Monday, September 19, 2011

Let's Get Some Accurate History on the Crusades

"But what about the Crusades?" This question comes up regularly when I'm sharing my faith.  Bringing up the Crusades is a rhetorical device which should refute any shred of thought that Christianity has either moral validity or benefit to the world.  I agree with Carl Medearis that would should be speaking of Jesus, and that defending the long, complicated history of Christianity usually does not lead people into a life-transforming relationship with the Son of God.  But let us not be so ignorant of the truth about the Crusades -- in the context of the whole history of the Muslim and Christian interactions -- that we allow ourselves to painted into corner by incorrect historical "sound bites" from indoctrinated fools.

Paul Crawford has done us an invaluable service in his brief article "Four Myths About the Crusades."  I encourage you to print this off and study it.  He covers these four myths, well-written, backed up with references:

1. The Crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.
2. Western Christians went on Crusades because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in order to get rich.
3. Crusaders were a cynical lot who did not really believe their own religious propaganda; rather they had ulterior, materialistic motives.
4. The Crusades taught Muslims to hate and attack Christians.

Understanding history more accurately will prepare you for conversations with people willing to actually dialogue about significant matters.  If they won't, then it's their loss.  Do what you can to educate them.  Always speak of Jesus.

And for the Kingdom's sake, please educate your kids about the Crusades! It's very likely that the other people educating them (you are their primary teacher, right?) don't know any more than ignorant sound bites and half-truths promulgated since the 1800's.  (By the way, movies like "The Kingdom of Heaven," however fun to watch, reinforce these myths.)

No comments: