It Was Time for a Break!
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!
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.)
The Church Fathers Compete for Preeminence
Tensions began to rise when the “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. It never dawned on anyone that none of them knew a thing about golf or golf carts either!
Emperor Constantine Has the Final Say
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!
Trinitarian Logic Prevails
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.
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 Essence of Keeping Score
“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!
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 or just a great fowl. 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.
Copyright 2021 by Bob Shutes