It’s no coincidence that churches and banks are usually the two largest buildings in a community. “Filthy lucre,” as the King James so eloquently phrases it, has often reared its ugly head in Christian history. And if you think that the televangelist scandals of the 1980s were a recent development, think again.
When Pope Urban II proclaimed the First Crusade in 1095, the stated mission – freeing Jerusalem and other holy sites from the grip of infidels – was really only a smokescreen. Many historians agree that the Pope’s real mission was to prop up the decaying Byzantine Empire, and specifically regain the fertile regions of Anatolia, and restore the lucrative East-West trade routes through that area of the Middle East. Read more