The Crusades Objection
Nail Mark Ministries
Sometimes when sharing the gospel with people you will get the objection that religion has caused so many wars throughout history and Christianity is no different. After all, Christian killed thousands of people in the Crusades and through the Spanish Inquisition so, clearly, there is no difference between Christianity and all of the other violent religions in the world. Given that so many atrocities have been committed in the name of Jesus Christ how can we possibly continue to follow this religion?
To be perfectly honest, although this is a frequent objection we hear when dialoging with atheists and other non-religious people, this is a poor argument against the Christian faith for at least three reasons.
The first reason this is a poor argument is because it has nothing to do with whether or not Christianity is true or false. If indeed it can be fairly stated that Christians have been highly murderous people throughout the centuries this still says nothing about whether or not God exists, whether or not Jesus really lived, died by crucifixion and rose from the dead, etc. The fact is when we are discussing whether or not Christianity is true or false, the fact that the crusades occurred has absolutely zero bearing on the events of the first century and the claims of the man Jesus of Nazareth. Even if the Crusades and
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Inquisition could be fairly labeled as Christian inspired events it would not mean that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead and that he isn’t the only way to God. So this is a red herring that really doesn’t even address the issue of whether or not Christianity is true, rather, it is a statement of disgust towards something that the objector feels is associated with Christianity which makes them want no part of it. Even so, you could be disgusted by Christianity and it still be the truth.
The Second reason why this is a poor objection to the Christian faith is because the Crusades really have nothing to do with genuine Christianity. To say that the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition or any other heinous act done in Jesus name was really motivated by Christianity is absurd. It would be the equivalent of my standing in the garage and screaming “I’m a ’57 Chevy!” at the top of my lungs. My self-identification as an automobile doesn’t correspond to the reality of what a car actually is. In the same way I could say “I am a Vegan and I will take the pork ribs please” and that would be absurd. The reason that it is absurd to identify Christianity with the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition is because they are in direct contradiction of the teachings of Jesus Christ and his apostles…