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?

Son: No.

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?

Pastor: Yes.

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.

The end.