I will keep mentioning the 1500’s as being significant. It is when God became weaker and Satan more powerful (though we are making gains – keep praying and getting this information to as many as will listen).
I am reading a National Geographic magazine entitled, “Jesus and the Origins of Christianity”. It has an interesting section on “The Challenge of Islam”. Christianity had expanded into western Europe. Then comes Islam. Muhammad had not liked the idol worship that he saw around him. He converted people who he saw as pagans. When Muhammad went to Medina, he needed to help set up a town and develop social mores. Mohammed did come under physical attack. Later, when it came time to work on expanding Islam, people used what the Quran said about enemies and used it to take over peoples. God was not happy with the violence.
Around 1050, there is the Roman Catholic sphere of influence and the Eastern Orthodox area of influence. Also, there was, “The Age of the Crusades”. From the National Geographic magazine: “One causal source of friction was the deteriorating attitude of Muslim rulers towards Christians, particularly Western pilgrims to the Holy Land.” Before this “People of the Book (same God as Muhammad)” were allowed to travel unscathed.
One estimate of the number of deaths during the crusades is 1.7 million people. Only one of 20 men would live to reach the Holy Land. There is a great article from the Washington Post. Obama was making a speech and pointed out that Christianity has had its violent moments. Some responding to his statements were shocked. I’m dismayed that people had the idea that the “Christian side” was totally without blame in any way. We do a disservice to ourselves if we turn a blind eye to the fact that great harm and suffering can be done in the name of “put your religious or cultural identity or name of country here”.
It is worth taking a look at the Post artical: “Was Obama Right About the Crusades and Islamic Extremism?” “Along the way, the Crusaders massacred. To take but one example, the Rhineland Massacres of 1096 are remembered to this day as some of the most horrific examples of anti-Semitic violence prior to the Holocaust….The Jewish communities of Cologne, Speyer, Worms, and Mainz were decimated. There were most than 5,000 victims.” And that was only one example.
I read about the Rhineland Massacres. German and French peasants involved in the fist crusade saw killing Jews as being justified. There had to have been some of Jesus’s descendants and descendants of some of his relations massacred. There had been some killing of Jews earlier, but some see this as the first main incident of anti-semitism. It probably did not cross anyone’s minds that Christ would have been appalled at all things regarding the crusades. But to kill people because they were seen as an enemy of Christianity? This IS Appalling! God was saddened and weakened. Satan got stronger because of the killing and hate that spewed forth.
To this day, I cannot sing, “Onward Christian Soldiers”. It brings up memories of the native peoples “fighting” the various armies – justifying the subduing or slaughter of native people. I would also think of the Crusades. Now, I can definitely add the crusades to this list.
We MUST know that ALL peoples under the right circumstances can act in evil ways. We MUST know that it is human nature to want to belong to a group. We MUST learn how to accept others and constantly tell ourselves that if someone is not hurting someone psychologically or physically, that they have the right to practice their religion or other belief system. We MUST spend some time trying to understand a different culture, race, religion in order to be prepared to use that to fight misunderstanding. Satan will try to use our vulnerabilities, our needs to belong and human tendency to be “right” against us and God in the future. God is warning me about this. He wants me to warn you about a future where this will start to rear its ugly head.
Pray for people fighting the virus. I think I will keep it local – just so it’s not overwhelming. I am also going to pray for people to understand one another’s culture. In Sonoma County, I will pray that the Latinos and others try to understand each other. I haven’t see any problems. It all seems okay, but there always is room for improvement. Strengthen this area.
Another group to think about are people in nursing homes who cannot have visitors. It can be very scary. My sister is a speech pathologist and works some people with all types of issues – for example swallowing. She had to step outside yesterday because one patient was leaving and others are scared. The patient leaving is going home on hospice and thinks it is safer in the setting she is leaving. My sister has a very strong faith. This made me realize that this is a good population of people to pray for.