I have another blog I don’t use anymore, which was titled “Jesus in Jeopardy” where the theme was the idea of presenting Jesus as the Question rather than the Answer, just as the answers are flipped on their heads as questions in the erudite game show, Jeopardy.
People make assumptions about Islam. It’s not surprising that a lot of Muslims make assumptions about Jesus, too. We spend very little time listening to experts who’ve read the texts, so it is often assumed that Islam is 100% anti-Jesus. Many Americans think that Islam is all about jihad, and it’s easy to think that when the most visible branch of Islam is the one that causes chaos. You’d think that the main thing the Koran has to say about Jesus is that Muslims should kill Jesus’ followers, (or just westerners or just people) but that’s not the case. At some point, an inquisitive Muslim has to ask the question “Who is Jesus, anyway?” Turns out that the Koran has some very interesting things to say about Jesus. Take a look at how this Imam discovered who Jesus is by studying the Koran.
One thought on “Muslims and Christians: Do we share the same God?”
First I want to note that this blog was written and scheduled to release a few weeks before the attacks in Paris and other parts of the world happened a few days ago. It’s eventual release happened to coincide at about the same time, giving the appearance that my blog was in reaction to Paris. It wasn’t. I have noted elsewhere that this isn’t so much of a coincidence as it may seem, because the attacks from ISIS are increasingly frequent.
Interesting that only three people so far have clicked through to the video, but one of them has been discussing it with me on LinkedIN. I requested that we repair to the original WordPress blog for further comments as I felt it was less of a LinkedIn discussion (which is an outlet) and more of a discussion that ought to be held here where my original post is contained (therefore the proper forum). In the future I’ll request all people who want to start long threads to do so via WordPress so it’s viewable by readers who come to this blog no matter the source outlet where they found it, whether Google, Facebook, or otherwise.
Now, the most recent comment on LinkedIn stated that
“The Christian’s God says “vengeance is mine” [but] the Islamist’s God says to exact revenge upon his enemies. Logic dictates, this is not the same god.”
This is true. Well, at least partly true, but there are also other logical conclusions one could reach to the same statements, which means that the logical work is not complete. Which means that maybe it’s not the entire truth. Both the ancient Jewish texts and the Muslims assert that there is one God. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord your God is One God.” Muslims assert this as well, so if we’re talking about GOD, everyone agrees there is only one (though Muslims argue that Christians acknowledge three gods, they are mistaken: Christians acknowledge three core aspects or attributes of the One God, as Jesus said, “I and my Father are One.”) This thing about the attributes of God is a tricky thing to pin down, our minds being only able to really grasp three-dimensional and finite concepts, and God being much more multi-dimensional and infinite. The point is, we are either talking about God when we discuss certain attributes, or we aren’t. If the Muslims have a different god, they have no god at all. But if they refer to God, they are, at least as much as any of the rest of us are, trying to talk about God and God’s attributes as accurately as they can.
Let’s leave the Islamists out of this for the moment. When I hear Islamist I do not hear Muslim. The proper term for a follower of Islam is Muslim. An Islamist is the term in common parlance which designates a militant, possibly radical. But the term radical refers to returning to the root, and I’m not entirely sure the militant Islamists really are getting at the root of Islam. At least, most of the other Muslims don’t seem to think they are really radical. We can come back to the Islamists later. But remember, even the Islamists think they are talking about God, the One God, the Only God.
There are other logical conclusions one might reach, based on the above statement, and I want to address that. First of all, we could conclude that one book or religion got it somehow wrong (is not the Word of God or at least a prophetic message) either as an inaccuracy or simply that the book isn’t really legit at all. Another conclusion which would be logical is that the statements are being poorly interpreted and therefore poorly acted upon. Another logical conclusion one might reach is that God is paradoxical and/or unknowable. There are lots of logical conclusions one might reach when faced with this sort of contradictory statement about an attribute of God pertaining to vengeance, justice and judgement. There is not only one logical conclusion, which means that the equation lacks information. Further, there are places in the Old Testament where God’s people are commanded to destroy their neighbors in a Holy War (sometimes they obeyed this command but often they didn’t). There are places in the Koran which state that God is merciful. Both books (compilations of writings) have plenty of contradiction within themselves on this topic, even without comparing to the rival volume!
Let’s go back, then, to the question of whether or not we are talking about the same God. For as long as we are discussing the idea of One Creator God, we are talking about the same god. The arguments begin when we start discussing God’s attributes.
Most of us come to the conclusion that those few (Islamists) who kill and terrorize in the name of One God are missing something. Love, basically, also Mercy. Big Big attributes that most of us agree on.
Back to the Islamists — the militants. When they say God’s instruction is to exact revenge, they are either not talking about One God, or they are sorely mistaken about what Creator God wants from them. I maintain that Muslims, Jews and Christians are all talking about One Creator God and trying to figure out God’s will and attributes. I think that even the Islamists believe that they are talking about One Creator God, too. They believe they are, but they’ve gotten a core attribute wrong. Many of us are often confused about what One Creator God desires, or we are disobedient to God’s design and call, or we fail to take the opportunities God affords us to relate to Him, but few of us are this confused. So confused as to be completely 100% DEAD WRONG.
If there is a literal Hell (oh, boy, another can of worms) they are burning in it right now, and saying, ‘how did we miss it so badly?’ But all along, they thought they were talking about the One Creator God. You are either talking about an attribute which fits God, or you aren’t. There are no other gods. You are either obeying God’s will, or you aren’t. There are no other gods. You are either relating to the One Creator God, or you aren’t. There are no other gods. Further, Jesus said that the way to relate to the One Creator God was through him, and I think that’s what the (formerly) Muslim man in the video linked above found out … through the Koran. Because while the Koran may not have everything right, (and the author knows it and so points readers to the people of the Book aka Bible) it’s really trying hard to talk about attributes of the One Creator God. And if you’re seeking, you will find Him.
Don’t get me started on the Book of Mormon.