How to defend the belief only men should be ordained?

Discussion in 'Sacraments and Holy Orders' started by Anglican04, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    When we live according to the Spirit, all things are 'strictly spiritual issues'. When we live according to 'the flesh' then we try to delineate between secular and spiritual and thus, 'choose our own way', rather than the way of The Spirit of God.

    All Old Testament examples of 'leadership' are merely preparation for the 'Leadership' of Christ by The Holy Spirit. There is only one flock and only one shepherd of it. John 10:16.

    Jesus choose twelve Jews as apostles. Not Gentiles. Jews. The leaders of the church. But that did not mean that all leaders would forever be Jews and before long very few leaders were Jews.


    "As unto The Lord".
    What wife would not be obedient to a husband who willingly lays down his life in 'servanthood' to his wife, Ephesians 5:25, giving even his own life for her as Christ did for us all? How well do we men manage to keep our side of the Apostolic advice in our marriages? Or are we so consumed with ambition to be 'the boss' that we 'grasp at superiority', in a worldly and un-Christlike manner, Philipians 2:6.

    One 'person', I'd agree, but one man, I don't think so necessarily. For Christians, whose shepherd is Jesus Christ alone, any gender is OK as a leader of a section of Christ's 'flock', as long as they are a competent believer and obedient to Christ. We have to admit there has been some very poor leadership from men in the church in the past, so it is unlikely that women will generally fare either better or worse than men have historically.

    You will have a tough job proving that Jewish misogyny is inspired by God or supported by New Testament Scripture. Much of the Old Testament narrative merely records accurately the social norms of the era they are set in, not the eternal decree of God that women must be always subservient to men. That notion is worldly social convention not the Spirit or the Mind of Christ as practiced in the early Church and recorded in the New Testament.

    The idea that Old Testament biblical narrative provides a moral and hierarchical template for living as disciples of Jesus Christ in the 21st century is as bizarre as believing that every man can have as many wives as Solomon did or that adulterers and Sabbath beakers should be stoned to death.
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  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    You haven't shown that the representation I've shown, of a pattern of hierarchy set up by God, is a falsehood. You've merely picked nits. And you've implied that all of male hierarchy is misogynistic and power-hungry; I think the error within that idea is self-evident, for one cannot tar all men for the sins of the few.
     
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  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Not one of those verses claims that. It is literally the opposite of what the Scripture teaches us, namely it being open to all, and that all know the truth of God’s word. In fact some would interpret St Paul’s epistle to the Romans as saying that all are born already knowing all the scriptures, and that we merely suppress the knowledge we’re already given.

    Claiming that God’s word is obscured and hidden and revealed only to a few was literally the tenets of Gnostics. Just read any book about the Gnostics, or you can read Irenaeus directly, who was an eyewitness in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. You are a Gnostic my friend. Gnosticism is a heresy, the first heresy ever condemned by the Church.
     
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  4. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    Calling then upon Jesus, the Light of the Father, the Real and True, 'Which lights every man that comes into the world, by whom we have access to the Father,' the Origin of Light, let us raise our thought, according to our power, to the illumination of the most sacred doctrines handed down by the Fathers, and also as far as we may let us contemplate the Hierarchies of the Celestial Intelligences revealed to us by them in symbols for our upliftment: and admitting through the spiritual and unwavering eyes of the mind the original and super-original gift of Light of the Father who is the Source of Divinity, which shows to us images of the all-blessed Hierarchies of the Angels in figurative symbols, let us through them again strive upwards toward Its primal ray. For this Light can never be deprived of Its own intrinsic unity, and although in goodness It becomes manyness and proceeds into manifestation for the uplifting of those creatures governed by Its providence, yet It abides eternally within Itself in changeless sameness, firmly established in Its own unity, and elevates to Itself, according to their capacity, those who turn towards It, uniting them in accordance with Its own unity. For by that first divine ray we can be enlighted only insofar as It is hidden by all-various holy veils for our upliftment, and fittingly tempered to our natures by the Providence of the Father.

    Wherefore that first institution of the sacred rites, judging it worthy of a supermundane copy of the Celestial Hierarchies, gave us our most holy hierarchy, and described that spiritual Hierarchy in material terms and in various compositions of forms so that we might be led, each according to his capacity, from the most holy imagery to formless, unific, elevative principles and assimilations. For the mind can by no means be directed to the spiritual presentation and contemplation of the Celestial Hierarchies unless it use the material guidance suited to it, accounting those beauties which are seen to be images of the hidden beauty, the sweet incense a symbol of spiritual dispensations, and the earthly lights a figure of the immaterial enlightenment. Similarly the details of the sacred teaching correspond to the feast of contemplation in the soul, while the ranks of order on earth reflect the Divine Concord and the disposition of the Heavenly Orders. The receiving of the most holy Eucharist symbolizes our participation of Jesus; and everything else delivered in a supermundane manner to Celestial Natures is given to us in symbols.

    To further, then, the attainment of our due measure of deification, the loving Source of all mysteries, in showing to us the Celestial Hierarchies, and consecrating our hierarchy as fellowministers, according to our capacity, in the likeness of their divine ministry, depicted those supercelestial Intelligences in material images in the inspired writings of the sacred Word so that we might be guided through the sensible to the intelligible, and from sacred symbols to the Primal Source of the Celestial Hierarchies.
    Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, "The Celestial Hierarchy," from Chapter I.

    I think this reading is pertinent and I've been reflecting on it this week as I prepare a homily for the feast of St. Michael and All Angels.
     
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  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    It would of course be entirely in character for a Pharisee to accuse a Spirit filled believer of Gnosticism. They did after all even accuse Christ himself of being in league with the devil and a servant of Beelzibub. That was the extent of their Spiritual enlightenment. Theirs was a spirit of accusation, not the Holy Spirit.
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  6. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I mean, you probably think this is just a game of name calling like back in Kindergarten. I’m not just saying your view equals Gnosticism because I’m being spiteful. I mean literally, the proposition that the meaning of Scriptures is hidden and revealed only to a few was condemned as a heresy by the early Church, and openly rejected in Scriptures:

    “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, let him be accursed!” (Galatians 1:8)

    “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

    “I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers, that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6)

    “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

    “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)

    "For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14).

    “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7).

    “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching” (1 Timothy 4:13).

    “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” (Joshua 1:8)
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
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  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    If the cap fits then wear it. It was not I that wrote "I completely deny that you “have the Holy Spirit”", as if your denial of my relationship with God is some kind of definitively inspired gnosis. The Pharisees were equally confident that Christ "had an unclean spirit" but they were also wrong.

    The scriptures are a closed book to those who remain opposed to God's Holy Spirit and rely merely upon their own understanding. Where do you think the Holy Spirit fits into the operation of the revelation of truth? True religion is far more than mere "Book l'arnin'". Without "regeneration" it is not possible for unbelievers to "see God" let alone comprehend the thoughts of His mind. How is it that we have "The mind of Christ"; - only through the ministry of The Holy Spirit. Human intellect alone cannot understand the things of the spirit. I shouldn't need to quote the scripture that supports and upholds that truth. Anyone 'in the spirit' can understand it. Why do you think Paul was so keen on us 'living in the spirit', rather than 'in the flesh'?

    There is nothing exclusive or gnostic about understanding The Word. It is right inside you, not far away. As and you shall receive. God does not give a scorpion when we ask for an egg. Have you asked God for the gift of The Holy Spirit, as Christ in the scripture has required of you?

    If you have you will understand the effect of receiving that same Spirit has upon understanding. Otherwise you still have a lot to learn about "dividing the word rightly".

    Knowing The Book of the Law is wonderful and necessary but thinking your salvation depends upon it is Pharisaical nonsense. Our salvation depends only upon Christ's atonement and our obedience to His Spirit as disciples of "The Way".
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  8. Brigid

    Brigid Active Member Anglican

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    It is indeed appropriate and beautiful!
     
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  9. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I certainly don’t see it, neither with my eyes, nor with my mind, heart, and soul, nor do I see His presence in your works nor the new theologies you have made up.


    Okay then, as I mentioned I do not see you having God inside you at all. Like, at all. Therefore you cannot say any statement or proposition which I or others would accept as true: you claim it is true because you were inspired to say it, and we simply deny your inspiration, and therefore deny your false prophecies and inspirations. There is nothing you can say which would make your claims true to anyone but yourself (because truth is not subjective). Checkmate.
     
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  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Firstly: I am not allowed by the rules of this forum to " show that the representation you've shown, of a pattern of hierarchy set up by God, is a falsehood." So I am not going to be so foolish as to attempt to.

    If you inferred that "all of male hierarchy is misogynistic and power-hungry;" from what I have written, then your inference was unwarranted, because that was never implied by me.

    True 'leadership' is never 'power-hungry'. If any example of male leadership is 'power-hungry' it is not leadership inspired by The Holy Spirit, but by another, unclean and worldly spirit all together.

    There is no distinction, neither Greek nor Jew, slave nor free, male nor female in the church of Christ. All leadership within Christ's church is ordained by God, not man and we are called to be respectful of our leaders, (whatever gender they may be). Demonstrating disrespect, let alone disobedience, to a woman in an office of authority is disobedience to Christ.
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  11. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It would behoove you not to misinterpret the words of Scripture, as they literally do not say that.

    Mod: language.
     
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  12. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Galatians 3:26-29.

    For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

    King James Bible
    Text courtesy of BibleProtector.com
    Section Headings Courtesy INT Bible
    © 2012, Used by Permission
    Bible Hub

    It would behove many to admit that they are wrong once in a while, especially when it come to the interpretation of the meaning of scripture. What exactly does YOUR bible say at Galatians 3:27-29? Is it different than mine clearly says? No? Well why then do you claim that my Bible is wrong and your 'different' one is right?

    I think you will find that the biblical text literally DOES say exactly that, even though you seem not to want it to. Would you like me to explain it to you in NT Greek?
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  13. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    You cannot worship God in anything other than The Spirit and Truth. John 4:23. The highest form of worship is to understand and do the bidding of God's Word, Jesus Christ. The knowledge of Christ's will for us comes to us through the pages and text of The Bible and the Holy Spirit of God. To deny that is to deny Christ and all his Apostles teaching.
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  14. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    This thread is suffering partly because it is marked by personal attacks rather than addressing the issue.

    The only way to ensure that you do not make a mistake would be to do nothing, and that of itself would be a mistake.

    We should assume here that everyone is seeking to speak the truth honestly as they have understood it. Where people have understood this differently we should seek to be sure of what we understand AND try to understand why some else has come to a different position, and maybe that will help us understand the issue more fully.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    If a woman is in the office of priest, anyone is free to not attend that parish; their doing so is not a sign of disrespect or disobedience, but is merely an exercise of their personal conviction and their freedom to choose where they attend... unless, of course, the Holy Spirit tells them to go to her parish, in which case they should do so... but then none of us should judge the person because we don't know what God has told them to do. (God might want them there to help a certain person, or whatever... and putting up with a female priest for a time might be needful.)

    Now, if someone went to a female priest and insulted her, or if someone told lies about her, that would be disrespect and disobedience. If someone simply said they don't believe it's God's will for females to be ordained as priests, that is nothing more than expressing one's understanding or interpretation.

    By the way, you want us to believe that the Holy Spirit has revealed to you that He desires women to be priests, and that therefore we all should believe it to be so. But someone else can say that the Holy Spirit has revealed to him (or her) that God does not want women to be priests. Each person thinks that he has heard from God, yet their messages conflict. God does not lie, He is not the author of confusion, and He does not talk out of both sides of His mouth. So who to believe? The answer is: we believe the Bible first and foremost, for it shows us Truth that is more constant than what hard-of-hearing sheep think they've gleaned in prayer. Of the scriptures you cited ( John 4:23, John 14:17, John 15:26, John 16:13, Rom.9:1, Eph.1:13, 1 John 4:6) the only one which comes close to suggesting otherwise is John 16:13, but only if it is pulled out of its context of verses 7-15 as well as the context of the N.T. overall. I am reminded of an in-law of mine who had stopped attending church altogether because she had "gone beyond the Bible" and was "listening to the Holy Spirit instead;" she told me that when I really learned to hear the Spirit well enough, I'd stop going to church also. She had lifted herself up in pride, thinking that she'd progressed spiritually to the point where she didn't need the written Word, but I am confident in saying that the spirit she was hearing was not whom she thought it was. Failure to compare spiritual 'insights' and 'messages' with the Bible, to see if they agree, is a good way to go off the rails and become a nutter.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  16. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You are correct, my friend, it is a heresy, but I would call it crypto-Marcion anomialism. Anomial theology is one of the most active heresies infecting the mainline Protestant churches, and it is a tragedy. We have in 60 years gone from a set of beautiful churches committed to teaching right from wrong, in the Anglican tradition even reading the Ten Commandments or the Summary of the Law before the Eucharist, to rejecting that Law despite what our Lord said about it, going beyond even Martin Luther’s absurd statement that we should “sin boldly” (which in context, is less bad than it sounds, but he still should not have said it; this combined with his uncontrollable anger, his predilection for scatological insults, and his vile anti-Semitism makes it impossible for me to venerate him, as much as I appreciate the contribution Luther made to the Western church).

    Nowadays, rather than reciting the Ten Commandments, it is almost as though some mainline churches are telling their people the sole commandment of Aleister Crowley’s evil Thelema cult, “Do what thou wilt.” The perversion of homosexuality, the severe mental illness of gender dysphoria, which should be treated psychiatrically rather than by encouraging people to be “Trans” and to make believe they can change their gender, rather than merely being mutilated by evil doctors, and the horrible murder and mayhem that is perpetrated on the unborn in abortion “clinics”, is all tolerated and even encouraged.

    Specifically, Marcionism posits that the God of the Old Testament was evil and opposed to Jesus Christ, like Gnosticism, and that the Law was also evil; it also had a narrow canon of a select few Pauline epistles and a modified version of the Gospel of Luke. The eccentric Anglican priest Fr. Peter Owen-Jones (the presenter of Extreme Pilgrim, Around the World in 80 Faiths, and a really stupid, crass documentary on the Lost Gospels) caused me some dismay when he dared to refer to Marcion as “one of the most brilliant theologians the Church has ever known.” Marcion was not a theologian; he either had no knowledge of God, or had knowledge of the devil, and was in a state of Prelest, spiritual delusion that made him think that he could arbitrarily and unilaterally define the entire Scriptural canon, and then modify the books therein to support his impious speculation.

    In like manner, women who claim the Priesthood, who desire it or the Episcopate, are in a state of Prelest, because they are deluded into thinking the true priesthood is some sort of honor to which they are entitled, rather than a great sacrifice that women do not deserve to suffer, having endured the agony of childbirth and having a sacred vocation of motherhood. Indeed, given that our Lady, the Theotokos, St. Mary, gave birth to God in His incarnation, and consequently spent more time with Him and was closer to Him than anyone else in this world, I think it would be inappropriate and demeaning for any woman to serve as a priest. Our beloved priests and bishops hear the words of our Lord “Whoever would be first among you must make himself last.” Our masters are our servants.
     
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  17. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You are spot on, my brother. I have to confess I find Gnosticism, the heresy of salvation by the transmission of secret knowledge, one of the most offensive of heresies, so naturally Fr. Peter Owen Jones loves it. I find his documentaries for the BBC interesting, but it is sad someone can do what he has done (participating in witchcraft, criticizing St. Athanasius for the canon of scripture, and so on) and not be deposed from the priesthood.

    Also, most Gnostics practiced dissimulation and would deny their religion to avoid violent persecution or martyrdom by the Roman Empire, as they attached no value to it.

    The only Gnostics I feel any great sympathy for are the deluded Albigensians; St. Dominic Guzman set out to convert them by preaching to them, but his successors in the Order of Preachers found this too much of a bother, so they teamed up with the Franciscans to form the Inquisition and burn at the stake any Albigensians who refused to convert; and then in the Albigensian Crusade, an entire town was destroyed, the aristocrat in charge of the assault justifying it on the grounds that God would know who was an Albigensian or not.

    As a result of that attrocity, there is a moronic conspiracy theory among Baptists, and also expressed in The Great Controversy by the SDA false prophetess Ellen G. White, in which various Gnostic sects that were opposed by the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church before the Great Schism of 1054 are viewed as having been the original Protestants, and some justify this on a supposed relationship between the Waldensians and the Albigensians (and their geographical location between Bosnia, home of the Gnostic Bogomils, and the Pyrenees). But the Waldensians obviously were not Gnostics; their only error was Donatism, which they gave up when they received shelter in Switzerland and willingly corrected this error in their belief system after they received an education in Calvinist and Reformed theology, which correctly rejects Donatism.

    By the way @Tiffy, without intending any offense, on that subject, in another thread, correct me if I am wrong, but did you not express a certain sympathy for the Donatist view regarding sacraments and the priesthood? That is to say, that a priest who had secretly committed various grievous sins or apostatized could not perform a valid baptism?

    I apologize if this seems in any respect putting you on the spot; the Waldensians being relevant to the Gnostic question, I am seeking to understand your perspective regarding ordination and sacramental theology.
     
  18. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Actually, in the Syriac and Antiochian Orthodox Church, and in the Assyrian Church of the East, a large percentage of the faithful are of partial Jewish decent. And among the Syriac Orthodox in India, there is an entire endogamous group who have their own parishes, but who follow the standard liturgy, descended from Jews who shipwrecked while trading with India (in Antiquity, Jews, who spoke Aramaic, were able to trade with much of the world, and it was because of this network of Syriac Aramaic speaking Jews that St. Thomas, and his disciples Addai and Mari, were so successful in establishing the Church of the East, which at one time extended all the way from the Plains of Nineveh in Iraq, the ancestral homeland of the Assyrians, to Samarkand in the North, Mongolia in the Northeast, Tibet in the Southeast, and Sri Lanka in the South, but a genocide by the Muslim warlord Tamerlane killed off all of these Christians except for those living in Persia, Mesopotamia and India.

    There also have historically been Jews in India, in Kerala, the Kochin Jews, who have been there since before the arrival of Christianity in the first century. Vidal Sassoon is the most famous member of that ethnic group, and the Sassoon family is one of the most prestigious in that community, and clearly many Indian Orthodox and other St. Thomas Christians are descended from the Kochin Jews.

    In like manner, all of the Ethiopians are of partial Hebraic and Judaic descent. So every Ethiopian bishop and every Ethiopian priest (except for some converts and members of other ethnic groups who joined it) is of partial Jewish ancestry. The Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church is truly remarkable.
     
  19. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Just out of curiosity @Tiffy, on this point, why do you feel St. Paul has authority in Galatians but not in 1 Corinthians or 1 Timothy?
     
  20. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    St. Dionysius the Aereopagite is a sublime writer (piety and a lack of sure knowledge precludes me from using the Psuedo-Dionysius label).
     
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