I found your commentary on the recent movie and the Crusades in general to be informative and captivating. The concept of the "Kingdom of God/Heaven" from Scripture to its development from Augustine, is a message that is very relevant today. Perhaps a follow up to your editorial would be useful in emphasizing that the Kingdom of God/Heaven, is something for the here and now, not limited to a future reality. We can impact our world with the salvation of the Gospel, proclaiming the truth in love to the Kingdom of Earth that can be delivered from its tyranny, by embracing the Gospel and living in the Kingdom of God/Heaven now. Thank you once again for dealing with present realities to impart kingdom perspectives to a needy people. - M. K.
You're dead wrong on one thing - the question "what about the crusades" doesn't deserve an answer. I have been an evangelist for more than 15 years and have never encountered anyone who asked that question who really wanted an answer. It is no different than blaming all Democrats for Bill Clinton or all Republicans for George Bush, depending on your particular bent. It is simply a dishonest ploy by someone who either wants to start an argument or win the one they are in. I usually answer that question with one of my own - "who do you know in the crusades? If you know someone, we'll go talk to them." - J. K.
Excellent and helpful treatment of the church and the crusades. It is good to see someone making the important distinction between religious and political pluralism. - M. C.
I think the article on the Crusades missed a very important point. Not only did the Crusaders kill innocent Muslims, they massacred thousands of Eastern Orthodox Christians why looting the ancient Christing sites of there Holy Relics. - E. H.
Interesting comments about the movie "Kingdom of Heaven" ad the Crusades mentality. What would be your comments concerning of "The Patriot?" - T. K.
A Christian is simply one who abandons himself and follows Jesus Christ. And Christ chose to be slaughtered rather than harm another. We all have brought dishonor to Christís Holy Name and continue to deny Him daily despite His Love for us. Only His Blood will save us from ourselves.
- G. E.
The Crusades were led by Catholics against Christians who worshipped Jesus Christ, not the Catholic Church and the popes. Christians who wanted to have the Holy Bible to read for themselves were tortured just for having a Bible in their possession. No born again, saved from the fires of hell Christian ever led a crusade against anyone. Again, the Crusades were led by Catholics and the popes that they worshipped. - G. M.
The Catholic church of the crusades killed more Christians than most other groups who have persecuted Christians. Bible prophesy calls the time from 380 A.D. to 1640A.D. a period when Christ's church had to hide in the wilderness. I will not take a guilt trip over what the apostate church that killed 150,000,000 of my fellow Christians for following the Bible, did in the crusades, anymore than I'll take a guilt trip today over what the Guana group that drunk all that poison did. Evil has often been committed by groups that claim to be religious and have religious zeal, but not according to Christ or knowledge. That is not Christ or Christ's church. Go back to our roots. Except for Maryland and Georgia, our colonies were settled by the victims of the crusades, not the crusaders. Get your history correct. We came here because we weren't Catholics or Church of Englanders, but those persecuted b
y the church/state alliances. Why do you think England had all those laws that said that Catholic priests could not come to England, or the English royalty could not marry Catholics, or men could not be punished for their lack of support for the state church. Give us credit for who we are. Don't you know who OLIVER CROMWELL was and his role in our history. For the most part, we aren't the decendants of William the Conqueror, or the invading French from Normandy. We are the people who endured their tyrany. - W. S.
I personally intend to boycott the Kingdom of Heaven movie for all the reasons that you cited in your article and because I do not want to collaborate with Hollywood in its attempt to ride the wave of the financial success of the Passion of Christ. The Crusades, in their misguided and warped theology, did more to damage the cause of Christ in the world than most other events -- they are right up there on the list with the Spanish Inquisition, and, to my mind, the current "Culture Wars." - W. M.
Kingdom of Heaven opens in late 12th century France to gravediggers burying a beautiful young women who killed herself to end her grief over the death of her child. Before she is placed in the ground one priest steals the silver crucifix off of her neck while another shouts to the gravedigger, "She was a suicide. Cut off her head." Obviously Scott is not going to let the church off easy in this film. In truth, Balian's wife and children were very much alive. But that doesn't lend itself to priest bashing. Who's Balian? You did not introduce Balian, so the point about his wife and children being alive was unclear. This unrelated lady, the suicide, seems to have only had one child. Are we to take it that Balian was a historical character? And you are comparing values between the fictional and historical Balian? I guess I'll have to see the film before I know whether your term, 'priest bashing'
, is a fair one. From the extensive reading I've done about the church in the middle ages, I certainly am not impressed with the Church in general or its policies and theology. Aside from the Cathars, you might want to look into what happened to the many women weavers in Marseilles when they tried to start their own guild, and the men that stood up for them. - S. G.
Thank you for this article on the crusades. It is quite informative. However, I think one angle is left out... Perhaps Catholicism is not Christian, and that is why the crusades took place? In memory of the persecuted anabaptists of the middle ages, - D. H.
I liked the article on Kingdom of Heaven as far as it went. And I appreciated the links to other resources. However (and this is not your fault, really) we all know SO LITTLE about the crusades that more info would have been better. For instance, the timeline glosses over events in the Muslim takeover of the Holy Land and the other eastern areas. Hopefully, in your next issue you can have an addendum of links that would be helpful for this important topic. I know it's not your obligation to educate us - and I am trying to learn on my own - but somehow I have the idea that your references would be solid ones! - C. S.
Hi thanks for your excellent aritcle. If you believe in spiritual bondages it is easier to understand the crusades when you realise that most of the Lords who led the crusading armies were Normans, (previously Vikings who had migrated to France), and they took their bloodbathing Viking heritage with them. Yes, they were converted to Christinatiy, but like the rest of us, God hadn't finished with them yet, and part of what God had to get out of them was the beastly Viking cruelty and love of killing......... - S.
While the author may have a good point, he missed one foundational premise. Christian ďdoctrineĒ has to do with the guidelines and admonishments of the written scripture. When a Pope declares absolution, it is simply a pontification, not biblical doctrine. Further, worse even still, the period in which the directive from Urban II was Pontiff, there were no other Christian sects or denominations. The protestant days of enlightenment had not yet happened. I say this to crush the foundational aspect which the author uses to allow us to assume this fact as correct TODAY! While I generally agree with his conclusion, his foundational research should not have gone with Urban IIís faulty pontification. - M. H.
Your article, What About Those Crusades, is very modern but Biblically flawed. I wonder how many sermons were preached about the justice of a righteous war during WWII? My first name is Fritz and I am German. It seems just to me that the country that led charge against God through its philosophy would in turn sow crimes against humanity so veil that the American Humanist took it personally and blushed when writing Manifesto II. No one in the church, including myself, has suggested that we take the tack that we should attack Islam as a response to the Islamic fundamentalist. I asked a member of Whycliff Bible translators if he had identified a cause to dust the dirt off his sandals. He led me to believe that he was tempted when considering Islamic towns that would not receive them. To my knowledge the idea of leaving the stubbornly resistant to their own devices is the only Biblical mandate w
e have in opposition to our witness but that speaks nothing about our politics and political necessities. As your article rightfully points out, it was in response to the warring insurgency of Islam into Europe that sparked the crusades. The crusades may not have been a Ronald Ragan victory over Communism but it did succeed and the sting remains for the defeated but not as a total lose of face. The crusades only set the stage for the Moslemís understanding about the defiance and aggression of the west. The second round of confrontation came later in the imperial domination of Moslem lands by Europe and the third round of spiritual confrontation by Hollywood is upon us at this very moment. Even as Hollywood attacks Christian beliefs and defends itself against private censure of films which are intended to make them palatable for the Christian conscience, Hollywood is selling itself, uncut, in Baghdad and the fundamentalists claim that that is a modern western crusade sanctione
d by the Christian Church. As far as I am concerned, Satan is clever but the church is somewhere out in left field not to able to understand these things. - F. S.
Very poor job of either explaining the Crusades or defending the Christian faith. It's what you would expect from people who know no church history. Too much moralizing by the author and not enough fact. He does exactly what he criticizes the film for doing, importing modern mentality to a previous age. Urban did not make jihad. Granting an indulgence to one who died in defending Christendom against infidels is not the same as a positive doctrine of spreading the faith by the sword. It is in fact totally defensive. Understanding the mentality of the times requires one to know enough about those times to climb into the thinking of the people alive then. Using a Reformation-Enlightenment influenced base to substitute for lack of knowledge just won't do. Your author's comment about the jihad watch comment shows this. Jihad watch was basically right for the wrong reason. Neither of you know what
you're talking about. - A.
The correct answser to the question (What about the crusades?) is not flawed, but incorrect. To state that 'Christians' slaughtered Muslims is a lie straight from Rome. It was Catholics who marched into Jerusalem murdering Christians, Jews and Muslims. The Catholic (false) church is just falsifying history as it has since 325AD at its founding. - B. J. S.
Greek Orthodox Christians have always remembered the 4th crusade which sacked Constantinople in 1204 and in which over 100,000 Greek Orthodox Christians were slaughtered by the crusaders. The Great Church of the Holy Wisdom (Agia Sophia) was looted, as were many of the churches of the city. 15 boatloads of loot from the church of Agia Sophia were taken to Western Europe. Remnants of that theft are found in Western European museums in England, France and Germany. Northern Africa used to be solidly Christian until the Moslem invasions. Asia Minor (present day Turkey) was also nearly all Christian until the Ottoman Turks invaded and killed thousands of Christians defending their homeland. - N. P.
You make the sad mistake of mixing up popish Romanism with Biblical Christianity. You mention the crusades but fail to mention the slaughter of millions of Bible believing Christians who would not bow to false gospel and false religiousity of Roman Catholicism. - K. C.
Thanks for this article...since the movie has been advertised I have been thinking about the Crusades in light of our Christian faith, can you recommend a fair treatment from Conservative Christian writer on the Crusades? - D. T.
Who said they were Christians? Most of those poor folk believed in salvation by works. A Christian is one who is saved by the grace of God. The Crusades never give me a problem when witnessing. They can't be my spiritual ancestors. - P. M.
Whatever gave you the idea that the Roman Catholic Church is Christ's Church on this earth? Never has this world seen a more ungodly set of rules and beliefs as the Catholic has. Never has there been a more vicious and murdering group calling themselves christians than the leaders of that church. Just read history and you will see that. Christanity has never been part of the Catholc Church. - J. H.