HOUSTON, TX – Land of Silk and Money (LSM), a local church pastored by Jerry B. Pound, has added a new spiritual gift shop to their already existing store full of self-help books, motivational audio, prayer cloths, the pastor’s prayers in tongues, and pamphlets about seed-planting (no Bibles were reportedly seen). The church boasts 25,000 members and 269,000 square feet of land, but Pound says that many of those members have asked what spiritual gift they have. In order to help them out, he decided to add this spiritual gift shop that allowed anyone to purchase the spiritual gift of their choice, either for themselves or someone else.
“I got asked so many times about spiritual gifts, and I thought, ‘Hey, Jerry, isn’t this another example of planting seeds?'” said Pound, who flies back to his Florida beach house every week on his private jet. “If you can plant seeds and get the car of your choice, I don’t see why you can’t also get the spiritual gift that you want.”
Though spiritual gifts aren’t tangible, they are represented in the store by cards with text on them and envelopes for future giving that increases those gifts. The initial price of a spiritual gift varied based upon its importance, a level deemed by Pound and his staff. Here is a list of some of the gifts and their price tag:
Prophecy: $500 purchase, $50/month for increase
Healing: $350, $30/month
Commanding the weather: $325, $28/month
Speaking in Tongues: $250, $24/month
Investment fortune: $200, $22/month
Leading worship: $175, $20/month
Sports car driving: $150, $17/month
Teaching: $50, $10/month
Administration: Free with any purchase
Evangelism: N/A at this time
Charming Beautiful Women: $1500, $150/month
When told that some of these do not seem to be in Scripture, Pound assuredly replied that he had received divine revelation that he had the authority to create gifts as he saw fit. Not only that, Pound excitedly informed us that many gifts were offered in combo packages that made for good deals; for example, the “Trinity combo” of prophecy, tongues, and healing was offered for the low price of $900.
On top of that, with any purchase comes the option to buy additional items that visibly prove that one has a certain gifts, either in the form of cards that go into wallets, badges, hats, and T-shirts. Pound himself as numerous cards in his wallet that he can whip out to prove his giftedness, ones that say “Prophet,” “Healer,” “Pimp,” etc.
“It’s just another way for Christians to prove their faithfulness to God and be rewarded,” Pound stated. “What better way to show your desire for spiritual gifts than to put your money on it?”
Though Pound insists that the spiritual gift shop has been a resounding success (he has been able to add new TV’s on his jet), there have been many dissatisfied customers. Greg Miller, who bought the Charming Beautiful Women gift five months ago, noticed that beautiful women still did not respond to his advances. He angrily called LSM to complain, but he was promptly told that his spiritual gift was not working because he did not have enough faith. Also, he was directed to some of the fine print on his spiritual gift card, which read, “LSM is not responsible for the failure of your gift if you are excessively ugly, awkward, poor, or boring.”
“I bought this to avoid working out and changing my lifestyle; I didn’t know that I had to do other things to make the thing work,” Miller sighed.
Another disgruntled customer, Bethany Fredericks, bought the Trinity combo but found out that she was still unable to predict the lottery numbers, though she is now able to speak in tongues (her demonstration of this was not understandable and included the words “kablooey” and “leviosa” frequently). However, she too was informed that her faith was not strong enough to make such a powerful predictive prophecy. “I used up my savings and remaining credit card balance for that package, and I was going to use the money I won to buy even more spiritual gifts,” she explained. “That obviously hasn’t worked out, but I’m praying to increase my faith and pouring more money into my gift per month.”
Further problems have arisen when people receive spiritual gifts from others that they do not desire. “My friend and I are into the same girl, and all of a sudden he buys me the gift of singleness for my birthday,” said Chris Cartwright. “I don’t want to be disobedient to God or anything, but I was wondering if it was something I could return.” Unfortunately, LSM’s spiritual gift shop has a strict no-return, no-refund policy, though it does offer the Gift of Removing Unwanted Spiritual Gifts for $400.