A self-righteous speechApologies to all for this obnoxious illustration. If you can stick it out to the end, you will be vindicated.

Praise God, everyone! Welcome to our annual membership re-commitment committee. Think of this as a tune-up for the soul. We're going to run a diagnostic on your spiritual life to make sure you're still committed.

My name?

Call me God's Enforcer. And no, there are no other committee members. Yes, it was sad to watch them go but, alas, they wouldn't measure up to The Standard.

Huh? Well, I set The Standard. That's my job.

Shall we begin? 

So, ma'am, you and your husband are separated? Why are you still in church? I don't care if he was beating you. Submit, woman! If you were loving him, he wouldn't do that. You might want to deal with the `Jezebel Spirit' of yours. I don't care if all that makeup is to cover up your bruises and your black eye! It makes you look - unchristian. Your membership is suspended.

As for you, Sir, I realize your son's extended illness has been an economic hardship. I know your wife had to quit her second job to help take care of him but you did sign the Tithe Covenant, didn't you? You're robbing God. Thief, repent! Next?

Sir, I know you're widowed, alone, and your hormones still work. We heard a report from one of our watchers at the computer store that found some pornographic pictures in your computer cache. Is that why you keep coming to the altar to pray? Yes, such things do wage war against the soul, but your membership is still suspended. Well, what about King David? Next!

Certainly, you're a faithful couple. Deacons, no less. Hmmm. Tithes in order. Good attitudes, correct clothing. Still, your children talk during service. If you can't run your own house, how will you run the house of God? I don't care if they are adopted from crack addict mothers. They are an irritation during church. Get your home in order first. Suspended.

Your life is exemplary, to be sure. Still, we've had complaints about, what's this? Your `obsession with torturing and drowning cats' during worship. Excuse me, that charge is incorrect. It says your singing sounds like the torturing and drowning of cats. Way, way off key! Your boisterous braying offends visitors. I don't care if it is `unto God.' Not in this church! Next?

Homeless? Well, take this hard-luck form, fill it out and mail it back. Be sure to include your home address for the committee. You say you don't have a home address? Then you might want to get a clue. Try the Salvation Army. They lack standards.

You still insist the Vision you shared was from God. Yes, I know the Church leaders agreed to help you but we decided in private committee to wait. Well, you could have asked why we decided to wait. Perhaps we could have mentioned this decision to you but it's too late to change things now. Looks like God `changed His mind' again.

Will someone please remove this false prophet? Put a report on her to area pastors as well.

Yes, Reverend. It was a pity, a genuine tragedy. I'm sure your neurotic wife's drug overdose was an `accident.' We just can't use you anymore. People talk. Thanks for the 30 years of selfless service. Might I suggest a career alternative for you in, say, shoe sales?

Sadly, there's no one left but you and me, Lord. Thy will be done. I have successfully weeded the sinners out of our house. Finally, the church is now perfected. Too bad it's just us, Lord.

Lord? Hello? H-e-l-l-o?