The Gods of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

How many times have you heard the statement, ìWe all worship the same godî or ìThere is one god with many namesî? Muslims, Jews and Christians all claim to worship the God of the Old Testament, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, yet they have radically different ideas of who that God is. I write this to say they are all wrong. Abraham worshipped my God. Muslims, Jews and Mainstream Christians worship false gods. Now before you get all offended, hear me out, and know that this is not an attack on anyoneís beliefs, but rather an excercise showing diversity of beliefs, and their incompatibilities. I doubt many will be offended if they read the whole of the post. Click More to read the article

Muslims claim their god as the creator, and we are but ìslaves to the godî. I have heard this exact phrase from many Iraqi translators and soldiers. He is without equal, and is one being. He speaks to us through prophets, the last of which was the prophet Mohammed. A quote from a predominant Muslim website:
ìGod is the ultimate of the existence of the universe. He is the Creator whose essence and form is beyond perception. it is only some of His characteristics that we have knowledge of through experience and prophesy. The Creatorís intrinsic characteristics are infinite and absolute. He is eternal and cannot be limited to space or time, because He is the Creator of both.î

Muslims are highly offended by the very common Christian notion that god has a son, as they feel that god is complete in and of himself, and has no need for offspring; a need or desire for offspring lessens god in their eyes.

Jews have a very similar idea of who/what god is. At the very core of Jewish belief is the idea that ìgod is oneî. Any acceptance of another god, an acceptance even of the possibility of another god, is idolatry. Jewish belief also states that God has no body and any statement otherwise is a ìfigure of speechî (the hand of god, the face of god). A quote about Jewish belief in god:
ìThe Second Foundation is the unity of HaShem, blessed be His Name. In other words, [the Torah teaches us] to believe that this Being, which is the Cause of all, is one. This does not mean one as in one of a pair nor one like a species [which encompasses many individuals], nor one as in one object that is made up of many elements, nor as a single simple object that is infinitely divisible. Rather, HaShem, blessed be His Name, is a unity unlike any other possible unity.î

The main difference between the Muslim god and the Jewish god is in ìwhat they didî rather than in ìwho/what they areî. Muslims believe in a god that gave humanity Mohammed as the ìsealî on prophetdom (I can make up words canít I, if you understand them =), or as a final prophet for all time. Jews believe in a god who is yet to send a final prophet, a messiah to lead them into Zion (although there are many definitions to this word, both physical, political and spiritual).

Christians (at least most who call themselves Christians, not my particular Christian faith) believe that Jesus Christ himself is an incarnation of god. But that he is just one manifestation, one of three. God also manifests himself as the ìHoly Spiritî and as ìGod the Fatherî. They are one god, as Christianity (on the whole) is a monotheistic religion. A quote about the mainstream Christian god:
ìThere is one and only one living and true God. ÖThe eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or being.î

None of the quotes I provided can speak authoritatively for religions as broad as Christianity, Judaism and Islam, but I believe I have represented them honestly, and they are mostly correct.

What does all this religious babble mean? I simply wish to point out that Jews, Muslims, and Christians do not in any way worship the same god. The gods they worship have different attributes, and have acted differently, and have vastly different wills. They are different gods. Perhaps only one is ìrealî. Perhaps none are. I do not write this to push my personal belief.

Muslims, Jews, and Christians all claim that Abraham worshipped ìtheirî god, even if their lips say ìwe worship the god of Abrahamî.

In this same way, I say that Abraham worshipped my God. I acknowledge that I could be wrong, that I could be worshipping the false god. What I know to be impossible however, is that grossly different religions with grossly different ideas of who/what god is can worship the same god.

Let us define the word Christian. There are two main definitions of this word, and a hybrid between the two. The first is a person who follows the teachings of Christ. The second is a person who attempts to do this, who does everything in their power to find out exactly what the teachings of Christ are, and then does them. The hybrid between the two (and what most people accept as the definition) is a person that accepts ìcoreî Christian beliefs, and does his best with the rest, or the mysteries of the gospel and doctrines of lesser importance.

So if I believe that god is a personage with a body, separate in being from His son and the Holy Spirit, and the mainstream Christian believes god ìreveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence, or beingî, then who is the Christian?

According to the first definition of Christian, only one of us can be a Christian, as only one of these doctrines can have been taught by Christ. I (of course) believe that I am correct, and so must accept that people who fall into the category of ìmainstream Christianityî are not Christians at all, assuming I accept the first definition.

According to the second definition, as long as both of us truly believe that we are following the teachings of Christ in good faith, we are Christians.

And according to the hybrid definition, I again must state that mainstream Christianity is worshipping a false god and therefore not Christians at all, as WHO god is definitely falls into a ìcore beliefî category. It is precisely on these grounds that mainstream Christianity falls upon to call Mormons non-Christians.

This whole article is written because I am sick and tired of members of my church answering back ìbut of course we are Christians, we worship the same God you worship, we just understand him differentlyî. The best answer commonly given by members with a little backbone is ìWe worship the same God, we just understand him better/correctly/through latter-day revelationî. If that is the best we can do, we have much to learn. In reality, the only real answer that can be given is, ìYou worship a false god, we worship the real God. We are Christians, you are not.î Precisely the answer mainstream Christianity gives to us. They get it. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not.

And so I leave with what must be said. There is only one true and living God. I worship the God of Abraham. You do not. I am a Christian. You are not. (And I take no offence when you say the same to me, knowing that is the only place logical thought can lead.)