Our God is One and the Same
Continued from page 1
To make progress and move forward into the future, we must set
aside that which separates us and seek out those ideas and beliefs
that we have in common. Examples of some wonderful attempts to make
progress include the Promise Keepers, and the people who participated
in the Million Man March. Yes, there are questions that need answering
about the man who initiated the march, but he too will be judged
by God and held accountable in due course. The fact that so many
people were touched in a positive way and joined together in spite
of their differences cannot be ignored. Remember what Jesus said
in the Bible, that he who is without sin cast the first stone.
When I read the book of JAMES in its entirety, I was struck by
the message he was sending to the recipients of his letter! The
Quran states that God has sent the same message down through many
messengers and prophets, some known to us and some not known. For
almost every verse written by James, a passage from the Quran would
come to mind that conveyed the same message. Based on my belief
in what the Quran says, James being a disciple of Jesus knew God’s
message to us; he had been a follower of Jesus and according to
the Quran, had born witness that he was a supporter of God and His
messenger, Jesus, and was himself a submitter.
This was further proof to me of the
truth of the Quran’s claim that all scripture has been sent
With the comparison that follows, I hope to highlight the common
ground which we all stand upon as Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
God willing, anyone who calls himself or herself Godfearing will
identify with the following material. This attempt does not mean
to exclude others who, as believers, may go by another name. As
our world grows “smaller,” it is imperative that we
find every righteous means to unite and resolve our differences
and recognize the common ground that we share. Instead of focusing
on what separates us, we need to reach out to one another to solve
the problems that inevitably will come back to haunt all of us.
We live in a global neighborhood. Our sons and daughters, brothers
and sisters, mothers and fathers may be in Bosnia, Israel, Lebanon
or Palestine; maybe they are keeping the peace, maybe they are struggling
to escape persecution. Our neighbors in Mexico are crossing our
borders trying to find a better life on our side of the fence. In
Brazil for example, there are people still fighting slavery; in
an attempt to get out of poverty, they are loaned money to get started
in “promising” jobs, then hired to work and underpaid
so that they actually owe more money to their employers than they
earn. Look no further than our own interior — many Native
Americans are still struggling to find themselves on reservations
that seem to offer little or no opportunity.
Look at the ghettoes of the inner cities
where many people of black heritage are struggling against a system
that clearly excludes many of them despite the gains that have been
made since the Civil Rights movement.
People in Africa are struggling against civil wars, famine, political
and religious oppression. Northern Ireland is a travesty—is
it a political war or a holy war? Both sides claim God on their
side, so what is the argument? Just mention the Middle East—again
everybody claims God on their side but everyone is suffering. If
everyone believes in God, why are they fighting? We cannot call
ourselves believers when we turn our backs on the pain and suffering
next door, or worse, if we are guilty of inflicting that pain on
our neighbor. We cannot continue to give God lip service only and
ignore the realities of why we are really here. If we truly believe
in God, then we have to recognize the message He gave us through
all the messengers and prophets He sent to us. First and foremost,
we have to worship God and God alone. Then we have to ask God to
guide us, and as James says, be prepared to follow the guidance.
God willing, we will attempt to build bridges, and continue
to tear down walls. Perhaps if we listen more, and talk less, we
can make this world a better place to prepare for the next world,
which is ultimately, what this life is all about.
Peace to all and God’s blessings.