do all gods point to the same god?

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

October 8, 2008

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.

~Ramakrishna

The Triune God

The Triune God

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…

18 Comments

  1. Mark Goodyear

    At my house we’ve been watching the Nightmare Before Christmas a lot lately. That seems like a good parable for being Christian in a pluralistic society.

    When Jack visits Christmasland and tries to take Santa’s place, he isn’t being true to himself or his world view. In fact, his world view ends up polluting the place he visits until the whole thing ends rather violently.

    Thankfully, Jack is already dead.

    But I love the way all of the holidays get together respectfully in the epilogue.

    Reply
  2. goodwordediting

    At my house we’ve been watching the Nightmare Before Christmas a lot lately. That seems like a good parable for being Christian in a pluralistic society.

    When Jack visits Christmasland and tries to take Santa’s place, he isn’t being true to himself or his world view. In fact, his world view ends up polluting the place he visits until the whole thing ends rather violently.

    Thankfully, Jack is already dead.

    But I love the way all of the holidays get together respectfully in the epilogue.

    Reply
  3. Mark Goodyear

    At my house we’ve been watching the Nightmare Before Christmas a lot lately. That seems like a good parable for being Christian in a pluralistic society.

    When Jack visits Christmasland and tries to take Santa’s place, he isn’t being true to himself or his world view. In fact, his world view ends up polluting the place he visits until the whole thing ends rather violently.

    Thankfully, Jack is already dead.

    But I love the way all of the holidays get together respectfully in the epilogue.

    Reply
  4. Kaye

    Found you today via Higher Calling Blogs.

    Wanted to comment here. I think that the people that claim that all gods point to God are trying to get out of defending their faith. We can’t all be right when we all believe such vastly different things. My God is unchanging, and I think that most religions would claim the same of theirs…therefore, why would He go incognito just to suite someone else’s taste? He’s not around to please us, so that arguement just doesn’t make sense.

    I think that when people begin to unwrap the tenets of their faith, faiths outside of Christianity seem to fall apart at the seams. Therefore, a good explanation for their lack of explanation is that everything points back to the place. Cop out if you ask me. =)

    But hey…that’s just my two cents, right?

    Reply
  5. Kaye

    Found you today via Higher Calling Blogs.

    Wanted to comment here. I think that the people that claim that all gods point to God are trying to get out of defending their faith. We can’t all be right when we all believe such vastly different things. My God is unchanging, and I think that most religions would claim the same of theirs…therefore, why would He go incognito just to suite someone else’s taste? He’s not around to please us, so that arguement just doesn’t make sense.

    I think that when people begin to unwrap the tenets of their faith, faiths outside of Christianity seem to fall apart at the seams. Therefore, a good explanation for their lack of explanation is that everything points back to the place. Cop out if you ask me. =)

    But hey…that’s just my two cents, right?

    Reply
  6. Kaye

    Found you today via Higher Calling Blogs.

    Wanted to comment here. I think that the people that claim that all gods point to God are trying to get out of defending their faith. We can’t all be right when we all believe such vastly different things. My God is unchanging, and I think that most religions would claim the same of theirs…therefore, why would He go incognito just to suite someone else’s taste? He’s not around to please us, so that arguement just doesn’t make sense.

    I think that when people begin to unwrap the tenets of their faith, faiths outside of Christianity seem to fall apart at the seams. Therefore, a good explanation for their lack of explanation is that everything points back to the place. Cop out if you ask me. =)

    But hey…that’s just my two cents, right?

    Reply
  7. Dan King

    Mark,
    Thanks for dropping by, and for the great reference on the movie! I’ll have to watch it through that ‘lense’.

    Kaye,
    You make a great point that I didn’t really think of. I certainly think that being a ‘unifying’ rather than separating force certainly has something to do with it. However, your point about it also being the easy way out makes a lot of sense. Basically there seems to be an avoidance of conflict both externally AND (as you point out) internally. Thanks for that! Your two cents is quite valuable to me!

    Dan

    Reply
  8. Dan King

    Mark,
    Thanks for dropping by, and for the great reference on the movie! I’ll have to watch it through that ‘lense’.

    Kaye,
    You make a great point that I didn’t really think of. I certainly think that being a ‘unifying’ rather than separating force certainly has something to do with it. However, your point about it also being the easy way out makes a lot of sense. Basically there seems to be an avoidance of conflict both externally AND (as you point out) internally. Thanks for that! Your two cents is quite valuable to me!

    Dan

    Reply
  9. Dan King

    Mark,
    Thanks for dropping by, and for the great reference on the movie! I’ll have to watch it through that ‘lense’.

    Kaye,
    You make a great point that I didn’t really think of. I certainly think that being a ‘unifying’ rather than separating force certainly has something to do with it. However, your point about it also being the easy way out makes a lot of sense. Basically there seems to be an avoidance of conflict both externally AND (as you point out) internally. Thanks for that! Your two cents is quite valuable to me!

    Dan

    Reply
  10. Lance

    The bible says that satan is the God of this world. I believe that someone can worship demons as Gods, a god being one that has power and authority spiritually. I think this is why when Moses came to the Egyptians, he declared that his God was greater than all their gods, and thus the judgment that followed on each one. God bless.

    Lance

    Reply
  11. Lance

    The bible says that satan is the God of this world. I believe that someone can worship demons as Gods, a god being one that has power and authority spiritually. I think this is why when Moses came to the Egyptians, he declared that his God was greater than all their gods, and thus the judgment that followed on each one. God bless.

    Lance

    Reply
  12. Lance

    The bible says that satan is the God of this world. I believe that someone can worship demons as Gods, a god being one that has power and authority spiritually. I think this is why when Moses came to the Egyptians, he declared that his God was greater than all their gods, and thus the judgment that followed on each one. God bless.

    Lance

    Reply
  13. Dan King

    Lance,
    I agree that other “gods” are certainly a deception that draws us away from the One True God. Often they fulfill selfish desires (i.e. the serpent’s appeal to Eve about eating the apple). Often I see people evaluate which religion they should choose based on how good it works for them.

    You make a great point! Thanks!

    Dan

    Reply
  14. Dan King

    Lance,
    I agree that other “gods” are certainly a deception that draws us away from the One True God. Often they fulfill selfish desires (i.e. the serpent’s appeal to Eve about eating the apple). Often I see people evaluate which religion they should choose based on how good it works for them.

    You make a great point! Thanks!

    Dan

    Reply
  15. Dan King

    Lance,
    I agree that other “gods” are certainly a deception that draws us away from the One True God. Often they fulfill selfish desires (i.e. the serpent’s appeal to Eve about eating the apple). Often I see people evaluate which religion they should choose based on how good it works for them.

    You make a great point! Thanks!

    Dan

    Reply
  16. Rick Dawson

    A long time ago in a lifetime far, far away, I came across this passage of scripture and, not being a believer at the time, thought that Jesus was saying something rather like the New Age types (John 10:34-36):

    Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?

    The sermons taught on this passage are few – I think I’ve heard… zero in over twenty-odd years.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Rick

    Reply
  17. Rick Dawson

    A long time ago in a lifetime far, far away, I came across this passage of scripture and, not being a believer at the time, thought that Jesus was saying something rather like the New Age types (John 10:34-36):

    Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?

    The sermons taught on this passage are few – I think I’ve heard… zero in over twenty-odd years.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Rick

    Reply
  18. RickD335

    A long time ago in a lifetime far, far away, I came across this passage of scripture and, not being a believer at the time, thought that Jesus was saying something rather like the New Age types (John 10:34-36):

    Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are gods’? If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and the Scripture cannot be broken— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?

    The sermons taught on this passage are few – I think I’ve heard… zero in over twenty-odd years.

    Thanks for a great post!

    Rick

    Reply

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do all gods point to the same god?

by Dan King time to read: 4 min
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