Which Religions Worship the One True God?

I keep seeing articles and posts asserting that Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God. The argument is always the same. Here’s what Christians believe about God. Here’s what Muslims believe about God. The two sets of beliefs are not the same. Ergo, the two religions do not worship the same God. But that argument is unconvincing to my mind.

If we compare different Christian religions, they do not agree in their doctrines about God. The Catholic Faith has teachings about God that non-Catholic Christians do not accept. For example, Orthodox Christians do not agree that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father “and the Son”. It is Catholic dogma, not accepted by the Orthodox, yet they have all seven Sacraments.

Protestants also generally do not accept that the Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. And Protestants dispute among themselves as to whether the Son is submissive or subordinate to the Father (even though all three Persons are God). [See this example] Moreover, Protestants and Catholics have many disagreements on doctrines closely related to God, such as salvation, the Sacraments, and grace.

Should we say that not all Christians worship the same God? Of course not. It is merely a disagreement among us poor fallen sinners about the nature of God and religion. Even we Catholics disagree among ourselves about important matters of religion. But we still worship the same God.

I recall a video I watched, some years ago, in which Michael Voris, a popular Catholic teacher, explained the Trinity to an audience of Catholics. But what he explained was heretical. At great length, every carefully, he explained the Trinity in such a way as to deny that the three Persons are consubstantial. Here’s my post explaining his error. Should we say that Voris does not worship the same God, because he badly misunderstood a basic dogma about the Trinity? No, of course not.

Now you might object to my argument, by saying that at least Christians all believe in the Trinity. Well, that is not entirely true. Some persons who call themselves Christian do not believe that God is three yet one; this belief is called Unitarianism. Several U.S. Presidents have adhered to non-Trinitarian but otherwise Christian belief systems.

Do Jews and Christians worship the same God? Christianity is based on Judaism, which is a true religion established by God. Yet Jews do not believe in the Trinity. Several Catholic Saints are actually Jews who were never baptized as Christians: John the Baptist, his parents, and the parents of the Virgin Mary. We can also wonder whether the Blessed Virgin Mary understood the doctrine of the Trinity early in her life. If she did not, should we say that she, at that time, did not worship the same God?

Thus, it is foolish and superficial argument to point out differences in beliefs about God, and then conclude that those who love God and neighbor are not worshipping the one true God.

We can say the same about Muslims. Though they do not believe in the Trinity, and they disagree on many topics within religion, all Muslims who love God and neighbor worship the same God as Christians and Jews. Roman Catholic teaching on the Islamic Faith

But what should we say about other religions, particularly those which lack any discrete concept of a Divine Being, such as Buddhism? They do not explicitly worship God, since they do not know that He exists as a Being who knows and loves them. But I would say that they implicitly love the one true God. For they understand something of His existence, and they love their neighbor. So I believe that they worship the same God, despite many misunderstandings on important religious truths.

Then there are religions, such as Hinduism, which worship many gods. We cannot say that any one of those gods is the one true God. Even so, if they love God implicitly, by seeking him in the midst of many errors on religion, then they worship Him. Though they worship in ignorance (Acts 17:23), they do worship God, if they are sincere in seeking Him and in loving their neighbor.

Certainly we cannot say that atheists and agnostics worship any God. For they do not believe, or at least doubt, that any God exists. But what if they truly love their neighbor? I would say that everyone who truly selflessly loves their neighbor implicitly loves God — even if they mistakenly think (or doubt) that God exists. And if you love God, even implicitly, then you do, in some sense, worship God.

[Matthew]
{25:34} Then the King shall say to those who will be on his right: ‘Come, you blessed of my Father. Possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
{25:35} For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in;
{25:36} naked, and you covered me; sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me.’
{25:37} Then the just will answer him, saying: ‘Lord, when have we seen you hungry, and fed you; thirsty, and given you drink?
{25:38} And when have we seen you a stranger, and taken you in? Or naked, and covered you?
{25:39} Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit to you?’
{25:40} And in response, the King shall say to them, ‘Amen I say to you, whenever you did this for one of these, the least of my brothers, you did it for me.’

God is eternal infinite perfection, beyond comprehension by any human mind, even the human mind of Jesus. No worshipers have correctly and fully understood God. And yet the one true God we worship is the same. If you love God and neighbor, you worship the same God as everyone else who loves God and neighbor, despite disagreements and errors about the nature of God.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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5 Responses to Which Religions Worship the One True God?

  1. Bob says:

    Hi Ron.
    A learned and holy priest I knew once said this:
    “The simple test if a religion is Christian is this: – If it does not believe Jesus Christ is God it is not Christian”.
    Now the next question is: If a religion does not believe Jesus Christ IS God: how can one claim that the Jews for example believe in the same God?
    For this priest it was black and white; not shades of gray.

    I tend to feel the teaching of Pius XII “There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church” applies here. The context of his statement was not that people of other faiths cannot be saved. I feel It was that only the Catholic Church has the truest concept of God.
    So while people of different faiths may worship the same God; I disagree that “Religions” worship the same God.
    Bob

  2. Matt says:

    Ron,

    Here are certain messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje from 1984-1985:

    “Tell this priest, tell everyone, that it is you who are divided on earth. The Muslims and the Orthodox, for the same reason as Catholics, are equal before my Son and me. You are all my children. Certainly, all religions are not equal, but all men are equal before God, as St. Paul says. It does not suffice to belong to the Catholic Church to be saved, but it is necessary to respect the commandments of God in following one’s conscience.

    “Those who are not Catholics, are no less creatures made in the image of God, and destined to rejoin someday, the House of the Father. Salvation is available to everyone, without exception. Only those who refuse God deliberately are condemned. To him who has been given little, little will be asked for. To whomever has been given much (to Catholics), very much will be required. It is God alone, in His infinite justice, Who determines the degree of responsibility and pronounces judgment.

  3. thelionofjudah123 says:

    How can other religions worship the same God, when they deny that Jesus is God? Jesus said, “No one can come to the Father except through him.” Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Other religions deny Jesus, and will kill you if you claim him as God.
    Jesus also said, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

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