Should Christian’s Attend a Homosexual Wedding?

Homosexual marriage is an emotionally charged topic. The issue becomes even more difficult when someone you know and care about invites you to their same-sex marriage. Because a wedding invitation is usually received by those who are part of the lives of the people getting married, friends, family or neighbors, the invitation to a homosexual wedding creates many personal, emotional and relational dilemmas. Many Christians have been confronted with this question. Should Christian’s attend a homosexual wedding?

Marriage is clearly defined in the Bible. Marriage is not a social construct. People do not get married because the white, European churches decided marriage was a good idea. Marriage was created by God. Jesus said in Mark 10:6-8 that God created marriage in the Garden of Eden. God’s original work of creating male and female is not coincidental. He made them different to join them together in marriage. The two are made one flesh. The two, male and female, are joined together by God. Without two genders, male and female, there is no marriage. This is God’s idea.

The wedding functions as the public commitment to one another of the male and the female. In America the wedding serves a civil function by which the state recognizes a couple as joined together in matrimony. The civic function of the wedding is secondary to its moral function. Through the wedding the couple make known their commitment to one another. The solemnize their covenant before their friends, family and neighbors. The attenders at a wedding are not merely an audience, they act as witnesses to the oath.

For decades Christian wedding ceremonies have declared the importance of marriage. “Marriage is a sacred institution, the basis of human society, and should be held in high honor among men and women. We are assembled here in the presence of God, to join this man and this woman in holy marriage; which is instituted by God, regulated by His commandments and blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us therefore reverently remember that God has established and sanctified marriage for the welfare and happiness of mankind.”

Since marriage is God’s institution, designed and ordered by Him for the good of all mankind, every Christian should be a staunch defender of Biblical marriage. Every Christian should oppose that which perverts God’s original design for marriage. No Christian should give support, even thought it only be implied, to homosexual marriage or to any other marriage contrary to God’s design.

Attendance at a wedding is more than just watching. Attendance honors the couple and celebrates their union. Can a Christian really honor a “marriage” that perpetrates perversion? Can the child of God celebrate the union of a woman and woman? Attendance at a wedding communicates support for the couple and their marriage. How can a Christian give the appearance of support to that which he knows God’s Word condemns?

Christians often feel pressured to show love to the unsaved homosexual by attending the wedding. The accusation is that it is not loving to refuse to attend a wedding. The opposite is true. Love refuses give support or encouragement to sin. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” Psalm 141:5 says, “Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil.” The correction of the righteous friend is a boon to the soul of men. Though it is painful it is helpful. The words of Leviticus 19:17 are especially pertinent, “Thou shalt not hate they brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him.” Not rebuking a brother or neighbor for his sin is a silent hatred. The loving Christian will confront sin, not sit in silent, implicit approval of the sin.

The real issues at stake are the truth of God’s Word, the integrity of marriage and the eternal soul of others. Sometimes the most compassionate thing a Christian can do for another is refuse to have any part in his sin.

What is Baptism?

Baptism is a ritual familiar to anyone who knows anything about Christianity. Various Christian groups have different beliefs about baptism. The major views can be broadly described as: the Catholic view which believes baptism brings the infant into the church and washes away the sin nature of the child; the Lutheran view believes that when the Word of God is joined with the water in baptism the Holy Spirit gives to the infant the gift of faith through which she is saved; the Reformed view sees baptism as setting apart the child of Christian parents into the community of faith, it is, like circumcision in the Old Testament, the visible sign that the person is a part of the people of God.

The Baptist teaching on baptism is unique in that baptism is limited only to those of an age to profess their salvation and it is always, and only, a response to having received salvation. Most baptists teach that the only proper way to be baptized is by immersion in water.

Christian baptism is unique to the church age. John the Baptist borrowed a Jewish idea of ritualistic cleansing, or washing, in water and used it as a testimony of repentance for those who were preparing for the coming Messiah. Jesus Himself was baptized by John and commanded His disciples to baptize others in His name. On the day of Pentecost the new converts to Christ followed His command and were baptized as a testimony of their conversion.

Baptism was to be a normal part of the ministry of Jesus’ disciples. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Those who received the gospel were to be baptized. This kind of baptism is found throughout the book of Acts. In Acts 2 Peter instructed those who believed in Jesus to be baptized. In Acts 8 the Samaritans who believed were baptized, “But when they believed . . . the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” The Ethiopian eunuch was told he could be baptized, “If thou believest with all thine heart.” The consistent pattern of baptism in the book of Acts is that baptism follows believing. Baptism is viewed by the New Testament as the believers confession of faith.

Don’t the passages that talk about households being baptized prove that the disciples baptized adults and infants? None of the household passages mention the ages of the members of the household. The passages do not even describe the members of the household. Those who support infant baptism teach that these households included babies. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates whether this is true or not. Nothing can be proved the age of the people being baptized from the household passages.

Acts 16 describes the baptism of the household of the Philippian jailer. After telling the jailer he would be saved if he, “Believed on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”, Paul preached the gospel to the jailers entire household. That same hour, they were all baptized. Baptism clearly followed the command to believe and the preaching of the gospel to all.

Baptism is the immersion in water of a new believer as a public testimony of his salvation. Baptism does not save. Baptism confesses of salvation received.

Why are most Evangelical Christian’s Republicans?

A popular complaint among theological and political liberals is that most evangelicals vote Republican. The most recent presidential election gave additional reason to complain with election day polls showing that 80% of white evangelicals voted for Mr. Trump. This bit of information is wielded in various ways but seems to be treated as proof evangelicals are bad people who don’t care about the poor, the marginalized, the environment or the rights of women.

The complaints against evangelicals continue for their supposed partnership with the Republican party. One cannot deny that many evangelical Christians vote for republican candidates. Some well-known evangelical leaders have been vocal supporters of the Republican National Convention. Evangelical voters are a significant part of the Republican party’s political base.

This should come as no surprise to those who understand what evangelicals, and other theological conservatives, believe about the Bible. Evangelicals are a segment of Christianity, mostly from Protestant denominations, who believe the Bible to be the Word of God and the authority over their lives. Evangelicals tend to read the Bible literally taking its claims and commands at face value. Evangelicals believe in the need to be born again and feel an obligation to tell others how to be saved.

The authority of the Bible over the life and thinking of the evangelical is at the root of why many refuse to vote for candidates from the democratic party. The Biblical moral standards are held in great esteem. As a result evangelicals generally hold conservative and traditional positions on the modern moral battlegrounds. People who take seriously the Bible’s command, “Ye must be born again” are also very likely to take seriously the Bible’s teachings regarding the value of human life and the evil of homosexuality. The Democratic party’s official platform promotes behavior that is contrary to the plain reading of the Bible. As a result, conservative evangelicals refuse to vote for those who oppose Biblical truths. While things like health care and income security may be important to many evangelicals, holding to Biblical positions about sexuality, marriage and human life takes precedence.

The simple fact is that many evangelicals vote for Republicans because they find themselves sharing values with the Republican candidates. Some evangelicals vote Republican because it seems to them to be the lesser of two evils. Instead of throwing away a vote by voting for a third party who has no chance to win they would rather cast their vote against a candidate who is for the promotion of evil. Many evangelicals may support other aspects of the official Democratic platform, but they cannot in good conscience vote for someone who officially supports things the Bible condemns.

It is not fair or legitimate to characterize evangelicals as white middle class individuals who vote for what will keep them in power or keep the world the way they remember it. Evangelicals can be found throughout all races and demographics. Many evangelicals vote based upon right and wrong, not to preserve or restore an idealized vision America.

It is not fair to say that being a Republican is part of what it means to be an evangelical. Conservative Christianity and Christianity in general is not defined by political affiliation. Christianity is not about establishing a political empire but proclaiming the gospel to the unsaved and calling men to trust Christ for salvation. While there are always some who seek power and control, many evangelicals are attempting to make the best choice they can to promote Biblical morals in this nation. No question about human behavior can be given a simple answer. Motives and habits are complex things, but many evangelicals are Republicans because they find Republican candidates align best with the moral values the evangelical holds most dear.

What is mindfulness? Is it Christian?

America is drowning in a flood of intellectual noise. Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, news reports, emails and text messages are just a few of the many popular means of barraging people with an excess of information. Many Americans are recognizing the need to shut down the noise and create moments of quiet in their lives. Mindfulness promises to help quiet the over stimulated minds of stressed out people. What is mindfulness? Is it something that Christians should be involved in?

Mindfulness promotes the focus upon the sensations of the moment to help to center the person in the present. Mindfulness does not teach focus on the task at hand. Mindfulness stops all other activity to become aware of the present. Mindfulness pauses and looks inward to pay complete attention to one’s senses, thoughts and emotions. It is the practice of being aware of the moment without critique, judgment or thought. A recent advertisement for local mindfulness classes said, “”Mindfulness is about paying attention on purpose in the present moment non-judgmentally.”

Mindfulness is taught through the application of principles from classic eastern meditation. By setting aside a specific time of meditation the person learns the ability to fully experience the sensations of the moment. Throughout the day the mindful person stops for a brief time to refresh mind, emotion and energy.

Americans have intentionally divorced mindfulness from its religious connections, but the principles behind this practice are nothing less than pagan. Mindfulness comes out of Buddhism and Hinduism. As a result, it is based upon a a view of the mind and body that is contrary to the Bible. Mindfulness, and all eastern meditation, starts with the premise that every person is a manifestation of the Divine. Mindfulness involves the participant in a technique springing directly from a false salvation that believes the ultimate goal is to be absorbed into the great universal divine.

As with most relaxation techniques mindfulness does bring some physical benefit to the practitioner. It may rest the mind, relax the body and refresh the person, but it carries with it the baggage of the false religions of the far east.

The quieting of the mind and attending to the moment are praiseworthy goals. Certainly a person should pay attention to the task and people at hand. This is not mindfulness. This is diligence and courtesy.

Instead of turning to mystical practices Christians should turn to the Bible for guidance in virtuous behavior. Give your life to the control of the Holy Spirit who will produce in you the fruit of love, joy and peace. Practice Biblical meditation on verses like Ecclesiastes 9:10; Ephesians 5:16-17; Colossians 4:5-6; Colossians 3:23 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17. These verses will help instill Christian virtues in your life. Practice some simple steps like turning off most of the notifications on your phone. Refuse to look at the phone every time it beeps. Turn off the TV. Ignore text messages when you are in a face to face conversation with someone. Pray. Remember that your life is given to you by God for His glory. Use your life intentionally and wisely for His service.

What is a Fundamentalist?

The term fundamentalist is tossed around rather loosely these days. Often groups identified as fundamentalist do not claim that title for themselves. Their opponents apply that name to them. Some see calling another a fundamentalist as the highest insult one can give. The real meaning and history of the term is often buried under the derogatory rhetoric of its opponents.

Fundamentalism is almost always used in reference to religion groups. A fundamentalist is one who holds to a strict historic and literal interpretation of a religious text. An Islamic fundamentalist is one who intreprets the Koran literally. A Mormon fundamentalist holds to a strict application of Joseph Smith’s and Brigham Young’s teachings. A fundamentalist group is one that clings to the original interpretation of its scriptures.

Though today fundamentalist is often used to describe violent extremists, fundamentalism did not gain common use with the increase of worldwide terrorism. Fundamentalism as a “name brand” gained popularity in 1920’s America. Fundamentalism was a Christian movement. Churches and denominations across America were being influenced by men who did not believe certain key doctrines of Christianity. These men, called theological liberals and modernists, denied that Jesus was born of a virgin, rejected the inspiration of the Bible, questioned the resurrection of Jesus and discarded substitutionary atonement. A group of men stood up in their churches and denominations to fight for the preservation of the historic doctrines. To aid in this battle a series of books called “The Fundamentals” were published. The men who fought for the long held beliefs of Christianity became known as fundamentalists.

Later, in the 1940’s and 50’s, fundamentalism became more narrowly defined. Certain men who believed the fundamental doctrines wished to cooperate in ministry with the liberal denominations. These men were frustrated by the long contention and distanced themselves from fundamentalists. A new group in American Christianity was formed. This new group of Christians still taught the core doctrines of the Bible and were willing to work together with those who did not. They took the name New Evangelicals. Fundamentalism began to be distinguished by its doctrinal stand and its separation from teachers of apostasy.

The doctrines a fundamentalist defends are the key doctrines of the Bible necessary to be believed for salvation or integral to the truths of God, Scripture, Jesus and salvation. A fundamentalist believes Jesus is God the Son, Jesus died on the cross to bear the punishment for sin and He rose to life again. A fundamentalist believes the entire Bible is the Word of God, perfectly inspired by God and authoritative over men.

A fundamentalist attempts to interpret the Bible in a literal sense. The fundamentalist reads a text using the normal rules of language and literature. If a common sense reading of a passage produces a reasonable meaning then that meaning is preferred.

Though some Christian fundamentalists have picketed funerals, shouted vile curses at people and done violence to others this is not a hallmark of Christian fundamentalism. Fundamentalism is about a particular set of doctrines and the relationships between believers because of these commonly held doctrines. Christian Fundamentalism is not a violent rebuttal of political and moral idealogies. Christian fundamentalism seeks to persuade and convince not overpower, confine or destroy. Fundamentalism is a bastion seeking to preserve and defend core truths of the Bible.

What would the world be like if Jesus was never born?

Imagining history without certain major figures can be an entertaining exercise. What would the world be like if Buddha, Ghandi, Socrates, Einstein or Newton had never lived? Would things be better off? Would someone else have come along to make similar contributions to history? These kinds of questions are ultimately impossible to answer, but attempting to answer them provides insight into the real significance of historical figures

A reasonable argument can be made that the accomplishments of great men and women likely would have been made by others. The philosophy of Buddha was not just the product of his own mind. Buddhism grew out of the philosophy of others and was added to by those who followed Buddha. His ideas are likely to have risen, maybe in a slightly different form, from the mind of another. The genius of Einstein was not limited to Einstein. His discoveries probably would have been made by others. However, Jesus stands alone in history as totally irreplaceable.

Jesus is not another great philosopher like Aristotle or another influential teacher like Ghandi. Jesus is the Son of God who became human. His contribution to history is more than being a great example of compassion or of founding a religion. In His thirty-three years of life Jesus changed the world. By His death on the cross Jesus paid the penalty for sin. All those who trust Jesus for salvation are forgiven, made new in Christ and given the Holy Spirit.

After Jesus was crucified and rose again, God began to make His name known to the world in a new way. For much of recorded history before Jesus’ birth God was working in the world through the nation of Israel. God called the world to come to Israel and see His glory. Because of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus God sends Christians out into the world to tell all mankind of Him.

Because Jesus died, rose again and returned to heaven He sent God the Spirit to reside in all believers. The Holy Spirit transformed the disciples from a group of terrified men into a bold force that proclaimed the gospel in the face of intense persecution. The gospel they preached spread across the world.

Jesus transformed Saul of Tarsus. Now known by his Greek name Paul of Tarsus traveled the Roman Empire preaching the gospel. The apostle Paul could have been replaced by many other men. Only Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God and the promised Messiah, could transform and enable Paul to preach as he did. The history of the western world has been shaped by the gospel of Jesus.

Jesus is not done shaping history. As God He is actively working now to bring history to His intended conclusion. The final thousand years of history will take place after Jesus’ conquers the wicked nations of the world and establishes a worldwide, righteous empire. He will bring history to its God designed conclusion.

Jesus is not another great religious leader. Buddhism would have probably found its entrance into he world, but without Christ there is no Christianity. Other Christ’s rose in Judea before and after Jesus, but none were the true Messiah. They faded off the scene and have left little impact on history. Jesus is the true Messiah, the promised Savior and Son of God, who transforms history. The work Jesus did in bringing salvation to the world cannot be duplicated.

Is Faith Blind?

Blind faith. The phrase conjures up images of a leap in the dark and a trust in the unknown. At times this kind of faith is praised as a bold step forward by those who believe in themselves. At times this kind of faith is derided as a foolish hope in nothing.

Many people, including Christians, have described belief in the Bible as a blind faith. Those speaking in defense of Biblical faith may describe it as blind because it believes in something which cannot be seen. The more skeptical may be describing belief in God and the truth of the Bible as blind because it believes despite all evidence to the contrary. Some call Christian faith blind because it believes what it cannot see, and others call Christian faith blind because it believes and refuses to see.

Is the Christian faith blind to all opposing evidence? Is Biblical faith an irrational faith that refuses to admit it is wrong even when all the facts say otherwise?

Biblical faith starts with a presupposition: Some truths cannot be discovered by observation and deduction. Some truths can only be known by revelation. Specifically, truths about the origin of everything, the creation of mankind, the purpose of humanity, the destiny of individuals and the end of the universe are only known. The Creator has revealed truth to mankind through the Bible.

Christians are not the only ones who approach evidence with a presupposition. No one is a truly impartial observer with a mind completely open to all possibilities. Everyone examines truth claims based upon a set of fervently held assumptions. Those who reject supernatural revelation have the presupposition that reason, observation, logic and deduction can determine truth. Ultimate truths can be discovered through physical processes. Supernatural revelation is contrary to this presupposition and is ultimately rejected by the individual.

Biblical faith is a response to the revelation of God. The Christian faith accepts the Bible as true and acts according to its direction. Because faith in the Bible includes accepting the Bible’s claims about itself Christian’s also believe the Bible is accurate in everything it discusses. Thus, when the Bible teaches that God created everything, that Jonah was swallowed by a huge fish and was spit up alive three days later, or that Jesus died on a cross and was raised back to life, the Christian believes these things are true. Accepting the Bible’s histories is not automatically an irrational act.

Rational people believe things based upon historical claims. We believe America once fought a war against England to gain its independence from the British crown. None of us were there, but we believe the historical records about the event. We believe a great Carthaginian General led his troops and elephantine calvary over the Alps to attack the city of Rome. None of us were there but we believe the historical documents.

Many of the claims of the Bible are supported by the observations of history and science. In most cases those who reach different conclusions are not observing different evidence, but are interpreting the evidence differently. For example, the fossil record is real. Those who accept the Biblical claim of a relatively recent creation interpret the fossil record as evidence for the flood described in Genesis. Those who accept the Darwinian claim of gradual evolution over billions of years interpret the fossil record as evidence for the slow rise of complex organisms. The evidence is the same, the interpretation is different. A persons presuppositions shape how he views the evidence.

Christianity is not contrary to reason, nor is it blind to evidence. Certainly some Christians are irrational and willfully ignorant, but this is not Biblical faith. Christianity believes what it can see. Christianity sees God’s Word and believes God to be true. Belief in the truth of God’s Word is a reasonable faith. Biblical faith believes the testimony of God over the often wrong opinions of men.

Are Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian?

Jehovah’s Witnesses are a familiar sight on many doorstops. The witnesses seek to introduce others to their church and their beliefs through a series of pamphlets and Bible studies. They claim to be a Christian denomination and to uphold the major doctrines of Biblical Christianity. Are the beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Christian belief? Are they consistent with historical orthodoxy? Are their beliefs in line with what the Bible says must be believed to be saved?

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are not a Christian church by any historical definition of the Christian orthodoxy. None who hold to the doctrines of the Jehovah’s Witnesses are genuine Christians. What is the basis for making such a bold declaration? First, and most significantly, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are not Christian because they deny truths which the Bible defines as necessary for salvation. The first and second epistles of John state in very definite language that any one who denies Jesus is the promised Savior and Son of God is not saved and is not of God. The official teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses about Jesus is that He is a great spirit being, the first spirit created by Jehovah (they also deny the Trinity). Jesus was a god (note the small “g”), but not the second person of the Trinity. Jesus is not eternal, not equal with the Father nor possessor of the infinite glories of Jehovah. In Jehovah’s Witnesses theology Jesus is the greatest of created beings. They also teach that when Jesus came to the earth, he gave up all his divine nature. In their Bible studies they teach, “He was not a spirit-human hybrid.” Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Jesus is God, that Jesus is God made flesh and that Jesus remained fully God while taking to Himself full humanity. All of these truths are crucial for salvation. One cannot be saved without first believing Jesus is God the Son and God become man.

The errors regarding the person of Jesus are sufficient to keep from salvation any who believe their lies, but Jehovah’s Witnesses compound their heresies about Jesus with heresies about salvation. According to their teaching, Jesus’ death does not wash away all sin forever. Jesus’ death makes it possible for men to be saved, but does not accomplish salvation for them. According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses salvation is gained by faith in Jesus, by participation in God’s visible theocratic kingdom (the Jehovah’s Witness organization) and by steadfastly maintaining confidence that Christ made salvation possible. They teach that none are securely saved until the survivors of Armageddon chose to turn to God and submit to His rule. Jehovah’s Witnesses teach a salvation that is a mixture of faith and works. Their inclusion of lifelong good works as essential to salvation is a denial of the gospel. Galatians 1 describes this kind of gospel as no gospel and its teachers as ones who are accursed for their falsehoods.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are false teachers who must not be heeded or encouraged in their false doctrines in any way. This does not mean they are beyond the hope of salvation. Those who will repent of their false doctrines can turn to God and find pardon for their sin and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Does Christianity promote violence and hatred?

The recent upswing of Islamic terrorism has brought violence in the name of Allah to the front of many people’s minds. For some this is also a time to resurrect claims that Christianity is a religion of violence and hatred. Some do this out of a general hatred of all religions asserting that religion is the greatest cause of war and violence. Some do this in an attempt to defend Islam by pointing out that Christianity has some infamous events in its own history. Does Christianity promote hatred and violence? Is the Bible full of hate and genocide?

The Bible does not lack wars, violence, murder and many other despicable evils. However, a description of violence is not the same as a prescription for violence. If this were the case one could argue that history books promote violence and hatred. To argue Christianity causes violence one has to show that Christianity either commands hatred between men, that the commands are based in hatred for people, or that the teachings will inevitably result in hatred. One can not simply point to violent passages in the Bible and say that Christianity is hateful. One must show that the Bible promotes violence. This is no easy claim to make.

The Bible includes many examples of wretched behavior. Even more, throughout Christian history men have done evil things in the name of Christianity. Yet these historic examples do not prove Christianity is hateful. Such examples prove a very different claim. The examples of violence in the Bible and history support a central tenet of Biblical teaching: humanity is hatefilled because man has rebelled against His Creator.

The teaching of the Bible is that the heart of man is the source of all hatred and violence. Titus 3 says, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient . . . living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.” The Bible also teaches the worst wickedness of man is not only the result of his own natural bent toward sin, but it is also the result of rebellion against God. When man rejects the God of the Bible for a god of his own creation, the result is that God lets man go into all manner of great wickedness (Rom 1). The claim of the Bible is that man apart from God turns to great violence and all manner of acts of hatred. Religion is not the root of anger and violence among men. The rejection of the God of the Bible aggravates the violent heart of men.

The Bible teaches an ethic that is contrary to violence. Those who have committed violent acts in the name of God have done son despite clear Bible teaching to the contrary. The Bible commands over and over again to love one another. In the book of Genesis God repeatedly condemns the violence of men. In the law to Israel God commands they are to love one another. The importance of love for one another is a major theme throughout the Old and New Testaments. The moral principles of the Bible are built on the basic principle of love, love for God and love for others. The Bible does not promote war, violence, hatred or racism. All such evils are the result of man’s sinful nature, not the teaching of Scripture.

Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

The political turmoil in the world has brought to the forefront many questions about Islam. Some of these questions stem from curiosity about the beliefs of Muslims. Some of these questions stem from declarations made on the news or other pundits. One particular declaration demands careful consideration. A few weeks ago Pope Francis weighed in and repeated the common assertion that Allah is really the same as Jehovah. Is this claim true? Is the God of Quran the same as the God of the Bible?

Certainly Allah and Jehovah have much in common. They are both creator gods who rule supreme over all creation. They are both almighty, compassionate and just. They both offer eternal bliss to those who worship them. Neither shares worship with other gods, but declares himself to be the only true God. Even their common names seem to hint that these gods may be one and the same. In the Old Testament, God is identified as El and Elohim. Both words are generic Hebrew names for deities. The name Allah is rooted in the generic Arabic word for a deity. The similarity between the two terms even carries across in their English transliterations. Many have used these linguistic similarities to argue that El and Allah are just different names for the same God.

On the surface, these sound like reasonable arguments. With a little bit deeper digging it soon becomes evident that, despite some similiarities, the God of Christianity and the God of Islam are nothing alike. Consider three major differences. Allah is a single God, no deities are equal with him and his person is single. Jehovah is a triune God. No deities are equal with him and His person is triune. The Quran distinctly teaches that Allah has no parts, nor persons. The Bible distinctly teaches that Jehovah is one God who consists of three persons. Allah is not a Triune God, Jehovah is. Closely related to the first difference is the difference in their relationship to Jesus. Allah has no Son and none are equal with him. Jesus is not the Son of Allah. Jesus is not Allah made flesh. Jehovah has a Son who is fully God. Jesus is God made flesh, the second person of the Trinity. Jehovah is Jesus. Jesus is not Allah, Jesus is Jehovah. A third example is that of the grace of god. Allah saves according to his grace. His salvation is given to those who earned his grace by their submission to him. Allah’s grace is granted to those who deserve it. Jehovah saves according to His grace. His grace is given to those who do not try to earn it. The Bible presents God’s grace as something that cannot be merited. As Paul says in Romans 11:6, if grace is earned it is not grace. Though many similarities exist between Allah and Jehovah, even a brief comparison reveals the differences make it impossible for the two gods to be the same.

Consider someone who claims to have met your wife. As he talks about her he has some basic details correct. She is female, lives in your house, cooks meals for the family and likes to watch TV with you. As the conversation continues it becomes apparent that the other also believes your wife to be an 8 foot tall, green skinned ogress who rips the heads off small dogs. If you were protest that your wife is not actually a violent, green monster it would be ludicrous for the speaker to insist you are both talking about the same person. The similarities between the character being spoken of and the actual spouse in question do not outweigh the monumental differences. Though there are many similarities between Jehovah and Allah, the monumental differences render it impossible for them to be the same. Only one conclusion is possible, Christians and Muslims worship very different Gods.