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A House Divided

On one occasion, Jesus reminded his listeners that “a house divided will not stand” (Mark 3:25).

In another setting, he said, “Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law” (Luke 12:51-53).

The first quote reflects a political truism. The second describes a spiritual reality that still hounds those who follow him.

In retrospect, we know that Jesus was not organizing a political or military insurgency against either Herod or Caesar. He and his apostles both teach those who believe in him to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s (Matt 22:21; Romans 13; 1Tim 2:1-2).

So, as we anticipate a changing of the guard through the installation of a new president, here are a couple of thoughts:

  1. Acceptance of Christ is the ultimate pro-life issue.
  2. We value a government that provides freedom of religious expression.
  3. To avoid dividing the country over unenforceable moral issues, we may need to settle for freedom to divide over the issue of whether to personally accept Jesus as our only way to escape a culture of death.
  4. Maybe we need to return to the practice of the early church. In a society where abortion and infanticide were common, followers of Christ developed a reputation for not aborting their own children, and even for saving from the garbage other people’s children who were left to die.
  5. The same might be said for other divisive moral issues that reflect differences of spiritual and religious conviction.
  6. This may be a way to unite nationally and politically around “least common denominator” social issues, while giving the church a chance to develop a reputation for believing that Jesus really is the ultimate and defining pro-life (and pro-choice) issue.
  7. Moral advocacy, where needed, would be expressed through our own example, and by a “prophetic voice” that has the marks of wisdom and grace rather than mud slinging, partisan, political struggle for social control.

Am guessing that maybe we are even at a place where we can see that failed efforts to capture faith-based public policy can produce a backlash that ultimately makes it difficult to show that Christ is a much greater issue for us than Caesar.

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70 Responses to “A House Divided”

  1. Mart De Haan says:

    phillip, thanks for your response.

    This site is not about agreeing about everything. It’s more about, in everything, finding what is most important to agree on– to keep the rest of what we disagree about in perspective. Am looking forward to sitting back and listening in to the conversation that I hope will follow.

    Have been making friends here who are definitely not afraid to disagree with me in our shared desire to put Christ at the center of our lives.

  2. bretnb says:

    I might be wrong in trying to understand your blog this am. I think your saying that while we live up to our standards. We can not force a nation to go in that direction. That we are to still live as we know we should. #5 I am not sure what you mean.



  3. pegramsdell says:

    I don’t think that we “may need to settle”.
    The bible says to submit to the authority over us.
    We can do that without compromising or settling… sometimes….look at Daniel….he did not compromise.
    He stood up for what he believed.
    He was not backing down, and we shouldn’t either.
    If we are not ashamed of Him, He will not be ashamed of us. There is right and wrong. There is life and death.
    Choose which one. We have a choice.
    We are going to have trials and tribulations because we believe Jesus is Lord.
    Count is all JOY!
    We need to be gentle as doves and wise as serpents. Pick your fights, but remember the battle belongs to the Lord.

  4. BruceC says:


    While I see where you are coming from and understand your basis to live out our faith(which is Biblical)in front of others; I think comparing our country today to Roman times isn’t a good way to start.
    First off the Roman empire had it’s fledgling start as a pagan nation to begin with. Ours started out with Judeo-Christian principles. Likely they were aborting children even at that time in the ancient world. Another point I’d like to make is about division. That’s a word I hear alot about lately. I fully understand and have experienced it at the personal and family level. This has been played out between the God anti-God forces since the fall of lucifer from heaven. Those who hold traditional Judeo-Christian principles are not the ones that caused any division; although they are being called part of the problem. It began when people who opposed those values protested and we wound up with an end to school prayer, Bible reading in schools, and eventually abortion. All these liberal ideals; if I may take the liberty to use that term, have been foisted upon us by a relatively small group while most people didn’t “have the time” to appreciate the dangers. I believe they are the ones who have started this so-called division and are now upset because a growing group of people want to take the land back that was lost. I will live out my Christians values in wisdom; always being very wary of those who would use any agreemnet on my part as a basis to think I am in line with their values. Plainly put-I will never trust that other side for what they believe and what they have done. It may take another revolution; a social, moral, and cultural one, to bring us “back”.
    So as you see; that is why I don’t think comparing Rome at the time of our Lord and our nation today is a good comparison. Also what the “other side” is now calling division is exactly what they did years ago; but now the shoe is on another foot.

  5. carlj says:

    I can relate to some of the things you are saying. I think if Paul was transported to our time and place he would not be so surprised by the moral decay taking place in our time. A study I keep going back to is “you are the light of the world”. I have a desire to fully understand that. I feel at times that it is our example that will be a magnet for this world and more so than policies, preachings, and teachings. And, I try to show a spirit of grace by remembering, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity”.

  6. plumbape says:

    Hi Mart I’m home, lol. I really have not been skipping school. My father-in-law passed which is good for two reasons. He accepted Christ some time ago and he was suffering with the cancer. I’m praying to go back to the home town in Illinois with the boldness in Christ Jesus that I used to have in my stubborn, street smart, ex-con, self righteous self. I’ve learned alot here and the funeral sounds like a perfect place to drive the good news home to a captive audience.AMEN!!
    I have to side with the trouble maker DMG on the last issue but also a number of others but I’m in a hurry and this plumbers fingers aren’t as agile as they used to be.
    Always On My Mind
    The Ape in Indy

  7. poohpity says:

    Sorry about your loss, Ape and welcome back.

    I think I understand what you are saying Mart. As believers we are so concerned about the government when we have so much to work on within our church. If the church were more united in what was set before us and the commands Jesus gave us instead of bickering and fighting among ourselves about stuff that is really not important we may have a better influence as salt and light in the world around us.

  8. violet D says:

    I am wondering whether I am the only Canadian on this blog :)
    Years ago a group started a political party claiming to have as their intention to stress Christianity. I attended one of their introductory forums and as I listened it became evident that – despite their intentions constrictions on governing would affect and determine just how effective they could be. Eventually they did get some people elected but later they integrated with one of the other ‘parties’. (‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative’ have strong political meaning for me :) ) As I have watched my country and it’s leader’s decisions deteriorate I have become convinced that MY only option is to trust God – He IS in control and with Joshua affirm that “As for me and my household – we will trust the Lord”. (Josh.24:15) As todays ODB reminds us all – we can be totally honest with God as we pray to Him – He knows our hearts and our needs.
    Michael – my deepest condolences on the passing of your father-in-law.

  9. poohpity says:

    I think Luke 11:14-54 just about says it all.

  10. vapor in the wind says:

    As children of God, and believers and brothers and sisters in Christ, we are commanded to love. To love God, and, to love others. I am the first to admit that without Christ in me, I am completely and utterly powerless to love as He would have me love. Without Christ, I love selfishly. Without Christ, I love only what I like. Without Christ, I judge harshly. Without Christ, I lean on my own understanding – which is nothing and nowhere compared to Him. Using Christ’s example of loving, and having forgiveness for, the very ones who persecuted him on earth, ought we not to love this way too? Whether our own selves want to or not, shouldn’t we try to love those who persecute us by doing things we may understand as wrong or even offensive to our Lord.

    And how did Christ love people? He came to live amongst them. He physically touched them, he met them where they were at, he spoke with them, he listened to them, he showed them love and kindness and hope. Shouldn’t we do that too? Shouldn’t we use our lives (Romans 12:1) as living sacrifices by refraining from what we want to do – e.g., “hate” those we feel are engaged in wickedness, and, do the complete opposite – do what Christ would do – hang out with the “sinners”, get to know them (as opposed to judging their lifestyles), get up close, get into their lives, and have kindness and compassion. How else will a pro-lifer or a gay-rights-advocate be curious about the miraculous work of Christ in us? How else might Christ use us, as a possible door, to them asking to know more of Him as He waits to receive them in all of their repentance? I can say this for sure: they certainly won’t be receptive to any message of love, be it from Christ or anything else, when the message is laced with judgmentalism, hatred and animosity. (1 Cor. 13:1). Therefore, in response to the blog, I humbly say, love. Not as you or me understand love. But as exhibited by Christ, and, enabled in us if we allow the Holy Spirit to work it.

  11. sitsathisfeet says:

    Mart I agree with all your points. Jesus is always the Way, the Truth and The Life, that is our common denominator, even for all the world. God himself is reconciling the world to himself, so who can stand against that? I believe we can compare our times to Roman times and all other times in the bible because all those times used experiences that are common to man. No temptation has seized you except that which is common to all men. And in Ecclesiastes there is nothing new under the sun. At my church we go through scripture book by book, chapter by chapter and verse by verse and the whole studies are devoted to how we can apply and relate it to our lives. The book of Jonah, a picture of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and how the unsaved Mariners called upon the Lord. The book of Habakuk how the righteous live by faith, the book of Nehemiah how are we building our spiritual foundation and wall in our Life, who are our Sandbalot’s ? (this book was a great help through my divorce) The book of revelation, yes end times, but how we are to act in the meantime are we the church that is rich in goods, but have forgotten our first love? And so much more. This solid foundation is giving us understanding as well as practical application. But it all starts with our relationship with Jesus Christ, counsel of the Holy Spirit and reading, knowing and living God’s Word. I pray that we will grow in wisdom as we seek his counsel everyday.

  12. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    I am feeling deep remorse today for contending with daisy.Yes,I have repented and realize God works in each of us differently to accomplish the same end. I don’t want to be a house divided. I wasn’t the best example of salt and light. The ultimate decision, salvation. That one statement speaks to all the others.

    Mart’s Word’s — My heart felt prayer
    Moral advocacy would be replaced by our own example, and by a “prophetic voice” that has the marks of wisdom and grace rather than mud slinging, partisan, political struggle for social control.

  13. MaryKristine says:

    Regardless of who is in “the house,” society cannot legislate the heart. The Bible tells us that the Word is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). If we are to be a light in this world, we must remain in the Word and allow It transform us and keep us in obedience to God.

    Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, in the example of Daniel and in other Biblical examples, compromise is not an option. “We aught to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29a)

    Our question now should be are we ready to be the example of Christ to the world? Are our hearts and lives prepared and open to God’s discerning Word? Are we listening for His Word? Additionally, once we hear Him, are we prepared to be obedient?

    “For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones'” (Isaiah 57:15). And again, “[O]n him will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:2).

  14. daisymarygoldr says:

    Mart, liked the way you listed your thoughts…makes it easier… to read your mind…and I totally agree with you on this. The reason I agree is this:

    The Church is made up of people who have been “called out” (2 Cor 6: 17)
    Called out to be separate from all nations of this world (Matt 25:32)
    Chosen to be added into the kingdom of Jesus Christ (Col 1:13)
    To be built into a holy nation (1 Pet 2:9)

    So, now that we no longer identify ourselves as people belonging to our respective nations…but people of this Holy nation… we exist as “aliens” and strangers… distinguishable from others around us …as salt and light …to testify the truth of our King…with love. We live by faith alone….our purpose of existence is different from others…and our commission is not to enforce moral issues but to “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned” (Mark 15:15-16)!

    Michael, my heartfelt condolences to you and your family… you were missed by the class. Welcome back! Ps 1 is still due:) Now, that I have agreed with Mart, please can I be pardoned so my “coveted label” is changed?

    gr8grannyjacobs, you are the one who is teaching me to love and therefore, the best example of salt and light…so don’t believe the enemy… there should be no remorse as there was no contention:)

  15. BruceC says:

    I agree with what is being said here. We should love as Christ loved and be a light to the world.
    But I have a question. Does being a “stanger in a strange land” or an “alien” stop us from getting involved in our community, our states, our nation? Can we not get involved and still be light and stand for what is right? I beleive that being Christian is also to take on responsibility. While not advocating a man-made theocracy; aren’t we as the church supposed to shed the light of God’s Word upon our social ills? Do we stand by and let society deteriorate with a non-chalant “there’s nothing I can do” attitude?.
    I know it is impossible to legislate a change in a person’s heart but I don’t think it means we can’t stand for better laws and justice. Should citizens be allowed to do whatever is right in their own eyes?
    I know we can never make a perfect world as that is left to God alone but we can make a difference at all levels, starting at the one-on-one personal level all the way to the top.

  16. Joe76 says:

    To Mart and those who commented, I would say a few things:
    1. I remember one of the men who stood up for Truth in the hey day of attacks by higher criticism against the integrity of the Bible, who said in essence, “If we fail to speak Truth to the issue that is currently taking center stage in our world, we fail to represent God in that moment. We can preach the Gospel, but if we fail to bring Truth to bear on the wrong and evil staring current society in the face, we fail in our God-given responsibility.” If we closely examine Christ’s life and ministry we note that Christ confronted issues before Him with Truth and Love. Truth without Love alone tends toward condemnation and judgmentalism which begets death, for “the letter kills.” Love without Truth tends toward compromise relative to the pressing issues before us. We dare not lay aside the anchor of Truth. I have watched friends who are Evangelicals who hold to Salvation in Christ, and who very, very strongly advocate Love. And I have seen some of them embrace President Ahmadinejad as a Man of Peace. I have watched Evangelicals reach out to Muslims with Love, endeavoring to walk in their shoes with deep empathy, who have eventually become Muslims. I have watched Evangelicals very fervent in loving homosexuals, who would eventually argue that gays are surely accepted by God in their homosexuality. We dare not lay aside the anchor of Truth. We are called to “Speak the truth in love.”
    2. The truth is that we legislate morality all the time, the question is: Whose morality are we legislating? When Government arrests, punishes or fines a person for stealing, for rape, for murder, for Income Tax evasion, for trying to sell a U.S. Senate seat, etc., we are legislating morality. A book worthy of reading is: ‘Legislating Morality, Is It Wise? Is It Legal? Is It Possible? by Dr. Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. Available from Amazon.
    3. “7 Moral advocacy would be replaced by our own example, and by a “prophetic voice” that has the marks of wisdom and grace rather than mud slinging, partisan, political struggle for social control.” I don’t believe that we can ever abdicate from “Moral advocacy,” especially in a democracy. Also, don’t leave Truth out of this admonition. And don’t set up a straw man of “mud slinging, partisan, political struggle for social control” in order to knock it down. It is possible to “speak the truth in love,” without “mud slinging, partisan, political struggle for social control,” and without demanding social control. But in order to be true to Christ and the Word of God, we should always advocate for a morality which is Scriptural, for as indicated in point 3 above, America does legislate morality. It was right to pressure Congress and the President to ban the horrendous practice of partial birth abortion. It was right to go to bat in California to use legal means to amend to Constitution of California to make marriage between a man and a woman, simply because “Righteousness exalts a nation, and sin is a reproach to any people.”

  17. poohpity says:

    What does it look like to live out one’s faith? Does it mean to go to church and sunday school every sunday? Isn’t there more to being a follower of Christ than taking a political stance or quoting scripture to someone. What does it really mean? Is God really first in our lives? I really want to know what it looks like to truly be a follower of Christ? Describe it to me so I can tell when I see someone who has given there life to Christ and Mother Teresa or people from the bible do not count. In today’s society tell me what it looks like? I am so confused.

  18. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    pooh, Someone who is a follower of Christ looks just like you.

  19. refump says:

    Well said rdrcomp. There are many ways to communicate & advocate for what we know is right. Too often our methods do more harm than good in furthering the Kingdom of God because we push & argue from a defensive point. We attack & put those we are trying to reach on the defensive. We end up forgetting these are people desperate for God’s Love that they will only be able to see through us & how we approach the subject. We need to be careful

  20. sitsathisfeet says:

    Joe 76 Our God given responsibility is to bring the “good news” to all the earth, that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and to Love the Lord God woth all our heart, mind and soul, and our neighbor as ourself. When Paul was in prison, chained and tortured he sung hymns. When John the Baptist was in prison for speaking against Herod’s relationship with his brother’s wife he endured. When Jesus himself was questioned and tortured he made no answer or defense. If this world could be won for God by law, politics, government or legislating morality, why didn’t Jesus do it that way? I’m with rdcomp who says Jesus probably wouldn’t be having these political discussions, (or my words, out there protesting like the zealots of his time)I’m not saying we shouldn’t vote, or be concerned about issues that God wants us to, but ultimately any person, government, or issue should be framed around our relationship with Jesus, and others relationship with Jesus. He alone has the transforming power for the world. DL Moody was one of my faith heroes Deborah and if you check out his life, he was not particularly political, for his whole life and work was based on the transforming power of the salvation through Jesus Christ he was a humble servant of God. Yet , he described himself as dirt, for that was what he was made of, by God. And so we ask ourselves in relation to these issues, what is the condition of my heart, is it pleasing to God, are my reactions to these things the way God wants me to react, are they in line with scripture and the Holy Spirit telling me in that still small voice? I think you might be surprised by some of the answers, as I frequently am. Praise God for his grace and mercy in all these things.

  21. Laurielee says:

    Mr. De Haan, I find myself agreeing with you most of the time, particularly in your insights into this issue. A couple of points I wanted to make…we have had an incredible amount of freedom in our country to practice our faith and worship as we choose. I’m not trying to be jeremiad, but I think the pendulum is going to swing much further in the other direction. We are going to see much more intolerance directed at believers who dare to stand up for the truth. Whether we think it’s fair or not, or a stepping away from majority voice that Christians have always had in this country, it is just going to be the way it is. Most of us have only an inkling of what it is to truly be persecuted in this country, as believers are in other countries. As followers of Christ, do we somehow think we are immune from suffering of this sort? If we are to be persecuted as others are, what will it do to our faith? Will it be strengthened? Will we fall away? What are we willing to bear on His behalf? We can fight for our rights in the political circles, but can we honestly say that ANY party that gets elected is going to fully represent EVERY Christian ideal in it’s membership? If we accept one compromise on our stance in order to reach another goal (which we have to do with either of the major parties) isn’t that still compromising? We should ask ourselves…how involved was either Jesus, the apostles, or any of the members of the early church in politics? If we try to push the Christian adgenda politically, which master will we end up serving? How involved can we afford to be without losing our first love? Those in the political and societal circles that worship their perceived higher intelligences at tolerating anything but Christ will not realise the slippery downward paths on which they are leading us until it’s too late. Why are we surprised at this? Were we not warned? This is to prepare us so we will be there to shine the light on the path that turns them around. I do not believe this will be collectively, but individually…and isn’t the individual at the heart of the matter?
    If I’m wrong in my thinking, I’m open to correction…

  22. RBC_LynC says:

    Mart, thank you for speaking the truth and sticking with God’s Word. My prayer is that we Christians will focus on what Christ told us to do
    and follow His and the Apostles’ example of spreading the Gospel. Please remember there are many types of sins and we need to be
    a witness. I don’t agree with Bruce C. about your Rome comment. I understand Mart that you are referring to the helpful attitudes of the Christians in Rome, although the culture may have been somewhat different. There is a bigger problem than abortion – what about the pre-marital sex, and women having 1-2-3 babies out of wed-lock.
    Are we Christians helping these women and the babies and children that are already here? I believe too many Christians are too absorbed
    in the abortion-issue and the types of labeling, as Mart mentioned, is ridiculous.
    The majority of people are pro-life if you are living and not trying to commit suicide. I don’t know any pro-death people.
    The majority of people believe abortions should be permitted if the mother’s life is at risk, so therefore, most do support abortion.
    Although it would be a tragedy, I don’t know of anyone who would let their wife, daughter or sister die unnecessarily in order to give birth.
    What about rape, incest and the list goes on. Therefore, we will most likely not get rid of abortion, completely. I believe a purist would
    believe in no abortions and no birth-control, if they are following Jeremiah 1:5. As for partial-birth abortion; it sounds like a barbaric
    procedure, however, I can’t imagine that most doctors and politicians/people are barbaric and we must consider that this procedure is only
    performed when a mother’s life is at risk and work on creating humane procedures. We should always try to listen to all sides before drawing conclusions. My overall thought is that abortion is a complex issue and it will not be completely abolished, so instead we should be prayerful and work together to spread the Gospel. I have been single and celibate for many years, with God helping me to be disciplined and knowing that keeping my body a living sacrifice is most important, because I love God and want to please Him. Therefore, I know complete celibacy is possible until marriage. If we Christians could only figure out a way to work together to focus on diminishing the root cause of every problem, SIN, and spread the Gospel as Jesus commands, it could be the best way to reduce un-wanted pregnancies, STDs, homosexuality and abortions.
    Peace and Blessings.

  23. Mart De Haan says:

    Joe76, seems like we are talking past each another.

    You talked about taking a close look at Jesus. So I’ve been sitting here trying to remember what really broke his heart and angered him. Trying to imagine what he would have done if some religious leaders had dragged before him the kind of sinners you mentioned. What if they had caught them in the very act?

    “Sin is a reproach to any nation”– especially, I’m guessing, the kind of sin that upset Jesus the most.

  24. rokdude5 says:

    Wow, I ll be here all night trying to answer all of these issues. I do think we all agree that God is in control. It is difficult for me to proclaim absolute allegiance to a particular party because there are issues in both parties that I find truly offensive personally and as a Christian.

    Today I saw a bumper sticker that said “Co-exist” where each letter is represented by a symbol of different religion. I told my wife that each religion is already co-existing in this country and to a limited extent elsewhere because God is allowing it for now but there will be a day when that co-existence will end.

    I, too, am hoping that some day, whimsical use of abortion will come to an end but I don’t think there should be an absolute ironclad ban. I do think in extreme limited cases it should be allowed like a single unbelieving mom with already a kid or two in tow whose next delivery will kill her. To me this is similar to whether or not an animal should be rescued on the Sabbath. I do respect the sanctity of life but I cant help worrying about the salvation of an unbelieving mother.

    What the Supreme Court was wrestling with in Roe vs Wade wasn’t about granting license to abort but to protect the privacy of all child bearing women from an intrusive government. For if abortion was completely banned, it is legally possible to have each and every child bearing gal from 9 to 90 to submit to the government the result of a pregnancy test each and every month. Do we really want our government to have that kind of power?

    Unfortunately, whether it be here in the US or elsewhere, extremism tends to rule the heads of the political world. Hopefully, the next four year (and even after that) a moderate God centered political outlook will prevail. In the meantime, thank God, He is in control.

  25. BruceC says:

    I just wanted to say that we will never agree on all points until we are all together with our Lord. On that day we will truly be able to “see” with a clarity we can’t even imagine. I only have one thing left to state on this issue. I have heard many of the “legitimate and necessary” reasons for an abortion such as rape, incest, etc. Here is a quote that likely could easily be verified that I saw on a right-to-life site:
    • “…The abortion-rights folks know it, the anti-abortion folks know it, and so probably, does everyone else. One of the facts of abortion is that … it is a form of killing … you’re ending a life.” Ron Fitzsimmons, Executive Director, National
    Coalition of Abortion Providers, New York Times, 26 February 1997
    I just have a hard time allowing the baby to become the victim of another person’s action.

  26. wretch-like-me says:

    We have enjoyed relative freedom of religion for a couple hundred years in this country… The time is coming when that will come to an end.(read the book)

    Strikes me that the real question will be how many of us will continue to practice our ‘faith’ when we lose the right… How openly will we profess ‘Jesus as Lord’?

    A wise person once said,”What you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying!!”

    I wonder if that is true or will continue to be true for each of us when practicing our love for each other becomes a crime against the state? Will we continue to reach out to the unsaved or enemies when that time comes or will we go underground like the early christians and live in catacombs/tunnels/secret places?

    Do you feel the goosebumps, yet?

    Huggs from the Northwest USA

  27. One American says:

    Joe76, I agree with you. We should love others around us, but also show our deeper love for Christ and the Truth. We should be involved in the political system. If a Christian chooses to be a politician and he or she feels that God is leading in this direction, go for it. We need more Christian leaders. Our country has always stood up for the rights of the people. It was different in Jesus’ day. There was no involving yourself in politics unless you wanted to revolt.
    I do agree that our most important purpose is to tell others about Christ. This does not exclude us from the political process. Don’t be the silent majority!!

  28. Mart De Haan says:

    Joseph and Daniel are examples of God’s people in government public service. Both earned a reputation for personal integrity and faithfulness to their God.

    The issue is how should Christian (and non-Christian) men and women carry their faith into government service? Seems like “giving others the consideration we would want for ourselves” would look different in our political life and government service than it would look in our personal or church life– not out of inconsistency or hypocrisy, but rather because of the integrity and consistency by which we apply our principles to the different relationships and settings of our lives.

    For example, what if followers of Christ could earn a reputation as those who don’t abort their own babies, and who support public policy that bans late and mid-term abortions?

    We might wish that we still had the kind of national moral and spiritual consensus that would criminalize all sexual relationships outside of marriage and all abortions (except in extreme well-defined cases). But in the absence of such social agreement, wouldn’t it be better to try to gain some ground that could be supported even by non-faith people, rather than holding out for no-compromise policy that forbids abortion under any circumstances.

    One of the problems with the political debate is when neither side is willing to give any ground. The result then is a policy that large groups of people believe violates their personal, religious, and civil rights.

    In such cases such policy results in eventual backlash.

  29. Motorcycleminister says:

    Mart, you and the RBC team are a blessing to this world. I do weekly prison ministry and one of the programs I co-fascilitate is called D.I.R.E.C.T. This program provokes thought to correct the inmates thinking process. Mart, you do just that with your “Been Thinking About” blog. You provoke Godly thoughts just as it says in 2 Timothy 3:16 to help us and prepare us for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training to be Godly stewards for God. Thank you Mart and whatever you are thinking it is wonderful to read your words of wisdom. With God’s Love, Barry

  30. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Why do we always make it our goal to change a nation? Seems to me Jesus came to change a person’s heart. Whichever heart that accepted His truth.The government didn’t seem to oppose Him. It was the self righteous religious leaders of that day which were in such great opposition to Him. They had decided which sin was wrong and which sin could be ignored. Sounds a little like the religious leaders of our day. No harm intended, Just a thought from a simple person, who has experienced a broken and contrite heart.

  31. SFDBWV says:

    Take a look around. We are a divided people. Divided in our culture divided in our churhes. Every person deciding for themselves seperate from what others decide.

    Even if we try to come together in the purpose of being a believer of Jesus. We are very sharply divided. Even to a point of extream anger.

    Most of the pagan religions practiced child sacrifice. I will always see abortion as just that the sacrifice of a child for the gaining of the killer.

    Who would sacrifice the life of a mother for the birth of a child? A mother would.

  32. pegramsdell says:

    Also, what about the jury system? I know of Christians who try their hardest to get out of being on a jury, because they say we should not judge.
    As far as abortions,I don’t think there should be any absolutes. We need to be compassionate and slow to anger.
    Except in extreme cases, otherwise we should not endorse abortion. We also have to obey the law of the land we live in. What about when Jesus was asked about paying taxes. He said to render to Caesar what is his.
    We need to respect the fact that everyone has a choice and freedom in this Country to believe what they want.
    However, Jesus also tells us to compel them to come.

  33. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Probably need to carry that thought a step further. Is it not the moral majority that has stirred up the wrath of the people? The government will become the weapon the people will use to silence all of us who are trying to share Christ. The backlash Mart speaks too. Like history repeating. The religious leaders forced the government to appease the people. Christ was the appeasement. I hope my thought is understood, I know what I am saying, I hope the reader does.

  34. Mart De Haan says:

    SFDBWV, I agree that we are so divided– which is why it is so important for us to keep working at finding out what is foundational to the kind of unity that honors our Lord.

    Thankfully, an inspired Apostle Paul let’s us know that the early church was experiencing the same kind of conflict. So we have his counsel in Romans 14 showing us how to find peace in our differences by acknowledging our mutual accountability to Christ.

    Seems to me that such freedom of conscience and faith allows for vigorous discussion, disagreement on how to apply Scripture, with mutual respect in our own deeply held thoughts and commitments.

    Maybe the next post should be on the value of vigorous, gracious, disagreement!! :-)…

  35. carlj says:

    I would be interested in seeing a discussion on this type of disagreement. I grew up being taught the story of Paul and Barnabas and how they agreed to disagree and then parted ways. I have always pondered the method(s) of agreeing to disagree but then maintaining a close relationship and maintaining a dialogue.

  36. pegramsdell says:

    Wow. Romans 14 says it all doesn’t it? Yes, let’s agree to disagree on some things, but love each other too.

  37. BruceC says:


    “Vigorous, gracious, disagreement.” Maybe if done properly it could be used as a shovel for both sides to dig down and find that kernel of truth being discussed.

    Sorry if I seem so unmoving on some topics. When my dear wife and I were first married she experienced numerous miscarriages. More than anyone should bear. Her mother told her it was God punushing her for leaving the RC church. At the church we attended at the time a woman said God had told her that my wife would have a child. When my wife didn’t she was told it was due to her lack of faith or sin in her life. When we looked into adoption we were told that getting an infant was very difficult due to abortion, and we were shocked to see the costs involved. My job was very low paying and we could not afford it. My wife asked her Mom (who although not rich, was well off) and was told “God helps those who help themselves.”
    Not a pleasant experience. As a result we have no children so my view of abortion has become what it is.

  38. SFDBWV says:

    Here in West Virginia there are some old “Indian ” rocks, or so the locals called them. They are a natural rock formation with some scribbling on them to which everyone thought were the attempts of a precolonial native people to leave their mark.

    As it turns out, instead of it being a native language, it is ancient Gaelic. Proclaiming that on this day the Virgin gave birth to the Savior of the world.

    It would seem that some ancient disciples had traveled to the Americas in an attempe to proclaim the Gospel to an uniformed people.

    This their only testimony left behind to record for us that they were here.

    I wonder how many other stories await our ears, when we are able to know them. How ashamed we will be for our lack of action to save an unsaved world. When compaired to others.

    If we focus on our divisions, will our common goals surface? Or just our differences? Will we be able to learn from others or only solidify our frame of mind?

    Anger lurks just behind frustration. Patience and longsuffering through a heart of love can overcome. But there will be a battle.

    Yet at this round table through discussion maybe we can work through division to unity. Maybe.

  39. Mart De Haan says:

    BruceC, thanks for sharing that. I’ll bet a lot of us have had similar hurts that have helped shape the way we see the issues that can so easily divide us.

    SFDBWV, such good thoughts…

    And to others, your comments are appreciated so much. We’re in this together…

  40. SFDBWV says:

    Bruce, My heart goes out to you and your wife. It is so sad that people speak so cruel to others.
    Our society now makes it profitable for welfare mothers to keep or to keep having babies. I am sure you have seen the results from being in police work. I know I have.
    My wife and I took in a 14 year old from an inscestious situation, and became her foster parents through to her grauation from college.

    It is ok to be passionate about your satnce. Better to know where you stand then let the hot air from others blow you one way and another.

  41. Mart De Haan says:

    Good point :-)…

  42. pegramsdell says:

    I am so sorry you and your wife have suffered like that. I also have had a miscarriage. Sometimes people can be cruel (even the doctor) or seem not to care at all. I remember thinking that I was overreacting about the whole thing. I didn’t seem to be getting enough support from anyone, not even my husband. Then a lady that lived down the street was driving down our little dirt road and she stopped when she saw me walking.
    She told me that she understood how I felt because the same happened to her…..I just started crying and finally got to release the pain I had been holding onto. Waiting for someone who cared and understood my pain. I will never forget it. She was a Christian and she was quiet and unassuming. What a blessing that she was in my life at that time. I am so thankful.

  43. daisymarygoldr says:

    I agree with BruceC and Joe76 about standing for or speaking the truth…but …Did Jesus or Paul legislate morality?
    Q: How can we, the Church speak the truth with love and stand against moral evils of the society?
    A: Preach Jesus and His good news (Luke 4:18) just the way it is!

    The good news is, God loves them and has given His only son Jesus Christ….that whoever believes in Him will not perish…
    Perish due to sins…this is “truth”….because God says- “the soul that sins will surely die”, “the wages of sin is death” this is “truth”
    Jesus taught us not to sin…because God His father is Holy and hates sin… this is “truth”
    When people accepted Him, Jesus assured them “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more”…. this is “truth”
    If they begin to follow Jesus they will no longer walk in darkness but will walk in the light
    Only Jesus can transform the heart …not government legislation or the congress.
    To prove that Jesus is the answer, we, the Church are to be a living example of transformed hearts…

    Transformed hearts will hate sin and will not continue in a sinful lifestyle.
    Transformed hearts will say if we have cheated anybody out of anything, we will pay back four times the amount.” Luke 19:8
    Transformed hearts will not take pleasure in homosexuality or sow the works of flesh.
    Transformed hearts will see abortion as an abomination
    Transformed hearts will hate moral evil.
    Transformed hearts will love God and love His moral rules!

  44. poohpity says:

    Good points DMG. It seems that people look to everything but Jesus to change hearts, minds and souls which is what Jesus was referring to in Luke 8:11-14. With all the political issues that we have wrestled with in America and around the world for that matter one thing remains consistent and that is the Word of God.

    Before Christ, when I was nineteen I had an abortion, I suffered and still do to this day with the effects of that. Although no one can see what goes on inside of me the thought of that life that was murdered haunts me. It was a decision my parents thought was best for me little did they know it destroyed part of me.

    With everything that is going on in the world the church now more than ever needs to step up to the plate and be a place of safety and consistency for the troubled life’s of mankind. We need to be a shelter in this storm not a place of retribution that is the Lord’s job.

    My heart is so troubled at what the church has become it makes me weep. The needs are so many and in our divisions of doctrine we miss the very thing we called for. It is very simple to love God with everything we are and that in turn will produce the fruit of being able to show the world the love of God.

  45. Laurielee says:

    daisymary, Right on!
    I wanted to add to above posts about abortion; my bit of reseach points me to seeing that a scant percent of abortions done are in cases of rape or incest, though this is the most commonly used argument. I believe that as ALL life comes from the Father, He alone should decide when life taken. That being said, people are going to make personal moral decisions based on who owns their heart. That’s why hearts need to be changed.
    I also want to urge people strongly to be careful about what information they take in, in this sea of information we are flooded with. MOST information that passes as news these days is propaganda and opinion. Back when we had 3 half hour newscasts a day, they focused mainly on the facts. These days with 24/7 news available, and hours of programming to fill, most of what we hear is opinion and dissembling of the news. Even very conservative news sources are to be suspect. How do I know? When I said in another post that I could no longer do the job for which I was trained, it was broadcasting…a career I had for almost 20 years. You wouldn’t believe what goes on behind the scenes! You are expected, if not to blatantly lie at times, to at least not report things that might adversely affect advertising, doesn’t support the station’s view, or popular opinion. When we saw things airing that weren’t entirely true, or only parts of the story being reported, we were expected to follow and not say anything. I worked at many different places, both those that leaned liberal OR conservative on moral and political issues. As it got increasingly worse, I found I could no longer do it with a clean conscience. I spoke out and was told that I could be blacklisted from future employment elsewhere. PLEASE, PLEASE get your information first and foremost from the Word which would never lie. On ANY news subject that interests you, PLEASE do complete research, not shunning facts that are inconvenient or don’t support the position you are taking on the subject. The ONLY One that would never lie to us is the Father and the Son whom we serve, no matter how well intended they may be. No human being is in sole possession of Truth!

  46. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    pooh, Your words show you are not confused. See you are a follower of Christ.:)

  47. poohpity says:

    My confusion comes because people say one thing and do something else. Thank you for your encouraging words gr8.

  48. Belma Connerley says:

    “Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it’ these words from God’s holy word tormented me day & night until I discovered the truth.
    It started shortly after my husband and I decided to give a Bible containing old & new testament writings to every customer we had who was wanting us to build them a new house.
    After building the new house & giving them the beautiful big bible the words of Psalm 127 began. So we decided after the one new house we built instead of giving them a bible we would give them an Ideal Magazine. Then I would hear other words and would get up & search the dictionary or bible or computer to understand what our heavenly father was telling me.
    In the meantime He was giving me poems to write and songs to sing. I do know we have a heavenly father who loves us and my prayer is for all of us to be united.

  49. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Belma: That was lovely and oh so refreshing! God speaks to all of us. We can learn from others but in the end it is always God who verify’s.

  50. NatusNemo says:

    Proverbs 14:34
    “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”

    There is a difference between David, Daniel, Paul and Christians in the USA. In David, Daniel and Paul’s cases they were citizens in countries where the King was Law. In our case we live in a country were the Law is King. We call this Rule of Law.

    Therefore, it is the citizens of this country, and the Representatives they elect, that decide the course of this nation. Speaking as a man, we are NOT subject to men, but to the US Constitution. Romans 13 needs to be balanced in the light of this knowledge. So what responsibility do you suggest falls upon us, the Church, in this case?

    Speaking as a Christian, God is absolutely Sovereign. But what does this mean? For too long I fear the Church (distracted by prosperity & entertainment) has been satisfied with a fatalistic view. This is a view that says ‘Do Nothing’- for the future holds God’s will (e.g. the tribulation, etc) and nothing can be done to change this. True! We know the future – God has shown us the end.

    But does this excuse us from acting? Belief in God’s Sovereignty acts in Faith upon Biblical Principles and is at peace with the outcome. Faith knows full well that all things are of God. Fatalism simply refuses to act – and is equipped with many excuses for so doing.

    Ah, yes I can hear the response. Brother, just concentrate on the Gospel -nothing else matters. My response: Friend why do you think it must be either or? Where do you see that principle in scripture?

    Let me ask you something. Where would we be today without Oliver Cromwell? Did you know he was a man of great faith and humility? A man used mightily of God to change the course of history, Oliver laid the foundation for understanding that the Law is King; not a King the Law.

    I believe the true problem is found in Revelation 3:14-22. Take a look at this passage. The church today is wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

    Those are Christ’s words, not mine. Too often we apply them to others. We miss the mark. Not only this, but since we are blind we see not that others are blind –

    Ironically, this is also a description of the state of Israel at Christ’s first coming. Now, at the end, it is the state of both Israel and the Church.

    We are so preoccupied with Church activities, business, prosperity and entertainment that we have not been good stewards of the mysteries of God. Nor have we been good citizens. Yes, yes, but what mysteries you ask?

    Well, take a look for yourselves at I Corinthians 4:1. After you look at this passage take a concordance and look up the word mystery. You’ll find the Restoration of Israel is a mystery, as is the Body of Christ.

    You’ll also see two mysteries we are frightfully ignorant of today: Mystery Babylon & the Mystery of Iniquity.

    Paul often tells the brethern that he doesn’t want them to be ‘ignorant’ but that indeed is our state today in the USA. Ignorant Christians. Ignorant of so many things – the scripture,history,the truth about the people de-constructing our God-given US Constitution, etc. I am one such ignorant Christian. I say this in shame…

    Let me leave you with a quote by Thomas Jefferson, “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…”

    This is what is taking place before your very eyes. The Federal Reserve (the privately held US Central Bank) is stealing the country before our very eyes – and much worse.

    So, how will you fund missions when the dollar is devalued? The day might be coming that pastors will not be able to work ‘full-time’ in the ministry but will need to have secular jobs to support themselves. But we shouldn’t worry too much about such things – the Lord is in charge. Whatever will be will be.

    And what will be, we will be held accountable for when we stand before God Almighty.

  51. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    Natusnemo, You sound like a young man. Are you? I only say this because I have a grandson who once spoke as you do. Then one day God touched his heart and he realized that the gospel message is the only weapon we have. Many things you speak of may be true, but none of them can be changed unless the heart of man changes. God is the only one who has the power to change a heart.

  52. NatusNemo says:

    gr8grannyjacobs, I’m middle-aged. I agree completely that only God has the power to change hearts. He changed mine nearly 25 years ago and is still at it today. But what we speak of is the Spiritual Man. This is the image of God restored to man through the power of the Spirit and the Word.

    The topic is not salvation but the natural world in which we live. The topic is how Christians should view the way in which we are to influence the Society in which we live.

    First and foremost we should grow in grace & truth since our entire lives represent the gospel in TechniColor to a world dead in sins. This includes verbally sharing the Word of Truth.

    However, we also have God-Given responsibilities as memebers of society – So I put the question to you: What should Christians have done under Adolf Hitler?

  53. poohpity says:

    I do not believe God gave us our constitution that was man’s doing with the aid of the bible. It is also man’s doing to fight what was written in the constitution by denying God. Making money a god is another distinguishing quality of man. Fatalism is just another man made belief and obviously there is ignorance in it all. Complacency is the worst behavior that some in the church display and it is probably due to ignorance. Paul held a secular job while taking the Gospel to the Gentiles. We are all responsible individually for our response to God, so Natusnemo how are you responding to what God would have you do.

  54. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    natusnemo, The only one’s that comes to mind as far as Hitler is Corrie ten Boom and her family. They did what they could. They never quit sharing the gospel. I could put the same question to you as far as government. What did Jesus do to change the government? He did not come to change governments, He came to change hearts. Without a nation as a whole accepting Christ I don’t believe nations change. Luke 10:2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. This is where we fail under any government. One person at a time sharing Christ. You are in my prayers

  55. NatusNemo says:

    Pohpity: I’m not claiming the Constitution to be inspired as is the Bible. I believe the simple misunderstanding here is related to an understanding of Divine Sovereignty. I believe complacency in the church stems from a fatalistic view which flows from ignorance. What am I doing? I continue to share the Gospel as I have since I was saved. Now I also have begun speaking to Christians about their responsibility as citizens. I ask Christians to begin to educate themselves, first in the Bible, but also in their responsiblities as citizens; for instance voting. Who do you vote for? I’ve always voted for either Democrat OR Republican because I was ignorant of American History. Now I understand that there is no difference between the Republican and Democratic parties…Tying this back to the Bible as we understand the Mystery of Iniquity & Mystery Babylon we understand how to vote. This may all sound too cryptic but these things require such a major paradigm shift one must take small steps -one at a time – in order to avoid being overwhelmed. To begin I’d suggest reading ‘En Route to Global Occupation’ by Gary Kah. He is a Christian, and this book is a good starting point. You can order the book at GaryKah.org –

  56. NatusNemo says:

    gr8grannyJacobs – Granny please google Deitrick Bonhoffer. A pastor who died a martyr in Nazi Germany. Granny, why do you think sharing the gospel requires you to ignore your responsibility as a citizen? Can’t a Believer in Jesus Christ share the gospel & also affect change in the society in which the Believer lives? Why do you make them exclusive? Granny – I thank you for your prayers! Please do pray for me, and I for you. But what shall we pray? Let me suggest we pray with Paul, “[I] Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his might power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:16-23

    True – Christ didn’t come to change nations. It is also true that until Christ returns to establish the Kingdom of God on earth – reigning from Jerusalem as King of Kings that this earth will not know peace.

    Granny there are two issues. First the spiritual. This is the most important – by far. Yet we are also citizens of this Country and we need not over-throw a government, we need merely to fight to uphold the Constitution. Why? That we might live in peace and might have the freedom to openly support missions – to worship in public. But we have neglected our responsibilities and we are beginning to reap what we have sown. We must awake – not that we might change things (for God is Sovereign) but that we might do What is Right, and Just and True within the society in which we live.

    We can’t not separate the Spiritual from the Physical. God has placed our souls, and his Holy Spirit, within these vessels of clay and these vessels live and act in the physical world.

    For too long the Church as spoke the gospel to the lost & stood by and watched as great evil was done. Is not this a great contradiction? To start we must educate ourselves when instead we are busy with entertainment.

  57. Belma Connerley says:

    I took a piece of plastic clay
    And idly fashioned it one day
    And as my fingers fashioned it still
    It bent and yielded to my will.

    I came again when days were past
    The bit of clay was hard at last
    My early impress still it bore
    And I could change its form no more.

    You take a piece of living clay
    And gently form it day by day
    Molding with your power and art
    A young boy’s soft and yielding heart.

    You come again when years are gone
    It is a man you look upon
    Your early impress still he bore
    And you can change him never more

    These are words from a Boy Scout Magazine I found that interested me again I was a den mother when my husband was a cub scout pack leader. We had 8 Dens and saw several families come together and join the Church which was sponsering us. Next month quite a bit of news will be about Abraham Lincoln and I’m an 85 year old grandmother of 6 and great grandmother of 5 and I hope to watch the inaugeration of our new president and just think, there’s going to be 4 first ladies move into the white house with him. Whoever said there’s no house built for 2 families(generations)

  58. poohpity says:

    Christ did come to change the nations one individual at a time. There are many of us that do more than watch as evils are done and work for change in the world around us. There are also many of us that know what is going on in the world and do not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to the suffering human race. Not just by reading specific authors but by getting our hands dirty in helping the poor and the lost.

  59. NatusNemo says:

    Yes many do. In fact many lost men get their hands dirty and don’t turn a deaf ear to the poor. The Church as a whole works with those who suffer… I agree to all you say. However I think you’ve missed my point.

    None of these things are what I refer to…Sorry if you are offended – perhaps I am just a poor communicator.

    Peace & Grace to you

  60. poohpity says:

    So what are you saying in ten words or less. Dumb it down for me to understand. You are by no means offending me. I just can not understand what your point is and I want to understand.

  61. Belma Connerley says:

    How can 2 walk together except they agree. Maybe one is tired and ready to rest and another is just beginning and is on fire for the Lord. Or maybe one is running ahead of the Lord Not waiting for his timing. Be still and know. Have you not heard. He is not slack concerning his promises. He’s not willing that any should perish but that all should come to know
    him, I’m drinking at the fount of living waters and my soul is satisfied. Remember too much study is a weariness of the flesh. Just be still and know he is in control. What’s done for Jesus will last.
    Mart I remember your father Richard I used to sing “Open the door Richard” when I’d pick up my Daily Bread and my bible.
    Thanks for sending me the large print now.

  62. pegramsdell says:

    Belma, your words are very calming to my soul. thank you.
    very wise.

  63. Belma Connerley says:

    Semper Fi pegramsdell
    “You Define Semper Fi ” was a poem I just copied to keep.
    Lives of great men all remind us We can make our lives sublime And, departing, leave behind us Footprints on the sands of time” these words are from “A Psalm Of Life”. by Longfellow. My computor is such a wonderful tool.
    You know this blog is new to me and I like it because it’s like a soliloquy.
    We must continue to pray for our service men and women.

  64. pegramsdell says:

    Belma, welcome. I’m very glad you came. I could listen to you blogging all day. You have a way of talking that’s very unique.
    And yes, thank you for reminding me to pray for our service men and women. They really need our prayers and support, being so far away from home. Thank You Jesus for knowing right where they are and for protecting them and for keeping them warm and safe. And for sending them home to their loving families who miss them.

  65. Belma Connerley says:

    pegramsdell I am going to have to close. I’m neglecting other important tasks. My prayers will include you all.
    Remember when life gives you scraps make a quilt.
    Love Always

  66. Bible Prophecy says:

    Jesus Christ said,

    “If a house is divided against itself,
    that house CANNOT stand; his end has come.”
    (Mark 3:26).

    Jesus Christ said,

    “A man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” (Matthew 10:36).

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