LITTLE ROCK, AR—After a long period of watching their pastor suffer alone, churchgoers at Hillside Baptist Church finally staged an intervention to help Pastor Chuck break free from his addiction to using Lord of the Rings illustrations in each and every sermon he preaches.
The pastor walked into his study for his nightly devotionals reading Tolkien's classic trilogy but was confronted by a circle of some of his closest friends and church family.
"Buddy, it's time for you to get help," said his associate pastor, tears in his eyes. "We've watched you struggle on your own for too long. Last week, when you quoted from The Silmarillion, we knew you couldn't fight this on your own anymore."
Church members then played for Pastor Chuck hours of footage of his sermons over the past few months, each one containing more and more Lord of the Rings references. "See here when you compared Gandalf's battle with the Balrog to Christ's sacrifice for sin once and for all? We just want you to see how you looked up there, going on and on about the fictional conflict without really mentioning Jesus very much."
Pastor Chuck wept as he saw himself use iconic moments from the books like the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the Ride of the Rohirrim, and the Scouring of the Shire to make tenuous connections to the text.
"I'm just so glad that I have friends who were willing to come alongside me and point out my weaknesses," the minister told reporters. "They helped me in my hour of need, just like the fellowship put Frodo's needs ahead of their ow—" Pastor Chuck was then tackled by his accountability partner.
At publishing time, the pastor had agreed to attend a 6-month-long rehab program at Rivendell Rehabilitation Center in the mountains.