T Nation

God's Love or Bad Parenting?

My Dad recently sent me an “inspirational” piece, which is below, along with my response. Sorry for the CAPS, but apparently it’s more DRAMATIC that way:

THIS WILL GIVE YOU CHILLS

AFTER A FEW OF THE USUAL SUNDAY EVENING HYMNS,

THE CHURCH’S PASTOR SLOWLY STOOD UP, WALKED OVER TO THE PULPIT AND, BEFORE HE GAVE HIS SERMON FOR THE EVENING, BRIEFLY INTRODUCED A GUEST MINISTER WHO WAS IN THE SERVICE THAT EVENING.

IN THE INTRODUCTION, THE PASTOR TOLD THE
CONGREGATION THAT THE GUEST MINISTER WAS ONE OF HIS DEAREST CHILDHOOD FRIENDS AND THAT HE WANTED HIM TO HAVE A FEW MOMENTS TO GREET THE CHURCH AND SHARE WHATEVER HE FELT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE SERVICE.
WITH THAT, AN ELDERLY MAN STEPPED UP TO THE PULPIT AND BEGAN TO SPEAK .

“A FATHER, HIS SON, AND A FRIEND OF HIS SON WERE SAILING OFF THE PACIFIC COAST,” HE BEGAN.
“WHEN A FAST APPROACHING STORM BLOCKED ANY
ATTEMPT TO GET BACK TO THE SHORE. THE WAVES WERE SO HIGH, THAT EVEN THOUGH THE FATHER WAS AN EXPERIENCED SAILOR, HE COULD NOT KEEP THE BOAT UPRIGHT AND THE THREE WERE SWEPT INTO THE OCEAN AS THE BOAT CAPSIZED.”

THE OLD MA N HESITATED FOR A MOMENT, MAKING EYE CONTACT WITH TWO TEENAGERS WHO WERE, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE SERVICE BEGAN, LOOKING SOMEWHAT INTERESTED IN HIS STORY.

THE AGED MINISTER CONTINUED WITH HIS STORY, "GRABBING A RESCUE LINE, THE FATHER HAD TO MAKE THE MOST EXCRUCIATING DECISION OF HIS LIFE: TO WHICH BOY WOULD HE THROW THE OTHER END OF THE LIFE LINE.

HE ONLY HAD SECONDS TO MAKE THE DECISION.

THE FATHER KNEW THAT HIS SON WAS A CHRISTIAN AND HE, ALSO, KNEW THAT HIS SON’S FRIEND WAS NOT. THE AGONY OF HIS DECISION COULD NOT BE MATCHED BY THE TORRENT OF WAVES.

AS THE FATHER YELLED OUT, ‘I LOVE YOU, SON!’
HE THREW OUT THE LIFE LINE TO HIS SON’S FRIEND. BY THE TIME THE FATHER HAD PULLED THE FRIEND BACK TO THE CAPSIZED BOAT, HIS SON HAD DISAPPEARED BENEATH THE RAGING SWELLS INTO THE BLACK OF NIGHT.

HIS BODY WAS NEVER RECOVERED.

BY THIS TIME, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE SITTING UP STRAIGHT IN THE PEW, ANXIOUSLY WAITING FOR THE NEXT WORDS TO COME OUT OF THE OLD MINISTER’S MOUTH.

“THE FATHER,” HE CONTINUED, “KNEW HIS SON WOULD STEP INTO ETERNITY WITH JESUS AND HE COULD NOT BEAR THE THOUGHT OF HIS SON’S FRIEND STEPPING INTO AN ETERNITY WITHOUT JESUS. THEREFORE, HE SACRIFICED HIS SON
TO SAVE THE SON’S FRIEND.”

HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE OF GOD THAT HE SHOULD DO THE SAME FOR US. OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SACRIFICED HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON THAT WE COULD BE SAVED. I URGE YOU
TO ACCEPT HIS OFFER TO RESCUE YOU AND TAKE A HOLD OF THE LIFE LINE HE IS THROWING OUT TO YOU IN THIS SERVICE."

WITH THAT, THE OLD MAN TURNED AND SAT BACK DOWN IN HIS CHAIR AS SILENCE FILLED THE ROOM.

THE PASTOR AGAIN WALKED SLOWLY TO THE PULPIT AND DELIVERED A BRIEF SERMON WITH AN INVITATION AT THE END. HOWEVER, NO ONE RESPONDED TO THE APPEAL. WITHIN MINUTES AFTER THE SERVICE ENDED, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE AT THE OLD MAN’S SIDE.

“THAT WAS A NICE STORY,” POLITELY STATED ONE OF THEM, “BUT I DON’T THINK IT WAS VERY REALISTIC FOR A FATHER TO GIVE UP HIS ONLY SON’S LIFE IN HOPES THAT THE OTHER BOY WOULD BECOME A CHRISTIAN.”

“WELL, YOU’VE GOT A POINT THERE,” THE OLD MAN
REPLIED GLANCING DOWN AT HIS WORN BIBLE. A BIG SMILE BROADENED HIS NARROW FACE. HE ONCE AGAIN LOOKED UP AT THE BOYS

AND SAID, "IT SURE ISN’T VERY REALISTIC, IS IT?
BUT I’M STANDING HERE TODAY TO TELL YOU THAT STORY GIVES ME A GLIMPSE OF WHAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE FOR GOD TO GIVE UP HIS SON FOR ME. YOU SEE… “I WAS THAT FATHER AND YOUR PASTOR IS MY SON’S FRIEND.”

Here is my reply :

[i]What a horrible father! Fuck!

I’ll bet his wife was fucking pissed! If you ever
did this to me, I would piss on you from heaven.

Everytime you went out to play golf. Piss! Piss!
Piss! Sometimes, even a giant turd would land on
your ball as you were about to swing.

Also, why couldn’t the unsaved boy swim over to the boy with the bad father? Wasn’t this really about a lack of release forms signed before the sailing venture? Maybe the father was more concerned with being sued. After all, he was piloting a boat and apparently either wasn’t that good at it or hadn’t checked the weather report or both.

Speaking of which, shouldn’t there have been life
preservers involved. Especially once the storm was
upon them. This is a classic case of poor boating
safety. Not some inspirational feel-good yarn.

Amen.[/i]

Thoughts?

I’m not a Christian, but I kind of liked the story, in a Biblical way.

Well first of all, I am waiting for all the flaming about “starting another Biblical thread” to begin. I mean, the flaming that usually happens to those of us who start the threads becasue we believe should also apply to those who start threads because they don’t believe, right?

Anyway, Futuredove, you are missing the point to the story. The point is to illustrate for us, God’s amazing love for us in giving up His only Son for us. You see, those who actually believe in the God of the Bible and His Word believe that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotton Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

This story nicely illustrates the “cost” God had to play to redeem sinful mankind. Hey, I was at one time as much a scoffer as you or anyone on this site. Can you imagine that God sent His Son to die for me, when I was spitting in his face, as it were? But that is what the Bible says.

It says that, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

It is an amazing fact – God’s amazing love. If only you can get your heart around His truth and believe, your eternal destiny will be changed forever, and you will have correct purposes for your life here on Earth.

The story also illustrates how stupid it is not to put your Life Jackets on when you see a bad storm approaching.

Great story. Reminds me of the Following verse. I just can’t believe that another Christian Thread was started after all the complaining.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Me Solomon Grundy

Great story. Reminds me of the Following verse. I just can’t believe that another Christian Thread was started after all the complaining.

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Me Solomon Grundy

[quote]futuredave wrote:
My Dad recently sent me an “inspirational” piece, which is below, along with my response. Sorry for the CAPS, but apparently it’s more DRAMATIC that way:

THIS WILL GIVE YOU CHILLS

AFTER A FEW OF THE USUAL SUNDAY EVENING HYMNS,

THE CHURCH’S PASTOR SLOWLY STOOD UP, WALKED OVER TO THE PULPIT AND, BEFORE HE GAVE HIS SERMON FOR THE EVENING, BRIEFLY INTRODUCED A GUEST MINISTER WHO WAS IN THE SERVICE THAT EVENING.

IN THE INTRODUCTION, THE PASTOR TOLD THE
CONGREGATION THAT THE GUEST MINISTER WAS ONE OF HIS DEAREST CHILDHOOD FRIENDS AND THAT HE WANTED HIM TO HAVE A FEW MOMENTS TO GREET THE CHURCH AND SHARE WHATEVER HE FELT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE SERVICE.
WITH THAT, AN ELDERLY MAN STEPPED UP TO THE PULPIT AND BEGAN TO SPEAK .

“A FATHER, HIS SON, AND A FRIEND OF HIS SON WERE SAILING OFF THE PACIFIC COAST,” HE BEGAN.
“WHEN A FAST APPROACHING STORM BLOCKED ANY
ATTEMPT TO GET BACK TO THE SHORE. THE WAVES WERE SO HIGH, THAT EVEN THOUGH THE FATHER WAS AN EXPERIENCED SAILOR, HE COULD NOT KEEP THE BOAT UPRIGHT AND THE THREE WERE SWEPT INTO THE OCEAN AS THE BOAT CAPSIZED.”

THE OLD MA N HESITATED FOR A MOMENT, MAKING EYE CONTACT WITH TWO TEENAGERS WHO WERE, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE SERVICE BEGAN, LOOKING SOMEWHAT INTERESTED IN HIS STORY.

THE AGED MINISTER CONTINUED WITH HIS STORY, "GRABBING A RESCUE LINE, THE FATHER HAD TO MAKE THE MOST EXCRUCIATING DECISION OF HIS LIFE: TO WHICH BOY WOULD HE THROW THE OTHER END OF THE LIFE LINE.

HE ONLY HAD SECONDS TO MAKE THE DECISION.

THE FATHER KNEW THAT HIS SON WAS A CHRISTIAN AND HE, ALSO, KNEW THAT HIS SON’S FRIEND WAS NOT. THE AGONY OF HIS DECISION COULD NOT BE MATCHED BY THE TORRENT OF WAVES.

AS THE FATHER YELLED OUT, ‘I LOVE YOU, SON!’
HE THREW OUT THE LIFE LINE TO HIS SON’S FRIEND. BY THE TIME THE FATHER HAD PULLED THE FRIEND BACK TO THE CAPSIZED BOAT, HIS SON HAD DISAPPEARED BENEATH THE RAGING SWELLS INTO THE BLACK OF NIGHT.

HIS BODY WAS NEVER RECOVERED.

BY THIS TIME, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE SITTING UP STRAIGHT IN THE PEW, ANXIOUSLY WAITING FOR THE NEXT WORDS TO COME OUT OF THE OLD MINISTER’S MOUTH.

“THE FATHER,” HE CONTINUED, “KNEW HIS SON WOULD STEP INTO ETERNITY WITH JESUS AND HE COULD NOT BEAR THE THOUGHT OF HIS SON’S FRIEND STEPPING INTO AN ETERNITY WITHOUT JESUS. THEREFORE, HE SACRIFICED HIS SON
TO SAVE THE SON’S FRIEND.”

HOW GREAT IS THE LOVE OF GOD THAT HE SHOULD DO THE SAME FOR US. OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SACRIFICED HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON THAT WE COULD BE SAVED. I URGE YOU
TO ACCEPT HIS OFFER TO RESCUE YOU AND TAKE A HOLD OF THE LIFE LINE HE IS THROWING OUT TO YOU IN THIS SERVICE."

WITH THAT, THE OLD MAN TURNED AND SAT BACK DOWN IN HIS CHAIR AS SILENCE FILLED THE ROOM.

THE PASTOR AGAIN WALKED SLOWLY TO THE PULPIT AND DELIVERED A BRIEF SERMON WITH AN INVITATION AT THE END. HOWEVER, NO ONE RESPONDED TO THE APPEAL. WITHIN MINUTES AFTER THE SERVICE ENDED, THE TWO TEENAGERS WERE AT THE OLD MAN’S SIDE.

“THAT WAS A NICE STORY,” POLITELY STATED ONE OF THEM, “BUT I DON’T THINK IT WAS VERY REALISTIC FOR A FATHER TO GIVE UP HIS ONLY SON’S LIFE IN HOPES THAT THE OTHER BOY WOULD BECOME A CHRISTIAN.”

“WELL, YOU’VE GOT A POINT THERE,” THE OLD MAN
REPLIED GLANCING DOWN AT HIS WORN BIBLE. A BIG SMILE BROADENED HIS NARROW FACE. HE ONCE AGAIN LOOKED UP AT THE BOYS

AND SAID, "IT SURE ISN’T VERY REALISTIC, IS IT?
BUT I’M STANDING HERE TODAY TO TELL YOU THAT STORY GIVES ME A GLIMPSE OF WHAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE FOR GOD TO GIVE UP HIS SON FOR ME. YOU SEE… “I WAS THAT FATHER AND YOUR PASTOR IS MY SON’S FRIEND.”

Here is my reply :

[i]What a horrible father! Fuck!

I’ll bet his wife was fucking pissed! If you ever
did this to me, I would piss on you from heaven.

Everytime you went out to play golf. Piss! Piss!
Piss! Sometimes, even a giant turd would land on
your ball as you were about to swing.

Also, why couldn’t the unsaved boy swim over to the boy with the bad father? Wasn’t this really about a lack of release forms signed before the sailing venture? Maybe the father was more concerned with being sued. After all, he was piloting a boat and apparently either wasn’t that good at it or hadn’t checked the weather report or both.

Speaking of which, shouldn’t there have been life
preservers involved. Especially once the storm was
upon them. This is a classic case of poor boating
safety. Not some inspirational feel-good yarn.

Amen.[/i]

Thoughts?

[/quote]

Good story. Doubt it’s true, but even as allegory, illustrates God’s love for us.

[quote]Applesauce wrote:
The story also illustrates how stupid it is not to put your Life Jackets on when you see a bad storm approaching.[/quote]

Yes, Jesus is the life jacket and the storm is the Judgement Day that will come!

i have a question for any christians on this board, when you think of god what do you see, from what i see in your posts and in my experience alot of christians see god as very human-like figure, is god one Ultimate, Transcendent Reality, or more of a faher-like figure, this is a serious question, because i have seen many christians explain god in different ways.

God is an old white guy with a long beard, and anyone who thinks otherwise is doomed to burn in hell for all eternity.

[quote]tme wrote:
God is an old white guy with a long beard, and anyone who thinks otherwise is doomed to burn in hell for all eternity.

[/quote]

Its okay to have thoughts you don’t share.

[quote]sactown1 wrote:
i have a question for any christians on this board, when you think of god what do you see…
quote]

It?s hard for me to envision God at all. I think the characteristics that I experience from him are more telling: his power, peace, love, authority, encouragement. I suppose that some kind of a grandfather figure would be the first thing to come to mind. I still kind of think of him more like light or the heavens opening up. The first idea is probably from the way that God revealed himself to Abraham.

Me Solomon Grundy

[quote]Solomon Grundy wrote:

It’s hard for me to envision God at all. I think the characteristics that I experience from him are more telling: his power, peace, love, authority, encouragement. I suppose that some kind of a grandfather figure would be the first thing to come to mind. I still kind of think of him more like light or the heavens opening up. The first idea is probably from the way that God revealed himself to Abraham.

Me Solomon Grundy [/quote]

I would add to that list His majesty, holiness, wrath, grace and mercy. I do not picture Him in my mind, but my soul lives in a constant state of awe, worship and love for Him.

That’s a really silly story. What a dumb thing to do.

He saved a guy because he chose not to be a Christian. And His son, who like a good son listened to his father, became Christian and accepted Jesus got betrayed by his own flesh and blood for accepting Jesus. WOW! Makes me sick.

[quote]btm62 wrote:
Its okay to have thoughts you don’t share.[/quote]

Likewise

[quote]Gregus wrote:
That’s a really silly story. What a dumb thing to do.

He saved a guy because he chose not to be a Christian. And His son, who like a good son listened to his father, became Christian and accepted Jesus got betrayed by his own flesh and blood for accepting Jesus. WOW! Makes me sick.[/quote]

Finally!

[quote]sactown1 wrote:
i have a question for any christians on this board, when you think of god what do you see, from what i see in your posts and in my experience alot of christians see god as very human-like figure, is god one Ultimate, Transcendent Reality, or more of a faher-like figure, this is a serious question, because i have seen many christians explain god in different ways.[/quote]

I am God. Everything happens because I will it, apparently.

[quote]JPBear wrote:
… wrath, …[/quote]

Are you saying God has a great rack, but you forgot to put in your teeth?