Canada is not immune to racism. We have a history of racism that continues to affect people today, and the church has played a role in causing systemic racism in Canada. We recognize that some actions and policies enacted in the past were inappropriate and extremely hurtful. We wish to make abundantly clear that we do not in any way support or defend these deplorable actions and are deeply ashamed that some of these atrocities were committed by Christians. The Calgary Church of Christ finds strength in diversity and recognizes that racism is incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Furthermore, at the Calgary Church of Christ we acknowledge that as Christians and children of God we are called to play a critical role in disrupting racism.
In fact, we find our best reasons for taking a stand against racism in the Bible itself, which affirms the value of every person and teaches that we must express (or live out) sacrificial love in our attitudes and our behaviors toward each and every person, regardless of race, ethnicity, or cultural background. Consider the following biblical reasons for confronting racism:
- We are all created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27).
- Christ has removed the barriers that divide us, giving us a new, shared identity in Christ that makes our differences (including race, social standing, and gender) of no consequence (Ephesians 2:14, 4:4–6, Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:10–12).
- The Lord teaches us to accept one another (Romans 15:7), to value each other more than ourselves, and to look out for each other’s interests (Philippians 2:3–4).
- God does not show favoritism (Romans 2:11, Acts 10:34).
- Jesus loves us sacrificially, having laid down His life for us, not because we deserved it in any way but because of His sacrificial, unconditional love (Romans 5:8). He teaches us to love others in the same way that He loved (John 13:34–35); we are to show our love through our actions (1 John 3:16-18).
- We cannot love God while hating others (1 John 4:20–21) because loving each other is the very essence of following God’s commands (Galatians 5:14).
Our community needs to reflect the diversity and inclusivity of God’s kingdom. We acknowledge that we can do better and do more to dismantle racist policies and oppose racism in general. Our leaders are committed to both listening and acting to make this a reality.
Our Role in Reconciliation
We acknowledge that Indigenous peoples have a unique position in Canada as the first peoples to live here. Canada’s history is fraught with anti-Indigenous racism, and we still see racist acts against Indigenous peoples today. Our church has outreach programs to include and connect with Indigenous peoples in our community, and, due partially to our location in the city, we are particularly committed to dismantling anti-Indigenous racism.