While sharing comments at Sarah Palin’s
Face Book page, I pointed out to a young man who had written that “Muslims, Jews, and Christians all worship the same God” that he is incorrect. I referred him to an essay I had written back in 2006 at my Talk Wisdom Discussion Forum. I thought that it might be a good idea to share it on this blog so that when you encounter people (even some Christians!) who state that “we all worship the same God,” you can be armed with the truth.
Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?
The short answer is no! The bottom line is this – Hal Lindsey does not believe that Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews and I agree with him and his reasoning on the subject.
However, I also realize that some Christians do differ on this issue. In fact, President Bush once stated (incorrectly, IMO) that Islam worships the same god as Christians and Jews. I disagree and I will share many reasons that will explain to you why this is not possible.
First, a summary:
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heavens glory and will return again, to earth, to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; John 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14, 15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13.)
The Koran denies that Jesus is the Son of God although it describes the virgin birth in a passage similar to Luke 1:26-38 (Surah 3:45-47) (Note: Surah is in the Koran).
The Koran calls Jesus a prophet, equal to Abraham, Jonah and others, but places Him in rank far below Muhammad. Surah 4:171 says that “Jesus…was only a messenger of Allah…Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son.”
Muhammad totally ignored the claims that Jesus made about Himself. Jesus said, for example:
“I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
“Before Abraham was born, I am” (John 8:58).
The Bible also states that God Himself called Jesus His Son (see Matthew 17:5).
Demons trembled as they recognized the Son of God (see Matthew 8:29).
Doubting Thomas acknowledge Him as “my Lord and my God” (John 20:28).
John identified Christ as the author of creation (John 1:1-5); so did Paul (Col. 1:15-17) who also said, “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Col. 2:9).
The only way to deal with this kind of evidence is to do what Muhammad did – simply ignore or deny it. Islam denies Jesus Christ’s Deity so they do not worship the same ‘god’ in their god of Allah.
Next, a response to someone who thinks Allah and Yahweh are one in the same.
In response to an individual who was attempting to equate Allah with Yahweh, I wrote the following response and included some comments from others who agree with my stance:
What Muslims believe:
“Christ, the son of Mary [note: not as the “son of God”], Was no more than A Messenger; many were Messengers that passed away Before him [here, equating Jesus with mere Messengers, or perhaps prophets, but certainly not the Son of God]. Sura 5:75, Abdullah Yusef Ali, 10th ed. reprint, 2001.
“The similitude of Jesus Before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust . . . “. Sura 3:59. A subsequent “created” man, like Adam. Not God.
What Christians believe:
However, “And the angel [being Gabriel, the same angel that allegedly dictated the “Holy Koran” to Muhammad] answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35, KJV).
The Scriptures refer to Christ as “the seed of the WOMAN,” knowing that no woman has any seed. The seed has to come from the male; Christ, as the Word incarnate (John 1:14), in an INCORRUPTIBLE SEED (1 Pet. 1:23) not like unto “corruptible MAN” (Rom. 1:23). Not like Adam, a created man who was not the son of God.
Thus, it comes down to a choice between these two disparate positions.
Either God showed up in the flesh, or he did not.
At this point in history, that makes you either believe God’s inspired Scriptures testifying of himself in the flesh, or Allah’s declaration that he did not visit in the flesh nor will he return once again.
The Koran indicates there WAS AND IS NO SON OF GOD in the flesh at any time. Muhammad thus cuts off the Isaac line through David to Jesus by God acting through Mary, and substitutes the illegitimate Ishmael to substitute himself for Jesus Christ as the New Testament “Comforter”.
Jesus would then have been the son of Joseph (a corruptible man, dead and buried without resurrection), and therefore could not be the Son of God.
What does that make Muhammad?
I realize that some readers will regard this as harsh. I am just sharing the truth of the matter.
We are warned about such non-scripture by Paul when God cursed Muhammad (and any angel with whom he was consorting) for preaching “another gospel” (Gal. 1:8-9).
Below, are more differences that I have gathered through other’s postings. (I will include first names or screen names only)
1. Muhammad sought earthly power and riches, including women from conquest. Jesus taught us that the Kingdom of Heaven is not of this world, and he gave up His life, via a gruesome Roman execution, so that we all might live again in the Kingdom of heaven, with all the angels and saints. And a final human act of murder and self-destruction will not gain one access to that Kingdom of Heaven, much less 72 dark-haired perpetual virgins. No, allah and God are quite different beings, with different requirements for believing in them. (contributed by John)
2. No Muslim believes that Jesus Christ in the trinity is one with God and God. Therefore they do not worship the same God. Allah does not reflect John 1:1 at all. Hence the reason one can not preach the teachings of Christ around Mecca. (contributed by Merle)
3. It is TOTALLY ILLOGICAL to say the god of Islam and God of the Jews and Christians are one and the same. Islamic scripture KORAN and Hadith is rife with Allah’s disdain and hate of the the Jews and Christians. It is IMPOSSIBLE for God to hate the people (Jews and Christians) He created. Therefore Allah of Islam and God are not the same. (contributed by Paul)
4. To base arguments on the superficial use of the word ‘God’ misses the mark entirely. Even cults use the word ‘God’. It is true that Judeo-Christian and Islamic beliefs have Abraham in common. From there though, Islam takes every Judeo-Christian belief and turns it upside down. (contributed by Terry)
5. Perhaps I can fill you in on some key points as to why I have trouble (with anyone who holds the opinion) that Allah is the same God of the Bible – God of Christians and Jews. First we need to be careful to resist our natural urge to claim common ground for the sake of unity and peace. Instead we need to look at historical facts and religious aims to see whether such commonality is possible. And we need to proceed LOGICALLY. The question we are asking is : Who is Allah? Here we are asking who Allah, the God of Islam is. We are asking who is the Allah god muslims worship to?
The Koran points out that Allah is the same as the God of Jews and Christians ( “the People of the Book”) And muslims claim their faith as “the faith of Abraham” in one Creator God. So the question is settled? Well, not so fast!
As well meaning religious people, we like to see unity and peace. And we like to establish commonality with our neighbors. However to answer this key question, we need to be more objective. So let’s clear up our mind and approach this question from the standpoint of a new muslim convert who is being introduced to Islam. What is the most important statement of Islam? It is the Shahada: That there is no deity but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet. This all important pledge states that Allah is the only God there is and Muhammad is his prophet. If you say this before two witnesses, you become a muslim. This all important claim of Islam DEFINES Allah.
Note that there are two parts to Shahada – “Allah is [the] only God that exist[s]” and “Muhammad is Allah’s prophet”. In other words, Shahada states “There is only Allah” but who is this god, Allah? “Allah is Muhammed’s God” because Muhammad is his spokesman (prophet).
So the fundamental axiom of Islam DEFINES who Allah is. Allah is the God Muhammad worshipped! And this is a point that ALL MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS, AND JEWS CAN AGREE ON.
Allah is the god Muhammad worshipped. This is how we should clarify who Allah is. This statement: “Allah is the God Muhammad worshipped daily” is a statement we all agree on.
Now we examine cold and hard historical facts.Was Muhammad ever a Jew? Nope. Was Muhammad ever a Christian? Nope. In fact, historians would agree that Muhammad was an Arab pagan who worshipped at Kaaba temple of Mecca. And he worshipped the supreme deity of Arab paganism – Allah of Mecca. We know that there is connection between the God of Christians and the God of Jews BECAUSE JESUS HAS BEEN A JEW AND SO WERE ALL EARLY CHRISTIANS. We can safely say that Christianity is a branch, if you will, out of Judaism because all early Christians were Jews and Christians accept Jewish Old Testaments VERBATUM.
By the same key criteria, we cannot say that Islam is a growth out of Judaism nor Christianity. Muhammad had never been a Jew nor a Christian and muslims do not accept the Bible verbatum. Instead Islam AIMS TO REPLACE THE BIBLE WITH THE KORAN. Because they believe that the Bible is full of errors while the Koran is the perfect book from the Heaven.
So let us summarize the above point why Allah is not the same as the God of Christians and Jews.
a. “Allah is the God Muhammad worshipped.” If you want to talk Islam, you have to start from the Shahada. If you are unwilling to see the meaning of Shahada, we are talking at cross purpose. Shahada says that Allah is the God Muhammad worshipped and he is the only God there is. All other deities are idols to be denied and oppressed. (This is a point that all muslims, Christians, and Jews can agree on. )
b. Muhammad was an Arab pagan who worshipped at Kaaba temple of Mecca. (This also is a point that all can agree on. ) He was and never had been a Christian nor a Jew.
c. Therefore, Allah is NOT the God of Christians and Jews. (contributed by Jay)
I am very politically aware of what is going on in the world today. In fact, here in America, as long as your god is just a word, the world has no problem with you. However, mention the name of Jesus Christ and they do have a problem. Why is that? Why is Jesus so offensive to those who do not believe in him?
Perhaps you already agree that we Muslims and Christians do not worship or serve the same God.
Christians believe in the Trinity (I John 5:7). God the father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).
“If you have seen me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9).
In non-theological words, Jesus is God revealed to us in the flesh. Muslims do not believe in the same god, that is the God of the New Testament Bible. Let’s just call it like it is. People must not try to trivialize our differences for the sake of peace.
When I was debating an individual about this topic, at the very beginning I had stated, “Since you are using a book – Koran – that I view as an improper addition to the Bible, anything I might say to rebut your allegations will probably not be accepted by you.
I do not say that the Koran is an improper addition to the Bible with a mean-spirited goal, it is just the truth as I see it being a born-again Christian. The Bible gives us a double warning in Revelation 22:18,19 not to add nor subtract from what is written, therefore, any book written after Revelation would be adding (and, in some cases subtracting, according to what is written in them) to God’s Word which we are told not to do according to these verses.”
With that said, I will share a few points regarding his dismay when I called Ishmael illegitimate.
I am currently in the middle of a Bible study on the book of Genesis. Here is a partial recap of chapter 16:
Here we find Sarai and Abram frustrated by the passing years without a son. So they devise their own strategy for “fulfilling” God’s promise–and reap the consequences. Read Genesis 16.1.
It has been ten years since Abram and Sarai entered Canaan. What action does Sarai how suggest (16:1-2)?
Suggested Abram sleep with her maidservant to build a family through her.
2. What do you think this indicates about their trust in God?
They doubted that His promise would be fulfilled without them stepping in and “helping it along” the way. Sarai influenced Abram to commit adultery. (Another point to recognize is the name changes of both Sarai and Abram to Sarah and Abraham before Isaac was born; but even more significantly this occurred after Ishmael was born. A name change in Scripture is quite significant in that it indicates a great change in the path of the person. We see this in the New Testament when Saul was renamed Paul after his encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus and thus his conversion from not only just Judaism, but from being a persecutor of Christians to becoming one of the greatest apostles for Christ!)
3. How can our impatience with God’s timetable lead us into unbelief and even disobedience?
It led to the sin of adultery in order to get the child they so desperately wanted. In fact, God did come through later with the conception and birth of Isaac.
7. Ishmael means “the God who hears.” What does that reveal about the outcome in 16:15-16?
The Lord heard the child and Hagar’s misery. Even though He told her the good news that He would increase her descendants so that they would be too numerous to count, He also told her the bad news; that Ishmael would be Gen 16:12- “And he will be a wild man; his hand [will be] against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”
This is indicative of the hostility we have seen between Arabs and Jews throughout the centuries. We also see it in the radical fringe of Arab/Muslim terrorism going on around the world. (This is not to say that ALL Arabs/Muslims are terrorists because of course they all are not, but to point out that the hostility predicted in this Biblical account has come to fruition down through the generations and can be seen today as a result of this prophetic description of Ishmael in Genesis 16:12.)
I WILL REPEAT FOR ABSOLUTE CLARITY. I AM NOT SAYING THAT ALL MUSLIMS/ARABS ARE TERRORISTS!
In Chapter 17 we see that God’s one and only covenant is revealed through Isaac. I have already included the Bible verses in previous posts.
Lastly, at my Bible study this past Tuesday, we ran across the following verse that reveals an astonishing truth about which son God Himself recognized as Abraham’s “only son.”
In Genesis Chapter 22 verse 2 we read:
“Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”
Of course, we know that God provided a substitute for Isaac at the last moment by providing a ram caught in in a thicket by its horns (verse 13). This was a foreshadowing of the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the sins of mankind at the cross.
But notice also that God said that Isaac was Abraham’s only son. Thus, we recognize Isaac’s line in succession to Jesus Christ, not Ishmael’s line of descendants.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8
The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong to those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9
My Face Book friend, who happens to be a Christian biblical scholar from Australia – Bill Muehlenberg – has written two excellent essays on this topic. Please read them and be educated on this issue!
Culture Watch Blog: No, We Do Not Worship the Same God
Culture Watch Blog: What to Make of Allah