(Read Crusades, Part 1 First)
Crusades - Christian in name, but not in truth
The violence and barbarism of the Crusaders gave Christianity a bad name. While it can be debated whether going to war against the Muslim invaders to re-capture Jerusalem and the Holy Land can be justified, in no manner can the deplorable actions of the Crusaders be justified. The Crusades may have been undertaken by those claiming the name of Christ, but they most definitely did not follow Christ's example.
Part of the problem with the Crusades was the identity of many of the Crusaders. The majority of the Crusaders were essentially "the scum of the earth," the "lowest of the low." They were those who had nothing to lose, and supposedly everything to gain. Even during the trips through Europe on the way to the Holy Land, pillaging, burning, rape, plunder, and other deplorable acts were commonplace. The frenzy of the First Crusade even resulted in the slaughter of Jews in the Rhineland. The Crusaders justified the murdering of Jews by claiming it as revenge for the Jews killing Jesus. Thousands of innocent Jews were murdered and tortured.
When the Crusader army was finally able to conquer Jerusalem, the slaughter was unimaginable. The Crusaders killed everyone inside Jerusalem, whether Muslim, Jew, or even Christian. By that point, the First Crusade was entirely about conquering lands for personal wealth, not for reclaiming the Holy Land for the Church.
Crusades - Unbiblical, unethical, and un-Christ-like
While the crusades were ordered and led by men who claimed to be Christian, in no sense should the crusades be referred to "Christian." It is highly unlikely that many of the participants in the crusades truly knew Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The true purpose of “Christian” was twisted, corrupted, and humiliated by the evil actions of many of the crusaders.
The crusades were brutal and evil. Many people were forced to "convert" to Christianity. If they refused, they were put to death. This is blatantly unbiblical...and perhaps that is the best summary of the issue. The concept of conquering land in the Name of Jesus Christ is completely unbiblical. Jesus Christ nowhere advocates war and violence. The crusades may have been done by so-called Christians...but the actions that took place in the crusades were absolutely opposite to all that the Christian faith stands for.
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus
Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus
I still have questions