A mega-church pastor has come under fire of that for allegedly claiming Muslims and Christians worship the same God.
Critics have taken aim at Brian Houston, pastor of the 30,000-member Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australian for comments he made in a December 2013 sermon titled "Living for the Master's Well Done, Part 1.”
"Do you know – take it all the way back into the Old Testament and the Muslim and you, we actually serve the same God,” Houston said. “Allah to a Muslim, to us Abba Father God. And of course through history, those views have changed greatly. But let's make sure that we view God through the eyes of Jesus, the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the beauty of a Savior, the loving open inclusive arms of a loving God. And that way we'll lead out of that and you'll be purposeful about your leadership and you'll draw people just like the Lord Jesus always does through the power of the Holy Spirit."
According to Christian Post some Christian leaders claim Houston is promoting a new theological concept known as “Chrislam” which blends the two world religions of Christianity and Muslim.
Houston refutes such claims. He released a statement Friday clarifying his comments.
“Recently there have been false claims on social media that I believe Muslims and Christians worship the same God. This is incorrect. Those propagating these false statements have taken one sentence from an entire message out of context. I realize that some critics WANT to believe their interpretation, but my prayer is that reasonable people will take my comment in context, accept my acknowledgment that I did not explain this sentence as I intended, and judge me on 40 years of pointing people to Jesus - not one sentence.
For further clarification, here is the context of my message:
King David said about His God in Psalm 119:68, "you ARE good and you DO good". Who David believed God IS, determined what He Believed God DOES. The spirit of the message was exactly the opposite of what some critics are claiming. If you listened to the message in its entirety, my point was that; who a Muslim extremist believes God is, determines what they believe God does, and what they believe God loves.
I was contrasting their harsh perspective of (their) god, with who I believe God is - (a Loving God, the Father of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ) and therefore what I believe God does and what I believe God loves. The ONE sentence that critics are drawing huge conclusions from was clearly a (clumsy) way of me explaining that though both Christians and Muslims believe they serve the God of Abraham, they are very DIFFERENT 'entities' or 'deities' in both nature and action.
I have always believed and will always believe that there is only one Way to God and that is through His Son, Christ Jesus. I also believe that anyone – irrespective of their religious upbringing, culture or background – can find grace, peace, freedom and eternal life through Christ.”