No doubt you have heard about President Obama’s recent remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. In his speech, he compared the horrible deeds to ISIS with the misdeeds of past Christians. Believers are understandable outraged by this misunderstanding and mischaracterization.
I have been collecting articles that are helpful. Click on the links to read the whole thing.
We have a teachable moment here for the next generation.
Yes, people have done terrible deeds in the name of Christ, but they were against the teachings of Christ. Some of the Crusaders committed atrocities that couldn’t be more contrary to the teachings of Christ. They were the ones who “hijacked” a religion, Christianity, by disobeying what Christ taught. But contrary to the president’s assertions, this is not the case with Islam. Islam is not being “hijacked”—it is being obeyed. The terrorists are following the teachings of the Qur’an and the example of Muhammad.
Yeah, Well, But What About the Crusades? – by Kevin DeYoung
We are right to deplore the cruelty meted out by crusading Christians, but should not ignore their plight. Christians lands had been captured. Surely, they thought, this could not stand. For an American, it would have been as if Al-Qaeda sacked Washington D.C. following 9/11, set up shop for Bin Laden in the White House, and turned the Lincoln Memorial into a terrorist training center. It would be unthinkable, cowardly even, for no one to storm the city, liberate its captives, and return our nation’s capital to its rightful owners. We should never excuse the atrocities that occurred under the banner of the cross during the Crusades, but we should, at least, take pause to understand why they set out on what seems to us to be a fool’s errand.
Inventing the Crusades – A scholarly look at the Crusades.
It is generally thought that Christians attacked Muslims without provocation to seize their lands and forcibly convert them. The Crusaders were Europe’s lacklands and ne’er-do-wells, who marched against the infidels out of blind zealotry and a desire for booty and land. As such, the Crusades betrayed Christianity itself. They transformed “turn the other cheek” into “kill them all; God will know his own.” Every word of this is wrong.
The President obviously does not understand the primary sources of either faith for him to make such a tendentious parallel. The predominant delight in his remarks would be in the Muslim world and the irreligious. The next day Geraldo Rivera, opining favorably, made the oft repeated lie that more people have been killed in the name of God than in any other cause. Try telling that to the Chinese and the Russians and the Cambodians and the victims of the Holocaust! Such intellectual ignorance gains the microphone with pitiable privilege. If a thinking person doesn’t know the difference between the logical outworkings of a philosophy and the illogical ones, to say nothing of the untruth perpetrated, then knowledge has been sacrificed at the altar of prejudice.
But let me get to the President’s final statement, after he had wandered off into erroneous territory. That final remark was true. He said, “It is sin that leads us to distort reality.” He was right. In fact he embodied it in his talk. But there is good news for the President. At least in the Christian message forgiveness is offered for sin. In Islam it isn’t. You must earn it. May I dare suggest that if Christians had been burning Muslims and be-heading them, he would have never dared to go to Saudi Arabia and tell them to get off their high horse. He unwittingly paid a compliment to those who preach grace and forgiveness. That is the dominant theme of the Gospel. That is why we sit in courtesy listening to the distortion of truth, the abuse of a privilege, and the wrong-headedness of a message.