Christianity has come far in setting an example of imposing religious world peace far and wide. The church cannot deny it’s past of promoting dogmatism throughout the globe. All the violence for the sake of salvation and cruelty in the rigid religious battle of the Crusades.
The Crusades began in the eleventh century in order to recapture the Holy Land from the Muslims. However, the way things were acquired were not favorable by no means. Western Christian Europe was starting to become concerned about the possibility of salvation, penance, and remission from mortal sin. Pope Urban II decided that the recapture of the Holy Land was a main priority overlooking the importance Jerusalem was for the Muslims as well because of Prophet Muhammed. The Pope’s speech indicated the Muslims as a threat declaring that “Christians are being oppressed and attacked.” as well as using the Muslims own religion as an enemy to Christianity instead of a friend.
The impact the Crusades have on church history and Muslims relations is astronomical. A researcher from the University of Kashmir writes that the main reason religion has “become the most important factors in governing global politician in the twenty first century.”
Before the war both communities had no ill will towards each other and lived in harmony. Christianity in this moment brought chaos instead of love. The Pope issued a call for the crusade in the name of religion, the battle cry “God wills it” was used by the Crusades. He did this Instead of keeping close ties with what was most important, our relationship with God and another.
The Lord has taught us to always be forgiving, violence was never the way to salvation. The crusades are a perfect example of falling into temptation keeping our hearts closed. We can look at the Three Kingdom of Heavens parable. Jesus explains that the kingdom of God is like a man farming his harvest, it’s like a mustard seed that grows into something beautiful with time. In order for us to grow like the mustard seed we need to believe in God, by growing in grace. We do not earn grace since it is a gift from God. We are responsible for leading others’ lives to salvation whether they come to know God or not. By speaking the faith, we are watering the seeds. What the Crusades did to the Muslims of Lucera is the complete opposite, God never wanted us to wipe out a whole community in his name. Charles II of Anjou did just that in order to please the Pope Boniface II in the twenty first century.
The parable of the Mustard seed simplifies that man who works for the sake of others is working for God. We are all to be rewarded for our labor in God’s Divine plan, we are like workers in God’s field. Quoted in Matthew 17:20 Jesus says, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Jesus clearly states that nothing is impossible if you have not great but little faith in him and wear your faith on your sleeve, you can move the biggest mountain.
The parable of the wheat and weeds is more evidence that western Europe Christians were wrong in their sights of Muslim war expansion.
Bible verses 31-35, Jesus tells two short parables about the kingdom of heaven. “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.”
The weeds are symbols of the worries in life and the people who will take us down in our faith. The thorns represent un-believers as Jesus calls them “sons of the devil.” God taught from the very beginning that the world does not revolve around the church and his teachings but our love and compassion for one another. Instead of this we use the Church or the Holy Land as a topmost priority then what really matters. We became distorted in the idea of The Kingdom of Heaven. It is not built materialistically but spiritually within our hearts. It thrives in our service to God’s spirit in our relationships. Once our trust is built in him, we join the Kingdom of God. Threat the time of the Crusades being the supreme head of millions of Christians, he successfully left lasting imprints of distrust and enmity between orthodox followers of these religions. The enemy was not the Muslims but us. Since the start of war in God’s name performed by the crusades, we have already lost the battle long ago. Salvation is not earned by sword or even obtained, it’s a spiritual battle. Satan tries to corrupt man by placing false believers and teachers in the world leading many people astray. But we are not to physically destroy these people. The Crusades is an example of man taking upon himself to separate true believers from false. This can only be done by God alone. Instead of helping Christians with their faith it hurt them more than anyone else but It’s the Muslims who have to life with its effects. In passage 1 John 2:3-6 At the end of the tribulation, all unbelievers will be judged for their sin and unbelief; then, they will be removed from God’s presence. True followers of Christ will reign with Him. What a glorious hope for the “wheat”!”
In conclusion the Crusades were failures, they disrupted the growth of Islam, and left painful intolerance relations between the Muslims and Christians. Bill Clinton even blamed the Crusades “for the current bad relation between Islamic rulers and Christianity.” It is also strongly viewed that developed countries should be responsible in their own actions on other countries and play and upper hand role in providing support, not tearing a nation down. If fortunate nations put more effort into justice of bringing empathy of people that they now reside grounding vested priorities and interests the practice of peace would no longer hide. We must bring peace with religion not war.