If you, a stranger, were to come up to me and tell me that your father and my father were the same person because both are human beings, should I immediately assume they were the same father? To see if that were true, we would gather more detail about our fathers and compare them. You say your father was born in California. My father was born in Minnesota. Furthermore, you describe your father as 6′ 2″ tall. My father is 5′ 3″ tall. Lastly, your father is only 52 years old while my father is 82. So we have more than enough indications that our fathers are completely different human beings.
If all the religions simply call their god “God,” then it appears that they are all the same god. What happens when we investigate details about these gods? The Christian God describes himself as three persons in one essence. No other religion describes their god that way. Some religions have god as one person over all, such as the Muslims and Jews. Some religions have many gods, such as the Hindus. It’s when we get into the specifics about each god that we realize that different religions are not worshiping the same God. One religion’s god is human-like while another religion’s god is animal-like in appearance.
Because the details differ so drastically, the gods cannot be the same.
You might say, “Well, maybe the same god is appearing in many different forms.” We know it is not the same god because the gods differ in how they operate. The Christian God created all physical things out of nothing and said it was very good. Another religion says that physical things are evil, and god would never create them; or that god created beings out of other things. The Christian God desires to save all people from their sins through faith in Jesus Christ. Other religions depend on humans performing a variety of good deeds and keeping specific religious traditions in order to be saved. The Christian God promises eternal life and the kingdom of God for all those who believe in Jesus Christ. Other religions make no such promises because salvation depends on the followers’ own efforts.
If they were the same god appearing in different ways, surely there should be more consistency in his message to mankind.
What Do You Think?
a. Over-generalization can result in strange conclusions. Is it true that all religious people in America will vote for the same person for President? If not, then why would someone think we’d all worship the same God?
b. People within the same class will hold diverse views. Do all pet lovers love Scottish Terriers? Do all football fans agree on who is the best quarterback of all time?
c. If the Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews are worshiping the same God, then why would the Muslims, Hindus, and Jews persecute Christians for their beliefs in their lands? Evidently they don’t believe Christians are worshiping their god.