Lepanto: One of Three Christianity Preserving Battles


Battle of Lepanto 1571 3


John R. Houk
© March 16, 2015
 
I am a Christian. In full disclosure my faith might be better pinned with the terms Pentecostal, Charismatic and Word of Faith. Much of mainline Protestant Denominations would call one or all those descriptions as heretical in their faith. I am not a Roman Catholic or an Eastern Orthodox Christian although I do not condemn their faith as many Protestants do in various degrees of virulence. On a personal level I place more faith in the Bible than in tradition, but I do not condemn tradition for tradition preserved Christianity during the Dark Ages in the West and Muslim domination in the East.
 
I recognize that the dogma of Churches or of individuals are not absolute, because perfection will only come to the Body of Christ until the Second Coming of Christ that brings finality to the eradication of Satan’s realm on earth which was bequeathed to old slew foot via a load of deception fed to Eve (deceived) then to Adam (not deceived) who knew better than to accept deception as truth.
 
Now in saying all that I ran across an article about the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. That battle was one of three defining battles that resulted in preserving Christian Europe from Islamic conquest. The first is one battle that has two historical names in 732 AD: Battle of Tours/Poitiers. The last Battle marked the beginning of the end of the last Muslim super power the Ottoman Empire which found its death bed at the end of WWI between 1918 and 21: Battle of Vienna (1683). The 1571 Battle of Lepanto was as significant as the other two in which it was in between; however unlike those other battles Lepanto was a naval one.
 
The account below is from the perspective of a militant Roman Catholic website which hasn’t necessarily a good opinion of Protestants but justly are high lighting the nature of Islam.
 
JRH 3/16/15

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The Battle of Lepanto–Why We Are Free
 
By Ashley Ladouceur and Marty Arlinghaus
 
Let me tell you the story of the Battle of Lepanto.
Don John in the Battle of LepantoDon John in the Battle of Lepanto
 
The year is 1571.

The Ottoman Empire has been expanding by method of jihad (in other words, military conquest).

This is the extent of the empire at the beginning of the battle:

 Ottoman Empire up to 1571
The Ottoman Empire extent in 1571
 
 
“The inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with their ships.”
 
“The Ottoman Turks yearned to bring all Europe within the dar al-Islam, the ‘House of Submission’ — submissive to the sharia law. Europe, as the land of the infidels, was the dar al-Harb, the ‘House of War.’” (From Lepanto, 1571: The Battle that Saved Europe by H. W. Crocker, III posted to CatholicCulture.org. Copyright by Morley Publishing Group Inc.)

Meanwhile, Christendom was divided by the Protestant Reformation

 
“The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom.”
 
The scene is set.
On the Christian side we have a strong leader in Don John of Austria, a handsome 24 year-old son of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. At his command were 206 galleys, 40,000 oarsmen and sailors, 28,00 soldiers and knights, the thousands of rosaries said by faithful Christians as requested by Pope Pius V, the ministries of the religious and priests who accompanied the fleet, and the entreaties of the hosts of saints and angels in Heaven.
 
Don John of Austria
Don John of Austria
 
On the side of the Turks, led by Ali Pasha, there were 328 ships, 77,000 men (including 10,000 Janissaries—Christian boys taken from their families as tax payment when they were about the age of 6. They were forced to convert to Islam, taught the art of war, and given the opportunity of advancement in the Turkish army.), and 50,000 oarsmen—many of them Christian slaves.
 
The Battle
Spies warned Ali Pasha of the Christian advance thus he had time to set up his fleet in a battle line. This fleet was more experienced and stronger than the Christian one. The naval battle began. The galleys fired cannon balls at each other.
 
The Battle of Lepanto 1571
The Battle of Lepanto
 
 
When ships got close, a floating hand-to-hand combat was commenced with scimitars, bows, and muskets on the Turk’s side and swords, pikes, and arquebuses on the Christian’s side. An unexpected strong wind allowed the Christian fleet to pin part of the Ottoman fleet against some shoals; this wind seems to have been a gust of the Holy Spirit. Some of the Christian galley slaves on the Ottoman ships revolted, incapacitating those galleys.
 
But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!
 
The Christian fleet was victorious. The Turks lost 170 ships, 33,000 men to death, wounds, or capture, and 12,000 Christian slaves. Christians endured 7,500 men killed and 22,000 men wounded.

The turning of the tide of the Ottoman advance is due to the prayers of the millions of Catholics in Christendom. October 7th, the day the battle took place, is now the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, and the month of October is the month of the Rosary.

Are we not facing similar battles today, if not even greater ones? Christians are being massacred and exiled from their homes where they have dwelt for nearly 2,000 years in Iraq and Syria by Islamic groups such as ISIS (or Islamic State). Christians in other Islamic countries continue to face anti-Christian laws that prevent them from freely practicing their religion on pain of imprisonment or death. Unlike in the 16th century when Lepanto was fought, these atrocities are met with apathy by the modern Western culture, which is experiencing its own anti-Christian secularization which thinks Christians cannot possibly be persecuted. The overt culture of death advanced by the Islamic State has just as strong a hold in the hearts of Westerners who accept abortion, assisted suicide, euthanasia and other life-denying practices such as contraception that continues to cause populations of developed countries to plummet to the point where future generations will collapse under the weight of the much larger older generations. Christianity itself continues to suffer from splintering and a lack of unity of believers. The odds seem to be overwhelmingly against the Church.

But we are the Church Militant. We are united as members of the Body of Christ. We are the Catholic Church. Just as 500 years ago Christians united in prayer to defeat the Ottomans, we can unite in prayer now to combat the spiritual and physical evils in our world today.

 
For more exciting information on the Battle of Lepanto: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=7391

To read the poem G. K. Chesterton wrote about the battle: http://www.bartleby.com/103/91.html

To listen to a chant of the Templars as they march to war: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0d4qM7gCH8

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Lepanto: One of Three Christianity Preserving Battles
John R. Houk
© March 16, 2015
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The Battle of Lepanto–Why We Are Free
 
 

Onward Christian Soldiers


Christian Poker - Crusade v. Jihad

John R. Houk

© January 7, 2012

 

I am a Christian. I consider myself as a part of the Christian Right. In an attempt to pin down the faith/nature of my Christianity my description might run something like a Charismatic, Pentecostal and Word of Faith kind-of-guy. Now I realize a significant amount of other Christians have a problem with that kind of theology. I also am aware that that those that are plugged into the realm of faith that I follow have a problem with the theology of more traditional Protestants, Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians.

 

I for one have decided not to judge the Christian theology of those that differ with me. If a person follows some basic Biblical principles that a majority of Christian theologies agree, I for one will play finger pointer of who is correct and who is wrong.

 

·       Jesus is the Christ

 

·       Jesus is the Son of God

 

·       Jesus is both fully human and fully God (This goes to the reason humanity has a Savior/Redeemer)

 

·       The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three persons that are a total union in ONE God

 

Beyond these basic principles all other matters of doctrine lead to personal conflict and are not worth the bicker but are worthy of understanding each other and perhaps adopt portions of theology that does not outrage one’s inner man/conscience.

 

I am just saying this is where I stand.

 

Now I begin in this way because we Christians have to recognize we are entering a time period in which the world’s ruling elites could care less about Christianity. Even in European nations that still have Established State Churches are not exactly Christian-friendly. I mean the Arch Bishop of Canterbury that is supposed to be the Clerical leader of the Church of England/Episcopalian Church globally has gone on record as accepting the Sharia Law of Islam as a working proposition in the United Kingdom. In case you are unaware Islam denies that Jesus is the Son of God and denies that the Lord died on the Cross as a sacrifice to Redeem humanity from the dark corrupted world that came into existence after the Fall of Adam.

 

Irony is that Islam accepts the existence of Jesus, but only as a great human prophet that is only superseded by Mohammed.  Thus a Muslim will tell you that they believe in Jesus (the son of Mary) just like a Christian. That is deception!

 

There is a two-pronged – perhaps a three-pronged – attack going on now against Christianity.

 

1.     Christianity is being attacked by Secular Humanists and Moral Relativists

 

2.     Christianity is being attacked by Islam

 

3.     Sadly, Christianity is being attacked from within by persons that reject the Divine origin of the Word of God by whatever good logic that disproves the existence of the Bible’s God and Jesus Christ. These Christian cherry pick the Bible and collect principles validating good secular press and rejecting the Bible’s Commandments as displayed for humanity by the Creator of all things.

 

These thoughts today will gravitate towards Islam’s war on Christianity.

 

Islam’s history is that of conquest of other civilizations to use the sword to convert non-Muslims (kafir) into Islam. After Mo’s death the Muslims embarked as a conquering horde through the Christian Middle East, Christian North Africa, Persia (Iran) and the Indian Sub-Continent.

 

As far as Christianity goes, conquering Muslims easily defeated Byzantine armies because the local Christians did not necessarily enjoy the suzerainty of the Byzantine Empire because not all the Middle East or North Africa agreed with the theology of the Greek Orthodox Church. There was a bit of hope that the Muslims were Arab conquerors looking for territory to exploit as do all conquerors. The Middle Eastern Christians and North African Christians quickly discovered that the Muslim concept of exploitation was severe and cultural changing.

 

I like what Bill Warner writes in this situation in his post “Saint Doonesbury.”

 

Through the centuries, the dhimmis became Muslims. This accounts for the law of Islamic saturation. When Islam can institute Sharia, the civilization will become completely Islamic. It is only a matter of time.

 

The “dhimmis” were the Christians. Warner uses a term I may have read before but got my attention for the first time; i.e. “the law of Islamic saturation.” The forcible institution of Islamic Sharia Law saturated the Christian population with severity. Over time the law of Islamic Saturation did its job by wearing down Christians who grew weary of living a subhuman life of a dhimmis and thus converted to Christianity to escape political oppression that berated them via Islamic Supremacism.

 

It is time for Christians to establish a modern Crusade to confront the three-pronged attack on Christianity. The old period of the Crusades was that of battle-hardened Noblemen from Europe that saw an opportunity to acquire fiefdoms denied by matters of inheritance. Soldiers don’t say please when they seek to acquire. There is an old expression: “War is hell”. That means soldiers that desire to win will make the attempt utilizing the actions of all costs. These kinds of actions in pre-Crusader battles in Europe perhaps led to doing something that was obviously a sin according to Christian doctrine. Pope’s in Europe further sweetened the enticement for Noblemen to join in Crusades against Saracens (an invective term for Muslims) by offering blanket forgiveness for past sins and I think (I might have to do more research) future sins that might accrue in battling in the Holy Land.

 

The Catholic Popes basically gave Crusaders the same religious tools as Mohammed had established as rules of engagement that Muslim soldiers enjoyed. So it was kind of a tit-for-tat you kill my dog I’ll kill your cat. The Crusaders had a religious dispensation to be just as ruthless as Muslim soldiers without worry of going to hell.  

 

The Crusades began in 1095 roughly 460 years after ruthless Muslims began their invasion of Christian lands and the institution of Sharia that led to the transformation from a Christian culture to an Islamic culture. For all the horrors you read or hear about the early Crusader conquest of the Holy Land, those horrors dwarf to the horrors perpetrated by Muslims against a majority Christian population worn down to accept Islam as their life and culture.

 

Shortly after WWI Radical Islam, really the purist Islam as set forth in the Quran, Hadith and Sira; began to emerge and caught the eye of a few Muslims that desired a return to global Caliphate glory. The thing is the few Muslims that joined up with Radical Islam in the early 1920’s has grown immensely and still are gaining. I have read that radical Muslims represent only 10% of Muslims. The estimated global Muslim population in 2010 was about 1.6 billion. That would mean the existence of about 160,000,000 Radical Muslims.

 

(Segue: Can anyone dare tell me there are 160,000,000 violent Right Wingers or Extremist violent Christians? I doubt it!)

 

Friends that One Hundred Sixty Million Radical Muslims is growing, even worse, there is near zero condemnation of the Radical Muslims by the majority Muslims. Why?

 

The reason is fundamentally easy. It is because the Muslims revere the Quran, Hadith and Sira with the Quran as infallible. When Radical Muslims attack Westerners, Jews or Muslims declared heretical (Sunni-Shia split); those radicals are merely following the Quran and the example of Mohammed. If a Muslim openly and compellingly condemns a Radical Muslim, they are risking talking against the holy writings of Islam and insulting Allah and Mohammed.

 

Friends it is Crusade time; however this is the 21st century. There is no nation in the West that values secularism that will embark on a military expedition to protection the Western culture from the intentions Radical Muslim nut jobs that are rarely condemned by the majority of Muslims. So what would be an effective Crusade in the 21st century?

 

It is time for Christian Churches to stand-up and take an enthusiastic stand to specifically condemn Radical Islam especially in the United States where one still has Free Speech to speak against Radical Islam without fear of fines or jail.

 

But John, that is not politically incorrect! The Churches willing to take an intellectual and spiritual stand against Islam will undoubtedly receive doses of hate-the-Christian Islamophobes. The Left and Muslim apologists will harangue Christians for preaching Christianity is not Islam or anything like Islam and point the finger of racist (even though Islam is a religion and not a race) and haters against Christians.

 

It is not the first time Christians were the minority voice. The thing is in America our U.S. Constitution allows us to speak out and demand that law enforcement protect us. Those days may change, BUT IT HAS NOT CHANGED YET!

 

JRH 1/7/11