The Crusades And The Inquisition: A Christian Perspective
A second incarnation of the question about the coexistence of God and evil is "What aout the Inquisition?" Again, some historical context is needed. The Spanish Inquisition began in the year A.D. 1223. The Protestant Reformation had not yet taken place - that was still some three hundred years in the future.
So we, as Protestants, had no part in the Inquisition. We were not even around at that time. When Protestantism did come into exsitence, you have to understand that evangelical Protestants often were on the receiving end of the Inquisition, tortured and killed for their beliefs. None were on the giving end. To blame real Christians for the Inquisition is an utter distortion. We were not involved, except as victims.
Which brings us back to how we should answer the question about evil done in God's name during the Crusades. First, let's put the Crusades in their historical perspective. Our response to the questioner is to ask, "Which Crusade do you have in mind?"
You see, the first Crusade was really undertaken by the Muslims when they captured the Holy Land along with all of Christianity's sacred places. Jerusalem fell to the Muslim hordes under Caliph Omar in A.D. 637, exactly fifteen years after the begining of Islam or the Mohamedan faith.
The Muslims traveled with the scimitar (the sword), and in many cases, they gave people only two choices: convert or die. The "infidels," as the Muslims were called, captured the Holy Land; Bethlehem, the place of Christ's birth; Galilee, where He ministered; Calvary, where He suffered and died; and the Holy Sepulchre, where He was buried and from which he rose. Over the years, some thirty thousand Christian churches or other Christian buildings in that area were destroyed by the Muslims or were converted into mosques. When the order went out to destroy the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Christians in Europe reacted by organizing their own Crusade-the Second Crusade, really-to reclaim Christianity's holy places.
Don't get me wrong; I am not defending the Crusades. Many terrible things were done on both sides, but isn't it interesting that we never hear something like this: "General Douglas MacArthur and the Allied Forces held a crusade against the Philippines and invaded those islands, driving out the people. Many thousands of lives were lost, and much property was destroyed. Terrible, terrible, terrible. He even said he was going to do it when he announced, "I shall return." Remember that?"
The story about the Philippines makes a lot more sense when put into perspective. The Japanese, who were driven out of those islands, had themselves invaded and conquered that land some years before. The United States and the other allies restored the Philippines to their proper owners.
Again, I do not defend the Crusades, but it is only intellectually honest to place them in their historical context. The Christian Crusade was, in historical fact, a response to the Muslim Crusade, but how many times do you ever hear anyone talking about the Muslim Crusade? A little balance is needed for clearer understanding.
(Dr. D. James Kennedy, "Skeptics Answered")
Not all of those who claim to be Christian are, those people who killed innocent people during the crusades showed that they were not Christians by their actions. The Inquisition was done by a false religion [Roman Catholicism] who killed and tortured millions of real Christians and unbelievers alike. Please do not blame Christianity for wolves in sheep's clothing, rather judge it by it's founder Jesus.
"They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me."
"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."