“They (We) worship the same god”

I went to visit my brother over the Thanksgiving break—a thing which is always interesting and instructional—and a conversation ensued about which I would like to write a bit here.

A small group was sitting around the dining room table, just talking, when the discussion turned to religion (something I know many consider a bad thing).

During that conversation, a member of the family (who is unimportant) made the observation (and I’m going to paraphrase here) that, “Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same god.”

Many take this as a reasonable posit, let me now explain why I do not.

This seems like a very deep and complicated issue, but actually, there are a couple of very simple answers to it.

  1. The first answer is simple, it comes in the form of a question, that question being, “Who is Jesus to you?” The most positive of Muslims (the ones who don’t tell you He was a malefactor) will say something like, “He was a prophet.” If asked how He relates to Mohammed, they will allow as how—where Jesus was important—Mohammed was a “latter prophet” and therefor what he said is more significant. I won’t even argue whether Mohammed was a prophet because it’s totally unnecessary. The Reason? If you ask a Christian (who really understands what he or she believes), he or she will tell you something like, “Jesus is God, come to Earth. He died for our sins and arose to the right hand of the Father, where He now sits reigning gloriously on High.” You may ask, “But the original question was as to whether Christians and Muslims worship the same god, how does this answer that?” It’s because to the Christian Jesus is God. The Muslim cannot say this in good faith.
  2. One thing so many people fail to recognize, is that when two texts exist that espouse different ideas and values—and most particularly when those texts are in conflict (at a fundamental level)—it’s pretty clear they cannot “get along.” That doesn’t mean they cannot tolerate each other, but it does mean they will not agree. This is the case with regard to the Bible and the Qu’ran. This matters because the very character of Allah is nothing like the character of God that is presented even in the Old Testament.

I could go crazy with other reasons and explanations, but frankly, this is enough.

I need not disparage anybody, suffice it to say, we disagree.

That’s my “two cents” on the matter. Thanks for taking the time to read this!

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