Ed Egghead was
a simple soul who wanted to have his very own church. Ed couldn’t afford to rent a place to hold services in. Ed’s
friends didn’t have much money either, but they all decided to start the church anyway.
weeks Ed, his wife, and three other Christian families gathered in the den of his large home.
Since they were all personal friends, Ed didn’t mind the relaxed, informal atmosphere. Everyone just enjoyed
being together, sharing from the Word, singing, and sharing their testimonies. After each service they would gather round
a table and enjoy coffee and a snack. Everyone would always be decently, but casually dressed…just like a close-knit
Then, like a
bombshell, everything began to change. Ed showed up one night in a starched white shirt, black suit, pinstripe tie, and shiny
black shoes. His wife wore a strand of pearls and a charcoal gray tailored suit. She entered the room stiffly. The others looked antsy.
Ed,” his best buddy Rupert said. “What’s up? Are you guys on your way to a funeral?”
Rupert,” Ed said stiffly. “And if it’s all the same to you,
I’d prefer if you called me “Pastor Edward” and my wife “Sister Edwina.”
be jokin’ right?” Millie Morris said. “Edie,” she said
to Ed’s wife, “we’re still best friends, aren’t we?”
primly. “Surely, Mildred. “You’ll
always be highly esteemed in my personal affections. But if we’re to conduct
a proper church service, the proper protocol must be observed. In informal social
settings, you may still address me as ‘Edie’. Within the confines of the sanctuary I prefer that you address me
as ‘Sister Edwina…out of respect for my husband’s newly acquired position of authority.”
what’s goin’ on here anyway?” Brother Mike demanded. “Enough
of this joke already! Hey, man, I’m worried about you guys! You didn’t
even crack a smile!”
Brother Mike!” Ed rebuked. “You’re way out of order!”
As a bewildered
Mike plopped back down on the sofa, Ed stood aloof from his former friends. Edie
brought in a tall college professor’s lectern. “This’ll do
for now,” Ed said. “When the cash starts rolling in I’ll get me one of those solid redwood pulpits from
Sacred Supply Center. And furthermore, we’re gonna chuck out all this furniture. If
we’re gonna be a real McCoy church, we’ll have to ACT and LOOK like a church! That means starting next week, I
wanna see all the men and boys duded up in suits and ties and all the girls and women shining in their best Sunday attire!”
the suits and ties, Ed…er…’Brother Edward’?” inquired Rupert.
Brother Peso on TV taught me this: ‘If you wear your best you’ll attract success. But
if you wear a sweater you’ll be no go-getter.’ So wear a tie, guys, if you wanna get blessed and make yourself
a money magnet.”
The other men
looked at Ed like he’d lost his marbles, but said nothing.
soberly added, “From now on, unless a special occasion necessitates the provision of refreshments, they will no longer be provided. Church services have as their chief end the sustenance of the soul, not the
gratification of physical appetite. You may all dine in your own homes before services commence each week.”
Everyone moaned. Ed said, “She’s right, everybody.
The apostle Paul did say: “Have ye not homes to eat and to drink in? We’re
trying to cut a few corners for financing our new church, so we really don’t need any freeloaders here…not that
anybody’s been one….” Ed got some stony looks.
I meant to say is this: Coffee and cookies only draw our attention away from the rich spiritual
food I’ll be providing each week. Paul said, ‘Let all things be decent and in order, and I don’t think Paul
approved of turning church into a big coffee break! All the more reason why we’ve
gotta grow up and get the pews and go get us a real building. And I don’t
think Paul would have kept Lazy Boy Recliners and bean bags in his sanctuary! Right
now, all I can afford is a few folding chairs, but at least they’ll all
match. Won’t be long, we’ll buy a pew or two to match that fancy new pulpit I ordered by faith.”
do you mean, you ordered that pulpit ‘by faith’?” Mike asked, looking suspicious.
perzactly what I meant, Mike! I have faith in YOU that you’ll do the decent
thing and get me that brand new Soul of Inspiration Redwood Pew! Just like suits
and ties attract cash, pews made from majestic redwood trees inspire majestic sermons!”
we’d all be chipping in to pay for the pew, do we all get to use the pew to share our testimonies from?” Rupert
“Sharing is KID STUFF! That’s what I’M here for, people! There’s
only room for ONE preacher in this particular pulpit, and his name is Edward
Egghead! I’M the guy who almost graduated Bible school, not you! And the
only reason I didn’t finish was I had a cash flow problem!
reminds me: If you mean business about having this church, you guys will have to spring for all new church furniture, AND
you’ll kick in a few grand so I can go back and get my degree. You guys
need a pastor you can be PROUD of.”
Chilly silence. “Edwina,” Ed said stiffly, “Please bring up the new offering bag
you bought today. We only bought one bag, saints, but at least it’s a step of faith. As our church gets bigger,
we’ll buy a bunch more of those fancy bags.”
handed him the single blue velvet bag, which was attached to a wooden handle.
now, Ed!” Brother Barney called. “This is getting ridiculous. You don’t need that thing here! This isn’t Westchester Cathedral!”
be,” Ed said, ‘if only you’ll be more positive and see past your own nose.’. “To prove your faith, I want everybody to make a vow of faith tonight that they’ll dedicate
ten percent of each paycheck to our new church! We’re gonna be a TITHING church!”
a Levite?” Mike called, out of the clear blue.
a WHAT?” Ed looked annoyed. He scratched his head.
around for the next hour or so as Mike explained from the Scriptures that only the Levites were ever authorized by God to
collect tithes. Mike didn’t delve too deeply into the complications of the issue, as he didn’t feel like starting
wore special clothes and the priest wore a bonnet,” Mike said, in a half-joking way.
“Business suits might make you rich, but they don’t make you a Levite. Unless you wear Levite clothes,
don’t ask me for tithes again.”
Ed said they’d
resume the discussion the following week. Half his congregation grumbled and
threatened not to come back.
Next week only
Mike and his family showed up, formally dressed to Edie’s approval. She
admitted them and escorted them to the den to await another service.
What a sight
Ed was when he walked in, dressed up in a Western shirt and brand new jeans! He
grinned at Mike from under a Stetson cowboy hat.
as shootin’ ain’t wearin’ no bonnet!” Ed said, holding out the offering bag. But I am wearin’ Levi clothes and a Levi hat. Now pay