Once upon a time there was a group of Mennonites living in a small remote valley. There was also a group of Catholics living in the same area. For as long as anyone could remember, the two groups had coexisted without any problems. The Mennonites married other Mennonites and had Mennonite babies who grew up to do the same. In this way, the Mennonite population flourished. The Catholics did the same, and their population grew as well.
All was well until the valley began to get too crowded. Mennonites and Catholics alike knew that something must be done about the problem. Since the Catholics did not want to leave their happy home, they decided the only logical solution was to force the Mennonites to leave. So they asked the Mennonites to pack up and leave. The Mennonites, of course, being opposed to any sort of change, did not look favourably upon this request and thought that perhaps the better idea would be for the Catholics to leave.
Both groups agreed that one group had to leave, but they did not know how to decide whom. In the end, it was decided that they would hold a debate between one Mennonite and one Catholic, and whoever won the debate would get to remain in the valley. There was only one rule for the debate: no verbal communication would be allowed.
The Mennonites selected their Pastor to debate their side, and the Catholics chose their Priest. On the day of the debate, everyone in the valley gathered to watch the big event.
The Catholic Priest started the debate by pointing his finger and shaking his hand once.
In response, the Mennonite Pastor pointed his finger and shook his hand three times.
Next, the Priest opened his hand and made a wide circular motion with his arm.
The Pastor then pointed his finger and shook his hand once.
Then, the Priest got out the bread and the wine and served all the Catholics.
After that, the Pastor got out an apple and started eating.
At this, the Priest cried out, “I give up! He’s too good. I guess we will have to leave.”
So, the Catholics started packing up their things to leave.
As they were leaving, the Catholics asked the Priest, “What was said during the debate?”
The Priest said, “Well, first I shook my hand once to say that God is one.
Then he shook his hand three times to say, ‘Yes, but God is three.’
Then I waved my arm to say that God is everywhere, and he pointed his finger to say, ‘Yes, but God is here.’ So, I served communion to remind us of our salvation from sin through the blood of Christ.
Then he got out an apple and ate to remind us of the original sin.”
Meanwhile, the Mennonites were curious to know what had been said, so they asked the Pastor what he had said that made the Priest give up.
The Pastor said, “I’m not really sure. First he pointed at me to say, ‘YOU must leave.’ So I shook my hand three times to say, ‘No! You leave!’
Then he waved his arm around to say, ‘Go somewhere else.’ So I pointed my finger and said, ‘We’re staying right here.’
But the next part is the part I just don’t understand. He got out his lunch, so I got out mine!”
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