Christian Living

Three Ecumenical Guidelines

Ecumenical Is a Word Some May Be Unfamiliar With

One definition of ecumenical means “relating to the worldwide Christian church.” A broader understanding is “establishing and promoting unity among religions.”

More generically, ecumenical simply means “worldwide; universal.”

In simple terms, I understand ecumenical to mean unifying. So that means ecumenical guidelines are advice to unify us. Yes, we need some ecumenical guidelines in our world today.

Towards this goal, three ecumenical guidelines—that is, unifying guidelines—advance our understanding:

“In essentials, unity;
in non-essentials, liberty;
in all things charity.”

Though the author of this brilliant advice is in debate, its wisdom is not.

May our list of essentials be short, our non-essentials held loosely, and our mercy and tolerance without limit.

[This quote is often attributed to Augustine, but that cannot be confirmed. John Amos Comenious advocated this in the 1600s, and he may have been citing Peter Meiderlin.]

Read more in How Big is Your Tent? A Call for Christian Unity, Tolerance, and Love and discover what the Bible says about following Jesus. Available in e-book and paperback.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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