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There are many who claim that they are Christians but are not. False religions and many cults often would say they are Christians even though they do not believe that Jesus is God. Likewise, there are many things that have been done in the name of Christianity that Jesus Christ would totally disavow. Just because someone claims to be a Christian doesn’t necessarily make him a follower of Christ, nor does it make him a representative of Jesus. They embrace religion but do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus was never impressed with religious people who pretended to live like Jesus but in reality were His enemies. Jesus never said, “I’ve come that you might have religion.” He said, “I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”
Christians had predominated in the Holy Land and surrounding areas from about AD 200 to 900 when Muslims gained power and took the area by force. The people living there were enslaved, deported, and murdered. This triggered the Roman Catholic Church and ‘Christian’ kings and other leaders to raise armies to retake the land. These crusading armies, in turn, committed atrocities including forcing people to convert to Christianity at the point of the sword. Tens of thousands of people (both soldiers and civilians) were killed in the conquest of Jerusalem. The Crusaders themselves suffered; historians estimate that only one in 20 survived to even reach the Holy Land. It is estimated that 1.7 million people died in total.
Romans 12:17-21 “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
The leaders of the Crusades were phony ‘Christians’ who used Christ as a rallying cry. The first Crusade was underwritten by the Pope. Others had various degrees of support from the Roman Catholic Church. However, most people involved in the Crusades were not really Christians. Still, history sometimes refers to the Crusades as Christian Crusades because they were devised by people from ‘Christian’ nations who marched against those following Islam.
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:12-15).
Some today use the Crusades to attack Christianity in general. Though charges of brutality and evil are warranted, it is unfair to judge Christians today by the misguided choices of some so-called Christians, and others, hundreds of years ago. Just as blaming all Muslims for terrorism is wrong so, too, is blaming all of Christianity for the Crusades.
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:2–3).
“Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning” (2 John 6).
“And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, ‘I know God,’ but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did” (1 John 2:3–6).
As horrific as the Crusades were, we need to be reminded that there is a more hideous war being waged in our own country that has taken more lives than any war we have ever fought. Since 1973 (Roe vs Wade) 61,656,746 unborn babies were killed. In the USA this year after 16 weeks gestation, 34,306. Worldwide since 1980:1,550,625,326. Yes, Satan’s goal is to kill and destroy but Christ has come that we might have life and have it to the full! There is absolutely no way that a Christian can justify killing of the unborn.
We must pray for our country who has lost its sense of the value of a human life.