- Pathfinder

Reply To: How should we deal with the topic of the Crusades, both in our own thinking and in engagement with Muslims?

Mary Schulten

I believe that as Christians we must own our history, even the most awful and uncomfortable parts.

During this time, all types of leaders weaponized the Church’s influence to turn ordinary people into what they believed to be righteous soldiers in God’s holy war. In learning about the Crusades in a Christian setting, we need to ask each other if these people were even followers of Jesus. Were they following His teachings? How did they get to that point of distorting it so much? All of this needs to be discussed constructively.

In discussions with other Christians about Muslims, often times jihad or a misunderstanding of jihad is brought up. When this happens, I think it would be helpful to bring up the fact that Christians have also fallen prey to the idea that they must take to violence in order to be obedient to God or righteous in his eyes. However, violence is not in our doctrine and was not taught by Jesus.