The Churches – a necessary evil?
With the loving example of Jesus in front of us we have to admit that much of what the various churches did through history was unmitigated evil. We make ourselves ridiculous if we try to defend the massacre of Jewish & Muslim men, women & children when the 1stcrusade captured Jerusalem in 1099; or defend the burning of churches full of supposedly heretic Christian Cathars in southern France in the early 13C; both of which and many more were committed under a Christian banner, with leaders claiming a Christian motivation and sanctified by the head of the Western church. With a less superstitious understanding we understand this as plain evil and a gross distortion of Jesus’ teaching of the vilest kind. And yet, and yet, without some form of formal organisation it is hard to know what might have come down the ages to a time when it clearer that Christians are at the heart of much of the good of the great 20C charities and disaster relief agencies. Perhaps we just have to accept the distortions done in the name of Jesus and work to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It didn’t have to have happened that way though: