I’m not a theologian, but there’s enough religious diversity in my own family to see the vast difference between gods and various styles of worship.
I have a personal issue with a popular mantra that circulates among the politically correct. This sentence is the one that seems to calm the storms of controversy whenever the topic of religion is touched.
“We all basically worship the same god.”
Although I’ve noticed that these words do a fabulous job of neutralizing heated conversations; it simply doesn’t make the actual statement any truer.
This falsehood needs addressing because I believe that our discomfort in facing the truth has caused many to sweep an important issue under the carpet. This issue is crucial because it addresses our eternal destiny. Who you worship in this life, determines where you spend your eternal life.
No matter how warm and fuzzy the words:“We all basically worship the same God.” Seems to make people feel, the fact remains that not all people bow their hearts to the same god. By deductive reasoning if you choose to submit under the lordship of one God, you are in turn, rejecting the lordship of all others.
I am by no means an expert on religion, that’s why I’m only going to touch on a subject that I am personally familiar with. Interestingly, it just happens to be the most basic religious debate that is affecting America today.
Do Christians and Muslims worship the same god?
In my earnest search for God, I felt compelled to look into other religions. I didn’t feel that I should believe in something because that’s ‘just what our family believes’. God deserved more. He shouldn’t be ‘inherited’ as if He were heirloom silver. The two religions that drew my greatest personal interest were: Islam and Christianity.
Since history began, there have been countless gross atrocities done to mankind in the name of religion. And, I must admit that for the longest time, I was pretty ashamed of the title “Christian”. How could I not be? It came with such heavy baggage! Tyrants like Constantine and Hitler didn’t do very much to bolster Christianity’s reputation.
But, then I actually took the time to read the Bible. That is when I learned the teachings of Jesus. He was all about love, forgiveness, turning the other cheek and helping the poor and the disadvantaged.
So, why was it that in all of Hitler’s violence and destruction he is still associated with the peace-loving Jesus? It was because he used the name of Jesus to further his deception. This was probably done because it was a name people naturally felt safe and comfortable with. But, once Hitler gained the masses trust and alliance, his actions were anything but Christian. Everything he did and stood for was the exact opposite of Jesus’ message of love, peace, forgiveness and mercy. So, even if Hitler slapped a “Christian” label on heinous cause, his actions were anything but. According to the Bible’s definition, Hitler would definitely never have qualified as a Christ follower.
On my journey to discover the truth, I was intrigued by the fact that so many people told me that the Bible’s God was the same god mentioned in the Koran. I needed to see for myself what was going on with this odd dichotomy. So, I decided to read both with an open mind and heart.
When I first picked up the Koran, I truly wanted to give Islam a fare shake. So, I made a conscientious effort to put aside all associations of violence many have done in the name of Allah. This only seemed fair; because I have seen the name of Jesus marred by Hitler, Constantine and many other power-hungry tyrants. (As I mentioned earlier, the actual teachings of Jesus and Hitler’s actions didn’t match up…)
When I first began reading the Koran, I noticed that many of the Surahs certainly sounded similar to the teachings of the Bible. But after delving deeper, I also saw how the teachings of Mohammad morphed into a greater hatred and violence against Islam’s infidels. (The definition of an infidel is anyone who chooses not follow the teachings in the Koran; more specifically: Christians and Jews.)
I was impossible not to think of the violence that has changed our landscape of peace on this side of the globe. The twin towers crumbling to shards of metal and dust, the senseless Boston Marathon bombings and the gruesome machete murder that happened in plain sight on a busy street in London. All these acts of violence were done in the name of Allah. And, according to the Koran, those who performed these heinous acts would be rewarded in the next life with virgins as plenteous as tissues and riches that could rival a sheik in Dubai. These great gifts of honor could be gotten for the cost of taking another human life here on earth. The violence matches the teachings of Mohammad.
If you’ve been telling yourself (and others) that Christians and Muslims worship the same god, to avoid discomfort at a dinner party, I challenge you to delve deeper and really search for the truth. Because not only will knowing the truth set you free, I believe you are worth the trouble that it will take to find it.
Take the time to actually read the Bible with an open heart and unbiased mind. Then, take the same amount of time to read the Koran with the same open heart and unbiased mind.
There is a God who that is so loving He sent His only Son to die for the sins of humanity. This Son, Jesus, not only walked and talked without ever sinning but His powerful and life-changing words were captured for us by His disciples. You can find them in the four gospels. We have the luxury of Jesus’ instruction at our fingertips: His wisdom for life is available whenever we read the New Testament.
Then, there is the god of Islam. Allah. He demands that you serve him with repetitious prayers and self-mutilation. Allah has no interest in a personal relationship with you. He only desires your devotion to the level that you will violently take innocent lives in his name.
Jesus loved the whole world that He GAVE His life.
These two religions certainly sound like they are on opposite ends of spectrum to me.
My intention isn’t to offend, but to state my personal observations that I have made in my own journey of discovery through research. God bless you as you search for Him with a diligent heart–for yourself.
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan