Do Christians Believe And Worship The Same God?
Lesson - 2B


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The history of the Christian religion started in the first century when the Lord Jesus Christ established His Church in Jerusalem. From this Church established by Christ, Christianity has proliferated all over the world to more than 1,000 by the year 1900, and to more than 30,000 by the year 2000. In the 2001 Edition of the World Christian Encyclopedia it listed 33,830 Christian denominations.
  • Many people welcome this development because they believe that the more religions there are, the more people become closer to God, because they think that all religions are the same.
  • A few view it the negative way, the more religions there are, the greater the confusion faced by man.  And since there is only one true religion, the more religions there are, the farther man becomes from the true God.

Many people do not realize that a great majority of these new churches or religions compared to the original church (founded by Christ) have differing and/or conflicting doctrines and beliefs but all claim to use the Holy Bible as the basis of their faith.

God in Abrahamic religions

2B.1   Do all monotheistic religions believe and worship the same God?

From the previous Lesson-2A.3 we've studied the following:  Monotheism is a belief in the existence of a single god. Monotheism is usually contrasted with polytheism, which is the belief in many gods, and atheism, which is the absence of any belief in gods. The concept of "monotheism" tends to be dominated by the concept of God in the Abrahamic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Judaism and Islam have traditionally attempted to interpret scripture as exclusively monotheistic. whilst Christianity adopts a more complex form of monotheism, as a result of considering the Holy Spirit to be God, and attributing divinity to Jesus.

  • Judaism is based on a strict monotheism.  This doctrine expresses the belief in one indivisible God.
  • Islam asserts the existence of a single and absolute truth that transcends the world; a unique and indivisible being who is independent of the creation.
  • Christians believe in one god. Ostensibly monotheistic religions like Christianity may still include concepts of a plurality of the divine, for example the Trinity, in which God is one being in three personal dimensions.

Due to theological differences in Judaism, Islam and Christianity, the object of their worship are entirely different. Thus, in reality the God that is worshiped by the Jews, the Muslims and the Christians are possibly different. 
Do adherents of Judaism, Islam and Christianity all believe and worship the same God?
Some say that they are while others say that they are not - and there are good arguments on both sides. 

If the Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the three major monotheistic religions, may not be worshiping the same God, because of theological differences, does it also mean that not all Christians believe in the same God because of theological differences? 
This would seem to be the logical conclusion of the above argument, and it is strange enough that we should pause and have more time to think about it, for knowing and worshiping the true God is the basis of salvation and eternal life. (Lesson-1F.4)


God in Christianity

2B.2  Do all Christian religions believe and worship the same God?

From the previous Lesson-2A.4,  Monotheism in Christianity basically refer to three contrasting theologies, all professing belief in One God (monotheism), but have different conception of God.

  • Unitarianism adheres to strict monotheism and that is the belief in the single personality of God. 
  • Binitarianism, the belief that God is an absolutely single being; and yet there is a "twoness" in God.
  • Trinitarianism, the belief that  "the one God exists in three Persons and one substance, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." 

Although, many professing Christians would like to believe that their religions believe and worship the same God. But, on a practical and theological level they simply cannot - there's just no choice in the matter. They may all want to believe in the One God (monotheism), but the content of their beliefs varies wildly—they have different conception of God. Thus, in reality, Christian religions do not believe and worship the same God. 

On a practical point of view, try asking professing Christians "how they perceive God?". Many would give you practical answer that are vastly different.
 

2B.3   Is God absolutely One or a Trinity?

Considering the various factors studied in the foregoing lessons, The basic question about God in Christianity boils down to the following. Is God absolutely One or a Trinity?

In the Websters online dictionary, these are written:

Jews, Muslims, and a small percentage of Christians are unitarian monotheists. The vast majority of Christians have been and still are Trinitarian monotheists.

Unitarian monotheists hold that there is only one "person" (so to speak), or one basic substance, in God. Some consider Trinitarianism to be a form of polytheism. In contrast, Trinitarian monotheists believe in one god that exists as three distinct persons who share the same substance/essence; this belief is called the Trinity: compare with the Hindu Trimurti.
Source: http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/God (as of August 13, 2009)

God as Unity or Trinity

  • Jews and Muslims, and a small percentage of Christians are Unitarian monotheist. They believe that there is only one "person", or one substance in God. Some of them consider Trinitrianism to be a form of polytheism.
  • The vast majority of Christians are Trinitarian monotheist. They believe in one god that exist as three distinct persons who share the same substance/essence. this belief is called the Trinity.

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Having learned that monotheism―belief in one God, in the the Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Islam and Christianity, does not necessarily mean belief in the same God. This is also true in Christianity who all profess to be monotheists but they do not also necessarily believe in the same God because the vast majority of Christians are Trinitarian monotheist, but a small percentage of Christians are Unitarian monotheist. Let us therefore concentrate our search for the true God by knowing the biblical answer to this basic question, "Is God absolutely One or a Trinity"? This question will be answered in the succeeding lessons.

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NOTE: The use of the terms, Trinitarian, Binitarian, or Unitarian in this website are not intended to refer to any religious organization but only to denote numerical orientation in the number of persons in one God in order to simplify the way of presenting the different concept of God in Christianity.

 
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November 29, 2011 04:14 PM www.comparativebiblestudylessons.com