Archive for October, 2016

Which God is the true God?

October 8, 2016

Earlier this week I posted a picture of myself in a mosque and at prayer.
It caused some indignation, horror and shock in some believer’s
eyes that I should have done such a thing.

So Why did I go into a mosque in the first place… I was on holiday
and I decided to go into a Mosque that used to be a cathedral. In this
mosque in the past they annointed kings and queens. It was
interesting that while I was there a Greek tourist came upto me
and spoke to me and why it was of interest to him from a
theological perspective. He was from a Bible College in Greece somewhere.

I wanted to reach out in prayer, love, compassion and empathy
to my Muslim relatives. I became a target
for their theological view points and none of them really cared
about my feelings.

One version was that there are two gods… A good Christian one
and a bad Muslim one… I suppose it is a modern form of
gnosticsm. Another one was that the Muslim God was the Devil.
Another version was that the Muslim God is the anti-Christ. That
I am worshipping some sort of idol.

All of these were full of prejudice and discrimination and
I reject all of them.

Firstly there is only One Creator… Genesis 1 verse 1 says
in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…
I start from here as it puts all people on a single level playground.
We were all created in the image of God as Psalm 8 says.

It is interesting that when Calvin starts his theology he says that
we don’t know which came first the knowledge of God or of ourselves.
This is an important point as there was a time when there were
no holy books but nature. Even a pagan can feel a force in nature
that is greater than themselves. Religious people call it God.

My starting point is here with Calvin and revelation is progressive.
Monotheism accepts this fact. Jews Muslims and Christians accept this
fact. If it was not the case then there could be no dialogue between these
three great relgions. This is how the Apostolic Creed starts: We
believe in One God the Father, Creator of Heaven and earth. So there is
knowledge of God here.

Then the Apostolic Creed moves on to the Son and then the Holy Spirit
thus we have some knowledge of the economy of God. I suppose as a
Christian I will always be the black sheep in the family of God as I
can and do move in two religious communities. Without empathy and
compassion religion is like a barren tree in the desert where there
is no water.

For me I have chosen the Christ path but that doesn’t mean
that I have to be a stereo typical Christian because I’m not. I don’t
accept a lot of stereo typical ideas about God although I am
completely Trinitarian.

Yes I believe God is one and that he has revealed himself in three
Persons namely, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As a believer I
believe that God created everything.

At the moment it is very popular in Christian thaught to attack Muslim
theology by saying the God of the Bible and the God of the Koran
are not the same God… This is missing the point. God is not a book of this
or that. He is the Living God. He is bigger than the Bible and the Koran.
Johns Gospel is interesting in that at the end John says that if all
the works of Jesus were written down he supposed that the whole
world could not contain them. I’m talking in terms of creation
not this book or that book.

At one point belief diverges but no one can deny that Jews, Chistians
and Muslims believe in a Creator… At this point all monotheistic
religions hold the same tenet. I don’t have time for those
that attack Islam as Monist. That just shows how some theologians
haven’t looked at the small print of creation enough.

Theology diverges at the point at which we talk about
Jesus as the Son of God. At this point my path stays within
the Biblical tradition….

Another argument is given that Allah and the God of the Bible is different.
To tell you the truth this argument doesn’t hold out because the
name Allah is used by Coptic Christians and Turkish Christians as
well as Muslims. The name Allah has very ancient roots that go
back to El but this is another story I don’t have time to go into.

So I pray at home, On the train, in church, at the mosque. Who cares???
If there are those who don’t agree with me then that is not my problem. I
love my Muslim relatives and friends.

For me what is important is to be genuine about my faith in God and
show compassion to my fellow man no matter what his religious background.
Words are just words and empty if there is no compassion. Why should a
person listen to someone on the opposite viewpoint if that view point
sees itself as superior to another viewpoint. Isn’t this a form of
arrogance. Being genuine is ‘I believe… but I still have time to
refelct on what you want to say without judgementalism’. Obviously
according to the rules of logic both cannot be right but we
can both be sincere and humble.

Some will find my views shocking but I have chosen the Christ path.