Thursday, November 16, 2017

Do all Religions have the same Heavenly Father?

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew asserts so, and quite a bit more along with it, as in these pronouncements:
“We are all created by God and as such we are all brothers and sisters. We have the same heavenly Father, whatever we call him.” 
“God is but one, independently of the name we give him, Allah or Yahweh, and so on. God is one and we are his children.”

In addition to these recent deceptive remarks, Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has absurdly written (without any trace of irony) of a “dialogue of loving truth” with Islam, of Orthodoxy having for centuries “coexisted peacefully” with Islam. He also projects the chimera of an “interfaith commitment... still felt and lived by Greeks [and] Turks” (Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Encountering the Mystery, Doubleday, 2008, pp xxxvii, 196, 174).

As students of history know, Islam has no history of dialoguing or coexisting peacefully with any non-Muslim peoples, and has waged relentless warfare against the Christian world since the very time of Muhammad, slaughtering, enslaving and subjugating millions over the centuries, right up to our own day. Islam offers peace only at the blade of the scimitar, as Allah commands in the Koran:

Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [i.e. Islam] among the people of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Q 9:29)
Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. (Q 9:5) 
I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes. (Q 8:12)

Bartholomew is not the first Ecumenical Patriarch to preach the heresy of ecumenism and openly defend Islam and Muhammad (why would a Christian bishop do such a thing?):

"The Prophet Muhammad is an apostle, He is a man of God, who worked for the Kingdom of God... When I speak against Islam, then I am not found in agreement with God" (Patriarch Parthenius of Alexandria, Orthodoxos Typos 854, May 1982).

I have written about this deplorable trend among recent Ecumenical Patriarchs in my book, Facing Islam, warning about Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's absolutely bizarre, obsequious, and anti-Christian statements about Islam, in which he blunders into the Same God Heresy:

"As with some recent Ecumenical Patriarchs, Bartholomew eventually ventures too far, as when he calls for the tearing down of 'the wall of separation between East and West, between Muslims and Christians, between all religions of the world,' and when he writes warmly, 'One who achieves the state of inner peace in relation to God is a true Muslim' (Encountering the Mystery, pp 205, 209). 
"This meme concerning Islam (and world religions) is not unique; it springs not from Christian tradition, but directly from the pan-ecumenist movement, and it resonates with the spirit of our times..." (Facing Islam, xxxi)

In the below article, Orthodox priest and author Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis shines the bright light of Truth, the Light of Jesus Christ, on EP Bartholomew's false and fuzzy theology.

Do all Religions have the same Heavenly Father?

by Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis, Over The Rooftops, June 15, 2014:

"WE ARE ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS" Are we? First in Jerusalem (May 27, 2014), and more recently in Rome (June 8, 2014), Patriarch Bartholomew hammers the message of universal brotherhood with intra-Christian and interfaith prayer services (which according to the canons of the Orthodox Church are prohibited) and with statements and declarations to that effect.

Back on Nov. 2, 2009 in an interview Patriarch Bartholomew had given to Charlie Rose he had stated: “We are all created by God and as such we are all brothers and sisters. We have the same heavenly Father, whatever we call him.” Charlie interrupted the Patriarch: “All religions have the same heavenly Father?” “Of course,” was the Patriarch’s reply, adding: “God is but one, independently of the name we give him, Allah or Yahweh, and so on. God is one and we are his children.”

Although the two statements (everyone believes in the same God; and, we are all his children) appear to be self-proclaimed truths, for us Orthodox Christians (and to me, as I understand my faith), they are erroneous, outrageous and totally unacceptable. If the Patriarch is correct what meaning do the words, “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no Savior” (Is. 43:10b-11)? 

What is he thinking of when he recites the following words in the divine Liturgy (our main worship service): “You are our God, beside You we know of no other [God]” and in the final benediction of the same service, “May Christ our true God… save us…”?

No. It’s not a matter of a name (God, Allah, Jehovah, Buddha, Supreme Being, the Power), so that it doesn’t matter what we call Him, as long as we call upon Him. No. Not so! Our God is Christ: “This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:20-21). Outside of Christ every other “god” is an idol.

As far as all of us being children of God, clearly we are all God’s creation, but not His offspring. Our heavenly Father has only one Child: Jesus Christ. However, we all have the potentiality to become His children (by adoption): “To all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God” (John 1:12). Therefore, unless we belong to Christ’s family (cf. Heb. 3:6), the Church, we are not His children.

In the early Church the Lord’s Prayer was not revealed to the Catechumens until immediately before their baptism, because no one that was not baptized could presume to say, “our Father who art in heaven,” not having yet received the gift of adoption. The Lord’s Prayer is introduced in the Divine Liturgy with the words, “and make us worthy, Master, with boldness and without fear of condemnation, to dare call You, the heavenly God, Father, and to say, ‘Our Father…’” Only those who have been united with Christ, God’s only Son, can call God “Father.”

Sorry, your All Holiness: this is the faith of the Orthodox Christian people, and one would expect our Patriarch to be a leader “who rightly teaches the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), not one who betrays it.


Fr. Emmanuel is an Orthodox priest and is the author of The Heavenly Banquet: Understanding the Divine Liturgy and Jesus: Fallen? The Human Nature of Christ Examined from an Eastern Orthodox Perspective.