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31  Theology / General Theology / Re:am i missing something here? on: October 04, 2003, 08:51:38 PM

Nice post.  A point I was also trying to point out is that everyone of us has willfully sinned. We all have sinned and knew full well that we were sinning.  We cannot use that as a litmus test.  I don't mean to sound like I am fully disagreeing with everyone here.  I am in full agreement that these actions are wrong and that he is holding an incorrect doctrine.  But if he is seeking Christ (and we don't know), then I believe with every once of my being that God will show him the correct doctrines and convict his heart.  

The thing that concerned me was when I started hearing people say he was not saved.  I have heard way to many Christians in my day judge other people's salvation when they were guilty of doing things just as bad.  I just wanted to say that we should take out the planks in our eyes before we jump on the judging bandwagon and look at the splinter in our neighbor's eyes.
32  Theology / General Theology / Re:am i missing something here? on: October 04, 2003, 01:56:29 PM
Left Coast,

We agree that we can't judge this man's salvation.  We agree that there will be fruits and evidence of salvation.  I disagree that we can judge his fruits based on this one un-Christian like behavior.  Would you say that most Christians have someone in their life that they cannot stand?  Someone that they have negative feelings for?  I know of MANY Christians who profess to having someone they can't stand.  And the ones that don't profess it, probably have those feelings and just don't admit it.  If we use this as the litmus test, then we could say that no one on the face of the planet is saved.  I'm just concerned that we find it so easy to judge someone else when we ourselves practice the same behavior.

In regards to keeping the Commandments ... this verse is often misunderstood.  The key is in the word "keep".  John is not saying that if we break one of the commandments, then we do not know God.  If you take this literally, I can see where you might draw this conclusion.  The only way I can explain this passage is to draw an analogy.  In the old days, sailors sailed the sea by the stars.  They picked a star and sailed to it.  The star guided their ship.  Often, they would stray off course and then they would re-line up with the star and keep going.  This is the context of "keeping" the commandments.  It's not that we fullfill and never break a commandment, but if we guide our lives by the commandments and if we stray, then we re-line back up to them.  This is what was meant by "keeping" the commandments.  The work "keep" was meant like the guiding star in our life.  I don't know if I explained this correctly, but this is the true context of this verse.

As far as faith being a work ... we'll just have to agree to disagree.  Your statements seem to imply you are a bit of a Calvinist.  I'm Ok with that if you are.  I happen to believe in free will.

As far as his incorrect belief that he can do whatever he wants.  I fully agree that this is an incorrect doctrine.  But this does not negate his salvation.  Again ... Paul addressed this in Chapter 6 of Romans and he never says that they are not saved.  He chastises them for holding this belief, but he never says they are not saved.  Unless we are willing to tear chapter 6 out of our Bibles, we should take this to heart.  What I say is one of 3 things.  Either 1) he has recieved some false teaching somewhere or 2) he really does not believe it and was just lashing out at AAAA in a defensive mode or 3) he does believe it and this is just one of the things God will convict him of during his sanctification process.

My main point to make is this ... who are we to say a man is not saved based on some negative behavior.  We all have people that we are not fond of.  Can any man really say that they love every person as themselves?  If you say yes, then let me give you an scenerio.  If you had cancer and the only way you could cure yourself was to sell your house in order to pay for it.  Would you do it?  Of course you would.  Now there are people all around us every day that in dire need of financial support.  If we love them as ourselves, wouldn't we sell everything that is not a necessity to us (at the very least).  For those that are pointing fingers that he is breaking the commandment of loving thy neighbor as thy self ... Be warned.  We are ALL guilty of this to an extent.  Who are we to say that he is worse than us?  I guess it's easier to point a finger in order to take the focus off ourselves.

My friends.  Let's show love and compassion and patience with our neighbors.  Let's not judge another's salvation.  If we see something we disagree with, then gently correct and leave the judging to God.  Here is a most dangerous thing to pray .... "Lord, will You please forgive me based on how I have forgiven everyone else around me."  Think about it.
33  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re: Moral reformation? on: October 03, 2003, 11:59:04 PM
Would Jesus picket?  If a porno shop opened up around the corner, what would Jesus do about it?  Think about the times Paul lived in.  From his letters we hear about all kinds of sexual immoral lifestyles going on in temples and all kinds of other things.  Did Paul picket? Did Paul or Jesus stand outside and try to shut those businesses down?  Or .... did they not let this derail their missions.  

Yeah, we can shut down a shop here or there.  So what? What does that accomplish?  This is the symptom, not the problem.  These people will go on-line and get their needs filled.  I've seen very few people show love while holding a sign condemning people to hell as they yell.  It's not Christian-like and there's no biblical doctrine for it.  We are to make disciples of men, not picket.  If you picket, the enemy wins. JMO.  You can't be teaching men love with a sign in your hand.  

Those kinds of places have been in business for over 2000 years.  Paul had them in his time, and we have them in our time.  The problem is a lack of relationship with God.  I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I feel God telling me that many of the things I see on TV are not the answer.  Let's keep our focus on God and pray to Him and seek His face.
34  Theology / General Theology / Re:am i missing something here? on: October 03, 2003, 11:49:27 PM
Romans, it's great that you want to see him saved and I love that you're willing to be concerned for his eternal state.

But I'm thinking it isn't just the behavior that is making people question this guy's salvation-it's the doctrine. And it's true we don't know everything, but here is someone who says that he can do whatever he wants and then God will save him. This is not at all the spirit behind Revelation chapters 1-3, or those verses above. God saves us through faith, but there's a tremedous difference between faith and presumption.

The question is, can he be saved by this doctrine he's carrying? It's a valid thing to question. Because if he doesn't have the right doctrine, he may miss the boat unless someone points out to him that this kind of faith cannot save.

I share your concern for his salvation, and for AAAA's wellbeing in all of this, too. She's saying his behavior is causing her grief.  Embarrassed

I understand what you are saying and I think we are all of the agreement that his doctrine is incorrect.  Romans 6 address people who are 'saved' who continue sinning because they think it is alright.  Paul corrects them in this doctrine, but does not say they are not saved.  He says why would you want to live that way?  Don't you know who you are?  But he never says "You are not saved."  This guy falls into the category of believers in Chapter 6.  Also, we don't know if he actually believes what he said to AAAA.  It could be that when she confronted him with the truth of how he should act, he defensively rebutted with this statement, but in his heart he really knows she is right and he really doesn't believe he can just do anything.  We don't know the battles that are going on in his heart.  All I'm saying is that we don't have enough information, and we definately don't have the right ... to judge this man's salvation.  If he was here, we'd lovingly and gently correct him.  In lue of that, we have tried to give AAAA some advice in how to handle it and through her, he may see how he should have acted.  I just get concerned when people judge other's salvation based on a few peices of information.  We all agree that their is only one thing that saves you "faith in Christ."  If he confesses that, then it's end of discussion regarding his salvation.  Now... we can discuss his behavior, and his beliefs regarding Christianity.  But if he has truly accepted Christ, then who are we to say he is not saved?  The last time I check, God didn't give me that power.  

I will gently and lovingly instruct.  I will give advice as God lays it on my heart.  I will tell my story of what happened to me and how God has changed my life.  And I will leave the judging up to God.  Too many times people accuse Christians of being judgemental.  The unfortunate truth is we have earned many of the labels put on us.  I wish us to change that and to get back to the root of Love that Christ taught us.  I wrote a post over in "You name it" in regards to how Christians should act.  I just get concerned when we do not exhibit the love Christ calls us to show.  

This may be a point where we just disagree.  But I just don't see the  how we can judge this man's salvation based on one doctrine that Paul addresses to saved people that hold this.  Paul says it is wrong, but not that they are not saved.  More than this one isolated incident with this man, on a larger issue, we should refrain from judging anyone's salvation.  If we are going to get to the point of looking at doctrine belief as the litmus test for Christianity, then we will get to the point of arguing how much water it takes in a baptism in order for one to be saved.  Let's not part fellowship over these types of doctrines.  Let's gently correct one another, pray for one another, and have "faith" that God is sanctifing all His saints in His time.  I thank God for the patience he took with me.  Can we have that same patience for fellow saints?
35  Theology / General Theology / Re:am i missing something here? on: October 03, 2003, 02:18:25 PM
He may not even see this behavior as a sin.  
This entire reply was well written, and I agree with your presentation, however my understanding was he knew what he was doing was wrong. He just figured being 'saved' gave him license to hurt.

I say he is not fully aware of what he is saying because he doesn't seem to grasp that salvation does not give him free reign to sin.  Somewhere along the line, he has gotten a wrong doctrine on what Grace means.  He may say he knows it's a sin, but his isn't grasping what this means.

I disagree with anyone who says this person is not saved.  You do not know that.  All of us Christians have done stuff that is very un-Christian.  Is there no one here who has gossiped, use sarcasm in a mean way, talked about people behind their back, looked down on certain individuals.  Is there no one on this board who has sinned and fully knew that it was wrong as they continued to do it?  If we looked long enough at each individual's actions, we could possible come to the conclusion that no one is saved.  We have all been hypocrites from time to time.  I ask you to hold your judgement (like we have any right to judge a man's salvation) and accept that this man is struggling with stuff like we all do.  Let's agree that what he is doing it un-Christian like, but to say that he is not saved is very unfair.  If you looked at my life shortly after I was saved, you might have come to that same conclusion about me.  God worked with me after my salvation and it took time to get to where I am now.  God was patient with me even when others were not.  We have no right to judge this man's salvation based on a couple of posts and based on this one trait of bad behavior.

I also do not agree that AAAA should just ignore him.  That does not solve the problem.  Normally, people don't like confrontation.  I can understand that.  If we left all the angry, mean people to their own devices, then what are we doing here on earth?  Why don't we (Christians) just kill ourselves now?  Paul hinted at this in Phillipians 1:21-25.  Because we know we have a purpose here on earth.  To show Christ to others.  To be the body of Christ here on earth.  We are not called to walk away from sinners (although I'm sure someone can pull a few verses that say we are).  If you look at Christianity as a whole, we are to love everyone.  We are to not judge anyone (especially their salvation).  Romans 8:34 - "Who is the one who condemns?"  Christianity is about relationships with people.  It is about love.  It is about being peace makers.  Luke 12:58 tells us to make peace with our opponents before we go to the judge (who is God).  My advice is to make peace with this man and through your obedience to God and peace, you will both be blessed.
36  Theology / General Theology / Re:am i missing something here? on: October 03, 2003, 09:57:28 AM

You question is a very valid one, and to be honest, not one anyone can answer in this board.  We don't know the whole story and the day to day interactions that go on between you two.  No matter his apparent justification, I admit that what he is doing wrong ... Christian or no Christian.  

So ... I admit he is wrong ... and I admit that I have no clue why he does what he does ... and ... I don't think anyone here can make any assumptions on his salvation.  No one here knows his heart.  I say all of this to set up an apparent explaination to his behavior, since you have asked 'why'.

When a person becomes saved, Romans tells us that we are set free from the penalty of sin, and the power of sin (but not the precense).  This means that we are forgiven and it is not held against us.  "Released from the power" means that we now have a choice to sin or not.  Before we are saved, we do not have the power to not sin.  One, because mostly we don't know what sin is, and two ... it is inherently who we are.  Now after we are saved, we move into a "sanctification" process.  This is a big word that just means we are being convicted to change things in our life.  When I first became saved, there were a great many things in my life I started changing.  It didn't happen over night and it wasn't quick.  I use to cuss alot.  It took a while to get over that.  Part of the problem is that our bodies have formed habits (some call this bondage).  It's kind of like an addiction our minds and bodies have and it takes time to kick those habits.  This time that we are working on these habits is the "sanctification" process.  This young man is/has been dealing with hateful feelings towards a particular group of people that he is associating you with.  He may not even see this behavior as a sin.  I know there are things I see as sin today, that I did not see as sin 5 years ago.  I think that he is young, and has a lot to learn.  He is weak in his knowledge of the Bible if he can justify doing what ever he wants.  He needs to read Romans 6.  Paul ask are we to continue in our sin because we are saved?  ... "May it never be!!" Paul says.  In chapter 6 Paul addresses the people who believed they could do whatever they wanted because they are saved.

I agree that what this young man is doing is wrong.  This is his particular habit that he has to break, and deal with.  I am dealing with my own mental habits and I would guess that every single member of this board has a mental or physical bondage they are dealing with.  Yes ... I'm forgiven.  No .... it does not justify continuing doing it.

I don't know the answer for you because I don't really know your heart.  If you really don't care and you really don't want to make up with him and really don't want to forgive him and want to remain as things are (which I don't think based on your posts), then just let things remain as they are.  But ... if you want there to be peace between you and (if possible) a friendship, then I agree with a previous poster.  I say you should forgive him in your heart.  Accept that he is wrong in his justification and he has done so because of ignorance of the doctrine of Grace.  Then when you are at peace in your heart, go to him and talk with him.  No matter how irate he gets, no matter how justified you may feel ... continue to talk to him in a calm manner and explain how he makes you feel.  Explain that you want things to change.  Explain that you want to know if there is anything you two can do to change this situation.  Don't throw Christianity in his face in a negative way.  That will only put him on the defensive.  But, if you can say it lovingly, you can say something like "Do you think Jesus would want us to be friends?"   Remember ... "Blessed are the peace-makers" Jesus tells us.

I feel for you and your situation, and I hope things work out.  Keep us up to date, I'm sure many of us would love to hear if your relationship with him changes for the better in any way.

I hope you have a great day.
37  Entertainment / Television / Joan of Arcadia on: October 02, 2003, 11:52:00 PM
Has anyone seen this show? It started last Friday.  I actually really liked it and am very interested in where they take it.

If you haven't heard of it ... the premis is this girl who goes to high school and God visits here in human form from time to time (usually a different body).

Think of it as an "Oh God" made for TV, brought up to current times and with a much younger twist.

I watched the first show and really liked it.  No, it doesn't preach the Gospel, or even mention Jesus Christ.  As in "Oh God" it actually hints that many heads of religions are His children.  I like the more laid back aproach they attributed to God in the first one.  I reserve the right to change my mind as the series goes on, but for a start ... it's not bad.  I am interested in hearing any other thoughts and for those who have not seen it ... it comes on Friday nights.
38  Fellowship / You name it!! / How Jesus Should be Portrayed By Us on: October 02, 2003, 11:31:34 PM
This is part question, part statement...

How should we portray Christ and/or His word to the unbelievers?

Here is what concerns me.  I see someone picket outside a gay parade (or something) with signs that say "You're going to Hell" (or something like that).  That just makes my skin crawl.  Does anyone really think anyone is going to convert over that.  When I read on other boards where "Christians" show up and say "You're going to hell" and just mostly flame unbelievers with self-righteous language ... it just makes me cringe.  Where's the love?  Even if one has love in their heart when they say it, don't they realize that it doesn't look like love?  Yes, I think there is a time to be blunt, and there is a time to cut to the chase.  But has anyone ever brought someone to Christ by telling them "They are going to hell unless they repent right now."  To be honest that is not what brought me to Christ.  If we listen to how most people came to Christ (including us), it would be through relationships with people we knew.  People who showed Christ to us in the way they lived and loved.  It reminds me of that Avril Lavigne song where she says "I don't know who you are, but I'm with you."  That is what Jesus wants us to do.  To simply love each other.  Believers and unbelievers.  Remember, we were all unbelievers at some point also.  So as we love those who don't know Christ, we show Christ.  As we love them and don't judge or condemn them (as if we ever had that power) ...  As we just live and love and show Christ instead of scare them to Christ ...  As we get to know them and their story and their life and accept them lovingly, instead of trying to convert them in next couple of days and then giving up and moving on ...  As we do the former, and not the latter we show what Christ is all about.  It's about love, not judgeing.  We must look at how we are portrayed, and the unfortunate truth is, we have earned many of the negative labels that have been put on us.  If you are not one of these Christians, then I point this out so that as you see one, that you lovingly correct them and remind them what being a Christian is all about.  Would it be more effective to spend 10 minutes each with 200 different people or to spend 200 minutes with 10 different people.  I believe to be a true witness (as we think of the word) is not about numbers, but how we live and portray Christ.  You can be a witness and never open your mouth or say that you are a Christian.  I'm not saying that we are to be quite, but I am saying that we need to analyze how we are portraying Christ.  Here's an example.  Have you ever said to a non-believer "Well, I'll just pray for you then."  Do you understand how that sounds to them.  It sound very condensending and self-righteous.  Maybe that is how some Christians intend it to sound.  If you're going to pray for them, then just do it.  You don't have to tell them.  Unless you really know them, I don't know how you could ever phrase that so that it sounds positive to them and not negative and mean.

Well, I know it's late and I probably rambled on, but let us really look at what we say.  Unless we say it in total Christ-like love, then don't say it.  If what you say has any hint of self-righteousness, judgemental, or sarcasm ... then please just don't say it.  Christ will not bless that language and you will end up pushing them more away.  Unless that is what you want, at least recognize what is happening.

I love you all and I hope I didn't come across too strong.  You are my brothers and sisters in Christ and we may step on each others toes from time to time, but we all have the same goal in mind.  We are to encourage each other and to build each other up.  I am not accusing anyone here.  I am just pointing out some observations I have made elsewhere and wanted to pass along those observations in hopes they may help you or you can use this knowledge to help other Christians who are hurting the cause.

Goodnight and God Bless.
39  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re:Do You Believe What Paul Told Women To Do? on: October 01, 2003, 02:00:45 PM
We must remember that this doctrine of submission applies to all ... to all.  We are to submit to each other, to our bosses, to our government, to all.  As long as it does not require us to negate Christ.  Ephesians 5:21 starts this with "Submitting yourselves one to  ANOTHER in the fear of God" and continues this theme of mutual submission for the next 20 verses or so.  Many people would call Paul a sexists.  That is not his intent.  If we are submitting to one another, and we acknowledge that this does not define our value as a person, then we are living as Christ did.  Through OUR obedience to Him, we pray that others will be blessed, and all Glory will go to Him who accomplishes these things.
40  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re:Guiding The Lost To Christ! on: October 01, 2003, 12:28:48 AM
I don't think it is relevant to ask this.  Here's why.  We are all the body of Christ.  So everytime one person comes to Christ, we are all part of it.  It's only when we start thinking each part is independant of the whole that this becomes a relevant question.  Can you imagine Peter comparing numbers to James?  Or Paul comparing numbers to Luke or Mark?  It could be more appropriate to just ask what role are you in.  Are called to be a reaper or a sower, or a waterer?  Are you a foot, a hand, a mouth, or a toe?  Some of us in the body operate in a manner to allow other member to sow.  They would not be able to sow if there were not planters, and waterers.  I think our focus should be on the body of Christ and wondering our specific role is and being at peace with that.  We have people who work at church.  There is one guy who volunteers each week to wash the dishes.  That is his role in the church.  A very humble man.  He doesn't brag about how many people he has led to God.  He washes my dishes, so I can eat and leave to my ministry.  He operates in his role, so I can operate in mine.  Everytime God has accomplished anything through me, this man is to thank as much as me.  Does any of this make any sense?

To the body of Christ, I say good night.
41  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re:Can Salvation be lost? on: October 01, 2003, 12:20:24 AM
I devoted alot of thought and study to this over the years.  My conclusion ... No.  It cannot be lost.  I admit I may be wrong, and will never part fellowship with any Christian over this, but I personally believe it cannot be lost.

Why? .....
1) we have become adopted as son and daughters.  Once you adopt a child, you cannot undo that.  No matter what the child does
2) We are a new creation.  We can submit under the world, but we are still a new creation.  This is not another transformation to go back to the old Creation.
3) We are a new 'Man'.  see #2
4) Once we are saved, our name is written in the book of life.  I don't know of any eraser to erase your name out of the book once it is in.
5) The word that they use in the bible when Pauls says we are "with" him is very special.  This word denotes something that cannot be seperated.  I have heard it explained like this, so beware I am about to paraphrase someone else.  If you have ingrediants on a cookie sheet that represent the makings of a biscuit, then these items are "with" each other.  This word "with" denotes that they can be seperated.  This is not the word "with" that is used in the Bible.  Once you take all those ingrediants and mix them together and bake them in the oven, then no scientist in the world can extract them back into their original ingrediants.  Their properties have been changed and they are "with" each other and cannot be seperated.  This is the word "with" that we see with the Holy Spirit being "with" us.

I could go on and on, but my conclusion is that salvation cannot be lost, or given away.  I can look at my physical father and say you are not my biological father, but that does not make it true.  I have no choice in the matter.  I do believe that we can live in a way that we do not enjoy the benifits of a relationship with Christ, but once we've accepted Him, we are His and we are going to Heaven.  JMO.
42  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re:Do You Believe What Paul Told Women To Do? on: September 30, 2003, 03:31:36 PM
I do believe what Paul says.  I believe he was an apostle of God and that God spoke through him.  Paul also pointed out to us in some of his letters when he is speaking just his point of view and that the rest is the word of God.

With that being said, I also want to say that we must understand the context of what Paul is saying.  I personally do not believe that Paul means that no women can teach.  JMO.  I believe he was addressing a very particular problem in which women of a particular church where leading believers astray and were practicing un-Christian actions.  We know from other letters that Paul wrote that women were teaching and leading churches (or atleast held high places).  This is what I mean when I say we must make sure we understand who Paul is talking to and why he is saying something.  Especially if he doesn't re-iterate it in other letters.

Also, the part about women being submissive is a tricky doctrine also.  Not just because it's not PC, but because we have to read the rest of it.  From what I understand, Paul (both himself and from Jesus) talk about mutual submission.  Wives are to be submissive to their husbands, but husbands like to overlook the part where it says that we are also to be submissive to our wives.  We are to be subimissive to our employers, government, strangers on the street and family members.  Submissive, does not negate our value as a person in the eyes of God.  In todays culture, 'submissive' means inferior.  Some are so 'submissive', they are proud of it.  That is just as bad.   To be honest, the only way I can be submissive in the way Jesus wants me to, is to submit to Him.  Then we (Him and I) can be submissive to others.  It's nothing I am proud of, cause I could never do it.  

Anyways, Paul does talk about submissivness, but that is a positional thing.  Like there is a boss at work, there must be a positional head of the house. It in no way means the man is more important or superior.  If the man is doing what God is asking, then he won't be a tyrant, but will submit to the wife as well and alway think of her well being and love her to the extent that whatever decision he makes will be with her benifit in mind.  If a man abuses the power, then he is not being Godly.  This of course spawns a different conversation in "what to do when one party is not being Godly".  My point here is that man have abused this doctrine.  My other point is that we must also study what Paul says and not simply take it all on face value.  I can't recall off hand, but it was James or Peter that said that Paul's writing can be hard.  Paul was strong in the faith and was not always about feeding milk to babies.  We have to grow up a little as Christians to understand some of the finer points of his letters.  Some stuff is obvious and easy, some is not so much.

I hope I didn't ramble too much Smiley
43  Entertainment / Movies / Have you seen 'Luther'? on: September 30, 2003, 02:50:43 PM
I think I'm going to see 'Luther' this weekend and was wondering what anyone thought of it that saw it.  I have always found Martin Luther very interesting.  My personal opinion is that God used him to bring the true message back to the church.  

Anyway, how was the movie?
44  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re:Love and Balance on: September 26, 2003, 05:41:01 PM
This is a great question. And I would like to get some advice, too, if I could. Is it possible to love our enemies too much?
I think the love must come from God, through us. Here's what I mean by that.  If the love comes from us, it can be distorted and actually be harmful.  I can love my children in my way and end up protecting them, or spoiling them, or whatever and, although I may be giving them what they want and helping them in the short run, in the long run it will hurt them.  Sometimes we have to do things we don't like, and it may have the appearance of being un-loving, but like God, we must look at the bigger picture.  When it comes to our enemies, I try to do what God wants me too.  Yes I love them in my heart, but when it comes to action, I must let God direct me.  For instance, if I take on one of their burdens because I want to help, if God is not asking me to take on that burden, I could actually be hurting/hendering them.  I think too often we Christians take on burdens that God is not calling us to take on.  Let's say that by them carring that particular burden, God was going to be able to use that experience to bring them to Him.  It's really a fine line to know when to help and when not to.  The bottom line, is that if we are surrenduring to God, and trying the best we can to be in tune with God, then whatever we end up doing, God will bless it.

I don't know how this post came across and hope it didn't come out wrong.  I am a huge advocate of unconditional love.  I guess I'm just trying to point out the difference between feeling the love and know what actions to take.  Only God knows the big picture, and if we trying to do it on our own without consulting Him, we could be working against Him inadvertently.
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