President Obama Speech: Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?

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Yesterday US President Barack Obama spoke in a mosque at the Islamic Society of Baltimore on the topic of religious freedom and Muslims. He made several comments and inferences during his presentation that suggested he believes Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Near the beginning of his presentation, President Obama compared a mosque to a church, temple, or synagogue, and said that they are all places to “worship and express . . . love for God.” But which god? Whose god is he referring to?

Later, he said that we need to remember that “we’re all God’s children.” Again, which god is he referring to? Is he talking about Allah, the Muslim god, or Yahweh, the God of the Bible? He never made a distinction about which god.

Near the end of his speech, President Obama quoted a Muslim American who, following the tragic Chattanooga, Tennessee, shooting by a Muslim extremist said, “in the name of God, the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammed, God bless our fallen heroes.” By quoting this statement, Obama seems to be agreeing with the idea behind it—that Christians and Muslims worship the same god.

This morning at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama spoke started his talk by saying: “Giving all praise and honor to God for bringing us all here together,” and then quoted 2 Timothy 1:7. His speech was full of references to Jesus, God, faith, and how God can help us conquer fear in our tumultuous times. But what god was he ultimately talking about? Near the end of his speech he made reference to “good people, of all faiths, who do the Lord’s work each and every day.” He went on to define this work as caring for the hurting and needy, and said that people of all faiths—Jews, Christians, Sikhs, and Muslims—do this in times of crisis. So, according to President Obama, no matter what your faith, you’re doing the Lord’s work? And which Lord? Certainly not the Lord Jesus Christ! Jesus says that “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” If you are not with Jesus Christ, regardless of what work you do, you are against Him.

Obama continued, “That the God that is in each of us comes together. And that we don’t divide.” Which God in each of us? While each of us bears the image of God (Genesis 1:27), only those who have repented and trusted in Christ for their salvation have God actually living in them.

I think of the verse: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

What President Obama is talking about—this idea that all faiths are equal, especially Islam and Christianity, and that all people serve God in some way—is a dangerous misconception. It is increasingly becoming common in our pluralistic and inclusive culture. But nothing could be farther from the truth. A quick study of God’s Word and key Christian doctrines makes it clear that Islam and Christianity are utterly incompatible.

Scripture makes it clear that Christ is both Lord and God, and the only way to be saved is through what Christ has done:

For in Him [Jesus] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. (Colossians 2:9)
That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ. (Colossians 2:2, emphasis added)
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5–11)
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

Muslims reject Christ as Lord and God. They claim that He was just a prophet. But Jesus claimed to be the great I AM (John 8:58), not just a prophet. Muslims also reject the idea that God has a Son, Jesus. But Scripture is clear that Jesus is the Son of God (1 John 4:15). Muslims don’t believe that Jesus died and rose again, but that someone (usually they say Judas) was crucified in Jesus’s place, and Jesus was taken to Heaven without dying. But Scripture is clear that Christ’s death and resurrection were necessary for salvation and that they happened in real history (1 Corinthians 15). Since Muslims reject these key Christian doctrines and do not worship Christ, the great I AM, the God of the Bible, they can’t possibly be worshipping the same God as Christians.

The Bible also makes it abundantly clear that God is a triune God—three persons in one: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Since Muslims vehemently deny the Trinity, they deny the true God.

These is just a small sampling of the huge differences between Christianity and Islam! But even this brief overview clearly shows that Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God. To argue this is to ignore both the teachings of Islam and the teachings of the Bible.

So if Muslims don’t worship the one true God, then they are worshipping a false god. They’ve been deceived into thinking that they are serving God, but really, they are not, and sadly they are headed for an eternity separated from God. This should break our hearts as Christians. We have the message of salvation that all people need to hear. Millions of Muslims live here in the United States, and they need to hear about the one true God who came as a man, died for their sin, rose again, and now offers the free gift of salvation to all who will confess Christ as Lord and trust in Him (Romans 10:9). We need to tell others about this precious gift!

To learn more about witnessing to Muslims see our two-part article series or our new book World Religions and Cults: Volume 1.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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