Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter and Crusades

Spent my Easter listening to podcasts, including one from The White Horse Inn. The WHI believes in the "Two Kingdom" theory. This theory begins with Augustine's City of God, which describes the conflict between the City of God and the City of Man (or the City of Satan). Then the theory seems to say that both Cities must always exist on earth until the Second Coming. The City of God is extended by preaching the gospel, while the City of Man is extended by military conquest ("the sword"). Citizens of the City of God must not use the sword, unless they wear the hat of the City of Man. Then they can.

So as I'm listening at about 7:17 into the recording, I hear the White Horse experts criticize the Crusades, which as I understand it were a series of attempts to do things like rescue Jews and Christians in Jerusalem from conquering Muslims, but I guess it also has the connotation of using military means to convert pagans to Christianity.

I'm opposed to either definition of "crusade," but I'm surprised to hear "two kingdoms" advocates criticizing "crusades" as defined as the armies of Christian nations banding together to rescue people being oppressed by armies of a pagan nation. I would be surprised if the White Horse Inn crowd were opposed to World War II. Yet this war was clearly a "Christian crusade." Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt acknowledged as much:
And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace -- a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
Thy will be done, Almighty God.

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