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Running Head: THE CRUSADES: SALVATION OR EXPLOITATION

The Crusades: Salvation or Exploitation


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THE CRUSADES: SALVATION OR EXPLOITATION

The term crusade originates from a French word that means to lift the cross. The term
describes the campaigns waged by the early Christians against the Muslims, who controlled the
holy land. The holy land, in this case, refers to Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine (Philips,
2010). Pope Urban II organized the first campaign in 1095. The main purpose of the crusade was
to recover the holy land especially Jerusalem. The military expeditions that the Christians carried
out in Europe to non-Christians in a bid to recapture the holy land is what is referred to as
crusades. Most of the participants in the Crusades had a firm belief that restoring Jerusalem to
the Christians they would make them go to heaven upon their death (Cahen, Setton, Wolff &
Hazard, 2008). Therefore, the participants in the past Christian crusades were voluntary.
The Christians from all over the world had the same objective, to spread the gospel to the
non-Christians and pagans. The Crusades were an ideal way of asking Jesus to wash away their
sins as well as acts of devotion. In fact the idea of having the crusades was to bring together
people with shared principals. These principles could either be natural or acquired through
preaching (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2015). During the Christian holy war, the sole intention of
the crusades was to preach the gospel to the pagans and non-Christians and finally convert them
to Christianity.
Unfortunately, some rogue preachers and pastors in todays setup are using the crusades
to solicit funds from their congregation for their selfish goals. These preachers should, however,
use the campaigns to convert non-believers to Christianity (Mayer & Rogers, 2007). In addition,
they should help the Christians to repent their sins and devote more time to God. Most pastors
are basing their sermons don issues relating to money. Some go to the extent of demanding for
money for them to have a spiritual intervention. Surprisingly these pastors acquire a lot of wealth

THE CRUSADES: SALVATION OR EXPLOITATION

within a very short period. They manipulate religion for their individual gain taking advantage of
the fact that majority of those who attend their crusades are seeking solutions to their myriad of
problems (Riley & Rodgers, 2015). The pastors perform dirty tricks as miracles aimed at luring
people into their set traps. As a result, those who witness pledge huge amounts of money as
appreciation.
These pastors usually have an extensive understanding of the Bible and, therefore, keep
quoting the Bible on several occasions. They pick persuasive verses that suit them in convincing
the public of the need to offer to the church. The pastors cite more blessings and breakthroughs
in marriage, education, finances among other things. Besides, they sell blessed handkerchiefs,
special ointments and holy water to their followers and innocent believers as an advanced
technique of stealing their money (Frankopan, 2012).
From the discussion, it is evident that the crusades have diverted from their intended
purpose of salvation to exploitation. The modern Crusades are scams to rob the public of their
money. The change has been driven and accelerated by the greed for money where preachers are
determined to get rich quickly at whatever cost (Philips, 2010). This is a pitiful state of affairs to
see that the victims are usually innocent members who are seeking repentance and spiritual
nourishment. Therefore, believers should be extra vigilant so that they do not fall in for such
scams. These scams leave the believers desperate and weak which may eventually lead to
depression. The effects are seen in the reduced number of members who are attending crusades.
Also, there is an increased number of wars in the churches as the preachers fight for the stolen
money.

THE CRUSADES: SALVATION OR EXPLOITATION

References
Cahen, C., Setton, K., Wolff, R., & Hazard, H. (2008). A History of the Crusades. Vol. II: The
Later Crusades (1189-1311). Oriens, 17, 233. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1580035
Encyclopedia Britannica,. (2015). Crusades | Christianity. Retrieved 6 October 2015, from
http://www.britannica.com/event/Crusades
Frankopan, P. (2012). The First Crusade: The call from the East. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap
Press of Harvard University Press.
Mayer, H. E., & Rogers D. Spotswood Collection. (2007). The Crusades. London: Oxford
University Press.
Phillips, J. (2010). Holy Warriors: A modern history of the crusades. New York: Random House.
Riley-Smith, J. S. C. (2008). The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam. New York: Columbia
University Press.
Riley-Smith, J. S. C., & Rogers D. Spotswood Collection. (2005). The Oxford illustrated history
of the Crusades. Oxford: Oxford University Press.