May 28, 2015 Truth2Freedom Daily Christian Blog/Article Collection

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10 Ideas Embedded In The Slogan “All Truth Is God’s Truth”

All that is truthful, from whatever source, is unified, and will cohere with whatever else is truthful. (“Because God’s reality is unified and coherent, centered as it is on the person of Christ, all truthful apprehensions of that reality, or truthful expressions of those apprehensions, will cohere and contribute to an integrated, unified, Christ-centered vision of all things.”

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The Same Gospel

When we work in areas different from the one from which we came, we might be tempted to hold back parts of the gospel that seem difficult for people to believe. Perhaps we may leave out things like man’s sin, God’s wrath, and eternal damnation for sinners in order to make the gospel “kinder.” We might also be tempted to make the gospel more prosperous in the here-and-now by promising earthly riches that Jesus doesn’t promise…we dare not change the one gospel that leads to salvation. There is one message of good news and any other message is wholly un-Christian.

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Bad Reasons for Avoiding Politics

Christ is coming soon, so we should not waste our time on the affairs of the world: “Since Christ is coming soon, why get involved in seeking long-term political solutions to social problems?” But Christians have been predicting Christ’s return for centuries. Besides, are we not supposed to seek to promote the good regardless of how long we have to do it? And logically should this principle not encourage us to forgo getting an education and saving for retirement?

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Don’t Call Charlie – Church & Culture Blog

A new challenge game is going viral. It’s about connecting with a dead spirit from Mexico named “Charlie.”

Fueled by thousands of videos from young people supposedly showing “contact,” the game is played by placing two pencils in the shape of a cross on a piece of paper with the words “yes” and “no.” Those present then repeat the phrase, “Charlie, Charlie can we play?” in order to make contact with the demon.

If “Charlie” is there, the pencils are said to move toward his answer.

If “present,” then questions of any kind are asked…and answered.

To end the game, players say, “Charlie, Charlie can we stop?”

If you are ever invited to play this game, don’t. In fact, flee the entire situation. Don’t even be present as an observer.

If you are a parent that catches even the slightest whiff of this in your child’s life, do quick intervention.

Because it’s not a game.

It’s the occult.

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Better gear up for the 5 major changes coming to the Church

by Marsha West

John Burton has written a piece titled “Ancient and Emerging: 5 Major Changes Coming to the Church.” Before you get all excited, or maybe even concerned over those changes, you should know a bit more about Burton. As it turns out he’s a “prophet in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. According to his blog, […]

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Biblical or Human Church Growth?

Bigger is better, right? The Church Growth Movement has captured the fancy of Christian leaders and members alike. After all, if our churches are bigger and growing, that means God is behind it, right? Not so fast. Our guest this morning Pastor Gary Gilley has some concerns about the “bigger is better” movement sweeping American […]

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ARE ALL CHRISTIANS HYPOCRITES? YES, MAYBE AND NO.

The revelations about Josh Duggar have brought to the forefront a much broader discussion about Christians and hypocrisy. (If you need a recap, here is The Washington Post‘s excellent timeline of the entire situation.)

Does his criticizing the sexual behavior of others, while engaging in not just sexual sins, but criminal molestation, mark him a hypocrite? Are Christians, in general, hypocrites for so often critiquing the behavior of others, while failing to live up to their own standards?

As a Christian, my answer would be yes, maybe, and no. Let me explain.

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Warnings Met With Deafness

by Bill Muehlenberg

I am not sure which is worse: all the evils, calamities, destruction and attacks on the West and on Christianity, or the seemingly complete inability of most folks to see it happening, or to heed the warnings about all this. We have had so many folks offering so many warnings, yet most folks seem to be deaf and dumb, or just don’t care.

The inability of Westerners, especially Western Christians, to heed the warnings and respond to the alarms is just utterly frightening. It is as if the West has been immobilised by alien rays, and they are just unable to respond to the myriad of danger signs all around them.

danger 2We are so overcome with relativism, truth decay, political correctness, and idiotic ideas about tolerance that we refuse to get shook up about anything, and we remain rock hard regardless of all the warnings about our own doom. Perhaps we can understand non-Christians acting this way, but it seems Christians are hardly any better.

Most believers today are so conditioned by the spirit of the age, so biblically illiterate, and so duped by the lies of secular humanism, that they can’t seem to think straight – at least in terms of a biblical worldview. They have become utterly incapacitated to think and act like disciples of Christ, and appear to be indistinguishable from their pagan counterparts.

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Cold Case Christianity: Ten Principles for the Reluctant Use of Deadly Force

Every year we celebrate Memorial Day and honor our fallen soldiers who have died in wars over the years. While the vast majority of Christians believe there are times when it is appropriate to use deadly force (or go to war), they have struggled throughout the ages to understand when and how this ought to be done. The reluctant use of deadly force has been a topic of philosophical and theological consideration for centuries. Augustine (354 – 430) and Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) attempted to formulate what is now called the “Just War Theory”. Like other Christians who have wrestled with the issue, they tried to develop a set of principles guiding the responsible use of deadly force. Here is a very brief summary of several Christian principles guiding the incredibly difficult decision to exercise deadly force (especially in the context of war):

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Podcast – The Necessity of Biblical and Discerning Pastors

Bible Study – Ephesians 4:11-16:

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Description:
This audio includes a brief overview of Ephesians chapters 1-3 and an expositional study of Ephesians 4:11-16. It also serves as a clarion call to pastors and church leaders to “Prove [test] all things, hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians. 5:21). Read more…


Atheist Matt Dillahunty Goes After Intelligent Design — and Stumbles

by Jonathan McLatchie

I was recently directed to the above video featuring notable atheist Matt Dillahunty (with whom I have had interaction in the past). In it, Dillahunty makes a number of elementary mistakes that are quite common among popular-level criticisms of intelligent design. I thought it would be worthwhile to offer a short response. Misrepresenting Intelligent Design […]

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Better gear up for the 5 major changes coming to the Church

by Marsha West

John Burton has written a piece entitled “Ancient and Emerging: 5 Major Changes Coming to the Church.” Before you get all excited, or maybe even concerned over those changes, you should know a bit more about Burton. As it turns out he’s a “prophet in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. According to his blog, […]

Read more of this post


10 Reasons Why Spiritual Disciplines Matter in Church Revitalization

By Chuck Lawless

Thom Rainer and I have talked often about the process of church revitalization. Both of us recognize, though, that knowledge of revitalization is hardly enough to turn around a church; the process cannot be separated from the personal walk of the leader who longs for church renewal. Below are ten reasons why spiritual disciplines matter in church revitalization.

  1. The call to disciplines reveals our heart. If we don’t spend time with God daily, that choice tells us something about ourselves. Perhaps we are more self-dependent than God-dependent (see #6 below). Maybe we are “fixers” who try to address problems first, and then pray if necessary. We may evaluate our walk on the basis of public results more than a personal relationship with God. Any of these realities will hinder revitalization.
  2. Our personal walk with God affects the corporate walk of the local church. Leaders who spend little time with God tend to spend less time challenging their members to be with God. Their stories of personal victory are often more past tense than present tense. Those who do not follow God intimately seldom see genuine revitalization in their church; in fact, they sometimes produce congregations that unknowingly need revitalization
  3. The Bible is a book about hope and life. We know this truth – perhaps so well that we have forgotten its power. We preach about the promise of resurrection and new creation, all the while wondering if even God can revitalize dying congregations. To have hope for revitalization, we need to be reminded regularly through the Word that God brings life out of death.
  4. Disciplines strengthen our faith. Reading the Word and praying are more than just disciplines; they are lifelines to the Father. Knowing that God divides seas, collapses walls, slays giants, and empties tombs strengthens our trust in Him. Talking to Him and recognizing He listens to our prayers magnify our wonder of Him. No task of revitalization is too big for this God.
  5. Prayer is an expression of relationship with, and dependence on, God. When we pray, we express the truth that we cannot do in our power what God has called us to do. The reverse is also true: our prayerlessness is an expression of idolatry of the self. God does not bless the leadership of idolaters, even those who have great skills for revitalization.
  6. Daily obedience undergirds our praying. Simply stated, revitalization requires the power of God. The kind of praying that results in God’s power demands obedience (Isa. 59:1-2), including reading the Word, praying continually, and rejecting temptation. Perfunctory prayer from disobedient hearts hardly produces new life in a congregation.
  7. Disciplines focus our attention on God, not on our circumstances. It’s the apathetic, dying church that needs God’s renewed touch, but it’s that same church that can most frustrate its leaders. Unless we are regularly focusing on God via study and prayer, the obstacles to revitalization can quickly become overwhelming.
  8. Disciplines help to turn our heart outward. It’s hard to read the Bible consistently without seeing God’s heart for our neighbors and the nations. The resounding message of the scripture is that the God who desires a prayerful, intimate relationship with us loves the world. Leaders who live in that truth daily are best prepared to lead inwardly focused churches toward turnaround.
  9. Apart from being with God, we can produce deceptive revitalization. This reason may seem to contradict #2 above, but here’s the tricky part: if revitalization is limited to increased numbers, even the leader who is not faithful in his walk with God can lead a church to “revitalization.” What might seem to be a move of God, however, could be nothing more than popularity and attraction.
  10. Faithfulness to spiritual disciplines gives us humble confidence to lead. Revitalization requires helping churches see their current situation and then change as needed to reach this generation. Leaders who live in a state of ongoing dependence on God are most prepared to lead in this direction.

Let’s help one another: what steps have you taken to help you be more faithful in spiritual disciplines?


Chuck Lawless currently serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions and Dean of Graduate Studies at Southeastern Seminary. You can connect with Dr. Lawless on both Twitter and Facebook.


The post 10 Reasons Why Spiritual Disciplines Matter in Church Revitalization appeared first on ThomRainer.com.


Marriage Redefined

What does the rising generation of young evangelicals think about marriage? Here’s the troubling truth.
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Resting In Christ

Repentance, and the sorrow it brings are tools in God’s hand to drive us to Christ and the forgiveness and joy that He brings.


Maybe you haven’t noticed: God made two sexes

Having decreed that God did not invent marriage, our culture has moved on to a new cause célèbre: the claim that neither did God invent gender.

Last week Fairfax County Schools (where I live) is considering a measure to no longer teach that there are two genders, but rather that gender exists on a spectrum, as well as to move the curriculum out of the science department and into the health department so that parents can no longer opt their students out. This all follows their vote a few weeks ago to allow cross-dressing teachers and essentially end gender segregated bathrooms.

By the way, Fairfax is one of the ten largest public school districts in the US.

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Is Christian Marriage in Chaos?

We know Christian marriage is under attack. When your own Christian marriage feels like chaos, you hurt deeply. You may wonder if you and your spouse are destined for continual disagreement and dissatisfaction.


60 Summer Reading Suggestions from Our Team

C.S. Lewis once said, “No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.” In other words, good books stand the test of time, and really good books are the ones we read over and over again.


The Ultimate Rags To Riches Story

riches

A Feature Article by Jack Kelley

We all love this kind of story. And as much as we’re encouraged by the experience of an ordinary person who due to personal drive and perseverance rises from humble beginnings to become a leader of business or industry, we’re especially fond of stories where an absolute nobody is plucked from the faceless crowd and instantly propelled to the pinnacle of success. Great Hollywood stories have been built upon this premise, and they’ve never failed to delight us. But by far the absolute best example of this comes from the Bible and is about you.  Our story begins in the Old Testament Book of 1st Samuel with David and Jonathan.

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If Forgiving Josh Duggar for Molesting His Victims Is All It Takes Then Mike Huckabee, Evangelism Explosion, Ray Comfort & Todd Friel Should Hire Him to Be the Face of Their Ministries

Yesterday on my Bible News Radio show, my husband and I, continued to discuss the fallout from the Josh Duggar scandal.  Over the weekend I had a few homeschooling mothers who support Duggar and his crimes unfriend me on Facebook for saying that Jim Bob and Michelle handled the situation poorly and that charges should’ve been pressed against him for his crimes.

I’ve had numerous other Christians confront me and tell me that Josh is forgiven and so we need to let it go and move on.  I also saw Mike Huckabee, Todd Friel, Ray Comfort and Evangelism Explosion all come out in support of Josh Duggar.  It’s a matter of forgiveness they say. He wasn’t a Christian when he committed his crimes and he’s the perfect candidate for Christian ministry because God has redeemed him by the blood of the Lamb!

My question to those who have no shame in publicly supporting Josh Duggar is this – When do you plan on hiring him to be the face of your ministry and your national spokesman?  Will Mike Huckabee chuck his current staff for Josh to take their place as he goes and wastes money running again for President?  How about Todd Friel – Will you hire Josh to be your co-host on your TV show and to babysit your children when you and your wife want a weekend away?  Evangelism Explosion – When are you going to use Josh’s face on your evangelism materials and use them to share with the lost and dying world that because Josh is forgiven of molesting his sisters and another victim, they need to come to Christ?   Will Ray Comfort make Josh a co-host and face of his ministry like Kirk Cameron was in the past?  I’m waiting gentlemen.

If all this big mess is about is FORGIVENESS then logic tells me that you all should have zero problem making Josh Duggar the face of your ministry.  But you and I and the whole world knows that it is about more than forgiveness, it’s about TRUST, BETRAYAL and HYPOCRISY. I’ve already stated more than once on my radio show that I believe Josh Duggar is forgiven by God if he truly repented.  What I have a serious problem with is how his parents handled it. If this is all about forgiveness then why didn’t The Family Research Council beg Josh to not leave?  Where are all the Christian ministries begging for Josh to come and work with them?  How come the big name ministries and those in the press have fallen silent about this whole situation?  How come Christian talk show hosts have not said a peep about this scandal? It’s about TRUST, BETRAYAL and HYPOCRISY.

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The Daily Discovery (May 28, 2015)

To The Other Woman’s Embrace – “I sometimes wonder what it was like for Sarah as she watched Abraham and Hagar walk into that tent together—what she thought, what she felt (Genesis 16). What was it like for the wife to watch her husband seek privacy with that other woman, knowing exactly what they were about to do? Where did her mind go in those moments when they were out of sight? How far had Sarah fallen to not only permit this, but to suggest and even demand it? What has to happen in a wife for her to give her husband to another woman’s embrace?”

Nine things we’re glad we’ve learned in our marriage (so far) – “Today is Emily’s and my ninth wedding anniversary. Our road to the altar was a long and complicated one, involving college romance, abandoning a religion/cult, living together, getting ‘engaged’, buying a house, spiritual attack, and being rescued by Jesus (in that order).”

Summer Plans – “Before I applied for the PhD program at the University of Leicester two years ago, my elders graciously agreed in principle to give me three consecutive summer sabbaticals to work on my dissertation. The first summer off was last year, which makes this the second. I have an elders meeting this Thursday and I’ll preach one more time on June 14 (the last Sunday before our Associate Pastor, Ben Falconer, heads to Proclamation PCA), but other than that I will be free of regular pastoral responsibilities. It is a great gift. Taking time to do research and writing is good for my energy, good for my health, good for my longevity in ministry, and, I dare say, good for the church too. They will enjoy hearing different preachers this summer–mainly our Assistant Pastor, Jason Helopoulos, who is an excellent preacher–and they will find me much refreshed when I return to the pulpit at the end of August.”

When Assurance is Lacking – “I am so sorry to hear about your struggle with the assurance of your salvation. Seasons of doubt can be some of the most difficult valleys we walk through. Maybe you’re doubting God’s love (‘Could he really love someone like me?’), the reality of your conversion (‘I don’t think I’m regenerate because I___’), the possibility of certainty (‘Can I even know for sure that I’m saved?’), or something else. Whatever the case, know that this is a common battle. You are not alone.

Top 5 Reasons Churches Went to Court in 2014 – “After reviewing thousands of published and unpublished rulings by state appellate and federal courts in 2014 that pertain to churches, I am able to identify the top five reasons churches go to court.  This list can be used by church leaders to know what common legal liabilities and risk management concerns should be addressed—or possibly even prevented altogether—by proper planning from pastors, church staff, church boards, and volunteers.”


SERMON:

Charles Spurgeon – Instability


VIDEOS:

Does A Christian Have To Bear Fruit?

I Don’t Want to Die


“If you alter or obscure the Biblical portrait of God in order to attract converts, you don’t get converts to God, you get converts to an illusion. This is not evangelism but deception.” – John Piper

Source


Post Resurrection Life

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. According to Rev 21:24-27, it appears there are two groups of humans mentioned, 1. The Kings of the Earth 2.The Nations of them that are saved. I have a theory that those of us who are saved will be given an assignment like Adam had to populate a planet and have dominion over it.  Do you think God has prepared for each of as a similar assignment?  After all, I can’t imagine that we will do nothing!

But if you see the pattern of our earthly lives and what its meant, it appears this ‘Earth University’ was to train us on how to run our own planet some day. I know its far fetched, but I don’t think its impossible.  And at the appointed time, the nations bring their glory to the new Jerusalem to worship The Almighty!  What do you think?

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Legs Of Iron, Feet Of Clay

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. When Daniel interpreted King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream to him he mentioned the feet and toes of the great image as being mixed with miry clay and iron. I was taught that the two feet represented the eastern and western provinces of the revived Roman Empire and the ten toes as representing the ten kings that will rule in the last days.

It seems to me that the old Roman Empire and the Islamic nations would meld together politically and religiously as well. Could the iron represent the political part and the miry clay the religious part? I would appreciate any comments or scenarios you may have. I still see things through a darkened glass as well!

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Altar Call Or Not?

Q&A-chalkboard

Q. I used to attend a church that gave an invitation (altar call) after the message was given. Where I now attend, the pastor just dismisses the congregation after the message, with no altar call. Personally, I preferred it the old way. Here’s my question.   Is the altar call necessary or even scriptural? Should I consider this when searching for a new church?

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Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner?


“My Last Day” — the Jesus Anime

9 powerful minutes of animation that begins with a thief behind bars watching the scourging of Jesus, and it ends with the thief dying next to Jesus, and waking to see Him in a beautiful place.

The dying thief: What was so great about his faith?

There are many acts of extraordinary faith in the Bible. The one that has impressed me the most concerns the dying thief on the cross. We could take the approach that he had nothing to lose, so he decided to cast his lot with Jesus. But this makes absolutely no sense of the text and the context.
In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”
Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.
The conversion of the one criminal was most extraordinary and testifies to the power of Christ’s prayer and the grace of God. Why?
This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise!
“One is saved, and we may not despair; the other is lost, and we may not presume.” Spurgeon
Source


Remember the thief.

It can be a difficult situation if someone you are witnessing to asks about the fate of a loved one who died and was not a Christian. Simply say, “Only God knows the eternal destiny of the person, and the Scriptures assure us that He will do what is right. So we can take consolation from that.” Some may be tempted to say that the loved one went to hell, but the truth is that we don’t know what happened minutes before their death. Remember the thief on the cross.


Our Time is Short

Read: Recommitting Your Life To God and Jesus Christ – Restoration and Forgiveness With God and Jesus Christ (Updated Version)


Don’t be Left Behind

View two-minute video


Ready to start your new life with God?

Who do you think that I am?

With that brief question Jesus Christ confronted His followers with the most important issue they would ever face. He had spent much time with them and made some bold claims about His identity and authority. Now the time had come for them either to believe or deny His teachings.

Who do you say Jesus is? Your response to Him will determine not only your values and lifestyle, but your eternal destiny as well.

Consider what the Bible says about Him: Read more


Look to Jesus
Have you ever felt a little lost and wished there was a quick-start guide to your relationship with God? This is it!

30 Day Next Steps
John Beckett, a leading Christian businessman, has written a series to read over 30 days for new believers.

New Believers Guide
The New Believer’s Guide is a series of articles designed to show you how to walk in the new life Christ has given you— a life of faith and freedom.

Jesus Booklet
Jesus is the Savior of the world. Discover who Jesus is today in this series.

About Christianity
Know Jesus Christ and your life will be transformed


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This post was originally posted on:

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(Alternative News, Apologetics, Current Events, Commentary, Opinion, Theology, Discernment Blog, Devotionals, Christian Internet Evangelism & Missions Activist).

“A simple layman armed with Scripture is to be believed above a pope or a council without it…” – Martin Luther

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