One God? A commonly affirmed idea is that Jews, Christians, and Muslims worship the same God. It is also said Abraham is the common source of these competing religious systems. Are those opinions true or false? Can it be this is both true and false? How can it be both?
How can a single God deliver, as the absolute truth, three or more conflicting “absolutely true” messages to his people?
If the definition of God is limited to describing God’s nature as the eternal creator and governor of all things, it is true there is only one God.
It is false when comparing the theology of the world’s competing religious systems – especially those of Judaism, Islam, Christianity and Hinduism.
Examination of the theologies of all religious systems shows that none agree, be it these or any other of the well known and widely practiced “faiths.”
Therefore, the theological God of each religious system is different.
Yahweh, the God of Judaism, is favorable only to Jews. Allah, the God of Islam, is favorable only to Muslims who affirm Islam’s First Pillar. Abba/Father the God of Christ is a loving parent who wants all people of the world to return to him and live in his constant and eternal presence. These three systems have a historical connection to Abraham and all claim to be monotheistic. Jews and Muslims accuse Christians of being polytheistic, of worshipping three Gods.
Hinduism is intentionally polytheistic and lacks Abrahamic roots so it is dropped from this comparison. Buddhism and Confucianism are not religions but are philosophical systems. Therefore their view of God(s) cannot be discerned.
It is easy to see that the God of each religious system is different when their theological concepts are examined. Even those starting at the same place with God as the Prime Being, the Creator, end up with entirely different theological Gods. Therefore, we must reject the idea that different religious systems have the same God. If all had the same God, all would agree. None agree.
Many refer to the “Judeo-Christian tradition” to affirm Abraham’s theistic God is the same God of Christianity and Judaism. That is true according to the Christian Bible, the New Testament. But the phrase “Judeo-Christian tradition” needs much more examination because of the massive theological differences between the two faiths.
As commonly used, the phrase Judeo-Christian implies the two traditions are so closely connected only a hyphen separates them. Surely there is a great difference. If there is little or no difference, why affirm Jesus and his words, work, and ways? If there is little difference, why a “New Covenant” that ends and puts away the “Old Covenant?”
Obviously the two religious systems start in the same place with Abraham, but end up on different planets. So, it is truly misleading to join them together. Judaism denies any commonality with Christianity by insisting Jesus was not the Messiah and therefore is a false prophet and heretic.
Christianity insists Judaism ended at Jesus’ crucifixion at Calvary. So it is not reasonable to connect the two with the description: Judeo-Christian. In fact, that phrase is an oxymoron because the two are opposites. One is a religious system based on legalism and the other is based on freely given grace. One can guarantee salvation and the other cannot. They are not complementary, but are contradictions.
Next, Islam claims Muhammad is the last of God’s Prophets replacing Jesus and all Old Covenant Prophets. That claim, if true, would reduce Jesus and the prophets who came before him to worthlessness. Islam asserts the Bible is perverted and God’s truth expressed through the earlier Prophets (including Jesus) has been lost. The Koran insists God restored the “truth” through Muhammad. According to Islam, the Koran is God’s corrected and final instructions for all people. Therefore Muhammad, for Islam, is the Messiah and Jesus is not.
(The inconsistency of this reasoning is obvious. If the messages of Jesus and the Prophets are lost by Bible text perversion as Islam alleges, how can it be claimed Muhammad become an extension or revision of the lost and thus unknown messages? How could anyone compare a new “known” to a lost “unknown” to evaluate it as correction and an improvement?)
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Judaism declares both Jesus and Muhammad to be false Prophets, and reiterates the Torah with its 613 rules, plus the Prophets and Writings, is the only correct divine direction for man. So, to that faith, Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament – the Bible of the Jews – is the only true God.
In Islam, Allah is the only true god because Muhammad’s Koran says that.
Except for Christianity, all religious systems – polytheistic, monotheistic, and pagan are based on systems of works. To gain God’s approval and final salvation, a person must correctly perform their prescribed works. Under all those systems, God judges one’s works as acceptable or not only after death. Those other systems do not offer “blessed assurance” in this life.
Under Jesus’ free grace offering, God invites everyone to meet him face-to-face when they ask for that favor. Seek, knock, and ask your loving Father- Abba – to open the door of his heart for you, and invite you into his House. He will, according to Christianity, as his gift of love. Abba is a good and different God than the Gods of all other religious systems.