evangelical crusader, soldier of the cross

Evangelical Crusade: Fight the World for Jesus

The year is 1260. The priest takes his pulpit in the open air. He jumps around and pounds his fists. “The enemy is advancing,” he shouts. “Get rid of your sins today! Take up the cause of Christ! Believe in his work for you on the cross, and give your life to him. If you take up arms, your sins will be immediately forgiven.”

The priest ends his sermon with a bellow. “And so it is clear, most beloved, that those who join the army of the Lord will be blessed by the Lord. They will have the angels as companions, and they will receive eternal rewards when they die.” (Humbert of Romans, 1260, The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam Jonathan Riley-Smith, pg. 38).)

The choir strikes up a chorus, stretching their hands and vocal cords toward the sky. As the music fills the valley, the listeners rush toward the priest. “Me, me, I am ready. Let me take the cross!” Their shouts harmonize with the melodies.

“Come forward and take your cross,” the priest says. “Here is one for you and one for you. Sew this on your garment to show that you are a true follower of Christ. The Lord will be with you on the Crusade.”

And so the Crusaders were recruited, the Muslims were pressed back, and the Holy Land was taken for Jesus.

***

The year is 1950. The preacher takes to his pulpit in the open air. He jumps around and pounds his fists. “The enemy is advancing,” he shouts. “Get rid of your sins today. Take up the cause of Christ. Believe in his work on the cross, and give your life to him.”

The preacher ends his sermon with a bellow. “That’s right, now, just say this prayer with me. Confess Jesus as your Lord. Become part of the army of the Lord. If you do, your sins will be immediately forgiven, and you will receive eternal rewards when you die.”

The soloist takes the mic. She lifts her hands to heaven and the tears run down her face as she sings, “That Old Rugged Cross.” The listeners stand up and run toward the stage. “Me, me, I am ready. I believe in the cross.”

“Come forward and sign this card,” the preacher says. “Here is one for you and one for you. Make a public declaration of your faith to show that you are a true follower of Christ. Find a church to attend, and Jesus will never leave you.”

And so the church members were recruited, the devil was put in his place, and the United States was taken for Jesus.

***

The year is 2011. The preacher takes to his stadium pulpit. He jumps around and pounds his fists. “The enemy is advancing,” he shouts. “Get rid of your sins today. Take up the cause of Christ. Believe in his work on the cross, and give your life to him.”

The stadium thunders with applause. The preacher nods and bellows, “That’s right, just say this prayer with me. Confess Jesus as your Lord. Become part of the army of the Lord. If you do, your sins will be immediately forgiven, and you will receive eternal rewards when you die.”

The people jump out of their seats and begin to dance. The rock band takes the stage. “Today,” they shout into the mic, “We are going to play an old favorite.” The guitar strums a chord and the band begins to belt out, “Onward Christian Soldiers.” The audience joins in, their singing peaking in a fevered frenzy. They run to the front and begin to dance around the stage.

The preacher claps along. “That’s right. Show your love for Jesus! Oh, wow, isn’t this a great band? And isn’t this a great place? Just worship Jesus, now. And let’s pray for the souls of those unborn babies. We need to march on the capital today! We will show the power of Jesus to overcome Planned Parenthood.

And those gays? They love to march! Well, they are marching right to hell. We will march, too and show them the error of their ways!”

And so the masses were recruited, the abortion clinics were shut down, the gays were judged to hell, and the American Evangelical church danced for Jesus.

***

The Evangelical crusade continues, unabated. Jesus weeps.

 

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