Mbabane, Swaziland | 25 June 2014
How does one become an Apostle?
Could I, for instance, simply wake up one morning after a vivid dream (let’s call it a ‘revelation’) and call myself an Apostle?
Seems easy enough.
But that’s only the start. I would then need to come up with a name. How about ‘Apostle Bill’?
No, that’s too obvious, and hardly creative enough.
And it would create a sense of confusion because, as an Apostle, I will have to issue Bills – in order to collect my weekly wage, which we’ll call a ‘weekly tithe’. So it’s hardly practical to have ‘Apostle Bill’s Bill’ written on top of my invoice sheet… I mean, the ‘tithe platter’.
I started to play around with the names of other religious titles, very careful not to upset the Almighty, for blasphemy – a word stemming from the pre-Christ era of Ancient Greece with a meaning similar to ‘slander’ – is, well, a Sin.
Then it hit me, like a pie in the face – perhaps not a pie, but another form of food all the same.
I shall call myself ‘Pasta-Apostle’, in honour of my love of Pasta Bolognaise.
This way, I avoid the arrogance of calling myself ‘Pastor-Apostle’ (which would not match my humble persona of God’s servant on Earth) but the title would nonetheless bring up the image of a Pastor-Apostle – a kind of superman in church gowns – in the congregants’ mind. A win-win, you might say. I would get the double applause of a Pastor-Apostle without having to call myself such.
How much power and influence and respect (not to mention the now inflated weekly wage) would one have if they were called Pasta-Apostle?
The possibilities were endless.
And it just seemed to get better.
Pasta, the food, having originated from that boot-shaped country of coffee-lovers and sleazy politicians (though that trait is certainly not unique to one country) in southern Europe – hereafter known as Italy – is home to many a religious tradition.
It was in Rome, the capital of what was to become the modern nation of Italy, where in 324AD a clever politician by the name of Emperor Constantine decreed that a new movement called Christianity would become the state-religion of the Roman Empire.
It must be noted, though, that things have moved on since then.
Just the other day, in 2014, the current leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, said that the Italian Mafia – a violent and ragtag bunch of thugs who hold much of the economy ransom to criminality – had better think twice before they call themselves Catholics.
If nothing else, Pope Francis is painting himself as a man of progressive credentials. And, as we know, sometimes the paint can be more real than the building underneath. Better late than never, so I’ve been told.
Now of course there are thousands of different strands of Christianity, Catholicism just being one of the more wealthy.
How do I, Apostle Pasta, get my hands on some of that cash, I thought?
How do I get people to ‘vote with their feet’ and come join my Italian-flavoured charismatico Church.
Free pasta? Extra meat? T-shirts?
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Before I rush into something I don’t really understand, let me consult the dictionary meaning of ‘Apostle’.
And so I read with dismay: ‘Any of the 12 chief disciples of Jesus Christ’.
Sure, there were a few other definitions floating around on questionable websites, but they were a bit fluffy.
I guess that rules me out. I just don’t have the credentials.
Back to the drawing board for this Seeker.