Tuesday, October 31, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

What were the Christian Crusades?

By Imaginary Sky Daddy

I’ve been coming to this site for roughly a year now. I’m a fellow ex, and since I let go of the mind cult, I am more happy than I couldn’t have imagined while being a jebus freak. Anyway, I came across this essay on the Crusades from a Christian’s standpoint. I hope that you will have an interest in it, and I look forward to reading the great defending comments that the great people of this site can offer. Thanks for creating this wonderful website that hurting and lonely people that have come to their senses can come to for comfort by others who have their same views, Dave.

Question: "What were the Christian crusades?"

Answer: The crusades are among the most frequent objections to the Christian faith. Some Islamic terrorists even claim that their terrorist attacks are revenge for what Christians did in the crusades. So, what were the crusades and why are they viewed as such a big problem for the Christian faith?

First of all, the crusades should not be referred to as the "Christian crusades." Most of the people involved in the crusades were not truly Christians...even though they claimed to be. The Name of Christ was abused, misused, and blasphemed by the actions of many of the crusaders. Secondly, the crusades took place from approximately 1095 to 1230 A.D. That was between 775 and 910 years ago. Should the unbiblical and un-Christ-like actions of supposed Christians 1000 years ago still be held against Christians today?

Third, not that this is an adequate excuse, but Christianity is not the only religion with a violent past. In actuality, the crusades were responses to Muslim invasions on what was once land occupied primarily by Christians. From approximately 200 A.D. to approximately 900 A.D. the land of Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, etc. was inhabited primarily by Christians. Once Islam began to spread and become powerful, Muslims invaded these lands and brutally oppressed, enslaved, deported, and even murdered the Christians living in those lands. In response, the Roman Catholic Church and "Christian" kings / emperors from Europe ordered the crusades to reclaim the land the Muslims had taken. The actions that many so-called Christians took in the crusades were still deplorable. There is no Biblical justification for conquering lands, murdering civilians, and destroying cities in the Name of Jesus Christ. At the same time, Islam is not a religion that can speak from a position of innocence in these matters.

For a good, historical, and balanced summary of the various crusades, please read the following article - http://www.theopedia.com/Crusades.

To summarize briefly, the crusades were attempts by "Christians" in the 10th through 12th centuries A.D. to reclaim land in the Middle East that had been conquered by Muslims / Arabs. The crusades were brutal and evil. Many people were forced to "convert" to Christianity. If they refused, they were put to death. This is blatantly unbiblical...and perhaps that is the best summary of the issue. The idea of conquering a land through war and violence in the Name of Christ is completely unbiblical. The crusades may have been done by so-called Christians...but many of the actions that took place in the crusades were completely antithetical to everything the Christian faith should stand for.

How can we respond when, as a result of the crusades, the Christian faith is attacked by atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and those of other religions? We can respond in the following ways: (1) Do you want to be held accountable for the actions of people who lived 900+ years ago? (2) Do you want to be held accountable for the actions of everyone who claims to represent your faith? Trying to blame all of Christianity for the crusades is analogous to blaming all Muslims for Islamic terrorism.

Recommended Resource: Christianity Through the Centuries by Earle Cairns.
http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-crusades.html

What next?

From Steve:

It seems that many people who cease to be Christian feel some kind of relief as a result. It is almost as if they had taken off something that was ill-fitting and felt the relief at its absence: like taking off shoes which are a size too small. But what sort of religion did they have in the beginning? Why did it fit so badly? Christianity is not meant to be burdensome; quite the opposite. As Jesus said, "Take my yolk and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest. For the yoke I give you is easy, and the load I put on you is light." [Matthew 11:29-30] In fact God's perfect teaching makes people free. [James 1:25] It is the truth that sets you free. [John 6:32] What was going on before the decision to quit? When did you look back after you started to plow for the Kingdom of God? [Luke 9:62] What had been the progress since you were born again? Had you matured as a Christian or were you never really converted at all? How did your pastor, elders and Christian friends react when they saw your faith slipping away, just dying, or did your conversion to atheism come in a Damascene moment?

What are you doing to advance your atheism now? Through the intervention of the Holy Spirit working within them and the application of spiritual disciplines, Christians seek to deepen their faith and their relationship with God through prayer; studying and memorizing, and meditating upon, God's Word; fasting; solitude; frugality; collective worship; community service; giving; and witnessing. They have the example of Jesus to follow as His disciples. We develop, we strive and we grow. "I don't look back, I lengthen my stride, as I run straight towards the goal to win the prize that God's heavenly call offers us in Christ Jesus." [Philippians 3:13-14] Christianity gives purpose, direction and reward.

As an atheist what do you do? What sort of introspection or quiet time do you have each day? What books do you study daily to search for the truth? Whose example do you follow? Whose authority do you accept? What disciplines do you practise to grow and mature your atheism? Do you have an accountability partner or support group like the Promise Keepers to help you overcome any lingering spiritual inclination? Where does it lead? Or does it require no effort at all on your part and lead nowhere?

Saturday, October 28, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

I love you guys

Thank you very much webmaster for taking your time to read this letter. My name is paul and I am a christian. You posted a letter I wrote a couple of months ago and I thank you for that. Though we are at odds with each other about the reality of the faith of Christ, I believe you and your fellow site members present your arguments well. However the issue I wanted to bring up to you was the subject of evil and the God of Scripture. I have read many articles on this site that shows the inconsistent reality between an all loving, all powerful and all knowing God and the problem of nature and prevailling evil. I do agree that if you are dealing with a general theistic god or even the god of deism, there is no real answer to why such a god would allow evil if he were all loving and all powerfull. However even though no one on this site accepts the God of the Bible as being real, you can't deny the fact that the argument of evil could not disprove the Biblical God. The reason being that this God is a God of revelation, and He has revealed His plan for sin and evil. The problem with the regular contructs of the theistic god and deistic god is that they are not gods of divine revelation, and henceforth we can not know thier true entents. In most cases theisic philosophers borrow atributes from the Biblical God and apply them to thier own ideas of a Supreme Being. Now please understand I am not saying any of this proves that God exists, I am simply trying to make an argument that the problem of evil isen't a problem for the Christian God. You may not like this God's plans, you may not want to love Him, but you can't say He does not exist on this point alone. I do believe that people do create personel gods in thier own minds and the god Americans refer to in most cases is not the God of the Bible. I would really love to here everyones response and hear different veiw points. I love you guys, and God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit loves you infinitly more.

Paul

Eternity in hell

Christianity takes advantage of humans' biggest weakness: fear. The fear of "spending eternity in hell". This scare-tactic brings in a lot of believers. Heaven, likewise, takes advantage of the fact that man must be sustained in suffering by a hope so high that no conflict with actuality can dash it; so high that no fulfillment can satisfy it: a hope reaching out beyond this world.

Faith and reason are opposites: faith meaning the will to avoid knowing what is true since reason needs justification or an explanation of a belief through facts and logic. A common thought among Christians is that because faith gives pleasure and the hope that god will shew mercy unto the thousands that love him and obey his laws, because he is a jealous god, it therefore is true. When faith is exalted above everything else, it necessarily that reason, knowledge and patient inquiry have to be discredited: the road to the truth becomes a forbidden road and a sin to pursue it. The priest rules through invention of sin and knows of only one great danger: science. But science flourishes, on the whole only under favorable conditions: a man must have time, he must have an overflowing intellect in order to 'know.' When the natural consequences of an act are no longer "natural," but are regarded as produced by the ghostly creations of superstition: by "God," by "spirits," by "souls." and reckoned as merely "moral" consequences, as rewards, as punishments, as hints, as lessons, then the whole ground-work of knowledge is destroyed; then the greatest crimes against humanity has been perpetrated.

Christianity in my opinion is incredibly hypocritical. A Christian starts his or her day with a certain set of values and rules knowing that he or she will be violated and broken and will have to ask for forgiveness at the end of the day. No successful business man, politician or even priest for that matter, can perform and live in today's society without willingly and knowingly violating all the rules of Christianity. That being said only furthers the belief that faith just gives pleasure and security to those who choose to believe in god and obey his laws.

Chris Lozano
email: axlthekid at gmail dot com

Tuesday, October 24, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Quit gambling with eternity!

I stumbled upon your website by divine accident and was amazed to see such a large forum of high stake gamblers at work, emailing and blogging and otherwise displaying their addiction to the greatest gamble of all - betting that God does not exist. It appears that most if not all of your subscribers look at other people and how they act and what they say in order to find God. Rather ridiculous wouldn't you say? Let God speak for himself. What have you got to lose? If He doesn't exist then nothing in your life will change. If He does exist then it will change drastically.

Just say "God if you are real, then come into my heart and change me, change my life, show me that your are real."

As we used to say on the playground......double dare ya.

Mark
Email:prov616@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 14, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Desperation

I never believed in religion. When I was 5 years old in Catholic school They taught us about the "devil." I wet my bed and start hallucinating because I was so scared of the Devil.

I had to go to Sunday school. I would ask question about the Bible readings, like how and why, and I would never get a valid answer. So I started reading the Bible with an open mind trying to understand and believe the stories. I finally gave up.

I stupidly would ask my religious friends questions and would go to church with them. After seeing a couple different religious meetings and talking in tongues, I lost complete "hope" that I would ever believe in religion.

When I met my biological family (I was adopted) they all tried to convert me, and when I got married my mother-in-law tried to convert me as well. I have a son and everyone is upset that he isn't baptized. Ridiculous.

The other day I was flipping through the channels and I saw this Christian lady preaching about desperation. I started to listen. This woman was saying she was grateful that people converted to Christianity out of desperation. I just couldn't believe it, but she was right!

When you're desperate your mind is easily brainwashed into believing things you wouldn't. And she admitted it! I just couldn't believe it.

What do you think?

Maggie

Tuesday, October 03, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Are you really looking at yourself?

Sent in by Nunya

I found this site by pure mistake. I could not resist reading some of what is being said. I notice the right side of the window is always the same. Asking for donations, selling books, and other paraphanalia to promote an anti-christian point of view. But mostly making it excessively easy to donate money.

I looked for 10min to find the link to "post". It is called "Submit a Testimony"

Before you get to the free form box to write what you have to say there is a long list of little boxes to fill out. Your story title, name, age, gender, etc....

Then there is a questionaire, all about when did you become a christian, why, when did you stop, why, how do you label yourself and what is your email addr?

Well I did not answer any of the questions but I am not trying to hide behind any type of dogma; either for or against christianity.

If you want to reply and tell me off or voice your opinion my email addr is:

way2muchfingbs@yahoo.com

All I wanted to say to anyone who may read this is, sounds to me like you are trading one type of religion for another, you still give all your support, both emotional and especially financial to this web site and this belief system (or would that be unbelief system?)......so what is the point of participating?

To save everyone else from a terrible mistake? To share your story of "un-redemption"? Sounds like Sunday morning or Wednesday night at church to me (or would that be unchurch?)

So my question is: except for the staggering list of opposite verbs, what the hell difference is there between this and any other religion, christian or otherwise?

Oh and I don't give a flying flip about your answer because the answer is important to you, so if you think about it at all, just answer the question for yourself....

Maybe you should just take a walk and spend some time getting to know YOU instead of feeding into someone else telling you what to think........like those people you are trying to save from religion are doing. Maybe if you would spend some energy talking to YOURSELF, writing letters to YOURSELF, then you would "hear" what you have missed.

You are no different than people who call themselves christians, your just on the other side of the table now, still in the argument, still playing the game. Still using some dogma to avoid really looking at yourself.

Personally, I don't give a rat's ass what you believe as long as you don't think hurting other people is o.k. And if you think about it; it doesn't matter who says what the truth is or isn't, we all find out when we die. So why waste your time being negative or allowing other negative people to have space in your life? It doesn't matter if they say they are for or against religion or christianity or anything else.

What matters is the amount of love and caring you can find to give and share with the people that matter to you. What matters is if you help someone because you want to or becuase you think you will get something out of it. Why does it matter? Who are you doing it for? For yourself, for the people that you love, that's all. That is really all there is, and if there is a God in there somewhere, you will find him all on your own without a church or anti-church or religion or anti-religion humping on your back.

So are you really looking at yourself?