An evangelical pastor sits at the kitchen table with a well-marked open bible before him. His son walks into the kitchen and opens the refrigerator searching for the cold chicken, mayonnaise, tomatoes, lettuce, and bread.
Pastor: Can I talk to you for a minute? Come and sit here.
Son: Sure, what’s up?
Pastor: I was in the hospital all week. God puts people in the hospital because of sin, so I was praying and searching for my sin, but I couldn’t find it. And then I realized that is was you.
Son: Me? I put YOU in the hospital?
Pastor: Your sin did, yes.
Son: What could I possibly do to put you in the hospital?
Pastor: Spiritual pride–
The pastor points to a passage of the bible.
Pastor: The Lord says that he hates a proud man, and there is nothing worse than spiritual pride. And here is another passage–
The pastor turns some pages to another spot.
Pastor: Here the Lord says that he turns against the proud and becomes their enemy. Do you want God to be your enemy?
Pastor: If you don’t listen to what I’m telling you, God will be your enemy.
Son: If I don’t obey you, God will be my enemy?
Son: Are you so close to God?
Pastor: Yes, that’s my job.
Son: Are there any other possible interpretations of your hospitalization? Like you were in the hospital for an unknown, not-spiritual reason?
Pastor: I’m a pastor; everything I do has spiritual meanings.
Son: Okay, but there is no causal relationship between your hospitalization and my speech; my peers liked my speech and have responded to me in a positive way, but beyond that I’ve never thought about it again. I have no pride.
Pastor: You must because I was in the hospital because of your pride! You must confess your pride, repent of it, and ask for God’s forgiveness or God will become your enemy.
Son: But I’ve not thought about that speech since I gave it!
Pastor: Do you want to pray with me now, confess your sin, and repent?
Son: No, I don’t want to pray with you, and I’ll take things a step further: I will give a lot more speeches and be proud of them in the hope that you end up in the hospital more often. I will become a figurehead of a movement; I will broadcast my ideas and the masses will flock to me. I will sell advertisements and the people will love me for it. Everything will go well; the future will be marvelous!
Pastor: Are you even a Christian?
Son: Ah, yes, the never-ending search for the true believer!
Pastor: You sound like an atheist!
Son: I’m a wizard, and the first thing I’m going to do as a wizard is this: I’m going to reveal my wizardry to people and listen to the feedback I receive; in doing so, I will know myself and I will know at what I excel. Maybe I’m great at giving speeches! But what I won’t do is this: I won’t stop speaking because you desire control over me.
Pastor: But you aren’t good at giving speeches! Yours put me in the hospital!
Son: Yes, well, that is one form of my wizardry; wait until I wield my full power!
Pastor: You’ll be rebelling against God if you do!
Son: Against you or against God?
Pastor: I’m a pastor; it is the same thing!
Son: Very well; I accept.