by Casey McFall
The short answer is NO—Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God. In fact, even Jews do not worship the same God (see below). A part of the reason why so many people believe that Muslims and Christians worship the same God is because Muslims claim to worship a monotheistic god who was the “god” of Abraham and shares many characteristics with the true God. In fact, Muslims are actually taught that they worship the same God as Christians. Surah 29:46 in the Qur’an states: “Do not dispute other than in a good way with the people of Scripture, except for those of them who do evil; and say: ‘We have faith in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. Our God and your God are One, and to Him we submit [ourselves].’”
In spite of what the Qur’an teaches, however, there can be no way that we worship the same God. Perhaps the main reason for this is because we recognize that Jesus is God (John 10:30, 1 Corinthians 8:6, etc.), but the Muslims absolutely deny this truth. In fact, Surah 5:72 of the Qur’an declares that Jesus is not God and harshly condemns to Hell anyone who says otherwise.
A God comprised of a Trinity and a god not comprised of a trinity cannot be the same god!
There are many other proofs that we do not and cannot worship the same God, however. The teachings that these gods give concerning eternal life are completely different from each other; the characteristics and natures of the gods are diverse (For example: God says we are His children while Allah says we are mere creations, and to call ourselves his children is a lie—Surah 5:18). The list could go on from there.
Of course, Muslims teach that the Bible has been corrupted by man and that it no longer contains the truth of God’s Word; this is the reason why there are all of these differences in our understandings of god (Allah). Even if that were true (which it is not), this would mean that we are worshiping some fictional creation of a distorted truth and not worshiping Allah. Either way, we would not be worshiping the same god!
Jews and Judaism in relation to God:
When it comes to Judaism, the answer becomes a bit trickier. After all, they really do worship the God of Abraham (as opposed to the Muslims who simply claim that they do). Throughout the book of Acts, great men of God used this relation as an evangelical tool. They would commonly make reference to the “God of our fathers,” then connect that to Jesus. Clearly then, the God of the Jews is the same God Whom we are commanded to love and worship. The problem, however, is that God has revealed more about Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, and the followers of Judaism refuse to acknowledge this God. To worship some subset or version of God is to not worship the true God!
The true crux of the problem relates more to worship rather than to the fact that the followers of Judaism do not acknowledge God to be God. John 4:24 teaches that God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. To worship Him in spirit and in truth we must believe and acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God! Moreover, John 14:6 says, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If Jews do not recognize that Jesus is God, then they cannot come unto the Father or worship the true God!
Why does it matter?
The truth of this is incredibly important for evangelism. If we are all worshiping the same God, why does it matter if details of our beliefs are a bit different? There is the thought circulating which says, “my God is your God so we will all come to Him in our own way,” but this completely contradicts the Bible! Remember, John 14:6 says, …no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Anyone who does not recognize that Jesus Christ is God is deluding themselves and guaranteeing their path continuing toward Hell. Matthew 7:22-23 says, Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The people about whom this verse talks will enter into judgement believing that they were actually serving the Lord and living for Him! Satan has used the truth of God with a little bit of lie mixed in to deceive so many people and set them on the path to Hell. We have a duty and God-given mandate to open the eyes of others to the truth and to help them find the path that is straight and narrow! (Matthew 7:14)
Regarding using the “same God” starting point as a means of evangelism, this can obviously be done with the Jews since it was done throughout the book of Acts, but should not be done with Muslims! First, it cannot be done with Muslims because they do not worship the same God of Christians in any way, shape, or form; therefore, it would be deceptive to use this method. Even more important, is the fact that it is effective when talking with Jews but ineffective when talking with Muslims. The Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament and prophecies of Jesus can be found throughout the Old Testament. Hence, there follows a natural and true progression toward Jesus as God while talking to Jews.
There is no such natural progression when talking with Muslims, however! Muslims acknowledge that Jesus lived, taught, and did miracles; the difference is that they say that He was merely a prophet of Allah and was not God. In fact, the Qur’an teaches that the Bible has been corrupted and Christians have been misled. Thus, to acknowledge their god as being the same as our God is to validate Islam while discrediting Christianity!
Thought exercise for our own Christian growth:
It was stated earlier that to worship a subset or version of God is the same as not worshiping the true God. Biblically, this is because having knowledge of the fullness of God while ignoring that knowledge is not worshiping God in truth (John 4:24). To what degree can that then be taken? The Bible teaches us that God is a Trinity Who is made up of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; thus, to worship a being that intentionally excludes one of these while claiming that One is not God is to worship something other than God. The Bible also teaches that God is love, that He is just, and that He is holy. Suppose we were to worship a being that is supreme love and, out of love, is happy to ignore our sins and bless us anyway because it wants us to be happy even though we have not confessed those sins or asked for forgiveness. That being would not and could not be just or holy. Would this then not mean that the being is not God? How often do we Christians do this? We enjoy saying that God is holy and just; but in the same breath, focus on the love of God and use that love to excuse our sinful behaviors rather than repenting of our sins. I will not go so far as to say that such Christians are worshiping a false god, but I will challenge everyone to think about and question themselves and their worship.
Psalm 119:169 – Let my cry come near before thee, O LORD: give me understanding according to thy word.