A prominent believer on Hub Pages has told me that there are certain things you have to believe; in order to be called a Christian. I told him that wasn’t so, that Christians had differences of opinions. He basically said no, you all had to agree on certain things. I would like to know how all Christians feel about the following statements (a sampling from the items he thinks you shouldn’t question); paraphrased from his post explaining what line every Christian toes.
You all believe that the Bible is inerrant and was verbally inspired by God.
God hears and answers all prayers.
That only through Jesus Christ is a person deemed righteous and those who don’t believe in Christ are automatically bound for eternal damnation.
And, my favorite; Christians believe in the total separation of Church and State.
I’m not asking this to argue. I am simply interested in knowing if all believers who label themselves Christian agree on this. Because, I don’t think you do so; if I’m wrong I owe Aquasilver an apology.
I agree with the above except the part about the word being verbally inspired by God, though in a way it was written from the mouth of God.
God hears prayers that are made in the spirit. Not all prayers are spiritual prayers.
Jesus died for the sins of the world. The innocent took the place of the guilty. He is the Way and the only way to salvation.
I disagree with this one.
But, you do consider yourself to be Christian. Is this correct? I simply need to verify that there is some disagreement in the ranks.
Yes. To clarify that answer, a Christian is anyone who follows Christ Jesus. Doesn't mean we know everything but we acknowledge Him and strive to be like Him completely. Not just just picking and choosing which parts we like.
The fact that there are many different groups among Christians verifies that there is a disagreement among the ranks. Catholics and Lutherans don't believe the same things.
I believe the Bible was inspired by God. I also believe that due to human error, and possibly human corruption, some of it has been left out, changed, or errant things have been concluded. It is impossible for me to believe that some prophets saw God, but that no man can see God.
Yes, in his own way. Also, I would clarify that with sincere prayers. A sinner who lives his whole life scolding those who believe in God might not get an answer to his prayer on his deathbed. But then again, maybe he will.
I think it better to say those who deny Christ. I don't think God(who is love) would automatically send the billions of people who never heard of Christ to hell.
I know of no scriptural basis for that... in fact, Revelation talks about a theocracy... I think all Christians should hope for the perfect union of church and state, under Christ.
There is a difference between the word of God and the word of religious leaders. People interpret the meaning of the Bible correctly. To say 'my way is the only true Christian way' is extremely short-sighted.
Thanks for answering. One point to ponder; your statement about the nonbeliever on their deathbed. It made me think of the parable about the workers in the field and full wages for all at the end of the day, even though some had only just gotten there.
That's a good point. I was trying to say someone who wasn't sincere, but it's not up to us to judge if someone is sincere in their beliefs.
Some will be heard and accepted and some won't. There is a line drawn that if someone crosses it, they will not be able to make it. I do not know where this line is, that is God's line and His job to know.
There is a scripture that speaks of being turned over to a reprobate mind, believing a lie and being damned.
If you could, at your convenience, share where your scripture says that about the reprobate mind? I'd be interested in reading it. Thanks.
Only because you asked.
Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Romans 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Romans 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Romans 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Romans 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
I don't agree with any of those statements except the last one. I am a very strong supporter of separation of church and state.
I agree with all those statements except the last one. I believe the Bible teaches them all quite clearly. The last one is a bit fuzzier because when most people hear "separation of church and state" they hear (either negatively or positively) "exclusion of religion from public life." I don't think the Bible teaches that. Jesus did not try to set up a theocracy during His time on Earth, but neither are we to separate our beliefs from our actions, so that means that a Christian in public office can't do things contrary to Scripture just because it's law.
I am curious. What law would force a believer to go against their personal belief?
That depends on the believer at this point. Declaring war would go against the Christian beliefs of some. Frankly, anything pro-abortion is against the beliefs of many. However, many of us look at the way the wind is blowing not just here but in other countries and can see a time when proclaiming the name of Jesus will be classified as "hate speech." I would absolutely LOVE to think that's wrong, but there are people who already call it that.
Well, it is possible to declare oneself a conscientious objector. There's no law against that. And I know of no law that forces a person to have an abortion, so that doesn't stand in the way of personal beliefs.
I think you might have declaring the name of Jesus confused with the practice of the religious right trying to force others to live in line with their personal beliefs. I could be wrong. But, I don't see anyone persecuting Christians now, or in the foreseeable future.
Well, an Islamic nation has their own set of rules. But, I didn't think that was really what he was talking about. I thought he was talking about secular distaste and comments about Christianity such as showcased by sects like the Westboro Baptist. There are some Christian stands that are hate speech, in my opinion. But they aren't really proclaiming the name of Jesus either, imo.
Oh, so its ok to persecute Christians in an Islamic country? Is it ok to persecute Muslims in a christian country?
Well, that was why I said "at this point." However...
"And I know of no law that forces a person to have an abortion, so that doesn't stand in the way of personal beliefs. " Uh, that's true but a bit disingenuous. (Maybe not intentionally on your part, but one of the most gratingly stupid arguments I keep hearing is "Don't like abortions? Don't have one.") If you believe that all life is precious and that humans are made in the image of God, which would automatically confer special status on even the unborn, then the fact that your tax dollars go to pay for the continued practice of abortion means that you're involved whether you like it or not. I do, they do, and it does. This is not an attempt to argue about abortion here, it's often more complicated than either side wants to admit, but if I as a Christian find myself lining the pockets of men who routinely take life to make money (and I understand that you probably don't agree with that but that's how I see it) then I am complicit, even if I can't figure out how not to be.
"I think you might have declaring the name of Jesus confused with the practice of the religious right trying to force others to live in line with their personal beliefs. I could be wrong. But, I don't see anyone persecuting Christians now, or in the foreseeable future." Here in America that's true for the moment, but there are other countries (like Canada, for instance) where the act of handing out tracts or even just mentioning the name of Jesus gets people into hot water. If you're paying attention, then between some Muslim groups who, in the name of their own religious freedom want to make it a crime to mention Jesus in their presence (and no, that's not the majority or perhaps even a large number of American Muslims, but they are out there and they are even more so in other countries) and other special interest groups who see Christianity as a whole as whole as oppressive and needing to be wiped out (and these groups are gaining political power) or at least muzzled, then the day can be forseen when it would be a crime to talk about Jesus. And your statement again begs the point, because I could point out that many non-Christians seem to think that merely mentioning His Name is trying to shove your beliefs down their throat and force them to conform to how you think people should live.
I'm sorry you feel that way. I think, when discussng beliefs, we in America are open. But they are that. Beliefs. I think the rub comes when people start calling those with different beliefs infidels, or claim a different belief is a ticket to hell. I understand that the faithful can't follow this argument, but it is the primary problem I see.
I don't know anything about Canadian law. I assume that is geared toward groups like the Jehovah Witnesses. They can be pushy and not willing to take a 'No Thank you' as a polite conversation ender. I suppose some guidance on this from their Watch Tower might alleviate the problem.
But, I didn't get anything from the Bible that appeared to suggest it was expected for believers to put a ring in the nose and drag others along through enforcing laws. It appeared to be a message asking humans to choose to follow. Choose to do what was right. Free will. Forcing others to live by the rules of any belief structure goes against what I got out of the text.
As far as the Canadian case, I'd have to look it up but it was not about Jehovah's Witnesses. It was about an evangelical preacher who was handing out tracts or something like that and some Muslims got mad and he was arrested and tried and convicted of hate speech and sentenced to community service at a Muslim center. It's an oversimplification, but it's the gist of it.
The point I was trying to make that I think you missed is that it's not just religious people who call names and try to drag people by the nose. And I get that piece of information by listening to that bastion of right-wing religiosity, NPR.
The NT doesn't expect believers to "put aring in the nose and drag others along through enforcing laws." I agree completely. Jesus never commanded us to, nor did Paul. We are to be salt and light in this world. But we who know Jesus also know that He told us to tell others about Him. And there are many who interpret even mentioning His name as forcing a nose-ring in.
If you do find a link with information on the Canadian case, I would consider it a favor if you share it. I'd be extremely interested. I think everyone should be given the freedom to follow their own conscience without fear of unfair reprisal. I would be disappointed to find that our neighbor was moving away from this ideal.
I don't quite follow. Would a believer be forced to immigrate illegally?
They would be required by the christian beliefs to allow and help the 'poor illegal aliens'. Which is a violation of the nation's laws. But it is the Christian thing to do.
They also have sect's that believe breaking the nation's laws is against christianity, so I'm not sure where that leaves those people.
Bible is not authored by Jesus who was innocent; the gospel writers were sinful and errant people; so naturally Bible is errant and misleading.
I can't say if I believe in all those statements because I am not "a believer" but I think it's interesting. I've always wondered if it really is "the truth" as they say and the "right path", why isn't it more consistent? I mean, of course it's easy to say that people can misinterpret and pick and choose and that some people aren't true Christians. If all sorts of different conflicting views, beliefs, ideals, actions are all ascribed by Christians as being Christian how can it be true and divine?
The Christians must believe what Jesus believed and must act what Jesus acted upon; only then the 32000+ denominations of Christians could be on ONE and TRUTHFUL.
You both seem to have unerring points: Yes, there are differences of opinions among Christians and yes, there are basic tenets to be called a Christian.
The Hebrew people established a relationship with God that was based on ten tenets. Their differences of opinions led them to interpret these guidelines on how to improve their relationship with God into 600+ rules! The Bible recants, not a verbatim history of a people, but of a relationship that sometimes went good, sometimes sour. Jesus taught that all these rules are summarized even down to two rules. These two rules are the basic of people's relationship with God. If you don't believe who the messenger is the message will be meaningless in hard times. Believe Jesus Christ is God and in hard times you'll follow the golden rule and that will lead you towards a more perfect relationship with others (with yourself?) and with God.
I am a christian and as you said all do not share the same beliefs which you are right. People say they are christians and live all manner of life contrary to christianity. However what the gentle man/lady said concerning the bible is is true God inspired man to write those things wasn't man's interpretation but lip to ear revelation from GOD . No one cometh to the father save by jesus Christ that also is right, You cannot say in other words you believe in GOD, but you don't believe in His son. etc
Have a wonderful day
Peace be unto you shalom
Since I was following the other thread, this one got my attention.
You can't win this and the reason is simple: in my experience, many of the evangelicals and various other denominations (some Baptists, for instance) are taught that the rest of us simply ARE NOT CHRISTIANS. My family is traditional Anglican, for instance, so our form of Christianity pre-dates any of the protestant denominations in existence, and yet on a regular basis, my children find themselves trying to explain to judgemental evangelical classmates that we are every bit as Christian as they are, but those kids just can't grasp it. You're dealing with something very similar in the other thread.
Someone can call themselves whatever they want of course. One can even say, for example, that they are a 'Christian' because they believe in the message of peace and love that was attributed to Jesus.. even if they don't believe that He was divine, or that there ever was a real Jesus to begin with. Labels can be used by everyone.
My main points of own faith are summed up by the Nicene Creed...
I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of
heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of
God, begotten of the Father before all ages;
Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten,
not created, of one essence with the Father
through Whom all things were made.
Who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven and was incarnate
of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became man.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,
and suffered and was buried;
And He rose on the third day,
according to the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father;
And He will come again with glory to judge the living
and dead. His kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Creator of life,
Who proceeds from the Father, Who together with the
Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, Who
spoke through the prophets.
In one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the age to come.
That's cool. So, basically, you affirm your faith in Christ. That faith, to you, is all you must agree with? And then you make up your own mind on how to live within that faith?
There is a difference in Christianity and being a "christian". If being a protestant or of a protestant denomination, then yes, you are a christian. If you have been born again, then you are a Christian, termed in the early church as little Christs. We are little Christs, God's own little children.Christianity is something God has created and is not the same as religion. The Bible is inerrant and inspired by GOD. We must find our righteousness, or right doing only in the person of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us.The only other option is to be found in your own righteousness, I would and have failed this one!I do believe in separation of church and state. Augustine is the one who combined the two to disastrous results. And GOD answers prayer, that is the channel He has chosen to do spiritual things on earth. He answers the prayers of His own little children according to the working of the Holy Spirit within them. He gives us good desires, we pray and then He answers according to His plan and purpose, for us and for others. The goal, His glory!
Yes, but then again, we have to know that there is a difference in being a christian and following a man made religion and tradition and being born again and being a Christian as the Bible sets forth. There is a big difference. Do not judge Christianity as being wrong because people are wrong in their beliefs. Besides, the Bible says that only Christians can understand the Bible, it is "spiritually discerned" and not comprehended or grasped with the natural intelligence. If GOD doesn't give you the ability to understand His WORD, you never will. I had to ask Him to give me that ability. Otherwise I would still be struggling to understand it.
Here's my opinion for what it's worth:
Where the NT states that all scripture is God breathed......, only the Hebrew scriptures were available. The NT is not scripture and nowhere does it declare of itself that it is. They were included by Catholic committee. Revelation and Jude nearly didnt make it in and without Revelatipn we wouldnt have so much hysteria about the end of the World and tribulation. Only the Hebrew scriptures are God breathed; they say continuously "this is the word of the Lord".
God hears all prayers but does not answer every one of them in the affirmative or how we might expect.
The one the Church calls Jesus (invented Greek name) was God the Father Himself manifest in the flesh. Therefore if God said that only through Himself can we come to Him, that's a perfectly logical statement.
I believe in the separation of Church and State because it is not right that the Church applying its interpretation of the bible could use that to make law. Ideally we would be a theocracy, but due to religious idiots, that is not practically possible. Secular democracy seems the bat option.
One should not simply 'belong to a religion'. That is like belonging to a club or society. In truth, Christianity is the exercise of faith in Jesus Christ alone to remove your personal sin. This makes a way to live righteously before God.
About the list Aqua provided...ask 100 christians what each of those requirements mean, specifically, and you will get 100 different answers.
They want an absolute answer where none exist.
Christianity has no relevance in God creation of the Jews. It later was established after the death of our Lord Yeshua being adapted in some similarities but not containing the original fundamental principle “the foundation of it's faith.” The Gentiles whom after the Lord death has been given the honor of accepting his adoption into his family (the Israelites) to receive his salvation. Those whom accept will become his New Crop of Israelites: In Scripture (Hosea 2:23) God says: “I will sow a crop of Israelites and raise them for myself! I will pity those who are “not pitied” And I will say to those who are “not my people” “now you are my people; and they will reply, “You are our God.” (These are the Gentiles). When one is adopted into a family, they become one in the same. It is God will that the Gentiles do as (Ruth). The Lord Yeshua the Messiah so loved his creation, he came and took the place of those deserved of death (His Israelites).The Lord God came as those of his creation (A Jew). The Lord Yeshua the Messiah comes through the house of King David. He came as those his creation an Israelite, those being like him. As noted : In Scripture (Acts 15:15-18) The Lord prediction through the words of the prophet Amos that the Lord Yeshua “a Jew” will die to renew the broken contract from David and in turn, the New Contract, to include the Gentiles.” Remember: In Scripture (Malachi 3:6) “God do not change.” The Messiah ( Mercy of Death) In Scripture (Acts 5:30-31) “The Messiah death (Calmed the anger of God) “His sacrifice calmed the anger of God and allowed the Jews a chance to repent and be forgiven and the shared invitation for the Gentiles to receive salvation; uniting with his family, becoming his adopted children.” When one is adopted into a family, as example: becoming one being grafted into the tree, he becomes one bearing the same fruit. A single tree do not bear two kinds of fruit, each sharing a different taste. So yes, to receive his salvation being one with his family there can be no loose ends, for, the example of Ruth speaks of what is desired of his will. In Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17) “The Holy Spirit says: “The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. It is God's way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.” It is God's mercy (the road map). Every example in Scripture instructs from the words of the Holy Spirit of what is expected of man chance for salvation. In Scripture (Isaiah 43:11-12) God refers to the Jews as being his witnesses, those to give testament of his mighty power and glory through the acts of his many miracles.” Learn from their examples so to find out what is expected of God and what is against his will; for their biblical examples are the testament of God's will and that of his wrath.“ By accepting the Lord's adoption; the Jews belonging to him are now your brothers, therefore, allow their biblical testamonies to guide you throughout your new home.
In Scripture (Isaiah 44:3-5) The Holy Spirit says: “Your children will proudly say “they belong to the God of Israel.”
To know God, you must know of him” and “to do better, you must know better.”
God says: In Scripture (Hosea 4:6) “Those not knowing God will be destroyed”
In-turn: In Scripture (Obadiah 1:7-9) “Death to those having no understanding”
Emile, some people can label themselves policemen and be arrested for impersonating an officer.
Just because a person calls themself a Christian doesn't necessarily make them one.
I happen to agree with John (Aguasilver).
There may be details we disagree on, but every point you made is one that I agree on.
Have there been typographical errors in the Bible. Certainly. Editors have added their own notes. Does this "muddy the waters" so to speak? Not at all.
There will likely always be differing opinions on meaning. That's why humility is so critical in studying the Bible. Our own opinions are largely only opinion and not truth. But we have to start somewhere.
What does "following Christ" mean? It means many different things to different Christians. And some of the meanings I wholeheartedly disagree with. One so-called Christian felt that he could say that he was following Christ and that made it okay to commit any crime. No harm would come to him because he was already saved. It is my opinion that he is not following Christ, but only following his own ego and deceiving himself. One cannot follow Christ and follow greed and selfishness.
Was Gautama Siddhartha "following Christ" when he found Enlightenment? Who am I to judge? Only God can do that.
I wouldn't like a so-called "Christian" state, because the danger arises that someone's perverted interpretation of scripture would become "law." And I would find myself an outlaw in my own Christian belief.
I find reincarnation and karma in the Bible, but some Christians would find me an abomination. I find a timeline in Genesis compatible with those of science and an easy explanation for the seemingly outrageous longevity of the early patriarchs. Most Christians might balk at my exegetical discoveries. But are those other Christians humble enough to admit that their interpretation of the Bible is not equal to that of God's. And if it isn't equal to those of God, then there is always room for improvement.
We're all learning. Some learn more than others. But it takes humility to learn anything.
2 Corinthians 3:6 talks about the spirit of the message, something missed by so many biblical literalists.
So, in my own humble opinion, you owe Aguasilver an apology. But that comes only from my own single viewpoint.
I'm afraid that's the point. It's your opinion. Other Christians have already weighed in with disagreement. So, if there were an apology owed, it wouldn't be one I owed. I was right.
Emile, as I said before, some people can label themselves policemen and be arrested for impersonating an officer.
Where you see disagreement and contradiction there may be none. Are they really Christians, or only wannabees? I'm not totally certain that I have made it, yet, either. In all humility, I don't assume that I have.
In the other forum you said, "Some of you think the Bible is by the hand of God. Some of you believe it to be inspired by God. Some of you think it was inspired."
And what is "the hand of God?" A literal hand? A Homo sapiens appendage of flesh? Come on, Emile. Stop being evil with your words. Step back and be humble for a moment (or a lifetime). There is meaning beyond your literalness, and you will never find it with that approach.
Occasionally, you say some very profound things, full of wisdom. But in this arena, you are wallowing in the mud. Your arguments are full of mortal wickedness. Logic can be beautiful, but also seductive and inwardly ugly. You lack discernment on this.
You accused John of being arrogant. And you are not? Who really is arrogant, and what is the difference between arrogance and divine confidence? There is a very big difference and you are failing to see it. You are holding too tightly onto things of your own creation and thinking it is wisdom. But it is not.
Could the "hand of God" be "inspiration?" And are there different kinds of inspiration? There is the mortal "bright idea," and there is divine inspiration -- in spire (spirit or breath).
You are hungering NOT to believe. You are picking the weakest of arguments against something you cannot fathom. I have seen those depths and they look nothing like what you are describing. Your thoughts are shallow. You dismiss miracles with a child's carelessness.
Quite often, I find myself dwelling in arrogance. Six decades of practice make it hard to shake, but occasionally, when I remain humble, ego flees and arrogance with it.
I tell you now, Emile -- face-to-face -- you know not what you are talking about, and I tell you this in all humility and inspiration.
If you look with your body's eyes, you will not see. If you listen with your Homo sapiens ears, you will not hear, for the truth goes beyond all things physical.
And in your relative "rightness" you wallow in ego and miss the bigger picture.
Claim a more profound rightness by giving up your continuity-bound belief. That is the only way to true understanding in such matters. All else is fiddling with pick-up-sticks with ham hocks for fingers.
what a word twist of babble, you are definately a christian old chap !
What does that have to do with the question of Christians beliefs? Unless, of course, you think you were appointed to guard the doorway. That's one of the problems with arrogance. You are deciding who can be labeled Christian by your own standard. Looking inside yourself and attempting to project your understanding and desires onto others. Spirituality doesn't work that way.
So, let me see if I follow. You aren't sure you have full understanding, yet you are preaching to me about some people being nothing but wannabes? That sounds like something, but it's not humility.
So, it is evil to point out what Christians have professed? Or is it simply evil to point out that not everyone agrees with you? I think, you didn't understand my comment. If you don't understand a statement, doesn't it make more sense to ask for clarification; as opposed to that bizarre and discombobulated response?
To point out that I have read the posts of Christians, and they don't all agree is illogical? To comment that it isn't nice to say any who disagree with you only disagree because they lack spirituality is ugly? To point out that a philosophy of hatred has nothing to do with the Christ shows my lack of discernment? Tsk tsk. I fear we will remain at odds on this point.
"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good--except God alone.
I make no claims at perfection lonestar. I admit my log freely and ponder it daily. However, there is a difference between accepting reality and embracing it; and making up stories so I can regale the world with my fantasies. Scoffing at any who point out the problem with the fact that your fantasy doesn't mirror reality by declaring that they lack the spiritual sight you have found is your ego. Plain and simple. That's your log also lonestar.
The mission is to see the ego, starve the ego. Not see it and feed it. But, as long as the fantasies go on unchallenged you are left to feed it. Would that be kind of us not to point it out?
But only if the understanding agrees with yours or john's? No thanks.I've read your posts. Claiming you parted traffic with your mind and perform miracles all of the time knocks you out of a serious spiritual conversation. Declaring it's 'my way or the highway' does the same for John. Imho. And I understand my opinion is simply that. Can you understand this concept? Can you say the same?
Wow. Now you claim the all seeing eye of God. Does your ego have no bounds? I realize it is easy for people to come onto the internet and make wild claims. You expect others to simply take your word; unfortunately for you we are all adults. You don't get to insist make believe is real.
I humbly submit that today is not that day for you.
Umm., this is the internet. We aren't face to face. Letting your imagination run wild again, are you?
Christian beliefs lonestar. The thread is about Christian beliefs and do they all intersect. I've proven they don't.
I'm not an atheist lonestar. Just because I don't agree with you, doesn't make me ignorant to things spiritual. Although I wouldn't use your term 'homo sapien ears'. I'd feel somewhat foolish.
No. I simply disagree with you. I don't accept your bigger picture. It is your ego that demands that I do.
Ah, ego. You are nothing, if not consistent.
i never truely believed in god but i grew up in achurch it was kinda forced on me, however the basic beliefs listed here i would say are true.
Christian Beliefs are not what Jesus himself believed; he did not believe in Trinity; his cursed death of a false messenger prophet on the Cross; his resurrection from the dead; as he did not die on the Cross; and his ascension; as he did not ascend; he only travelled outside Judea; so he never made any such false claims.
So I don't belong, I believe and trust Jesus Christ. In other words, I am like a slave to Him: a slave by choice and pleasure. I belong to Him and He to me.
Lean Muscle X
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