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Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?
September 1st, 2013
03:26 AM ET

Do Christians, Muslims and Jews worship the same God?

Opinion by Jeffrey Weiss, Special to CNN
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(CNN) - Pope Francis surprised Israeli and Palestinian leaders last month when he invited them to a special prayer ceremony at the Vatican this Sunday - not least because religion has often been the source, not the salve, of the region's conflicts.

Still, Pope Francis offered his "home" - the Vatican - as the perfect place to plea for some divine assistance, and Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas dutifully agreed to attend.

"The Pope has placed it in this perspective: Prayer is like a force for peace,” Vatican Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin told Vatican Radio.

"We hope that there, where human efforts have so far failed, the Lord offers to all the wisdom and fortitude to carry out a real peace plan."

But Sunday's special ceremony at the Vatican raises an interesting question: When Francis, Peres and Abbas bow their heads in prayer, will they be talking to the same God?

After all, Jews, Christians and Muslims all trace their faiths back to a fellow named Abraham, whom they all claim was chosen for special treatment by the Almighty.

Not academic

The “same God” question is one theologians have hammered at for as long as there have been enough religions for the query to make sense.

The question is hardly academic, though. In fact, a number of politicians, religious leaders and scholars have expressed hope in recent years that a convincing answer on the God question might dampen the violence committed in His name.

Yale Divinity School theologian Miroslav Volf recently edited a book titled “Do We Worship the Same God? Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Dialogue.”

In the introduction, Volf explained why the title question matters:

"To ask: ‘Do we have a common God?’ is, among other things, to worry: ‘Can we live together?’ That’s why whether or not a given community worships the same god as does another community has always been a crucial cultural and political question and not just a theological one."

On the other hand, there’s CNN Belief Blog contributor and Boston University religion professor Stephen Prothero.

His book on this subject is titled “God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run The World.”

Prothero writes:

“For more than a generation we have followed scholars and sages down the rabbit hole into a fantasy world where all gods are one … In fact this naive theological groupthink – call it Godthink – has made the world more dangerous by blinding us to the clash of religions that threaten us worldwide.”

In the world of politics, President George W. Bush asserted the unity side of the argument more than once in the years after the 9/11 attacks - often as a way to deflect accusations that America was at war with Islam.

Bush told Al Arabiya television, “I believe there is a universal God. I believe the God that the Muslim prays to is the same God that I pray to. After all, we all came from Abraham. I believe in that universality.”

Pope Francis invites Israeli, Palestinian leaders to Vatican peace talks

Pope John Paul II drew from the same rhetorical well several times.

“We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection,” he first said in a speech to Muslims in Morocco in 1985.

Looking for a more recent example? Consider the plight of Vatican envoy to Malaysia.

Shortly after he arrived there last year, Archbishop Joseph Marino said that is was fine by him that Christian translations of the Bible into Malay use the word “Allah” for “God.”

“Allah” is, of course, the Arabic word for God and is found in the Quran. The Christian translators explained that since most Malaysians are Muslim, it’s the word they’re most comfortable with and therefore the best choice for the translation.

But many Muslim authorities in Malaysia were furious. They say Christians are slipping in the familiar word as a way to convert Muslims. And conversion of Muslims is all but illegal in Malaysia.

There’s a lawsuit ongoing about the translations. Marino had to apologize for pushing into Malaysian politics.

Points of disagreement

So what do the “Abrahamic” religions disagree about?

Among other things: the purpose of humanity, the relationship of God and humanity, sin, forgiveness, salvation, the afterlife, Jesus, Muhammad, the calendar, and the religious importance of Abraham himself.

Plus the nature of God.

Any summary will leave out enormous nuance. Internal divisions within religions have fueled some of the worst examples of human violence. Consider the long and frequently bloody history of troubles between Catholics and Protestants or the growing death toll of Muslim-on-Muslim attacks.

But there are common elements about God widely accepted in each tradition.

Judaism

Start with Judaism, since it came first and established roots that carried into the other two.

Jewish tradition teaches that there is one and only one God, creator of everything, and He established physical and moral laws. As Judaism’s preeminent prayer says: “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

This God walks and talks directly with His creations – for a while.

Eventually, He chooses one particular nomad (Abraham) to father a mighty nation that God sets up as an example to other nations.

This God likes the smell of burning meat and demands other extremely specific physical offerings as evidence of obedience and repentance. And He gives His chosen people a particular set of laws – but doesn’t mind discussion and even argument about those laws.

A famous rabbinic saying implies that every word in Judaism’s sacred texts can be understood in 70 correct (but related) ways. And human reasoning can even trump divine intention. (No kidding. It’s in the Talmud)

This God judges His people every year. Tradition says he’s willing to accept imperfection, as long as it comes with repentance.

He’s big on obedience, not so much on faith. He’s not nearly as attentive to the behaviors of non-Jews. (There’s a famous Jewish joke with the punch line “Would you mind choosing somebody else once in a while?”)

Tradition holds that there’s a World To Come after death where moral accounts will somehow be settled. But this God is vague on details.

Christianity

The most obvious differences in the Christian God are the traditional teachings about the Trinity and Jesus. God is three separate persons who are also one. How? Christianity says the Trinity is a “mystery” of faith.

According to Christian tradition, God begets a son who is somehow also Him but not Him to atone for Original Sin. He sacrifices that son though a brutal death and thus achieves humanity's salvation.

But the son, who also is God, rises from the dead. And that sacrifice redeems eternally all who accept and believe in it. Faith, not behavior, is the essential measure of salvation.

This God is willing to vastly expand what it means to be among His “chosen people.” He’s also willing to cancel many of the laws that had applied to that chosen group for this expanded membership.

Orthodox Jews say that God prohibits them from eating a cheeseburger; Christians say God has no problem with them wolfing down Big Macs.

Unlike the Jewish God, whose instructions are almost all about this world, the Christian God is focused more on eternal salvation: heaven and hell.

Finally, for this God, much of the Jewish scriptures (which are all God’s word) are actually about foreshadowing Jesus. Including Abraham.

Islam

The Muslim God is a bit more like the Jewish God.

There is no Trinity in Muslim tradition. Jesus was a prophet, but no more divine than other prophets.

God has never has had anything like physical attributes and has no gender. (Some Muslim commentators say that the noun “Allah” is masculine, but only in the way that all nouns in some languages include gender.)

Muslim tradition holds that God wants one thing from humans: Submission. The word “Islam” is defined as “submission to the will of God.”

For Muslims, all true prophets in Jewish and Christian traditions were actually Muslim because they knew to submit correctly to God. Differences between Muslim, Jewish and Christian interpretations of God are due to errors that crept into the other two faiths, Islam teaches.

The Muslim God, like the other two, initially demanded that Abraham sacrifice a son. But the Muslim God wanted Abraham’s son Ishmael, not Isaac, who Jewish tradition holds was offered as a the sacrifice.

The Muslim God also designated, from before the world began, a perfect man to be his final prophet: Muhammad. God’s perfect truths are found only in the Quran and in the sayings of Muhammad, the hadiths.

And the Muslim God, like the Christian God but unlike the Jewish God, will welcome believers to paradise and condemn many non-Muslims - exactly which ones is a matter of much discussion - to eternal torment.

Final answer

So do Christians Muslims, and Jews, really all worship the same God?

In two major volumes on the subject recently published by scholars from various faiths and traditions, including Volf’s, the most inclusive response from these scholars is basically: Yes, and it’s our God.

This is not a new way of answering the question.

In 1076, Pope Gregory VII wrote this to a Muslim leader: “We believe in and confess one God, admittedly, in a different way…”

But like many other religious leaders on all sides of the argument, Gregory insisted that his version of the Almighty is the one whom the others are unknowingly and incompletely worshiping.

A less exclusivist set of religions might shrug off the differences. But all three claim to have the only “True Faith.”

So do all three faiths actually worship the same deity, whether they call him God or Allah or Adonai?

God only knows.

Jeffrey Weiss is an award-winning religion reporter in Dallas.The views expressed in this column belong to Weiss. A version of this story first ran in September 2013. 

CNN's Daniel Burke contributed to this article. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • History • Islam • Judaism • Muslim • Religious violence • Torah • Vatican

soundoff (7,438 Responses)
  1. Doc Johnnie

    Simple answer – yes. Power hungry men have corrupted the truth and purity of all major religions.

    September 2, 2013 at 2:29 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      Incorrect Doc Johnnie,

      Corrupted truth and purity gave rise to all major religions.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:35 am |
  2. muadmzaki

    Yes we all pray to the same God. In the Quran, we have the same prophets as the Christians and Jews and we respect and love them all – as much as we love our own parents and children.

    September 2, 2013 at 2:22 am |
    • Will

      What about Jesus?

      September 2, 2013 at 2:25 am |
      • israel

        jesus appears numerous times in the qur'an and in islam he is considered a prophet. He is not in judaism because the talmud predates his existence and jews do not believe he was the messiah as he famously claimed to be upon his entrance to jerusalem.

        September 2, 2013 at 2:35 am |
        • Will

          What about Christians?

          September 2, 2013 at 2:48 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      Will, get a fucking brain and come back later.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:28 am |
      • Will

        I'm pretty sure, I have one, js. Why do you think I'm stupid.
        And I'm going to bed so I won't answer till the morning

        September 2, 2013 at 2:45 am |
        • Sue

          Will, you might want to ask yourself why others thing you're stupid.

          September 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Sue

          Will, you might want to ask yourself why others think you're stupid.

          September 4, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
        • Will

          I actually I don't have to, the Bible makes it clear that most people won't believe:
          “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
          Matthew 7:13-14

          September 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  3. AJD

    Thousands of religions existed both pre-Judaism and Christianity and afterwards. None of those gods had any more validity or proof of their existence than the modern ones but those who believed in them believed just as fervently. We simply have to stop hating and killing people over mythological figures with ZERO evidence of their existence. Until we figure out that the only real truth out there is that we are all equally human and treat each other as we would want to be treated as a fellow human being, we will continue to stupidly hate and kill over myths and stories and eventually utterly destroy ourselves over who has the better imaginary friend.

    September 2, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      Personally, I don't care what people believe because what we see is mass hysteria. Most folks are nuts. As for the Muslims, kill 'em all.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:08 am |
      • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

        That was a little harsh, how about this. Wipe Islam off the face of the globe.

        September 2, 2013 at 2:08 am |
        • whadface?

          ..why? I just do not understand why you desire that. Please explain.

          September 2, 2013 at 3:12 am |
        • Play List

          Me whadface? No I don't care man. Live and let live. My point is the backlash is coming.

          September 2, 2013 at 3:42 am |
    • Jon

      You can't paint all religions with the same brush and yes that's true there were various religions before Christianity but Jesus is not a mythological figure he is a historical figure. Plus your conclusion about" loving human beings and humanity," I didn't know I had to convert to atheism to live that out wow... Can you show me 1 time in the bible where Jesus attacked anyone or taught on violence? Ima a christian and I love my enemies and those who dissagree with my religion . I don't wish harm on anyone because Jesus said love others as I have loved you. I'm sorry bro if you can't live that out because you won't accept Christi love so you yourself can only love others as your mom or dad taught you which is limited bro. I don't even know you and would give you the shirt off my back homie because my theology demands me to. I love gods creation also planet earth so I don't litter or vandalize my community plus I donate to the poor on a regular basis so don't paint Christianity with a bad brush because you've had a bad experience with a bad christian out there...thanks ile be prayin for you..

      September 2, 2013 at 2:47 am |
      • AJD

        There is a difference between the "historical" Jesus, who quite frankly there is also zero evidence actually existed....no records, nothing, while there are records of other prominent people of that time period...you'd think if Jesus had really done such miraculous things there'd be a record other than the bible somewhere, but there's not...and the mythological Jesus which was created using the possible historical Jesus as a template. It is just more than coincidence that this mythological Jesus shares so many traits with other "messiah" types in other religions throughout history. There is also no historical record at all that there was this law that supposedly came into being which is why in the bible Joseph took his very pregnant wife to Bethlehem. There are far too many holes in the whole story, even contradictions in the different books of the new testament telling what's supposed to be the same story...and not things that could be shrugged off as just viewpoint differences but factual differences.

        September 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm |
        • Will

          Actually there is a lot of evidence for the historical Jesus, even if you don't believe in His deity. Numerous ancient writers wrote about him. Check out this link http://www.probe.org/site/c.fdKEIMNsEoG/b.4223639/k.567/Ancient_Evidence_for_Jesus_from_NonChristian_Sources.htm

          September 2, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
        • G to the T

          Will – All those sources say is that CHRISTIANS existed at that time and what they believed in. They are not historical references speaking to the existence of Jesus or to any of his acts. ONLY what others BELIEVED.

          September 4, 2013 at 11:58 am |
        • Will

          False, numerous accounts tell about Christ
          That's what history is, telling what other people believed. You would not expect the writers to believe in Christ, but if He was indeed a fact, then you expect to find people who heard about Him

          September 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm |
        • Sue

          Will, funny that your "omnipotent" sky fairy isn't powerful enough to block the supposedly false accounts, and that there are hundreds of conflicting variants of his "message", and thousands of cults with varying and conflicting claims about what your sky fairy wants.

          September 4, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
        • Will

          God isn't a god who just strikes people down because they don't believe in Him, by in large, He let's people believe what they want to believe. As the conflicting accounts, they don't conflict, yes there is a some difference in various manuscripts, but they were copied by humans, who make mistakes.
          And the cults you're referring to are either denominations which disagree only with minor details, that are not vital to the legitimacy of God or the Bible or the Christian life. Cults on the other hand are not considered Christians by the main stream church.

          September 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
        • Sue

          "yes there is a some difference". Good, Will, you're making some progress in admitting that the contradictions exist. Now that you've admitted that, look back at some of your other false claims. Your religion of hate is losing ground fast.

          September 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
        • Will

          That wasn't a compromise. The fact that different manuscripts vary slightly, is not a compromise. It's realizing that the people who copied and compiled the Bible we're human and thus make mistakes. God's Word, which he spoke to the Biblical authors was perfect

          September 4, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
        • Sue

          I won't let you slide in a cowardly backtrack like that, Will. Grow some courage and face up to what you just admitted. The contradictions and differences are severe, and you know it.

          September 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
        • Will

          No, they're not. I merely had to clarify and explain to you my arguement, that's not a contradiction

          September 4, 2013 at 1:39 pm |
      • AJD

        Also love how the religious always assume (and you know what that does) that I am an atheist merely because I've had a "bad experience" with Christians. No....I actually began questioning Christianity and all religions when I was in elementary school and in history class while learning about the greek gods and their myths thought "Well...let's see...these people really believed in these gods and those stories...thought they really happened...but there was no evidence they did and we all know they're not real now...so what's different between that and Christianity and other religions?" Yeah, I was a precocious child but that's where it began. True, honest questioning as a light bulb lit up in my head that things just weren't adding up.

        September 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  4. The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

    Drinking, Smoking, Voting, Driving, Serving should all be allowed at the age of 18.

    September 2, 2013 at 2:03 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      Drugs should be allowed as well. Everything regulated of course.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • Roger that

      Drinking, Smoking, Voting, Driving, Serving should all be allowed at the age of 18.

      They are.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:01 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      Roger that, drinking is 21. Post is a continuation to include drugs, legal at 18,

      September 2, 2013 at 3:07 am |
    • Roger that

      That depends on your definition of serving. If you are referring to serving in the military, then the drinking is allowed on a military base.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:22 am |
  5. AJD

    There is no "god"...no Zeus, no Jupiter, no Mithra, no Vishnu.....they are all made up ideas just like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and for the same reasons...to serve man made purposes. It may have started out as a way to explain what people did not have the scientific knowledge to explain at one point in our history, but then it was learned by some that religion was useful in controlling the masses and bending them to their will for good or ill. Just because we don't understand something (how the universe was created, how man came upon the earth, etc) doesn't mean that some sentient "god" being did it. I hear the argument all the time that there must be a god for things to exist, for our universe to work the way it does, etc etc....well of course things work the way they do because if they didn't, they wouldn't exist...any time nature tried to put something together that wouldn't work, it wouldn't be able to exist thus only those things that worked came into existence. It's pretty simple logic actually.

    September 2, 2013 at 2:00 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      When you can prove to me that you exist, I will believe in you.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:10 am |
  6. Brad

    WITH ALL THE BADNESS THAT GOES ON IN THESE RELIGIONS MAYBE IT IS TRUE THAT SATAN ACTUALLY DOES CONTROL THEM ALL. AND IF PEOPLE REALLY WANT TO KNOW THE TRUE GOD THEY WILL ACTUALLY TRULY STUDY WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS.

    September 2, 2013 at 1:57 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      OR MAYBE THAT IS NOT TRUE AND YOUR CAPS LOCK IS STUCK.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:58 am |
    • Will

      Which is what?

      September 2, 2013 at 1:58 am |
    •  Athy

      Geez, Brad. Turn off your fucking caps lock, will you?

      September 2, 2013 at 1:58 am |
      • truthprevails1

        He gets extra brownie points with his imaginary friend if he uses all caps.

        September 2, 2013 at 6:04 am |
  7. NorthVanCan

    What we should be 'proving' is that religious people are nuts!

    September 2, 2013 at 1:46 am |
    • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

      I agree BUT they must be hospitalized.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:56 am |
      • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

        BUT they can have dope and coke so they will be happy.

        September 2, 2013 at 1:57 am |
        • jay

          you deserve nothing but machine-guned

          September 2, 2013 at 3:19 am |
        • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

          jay, why? I believe that. Argue your point.

          September 2, 2013 at 3:44 am |
  8. Prospekt_13

    Writer of written news article, you may want to brush up on your research. You claim faith is key in Christianity, not behavior; however, it's quite evident that faith determines behaviour.

    September 2, 2013 at 1:46 am |
    • redzoa

      " however, it's quite evident that faith determines behaviour."

      Faith might be correlated to various behavioral outcomes, but I'd offer quite to the contrary that faith is not an exclusive causative factor. Rather, like any emergent property born of "N-dimensional" variables, it is far more complex than your oversimplification suggests.

      September 2, 2013 at 3:43 am |
  9. GO_GOP

    The only true religion is Christianity. IT has been proved the word of our Lord so many times. He sent his son to die for our sins. We would be foolish and arrogant to reject him. Bible is the only religious book whose writings have been proved to be correct so many times and by different sources. If you reject it you do at your risk and you end up in hell. Choice is yours.

    September 2, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Nope.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:33 am |
    • Will

      I agree as a Christian, but you must realize that there is a lot more to sharing the Gospel than just telling people the truth. You have to explain why that is the truth, why they can trust it, and why it is import. You should take the time to understand why people believe what they do and then talk to people as individuals. Just food for thought

      September 2, 2013 at 1:34 am |
    • Observer

      GO_GOP,

      "The Bible is the only religious book whose writings have been proved to be correct so many times"

      The Bible talks about unicorns, talking non-humans, dragons and the earth being flat.

      Read it sometime.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:36 am |
    • NorthVanCan

      GO-GOP; and that ladies and gentlemen is why the world suffers in pain so much.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:36 am |
    • Guest

      For GO_GOP:

      There are two options:

      A: Your post is sarcastic, in which case it is actually funny, including your name (GO_GOP).

      B: You are serious.

      I wish it was option A, but I am afraid it is option B.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • AJD

      If the bible had ever been "proven" to be "correct" I don't think this article would have need to have been written and we wouldn't be having this discussion LOL

      September 2, 2013 at 2:12 am |
    • Dieyoung

      I believe in Islam, Jehovah Witness, and Buddhism.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:19 am |
    • Prospekt_13

      And what does the Scripture define as "pure and true" religion?

      September 2, 2013 at 2:34 am |
  10. CSX

    This is real simple.
    There is one you. Let us say there is one God.
    If he be the Lord God Almighty of Israel, he cannot be Allah.
    The Lord God came in flesh as Jesus and Allah has no son.
    Jesus said he is the way, an no man comes to the Father, but by him.
    Therefore, no Jesus as Son, no life eternal, he said so.
    We can make up gods as we go, but consider God for who he is.
    The Jews were hypocrites and religious outwardly, not spiritual. Paul said, he would die for his fellow Jews to save them.
    Here we have the right God, not worshiped in spirit and belief in a Messiah, just not Jesus and they are LOST.
    So the Jews had the right God and ignored their Messiah.
    Islam borrowed from Judaism and Christianity, unfortunately, they are stuck in the OT stoning people, not under Grace.

    Jesus said unless you believe that he is the Son of God, you shall die in your sins.
    Here we have a very personal God who died for us, whereas as Allah has no time to really mind mankind.

    The answer is NO, there is not one God for all. The is one God and many variations man has created.

    September 2, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Proof?

      September 2, 2013 at 1:32 am |
      • Will

        Yeah, what about it?

        September 2, 2013 at 1:34 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          It smells like raspberries.

          September 2, 2013 at 1:36 am |
        • Will

          And that means?

          September 2, 2013 at 1:38 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          The proof smells like raspberries.

          September 2, 2013 at 1:40 am |
        • Will

          I would give you the proof but you aren't willing to let me

          September 2, 2013 at 1:43 am |
        • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

          Both Pot and Coke should be legalized.

          September 2, 2013 at 1:48 am |
        • Will

          Ok, that's your opinion

          September 2, 2013 at 1:49 am |
        • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

          What is yours Will? What is your opinion about legalizing drugs?

          September 2, 2013 at 1:54 am |
        • Will

          I've never really thought about it. I think drugs are bad, simply because they almost always have a negative effect on people but I'm not sure if the government should have the right to prevent people from using them. I do think we spend far too much money and time, not too mention lives trying to rid the world of drugs

          September 2, 2013 at 1:57 am |
        • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

          Will, if you know absolutely NOTHING, don't comment.

          September 2, 2013 at 2:00 am |
        • Will

          What are you so mad about, I just told you what I think

          September 2, 2013 at 2:03 am |
        • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

          Will, you did not tell me what you think. You don't think. You know nothing of this very important topic.

          September 2, 2013 at 2:05 am |
        • Will

          No, I told you what I thought, I'm positive, you asked what I believe and I told you

          September 2, 2013 at 2:16 am |
      • CSX

        Faith.
        If he is God and his Son is Jesus........look out, eternity is a long time.

        September 2, 2013 at 2:00 am |
        • AJD

          So....what if you have this "faith" and it turns out that you were wrong and Zeus or something is the "true" god...then you'd be up *&#% creek just the same LOL That's the problem with that way of thinking. It's called Pascal's Wager and it leaves out the possibility that you could be worshipping the wrong god by believing in the Christian god and Jesus so it really isn't "safer" to believe anyway.

          September 2, 2013 at 2:14 am |
      • The Most Liberal Guy on the Blog Guaranteed

        Will your brain is empty.

        September 2, 2013 at 2:30 am |
        • Will

          No, actually it's not

          September 2, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • joe

      The ignorant and uneducated use religion to help them understand the world.

      It is mental delusion.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:36 am |
      • Will

        Why do you say that?

        September 2, 2013 at 1:39 am |
      • Colli T

        The ignorant and foolish ridicule things they don't understand. You can't explain the origin of the universe but we can. Your best attempts sound far more ridiculous than the man who says that an extradimensional force was what was, is, and always will be. You can't prove the absence of God, and you can't prove what you believe to be fact. This universe is beyond your grasp. You have only a FAITH without proof of what you believe. You're no better than the people you criticize.

        "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." 1 Corinthians 1:26-28

        ~Salvation is the gift of God through faith in Jesus Christ~

        September 2, 2013 at 1:54 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwc1Wi-mlCI

          September 2, 2013 at 1:58 am |
        • Will

          Calm down, I'm a Christian, I just want to mention that insults won't help

          September 2, 2013 at 2:01 am |
    • Dieyoung

      Allah is the same as God, just two different religions using two different names for the same spirit.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:22 am |
      • Will

        No, they are totally different. If you look at their character, how they interact with humanity, and numerous other attributes, you will find that they are totally different

        September 2, 2013 at 2:23 am |
        • Dieyoung

          I only take Allah for his teachings, not for what he looks like.

          September 2, 2013 at 2:27 am |
        • Will

          How do you do that?
          It kinda makes sense that if you're going to put faith into what someone says you might check into how that person is

          September 2, 2013 at 2:46 am |
  11. Anon E Muss

    Religion, the only mental health problem we don't have 6 pills for by now. Do you believe an all seeing being watches your every move and judges you? Thats normally called egomania and paranoia, but not when its religion! lol. If only this planet never developed religion. We'd have flying cars, clones, and AI by now if it weren't for the Dark Age(s.)

    September 2, 2013 at 1:28 am |
  12. Beloved

    I believe we all worship the same God. God is called and spelled differently in different languaguages. There has been more wars, evil acts and killings in the name of God and religion than anything else. The GodI believe in is kind, and loving and never condones what all the horrible things people are doing to each other.what is happening all over the world is criminal.

    September 2, 2013 at 1:25 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      You must hate the OT.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:28 am |
      • Will

        No, I don't hate it. The same God works, but in different ways, you just have to think it through why God does what he does

        September 2, 2013 at 1:31 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          Ah, so Will, you must be the guy posting all the 'One God" malarkey? All the quick moniker changes catching up, huh?

          September 2, 2013 at 1:35 am |
        • Will

          I'm confused, what do you mean?

          September 2, 2013 at 1:37 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          The ol' feigning ignorance defense? Touché.

          September 2, 2013 at 1:40 am |
        • Will

          No, I'm just saying that I don't understand what you're saying, so if you can clarify it, I would love to continue talking

          September 2, 2013 at 1:42 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          I think our conversation is over compadré.

          September 2, 2013 at 1:44 am |
        • Will

          What are you trying to say?

          September 2, 2013 at 1:51 am |
        • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwc1Wi-mlCI

          September 2, 2013 at 1:53 am |
  13. Liberal guy

    I wanted to add one more point that Muslims also believe in Jesus return like Christians

    September 2, 2013 at 1:19 am |
    • CSX

      No, there Jesus is a lesser prophet.
      Jesus is the Son of God. John chapter 1.

      Big, big difference.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:02 am |
      • G to the T

        You seem very certain CSX – tell me – who wrote the book of John and when?

        September 4, 2013 at 12:08 pm |
  14. Ifinditfunny

    The real question is...........WHO CARES!!!! Cnn you are the most atheist network out there!! You have atheist who feed like starving children off articles like this.. It becomes a cest pool of bashing and yelling and therefore discredits you even further as a viable source of news. I for one believe in a god. I think the odds of everything just happening, is like a F6 tordado going through a scrap yard and assembeling a 747 complete with wiring. CNN, please make a new section called whinning over what I dont believe in. Keep all ur articles there and keep ur atheist happy 🙂

    September 2, 2013 at 1:18 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Well, that was almost coherent. Well done.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:20 am |
    • Observer

      Ifinditfunny,

      Thank you for CARING enough to contribute.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:22 am |
    • Anon E Muss

      If that F6 had several hundred million years to whip around that junkyard, I think it could luck into a 747.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:30 am |
    • Will

      And they have the right to print articles that reflect what they and their writers and readers believe in. If you don't want to read this, then don't regardless, you saying this wont change or help anyone or anything.
      I'm a Christian by the way

      September 2, 2013 at 1:53 am |
    • hharri

      you said it.

      there are reasons cnn in plunging down the sewer.

      September 2, 2013 at 2:36 am |
    • S-3B Viking

      Are you guys really still using the "747" for your silly attempt at "it's too complex for mere chance" argument?

      Really?

      We were using the 747 back in the early '70s. Christians: continuing to be unoriginal 40+ years later.

      Come on...at least show some creativity and say an Airbus 380 or if you're xenophobic try using the 777. Both are far more complex aircraft...though far more efficient...(kinda like descent with modifications...oh my!)

      Damn, Christians. You're an embara.ssment to those of us who started your nonsense during the Jesus movement.

      Google something, will ya?

      September 2, 2013 at 6:28 am |
    • AtheistSteve

      The tornado analogy is a bad one. A tornado is unfettered destructive force whereas the naturally occurring processes of physics, chemistry and biology are structured, predictable and repeatable.

      September 4, 2013 at 11:55 am |
  15. ComeOnMan

    Same God, of course because there is only ONE GOD. The people raping, killing, and drinking chocolate milk just don't realize it yet. I hate chocolate milk, so it must be a "sin".

    September 2, 2013 at 1:09 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      ONE GOD = Odin.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:10 am |
      • Lou

        Nah the one god is the emperor of mankind...look at that armor, It's gold!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrrky5Jg9D0

        September 2, 2013 at 1:12 am |
    • Dieyoung

      How can you hate Chocolate milk? Demon begone!!!

      September 2, 2013 at 1:21 am |
  16. Apple Bush

    It would really piss me off if a religious person got to take a space alien on a tour.

    September 2, 2013 at 12:59 am |
  17. Apple Bush

    GOD IS STUPID. How could it not be. Three religions that kill over......oh wait. Not stupid, cruel and evil!

    September 2, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Non-existent would be the most suitable description.

      September 2, 2013 at 12:59 am |
    • cm

      More people have died for example, freedom than believing in God. You don't know your history well. Humans are stupid – it isn't about believing more so than being 'right'.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:02 am |
      • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

        Nobody has ever died for freedom and don't kid yourself otherwise.

        September 2, 2013 at 1:04 am |
      • Lou

        Humans are what they want to be....No matter how much you want it not to be so you are human, not some angel (demigod) in waiting...

        September 2, 2013 at 1:08 am |
    • Apple Bush

      Poor arguments against. I win.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:05 am |
  18. Amanda O.

    There is so much hate on this message board. I wish CNN would make people post comments through facebook, I imagine there would be less vitriol then.

    September 2, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • Lou

      I don't hate the "righteous". I want to snap them back to reality with a dose of hard logic coated in sarcasm.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:05 am |
    • Anon E Muss

      Except then those of us who still value our privacy won't be able to post any more. Just because you're okay with broadcasting every aspect of your life doesn't mean everyone else wants to.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • Johnny

      Facebook is for losers.

      September 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm |
  19. scot pederson

    Where the 3 agree is that they all believe the same God of all 3 created the world and is a Holy God who cannot tolerate sin against him.

    Where the differences lie is our Eternal Destiny and how do we enter Heaven with God in the Afterlife.

    Christians believe that we cannot "work" or "earn" our salvation, but only can we enter Heaven by repentance of sin and trusting in Jesus as our savior who paid for our sins on the Cross. So it is by God's grace alone we can be saved.

    Jews believe in the same God as Christians through most of the Old Testament but they still await for their Messiah and don't see that the Prophetic verses about Jesus in the Old Testament pointed to Jesus. So they don't yet believe in Salvation by Grace. They are stuck in a belief of "works" for salvation.

    Muslims believe in a "works" will get you to heaven if you pray enough, are good enough, do this, do that and don't even look or seek for a Messiah (savior). So Allah requires these works to be done to enter into eternal life. Therefore, Islam is really far apart in most respects to Judaism and even moreso to Christianity.

    So there you have it.

    September 2, 2013 at 12:53 am |
    • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that

      Lots of Christians, Catholics especially, believe that works are necessary for salvation.

      September 2, 2013 at 12:57 am |
      • Will

        Which I might add is false, the idea that a person's works can save them

        September 2, 2013 at 1:23 am |
    • Lou

      yeah I got it...We are divided by ancient B.S.

      September 2, 2013 at 12:57 am |
    • Cynthia Avishegnath

      When I get invited to an interfaith prayer and then some one starts praying to Jesus and then Jesus is Lord and then somewhere Jesus is implied as the Almighty. What would you expect me? Say amen to that??? That is so dirty.

      It is unfair to sucker me into another such prayers because to Jews. Jesus is not Lord, god or messiah. Never been, never will be. Praying to Jesus is idolatry.

      No, Jews do not believe in the same "god" as Christians, because Christians pray to Jesus. When they pray "Dear Lord", they are praying to Jesus. What is more sacrilegious is when they address Jesus with the sacred Name. Some people (even some Jews ) say, what is the big deal? But I feel kinda guilty-dirty inside me when I am in a meeting where someone prays to Jesus. It's like someone is force-feeding me with "non-kosher ham", as I just stand there in angst trying not to embarrass myself.

      And then he starts addressing Jews as the "chosen" people "chosen" nation. For which I get goose bumps. I think about "Chosen" not the same as the way he thinks about being "chosen". He thinks Jews are "chosen" to lead the world on one ultimate day to worship Jesus as the Almighty. That is absolutely sacrilegious – is it alright for me to feel that way?

      AFA I and a great number of Jews are concerned, Jews are chosen to show that the human race is the chosen race. Why else did Jews give the world the 7 day week?

      Moreover, there is no such thing as "old" or "new" testament. There is only one testament to Salvation – the Sabbath contract.

      I realise that many rabbis, Jews as well as the Israeli politicians will castigate me for trying to start a religious war for being so verbal, since our greatest adversary (those who wants to destroy us by converting us rather than killing us) are also our most fervent supporters.

      September 2, 2013 at 1:44 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.