Is it true that Christians, Jews, Muslims, and other theists all worship the same God? This is the old question being renewed once again in pop culture.
Many people think we do worship the same god, or that all gods are the same. This may be because they hear similar descriptions of their gods and see religious people all doing similar things.
Religious people try to be good, pray, give offerings, meet in sacred places, and have holy men, holy objects, and holy writings.
They hear god described by many religions as a powerful spiritual being who tells us to be good, rewards the nice, and punishes the naughty.
(Note: Bible believing Christianity in the dispensation of grace is not a religion in that there are no sacred buildings or physical objects, and we are not trying to earn God’s favor or assuage God’s wrath.)
A False Comparison
Can you see the false comparison?
Just because people do similar things does not mean that they worship the same god.
Just because their descriptions of gods are in some ways similar does not mean they are all the same one. It could be the similarities are characteristics of any god, not the same god.
The false comparison of gods is the same as if I concluded that every man is married to the same woman, because every man described their wife as having long hair and as wearing dresses.
It should be obvious that having long hair is not a complete or sufficient description of every wife, and every wife may not wear dresses all the time. This could describe many different wives.
If you want to know if the God of the Bible is the same god of Islam, Judaism, or cultural Christianity you must compare them in detail. To make an adequate comparison, God must be described in detail.
How can we worship the same God, if the gods we describe are different?
True and False Witnesses of God
Who is God? What does he do? What are his attributes? How do you know?
According to the Bible, God is three in one, eternal, immortal, invisible, all wise, all knowing, the only true, living, loving, and holy One. Jesus Christ is called the Holy One.
Islam, Judaism, and many who claim to be Christian become false witnesses by denying one of God’s attributes or denying the Bible that describes Him. Believing false things about God is confusion at best and at worst, blasphemy and idolatry.
The god of Islam, the god of Judaism, and some Christian heresies reject God was manifest in the flesh: a distinctive description of the Christian God (1 Tim 3:16).
While Islam teaches the God of Abraham, and Judaism teaches the God of the Christian Old Testament, they have abandoned knowledge of the true God by their rejection of God in Christ and the Christian Bible.
In doing so, their descriptions of God are false, and they become false witnesses of God (1 Cor 15:15).
The Bible says, “thou shalt not bear false witness”, “thou shalt have no other gods before me”, and “in [Christ] dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Exo 20:1-17; Col 2:9).
What is Different is Not the Same
It can only be said that we worship the same God if there is no difference or uniqueness after God is sufficiently and completely described.
Islam, Judaism, and Bible Christianity all worship a monotheistic god, but they describe God differently, and as such do not describe the same god. Only one can be the True.
Teachings of another god, and other gods as the same god, should be avoided as you would those that teach another gospel (Rom 16:17; 2 Cor 11:3-4; Gal 1:7-9). False descriptions of God produce false faith which is detrimental to salvation, true faith in Christ, and the Bible.
Are Billions Ignorant?
What are we to do about the billions of people who do not know the true God? We declare Him to them in love. The apostle to the gentiles did not preach the same god the Greeks claimed to know, but the God they claimed not to know.
“I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” – Acts 17:23
Are billions of people ignorant? Yes, but ignorance is curable by right teaching.
This is called evangelism, and it is the Biblical and Pauline pattern the church needs to recover if God’s will be done to see souls saved and come to a knowledge of Himself (1 Tim 2:4).
Maybe you are one who cannot describe God from the Bible. To learn more about the one true God, his attributes, and how we can know him, listen to this series on Describing God.