Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Do different faiths worship different gods?


  • Please log in to reply
42 replies to this topic

#21 Mary Lanser

Mary Lanser

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 203 posts

Posted 17 March 2012 - 06:10 PM

If I was asked....I would say that I do not believe that the Muslims worship the God of Abraham....the Trinitarian God.

I did not expect that this subject would create such contention. Articles by Orthodox priests are being labeled as appalling. Writings of St John Chrysostomos are being judged as anti-Semitic and spiritually/theologically dangerous.

I truly feel that the holy Fathers, Saints, Confessors, and Martyrs (especially the Neomartyrs) would not have held to an opinion that those who deny Jesus Christ…..continue to worship the Trinitarian God despite that denial.

But I am not a theologian.

It is time for me to be conscious of my own sinfulness. I think it is also time to cease participating in this thread (and perhaps forums in general). I deeply apologize if I have offended anyone. Please forgive me.

We are in the midst of a mystical journey to our Lord's awesome Passion and glorious Resurrection. May it be blessed with soul-cleansing tears of repentance. I pray that the never-ending joy of our risen Lord Jesus Christ can fill our hearts to overflowing!


Because the Godhead IS Trinitarian, those who worship one Godhead as Creator, do worship the God of the Trinity whether they accept that fact or not.

Many cultures who speak to a pantheon of major gods and lesser gods and other gods also speak of the one god who is the creator of all. That God is the God of the ancestors. When they deny the Trinity, IF they consciously deny the Trinity, it is God's decision how to dispose of this worship that they offer, not ours.

As long as we all believe in a Godhead who is the Creator of All then we share a faith in one God that is ancient and eternal and holy and one, however poorly we've grasped His revelation.

M.

#22 Michael Stickles

Michael Stickles

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 1,438 posts

Posted 17 March 2012 - 09:12 PM

I did not expect that this subject would create such contention.


It may look contentious, but to be honest, I've been pleasantly surprised at the relative lack of "heat", especially given that it's Great Lent. And this is a topic which lends itself quite readily to semantic differences and the resulting misunderstandings.

I think it is also time to cease participating in this thread (and perhaps forums in general).


Well, sometimes you need to bow out of a particular discussion thread - I've had to do it more than once here myself - but I hope you'll stick around the forum. You've raised a number of points here that needed to be addressed, and the interplay of ideas between you, Stephen, Herman, and a few others has been quite enlightening, and has made me reluctant to weigh in because there are so many questions arising from it that I find difficult to answer:

- If someone does not "have God", does that automatically mean they are not really worshipping Him but something/someone else?

- At what point does a wrong conception of the true God become a conception of a false God?

- When Christ speaks of those who say "Lord, Lord" to Him but don't do His Father's will, he says to them, "I never knew you." So - they definitely called Him "Lord", as if they followed/worshipped Him, but He never knew them, implying that maybe they didn't. Which is it?

- Is the difference between the two positions being put forward a real and substantive difference, or is it ultimately semantics, and trivial in any practical sense?

I don't know. And I don't know how to get to the point of knowing.

In Christ,
Michael

#23 Bryan J. Maloney

Bryan J. Maloney

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 364 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 24 March 2012 - 01:50 PM

Ultimately, why does it matter if they worship the wrong god or if they worship God wrong? Does one group get a "Get out of Perdition Free" card and the other not? Is it not true that demonic forces and human sin are behind both worshiping the wrong god and worshiping God wrong? Why is it so important to draw this line?

I am no priest. I will have no input into whether or not anyone is received by baptism, chrismation, or statement. Thus, the distinction is ultimately of no purpose for me. Why is it of such great importance for so many people who are in the same situation I'm in.

They are not Orthodox. Isn't that all that matters?

#24 Stephen Hayes

Stephen Hayes

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 52 posts

Posted 26 March 2012 - 08:59 AM

Ultimately, why does it matter if they worship the wrong god or if they worship God wrong? Does one group get a "Get out of Perdition Free" card and the other not? Is it not true that demonic forces and human sin are behind both worshiping the wrong god and worshiping God wrong? Why is it so important to draw this line?


It is important not for "them" but for "us".

The important question in this is not whether "they" believe in another God, but whether we do.

If we say that "they" worship another God, then we are saying, by implication, that there is another God for them to worship, and we also imply that there is one God for Christians, another for Jews, another for Muslims and so on. And by travelling down that road, we end up making God in our own image, and thus turning the living God into an idol.

If we evangelise we do not go with the message that "My God is better than your God, and you should stop worshipping your God and come and worship mine."

God's servants do not possess him, they are possessed by him. We rather say something like "We have met the living God, who is unimaginably greater than any human conception of him, yours or ours."

#25 Rdr Daniel (R.)

Rdr Daniel (R.)

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Validating
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 704 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 26 March 2012 - 10:26 AM

If we say that "they" worship another God, then we are saying, by implication, that there is another God for them to worship, and we also imply that there is one God for Christians, another for Jews, another for Muslims and so on. And by travelling down that road, we end up making God in our own image, and thus turning the living God into an idol.

I am afraid I must protest in the highest Father, it is simply not true to say we are saying by implication there is another God. The heathen clear worship stones, trees, animals, are we by saying that they do declaring this things to be true gods, by no means let that be said, for we know there is but One God the Lord of Hosts even as it is written "Thy God O Israel is One". It is the same if we should believe the god of the Mohammedans not to be God but only a false idol of God, the revelation of a daemon or a mad man, the nations have many gods but they are not true gods.

If we evangelise we do not go with the message that "My God is better than your God, and you should stop worshipping your God and come and worship mine."

No we don't but that does not mean on an Orthodox forum we cannot discuss the issue, and it is written "What God is as great as our God".

In Christ.
Daniel,

#26 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 27 March 2012 - 12:50 PM

My God can beat up your God any day of the week! With one hand tied behind His back!

This week on the Spike Channel: Deity Death Match!

#27 Mary Lanser

Mary Lanser

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 203 posts

Posted 27 March 2012 - 02:46 PM

Dear Daniel,

Demonstrable fact is that there are very very few peoples left on this planet that do not accept the existence of one God, creator, above all other gods. It is that one God, creator...that is common to all. The rest may be disposed of in time as faith takes over. If this latter is not the case then we are ALL in trouble for we all have idols.

M.

#28 Panayiotis Steele

Panayiotis Steele

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 22 posts

Posted 27 March 2012 - 06:18 PM

Dear Daniel,

Demonstrable fact is that there are very very few peoples left on this planet that do not accept the existence of one God, creator, above all other gods. It is that one God, creator...that is common to all. The rest may be disposed of in time as faith takes over. If this latter is not the case then we are ALL in trouble for we all have idols.

M.


Please demonstrate this fact...

#29 Jake A.

Jake A.

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 156 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 27 March 2012 - 09:14 PM

I remember reading in "orthodoxy and the religion of the future" that seraphim rose said "all the gods of the pagans are demons", quoting the psalms though I couldn't find that verse anywhere in the Bible, and if the subject is referring to Islam then it's quite clear it sprung from pagan moon sects of Arabia, also Muhammad wanted to commit suicide three times after the angel visited him, it's quite clear you're either slain and sawn in half like the prophets of God in the OT and the Saints of the NT or you're a servant of evil and a murderer, the book also touched on the subject of Hinduism and as far as I can remember the point of that article, whose author is separate from SR, is that Hinduism gives worship to evil, and demons. So in my opinion other faiths other than Orthodoxy are following the doctrines of demons, especially considering Mormons and JW sects, whose founders were hardcore Freemasons, and according to freemasonic authors like Manly P Hall, freemasonry just like theosophy gives praise to lucifer.

#30 Mary Lanser

Mary Lanser

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 203 posts

Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:56 PM

Please demonstrate this fact...


Any good comparative religion textbook...

#31 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:04 PM

Actually there are quite a few people who do not believe in one God. Buddhists, Confucianists, Jainists, Animists, Shintoists, Mormons (if you get technical), neo-pagans, wiccans and of course atheists. I am not really sure that monotheists are in any sort of majority, so I honestly think they are fewer than you think, Mary. I suspect that Panyiotis' skepticism is justified.

Herman the also skeptical Pooh

#32 Mary Lanser

Mary Lanser

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 203 posts

Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:03 AM

Actually there are quite a few people who do not believe in one God. Buddhists, Confucianists, Jainists, Animists, Shintoists, Mormons (if you get technical), neo-pagans, wiccans and of course atheists. I am not really sure that monotheists are in any sort of majority, so I honestly think they are fewer than you think, Mary. I suspect that Panyiotis' skepticism is justified.

Herman the also skeptical Pooh


That is not the issue...how many...I raised the issue not of those who do not, but of those who DO believe in a singular creator, regardless of how many other deities in their pantheon. What I said only applies to those who admit of one creative deity. Where did I suggest otherwise? Also I was not talking about monotheists...That may not have been clear in my original note.

M.

#33 Steven Burton

Steven Burton

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 14 posts

Posted 29 March 2012 - 08:16 PM

That is not the issue...how many...I raised the issue not of those who do not, but of those who DO believe in a singular creator, regardless of how many other deities in their pantheon. What I said only applies to those who admit of one creative deity. Where did I suggest otherwise? Also I was not talking about monotheists...That may not have been clear in my original note.

M.


There are religions that give the creation to one god put they also lean heavily on other gods as well to do the creating. So it is hard to tell whether these religions have just a sole creator, because the mythology gets all mixed up at times.

#34 Stephen Hayes

Stephen Hayes

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 52 posts

Posted 31 March 2012 - 06:09 AM

I am afraid I must protest in the highest Father, it is simply not true to say we are saying by implication there is another God. The heathen clear worship stones, trees, animals, are we by saying that they do declaring this things to be true gods, by no means let that be said, for we know there is but One God the Lord of Hosts even as it is written "Thy God O Israel is One". It is the same if we should believe the god of the Mohammedans not to be God but only a false idol of God, the revelation of a daemon or a mad man, the nations have many gods but they are not true gods.


I did, in an earlier post on this topic, point out that there is a difference between creator and creature, and that there are gods who are creatures who have a place in God's economy, though they are also the focus of idolatrous worship (see Deut 32:8 and Psalm 81/82, for example). But I was referring to "God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth", the God of Abraham, who is worshiped by the "Abrahamic" religions.

And I do not believe that there are three Gods and and Fathers Almighty, makers of heaven and earth, and of all that exists, whether visible or invisible, and that one of them is Triune, with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, whereas the other two are not. There is a difference between trinitarianism and tritheism.

I believe that Jews and Muslims are deceived about the nature of God, but there is only one God for them to be deceived about.

As for the gods of the nations, they are creatures, created by the one God who created all; they are among the invisible things that he made, since he made all things, visible and invisible. And while there may have been a time (as is hinted in Deut 32:8) when it was OK for the Gentiles to approach God through angelic intermediaries, since the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ that is no longer the case, which is why we sing, on Holy Saturday, "Arise O God, judge the earth, for to Thee belong all nations" (cf John 12:31-32).

And that too is why at Pentecost we contrast the scattering of the nations at Babel with drawing all into the net.

#35 Mary Lanser

Mary Lanser

    Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 203 posts

Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:02 PM

There are religions that give the creation to one god put they also lean heavily on other gods as well to do the creating. So it is hard to tell whether these religions have just a sole creator, because the mythology gets all mixed up at times.


True. Then you look to see who is the one the other "gods" rebel against when they get too power hungry. That generally tells you who is at the top of the divine food chain...<smile>. There's generally one who stands above the rest and in that odd emergence of one, comes the natural realization that there is something beyond being...some force that holds all of the rest in some kind of dynamic tension that cannot fall without grave consequence for the universe. In that creaturely understanding are the seeds that one can tap when teaching "I believe in one God..." And in that way it is surely possible to argue that in the cases where there is a demonstrably dominant creative force one has discovered a natural path to the God of revelation.

M.

#36 Rdr Daniel (R.)

Rdr Daniel (R.)

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Validating
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 704 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:24 PM

I did, in an earlier post on this topic, point out that there is a difference between creator and creature, and that there are gods who are creatures who have a place in God's economy, though they are also the focus of idolatrous worship (see Deut 32:8 and Psalm 81/82, for example). But I was referring to "God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth", the God of Abraham, who is worshiped by the "Abrahamic" religions.

That I think is what we disagree on the idea of Abrahamic religions, I belive the Jews worship the God of Abraham, but I am not convinced the Mohammadians do, just beacuse they claim to does not mean they do.

And I do not believe that there are three Gods and and Fathers Almighty, makers of heaven and earth, and of all that exists, whether visible or invisible, and that one of them is Triune, with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, whereas the other two are not. There is a difference between trinitarianism and tritheism.

That was the point of my post. What I am saying we who disagree that Mohammadians worship the Lord God of Israel, are not saying there are three Gods, three Creators. We are saying that there is one God, One Creator, One Holy Trinity whom we worship but that they do not but instead worship a false image of God which is not God with some sameness to way the heathen worship their gods.

In Christ.
Daniel,

#37 Mike L

Mike L

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 32 posts

Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:23 PM

That I think is what we disagree on the idea of Abrahamic religions, I belive the Jews worship the God of Abraham, but I am not convinced the Mohammadians do, just beacuse they claim to does not mean they do.



[h=3]John 8:38-40[/h]


38I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.
39They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.
40But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.


[h=3]John 14:5-7[/h]


5Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

#38 Antonios

Antonios

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,039 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 01 April 2012 - 05:58 PM

I remember reading in "orthodoxy and the religion of the future" that seraphim rose said "all the gods of the pagans are demons", quoting the psalms though I couldn't find that verse anywhere in the Bible


Psalm 96:4-5

4 For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised;
He is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
But the Lord made the heavens.

#39 Stephen Hayes

Stephen Hayes

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 52 posts

Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:16 AM

I remember reading in "orthodoxy and the religion of the future" that seraphim rose said "all the gods of the pagans are demons", quoting the psalms though I couldn't find that verse anywhere in the Bible


Deu 32:17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

1Co 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

The word translated "devils" in the New Testament verse is δαιμόνιον

And the word translated "Gentiles" is ethni, meaning nations, or ethnic groups.

In the common Greek of the time a daemon was a lesser deity, and it had a variety of meanings. One theory that was popular among some Jews and Christians was that daemons were the offspring of miscegenation between the Sons of God and the daughters of men (see Genesis 6) and Justin Martyr identified with Graeco-Roman pantheon with the fallen angels. In later Christian terminology, however, demons were seen as servants or agents of the devil, sent to tempt us, hence the KJV translation "devils".

#40 Stephen Hayes

Stephen Hayes

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 52 posts

Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:35 AM

That I think is what we disagree on the idea of Abrahamic religions, I belive the Jews worship the God of Abraham, but I am not convinced the Mohammadians do, just beacuse they claim to does not mean they do.

That was the point of my post. What I am saying we who disagree that Mohammadians worship the Lord God of Israel, are not saying there are three Gods, three Creators. We are saying that there is one God, One Creator, One Holy Trinity whom we worship but that they do not but instead worship a false image of God which is not God with some sameness to way the heathen worship their gods.


Sorry, that makes no sense to me at all. Jews deny the Holy Trinity just as much as Muslims do.

If failing to perceive God as Trinity means that one is worshipping a different god, then the gods of the Jews and of the Muslims both differ from the God iof Christians, through they resemble each other more closely than either of them resembles the God of the Christians.

And perhaps there is a fourth god, the god of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

But when you say that one non-trinitarian god is the same as the Trinitarian God, whereas the other non-trinitarian god differs from the first non-trinitarian god and from the Trinitarian God, then you've lost me completely.

I believe in ONE God the Father Almighty, not three almighty fathers, and not two almighty fathers, one of whom is both a trinity and a non-trinity. I do not understand your belief at all -- perhaps you should discuss it with your spiriual father, because it doesn't sound Orthodox to me.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users