In case you missed it, watch the previous video: Pentecost and the Gospel

Join us at our next stop at the Crusader Church, our thirteenth destination in the virtual tour of Israel Follow Melinda and me to Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast of Israel to see the ruins of a Crusader Church and a functioning Islamic mosque nearly side by side.  Come along and see for yourself!

If you’re excited about the tour, be sure to invite your friends and family to join in on the journey! They can subscribe to our YouTube channel, follow along here on our blog, or catch us on Facebook, we’ll be posting there as well.

Crusader Church and The Spread of Christianity

Unity or Diversity?  Diversity within unity?  Christianity celebrates the truth that God is at work to redeem and bring together diverse people from every tribe and language under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  That makes unity in Christ one of the great truths taught in the Bible.   Along comes Islam in the 7th century A.D.  As Islam spread, it conquered lands that were formerly Christian: Egypt, Syria, Spain.  Islam took possession of Jerusalem and the sacred sites of the Holy Land.  So it was pretty much inevitable that, sooner or later, Islam and Christianity would clash.  In 1095, Pope Urban II responded to the Islamic conquests and the appeals of Eastern Christians by proclaiming a holy crusade to retake these sacred sites.

The Crusades were a series of military expeditions by Catholic Christians against the Muslims in the Holy Land.  The First Crusade conquered Jerusalem and many other territories.  But after a couple of hundred years, Islamic armies, first under the Arabs then under the Turks, had re-conquered everything they had initially lost.  The Crusades had many outcomes that we still feel today, not the least of which is the tendency to confuse people about the real nature of the central message of Christian faith: God’s grace and love toward people through Christ.  In the minds of many people, the good news became somehow—bad news.  For followers of Jesus in the 21st century, our job to help people see that Jesus brings fabulous news of forgiveness, reconciliation and new life.  That new life in Jesus can create harmony among people and lead to eternal life.  That really is good news.

So come along with Melinda and me to Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast of Israel to see the ruins of a Crusader Church and a functioning Islamic mosque nearly side by side.  They serve as a stark reminder of the failure of Christianity when it is imposed by force.  Then, I will have some words about prayer for harmony among the diverse peoples of the Holy Land and their need for some good news.

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