Christian Terrorists, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, April 27, 2017 0 comments

by Steve Risner

In last week's post, I discussed an article that claimed a number of past events or current groups were equivalent to ISIS only from a Christian standpoint. I explained why a “white supremacist” cannot be a Christian, so cannot represent Christianity. I also discussed why the American treatment of Native Americans, the transatlantic slave trade, and the British treatment of Aborigines are in no way even closely related to a “Christian ISIS.” This is because these things had nothing to do with Christ or were not done in the name of Christ (although the person in this article made the claim that they were). We also noted that if an act is in line with the teachings of the faith's founder, we can connect that act to that faith. But if an act is contradicted by the teachings of the founder, those acts are not connected to that faith. This week, I'll touch on a few things that were done in the name of Christ. I hope you find it challenging but encouraging.

We'll start with the unbeliever's favorite: the Crusades. There were three Crusades. The first Crusade was a response to Muslim military action, as Islam swept over the predominately Christian Middle East and Africa and even made it to Europe. The first Crusade's goal in 1091 was to retake Jerusalem from 200 years of Muslim control. Notice the intent was to undo the results of Islamic aggression. “Convert or die!” was the slogan of the Muslim forces as they took town after town and eventually nation after nation. Christians from Europe were sent to claim the holy city back. They succeeded.

Subsequent Crusades were less successful—actually, they were more likely failures. The end result of the Crusades, however, was that Europe was not swallowed up by Islamic aggression. To quote D'Souza, “Western civilization might have been completely overrun by the forces of Islam… The Christians fought to defend themselves from foreign conquest, while the Muslims fought to continue conquering Christian lands.” Because of the Crusades, Europe was not overrun by Islam. Many historians regard the Crusades as the Christian response to 4 centuries of Islamic terror over 2/3 of the Christian world. Many of the world's most notable Christian centers are now Muslim—Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople. We all (Americans and especially those with European ancestors) owe the Crusades a great deal of gratitude. They altered the course of history, stopping the most dominating military expansion the world has ever known—that of Islam. Also, it's interesting to note that there have been many Christians who have walked the paths of the Crusaders whose purpose was to apologize for the deeds of the men who wore the cross. These acts were not done in accordance with Christ's teachings, hence, are not Christian in nature. But for Christians to go through those lands and repent of the acts of these Crusaders says quite a lot. I've never heard of this happening for the horrendous acts of Islam. Men did terrible things on the roads to and from Jerusalem from their homes in Europe, but it was out of greed, not out of following the teachings of Christ.

Then unbelievers love bringing up the Salem witch trials. This one is very interesting as the reports by skeptics are greatly exaggerated. The Salem witch trials lasted over a year and resulted in 20 people being executed, all but one by hanging. Five others died in prison. This is not a good thing and is another dark spot in American history. However, it's a far cry from the “hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions” that the late Carl Sagan claimed. This further demonstrates the lengths unbelievers will go to reinforce their unbelief. Going from 25 victims to 100 would be a large stretch. Going to thousands or “perhaps millions” is just lying. The Salem witch trials are considered by many to be an example of religious extremism that does not represent Christianity at all. This is not the same as the so-called “Islamic extremists” who seem to be following the teachings of their founder and their holy book. Moving on to the Inquisition, we find another example of revisionism. The exaggerated tales of these events were largely put forth by Spain's political enemies and by anti-Christians. The Inquisition was a time when the Catholic Church was trying to deal with heresy, so institutions were set up to try people accused of it. The Inquisition trials were only applicable to those who claimed to be Christians, and the trials themselves were generally fair in nature. Often, some form of penance like fasting was given at sentencing if guilt was declared. Over the 350-year period of the Inquisition, the average year would have rendered fewer than 10 executions, and perhaps even fewer than 5. It's argued that the total of persons executed in the Inquisition might be as low as 1500. Now, in truth, this is 1500 too many, but is a far cry from the commonly held belief that tens or hundreds of thousands of people were killed. Quite often, people pervert something wonderful. Men get a hold of power and want to keep it. They acquire masses of wealth and want to keep it. This can turn them from acting according to the teachings of Christ to doing as they see fit to stay on top. This is not representative of Christianity. We can't blame Jesus for people doing things in His name that He clearly spoke out against.

In regards to the comparison of Islam and some “Christian terror group,” we can find Richard Dawkins, who hates God and His people, saying, “There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings. I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death. I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse.”

Next week, we'll look at a few modern day “Christian” terror groups. I hope this was informative. We've seen that there were some terrible things done in the name of Christ in the past, but these things were not done because Christ taught them. He often spoke against them, in fact. Christ's message was love, grace, and forgiveness. He never taught to kill unbelievers. He didn't seek to punish “infidels.” He told us to love our neighbor and pray for them. These things must be looked at for what they are—man's perversion of a God's plan and man's fleshly desire for power and wealth.

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