I say that all are calling on the same God…it is not good to feel that my religion is true and the other religions are false. All seek the same object. A mother prepares dishes to suit the stomachs of her children….God has made religions to suit different aspirants, times and countries. All doctrines are only so many paths.
This statement is posted on a website that I have seen pop up more frequently. In addition, a Wiccan minister posted a similar comment on this blog recently. Now before I get into this, I want to be absolutely clear that it is not my intent here to bash either of these folks for expressing their views! In fact, I appreciate that someone of another faith would drop by here to share their thoughts! I love the dialogue!
However, I do feel that it is important to address a perspective that has been thrown my way several times recently, and that is this idea that all gods are one god.
The truth is that all gods do not point to the same place. There are fundamental differences between them that cannot be reconciled. Let’s take a look at what several religions say about who their ‘god’ is…
Islam – one god, Allah
Hinduism – many gods and goddesses
Buddhism – no “supreme creator”, our thoughts make the world
Judaism – one God, Yahweh (however the coming Messiah and the Spirit of God are present in their writings and beliefs)
Animism (Neopaganism, New Age, etc.) – thousands of gods because everything is divine, even you are god
Biblical Christianity – Triune God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)
Each of these ‘gods’ is fundamentally different. It is not possible for the god of Islam to be the Triune God revealed in Christianity. The ‘god’ of Islam has revealed himself to be one supreme ruler, and denies any of the aspects of the Triune God. And this idea applies to the differences between all religions. The reason that this is a problem to the idea that ‘all gods are one god’ is that in order for them to be the same, then the revelations must be false. For example, for Allah and the Triune God to be the same, then one or both of the revelations are false. If they are false, then neither is built on an absolute truth.
Hence the importance of apologetics (defending the faith). If only one of the ‘gods’ can be the right God, then people decide who the ‘right’ God is based on the ‘evidence’. For Christians it is not only important to recognize the uniqueness of the Triune God, but also to be able to state why the Trinity represents the One True God.
So what drives this perspective? It is the idea of being peacemakers. There is this idea out there that religion separates people, and quite honestly that perception is absolutely true. It is true because of how we humans behave. Within much of religion it has become more important to prove that your view is right, rather than to live the message of your faith. And this idea that ‘we all go to the same place’ is preached as a solution to bring us all together. It is simply a response to our human nature as selfish beings.
But the Christian response should be different. The Christian Bible teaches us that, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9). Jesus tells use that we are to “love even our enemies” (Matthew 5:44). We, as Christians, should strive more to share the Love that we have been given without judgment or pretense. Does it matter that we feel that we have the ‘right’ God if we shut people out from the message that Jesus gave us to deliver? I would propose that the best way to prove that we are ‘right’ about the identity of our God is by living the way that He taught us to… by humbling ourselves, serving the needy, and loving our enemies. Otherwise we run the risk of humanizing the One that created the universe.
Oh, and by the way… going back to the quote that I opened this with… My kid eats what we prepare. If we prepared dinner to suite him, then he would be on a candy diet that only does harm to his body. Think about that for a little while…