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Memories of the 28th Century

Do Muslims and Christians Worship the Same God?

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Apparently, this has become a matter of contention among some Christians, Muslims, and Jews. I looked at an interview of a professional theologian (what a wonderful job that must be) who is of the opinion that Muslims, Christians and Jews do worship the same God. That should not have required any thought, but some people make mountains out of molehills. There never was any doubt as to whether Christians and Muslims worshipped the same God. Mohammed had already converted to Christianity before he created his own religion. He just took what he found there and spun it as he thought best. He also was busy fighting a war to take as much territory as he could, so he took pieces from other sources, but Islam is so much like Christianity that in its early times Muslims often worshipped in Christian churches, and many people thought that it was just another of innumerable sects of Christianity.

If you look at the Koran, you will find that Jesus was mentioned many times, and a lot of space is dedicated to expressing nice things about Jesus and about Christianity. I don't know the details of Mohammed's acquaintance with Christianity, but some people have asserted that he studied in a monastery for some time, and was literate, so he could have read whatever might have been available, so he should have know the origins and the theology of the God involved in the Bible. There are good reasons for thinking that Mohammed had the Christian God in mind throughout the Koran. Christianity was quite confident that it worshipped Yahweh, the God of the Jews. But when you look at which God the Jews worshipped things get a lot slipperier.

Yahweh was the God who gave the Jews the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, and from that it is clear that Yahweh made a deal with the Jews that they were to worship him and no other Gods or Goddesses, but it is clear that there were other Gods and Goddesses, and Yahweh never claimed to be the chief God. He only claimed to be the God of the Jews. It appears that Yahweh was identical to the God of Abraham, but that isn't as clear as Yahweh was from Mount Sinai on. Before the time of Abraham the Jews were involved with all of the Gods of the North Canaanite Pantheon, and El was the chief of those Gods, and Yahweh was a son of El.

Whether this makes any difference depends on what influence a God has on his worshippers. If you think that the relationship is more theoretical than anything else, then it doesn't make any difference. But polytheists would claim that different Gods have authority over different aspects of the universe or are assigned to different nations. If you believe that there is a single of God of everything, then this makes no difference, but Yahweh clearly stated that he was the God of the Jews, so, if you aren't Jewish, then he's not for you. There are Gods of various nations and activities; Slava is the Goddess of the Slavs, but Slavs also worship all of the Proto-Indo-European Gods also, and most of the nations of the Earth have their particular Gods, even if those people choose to ignore their Gods.

Regardless of what one calls one's God(s), everyone follows those Gods and Goddesses that are most appropriate to the individual. People may give lip service to the tenets of some religion, but a God of everything is useless to most people. The Gods and Goddesses of love, wealth, learning, and other particular aspects of the universe have specific uses and worshippers; for example, drunkards worship Ekwamedha, Bacchus, and similar Gods and Goddesses. Many people in business worship Hermes, the God of merchants and thieves. Thinkers worship Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom. There are excellent reasons why the Ancients named all of the many Gods and Goddesses; they all existed, and they were effective, and they still exist and are effective.

I tried to find the source of Yahweh; who he was before he took up the Jews as his bailiwick. I have read that some people think he was a desert storm God, and Ellil was an Assyrian storm God, so that might be where he came from. If we look at what he has done, then maybe he started out as a God of discord or slaughter, because more people have died in his name than by the hands of worshippers of other Gods. In some obscure way he may be the God of Evolution. Regardless of his origin, Yahweh certainly does not coordinate among his worshippers: Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Maybe the other Gods should do something about that.

Universality might be nice, but most people are looking for something that fits their particular needs.


http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/...0e2iSz&start=3

Updated 12-16-2015 at 09:33 PM by PeterL

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Comments

  1. Mohammad Ahmad's Avatar
    Yes they worship the same God why not?
    The Christians who departed Mosul after the catastrophic incidents and who for a long time lived among Muslims sometimes they would swear saying Allah or by Allah as well as Muslims swearing.
    Of course there is common habits and good relations before as long as I remember, the time when the Christian came and slept in our home and also when we visited their area to achieve some of our issues we often peacefully slept as a welcoming guests to this Christian person.
    I think that ancient time hardly comes back and I might say there is deep sorrow in both of us the citizens of Mosul but what to do?