In the Bible, there is a statement made by God which is repeated many times. One place it is found is in Isaiah 46:1: “I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.” Similarly, the Shahada, or the Islamic creed, states, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Without giving it much thought, one might easily suppose that these two statements agree, or, as a Muslim friend of mine once said, “We all believe in the same God.”
Those who are ecumenical seek common ground by referring to Judaism, Christianity and Islam as the “Abrahamic” religions, pointing to their shared progenitor. In doing so, they imply that the God of these three religions is the same God, the God of Abraham. Warm fuzzies aside, this notion is not supported by the evidence.
Each of these religions has its own authoritative source material, written by its own scholars, resulting in its own set of “God concepts” taught to their own followers. God concepts have to do with such things as the character of God, the nature of God, the personality of God, the acts of God, the promises of God and even the identity of God. So that each of these three religious groups have their own unique answer to the question, “How do you describe God?”
From India (non-Biblical religious traditions) we have the story of the elephant and the blind men. Each blind man identified the elephant according to the part of the animal he examined. So, each blind man had his own unique idea as to what the elephant was. Eastern thought would conclude that religions are like blind men, each grasping only part of reality, none seeing the whole picture.
But Biblical thought (religious traditions identified with Western Civilization) has a less fuzzy approach. What we know about God is directly the product of what God has chosen to reveal to us. Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” In other words, we are not like those blind men of the parable. We see the whole picture, at least to the extent that God permits.
But Muslims can make the same claim, right? And they do. They claim that Allah revealed himself to Muhammad, so that Muslims have the whole, correct understanding of who God is, what he is like and how men should live. So, which is it? Either all religions are like blind men or God has revealed his truth. It can’t be both.
Why can’t it be both? Because what is revealed in the Bible about God would have to be reconciled with what is revealed in the Qur’an about Allah. But when you examine those two documents, you will find two different revelations of two different deities. Allah and the God of the Bible are not the same. If there is only one true God, then the other is a false god. All the ecumenism in the world won’t change that.
A Jew might look to Moses to study what God is like. A Christian of course would want to hear the words of Jesus. But because Jesus was a Jew and often referred to Jewish Scripture (what Christians call the Old Testament) and because most of the New Testament was written by Jewish believers, it may be said that both religions believe in the God of the Bible. However, a Muslim looks to Muhammad to learn about God. Though Islam gives lip service to honoring many biblical persons — even including Jesus — they have quite different versions of what those persons were like, what they said and what they did. Essentially, Muslims believe that the Bible is inaccurate and not reliable because over time it was corrupted by errors and changes. So, while they say they honor Jesus, they honor him as a prophet, not the messiah.
They use this theory of the Bible being corrupted to justify a completely different version of Isaac and Ishmael from the Biblical account. In the Islamic version, Ishmael was the son of promise, not Isaac. So, they see God’s promises as being passed to Ishmael’s descendants, and look at Israel with the same contempt as Israel had for the Philistines. And while I would agree that everyone has the right to form his own opinion as to who are the good guys and who are the bad guys, I would also like to interject here that the founding of Islam occurred over 600 years after the founding of Christianity and about 2,400 years since Abraham had lived. Yet Islam claims theirs is a more accurate record than that of all the Jewish and Christian scholars put together. I’d say that’s pretty presumptuous.
In any case, we in the West seem to have rejected what was previously our foundation and blamed it for our self-loathing sense of guilt for all the ills in the world. In the process, we’ve given Islam a pass on credibility and something more than a moral equivalent to Biblical religions. Why don’t we refer to the Messiah as the Prince of Peace, yet we refer to Islam as the religion of peace? Why don’t we say “the Holy Bible” yet we say “The Holy Qur’an”. What we have in the world today is western civilization turning from the foundational concept of the Bible as God’s revealed truth, and replacing that tradition with the uncertainty of a blind man examining an elephant’s ear.
Yet, while we pursue the euphoria of multiculturalism, Islam single-mindedly holds to its own traditions, using force, aggression and deception — force seen in violence around the world, aggression seen in demands made in the media and in courts of law. But their deception is not so easily seen. Idealists who plead, “Can’t we all just get along?” wish that everyone would come together, join hands and sing Kumbaya. So when “moderate” Muslims agree to join inter-faith efforts to share some common ground, non-Muslims accept them as having the same attitude. In so doing, they blissfully ignore the fact that Islam approves of deception as a way of dealing with non-Muslims. (Do your own search on Taqiyya and kitman.) In matters of religion, there is no rational reason for a non-Muslim to trust a Muslim.
Before assuming that religions are like blind men or that the God of the Bible is the same as Allah of the Qur’an, I challenge everyone to read the Bible. Read the Qur’an. Learn the difference yourself. Judge for yourself. Think for yourself. Apparently, most people don’t. Most people are content to ask someone else what they think. But what qualifies them to tell you what to think? Have we in the west become nothing more than spoiled, mindless Twitterlings? If so, prepare yourselves to be second-class citizens under Sharia law.
This is what the LORD says (“The Name”, YHWH, Jehovah, Adonai, God) —
Israel’s King and Redeemer,
the Lord Almighty;
I am the first and I am the last;
apart from me there is no God.
— Isaiah 44:6