A little recognition can sure make you feel good! Movie stars have the Academy Awards and musicians, singers and athletes all have their own awards. We thought the “church fathers” would appreciate some nice awards too since theologians like recognition as much as anyone. That’s why the Reunion Committee decided to have an awards ceremony and all the hoopla that goes with it! Theologians like to talk a lot so the Awards Committee decided to call their prizes the “Wordy Awards”!
The Awards Committee decided that personalized awards would help keep the recipients from getting too puffed up. Well, that was the theory anyway. Our favorite theologians rehearsed their humble acceptance speeches for the big night and even got all dressed up!
Great Thinkers Wrote the Creeds
Moderator: Good evening and welcome everyone! What a thrill it is to be here! This the first and only time that Wordy Awards will ever be given to anyone! We are honored to be in the midst of thinkers who have shaped the very course of history with their opinions and writings about God. These men wrote the creeds that defined the broad outlines of Christianity for over 1700 years and no matter how you slice it that’s pretty impressive! Let’s start off by having everyone stand and give a big round of applause to each other!
Audience: The standing ovation that followed was an enthusiastic display of mutual admiration (for the most part) and was accompanied by shouts of “Hurray for us! Hurray for you and hurray for me too!” There was a lot of excitement in the air and it was clear that everyone was in high spirits.
Moderator: Every one of you is going to get a Wordy Award tonight! We know some of you have accomplished much more than others but all these beautiful trophies are exactly the same size. (That was the only way we could order them from the supplier). We don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and trust that those of you who were hoping for a bigger trophy will understand.
Those Who Disagree Are Doomed
Tonight’s first Wordy Award is the “My Way or The Highway Award!” (The moderator then tore open an envelope and read the note inside). It goes to Bishop Athanasius who distinguished himself by writing the unforgettable phrase, “He therefore that would be saved must thus think of the Trinity”. This proved once and for all that salvation depends on the acceptance of our creeds! We agreed at the Councils of Nicaea and Chalcedon that disputing the trinity spells certain doom for all those unfortunate souls who disagree with us! Here to accept his award is Athanasius!
Audience: Bravo! Bravo! Congratulations Athanasius! Enthusiastic applause.
Athanasius: I am deeply honored to receive this award! Our creed calls down fire from heaven to damn our adversaries and we all know this is exactly what should happen to anyone who rejects the trinity. My Way or the Highway is certainly true in this case! The whole point of our creed was to put some teeth into our theology so we threatened our opponents with punishment from the Emperor in this life and damnation from God in the next! I accept this marvelous award proudly and humbly and want to thank the Reunion Committee for their tremendous insight and judgment in awarding it to me.
Audience: Respectful and prolonged applause.
What Manner of Spirit?
Post Award Interview with Athanasius by Meticulus: Well Bishop Athanasius it certainly seems that your logic and work has carried the day! The crowd loved you and it seems that your award has near unanimous support.
Athanasius: That is so true Meticulus. So very very true. Thank you for noticing.
Meticulus: Your creed isn’t the only time Jesus’ disciples wanted to destroy their adversaries. His disciples wanted to destroy a whole city once for not receiving Him. He rebuked them though and said, “You do not know what manner of Spirit you are of!” (Luke 9:55). It seems that the human impulse was far different than the Divine impulse. Could your claim stem from the same vengeful human impulse and not reflect God’s feelings at all?
Athanasius: You must be mad to talk to me this way young man! This interview is over!
To be continued…..
Copyright 2021 by Bob Shutes