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My Christian Answer To The Crusades: Give Me A High Horse.

Updated on February 12, 2015

Jihad vs The Crusades

While speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5th 2015, President Obama compared the actions of Christian Crusaders 725 years ago to the actions of today’s Islamic terrorist group known as ISIS. This argument gets used to often to call for religious tolerance and to shame Christians.

“Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,”

Personally I am not offended by his comment; I acknowledge freely the Crusades afforded wicked men the opportunity to commit terrible crimes against Humanity in the name of Christ. Human nature being what it is, I suspect this is true of ISIS as well. I accept the reality that The Crusades and The Inquisition stand out as the most disturbing and destructive events in Christian History, a true attack on God’s reputation.

But less the Muslims get ta feeling like victims, it is important to understand that the Crusades were a defensive reaction to 491 years of Islamic militant expansion. Militarily speaking, the crusades were absolutely necessary. If it hadn’t been for the crusades, it is possible that we would still be stuck in the dark ages controlled by caliphates and saying prayers at noon with Sharia Law nailed to the wall over our head.

Islamic Expansion Before The Crusades
Islamic Expansion Before The Crusades

The Crusades lasted about 174 yeas from 1096-1270 AD. It was a time when Popes ruled and man's salvation was determined by geographical boundaries, good works, and the will of the Catholic Church. The crimes of the Crusades were not enacted by Christian men who modeled Christ; rather, they were men who were called Christian simply because they came from a country that called itself Christian. In truth, they did not seek to Honor God; they were looking for land and glory.

Having said that, I believe that Christianity is “unique” and may be allowed a “high horse” or two. We did something that Islam hasn’t; we learned from our mistake. In the 500- 700 years that has passed, Christianity has changed quite a bit. The majority of Christendom has rejected Catholic rule and we no longer combine church and state. The reformation brought about a purer, kinder, and personal Christianity. The printing press and the reformation put Scriptures in people’s houses. For the first time, people were discovering the Word of God first hand. It has taken several hundred years to remove the violence but to Christians today, a crusade is nothing more then an opportunity to shower their community with the gospel of Christ, or perhaps a food drive for a needy family. Violence is unacceptable and never tolerated. There isn’t a Christian leader alive today that could muster an army for a Holy War. Islam has nothing to fear from the modern Christian. We follow Christ and we love our enemies.

The next time you hear this comparison, don’t be intimidated. Stand tall and acknowledge the past, but point out that Christianity today recognized it's sin and repented. We learned from our mistake and in so doing, we have made the world a better place.

OK now that I am comfortable on my high horse, let me end by saying this. In truth Islam is just as violent today as it was in times past. History has taught them nothing except how to better kill and manipulate those around them. As far as I can tell, Islam has much to learn from Christianity about peace, politics, and religious freedom.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:43-45 NKJV

Muslim Militant Conquest vs the Crusades
Muslim Militant Conquest vs the Crusades


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    • tsadjatko profile image

      3 years ago from now on

      Well said Parrster! Christians are judged to be Christian by whether they make Jesus the Lord of their life and abide by His Word, NOT by who they say they are or in whose name they say they act.

      Charles Manson said he was Jesus. What anyone says they are doesn't make it true.

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 

      3 years ago from Australia

      "The crimes of the Crusades were not enacted by Christian men who modeled Christ; rather, they were men who were called Christian simply because they came from a country that called itself Christian. In truth, they did not seek to Honor God; they were looking for land and glory."

      Well said.

    • Titen-Sxull profile image


      3 years ago from back in the lab again

      Islam has the potential to become just as peaceful as Christianity and in centuries past there were times when the Muslim world was the center of science and mathematics.

      Much of the problem is economics and politics. When you live in a state that censors you and uses religion to control rather than allowing the people to control their own religiosity the fundamentalists will win out almost every time. Also in third world countries it often doesn't matter whether they are Christian or Muslim, the economic situation is so dire that the extremists are again able to thrive, bully people into submission, etc.

      Until humanity gets over its obscene obsession with money we will remain a divided species. Here in America our Constitution and economic prosperity have allowed religious diversity to thrive and have, for the most part, kept Christianity and the many many other faiths we have here, from becoming too radical.

    • Abrushing1968 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aaron Rushing 

      3 years ago from USA- Florida


      I will have to take a look at that video. Thanks for stopping by

      God Bless


    • Abrushing1968 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aaron Rushing 

      3 years ago from USA- Florida


      Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your kind words.


    • Abrushing1968 profile imageAUTHOR

      Aaron Rushing 

      3 years ago from USA- Florida

      jmarks13 In truth, I suspect I lost you the moment I spoke ill of Islam. But lest I be accused of not taking you seriously, I changed the word "likely" to "possibly" A word that allows a little more room for uncertainty.

    • profile image

      Jon Mark 

      3 years ago

      You lost me right before you got to the "maps of expansion," when you say that "likely that we would still be stuck in the dark ages controlled by caliphates and saying prayers at noon with Sharia Law nailed to the wall over our head." You're just too confident in your conviction be right about that, without acknowledging the many revolutions over centuries. It's stretching things too much to take the rest of this seriously. Sorry.

    • tsadjatko profile image

      3 years ago from now on

      Very well done, honestly and without malice, just telling it like it is.

      Just too bad our President can NEVER tell anything like it is ("Benghazi" was a video, you can keep your health insurance, IRS, not a smidgeon of corruption, ISIS is the JV, Fast & furious (executive privilege?), if I went on I'd use up all the available characters in my comment and then some.

      Mr. President, get off your high horse and instead of lecturing Christians at a national Prayer meeting about their faith tell us about how Islam is the greatest Murder Machine in history, it paces itself. In the end, though slower, Islam has killed and tortured far more than any other creed, religious or secular. Unlike secular tyranny, Islam, by virtue of its polygamy and sexual predations, reproduces itself and increases. And all this not because of a perversion of their religion which is the reason for so called Christian atrocities but because they adhere to their teachings.

      Other tyrannies are furious infections, which burn hot, but are soon overcome. Islam is a slow terminal cancer, which metastasizes, and takes over. It never retreats. Its methods are more insidious, often imperceptible at first, driven by demographics. Like cancer, excision may be the only cure.

      So Mr. President place the threat in context. Islam is like nothing else in history.

    • sallieannluvslife profile image


      3 years ago from Eastern Shore

      Excellent Hub!! Voted awesome and interesting!!


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