“If Godfrey of Bouillon, Richard the Lion-hearted, and countless others hadn’t risked their lives to uphold the honour of Christ and His Church thousands of miles from home, the jihadists would almost certainly have swept across Europe much sooner.”
A friend of mine once described me as a ‘crusader’, because of the manner in which I promote my Christian beliefs. He was speaking of my Protestant Reformed theological convictions. Indeed, being the Pastor of Norwich Reformed Church, if I hold something to be true, I cannot be quiet about it. In days of appalling apostasy in the Church and the collapse of our Judeo-Christian culture, I feel a greater need to ‘speak up’. In matters controversial, such as Islam. I am more afraid of saying nothing than saying something. What brought me into the fray was ministering to Egyptian graduate teachers (three groups per year) studying British teaching methods in the Department of Education and Professional Development at the University of East Anglia, Norwich (1993-2007).
These suffering people told us oft-harrowing stories of their life in Egypt at the hands of Muslims. They were astonished to find Islam advancing in the UK. They couldn’t understand why the Egyptian Government forbad even church-building improvements, when the UK Government was allowing the building of mosques across the country. I explained that our ‘PC’ liberal élite in Church and State had been seduced by the false propaganda of the Islamic community. I also endeavoured to provide them with pastoral care including Bible-based teaching, which they all appreciated. I further engaged in researching the history and teachings of Islam as never before. The knowledge gained enabled me to make informed criticisms of the Islamic agenda. Responding regularly to Muslim-inspired atrocities, I first went public in 2004 over the Beslan tragedy, when so many children were butchered by jihadists. A lecture on the subject at Oxford followed a year later. I continue to contribute authentic Christian comments on the incessant violence of the so-called ‘religion of peace’.
Yes, how can one not be a ‘crusader’? However, this must not be misunderstood. Regarding the violent jihadists, the Judeo-Christian commandment to ‘love your neighbour’ demands military action in the face of brutal aggression. It is not love to watch the helpless being slaughtered. If a pagan’s use of the sword is valid (see Romans 13:4), is it less so for governments guided by Christian values? For all the regrettable defects of the Crusades, such was the initial reason for going to aid the Eastern Churches. This is not using the sword to promote one’s faith, as in Islam. It is ‘loving an afflicted neighbour’. It is ‘hate’ to do otherwise.
As a Protestant, there is much in medieval Roman Catholicism that I deplore. The piety of those centuries was a far cry from New Testament Christianity. That said, a few centuries before the great 16th century Protestant Reformation, it is fair to say that not everything was bad. The saintly Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153), much admired by Martin Luther and John Calvin, was a promoter of the second Crusade. While he came to lament the wild violence and ungodly behaviour of many crusaders, his concern to defend the persecuted pilgrims and others from Islamic butchery was laudable in the context of the times.
In the spirit of the above, I recall my early interest in these matters, even before my teenage conversion in 1958. In the attic of our Farnborough (Hants) home, I found several volumes of The Historian’s History of the World, possibly deposited there by my father whose ambition to be a teacher had been thwarted by the second World War. Impressed by the engravings in these volumes, I became drawn to the history of the Crusades and the exploits of King Richard of England, ‘Coeur-de-Lion’. If ever there was a hero for schoolboys, it was him! My growing interest must have been evident to others. Being sent by my mother to the local Methodist Sunday School, I was presented with Ronald Welch’s Knight Crusader as a Sunday School prize. Not being a reader as such, I confess to being more impressed with the crusader pictured on the cover than the pages of endless print. My conversion a few years later turned me into a reader. The rest is history.
After many years of theological study, my favourite English theologian is another Richard, the great Puritan, Richard Baxter (1615-91). Apart from his name, he too was a bit of a lion-hearted ‘crusader’ for biblical Christianity (see www.christiancharenton.co.uk). But perhaps my ‘crusading’ spirit goes back to my childhood? Whatever one thinks of the Crusades from the perspective of our secular times, I believe the history contains strands of truth we badly need to embrace. For all his defects as a man and a king, Richard ‘Coeur-de-Lion’ has something to teach us. Unless we learn fast, the scourge of Islam will sweep away all that is praiseworthy in the West’s Judeo-Christian heritage. May God have mercy upon us.
Dr Alan C. Clifford
3 June 2017
THE MUSLIM MENACE
Dr Alan C. Clifford
The Director of the London School of Islamics informs me that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. To which I replied:
So what? Cancer grows rapidly. Your information simply confirms the scale of the Muslim menace. It also indicates the failure of modern Christians to evangelise, a failure I and others try to make amends for.
In view of the outrageous cruelty inflicted by those who find inspiration in the Qur’an and the Hadith, it is even more outrageous not to challenge what is a ‘totally-integrated satanic system’ (TISS) – religiously, legally, socially, economically and politically. So-called moderate Muslims (and there is no ‘moderate Islam’) cannot deny this without denying the alleged revelations of the Prophet Muhammad. They are simply the ‘softly-softly’ invasion force whose seductive ‘taqiyya talk’ is not to be trusted.
We should not demonize President Trump either for highlighting the Muslim menace. If the devil says ‘2 + 2 = 4’, it is true nonetheless. The real devils are Islam’s appeasers and sympathisers among the West’s élite – churchmen, politicians, educators, etc. Never was it more inappropriate for London to have a Muslim Mayor.
We must not listen to the lies of those who say Muslim violence is not Islamic. Islam was born with violence and is perpetuated with violence. This is the true, untwisted narrative of Islam. Islamic history is a river of blood. For those why try to balance the dialogue by reference to Christian violence are guilty of gross deception. Unlike Islam, Authentic Christianity is opposed to promoting itself by violence. Yet many ask, “What of the crusades?” Three points must be made. (1) they were a five centuries–late response to urgent requests to the Western Church from Eastern Christians for protection against Muslim persecution; (2) despite the undeniable defects in the Crusade agenda, they were not attempts to promote Christianity by violence; and (3) the number of battles against Islamic forces during the Crusade era (1099-1291) were miniscule compared with those in the pre-crusade period of Islamic jihad. See Dr Bill Warner at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_To-cV94Bo.
In the West and throughout the world, we need THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Without a revival of Authentic Christianity and a new Reformation of the Church, there is no hope. Lord, enable us to proclaim Him faithfully and perpetually. AMEN!
Dr Alan C. Clifford
7 June 2017