loyal to a narrow denominational and/or doctrinal image. Praise God for the infinite smorgasbord placed in our midst! Too long we have been bound by categories that have inevitably tended to bring us out of range of insights coming from traditions other than our own. How shall we escape in our time if we neglect a salvation coming to us in unlimited expressions and yet lifting up one Savior and Lord? The Holy Spirit enables us through all senses to share in the greatness of the Universal Church.

Such praise, while it ought to be a part of our personal worship and study, should never be limited to that. At a gathering of clergy and/or laity or even in a largely secular gathering praise God openly and forthrightly for the cornucopia always there but especially open to view in our time. The sheer hope and joy coming from such an orientation to life (and death) has a way of lighting candles in some of the darkest dungeons constructed by Satan to prevent Christ’s people from being united.

3. Daily study of the beliefs and/or organizational life found in denomination(s) other than our own.

• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!

personal subscriptions

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!

RENEW your print/online

Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives including pdf downloads for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

RENEW your online subscription

gift subscriptions

GIVE Print &
Online Subscription

Give six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for the reduced rate of $29.95. That's only $2.50 per month!

RENEW your gift subscription

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

kindle subscription

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.

more on ecumenism from the online archives

28.2—March/April 2015

Facing God

on Divine Worship & the Natural Limits of Community by David Mills

31.4—July/August 2018

The Names of the Christian

Labels & the Ecumenism of Discipleship by James M. Kushiner

19.5—June 2006

The Creed We Need

On the Picture of God We Draw with Words by David Mills

more from the online archives

30.5—Sept/Oct 2017

The Unforgotten

on Costly Grace in Breece D'J Pancake's Flyover Country by Casey Chalk

31.1—January/February 2018

Mere Sexuality

Getting Sex Wrong Is a Foundational Error by James M. Kushiner

33.4—July/August 2020

Dwelling in Unity

Our Views on the President Are Not Crucial by S. M. Hutchens

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone