“I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God.” — Isaiah 45:5a
Recently a prayer was offered in the Texas state legislature by a man claiming to be a Christian. He opened his prayer with these words: “Holy mystery, you have so many names. The Torah calls you Creator, the Koran calls you Peace. The Gita calls you destroyer, the Dharma calls you Truth and the first epistle of John…calls you Love.” The man closed his prayer with, “in all your many names we pray, Amen.”
I don’t know what that man believes (I doubt he knows himself) but it isn’t biblical Christianity. The Bible speaks loudly and clearly to the fact that, “There is only One God and One Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5) “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other NAME under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) It may not be popular and it is certainly not politically correct but the Bible tells us from the beginning to the end that there is only one God, who has one name, and one Son and one Spirit and the three are One. (John 17:22)
If there is anything the Bible makes plain, it is the oneness of God. The first commandment states “I am the Lord your God…you shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:2,3) Every son and daughter of Abraham customarily recited the Shema, “Here O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4) When God’s people entered the Promised Land, the land of Canaan, they were to worship in one place, the Tabernacle and later the Temple. Over and over again the sons of Israel were chastised by God for having high-places, multiple sites of worship. It was a simple step to go from multiple sites to multiple gods and thus the Lord’s stern warnings.
The Bible speaks of no other Creator of the universe. Apart from the Lord, “nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:3) If there were other gods with other names the God who created everything would have had to be the one who created them, which makes no sense. The idea that there is one God with many names is the invention of man not the revelation of the Almighty. The belief that all roads lead to God (and He has various names for the various roads which lead to Him) is to call Jesus a liar who said, “The gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to eternal life.” God has many attributes and often He is known by His character (the God of love, peace, holiness, etc.) but He has only one Name, “the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow...and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11) To call Him by any other name is to call on someone who is not God.
Bruce MacInnes is pastor of Goldston Baptist Church