The Crusades Debate

There is so much debate concerning the Middle East and the land of Israel. The debate has raged for centuries, but the greatest myth perpetuated as truth is the idea that the Crusades were done in greed, by the Catholic Church, seeking to colonize the land and convert the Muslims. It is true, the Crusades were sanctioned by Pope Urban II in 1095, but it began in response to the pleas from Eastern Christians who were suffering great persecution at the hands of the Muslims. It was not done for monetary gain or proselytizing.

I have to admit, until recently, when the President compared what Christians did in the Crusades to the Muslims beheading, crucifying and burning people alive in Syria, Iraq and Libya, I did not know a great deal about the Crusades. Looking for resources to examine the facts, which had not been tainted by the current dogma against the Western world, I was grateful to find a great overview of the Crusades written by renowned apologist, Dr. Norman Geisler, called, “The Crusades: Were they Justified?”

Among the many myths Dr. Gielser addressed in his article is the idea that the Christians were the original aggressors. The people alive at the time knew this was not true, so it was not until much later this lie began to take root as the truth. Dr. Geisler pointed out the origin of this lie:

“The modern distortion of the Crusades began with French humanist Voltaire (1694-1778) who abhorred Christianity (see his Philosophical Dictionary). The contemporary anti-crusade stance was set by Sir Steven Runciman, A History of the Crusades (1951-1954) and popularized by a BBC/A&E documentary (1995).”

It would appear, the person who began the lie was a humanist who hated Christianity. He could hardly be a credible source, since he had neither a firsthand account of the events nor was he unbiased. He allowed his own prejudice to color his idea and spread his lie as the truth. Unfortunately, the lie took root and has been handed down for hundreds of years, but a lie told over and over again, does not make a truth. No matter how many times you tell it, it is still a lie.

With nothing but a rudimentary knowledge of the lies told about the Crusades, the President stood before the press and scorned Christianity for daring to look upon the actions of ISIS and call it evil and barbaric. What he did not know was the comparison was actually quite accurate, just misrepresented by him.

The Crusades began in an attempt to protect the Christians in the Middle East who were suffering great persecution from the Muslims. They also wanted to reestablish access to the holy sites and Jerusalem, which had been cut off, because of the threats from the occupying Muslims.

In comparison, we have ISIS today. They have rampaged through the Middle East, killing Christians, Jews and Muslims, destroyed churches and have completely ridden towns of any evidence of Christians and Christianity. Historically, these towns have had Christians living there since the first church conversions. In the Middle East, they are beheading, crucifying, burning alive and cutting in half innocent men, women and children. In Europe, they are murdering satirist for their drawings and Jewish people for the faith.

I see a great comparison to the Crusades. The same sadistic, evil that occurred in the Middle East, causing the Christians to rise up in 1095 are happening again in 2014. The same push by the Muslims to take over Europe and establish a caliphate with sharia law is happening today, as it did during the Crusades.

It would seem, the comparison, while wrongly applied, is very applicable to what we see happening today. Unfortunately for the President, instead of it supporting his defense of ISIS, it condemns them. Truth prevails and the evidence of evil actions is apparent to all but a few who choose to live in denial.

When we look at the Crusades, we know atrocities did happen, and, unfortunately, innocent lives were lost on both sides. Sadly, that is the cost of war. The loss of life is always a tragedy, and we grieve for those who gave their lives and for those who died in war.

Since the Crusades, men have fought in various wars around the globe and we have seen great loss of life, but no other people have suffered as greatly as the Jewish people. No other people have had so many enemies trying to completely eradicate them from existence.

Just like the Jewish people, Christians have also suffered great persecution throughout the years and around the globe. After the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, many came to Christ and recognized Him as Savior, Messiah. They were called The Way (Acts 9:2) and later Christians (Acts 11:26). As followers of Christ, they were persecuted.

The most interesting fact concerning Jewish and Christian persecution is their lack of aggression. They have not been persecuted because they are violent toward people of other faiths. They are not persecuted because they are trying to conquer lands or convert people. They are persecuted because they are God’s people. They are persecuted because people want to convert them to their false religions.

Many people will read this and say my words are based on opinion and not fact, but the facts are written in history. When the Emperor Caesar Nero persecuted the Christians, he gave them a choice. If they proclaimed, “Caesar is lord,” their lives would be spared. If they said, “Jesus is Lord,” they would be killed.

Today, in the Middle East, Christians and Jews are losing their lives because of their faith in Jehovah God. ISIS will spare their lives if they convert to Islam. If not, they are murdered. It is important to note, persecution of Christians is not just coming from ISIS. Recently, in Somalia, Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to death because she is a Christian. In Pakistan, Asia Bibi, was sentenced to death because of her faith in Christ. Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American citizen, was imprisoned in Iraq for being a Christian.

I could go on, but I think we see a clear pattern. Christians have been told to go out and spread the good news of Jesus Christ. If people do not want to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, they are left to God. Radical Muslim is set upon converting the world to Islam and establishing a worldwide caliphate. Christians represent Christ with His great love. Radical Muslims represent Mohammad with the sword.

Clearly, there are strong comparison between the cause of the Crusades and what is happening today in the Middle East, but not the propaganda that has been put forth. In 1095, the Muslims were persecuting Christians in the Middle East and pursuing the spread of their caliphate throughout Europe. Today, radical Islam is persecuting Christians and Jews in the Middle East and Europe, as they attempt to take over Europe, Australia, North America and the world. It is a different time but the same battle.

~Staff Writer