Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The road to the Holocaust

A feature of the debate about whether Muslims, Jews, and Christians worship the same God is the specter one-sided ecumenism. There are Christian ecumenists (I used the label advisedly) who unquestioningly assume that if you deny that Jews and Christians or Muslims and Christians worship and/or believe in the same God, then that's "bigoted" and demeaning to the other religions. 

This is a typical conceit of people who presume to speak on behalf of other groups, rather than stepping aside and letting them speak for themselves. It doesn't even occur to these Christian ecumenists that the religious groups on whose behalf they presume to speak might disagree, indeed, might resent Christians who take it upon themselves to lasso other religions into the same corral on the question of common worship or a common object of faith. For instance:

As a former full time missionary to Muslims, Muslims, conservative, orthodox or radicalized, do not hold to the belief that we worship the same God. In fact they firmly believe that Christians worshipping a triune God is blasphemous and idolatrous. 
Yes to your first question, Roy. I have had a number of Jewish scholars tell me "we don't worship the same God."

Now, my point is not to claim that all Muslims or Jews take that position. Likewise, the philosophical question can't be settled by opinion polling.

Nevertheless, it demonstrates how blinkered and presumptuous these Christian ecumenists are. And here's a truly extreme statement:

Roy E. Ciampa
And it cuts both ways. Jesus says the Jews/Judeans (and not just he) DO know what/who they worship. I'm reminded of your whole argument about whether or not Jesus preached the gospel or if, as others suggest, the gospel was only preached post Easter and by Paul, etc. So does Jesus worship and teach us to worship a different God from the Jews? Isn't that the road of (drum roll...) Marcionism (and the holocaust)?

Ciampa is a NT scholar (former Gordon-Conwell prof.) who coauthored a fine commentary on 1 Corinthians. But the "Holocaust" bit is just outlandish. 

If I deny that Christians, Hindus, folk Buddhists, Falun Gongers, or Raëlians worship the same God or believe in the same God, is that the road to a new holocaust? Must Christians affirm that they worship the same God to avoid a new holocaust? Are Chinese and Indian restaurants at risk of an American Kristallnacht unless we affirm that they worship the Christian Deity? 

No comments:

Post a Comment