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Christians, Muslims, Jews - same God or different gods? - Page 2

post #21 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
I think this only applies if one is certain that one's own conception of God is the complete and absolute truth of everything there is to know about God.
Hmm, no. This is not "I say god is green and you say god is blue," this is "you say that god says he is blue, while I say that god says it is sinful to make a claim that he is blue."
post #22 of 187
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
I'm Muslim. It is absolutely a core part of our theology that these three faiths worship the same god.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
What I mean is ... take Bahai faith. They say theirs is the same god as well. And certainly it is in the same lineage. But, to a Muslim, they make claims about god that contradict our own claims. They make claims that, according to what we believe to be our god's self-revelation, are untrue about god. And so for us, while they may well be included in people intending to worship god, they can not be included in people who are worshiping god as he is. For us their god is different in certain critical aspects.
Thank you for your replies. I am a bit confused here. So, do Muslims believe they have the same God as Judaism and Christianity, but they think that the Baha'i have a "different god"? And even though they know that Judaism and Christianity have different concepts about God that they don't share including the fact that Christians believe that Jesus is God, they still believe they worship the same God?
Is that correct?
post #23 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
Hmm, no. This is not "I say god is green and you say god is blue," this is "you say that god says he is blue, while I say that god says it is sinful to make a claim that he is blue."
Can you give me an example of what you mean? Are you referring to the Muslim belief that God is One as opposed to the Christian belief in the Trinity?
post #24 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by christianmomof3 View Post
Thank you for your replies. I am a bit confused here. So, do Muslims believe they have the same God as Judaism and Christianity, but they think that the Baha'i have a "different god"? And even though they know that Judaism and Christianity have different concepts about God that they don't share including the fact that Christians believe that Jesus is God, they still believe they worship the same God?
Is that correct?
Muslims - broadly speaking -- believe in progressive revelation, so we believe that God sent clear messages to mankind via prophets, which over time were altered by man to include false information. We believe the Torah was a legitimate revelation from God, but that Judaism in practice went off-course. We believe the Gospel was legitimate, but that beliefs about God which are incompatible with the nature of God as we perceive him worked their way into things. Islam is mostly about what is in the heart and what is in one's actions, so we believe that, even while corrupted, these revelations are intact enough for the followers of them to be right with God, both in their hearts and in their actions in this life. That is not the same, however, as saying that we believe the differences only display equally legitimate facets of god.

We also believe, however, that the Qur'an was the final revelation to mankind, under god's protection from similar corruption. The Bahai faith claim upon later revelations attributes actions and intentions to god which are commonly incompatible with the Muslim view.
post #25 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
Can you give me an example of what you mean? Are you referring to the Muslim belief that God is One as opposed to the Christian belief in the Trinity?
That is a fair example. But not so much that the belief differs, but that the Muslim texts plainly state that the latter belief is in error and would do better to cease outright. Either we are wrong that it is wrong or we are right, but because it is something directly addressed it is not quite the same as one man touching a trunk and another touching a tail in the dark.
post #26 of 187
I see. I didn't know that Islam specifically condemns certain Christian beliefs.
This is pretty much what I am talking about though:
Quote:
Islam is mostly about what is in the heart and what is in one's actions, so we believe that, even while corrupted, these revelations are intact enough for the followers of them to be right with God, both in their hearts and in their actions in this life. That is not the same, however, as saying that we believe the differences only display equally legitimate facets of god.
See, I agree with you here. Saying that all religions are a partial understanding of God is not the same as saying they are all equal. Merely that they are all glimpses of something legitimate. You can still say that your glimpse is the clearest, and that other glimpses contain errors, but you are still all glimpsing the same God.

This is OT, but I'm curious what Islam teaches about religions that are not "people of the book", like Buddhism?
post #27 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
Saying that all religions are a partial understanding of God is not the same as saying they are all equal. Merely that they are all glimpses of something legitimate. You can still say that your glimpse is the clearest, and that other glimpses contain errors, but you are still all glimpsing the same God.
I do see what you're saying with that and personally I don't wholly disagree ... like I said, that POV is more or less built into my own religion to a degree. "Same god" talk, though, mostly seems to be of value to interfaith outreach efforts which, in my experience, do tend to simply gloss over core disagreements. I'm not sure of the value of the discussion outside of that, other than in a worldview in which for one to say he believes another's belief is wrong is itself by default offensive. And that's not a connection I'm willing to make myself.

Quote:
This is OT, but I'm curious what Islam teaches about religions that are not "people of the book", like Buddhism?
It doesn't. Or rather, there is a belief that all people in all times have had access to prophets/revelation, so some expand upon that to suggest that most or all religions preceding Islam have a basis in legitimate revelation, and others prefer go with the "safer" position of eschewing such speculation in order to avoid attributing incorrect things to god. Mostly we just leave that subject alone, *except* for to say in a broad sense that polytheism is unacceptable before our own idea of god.
post #28 of 187
So...

Baha'i : Muslim :: LDS : Christian

Is that right?
post #29 of 187
Quote:
"Same god" talk, though, mostly seems to be of value to interfaith outreach efforts which, in my experience, do tend to simply gloss over core disagreements. I'm not sure of the value of the discussion outside of that, other than in a worldview in which for one to say he believes another's belief is wrong is itself by default offensive. And that's not a connection I'm willing to make myself.
Right, I don't know that it has much value for the various religions. And I understand the reticence on the part of sincere religious people who view such efforts as being attempts to "water down" their religion. In terms of politics and society, however, I think such talk and attitudes is absolutely critical for peaceful relations. When one's worldview has a respectful space for other religions (not necessarily saying they are equal to your own, but that they participate to some extent in something valid and are doing good, not harm) then it becomes much harder to ignite religious-based hatred and warfare.

And thanks for the quick explanation! I like the concept that all times and peoples have had their own prophets.
post #30 of 187
I think it's the same God being worshipped. Just because the perceptions of who or what that God is are different doesn't make God into a set of gods.

Or, maybe this is a better analogy... water can be liquid, ice, or steam. Salt or fresh. We can stir in orange juice concentrate or coffee crystals. None of this changes that water is what it is. It make look different or taste different, and some people who love orange juice may hate coffee, blah blah blah. But the water itself remains water.
post #31 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
Hmm, no. This is not "I say god is green and you say god is blue," this is "you say that god says he is blue, while I say that god says it is sinful to make a claim that he is blue."
I'm sorry.. I so had to laugh. that was a very good but very funny way to put it


all in all though, if I understand you correctly, I would have to say I agree with how you put it.

----

it's hard question for me to answer honestly... b/c I don't know exactly the right answer. is it the same God... yes. but the same attributes? not always... sometimes drastically different. so is it a matter of seeing Him differently or a matter seeing Him wrongly? My christian-side wants to say "we are right, they are well-meaning but misled". but I know my muslim friends would likely say the same about me... so where does that put us? I don't wish the bury our differences but I don't wish to represent myself as knowing the mind of God in a way I can't actually know. does that make sense? so I just really don't know where to go with it past that. for now I try to spend more time getting to know the heart of God than trying to tell other people why/where/how they are wrong...
post #32 of 187
The God worshipped by Christians has fundamentally different attributes to Allah and HaShem, the unary/trinity thing being perhaps the most significant. So I would not call them 'the same God', working from the logical principle that a thing is defined by its attributes.
post #33 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thao View Post
In terms of politics and society, however, I think such talk and attitudes is absolutely critical for peaceful relations.
I suppose I just don't see why.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post
My christian-side wants to say "we are right, they are well-meaning but misled". but I know my muslim friends would likely say the same about me... so where does that put us? I don't wish the bury our differences but I don't wish to represent myself as knowing the mind of God in a way I can't actually know. does that make sense? so I just really don't know where to go with it past that. for now I try to spend more time getting to know the heart of God than trying to tell other people why/where/how they are wrong...
I think that puts us at an honest disagreement that doesn't have to be more than that, personally. If asked, as here, I'll answer what my religion has to say about certain other beliefs ... but that doesn't mean I'm standing on street corners wagging my fingers in the faces of passersby. Heck, I invite Jehovah's Witnesses in for tea. Respecting one another's humanity and decency and ability to tell bad jokes or whatever just shouldn't take saying "because we're essentially the same." I mean, I think some of my very dearest friends are absolute crackpots when it comes to politics, and vice versa ... but we break bread together, you know? We build a community together. And that's enough. Thinking one another wrong about something doesn't itself imply flag waving or the drawing of battle lines. It just is what it is.
post #34 of 187
Quote:
I suppose I just don't see why.
The defining characteristic of any militant (could be a militant religious person, a militant vegetarian, militant environmentalist, whatever) is first the belief that they are right and the other is wrong, and second that the other is actually doing harm and so they are justified in using any and all means to fight that harm. So it is vitally important in my opinion that religions recognize -- not sameness -- but rather some level of validity and goodness in other religions.

It's like a mom who, say, believes that sugar is bad for kids. If she has an attitude of, well, I am going to raise my kids without sugar because I think that is best but other people's kids who do eat sugar will probably all grow up okay in the end -- she can co-exist peacefully with her neighbors. If on the other hand she is so convinced of the rightness of her belief and of the harm of sugar that she fears her neighbor's kids will be poisened by eating sugar, then her natural compassion will compel her to "wag her fingers in people's faces" and maybe even burn down the local sugar plant in an attempt to save children from the evils of sugar.

It sounds like your religion takes the former attitude, which is great. But there are many denominations/religions which take the latter attitude (I grew up in one) so that is why it is an issue for me.
post #35 of 187
In my opinion, they all worship the same God, yet each group has a different understanding of that God's aspects and characteristics. I feel strongly that I can learn from each.
post #36 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
The God worshipped by Christians has fundamentally different attributes to Allah and HaShem, the unary/trinity thing being perhaps the most significant. So I would not call them 'the same God', working from the logical principle that a thing is defined by its attributes.
Hmm, but as Christians, we clearly believe that our God, who is a unity, is the same God who revealed himself to the Hebrews. Now, they clearly didn't perceive him as a trinity, they were pretty clear on the whole unity is good thing.

Now, the idea of the trinity only developed after Christ, and really couldn't have developed until then, so I would say that it was a matter of learning something new about the same old God. At which point, the Jews and Muslims say, No you are totally mistaken.

So I would say they are clearly talking about the same God, the same personality. But it is like one niece thinks old aunt Hettie really has false teeth (because she told them so), while the others think she has her own (because she told them so). They are clearly talking about the same person, though they disagree with what her attributes are. Aunt Hettie, though, presumably knows for sure.
post #37 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by HennyPenny View Post
why do so few peole realize that "allah" is the muslim name for "God"? :doh I don't get that one... I heard that before too - that muslims aren't worshipping the same god b/c their God is "allah" and ours is "god". um??? that's the lamest excuse Iever heard honestly lol... considering we call god by many names in Christianity! we alos use many fo the jewish names too... so.. um...?
It is not really an excuse. Muslims worship the deity who sent Muhammad as a prophet, inspired the Koran, etc. If you do not accept Muhammad or his teachings, and do not believe that the true God was behind any of it, then you do not worship that deity. It is much simpler to refer to "God" and "Allah" than to go through that whole explanation; but it is not the name that is significant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post
I'm Muslim. It is absolutely a core part of our theology that these three faiths worship the same god. BUT ... I completely respect it when a Christian, for a particular example, disagrees with that assessment. We deny that Jesus was more than a mortal man, we deny that god ever begot any child, we deny the crucification even happened, let alone resurrection, and we deny that Jesus in any respect died for our sins or that salvation comes through faith in him. We strip away pretty much everything that makes the Christian perception of God and God's works unique and call it wrong. I am not about to expect a Christian person knowing these things to agree with the Muslim assessment of sameness -- our perceptions of god directly contradict and outright blaspheme one other.
Very clear. One difference between us is that while Muslims still believe Christians worship the same deity, however incorrectly, my own church takes the stand that Islam does not worship the same God that we do. There is no condemnation attached to this, but it is a firm belief. We worship Christ and the Holy Trinity, and consider it not just an "expression" or "custom" but an absolute, rock-bottom essential. Muslims and Jews do not worship Christ or the Trinity, therefore we do not worship the same God.
post #38 of 187
One of the problems in answering this question, imo, is what is meant by "the one, true God." If your understanding of that phrase means that there is only one, true God, what other god could be worshipped since it doesn't exist? On the other hand, if you understand this phrase to imply the existence of other gods (there are other ones, but we worship the CEO of gods), then I don't think the faiths worship the same god. This places the emphasis on "true" and only one version, since there are differences, can be the true god.

Looking at Islam through a different cultural lens, I have befriended a Muslim woman from Jordan living in the U.S. while her husband completes school. When I asked her if Christians worship the same god as she, her response was that of course it's the same, but they have it wrong. She had no problem telling me her belief that all but Muslims were doomed to hell because they did not know the "final prophet." She has repeatedly pleaded with me to learn "the true way" so she can rejoice with me in paradise. My point is only that much like Christianity is understood differently in different denominations and locations, the same is true of Islam. So the answer to this op's question will change accordingly.
post #39 of 187
Thread Starter 
Thank you - those are all interesting responses.
I was raised Jewish and am now a born again Christian.
Since I know the Reform Jewish religion and I know what the Bible says about Christ and what the Christian group that I meet with teaches, I feel that Jews and Christians definitely both share the same God.
Just because Christians know that He is triune, and Jews do not believe that about Him does not mean that they are separate entities. It is, like someone on here said, kind of like the blind man and the elephant type thing.
I see that Muslims also believe that they share the same God.
That is interesting since their understandings of Him seem so different from the Jewish and Christian ones. I think I might to go with the "they have the same God, but follow a false prophet's incorrect teachings about Him" understanding at this point. That may be similar to their view of the Baha'i faith I guess, I am not sure. I think, perhaps like MaterBum alluded to - I believe there is only one God, so the concept of false gods - even as presented in the Bible - seemed to always refer to idols, but not to "God" . I thought of this verse: "Acts 17:23 For while I was passing through and carefully observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed, To An UNKNOWN God. What therefore you worship without knowing, this I announce to you. " and then Paul goes on to tell them about the one true God.

So, it seems there are different concepts within the different religions about how they view the others and if they think the others worship the same God or not.
It is interesting to see the various concepts. Thank you for sharing them.
post #40 of 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chavelamomela View Post
Allah, Hashem, God...all the same.

Jesus...not the same.
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