Commission on Justice and Peace Document Archives

The President of The Canadian Council of Churches, the Rev. Dr. Canon Alyson Barnett- Cowan, has articulated the following foundational biblical principles of the Canadian Council of Churches working through Project Ploughshares.

  1. The word ‘peace’ appears far more often in the Bible than ‘justice’, ‘righteousness’, ‘grace’ and ‘mercy’.
  2. The Bible witnesses to the creation of the world by God who intends that creation reflect the fundamental harmony we call ‘shalom’. We derive our understanding of security from a vision of peace informed by the biblical idea of shalom, which encompasses not simply the absence of war but a state of well-being and harmony among people and with nature. The prophet Isaiah gives us the vision of the ‘peaceable kingdom’ where the wolf shall dwell with the lamb (Isaiah 11:1-9).
  3. God calls us to be peacemakers, to heal a world in brokenness, and in the deep solidarity of the spirit, to work for a world in which justice will flourish and peace abound (Psalm 72:7). Peace does not descend from on high; it is built, and built by people beating their swords into ploughshares (Isaiah 2:4), choosing to spend money on food and water and health and education rather than on weapons of war.
  4. God’s intention breaks into our world in Jesus of Nazareth, who is central to our understanding of peace through reconciliation, forgiveness, and freedom from oppression, fear, and conflict. The ancient prophets heralded Christ’s entry in human history as the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus outlined the essential elements required for building the kingdom of justice and peace on earth; “Blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:1–12).” Followers of Jesus are called to love their neighbours and to seek justice for the poor, the disinherited, and the oppressed (Matthew 25:31–46).
  5. Jesus’ central message was of the ‘kingdom’, the place of right relationship. He commissioned his disciples – the 12, the 72, and ourselves, to preach the same message.
File Type: pdf
Categories: English, Peace and Disarmament
Tags: peace and disarmament, right relationships, theological reflection
Author: President of The Canadian Council of Churches (Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan)