Inegrated Humanties-Essay 3

1 Kai Thng HST-2013 Professor Lloyd 12-7-21 Life On Earth With Heaven in View In this world, Christians must learn how to live in different nations and under various conditions. Living in a culture that may have its own specific understood rules or traditions, it is essential that Christians are able to live authentically as God's representatives on earth. Defining things like what a Christians role in the world around them, or how God's justice plays out in the world are both two very important things that must be considered. In addition, another big question is how to interact with the governing authorities in the world around them. Lastly, what does it mean to be elite and how does their behavior affect society as a whole. These questions can be answered in several works from the Middle Ages that offer as a picture many examples from medieval life. The first important thing that Christians run into is the relationship between power and spirituality when it comes to life within a community. The dynamic boils down to does church or the state have more power when it comes to making decisions for the people or are they supposed to instead just be one united function. The church leaders of the Middle Ages wielded enormous amounts of power in order to accumulate wealth and prestige from theirselves which often caused them to come into conflict with the political leaders around them. In the article "Gregory", Pope Gregory VII writes to King Henry IV in order to try to chide him back into coming back under the authority of the Roman church. In one part of the letter, the pope submits defense for his authority by saying, "We know that one does not refuse to obey God in those matters in which we have spoken according to the statutes of the holy fathers does not scorn to
2 observe our admonitions even as if he had received them from the lips of the apostle himself." (Gregory, 3) King Henry finds offense with the amount of power that the pope presumes to wield because he believes that it his God-given right to rule without interference from the pope. In one of His opening lines to the pope, he declares, "Henry, kind not by usurpation, but by the preordination of God, to Hildebrand, now not pope but false monk: You have deserved such a salutation as this because of the confusion you have wrought; for you have left no order of the Church which you would make as sharer of the confusion instead of honor, of malediction instead of benediction." (Henry, 3) If this is a good summary of the struggle between two leaders of the church and state, then where does the appropriate balance of power lay. In this case, it would be helpful blackto look to the time when Jesus himself was approached with the question of paying taxes to Caesar. His response was to say to render the things to Caesar that are His and to God the things that are His. In John 18:36, Jesus makes sure to point out that His kingdom is not of this world, and if it was His servants would have fought to save Him here on earth. Finally, in Romans 13:1-7 Paul makes it a point to tell his readers that they should be subject to the authorities, but to do good in all knowing that God ultimately is the judge of all. This shows that spiritually should receive not recognition or power here on earth, but rather reward from God later in heaven. This is heavily emphasized in "Papal Power" where John Wycliffe and Marsilius of Padua both criticize how as opposed to how Christ came to this world to serve others and to live a life in among the poor and broken of the world, the pope rules with authority and lives in comfort, while also expecting visiting monarchs to kiss his feet. Marsilius also refers back to the passage in Matthew about Caesar, and says," So then we ought to be subject to Caesar in all things, so long only as they are not contrary to piety, that is divine worship or commandment." (Papal Power, 4)
3 If Christians are supposed to be submissive to the governments they are living under while still carrying out God's commands, then its is imperative that they discover the role they should they carry out in the world around them. This desire to fulfill both requirements of submission to governments and obedience to God can be seen in the fervor and commitment that many people took up during the crusades. Spurned on by religious leaders who convinced them that their souls would be given a reward if they fought under the sign of cross, many kings, lords, knights, and even common people took up arms and marched off to fight in the holy wars. In Fulcher, it can be seen how Pope Urban II uses his massive influence to make and impassioned plea at a council of many people to come to the rescue of Christians living in Jerusalem and recapture it from the Turks. An interesting statement from the pope is his claim is that it is God not him who exhorts them to exterminate the Turks and aid the Christians. He also offers a heavenly reward by saying, "For all those going thither there will be remission of sins if they come to the end of this fettered life while marching by land or crossing by sea, or in fighting pagans." (Fulcher, 3-4) In New Knighthood, abbot Bernard of Clairvaux reemphasizes the fact that their fight is just and holy since they are not worldly knights fighting for glory or bloodlust, but rather as one fighting for Christ and killing pagans. "But the knights of Christ may fight the battles of their Lord, fearing neither sin if they smite the enemy, nor danger at their own death; since to inflict death or to die for Christ is no sin, but rather, and abundant claim to glory." (New Knighthood, 3) Sadly this zeal to fight on Christ's behalf often seemed to be misguided in light of the atrocities that often were commanded on part of these crusaders. For example, as seen in Ibn Al-Athir when the Franks captured Jerusalem they ruthlessly slaughtered 70,000 people, including many Muslim monks and scholars who were living lives of seclusion in the Holy world. (Ibn Al-Athir, 417) Taking a lesson from the crusades as a whole, it is important that
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