Do Christians & Muslims Worship The Same God?

Praise the LORD!  Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens!  Praise Him for His mighty deeds; praise Him according to His excellent greatness!  Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with lute and harp!  Praise Him with tambourine and dance; praise Him with strings and pipe!  Praise Him with sounding cymbals; praise Him with loud clashing cymbals!  Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!  Praise the LORD!  (Psalm 150)

They’ve got a “Dummies” book for just about everything.  But, this takes the cake!  Well, not really.  This book doesn’t exist, but the “Dummies” theme was used recently by a group promoting a free praise and worship workshop.  The sponsors of the workshop want folks to attend “Because God deserves the best Worship!”  To that I would simply say, “Amen!”

However, in our pluralistic, post-Christian, post-modern culture, we might ask ourselves, “Who is this God that we are supposed to worship?”  For some, especially Christians of the Baptist persuasion, that should be a fairly easy and straightforward question to answer.  Sadly, it is not.

At the recent Baptist World Alliance Convocation held in Honolulu, a focus-group discussion on Christian-Muslim relations took place.  One of the panelists was Robert Sellers, a missions professor at Hardin-Simmons University’s Logsdon School of Theology in Abilene, Texas.  Professor Sellers, who served 25 years as a missionary in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation, has been on the faculty of the Baptist General Convention of Texas affiliated theology school since 1998.

Dr. Sellers, who currently serves as the Professor of Missions Ministry and the Connally Chair of Missions, not only believes that Christians and Muslims share a “common belief in the God of Abraham,” but that we worship the same God.

Muslims are our religious siblings, for we are all descendants of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar,” Sellers said. “We worship the same God — the God of Abraham, the Creator God, the God of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.

With all due respect to the good professor, Christians and Muslims do not share a common belief in the God of Abraham nor do Christians and Muslims worship the same God.  The God of Abraham and the God of the Hebrew Bible (i.e., Old Testament) and the New Testament IS (not was) the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!  Jesus said that ALL of Scripture spoke of Him.  If you fail to see Jesus as God, then you cannot share a common belief in the God of Abraham.  And if Abraham were here, I’m quite sure he would tell you the same thing.

For a missions professor at a supposedly Baptist seminary to believe that the God of Christianity and the god of Islam is the same LORD God is not simply wrong, but heretically wrong!  And I do not say that lightly.  When an entire religion — be that Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Mormons — rejects the Trinitarian understanding of God, including Christ’s eternal pre-existence, then in no reasonably orthodox, Biblical, or Baptist way can one argue that this religion worships the One, True God revealed in Scripture as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

The Bible teaches us that we are to praise the LORD!  As pastors and professors, we are to teach our people — in the pews and in the classrooms — what it means to praise and worship God.  But, before we do, we better make sure that we at least know that the God of the Bible and the god of Islam have never been nor will ever be one and the same.  If we don’t know that, maybe its time to stop teaching.

8 comments for “Do Christians & Muslims Worship The Same God?

  1. Marty
    August 2, 2010 at 5:16 AM

    I think it also important to note that the god worshipped by Islam is not of the same tradition as the one held by Ishmael and Hagar when then fled into the desert. Ishmael’s descendents still believed in the God of Abraham. It was not until Muhammad was called onto the carpet by the king of Arabia for his heinous crimes of highway robbery, rape and murder that he decided to meld a wrong view of the Lord with the ancient pagan traditions of Babylon. Allah was a fertility god who was the consort of Ishtar. Muhammad used this moniker to introduce his new “revelation” of “God’s”.

    We must remember that words are equivocal, not univocal. Just because someone says God or Jesus, does not mean we’re talking about the same person. It is tragic that a professor, with a degree, teaching for as long as he has, would fail to recognize this well-documented fact.

    Yahweh and Allah are NOT the same god. The sooner people learn this, the better.

    • August 2, 2010 at 8:43 AM

      Marty,

      What makes this story particularly sad (and maddening) is that a former Baptist missionary (most likey with the SBC’s Foreign Mision Board, now IMB), who is teaching future missionaries and pastors at a Baptist theology school, would make such a statement. Perhaps he was misquoted, although I doubt it. You are entirely correct in saying that Yahweh (who is and has always been and will always be Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and Allah are not the same. I would go one step further and say that there are no other gods besides the LORD God. All other gods throughout history have been false gods. That the professor fails to recognize this is sad indeed. Thanks for reading and commenting. Will keep you and Heather in prayer this week. God bless,

      Howell

  2. FRANKLIN MWIRIGI
    September 15, 2010 at 12:07 PM

    No never our God is diffrent from muslim Jesus is the way to our God and one way cannot lead to two opposite directions

    • September 16, 2010 at 9:10 PM

      I agree that Jesus is the only “Way, the Truth, and the Life” and that no one can go to heaven except through personal faith in Jesus Christ. That some Christians believe that there are other ways to heaven in addition to Jesus shows how far Christianity in America is from the Biblical model. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. God bless,

      Howell

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