By Tom Snyder, Ph.D., with Ted Baehr
The Ventura County Star ran a guest editorial Saturday by four Jewish, Christian, Muslim leaders, connected to the Ventura County Interfaith Community, that these three faiths all worship the same God and are working for the same kind of peace.
With all due respect, they are either ignoring the differences or worse.
In the first place, if Jews, Christians and Muslims did worship the same god, they would all be worshipping Jesus Christ as the only visible manifestation (Colossians 1:15-20) of the One True God who created the universe, in Whom we move and have our being (Acts 17). “All things have been created through Jesus and for Jesus” (Colossians 1:16 and John 1:3). In fact, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). Finally, through this Jesus, all things are reconciled to Jesus, the God-Man, both things on earth and things in Heaven, “by making peace [with God] through His blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:20).
Thus, no Jesus, no peace, but we can know Jesus and know real peace.
Or, as Jesus Christ Himself puts it in John 10:9,10, “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.”
It’s clear by these biblical passages, and many other biblical passages and many other writings by reliable Christian theologians, that Christianity teaches a different God than either modern Judaism or Islam (Jews and Muslims also reject the Christian teaching that the Torah and the Jewish prophets predicted the coming of Jesus, including His death, resurrection and vicarious atonement). Christianity also offers a different kind of peace.
In reality, Jews and Muslims also don’t worship Jesus Christ as God and as the Divine Savior who died on the Cross for all of our sins and rose from the dead so that whosoever believes in Him not only will have a more abundant life but also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and the gift of eternal life (Ephesians 1:13 and John 3:16).
Therefore, let us not fool ourselves into thinking that Jews, Muslims and Christians worship the same God, because they don’t and spelen gokkast Random Runner online. However, if they did worship Jesus Christ and were filled with His Holy Spirit, they would be at peace with the Creator of Heaven and erth, which is great news, and then they would have life more abundantly. So, we welcome them to believe what they say and worship Jesus Christ.
Note: For differences between Islam and Christianity specifically, I also suggest people compare the biblical passages above with Suras 2:106, 2:191, 2:225, 3:28, 3:54, 4:89, 8:12, 9:3, 9:5, 9:29, 16:106, 40.28, and 47:3 of the Qur’an. In no way at all do Mohammad and the writers of the New Testament documents preach the same god.
Dr. Tom Snyder is Vice President of Good News Communications/Christian Film & Television Commission® and Editor of MOVIEGUIDE®. Author of MYTH CONCEPTIONS: JOSEPH CAMPBELL AND THE NEW AGE and co-author with Dr. Baehr of FRODO & HARRY, he has a doctorate in film studies from Northwestern University and has taught film and mass communication classes at several universities. Tom has also done postgraduate studies in philosophy, theology, and Christian apologetics at Mars Hill Academy and Simon Greenleaf University, now called Trinity Graduate School. He has nearly 20 years of experience as a professional journalist, including a stint as a community reporter with the Pulitzer Prize-winning ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. He has worked for MOVIEGUIDE® since 1997, when he started as Assistant editor. Tom lives in Simi Valley, Calif. with his wife, Jan.
Founder of Good News Communications, Inc., dba MOVIEGUIDE® and the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry, Dr. Ted Baehr is an internationally renowned speaker, lecturer, media scholar, film critic, and educator. Ted has formally debated theology and philosophy with Muslims and others in many venues such as: U. of San Francisco, Rhoades Forum in Greece, and at the International Conference on Peace and tolerance in Kiev, Ukraine.
Ted was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Institute for the Study of Media, a new area of graduate academic studies currently being advanced under the auspices of the Center for the Arts, Religion and Education (CARE), an affiliated Center of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California. He was the Director of the Television Center at the City University of New York in the 1970s.
Dr. Baehr has written numerous books, including: How To Succeed In Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul) (WorldNetDaily), Amazing Grace of Freedom (New Leaf; The Culture-Wise Family (Regal); Narnia Beckons (Broadman & Holman); Frodo And Harry: The Lord Of The Rings Versus Harry Potter (Crossway); What Can We Watch Tonight? (Zondervan); Faith In God And The Generals (Broadman & Holman); The Media-Wise Family (Chariot Victor); Getting The Word Out (Harper & Row); and, The Christian Family Guide To Movies & Video Vol. I & II (Nelson). Dr. Baehr also writes a syndicated column for 29 publications nationwide. Baehr graduated summa cum laude in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth College, attended Cambridge University, the University of Bordeaux & Toulouse, and the University of Munich, graduated from New York University School of Law, and finished his theological studies at the Institute of Theology at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.