WILLOW FALLS, NY—Pastor Chuck Nielsen of Foundations Church prides himself on his powerful, moving sermons.
But congregants began to grow concerned when Nielsen referenced articles from popular satire site The Babylon Bee in nearly every message.
"At first, we thought he was playing along, but it became increasingly clear that he thought the Bee was real news," said church member Edna Willis.
Nielsen has reportedly cited articles like "Elevation Church Debuts Water Slide Baptismal" and "Joel Osteen Sails Luxury Yacht Through Flooded Houston To Pass Out Copies Of 'Your Best Life Now'" to demonstrate how far the American church has fallen.
Worried church members staged an intervention.
"Pastor Chuck, we need to have a talk," said church secretary Betty Jameson. "We know how much you love The Babylon Bee, but --"
"Oh yes -- most reliable source of news out there!" Pastor Chuck replied enthusiastically. "I reference it for the latest facts about the church, politics, and current events often. I tell you what, I'd be up a creek if I didn't have the reporters at the Bee to keep me informed!"
"Yeah, about that..." she continued awkwardly. "It's... well, it's not real."
"What -- what do you mean?" he replied, confused. "It's fake? It can't be. It's on the internet and everything."
After several hours of explaining to the pastor how The Babylon Bee is satirical, he finally started to move through the stages of grief.
At publishing time, Pastor Chuck had discovered a new source of news to reference, The Onion.