The word crusade is derived from a French word, and it means “to lift the cross.” It is used to describe the early campaigns against the Muslims by the Christians. The holy war was spearheaded by the Roman Catholic whose objective was to reclaim the holy land of Jerusalem, Palestine, Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon. Pope Urban ii was the think tank behind the first crusade, in 1905, in an attempt to restore Christian admission to the holy land (Riley-Smith, 2014). From that point forward, a series of crusades as Christians all around Europe believed they would go to heaven when they die fighting for the holy land. However, there has been a continuous debate on whether crusade is salvation or exploitation.
In the past, Christians used crusades to correct the worldly sins. They represented voluntary Christian activities across the borders to induce faith to non-believers.the idea of these crusades was to bond interrelated principals that are inherent to individuals as stipulated in the word of God. Most of the Crusaders lost their lives during the holy war (Stark, 2010). The objective of the crusade was to cleanse the worldly sin through spreading of the gospel. Christians preached the gospel to non-believers, Muslims and pagans to change them to Christianity.
However, the objectives of the crusade have changed drastically changed the intended purpose of the campaign. Most of the modern preachers, pastors and self-proclaimed are using the crusades to exploit the public. These priests have used the crusades to fulfill their selfish needs. This is in contrast with the intended purpose that was to help believers repent their sins and convert non-believers to Christian faith (Riley-Smith, 2014). These rogue pastors have become millionaires overnight by manipulating the religion for their selfish needs. Pastors and self-proclaimed prophets are organizing international crusades where they rob naïve believers their money all in the name of God.
Most of these pastors take advantage of the desperate situations experienced by the poor to mint millions from them. Prayers and miracles are auctioned to the highest bidders who hope to find lasting solutions to their problems from these pastors. Armed with several Bible verses, modern preachers are using the scriptures to get gifts, money and monetary donations from unsuspecting followers. In some crusades, people are hoodwinked to sow some ‘’seeds’’ with a promise that Lord will multiply it several times (Vandendorpe, Aronoff & Scott, 2009). These preachers are so convincing, and the followers give the offerings and tithes wholeheartedly to fulfill biblical teachings on giving.
Crusades have been the modern platform of religious fraud that is spreading at an alarming rate. The greed for money has resulted in most of the rogue pastors selling handkerchiefs, holy water, powerful anointment oil that followers ought to buy to break the chain of problems they face in their lives. There have been cases where such pastors have also exploited unsuspecting women especially those who are barren (Rubenstein, 2011). The fake men of God ask huge sums of money from these desperate ladies. In extreme cases, they also ask for sex favors from such women with a promise that they can only carry pregnancy if they have anointed sex with the pastors.
To sum it up, it is evident that crusades have failed to fulfill its intended purpose of bringing salvation to the people. Some rogue pastors and self-proclaimed Bishops have exploited unsuspecting believers and siphoned huge sums from their pockets. Crusades should be held for its intended purpose of preaching the gospel, provide spiritual nourishment and repentance. It is, therefore, essential to discourage fake pastors from conducting crusades (Schutz, 2010). Believers should also be educated on how to identify and reject rogue pastors whose intention is to exploit rather than offer salvation.
Riley-Smith, J. (2014). The Crusades. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Rubenstein, J. (2011). Armies of heaven. New York: Basic Books.
Schutz, H. (2010). The medieval empire in Central Europe. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars.
Stark, R. (2010). God’s battalions. New York, NY: Harper One.
Vandendorpe, C., Aronoff, P., & Scott, H. (2009). From papyrus to hypertext. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
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