Every once in a while, it is good to remember real history. Not the history written by anti-Christians looking to make Christianity look bad. Christians can do that enough on their own without outsiders embellishing their misdeeds, or outright lying.
Thomas F. Madden published an article entitled The Real History of the Crusades back on May 6, 2005. It’s coming up on it’s ten year anniversary, but it deserves to be read by everyone. It’s short and concise for those of you don’t like history, but like to throw it up in people’s faces anyway. It sets the record straight.
So, in a nutshell, the Crusades are not the black-eye on Christianity that people think it is.
So what is the truth about the Crusades? Scholars are still working some of that out. But much can already be said with certainty. For starters, the Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression—an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.
And why did they do it?
They did so not because they expected material wealth (which many of them had already) but because they hoped to store up treasure where rust and moth could not corrupt. They were keenly aware of their sinfulness and eager to undertake the hardships of the Crusade as a penitential act of charity and love.
There’s a lot of Christian values there, but I want to point out something in particular. Madden writes: “they were keenly aware of their sinfulness.” How many of us can say the same?
The goals of the Crusades were two-fold: “to rescue the Christians of the East” and “the liberation of Jerusalem and the other places made holy by the life of Christ.” The Crusades were started in answer to a request for help from the emperor in Constantinople; not colonialism, expeditions to get rich, or missions to convert. They were in answer to the spread of Islam by the sword, violence, and terror; the same way Islam spreads today.
Read the whole thing: The Real History of the Crusades