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Author Topic: Do Muslims worship same God as Christians?  (Read 2752 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 27, 2011, 08:19:52 PM »

On another forum, the question was raised, do Muslims worship the same God as Christians?  

Several years ago I would have answered yes.  Muslims, Christians and Jews all are monotheistic, believe in an invisible God who is creator of the universe, who is all-powerful and all-knowing.  However, now I am not so sure regarding Muslims.  They claim to be the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael, but I'm finding that the Muslim accounts of the Patriarchs, Prophets and Jesus are in places shockingly divergent from the Judeo-Christian tradition in the Bible.  Moreover, they deny the Cross and the divinity of Christ.  How can they know the Father if they openly reject the Son and condemn those who worship Him?

Your thoughts?  

    
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 08:26:35 PM »

No, I don't think either Muslims or Jews worship God "in Spirit and truth".
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 08:35:32 PM »

We Orthodox (as well as Roman Catholics and certain other traditional churches) worship a Trinitarian God. Moslems do not. Simple.
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 08:35:44 PM »

It would depend upon which Muslim and which Christian you are comparing. And as long as we're talking about different Gods, I would say different Christians worship different Gods as well.
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 08:37:27 PM »

I tend to think of Judaism as something like a Christian heresy. Jesus said salvation is of the Jews, and "we [Jews] know who we worship". And St. Paul points out the Jews have "the oracles of God". My opinion is Jews worship the same God that we (the true Jews, namely, Christians) do, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but incorrectly. Muslims do not have the oracles of God and have an entirely different origin. It seems to me That when it comes down to it they worship a different God, even if they think they do not.
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 08:47:19 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

This is where Christology is very important and crucial to understand this.

The simplest answer is yes, we uneqouvically worship the same God, and we even use the same terms, Arab Christians and Muslims alike call to the Lord as "Allah"

Further, we fundamentally believe it is the same God.  However, where Christianity is unique, different, and most accurate is in the Christological realities of the Incarnation.

Jesus Christ, born of the Virgin Mary, is the Incarnation of the Word, of the Divine Logos.  Through the Incarnation and ONLY through the Incarnation, what was previously invisible, immaterial, intangible, and basically innaccessable, the Divine, was made available to human beings in the form of deified human flesh.  Jesus Christ unveils the Father and the Divine, because He is such.  Before the Incarnation, the gulf of sin and material physicality separated us from God, and the Law (of both Moses and Muhammed) are mechanisms to try to make amends for the gap, but can never of themselves bridge this gap.  Only God Himself, taking on flesh and blood, assuming a human form and nature, bearing the cross and death and resurrection, gives us access to the Godhead.  So we know in the fullness of faith that we worship God in the fullest manifestation, and that aside from the Union of the Incarnation, we have no true aspect to the Divine.

So yes, in concept Muslims worship the same God, but since they do not worship Him in the hypostatic flesh and blood in the Person of Jesus Christ, they have no direct access to the form, to the substance, to the hypostasis of the Godhead.  So they worship that which they cannot actually touch or access or know in a real, concrete sense.  Whereas we Christians worship God in the flesh, who we know, who we touch and receive, and so we in the most literal sense know God, and Christology suggests that we can ONLY know God through and of this way, and so Muslims and Jews, now after the Incarnation, have denied the only access to God we have been offered.

So in theory we worship it same God, but not in form or reality, because Muslims by definition deny the manifestation of God in our midst, however even amongst Christian heresies we have had similar problems with accepting this, and so many heretic groups are equally denying access to the Godhead in the truest sense.  Only God can reveal Himself, and God does so through His form in the Incarnation, and so we must come to God and meet Him directly to know and worship Him in a personal way, in a relationship.  Essentially, Muslims worship an impersonal aspect of God, and so can not actually know Him, where as we know and love Him exactly and more directly as a Person.

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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 09:00:00 PM »

I think that perhaps they seek to worship the same God, when in reality what they worship is a perversion. The teachings of the Koran follow more the will of demons than our God. My personal opinion. Lips Sealed
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 09:16:31 PM »

I have to respectfully disagree with Habte.  I don't believe that it comes down to Christological explanations or a divergence in form and understanding, but rather, to the true nature of the religion, which is difficult to determine.

Assuming that Muhammad was misguided, who misled him?  Was it simply his fault, misunderstanding or accepting apocryphal or dubious writings on religion?  Basically, was it his error, or was he guided by something else, e.g. demons.  If he was guided by outside forces, what was the ultimate purpose of this reorientation of the religion and worship?  Was it to simply steer people off the correct path of worship, disrupt the unity of Christianity, or was it to "redirect" worship to a power, masquerading as the "Abrahamic" God and delivering the message through an impersonation of Gabriel? It is widely accepted in Orthodox Christianity that the evil one can appear as an angel.  I'm not saying this is absolutely what happened, but I think it should be considered.

Certainly Muslims believe they are worshiping the God of Abraham, but have they been deceived, not only in understanding and form, but in who they are worshiping?  

From a Religious Studies perspective, Habte's assessment is essentially correct, but I think it's difficult to answer some of the questions above and determine where Muslim worship is actually being directed.  
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2011, 09:32:29 PM »

I would say different Christians worship different Gods as well.

I think this possibly takes things a bit far, unless you're referring to some of the cults currently claiming to be Christian.  A group that mistakenly only worships in the name of Jesus, for instance, is not likely worshiping some other God named Jesus, but simply misunderstood the nature of God.  As wrong as they may be, they still adhere to certain basic tenets, including Christ being humanity's savior, and use most of the same scripture. 
Stashko would disagree, of course, but I think the Filioque is a sign that RC's have incorrectly defined and misunderstood God's nature, but not that their worship is directed to a different God entirely.

This, to me, is strikingly different from Islam, which specifically denies the divinity of Christ and the Trinitarian concept of God, and uses scripture and teachings that are divergent at best, tradition.  I think the possibility that Islam's Allah is a different God is far greater.

 
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2011, 11:37:15 PM »

I think that perhaps they seek to worship the same God, when in reality what they worship is a perversion. The teachings of the Koran follow more the will of demons than our God. My personal opinion. Lips Sealed

I agree . . .the sad thing is is that it is the One God who will judge each. . . I hope He really socks it to the demon that mislead this people and that His mercy is great toward any person mislead by this evil's lies.  Lord have mercy. + They really put their heart into trying to do what they believe is called to them to do. . .same with the Mormons.
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 11:44:49 PM »

Does the true God consider worship from both Christians and Muslims as acceptable in some way? Only God knows. Each is responsible for the light that they have received.
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 02:53:57 AM »

Greetings,

As a former Muslim who is on her way to becoming an Orthodox Christian, this "Muslims worship a different God" sentiment that has been picked up from certain evangelical Protestant circles is really irky. As a Muslim I was attempting to worship the God that created the universe, I just didn't have the best knowledge of how to go about worshipping Him.

Without wishing to put too much of a cat among the pidgeons, but it was St John of Damascus who considered Islam to be a form of Christian heresy http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/stjohn_islam.aspx, and as I've been learning through my studies of Orthodoxy, that heresy is a problem with selective emphasis. So from that perspective, the heresy between Catholicism, Protestantism, and Islam is more of degree than of nature.
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 03:04:08 AM »

Greetings,

As a former Muslim who is on her way to becoming an Orthodox Christian, this "Muslims worship a different God" sentiment that has been picked up from certain evangelical Protestant circles is really irky. As a Muslim I was attempting to worship the God that created the universe, I just didn't have the best knowledge of how to go about worshipping Him.

Without wishing to put too much of a cat among the pidgeons, but it was St John of Damascus who considered Islam to be a form of Christian heresy http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/stjohn_islam.aspx, and as I've been learning through my studies of Orthodoxy, that heresy is a problem with selective emphasis. So from that perspective, the heresy between Catholicism, Protestantism, and Islam is more of degree than of nature.


First, it's good to see you coming into the Family. Secondly, it's good to see you've already read St. John of Damascus and are quoting him. Third, your response made me think of this passage:

"For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness." (Romans 10:2-3)

Granted, Paul is speaking of the Jews, but I would think this applies to Muslims as well.

It would seem that Muslims and Jews worship God in zeal, but worship Him without true knowledge of who He is.
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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 03:59:24 AM »

Do Muslims worship the same God as Christians? The Qur'an claims so. However, it is difficult to answer this question from a Christian perspective since the Bible is open to interpretation on this issue. There are even some verses which describe the deities of the nations as demons. If we focus on St John's statements in the New Testament, we have to conclude that Muslims do NOT worship the true God basically because they deny the Son:

Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either. The person who confesses the Son has the Father also. (1 John 2:23)
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2011, 05:07:03 AM »

During my 65 years as a Christian, I have never doubted that both Jews and Muslims worship the same God as us.  The difference is that with the appearance of Jesus Christ on the earth we have a much better knowledge of the nature and person of God.  Our knowledge is, all the same, dreadfully incomplete, but it is still more full than the Jews or the Muslims.


I think that there are two ways of looking at this.

1.  In the context of Israel, surrounded by nations whose worship often included dirty sex and child sacrifice, they would certainly believe, and rightly, that the gods of the pagans are demons.

2.  But there is another side to it.....   The thing is that God has instilled in man a profound need to worship his Creator.  Man longs to do that.   And so, without the guidance of God's revelation,  men will create gods for themselves, whether it is Buddha or their ancestors or whatever.  The impulse to worship is too strong to be denied.  We must thank God for this innate impulse because it is what makes possible the work of the missionaries in bringing people to Christ.

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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2011, 05:22:12 AM »

"Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son."
- 1 John 2:22

"(...) and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world."
- 1 John 4:3

"For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
- 2 John 1:7


Muslims expressly deny that Jesus was the Christ; God in the flesh... and so do the 'Jews'.

Quote from: Cognomen
Assuming that Muhammad was misguided, who misled him?

Mohammad learned of 'Christianity' from the heretical Ebionites of his day. Their idea of Who Christ is seems to be very similar to the ideas of the Gnostics.

Today's so-called 'Judaism' is actually nothing other than modern day Pharisaism; the worship of the 'traditions of men' which make the commandments of God of no effect.

'Jews' assign a higher authority to the Talmud than they do the true Torah - the Tanakh. The Talmud (which they deceitfully call in public "Torah" because they say that Talmud is the "Oral Torah") records that the rabbis had an argument with God... and that in the end God was forced to accede to the superiority of the rabbis!

The 'Judaism' of today is not the same as the Mosaic worship of the Old Testament Hebrew Israelites. Mosaic worship looked to the coming of the Christ... but the Talmud says that Jesus is in Hell, boiling in a vat of excrement mixed with semen!

Jesus never said that Salvation is of the 'Jews'... He said that, "Salvation (Yeshua) is out of Judea."

St. Paul said, "What advantage then has the Judean, or what is the profit of circumcision? (...) because to them were committed the oracles of God."

("Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets"...)

He then went on to say, "What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Judeans and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."...

And at the end of the 3rd chapter of Romans he says, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Judeans only? Is He not also the God of the Nations? Yes, of the Nations also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith."

He is the one God of all of us - whether we know it or not.

But that certainly doesn't mean that we're all truly worshiping Him... Muslims, 'Jews', Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses... all have no idea Who Jesus Christ is, and deny Him.

They worship idols IMO... and nothing more.

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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2011, 08:08:54 AM »

I suspect this is an exclusivist/inclusivist divide that will never be resolved and ultimately only the Lord knows who is worshipping Him and who isn't. All I can say is that as a former Muslim, when I addressed my prayers to the Creator of the Universe, I *really did mean* the One who created everything that exists. Did I have some mistaken ideas about His nature? Absolutely. But don't we all Smiley

"as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you." Acts 17:22-17:31
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2011, 08:16:27 AM »


They worship idols IMO... and nothing more.


You seem to be at odds with Saint Paul...

Acts 17...... Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there......

Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:   TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you:  God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.  And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2011, 11:23:45 AM »

Wow, thank you all for your responses.  I find the responses of former Muslims very interesting.  

He who denies the Son denies the Father.  The Qur'an states God is not a Trinity and that it's unthinkable for God in his majesty to beget a son.  The Qur'an in statement rejects the true God.  Yet, alongside its erroneous claims, the Qur'an and its author also reflect a confused knowledge of the Scripture and beliefs of Orthodox Christianity.  Does this original ignorance of Orthodox Christianity make a difference regarding the question of worship?  Has Christ been revealed to them and rejected, or have they never really received the Gospel?   

TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.  I did think about this incident and wondered, how does this apply to Muslims?  The pagans in Athens worshiped their gods in stone and wood, but also unknowingly worshiped the one God who is invisible and creates all.  The Muslims believe Allah is the invisible God who creates all, but then go on to say that Allah is not a Trinity, does not have a Son, etc.  The Muslims believe in an invisible creator God (the Unknown God), but they also believe this very God is the one revealed to Mohammed, the one who is revealed not a Trinity.  The pagans had the wrong idea about their gods on the one hand, but they were in the right direction with the Unknown God.  There is a distinction between gods and God.  The Muslims have both right beliefs and wrong beliefs concerning the same Allah they worship.  

Something interesting is that Trinitarian thought can be found even in modern day Judaism and Islam.  May it be a Muslim or Jew can still worship the true God if they reject what is erroneous in their "revealed" religion and rather worship the invisible God as seen from creation?  As St. Paul relates:


The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
(Romans 1: 18-20)

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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2011, 12:27:41 PM »

I would think that they (Muslims) worship the same God as we do, but their view of Him is extremely distorted and twisted.  The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob revealed Himself directly to the Jews and to Christians, but when a self-proclaimed prophet speaks it is tainted with his human weakness and limits.
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« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2011, 12:29:35 AM »

"Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son."
- 1 John 2:22

"(...) and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world."
- 1 John 4:3

"For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
- 2 John 1:7


Muslims expressly deny that Jesus was the Christ; God in the flesh... and so do the 'Jews'.

Quote from: Cognomen
Assuming that Muhammad was misguided, who misled him?

Mohammad learned of 'Christianity' from the heretical Ebionites of his day. Their idea of Who Christ is seems to be very similar to the ideas of the Gnostics.

Today's so-called 'Judaism' is actually nothing other than modern day Pharisaism; the worship of the 'traditions of men' which make the commandments of God of no effect.

'Jews' assign a higher authority to the Talmud than they do the true Torah - the Tanakh. The Talmud (which they deceitfully call in public "Torah" because they say that Talmud is the "Oral Torah") records that the rabbis had an argument with God... and that in the end God was forced to accede to the superiority of the rabbis!

The 'Judaism' of today is not the same as the Mosaic worship of the Old Testament Hebrew Israelites. Mosaic worship looked to the coming of the Christ... but the Talmud says that Jesus is in Hell, boiling in a vat of excrement mixed with semen!

Jesus never said that Salvation is of the 'Jews'... He said that, "Salvation (Yeshua) is out of Judea."

St. Paul said, "What advantage then has the Judean, or what is the profit of circumcision? (...) because to them were committed the oracles of God."

("Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets"...)

He then went on to say, "What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Judeans and Greeks that they are all under sin. As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."...

And at the end of the 3rd chapter of Romans he says, "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. Or is He the God of the Judeans only? Is He not also the God of the Nations? Yes, of the Nations also, since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith."

He is the one God of all of us - whether we know it or not.

But that certainly doesn't mean that we're all truly worshiping Him... Muslims, 'Jews', Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses... all have no idea Who Jesus Christ is, and deny Him.

They worship idols IMO... and nothing more.

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My Patriarch is Patriarch Kirill of the Russians and he has commented more than once that we have the same God as the Muslims.

I presume that your Patriarch is Patriarch Bartholomew of the Greeks.... what does he say?
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« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2011, 01:19:26 AM »


Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.  I did think about this incident and wondered, how does this apply to Muslims?  The pagans in Athens worshiped their gods in stone and wood, but also unknowingly worshiped the one God who is invisible and creates all.  The Muslims believe Allah is the invisible God who creates all, but then go on to say that Allah is not a Trinity, does not have a Son, etc.  The Muslims believe in an invisible creator God (the Unknown God), but they also believe this very God is the one revealed to Mo hammed, the one who is revealed not a Trinity.  The pagans had the wrong idea about their gods on the one hand, but they were in the right direction with the Unknown God.  There is a distinction between gods and God.  The Muslims have both right beliefs and wrong beliefs concerning the same Allah they worship.  



I think that is the most adept connection, and very precise.  The Apostle Paul was bringing to Athens the Apostolic Tradition of and the eventual institution of the Divine Mysteries, which is to say, offering them not just the evangel in word, but giving the very real Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ.  Through the Incarnation, we are giving literally physical access to God, access before the Incarnation which we were not, and so we need atonement and to make sacrifices in appeasement of the divide, this gap, whereas after the Incarnation, Jesus Christ in His God-Man  Person united the Divine and Human, bridging the gap in His very flesh.  So when we are given opportunity to receive His Flesh and Blood, or even merely to stand and pray and bow before the Real Presence at the Divine Liturgy, we are meeting God in a more direct and intimate way than of the Jews or the Muslims.  So again, in the sense of Christology, I'd suppose that both Jews and Muslims are worshiping an outdated image and conception of God, but because they do not have access to the tangible Presence of Jesus Christ, they can not in any real or true sense know or worship God, because we only worship God through the Son, who unveils God the Father to us.

The Apostle Paul at Athens was very clever, he did not arrogantly say to the Greeks there, "You are worshiping a False idol and false God called the Unknown God" rather he respected them, saw their spiritual sincerity and realized that they were genuinely seeking God.  That is why is why he said that he was revealing to them the God who they have been anticipating in their worship of the Unknown/Unknowable God.  In this same way, we should approach Jews and Muslims, not saying that worship a different God or that they do not worship God at all, but rather to in the spirit of grace and humility, suggest to them and remind them that Jesus Christ precisely is the Incarnation in Flesh and Blood of the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.  Jesus Christ IS GOD, and He is the same God, however, after the Incarnation, Jesus Christ is the only way directly and tangibly to God, who previously was completely unapproachable.  The Law of Moses (and subsequently inherited by Mohammad) is an atonement, and appeasement for Sin, but it does not truly absolve Sin or heal the wound of Sin or repay the wages of Sin which are Death, because it gift of Life from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ which gives us Life.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2011, 03:00:27 AM »

I would say that no, Muslims, Jews and Christians do not worship the same God. I don't even think all "Christians" worship the same God...
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« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2011, 05:08:32 AM »

As many of you know, I too, am a former Muslim.  From my own experiences from that time, I can conclude that the answer in 'no'.  But my opinion is worthless, really.  What matters is what our Church says.  For Eastern Orthodox Christians, our Church is often referred to as 'The Church of the Seven Ecumenical Councils'.  As we begin to study these councils, we see that they deal with and answer various false teachings regarding who Jesus the Christ really and truly is.  Using these councils as a measuring stick of sorts, the question of this thread can be easily answered.  Sadly, for those of us who have access to these councils, few if any think twice about consulting them.

For someone who does not have access to the councils (which is no one on this forum because if you're on this forum, you're online and if you're online, you've got access to them. Wink), it basically comes down to the fact that for Eastern Orthodox Christians, we worship a Triune God- God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  If Muslims pray to the Trinity, then we can confidently answer 'yes'.   
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« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2011, 05:22:54 AM »

One time, there was brought to Muhammad a woman who had comitted adultery. They asked him, “What shall we do with her?” Muhammad said, “Go away. Bring her back after the baby is born.”

So they brought her back after the baby was born, and Muhammad said, “Let her go and nurse the child. Bring her back when the child is two years old.”

So they brought her back and Muhammad said, “Take the baby from her and kill her.” And that is what they did.

Now let us compare Muhammad to Jesus. There was a time when people brought a woman to Jesus who had been caught in adultery. “Shall we stone her?” the people said. Jesus replied, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” Everybody went away. There was nobody left to stone her because they all knew they had sinned. Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

I ask you – who would you rather follow, Muhammad or Jesus?
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« Reply #25 on: January 29, 2011, 07:48:54 AM »

I ask you – who would you rather follow, Muhammad or Jesus?

Jesus is the origin of Mosaic law. While Christians are not generally bound to it's political laws it's not really so much milder than rule of Muhammed.
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« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2011, 08:43:40 AM »

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« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2011, 08:51:54 AM »


 
My Patriarch is Patriarch Kirill of the Russians and he has commented more than once that we have the same God as the Muslims.

I presume that your Patriarch is Patriarch Bartholomew of the Greeks.... what does he say?

I wonder if we are obliged to agree with the Patriarchs' personal comments and teachings. In Orthodoxy, no hierarch can declare a dogma.
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« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2011, 09:01:11 AM »


Jesus is the origin of Mosaic law. While Christians are not generally bound to it's political laws it's not really so much milder than rule of Muhammed.

The Mosaic Law was given to Israel alone. All the "wild" rules of the Mosaic Law stemmed from God's living in the midst of the Israelites and His wish to teach them about purity. Through Jesus, there was a transition from the wrath of God to the grace of God. St John the Evangelist stressed this fact when he wrote: "The Law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ".

Aposphet made a comparison between Jesus and Muhammad, not between Moses and Jesus though.

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« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2011, 09:16:45 AM »


 
My Patriarch is Patriarch Kirill of the Russians and he has commented more than once that we have the same God as the Muslims.

I presume that your Patriarch is Patriarch Bartholomew of the Greeks.... what does he say?

I wonder if we are obliged to agree with the Patriarchs' personal comments and teachings. In Orthodoxy, no hierarch can declare a dogma.

Christians and Jews and Muslims all worship the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.  None of us need a patriarch to be aware of that.
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« Reply #30 on: January 29, 2011, 09:30:31 AM »

I ask you – who would you rather follow, Muhammad or Jesus?

Jesus is the origin of Mosaic law. While Christians are not generally bound to it's political laws it's not really so much milder than rule of Muhammed.

I have never been given a satisfying answer to the question of the apparent discrepancy between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New.    Is there much difference really between the severity of the laws which God gave to the Chosen People and those formulated by Mohammed?

The closest I ever got to a satisfying answer was from a holy monk, an archimandrite, in Walsingham, England with whom I stayed for a few months.  "The Jews," he said, "did not fully understand what God was telling them and they interpreted Him too harshly." 

Do we have anyone among the Forum members who can speak of this discrepancy or point us to something written by the Holy Fathers?
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« Reply #31 on: January 29, 2011, 10:21:15 AM »


Christians and Jews and Muslims all worship the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.  None of us need a patriarch to be aware of that.


Muslims worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?  Huh How do we know that this claim is true? If a Hindu said that his god was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would you believe that?

The formulation "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" appears in the Islamic scripture in the following form:

Or were ye present when death came to Jacob, when he said unto his sons: What will ye worship after me ? They said: We shall worship thy God, the God of thy fathers, Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac, One God, and unto Him we have surrendered. (Surah 2:133)

Should we add the name Ishmael into the Biblical formulation because Muslims supposedly worship the same God as Jews and Christians?
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« Reply #32 on: January 29, 2011, 11:57:17 AM »

Quote
I have never been given a satisfying answer to the question of the apparent discrepancy between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New.
Great question, and one that I would love to know the answer to as well. Although, if we look at the Apocalypse of Saint John, can't we see a pretty good glimpse of the Old Testament God? Just a thought. I welcome answers from those that really know what they are talking about. laugh
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« Reply #33 on: January 29, 2011, 12:11:35 PM »

The Mosaic Law was given to Israel alone. All the "wild" rules of the Mosaic Law stemmed from God's living in the midst of the Israelites and His wish to teach them about purity. Through Jesus, there was a transition from the wrath of God to the grace of God.

That's true. That doesn't change the fact that they are not that different from Mohammedian regulations. Our God doesn't seem to have anything against rather harsh state laws. For me it seems that Jesus' milderness is not because God is against more harsher state laws but because He was setting an example how individual Christians should act. If Muhammed had been only a spiritual leader and not a political one I'd guess that his regulations might have also been much milder.

That said, I'm not trying defend Muhammed nor his false religion. All I am against are false comparisons and bad apologetics.
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« Reply #34 on: January 29, 2011, 12:26:29 PM »

The Mosaic Law was given to Israel alone. All the "wild" rules of the Mosaic Law stemmed from God's living in the midst of the Israelites and His wish to teach them about purity. Through Jesus, there was a transition from the wrath of God to the grace of God.

That's true. That doesn't change the fact that they are not that different from Mohammedian regulations. Our God doesn't seem to have anything against rather harsh state laws. For me it seems that Jesus' milderness is not because God is against more harsher state laws but because He was setting an example how individual Christians should act. If Muhammed had been only a spiritual leader and not a political one I'd guess that his regulations might have also been much milder.

That said, I'm not trying defend Muhammed nor his false religion. All I am against are false comparisons and bad apologetics.
True. Muhammad (like Moses) was a political and religious leader. In politics, things like imprisonment and the death penalty are part of the process.
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« Reply #35 on: January 29, 2011, 02:25:41 PM »

'Jews' assign a higher authority to the Talmud than they do the true Torah - the Tanakh. The Talmud (which they deceitfully call in public "Torah" because they say that Talmud is the "Oral Torah") records that the rabbis had an argument with God... and that in the end God was forced to accede to the superiority of the rabbis!

Jews believe in the dual Torah: the written Torah which comprises the 5 books of Moses, and by extension, the rest of the Tanakh; and the oral Torah, which is recorded, so to speak, in the Mishnah and the rest of the Talmud. 'So to speak' because the oral Torah is not a fixed text, but a whole interpretational framework/way of speaking, thinking, and living. Together, the written and oral Torahs make up the one Torah given to Moses on Sinai. The Jews do not give the Talmud more authority than the Tanakh; they give it equal authority to the written Pentateuch, because in their view, the oral Torah, too, was given on Sinai. (See Avot.)

Jesus never said that Salvation is of the 'Jews'... He said that, "Salvation (Yeshua) is out of Judea."


No. The text of John 4:22 says, "η σωτηρια εκ των ιουδαιων εστιν" - Salvation is from/out of the Jews (gen. masc. plural). Our Lord Jesus Christ was indeed a Jew: of the tribe of Judah. But as far as anyone knew at that time, He was a Galilean, and not a Judean (that is, from the province of Judea, which is the territory of the tribe of Judah); though we Christians know that He was indeed born in Bethlehem of Judea/Judah.
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« Reply #36 on: January 29, 2011, 02:43:12 PM »

I have never been given a satisfying answer to the question of the apparent discrepancy between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New.
My reasoning is God was dealing with people on different terms before His revelation to us in Jesus in the future. I guess you could say the people in the OT, esp during Moses' time, were immature and God was acting as a father to discipline them to help guide them to more peace and civility (with the Ten Commandments).

I don't know, maybe someone here can give a better explanation.

Quote
Do we have anyone among the Forum members who can speak of this discrepancy or point us to something written by the Holy Fathers?
Would love to hear this as well Fr. Ambrose.
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« Reply #37 on: January 29, 2011, 02:50:26 PM »

I have never been given a satisfying answer to the question of the apparent discrepancy between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New.    Is there much difference really between the severity of the laws which God gave to the Chosen People and those formulated by Mohammed?

The closest I ever got to a satisfying answer was from a holy monk, an archimandrite, in Walsingham, England with whom I stayed for a few months.  "The Jews," he said, "did not fully understand what God was telling them and they interpreted Him too harshly." 

Do we have anyone among the Forum members who can speak of this discrepancy or point us to something written by the Holy Fathers?


I can't comment much on the difference, but fwiw, as I outlined in this post, some Fathers did note the difference in morality between the Old Testament and New Testament, saying that the New Testament morality was superior. Perhaps the monk you mentioned came as close as we'll come to an answer...
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« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2011, 02:59:40 PM »

I have never been given a satisfying answer to the question of the apparent discrepancy between the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New.
My reasoning is God was dealing with people on different terms before His revelation to us in Jesus in the future. I guess you could say the people in the OT, esp during Moses' time, were immature and God was acting as a father to discipline them to help guide them to more peace and civility (with the Ten Commandments).

I don't know, maybe someone here can give a better explanation.

Quote
Do we have anyone among the Forum members who can speak of this discrepancy or point us to something written by the Holy Fathers?
Would love to hear this as well Fr. Ambrose.

St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, would seem a good place to start, especially the various chapters dealing with the Marcionites.
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« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2011, 03:11:55 PM »

Assuming that Muhammad was misguided, who misled him?  Was it simply his fault, misunderstanding or accepting apocryphal or dubious writings on religion?  Basically, was it his error, or was he guided by something else, e.g. demons.  If he was guided by outside forces, what was the ultimate purpose of this reorientation of the religion and worship?  Was it to simply steer people off the correct path of worship, disrupt the unity of Christianity, or was it to "redirect" worship to a power, masquerading as the "Abrahamic" God and delivering the message through an impersonation of Gabriel? It is widely accepted in Orthodox Christianity that the evil one can appear as an angel.  I'm not saying this is absolutely what happened, but I think it should be considered.

Honestly, I think Muhammad was seeking something to unite Arabia and he saw religion as the best means of doing so and I believe he took bits and pieces from different beliefs in order to make it appealing to everyone. The Qur'an is a mix of the stories of Judaism, Christianity, and Arab folklore. He presented familiar stories to the people he preached to and many were swayed. He heard stories from different people and accepted them and created a new belief system.

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« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2011, 03:25:44 PM »

St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, would seem a good place to start, especially the various chapters dealing with the Marcionites.
The Against Heresies chapter on Marcion didn't really help much. Here is a short letter that amplifies what we are discussing, and I have never seen a satisfactory refutation of it:
http://www.gnosis.org/library/flora.htm
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« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2011, 03:41:53 PM »

St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, would seem a good place to start, especially the various chapters dealing with the Marcionites.
The Against Heresies chapter on Marcion didn't really help much. Here is a short letter that amplifies what we are discussing, and I have never seen a satisfactory refutation of it:
http://www.gnosis.org/library/flora.htm

Frankly, just skimming over that letter I saw so many lies, inaccuracies, and egregiously bad interpretations of Scriptural texts, I don't think it merits a refutation, satisfactory or otherwise. For example:

Quote
The Savior also makes plain the fact that there are some traditions of the elders interwoven in the Law. For God,he says, Said, Honour your father and your mother, that it may be well with you, But you , he says addressing the elders, ...have declared as a gift to God, that by which you have nullified the Law of God through the tradition of your elders. Isaiah also proclaimed this, saying, This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, teaching precepts which are the commandments of men. [Matt 15:4-9].

The bolded text is clearly not what Jesus meant.
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« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2011, 03:50:48 PM »


Great question, and one that I would love to know the answer to as well. Although, if we look at the Apocalypse of Saint John, can't we see a pretty good glimpse of the Old Testament God? Just a thought. I welcome answers from those that really know what they are talking about. laugh

Exactly. When the appointed time comes, Jesus will return to JUDGE the living and the dead and He will cast anything unclean and sinful out of His chosen city, the heavenly Jerusalem:

Blessed are those who wash their robes so they can have access to the tree of life and can enter into the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the sexually immoral, and the murderers, and the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood! (Revelation 22:14-15)
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« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2011, 03:52:25 PM »

I know that he's a liar, he's Gnostic!!! But he does bring up some valid arguments in my opinion. Anyone wish to take a crack at it?
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« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2011, 03:56:00 PM »

I know that he's a liar, he's Gnostic!!! But he does bring up some valid arguments in my opinion. Anyone wish to take a crack at it?

It might be helpful, then, if you picked out a few of the valid arguments from the lies and posted them here, so that we could address them specifically.
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