The Janitor and the Servant Girl were both at the First Great Church Council (in Nicea 325 A.D.) and the much later All Stars Reunion in Las Vegas. Since they were already dead they felt they could talk about things freely. The Scribe just wanted to listen and write it all down for posterity.
The Janitor, the Servant Girl, and the Scribe
Pragmatticus (the Janitor) was a practical sort of guy who only cussed when provoked. He struggled to avoid swearing too much at church councils but sometimes all the nonsense just got the best of him. Historical accounts suggest he cussed a lot in Nicea.
Sally (the Servant Girl) witnessed the ecclesiastical combat and maneuvering going on in Nicea. She was injured in the legendary social hour brawl that took place just after the welcome prayer. Sally is still afraid of Churchmen and stutters whenever she tries to say words like denomination, tradition or creed. Theological terms are especially hard for her. Medication has failed to control her twitching when she hears the words, “Let us pray.” She still feels uncomfortable around Christians and tries to avoid religious types.
Meticulus (the Scribe) was a clear-eyed reporter who tried to see as much as he could and write it all down. He was known to be pretty serious in a light-hearted sort of way and was called Ticulus by his friends.
Church Councils Don’t Bring Peace
Pragmatticus and Meticulus met at the first Council a very long time ago and realized they had a lot in common. We found Pragmatticus cleaning up the social hall and getting things ready for the Reunion. His encounter with Meticulus and Sally follows in its entirety.
Meticulus: Well Prag you old cuss! It’s good to see you! This promises to be quite an event.
Pragmatticus: Only time will tell Ticulus, only time will tell. I sure hope things turn out better than last time they got together. I never saw a crowd who could make a bigger mess out of things! I thought they were supposed to straighten out all those big religious issues they were so worked up about! You know, stir up some harmony and peace, but all they did was fight! They sure despised each other.
The Nicene Council Was Divisive
I wonder if they knew or even cared how bad they looked to the rest of us. They were excommunicating each other left and right and then things really started getting ugly. That old Athanasius has a mean right hook and Arius could kick like a mule! They were kicking and scratching and gouging like nobody’s business. The brawl they started left the whole place in shambles. It took all the strength I had to keep from cussing a blue streak in Greek. They didn’t even try to clean up the mess they made. Sally was so put off by all their bad manners she figured the best thing was just to avoid Christians altogether, especially the ones who think they’re important.
The Meek Inherit the Earth
Meticulus: Hey isn’t that Sally setting up the punch bowl over in the corner? She sure looks nervous about something!
Pragmatticus: You probably shouldn’t call it a punch bowl around her Ticulus. Sally was just starting to serve punch when the first brawl started in Nicea and she took more than a few stray punches by the time it was all over. She still flinches when anyone even says the word punch around her. Might be a good idea to call it the beverage bowl when she’s in earshot. Poor girl still twitches a lot even on a good day.
Meticulus: Servants aren’t much good in religious fights are they Prag? They probably shouldn’t even be in places like this. Meekness is just fine most of the time, “inherit the earth” and all that but around here it’s not worth a plug denarius. I think we should get her a set of earplugs. I worry about the poor girl Pragmatticus. The more she hears the more she twitches.
Pragmatticus: Those hi-tech noise-cancelling headphones are nice but they’re pretty conspicuous. I’d hate to see her get thrown out of here just for trying to cut down on all the noise coming her way.
PS: The Reunion is just getting ready to start and there’s lots more to come! Come back soon to see what happens next… and if you have a few moments please share a link to theologyallstars.com with someone you know.
Copyright 2022 by Bob Shutes
Continued…Click for Part II