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World Citizens, World Church
Is it time for Protestants to go global?

By Ed Knudson

The September 11 terrorist attack has shocked everyone in the United States and caused us to do some reflection on what it is we believe, what it is we think is most important in life, what the future will bring. At a gathering of friends one of them said, "We have to start thinking of ourselves as world citizens."

I think that is right. It no longer works to justify war based on national identity. We need to be able to say, "I am first a human being, a member of the world community, and only secondly am I an American." Then people in other nations are not foreigners, but neighbors.

And, I think that Protestant churches need to begin to consider the concept of the creation of one world church organization. The Roman Catholic Church is a world-wide structure. Protestant churches within nations can too easily identify themselves with the interests of their nation.

For example, I am a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Lutherans enjoy a world structure called the Lutheran World Federation but it is not a "church" just a federation of national churches. Lutherans should form a world church strucuture. Then we would understand ourselves within the public context of the world. We would be in regular conversation with people throughout the world. We would begin gaining experience as a world church.

Other Protestant church bodies could do the same.

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Date Added: 10/12/2001 Date Revised: 10/12/2001

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