Christians always excuse the evild deeds of other Christians by saying that these people were no Christians. You talk about the crusaders as not being Christian. But they were following Godly examples from the Bible. There are numerous cases in the Bible of people being slaughtered and punished just because they did not believe in the God of the Israelites. This is major theme of the OT. The crusaders were doing what is ordained by God. You can't just say that somebody is not a Christian because they do something that disagrees with our 20th century sensitivities. You have to define a Christian by how the Bible defines them, and a follower of God in the OT was ruthless and cruel.
My response is in Green:
Thank you for signing my guest book. You are right on a couple of counts but wrong overall. Yes there are examples of whole cities being slaughtered, but you missed why. Before Christ came God used humans to punish other humans. The Jews were used on occasion to punish people who had rejected God. It is not as simple as you made it sound, that those people just did not believe in God. After all most of the nations in the world at that time did not believe in God and God did not have the Israelites go slaughter all of them. Also if you have read the Old Testament and did not see all the times that God used other (non God fearing) nations to punish Israel, then I don't think you have read the same Old Testament that I have.
Now you say that the crusaders were acting like Christians. I just don't see how you can say that. Have you read the New Testament? Do you know what Jesus taught? If so then you can't believe that He (Jesus) would condone what the crusaders did. Christ never said go out and kill people, He told us to go tell them the good news. It is hard to tell someone good news when an sword or spear is aimed at them.
You say I have to define a Christian by how the Bible defines them okay I will: You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. "In your anger do not sin" : Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person--such a man is an idolater--has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Ephesians 4:22-32 Ephesians 5:1-6
There is a big difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Many people try to say that God changed, but He did not change. You have to look at the Bible as a whole. In the Old Testament (which was before Christ) God showed humanity how futile our struggle is. He gave laws to be followed and He demanded physical death for violations. It is obvious that we as humans cannot come up to God's standards and that was the whole point. In the New Testament God (having already shown us that we can't do it ourselves) gives us His perfect plan of salvation. Since we can't be holy on our own, and since He demands death for our sins, there was only one way out. That was for God Himself to pay our debt. He did just that through Jesus' death. God no longer demands physical death of those who sin, although sometimes our actions will cause that. He does not even require our spiritual death for our sins if we will only accept His free plan of salvation. So my point is that in the OT God used people as instruments of His judgement but now He does not do that, we are under grace. However, don't think God has changed, He still demands death for our sins, we just have a choice whether it will be our deaths or Christ's death for us. It is up to you.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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