Monday, November 2, 2009

One God, Many Names?

It’s all the same god just different names?
This is normally said as a statement, but I phrase it as a question. It is popular belief today that we all believe in the same god, we just call him by different names. I have heard this in different ways too many times to count. Even by supposed Christians.
The Christian cannot believe this. The first commandment makes clear that there are different “gods.” This is why he tells us not to have any others before him. The other “gods” are false gods, not a different manifestation of the one God. Jesus is also clear that a house divided cannot stand. And this is where the faulty logic of “one God many names” becomes troublesome even for the non-Christian.
That said it could be argued that God does go by many different names even in Christian circles, and Christians of different nationalities etc. But that is not to say that every name for a god is necessarily just another name for the God that Christians worship.
It is not so much that God cannot be called by different names. But the question arises. If it is the same God, why does he offer different opposing teachings concerning who he is, and what his will is? Sorry, I just don’t believe that I worship the same “god” that possessed men to fly planes into Skyscrapers in New York. My God makes very clear that he is opposed to the taking of innocent life. Even the moralities of these other “gods” are opposed to each other. Some of these other religions, take Hinduism, for instance believe in many different Gods. I for one don’t think the Greeks believed Athena was Zeus in drag.
So while on the surface it is a nice kind of warm fuzzy thought to believe we all believe in the same God, just call him by different names, close inspection shows us that this is actually impossible. That and it is probably also insulting to the other religions. Muslims don’t cherish the thought that they are worshiping the Christian God. They are opposed, adamantly so, to the idea that God, “for whom all things are possible” is able to take on human flesh, and be born of a virgin, eat, sleep, and defecate like the rest of us. Christians are adamantly opposed to the Mormon idea that the “Father has flesh just as tangible as any of us.” Can truth be any more divided against itself than a house?

No comments: