What about the Crusades?! And the Inquisition?! Etc.?!

cross.jpg

A favorite updated for your reading pleasure.

When people try to dismiss Christianity or belief in God by asking, “What about the Crusades?!” (or some other bad thing), this is my first reaction:

  1. You don’t judge an ideology by those who violate its tenets.
  2. I make it a habit not to apologize for things that a) happened 1,000 years ago and b) I didn’t do.
  3. If there is no God then there is no moral grounding to criticize the Crusades or anything else.
  4. None of those things disprove the central claims of Christianity, such as the physical resurrection of Jesus, his divinity, etc.

Many critics try to use issues such as the Crusades, the Inquisition or just run of the mill hypocrisy as trump cards against Christianity. If people did the opposite of what the Bible teaches then at worst they were not Christians and at best they were, at least temporarily, bad ambassadors for Christ.  Those issues are serious, of course, but they have zero impact on whether the Bible is true and whether Jesus is the the only way to forgiveness of your sins, reconciliation with God and to eternal life.

The same goes for other religions and worldviews: We need to understand what they really teach to judge them properly.

Another possible response is to say that you’ll take responsibility for the thousands of people killed by “Christians” provided that the atheists take responsibility for the one-hundred million plus killed by Lenin, Mao Tse-Tung, Pol Pot and others.  The Salem Witch trials killed 18 people.  The Inquisition killed about 2,000.  That is 2,018 too many, to be sure, but keep in mind two things: The perpetrators did the opposite of what Jesus commanded and 2,018 murders was a slow afternoon for atheists like Stalin and Mao. And keep in mind that the Crusades were not what you see in the pro-Muslim politically correct version you hear about today.  They were largely a defensive maneuver.  Here are 4 myths about them:

  • Myth #1: The crusades represented an unprovoked attack by Western Christians on the Muslim world.
  • Myth #2: Western Christians went on crusade because their greed led them to plunder Muslims in order to get rich.
  • Myth #3: Crusaders were a cynical lot who did not really believe their own religious propaganda; rather, they had ulterior, materialistic motives.
  • Myth #4: The crusades taught Muslims to hate and attack Christians.

Also, if someone wants to claim that Christianity isn’t true because of bad things done in Jesus’ name, then they would need to concede that the vast number of good things done in his name would be evidence for Christianity.

Of course, that doesn’t mean we should gloss over bad things done in Jesus’ name.  Those are serious issues and an embarrassment to Christianity.  We can respond to them and use them to express Biblical truths.

Was the Inquisition wrong?  Of course!  It is completely un-Biblical to think you can or should force someone to believe something.  When the rich young ruler walked away sadly after being told he must give up everything to follow Jesus (Matthew 19), Jesus didn’t run and tackle him.  He didn’t even offer to negotiate and take half.   The text says that Jesus loved the young man, but He didn’t force him to believe.  You come to him on his terms or not at all.

Mainline Christian denominations have caved on important Biblical concepts regarding sexuality – easy divorce, promiscuity, abortion and various perversions.  These false teachers abandoned essentials of the faith such as the deity, exclusivity and sufficiency of Christ as well.  They have grossly misinterpreted the Bible, but that doesn’t mean Christianity isn’t true.  It means people have drifted from or abandoned Biblical teachings.  Ideally, people wouldn’t judge Christianity based on what those people do and say.

Some “Christians” abused scriptures to justify slavery (maybe they were really Christians, and maybe not . . . that was between them and God).  But what critics typically forget is that Christians who properly interpreted scriptures, such as heroes like William Wilberforce, were the ones who helped end that type of slavery.

Yes, self-proclaimed Christians have done many bad things.  But what is the answer – that Christianity is false?  Of course not.  The answer is more Christianity, or more specifically, more authentic Christianity.

Biblical illiteracy is part of the problem.  The more people know about what the Bible really says, the more quickly they can stop heretical movements.

Are bad actions done in the name of Christ a problem for Christianity even if the perpetrators may not have been true Christians and the acts were un-Biblical?  In a moral sense, no.  Again, you don’t judge an ideology based on the actions of those who violate its tenets.

But in a practical sense it is a problem for Christianity, because these issues can be a stumbling block for non-believers.  We need to be sensitive to those who were wounded by Christians (real and fake) and be prepared to explain the truth in love.

Evolutionary Psychology is ridiculous, part 79

Via The jaw-dropping brilliance of evolutionary psychology: Darwin explains wife-beating:

From Wendy Zukerman, “Domestic violence gets evolutionary explanation” (New Scientist September 2011):

Each year more than 500,000 women in the US alone report to the police violent attacks by current or former male partners. There is a reason why domestic violence is so widespread, says David Buss, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Texas in Austin: it carries a selective advantage, tied with reproductive success. In other words, men who are violent are trying to make sure that their partner has his child and not another man’s.

Does that also explain men who violently force their wives to abort their own children, that they know are theirs?

This is one of the problems of those clinging to the Darwinian worldview.  Everything they find has to be caused by evolution — including my conversion from atheism to Christianity based on my trust in the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

But their foolishness knows no bounds.  They “know” why men beat their wives (evolution!) and why they don’t beat their wives (evolution — what else?!).

Great theory, eh?  I’m sure that study was peer-reviewed, so you know it is legit!

I’ve got a better answer, backed up daily by roughly seven billion people, not to mention everyone who previously lived*: Original sin.

* Except one

Roundup

I would add the following to the definition of the pink piece of the pie: “. . . after the patient nearly dies multiple times from all the misdiagnoses.”

Black tea partiers surprised to find they’re not “really” black — must see video!  The Left’s race-baiting and cries of “Uncle Tom” are nauseating.  But wait, all those black MSNBC anchors can’t be wrong . . .

University of Calgary students face expulsion for pro-life display

Super volcano photos!

A great list of abortion recovery ministries

If you are struggling after an abortion, there is help, hope, and healing for you.

If you feel guilt or shame, anger, confusion, are depressed, have suicidal thoughts, nightmares, increased drinking or drug use, or trouble bonding with subsequent children, please know you are not alone.

There are people all over the country that are waiting to offer you abortion recovery services. Here are just a few of them… [see the link]

The most important thing to realize is that you are not alone in your thoughts and feelings. Others have traveled the path to find healing and you can, too.

If you are struggling, please reach out for help. We will share with you the same love and support we were offered.

1,000 Tea Party Protest: 0 Arrested… 1 Leftist SEIU [union] Protest: 25 Arrested — but the Tea Partiers are the violent ones, right?  HT: The Other McCain

The “tea partiers are scary and violent while Liberals are super-duper extra nice” meme is very compelling, provided that you only watch the mainstream media.  Remember quaint pictures like the one below?  Click here for lots more examples.

Roundup

I enjoyed this analysis of John MacArthur’s preaching.  I listen to his Podcast almost every day and learn a lot.  I go to a Methodist church but appreciate Reformed preaching as well — I suppose I’m just one of those wacky open-minded religious liberals!

Why do so many people listen to MacArthur, this product of all the wrong schools? How can he pack out a church on Sunday morning in an age in which church attendance has seriously lagged? Here is a preacher who has nothing in the way of a winning personality, good looks, or charm. Here is a preacher who offers us nothing in the way of sophisticated homiletical packaging. No one would suggest that he is a master of the art of oratory. What he seems to have is a witness to true authority. He recognizes in Scripture the Word of God, and when he preaches, it is Scripture that one hears. It is not that the words of John MacArthur are so interesting as it is that the Word of God is of surpassing interest. That is why one listens.

bob's house of video games
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Shocking: Madonna is a sex-selling hypocrite who doesn’t want her daughter to act like she does.

Black conservative Tea Partiers — turns out that they do exist, even though they get savaged with all kinds of pathetic personal attacks for their independent thinking.

AP Notices Black TEA Partiers Called Racist Names, But, It’s Not Racism, Cause They’re Conservatives – That’s the MSM way: Unsubstantiated claims of racism by Tea Partiers = real racism.  Substantiated claims of racism by Liberals = not racism.

Threats of violence by the loving, kind folks at Greenpeace (HT: Red State)

If you’re one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:

We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

Think you’ll be hearing about these threats of violence on the MSM?

Non-Christian quotes about abortion — nice summary by Reason to Stand.  Be sure to check out that blog, it is excellent!  I especially liked this quote.  Even the world’s bloodiest religion is better grounded on abortion than the Left:

You shall not kill your awlad [born or unborn children] due to fear of poverty. We provide for them, as well as for you. Killing them is a gross offence. Quran 17:31

Dear Liberal friends,

How often did you see this clip of President Obama tripping?  How many times would you have seen it if it had been President Bush?

We now conclude this reminder that the MSM is hopelessly biased.

Love,

Conservative friends

Mormon update: Still nice neighbors and friends.  Still not Christians.  Same vocabulary, different dictionary.  Many Mormons still as un-/mis-educated about their faith as many Christians are about theirs.  Seriously, watch the whole thing if you have doubts.

Roundup

Wichita Pro-Life Group Attacked, Police Shrug and Pro-lifer dodges SUV driven by pro-abortionist — Hmmmm . . . why aren’t we hearing more about this from the MSM?  Because it doesn’t fit the stereotypes and the agenda?

Speaking of the MSM, I wonder if they’ll cover this Duke rape case as thoroughly as they did the one with the Lacrosse players (this one involves a member of a white homosexual couple sexually offering up his adopted 5 yr. old son for sex). 

They aren’t off to a good start.

The Associate Press (AP) did not mention the fact that the five-year old offered up for molestation was black. Bringing that fact to light might be damaging to the political coalition that exists between blacks and gays. Nor did the AP mention that the adopted child is being raised by a homosexual couple. Bringing that fact to light might harm the gay adoption movement.

Randy Alcorn on Counting the Cost of Sexual Immorality – we discussed adultery in a recent Roundup about Mark Sanford and I thought Randy’s advice was outstanding.  He has a list of all the anticipated consequences of sexual immorality for him.  Great reminders.  Read the whole thing.

  • Grieving my Lord; displeasing the One whose opinion most matters.
  • Dragging into the mud Christ’s sacred reputation.
  • Loss of reward and commendation from God.
  • Having to one day look Jesus in the face at the judgment seat and give an account of why I did it. Forcing God to discipline me in various ways.
  • Following in the footsteps of men I know of whose immorality forfeited their ministry and caused me to shudder. List of these names:
  • Suffering of innocent people around me who would get hit by my shrapnel (a la Achan).
  • Untold hurt to Nanci, my best friend and loyal wife.
  • Loss of Nanci’s respect and trust.
  • Hurt to and loss of credibility with my beloved daughters, Karina and Angela. (“Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?”)
  • If my blindness should continue or my family be unable to forgive, I could lose my wife and my children forever.
  • And more . . .

    John Piper on Why I Don’t Have a Television and Rarely Go to Movies

    I have a high tolerance for violence, high tolerance for bad language, and zero tolerance for nudity. There is a reason for these differences. The violence is make-believe. They don’t really mean those bad words. But that lady is really naked, and I am really watching. And somewhere she has a brokenhearted father.

    . . .

    But leave sex aside (as if that were possible for fifteen minutes on TV). It’s the unremitting triviality that makes television so deadly. What we desperately need is help to enlarge our capacities to be moved by the immeasurable glories of Christ. Television takes us almost constantly in the opposite direction, lowering, shrinking, and deadening our capacities for worshiping Christ.

    One more smaller concern with TV (besides its addictive tendencies, trivialization of life, and deadening effects): It takes time. I have so many things I want to accomplish in this one short life. Don’t waste your life is not a catchphrase for me; it’s a cliff I walk beside every day with trembling.

    I don’t watch much TV anymore but I do watch a little more than in recent years.  That is a good reminder.

    Weekly roundup

    Fighting for the Faith has a good analysis of the false teachings of Chuck Currie.  The host plays the whole audio of Chuck’s “sermon” with comments interspersed, so you know you are getting the full context. 

    Side note: Chuck still hasn’t backed up his accusations that I left comments on his blog that were “racist, sexist, homophobic” and included “offensive language and more.”  I was curious to see if he would ever provide evidence or apologize, but all he said on his blog was, “Neil, Thanks for all your e-mails on this. I’m sorry that I don’t have the time to write back each day in person but thanks for your feedback.”

    False teacher.  False accusations.  Shocking.  Maybe this week’s sermon will be on honesty.  Or asking forgiveness when you lie about someone.  No, it will probably be about why Jesus is pro-legalized partial birth abortion, anti-parental notification, anti-informed consent, etc.  (Yes, Chuck, some religious groups do support the choice to destroy the unborn – false and apostate religious groups, including segments of the Methodist Church.)

    Unions prepare for BIG payday with new Prez

    And, in keeping with the Times’ journalistic malpractice, quite a few things are misrepresented in favor of the unions. Take “card check” for instance. Check out how the Times describes the fact that this horrible law will take away one of the oldest democratic rights there is.

    “Labor’s No. 1 priority is a piece of legislation called the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the card-check bill. The bill would give workers the right to join a union as soon as a majority of employees at a workplace signed cards saying they wanted one. Business groups have attacked the legislation because it would take away employers’ right to insist on holding a secret-ballot election to determine whether workers favored unionization.”

    Once again, liberals think abortion is moral but displaying pictures of it is immoral.  I think that pictures of the Holocaust are unpleasant, but I am quite certain that the killings were immoral and showing the pictures is not immoral. 

    Lots of racism from some GLBTQ folks – the violent and viscious reactions continue from their Proposition 8 loss.  I would expect black folks to be irritated that the gay lobby is trying to co-opt the Civil Rights agenda.  Do the GLBTQ folks think it is a winning strategy to alienate blacks and say how uneducated they are for voting Yes on 8? 

    And even if pro-Prop 8 voters have less eduction than average, please remember that intelligence and wisdom are two different things.  You don’t need a PhD to know the definition of marriage.  I’m also reminded of this quote by J. Budziszewski:

    Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that you must be highly intelligent and educated to commit.

    P.S. to Arnold: Skin color is morally neutral, sexual behavior is not.

    Crazy lefties attack old lady at No on 8 protest.  The only amusing thing in this horrible incident was when the hopelessly PC anchorman said, “a lot of hate evidently on both sides.”  Uh, sure, buddy.  The quiet old lady carrying the cross was really dishing out the hate to that mob.

    Violence and disruption of a church service by a gay anarchist group in Michigan – It is hard to believe no one was arrested.  Ask yourself why you aren’t seeing this on the national news.

    Hat tip to Kris for the cartoon below.  I had no idea that 1% in a margin of victory made such a big difference!  I do find the “we need to unite behind the President” theme a little ironic, because the reality is that we don’t need to do that any more than the Democrats did when Bush was President. 

    This site is a little racy, but makes a great point about the messages from 52 to 48 blather going around.  This is the sanitized version: Starting prior to the 2001 inauguration, you and your bought and paid for media demonized President Bush and conservatives over anything and everything, and now you want to play nice and demand unity?  Give me a break.  We won’t be vile like the Left has been, but we will complain now and keep complaining all we like.  Will I pray for our leaders?  Yes, because I’m commanded to.  But my prayers will include requests that their dreams be haunted by visions of the slaughter of the unborn, the shattered lives of those who have abortions and the last breaths of those born alive but left to die.

    P.S. Does this mean California is united against government recognition of oxymoronic same-sex marriage?  I recall that the margin was quite similar.bush_obama

    Zo has my vote for head of the Republican National Committee

    “After complaints of one-sided reporting, the Washington Post checked their own articles and agreed.”  Golly!

    What about the Crusades?! And the Inquisition?! Etc.?!

    cross.jpg

    When people try to dismiss Christianity or belief in God by asking, “What about the Crusades?!,” this is my first reaction:

    1. You don’t judge an ideology by those who violate its tenets.
    2. I make it a habit not to apologize for things that a) happened 1,000 years ago and b) I didn’t do. 
    3. If there is no God then there is no moral grounding to criticize the Crusades or anything else.
    4. None of those things disprove the central claims of Christianity, such as the physical resurrection of Jesus, his divinity, etc.

    Many critics try to use issues such as the Crusades, the Inquisition or just run of the mill hypocrisy as trump cards against Christianity. If people did the opposite of what the Bible teaches then at worst they were not Christians and at best they were, at least temporarily, bad ambassadors for Christ.  Those issues are serious, of course, but they have zero impact on whether the Bible is true and whether Jesus is the the only way to forgiveness of your sins, reconciliation with God and to eternal life. 

    The same goes for other religions and worldviews: We need to understand what they really teach to judge them properly. 

    Another possible response is to say that you’ll take responsibility for the thousands of people killed by “Christians” provided that the atheists take responsibility for the one-hundred million plus killed by Lenin, Mao Tse-Tung, Hitler and others.  (It is probably best just to think that and not say it, as it probably won’t take the conversation in the direction you want to go). 

    Also, if someone wants to claim that Christianity isn’t true because of bad things done in Jesus’ name, then they would need to concede that the vast number of good things done in his name would be evidence for Christianity. 

    Of course, that doesn’t mean we should gloss over bad things done in Jesus’ name.  Those are serious issues and an embarrassment to Christianity.  We can respond to them and use them to express Biblical truths.

    Was the Inquisition wrong?  Of course!  It is completely un-Biblical to think you can or should force someone to believe something.  When the rich young ruler walked away sadly after being told he must give up everything to follow Jesus (Matthew 19), Jesus didn’t run and tackle him.  He didn’t even offer to take half.   The text says that Jesus loved the young man, but He didn’t force him to believe.

    Mainline Christian denominations have caved on important Biblical concepts regarding sexuality – easy divorce, promiscuity, abortion and various perversions.  They abandoned essentials of the faith such as the deity, exclusivity and sufficiency of Christ as well.  They have grossly misinterpreted the Bible, but that doesn’t mean Christianity isn’t true.  It means people have drifted from or abandoned Biblical teachings.  Ideally, people wouldn’t judge Christianity based on what those people do and say. 

    Some “Christians” abused scriptures to justify slavery (maybe they were really Christians, and maybe not . . . that was between them and God).  But what critics typically forget is that Christians who properly interpreted scriptures, such as heroes like William Wilberforce, were the ones who helped end that type of slavery.

    Yes, self-proclaimed Christians have done many bad things.  But what is the answer – that Christianity is false?  Of course not.  The answer is more Christianity, or more specifically, more authentic Christianity. 

    Biblical illiteracy is part of the problem.  The more people know about what the Bible really says, the more quickly they can stop heretical movements.   

    Are bad actions done in the name of Christ a problem for Christianity even if the perpetrators may not have been true Christians and the acts were un-Biblical?  In a moral sense, no.  Again, you don’t judge an ideology based on the actions of those who violate its tenets. 

    But in a practical sense it is a problem for Christianity, because these issues can be a stumbling block for non-believers.  We need to be sensitive to those who were wounded by Christians (real and fake) and be prepared to explain the truth in love. 

    Also see Christianity’s Real Record for a more thorough analysis.

    What if Christianity started this way?

    An Alternative Christian History is a provocative way to look at the religion of peace:

    Christ receives messages from God and travels to Jerusalem to preach his revelations. He is rejected by the religious establishment and forced to leave the city. He takes up his new residence in Bethlehem and through his preaching succeeds in creating a large loyal following.

    He sustains this new movement by raiding passing caravans and — after receiving special divine dispensation — beheading the defenders. He then marries several wives, including — after receiving special divine dispensation — a nine year old girl. Next, he raises an army and attacks Jerusalem where, after putting all of his enemies to the sword, he succeeds in capturing the city.

    His new found religion flourishes and after many bloody wars spreads over the entire geographical area. He dies. There ensues a violent dispute over the succession between Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Saint Paul is assassinated and his followers go into exile. Saint Peter is proclaimed to be Jesus’ legitimate successor.

    Several generations pass and eventually the Pauline exiles find a new leader in Saint Jerome. Under his inspired leadership they rise up and attack Jerusalem. They lose the battle and Saint Jerome is beheaded. The Jeromists become a persecuted minority within Christianity and spend the next fourteen centuries plotting their revenge. Their symbol is the severed head of Saint Jerome.

    This religion is known the world over as The Religion of Peace.