Conservative Christian blogger:
Copied from: Christian Apologetics Alliance
In 2003, the short-film Most made its way onto the big screen. A brilliantly moving piece of cinema, the film tells the story of a single father who lives with his son in the Czech Republic. The pair share simple yet content lives together. The father works as a bridge engineer—he was responsible for raising and lowering a massive draw-bridge that allowed ships and trains to pass, at scheduled times. One day, the boy happened to be at the bridge with his father. As he’s playing outside, he notices a train rapidly approaching the station.
It was an hour early.
The bridge was up.
And the train was heading right towards it.
He yells and shouts at the window of his father’s booth, but to no avail. The train was quickly running out of track and the bridge needed to come down. Hundreds of people were potentially onboard. So the boy decides to manually lower the bridge by pulling a lever near the tracks. In a heart-stopping moment, he accidentally falls into the gear-works that enable to bridge to operate.
A series of heavy, metal gears and levers surrounded his body on all sides. The flicker of movement catches the father’s eye. He turns to see his son fall into the gear-box and lie helpless there.
Realization dawns upon him.
If he lowers the bridge, the gears will crush his boy.
Left with the soul-shredding decision to kill his boy, he cries and screams and punches the wall. With only moments to deliberate, he reluctantly pulls the lever. He hears the gears turn and lets out a guttural scream.
The camera then moves and presents us with the haunting image of the boy’s lifeless corpse.
Hundreds on the train were saved, but at the biggest price to the father. He killed his son.
Now picture the same scenario, but with a twist this time. Suppose the boy had fallen into the gear-works and the train was rushing towards the raised bridge, but this time, the father had two levers: one to lower the bridge and kill his son (like in the original scenario) and one to divert the train onto an alternate track that took it over a second, parallel bridge. It would be madness for the father to choose the first lever and kill his son with the second lever being right within reach! Why on earth would he kill his son when he knows fully well that the second lever is capable of saving both the lives of all the train passengers and the life of his son? Such a decision would be utterly appalling. Only a monster would choose the first lever.
And yet this is exactly what religious pluralists make God out to be.
“All religions are true.”
“All religions lead to God.”
“All roads lead to the same destination.”
While I can understand the sentiment of inclusivity, this idea creates an evil God. If all religions are true then God is cruel. And not just cruel–God is an incompetent, cosmic child-abuser. If religious pluralism is true, then God is the father in the second scenario. He saw the train coming and he decided to pull the first lever and kill his son, rather than pull the second lever. If Islam, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and all the other world religions are true paths to God, then why did God kill his Son, Jesus, in order to make a way for men to come to Him? The very notion is absurd and insulting to God. It paints a portrait of a God who is really, really cruel. He sent Jesus into the world to live a miserable life of scorn, rejection, poverty, betrayal, humiliation, sorrow, and ultimately, torture and death, in order to create a path whereby men can come to know Him, all the while knowing that following the Five Pillars of Islam or the Noble Eight-fold Path could accomplish the very same thing! What a waste! Jesus’ life–God’s plan of salvation– is completely in vain for the same result could be achieved through persons simply adhering to the tenets of any world religion. God is not only cruel, but incompetent for putting into effect the worst salvation plan possible.
But God is not cruel. He is not incompetent. He would not kill his Son needlessly. He would not put into effect a ridiculous or cruel salvation plan for mankind. Hence, religious pluralism cannot be true. This does not show Christianity to be true, but it does show that not all religions can be true, for if they were, then God would not be a God of love–He would be a cosmic sadist or an incompetent guardian of the universe, or both.
I am 54 years old. My jaw dropped reading your post because I heard this exact same story when I was growing up the son of a fundamentalist Baptist pastor. As a small child I remember sitting in the front pew as he would tell this story, pointing out that God the Father had done the same thing to his Son to save us. (My father added an extra flare to the end of the story, however: as the train full of people crossed over the lowered draw bridge, unaware of the sacrifice the father had made for them, the father saw them inside the train, laughing, partying, drinking alcohol—real filthy sinners—“just like you and me”.)
Gripping story. Works well to bring the guilt-ridden sinner down the aisle to accept Jesus into his heart, but, it is a story based on many, many assumptions about the truthfulness of the Christian belief system.
Here is how the REAL story goes:
The Father who operates the bridge-controls is all-knowing, and all-powerful. In fact, he is the creator of the train track, the bridge, the river under the bridge, the train, and even the people on the train! This Father has existed forever. He is perfect. He needs nothing. Everything that exists belongs to him. But in spite of all that, one day, for some unknown reason, he decided that he wanted to create a train, a train track, a river, a draw bridge over the river, and people to ride on that train. Was he bored? Lonely? We don’t know.
This Father first created the river, then the draw-bridge over the river, then the train track, then the train, and then the people in the train. He told the people in the train that they could sing and play games in the train, they could do whatever was good and wholesome on the train that they wanted…except…they could not eat the fruit from the fruit basket that he placed in the middle of every passenger car of the train. IF they eat from the fruit, the Father will cause the train to crash into the river and everyone will die.
Well, this fruit was the most beautiful fruit these people had ever seen! One day, as the people were boarding the train, a voice from a loud speaker placed right next to the fruit basket said to them, “Look how beautiful the fruit is. Nothing will happen if you eat the fruit. Eat it!”
So the people ate it!
And just five minutes later, the Father got on the train and asked why there were so many fruit pits on the floor. The people lied and blamed each other, but the all-knowing Father knew they had each eaten the forbidden fruit.
“I warned you not to eat the fruit that I had placed smack dab in the middle of the train car; a location where you would have to pass by it each time you boarded the train. Now you are going to crash into the river and all die.”
The Father got off the train; locked all the doors from the outside so that the people could not escape; and turned on the automatic engineer to start up the train, to begin barreling down the tracks toward the raised draw-bridge over the deep, dark, cold waters of the river.
The people screamed and begged the Father to forgive them for eating his fruit.
The Father, after punishing them with disease, starvation, thirst, war, child abuse, and other punishments so horrific and numerous to print, finally relented, and said, “Ok, I will forgive you for eating my fruit and for your subsequent wicked behavior on my train, but first, I must send myself, disguised as my own son, into the gear house of the draw-bridge, and there I will sacrifice myself, looking like my son, to appease the anger, of myself, to redeem your sin, of eating my forbidden fruit, which I put smack dab in the middle of each train car to trick…I mean…test/tempt you.
So the Father rushed back to the gear house, put on a disguise to make himself look like a son, threw himself into the giant gears, and killed himself to appease himself and thus provide a means of salvation for the people on the train whom he had created because he was bored, lonely…(or sadistic??).
“And everyone on the train, who believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”