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The Sailor Who Gave Up his Son's Life To Save His Son's Friend-Unproven!

 

 

 

Summary of eRumor:  
 
A pastor invites a guest minister to briefly share during an evening church service.  The guest tells a gripping story of a sailor who was on the ocean in a sailboat with his son and one of his son's friends.  A storm throws them overboard and the sailor, when faced with the decision of whether to save his son or the other youth, says goodbye to his son and saves his son's friend.  The reason?  His son was a Christian and his eternity was secure.  The other young man was not.  The man says it is an illustration of how it must have been for God to give up his only son to die.  Two teenagers who were in the congregation listening to the man's story come up to the man afterwards and question how truthful it is.  The man then answers that he was that sailor and the pastor of the church was his son's friend who was saved from the storm.
The Truth:   
No source for this story has been found so it is probably somebody's attempt at inspirational fiction.

Another version of the story circulated among Jehovah's Witnesses that positions the hero of the story as a Jehovah's Witness overseer.  (See below)
A real example of the story as it has been circulated:
 

Version #1

TRUE STORY....

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 MAN 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 HE WOULD 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 THE BOYS, "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."

Jehovah's Witness Version

POWERFUL ILLUSTRATION
AFTER THE PRAYER, THE LOCAL ELDER SLOWLY STOOD UP, WALKED UP TO THE
PLATFORM AND, BEFORE HE GAVE HIS PUBLIC TALK, HE BRIEFLY INTRODUCED A GUEST
SPEAKER.

IN THE INTRODUCTION, THE ELDER TOLD THE CONGREGATION THAT THE GUEST
SPEAKER WAS ONE OF HIS DEAREST CHILDHOOD FRIENDS FROM A FAR AWAY PLACE AND
THAT HE WANTED HIM TO HAVE A FEW MOMENTS TO GREET THE CONGREGATION AND SHARE
WHATEVER HE FELT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE SERVICE. WITH THAT, AN ELDERLY
MAN STEPPED UP TO PLATFORM 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 MAN HESITATED FOR A MOMENT, MAKING EYE CONTACT WITH TWO
TEENAGERS WHO WERE, FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE TALK BEGAN, LOOKING
SOMEWHAT INTERESTED IN HIS STORY.
THE AGED GENTLEMAN 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 LOVED JEHOVAH HE ALSO KNEW THAT HIS SON'S FRIEND WAS NOT
AND HAD NOT LEARNED TO LOVE JEHOVAH.
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, ANXIOUSLY
WAITING FOR THE NEXT WORDS TO COME OUT OF THE AGED GENTLEMAN'S MOUTH.
THE FATHER," HE CONTINUED, "KNEW HIS SON WOULD BE REMEMBERED BY JEHOVAH AND
HE COULD NOT BEAR THE THOUGHT OF HIS SON'S FRIEND NOT LETTING JEHOVAH GET TO
KNOW HIM BETTER AND HIM GETTING TO KNOW JEHOVAH AND THE PROMISES HE HAS IN
STORE. THEREFORE, HE SACRIFICED HIS SON TO SAVE THE SON'S FRIEND. HOW GREAT
IS THE LOVE OF GOD THAT HE DID THE SAME FOR US.
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER SACRIFICED HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON SO 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 " WITH THAT, THE OLD GENTLEMAN TURNED
AND SAT BACK DOWN IN HIS CHAIR AS SILENCE FILLED THE ROOM.

THE ELDER AGAIN WALKED SLOWLY TO THE PLATFORM AND DELIVERED A BRIEF TALK
WITH AN INVITATION AT THE END TO START A BIBLE STUDY WITH SOMEONE HERE AT
THE KINGDOM HALL. 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 BUT SARCASTICALLY 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 AND
LOVE GOD."

WELL, YOU'VE GOT A POINT THERE," THE OLD MAN REPLIED GLANCING DOWN AT HIS
WORN BIBLE. A BIG SMILE BROADENED HIS NARROW FACE AND 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 THIS STORY GIVES ME A GLIMPSE
OF WHAT IT MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE FOR JEHOVAH GOD TO GIVE UP HIS SON FOR ME.

YOU SEE...

I WAS THAT FATHER AND YOUR CIRCUIT OVERSEER IS MY SON'S FRIEND.

 

 


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