The Story of the Church of the Seven Rules
Once upon a time, there was a church that had seven rules of behavior. Their motto was “Impress and Be Best.” When Seeker went to visit, a man met her at the door and shook her hand. As she peeked over his shoulder at the sanctuary, she said to the man, “I understand that this is the Church of the Seven Rules. Why is it called that?”
After he invited her inside, he answered with a smile, “Well, we have seven rules that help us accomplish our goal of impress and be best. We have to be on our best behavior if we are going to impress others and convert them to our church, you know.”
Seeker was curious. So, she followed him on a tour of the church. It looked like many other religious buildings that she had visited. After that, she turned to the man.
“So, what are these seven rules?”
He clapped his hands and his eyes danced. “I thought you’d never ask!” He pulled out a pamphlet and gave it to her. This is what was on the pamphlet:
Impress and Be Best!
- Make sure that you carry around a big Bible and everyone sees you opening it. Better yet, have a Bible with gilded pages in your house and make sure it is out in the open to impress people when they visit you. Also, decorate your clothes and home with Bible verses and whenever you meet people, tell them how many Bible verses you know by heart.
- Everyone must bow when you enter the room. You are important because you follow the rules. Therefore, they must always call you “Most important one.” In addition, you always get a pew closest to the preacher and you sit at the head of the table with the church leaders.
- If anyone shows interest in your religion, invite them to follow you around. Teach them how to follow rules and impress people. But, do not teach them to open the Bible and read it. Tell them it is enough to own a Bible and come to the church to be admired.
- Do not commit to helping anyone. Your religion may seem like it is about helping the lost, but it is really about following rules and making sure that everyone sees you following the rules. So, if you find yourself making a promise to do something that may not be in the rules, find a way to get out of it. Say something like, “Well, I didn’t really promise. I said maybe.” Or, “I didn’t put it in writing.” Don’t worry. They will find someone else.
- Make sure your clothes look new and ironed. You don’t want to give the impression that you are a sinner, do you? Sinful people wear jeans and a tee shirt to church. But, not you. No, you are always the best dressed person in the church. Besides, you’ve got to make sure no one would guess that you have been cheating on your spouse and you have a problem with alcohol.
- Pay special attention to details. Because the small stuff matters, you never utter a swear word and you are always careful to observe vegetarian Fridays during Lent. Never mind that the ushers have been pilfering from the offering plate and the pastor verbally abuses the staff. After all, you are the only one who knows about that stuff. Besides, it’s what people can see that counts.
- Most of all, stay away from “Jesus Freaks.” The founders of your church talked about those people. They are really out there. Furthermore, they talk about love and forgiveness and wear jeans to church, which is totally opposite of what we teach. How dare they! It’s not done like that. It’s supposed to be about the rules and impressing people!
Do you want to join us in impressing others?
The man turned to Seeker after a few minutes and said, “So what do you think?”
Seeker gave the pamphlet back to the man and said, “I’m sorry. I don’t think your church is for me. I’m one of those Jesus Freaks from rule number 7. You have a beautiful building, though.”