Constantine’s Last Words

Emperors Demand Respect

Constantine got off to a pretty rocky start when he tried to check in to the reunion!  He was deeply upset by his arrest and at being held against his will. Emperors are not used to that kind of treatment! We were all relieved to see that after some counseling and medication he was right back to his old self. He was eager to return to the reunion and the church fathers were  looking forward to seeing him too. Rumor had it he was still miffed about all the indignities he suffered during his mental health hold so that was a bit of a worry. No one knew what to expect when he finally made an appearance… and what an appearance it was!

A Royal Robe and a Golden Throne

Constantine entered the reunion hall wearing a royal purple robe lavishly encrusted with jewels and gold. It looked just like the royal robe he wore at the first council of Nicea! (except that the gold and jewels were fake and the fabric was a close out from a local upholstery shop) In spite of that he looked truly regal! In their lifetimes the church fathers admired his style so much they adopted it for their own ecclesiastical garments. The casino also found a nice golden throne for the emperor to use and the church fathers thought this was another very nice touch. They liked having thrones in their churches because it sent such a powerful message about their importance!

Constantine Controlled the Nicene Council

The All Stars Reunion featured a lot of important people and that created a big problem. When everyone is important it can be hard to tell who is really important! Constantine decided it was time to show who was in charge. That issue was never in doubt at the first Nicene Council. Not even a little bit! After all, Constantine had convened the council and the church fathers came at his invitation. He provided their transportation, security, lodging and then set a sumptuous table for them to enjoy. Best of all, it didn’t cost them a penny! The emperor also set the agenda and laid out the goals of the council. He was their host, moderator and the final judge of all their decisions! To seal the deal, Constantine even began paying the salaries of church officials which effectively made them his employees!

Pomp and Circumstance

Moderator:  We are honored by the presence of our benefactor and the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire! May I present Constantine the Great! The sounds of a trumpet fanfare played impressively over the world class sound system and everyone immediately stood to their feet. Then the emperor strode into the room in all his glorious apparel and sat down on his golden throne. Caesar’s Palace had even provided a troop of Roman soldiers holding spears with concealed microphones for the event. It was a thrilling display of pomp and circumstance! 

The Emperor Remembers Nicea

Emperor Constantine the Great: Beloved subjects! It is so good to be here with my soldiers, my robe, my golden throne and all of you. I’m almost beginning to feel at home here in Sin City! When I heard the trumpets and saw all of you kneel before me it was such a relief! What a strange world the centuries have wrought! Who would have ever thought an emperor would get arrested and locked up just for acting like an emperor? Go figure!

I do regret missing the reunion sessions with Athanasius, Tertullian, and Origen, along with Eusebius and Arius.  I heard that a very interesting character named Lewis Carroll showed up too. The reports I’ve heard about the Reunion have been so complimentary! Let me first congratulate you for crafting the dogmas and creeds that shaped civilization and preserved my empire for so long. Your labors at the Great Council in Nicea will never be forgotten!  People who claim we ultimately did more harm than good are just jealous of our success.

The Theology All-Stars Reunion Was a Mystery to Him

No one has really explained to me how we got here since we have all been dead for so long! Sadly, the reunion committee tells me we are all headed back to our graves any day now. I hope we have the chance to play at least one more round of golf before then! I really enjoyed that crazy game. When I first got here to Las Vegas I confess to being a little concerned about the cost because my empire is bankrupt and doesn’t even exist anymore. Fortunately, the organizers told me lots of people leave this town deeply in debt so I guess we’ll have lots of company! Luckily for us we’re all dead so when we do leave town we’re going where no one will ever find us!

What Was The Real Reason for the Nicene Council?

Some people think I convened the Council in Nicea to further the Kingdom of God.  Others claim it was really called to help preserve my empire. I guess that’s a question you’ll just have to answer for yourself! Some have even questioned the sincerity of my conversion to Christianity since I didn’t get baptized until I was on my deathbed. That did give me more time to do what I wanted and then have it all forgiven right at the end! All in all it was a pretty clever move on my part if I do say so myself! I only hope God never figures what I was up to!

Without Warning Emperor Constantine Began Fading Away!

With that, the lights began to dim without warning and the emperor and all the church fathers started fading away! All their pomp and all their glory slowly evaporated into nothing!  Soon there was nothing left but an empty room! Their authority, their powerful intellects and their influence had become little more than a memory. The curtain had finally dropped on the Theology All Stars Reunion! Its fine buffets and great speakers became a thing of the past. But it was a fine past indeed!  We are glad it took place and we’re glad you came to read about it!

The Nicene Council Created a Religious Mess

Someone had to clean up after the reunion and that chore was left for the janitor Pragmatticus. (We’ll hear from him in a week or two.) After that we have something quite wonderful in store for you! We are planning a brand new companion site to the All Stars Reunion called wonderfultheology.com. You can reach it directly or by way of the link we’ve included right here on our homepage.

PS: Please be sure to come back for the final installment of the Allstars Reunion and take a look at our companion site too. You’ll be glad you did.
PPS: Before you leave today please invite someone else to read about the Reunion too. Thanks and God Bless.

Copyright 2021 by Bob Shutes

 

Golfing Reveals the Trinity

The Emperor Needed Some Fresh Air

The last session of the All Stars Reunion, A Road Less Traveled, caused quite a stir! The uninvited intruder left many of the attendees feeling rattled.  Others thought a social break was in order anyway and that right now would be a good time for it. The Reunion Committee decided some good old-fashioned rest and relaxation was definitely in order! When someone suggested a golf outing the idea was received with enthusiasm by one and all. Emperor Constantine had just completed his mental health hold and he clearly needed some fresh air and fun. A day on the golf course was just what the doctor ordered!

The Church Fathers Wanted to Relax

It’s hard to imagine what it must be like for an emperor to play golf for the first time, but we shall try! The day began with high hopes and good intentions. The “church fathers” had never even heard of golf but thought it sounded like fun. Everyone agreed it would be a wonderful way to relieve some tension and create good will. Little did they know! The whole group felt energized and exhilarated as the day began. The idea of golf was exciting but the reality of golf was something altogether different! (Readers who have played the game will know exactly what I mean.)

Theologians Competed for Preeminence

Tensions began to rise when the  church fathers tried to decide who would get to drive the golf carts. Many refused to ride with anyone whose opinions were other than their own. The Romans felt they should be first in everything. The Alexandrians were convinced they knew more than anyone and that they alone should drive. The Antiochians argued for the beauty and history of their fair city. The team from Jerusalem just KNEW that no one was more qualified to lead and Constantinople insisted on preeminence too. It never dawned on anyone that none of them knew a thing about golf!

Emperor Constantine Made the Rules

In spite of his golfing ignorance Constantine was to be the final arbiter in all disputes (just as he had been at Nicea)!  His decisions were final, authoritative and binding on all golfers. This was most apparent when he tallied scores after each hole. No matter how many strokes a player might claim, Constantine had the final say. This was especially true of his own scores. No one dared challenge the accuracy or math on the emperor’s scorecard! On the very first hole took nine strokes to put his ball in the cup but he gave himself a three!  Then he proudly declared that he had just made par on his very first hole ever!

The Logic of the Trinity Prevailed

A few golfers argued that Constantine’s counting was faulty but he silenced them with indisputable trinitarian logic! The emperor proclaimed that three strokes in play equaled one stroke in scoring! He said there was no difference between three strokes and one stroke since they were all of the same essence.  Therefore his nine strokes were actually just three strokes and did anyone want to argue about it? It’s pretty hard to argue with that kind of logic! A unitary score subsists in a plurality of strokes and these must not be confounded or distinguished. It was all very reminiscent of the arguments that held sway in Nicea.

Does One Really Mean One?

Some players foolishly insisted that one stroke equals one stroke and that the meaning of one is simply one. Not surprisingly this caused them to be banned from play and their scorecards were burned and taken out of circulation. Those who persisted in their contrary ways were removed from the course and never seen again. Players who wisely supported the emperor were hailed as true champions of golf and also enjoyed imperial favor.

The Golfer’s Creed

“Multiple strokes in essence equal single strokes in scoring and the final score is thus a true and single score. Those who would play golf must first acknowledge that this is the only true and orthodox rule.”  This became known as the golfer’s creed and is why it is so important to keep a close eye on other players. There was much uncertainty and debate about how a plurality of actual strokes could equal a single scoring stroke.  Just because words are supposed to have meaning doesn’t mean that they mean what they mean at all! That was the beauty of the golfer’s creed!

Words Lost Their Meaning!

A great deal of confusion also arose over the meaning of the word four. Inevitably this raised the question of when or even if, it was ever proper to shout “fore” after hitting a bad ball. Misunderstandings over words and ideas began to multiply and some proclaimed that confusion owned the day. Debate also raged over whether an eagle should be considered a birdie, a fowl or a foul. Is it legal to use a putter to put a ball closer to the hole? or is the time-honored foot nudge the only acceptable method?

The Blind Were Leading the Blind

By the end of the day it became clear that the “blind were leading the blind” and no one was any the better for it!   The Church Fathers were “ever golfing but never coming to a knowledge of the game.” All in all though, it had been a fine day on the golf course and at least everyone got plenty of fresh air and sunshine.

PS: Once you begin to grasp the implications of Trinitarian “Logic” lots of things begin to make sense! Even if its peculiar reasoning doesn’t make any sense at all we can still have some fun with it. May God Bless us all, each and every one.

Copyright 2021 by Bob Shutes

Emperor Constantine Arrived

Things Got Exciting at Caesar’s New Palace!

There was a lot of excitement at the front desk when the Emperor checked in. It all started when the desk clerk asked him how he wanted to pay for his room and then asked for a major credit card. Constantine was mightily offended that anyone would ask him to pay for lodging in his own palace and things went downhill in a hurry!

Constantine Was Weary From His Travels

Desk Clerk:  Good afternoon Mr. Constantine! I see the Imperial Suite is reserved for you for all week. You just need to sign this form and provide your credit card in case there are any incidental charges. By the way, that’s a terrific costume you’re wearing! You look like a real Roman Caesar!

The Emperor: Have your servants escort me to my quarters immediately and whatever else you have said is of no importance. Make haste for I am weary from my travels and will have no more patience with your impertinence!

Desk Clerk:  I’m sorry Mr. Constantine but this is hotel policy and there are no exceptions. It only takes a minute and then we’ll be happy to take you to your suite.

Constantine Threatens the Desk Clerk!

The Emperor:  One more word young fool and I will have your head! I command you to kneel at your Emperor’s feet and your life will be spared.

Desk Clerk: Oh my goodness Mr. Constantine! Are you really threatening to kill me? That would be a real mistake even if you are just joking.

The Emperor: Enough! Emperors do not make mistakes! Guards! Slay this impudent wretch before my eyes. Do not let another breath or another word pass her lips!

Desk Clerk: (Over the hotel PA system) All Hotel Security report to the front desk immediately! Code Crazy in progress! Repeat… Code Crazy in progress. Do not delay! Suspect is deranged and threatening violence!

WARNING: The following events were captured on video tape and may be disturbing to some viewers. (Copies of the DVD are currently sold out but will be available soon.)

There were costumed casino employees on the scene looking just like Roman soldiers with fake spears and swords. When Constantine ordered them to kill the desk clerk they laughed and said, “Sure thing Connie! We’ll get right on that as soon as we finish our coffee break!” That made the Emperor so mad he commanded everyone in the room who was loyal to Rome to kill everyone who wasn’t!

Emperor Constantine Was Foaming at the Mouth!

Hotel guests couldn’t tell whether the scene was real or staged for their entertainment. The “Imperial Guards” were laughing their silly butts off. Constantine started foaming at the mouth when hotel security guards (the real ones) handcuffed him and told him to be quiet. When the Emperor commanded everyone to kneel again the lobby erupted with laughter and applause. The timing seemed perfect when the Reunion organizers and casino owners showed up and whisked everyone away to the absolute delight of the onlookers.

The Casino Wanted to Hire a  Roman Caesar!

We can only imagine the conversations that took place behind closed doors but the desk clerk seemed relieved, the “Imperial Guards” finished their coffee break and the hotel guests who witnessed it all went home with a great story to tell their friends.

Reliable sources later reported that Casino management was so impressed with Constantine’s performance that he was offered his own show at a very handsome rate. Unfortunately, for us it never happened and we must be content with these fond memories and thoughts of what might have been.

Well, that’s a true and accurate account of what happened at the Theology All-Stars Reunion when Emperor Constantine arrived. It still makes us smile just to think of it. You can share a smile with someone today by sending them a link to theologyallstars.com. Thanks and God Bless.

Copyright 2021 by Bob Shutes