Christians Were Violent, Too!

Imagine a husband and wife having a fight. The wife, with a legitimate complaint, says, “I can’t believe you did ___________!” The husband has two choices. He can a) address the issue face up to the complaint or b) distract from the current issue by saying, “Yeah, but you did the same kind of thing to me last year!”

The second response is called deflecting. It’s avoiding dealing with the current issue by pointing fingers at the past. This is what is happening in the religiopolitical conversation taking place between Islam and Christianity. While people are bringing up valid concerns about the behavior of global Islam, it is merely deflecting to say, “Yes, but Christians behaved atrociously a thousand years ago in the Crusades.”

Islam vs Christianity

There is an appropriate time and place to address historical Christian behavior (and, for the most part, contemporary Christian leaders have apologized for historical Christian violence). Still, one should not bring up those issues to deflect or diminish the original complaint.

In our world today there is a valid concern about Islamic violence globally against Christians AND non-Christians. (non-violent Muslim-Americans do not negate the violent acts carried out daily by Muslims in other nations).

From a biblical point of view, we are called to pray for those who persecute us. We are called to do good for those who would do us harm. There is an incredible notion that we love even the people who loathe us. In the conversation about Islam we too often lose sight of this ethic. I believe it is possible to love and pray for those who would do us harm while still speaking the truth.

And the truth is, it is not the Church that has people fearing for life and limb. For the last thousand years that role has been taken up by global Islam.

We can drop the angry rhetoric. I don’t think it’s loving or Christ-like. We don’t have to hurl insults at Muslims. Angry rhetoric We ought be keeping ourselves in check and asking, “How can I speak truth about the world while still maintaining a loving outlook towards everyone?”

That’s the Christian way.

*If any of this post has resonated with you, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or email the link to your friends and family. Thanks! 🙂

4 Replies to “Christians Were Violent, Too!”

  1. There’s an old song with the lyrics, “It’s Istanbul, not Constantinople,” precisely because of what you mentioned, Pastor Chris. The Crusades were a response to Muslim aggression against Europe. Much more political/territorial than religious.

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  2. I feel like President Obama pointed out a valid observation at the prayer breakfast. I see little humility coming from Christians on the right side of the political aisle; they don’t appear to be willing to take their own inventory… just everybody else’s.

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    1. The validity is questionable. Crusaders were responding to Islamic violence and expansion in the world, trying to reclaim what had been taken by Muslims. Even so, how long are contemporary Christians supposed to apologize for Christians a thousand years ago? At some point we stop taking today’s inventory based on centuries old data…

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