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19 Jan '15

Christian crusaders

Posted by T.J. Addington
Christian crusaders are not hard to find. They populate the internet with all kinds of dubious information, find a home in our churches and are the prophets that will keep the "true faith" and bring equally zealous people around them to fight the righteous fight. What is interesting about these crusaders who fight for truth is that they almost always lack grace. And when asked about that they justify their behaviors by quoting Jesus words to the Pharisees. In other words they are like Jesus and those they crusade against are Pharisees.

Which is really interesting because those they usually fight against are fellow believers and often church leaders. I have learned that engaging such crusaders is usually not very productive as they are highly inflexible and unteachable. Here are some of the signs of Christian Crusaders.

First, they are usually incredibly harsh with their vocabulary using words like sin, evil, heresy, need for repentance, God's judgement, arrogance, narcissism, and the list could go on. And, their communications are also full of Scriptural references to prove their case. In fact, the more people quote scripture in such communications the more concerned I am as those Scriptures are usually used as a hammer of "righteousness" against perceived "unrighteousness."

Second, Christian crusaders become deeply enmeshed with other crusaders against a common "cause" or "enemy" and these enmeshed relationships fuel their sense of righteousness - as there is no one who challenges the party line - and there is no glue for dysfunctional individuals like the fuel of an evil enemy. If one speaks out against the behaviors or challenges the party line they often become one of the unrighteous.

Third, Christian crusaders are usually highly inflexible. This is why conversations about the veracity of their claims and beliefs rarely have any impact. To compromise on any point is for them to compromise truth rather than to realize that the real issue may simply be that they disagree with the views of those they have demonized. I will rarely waste my time trying to convince those who will never be convinced.

Fourth, Christian crusaders take second and third hand information that is "helpful to them" and use it without regard to whether it is actually accurate. Sine it fits their skewed view of the universe it must be true. Fact verification is not high on their agenda.

Then, they view all events with those being demonized through their skewed view of reality. I have seen simple, straightforward statements interpreted in a malicious way when any reasonable individual would take the statement at face value. The lens through which crusaders see their opponents is so skewed that they cannot see any intentions as deviating from their interpretation.

Finally, crusaders don't let go. It is, after all a crusade, and until they win, there is no let up. And those caught in their sights cannot do much about it except leave it to God. In the church, this behavior should not be allowed and elected leaders ought to deal with crusaders in their midst who create problems and division. That last word is very important. Crusaders create unhealthy division and destroy the unity of the church. After all, it is a righteous struggle - which is often directly from the pit!

All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence,  are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 per book discount on orders of ten or more.