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« on: February 14, 2009, 04:03:57 PM »

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PRAGUE, Czech Republic (ABP) -- European Baptist and Orthodox scholars convened Feb. 8-11 in talks aimed to promote understanding between two Christian groups often at odds over issues like proselytizing and the separation of church and state.

The International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague, Czech Republic, was host for the "Christian Mission in Orthodox Context" colloquium. The seminary co-sponsored the event with the Orthodox faculty of St. Clement of Ohrid University in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Planners called the meeting, spearheaded by Parush Parushev, academic dean at IBTS and a Bulgarian, a major initiative for both institutions.

"We are delighted at the developing cooperation between ourselves and St Clement of Ohrid University in Sofia," said IBTS Rector Keith Jones. "It complements the partnership we have had for the past decade with the Orthodox Academy at Vilemov in Moravia on the theology of creation care."

The aim of the colloquium, attended by more than 30 participants from Orthodox, Baptist, free evangelical and Pentecostal traditions, was to discuss points of tension and opportunities for enriching Christian witness in secularized European contexts with a majority Orthodox religious presence.

"Much of the difficulties and the challenges faced by the baptistic faith communities in the interactions with Orthodox religious communities and the governments of culturally Orthodox countries arise from misunderstandings related to the Orthodox notion of canonical territories (and largely of Orthodox canon law), evangelical emphases on religious freedom and the nature of religious proselytism," said a web page announcing the event.

Other papers discussed social ministries, shared spiritual roots of Russian Baptists and Russian Orthodox and writings of the famed Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

A press release termed the event "highly successful." At an informal social event on the final night, Jones and Orthodox professor Emil Trajchev exchanged gifts as a sign of the continuing partnership.

Internationally, the Baptist World Alliance has held preliminary discussions with the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, but a formal dialogue has not yet been inaugurated. Baptist and Orthodox scholars and church leaders have begun to make such connections in local contexts, however.

Baptist leaders in Russia recently applauded the election of Metropolitan Kirill as primate of the Russian Orthodox Church as "a clear vote for openness and dialogue." Leaders of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists said Kirill, who directed the church's ecumenical relations for 20 years, fully supported the dialogue and fraternity with Russia's Protestants started by his predecessor, Patriarch Alexei II, who died in December.

In visits to Russia and the Republic of Georgia in 2008, BWA General Secretary Neville Callam asked Orthodox representatives for cooperation in facing secularism and ministry to the poor and marginalized.

-30-

Bob Allen is senior writer for Associated Baptist Press.

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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2009, 06:12:54 PM »

I don't understand what the point of these meetings are. Both parties are walking in with the intent that they are right and the other party is wrong, and one must convert to the other. So what is the point?

Orthodoxy has no interest in becoming Baptist or Pentacostal, so what is the point?
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2009, 08:33:38 PM »

I don't understand what the point of these meetings are. Both parties are walking in with the intent that they are right and the other party is wrong, and one must convert to the other. So what is the point?

Orthodoxy has no interest in becoming Baptist or Pentacostal, so what is the point?

This is not always the case.  Not all ecumenical dialogues are for the expressed purpose of "converting each other" but rather being a witness to each other and their expression of faith in Christ, toward a common purpose of reunification.  That doesn't mean that they're there to convert people. 
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 08:43:19 PM »

I don't understand what the point of these meetings are. Both parties are walking in with the intent that they are right and the other party is wrong, and one must convert to the other. So what is the point?

Orthodoxy has no interest in becoming Baptist or Pentacostal, so what is the point?

This is not always the case.  Not all ecumenical dialogues are for the expressed purpose of "converting each other" but rather being a witness to each other and their expression of faith in Christ, toward a common purpose of reunification.  That doesn't mean that they're there to convert people. 


But if the intent is a "common purpose of reunification," then the intent is to convert each other, not by ones or twos, but en masse.
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 09:04:15 PM »

Perhaps the reuniting spoken of here is meant to convey more one of cooperation and recognition of each the other as true followers and servants of Christ than of organizational merger. It seems to me to be more about building bridges than about attempting to besiege one the other.  Wink

Admittedly, I am not aware of who these groups or persons are and base my comments merely off of a general reading of the quoted material in the OP. Undecided
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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2009, 06:47:33 AM »

Just a question.

At the end of such dialogues,Will not the Orthodox Church and their representatives continue to insist that we are the ONLY TRUE CHURCH of Christ? I mean, in the end, nothing much will change right?. We will still insist, that to some point, we are the ONLY ones who hold THE TRUTH, and nobody else, which of course many protestants, and "churchless christians", would be insulted with.

The goal of these talks, also is mysterious for me.
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2009, 06:49:02 AM »

Reading the article which comes from a Baptist source, it seems that:
"The aim of the colloquium, attended by more than 30 participants from Orthodox, Baptist, free evangelical and Pentecostal traditions, was to discuss points of tension and opportunities for enriching Christian witness in secularized European contexts with a majority Orthodox religious presence."

What are these "points of tension" which are being discussed? Could they include the resentment of Orthodox Christians in traditionally Orthodox Christian countries of having heterodox missionaries in their midst?
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2009, 07:43:10 AM »

What are these "points of tension" which are being discussed? Could they include the resentment of Orthodox Christians in traditionally Orthodox Christian countries of having heterodox missionaries in their midst?

I think I know what one of them is.

I am not cradle Orthodox.  In fact, most of my life was spent as a Baptist.  Some years ago, my church was part of a missionary effort to Bulgaria.  During planning, preparation, and execution of that mission, typically the Bulgarian Orthodox Church wasn't even considered.  Many probably were unaware of its existence, ignorantly assuming that there was no existing church in formerly communist countries.  When Orthodoxy did come up, it was always considered to be part of the problem.

I don't intend to paint with too broad a brush.  But the Baptists with whom I used to worship considered Orthodox Christians to be just as lost as the unchurched.  Their mission trips were systematically and deliberately aimed at converting Orthodox just as much as converting atheists and everyone else.

I can see how that might be a point of tension.
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2009, 09:44:31 AM »

Just a question.

At the end of such dialogues,Will not the Orthodox Church and their representatives continue to insist that we are the ONLY TRUE CHURCH of Christ? I mean, in the end, nothing much will change right?. We will still insist, that to some point, we are the ONLY ones who hold THE TRUTH, and nobody else, which of course many protestants, and "churchless christians", would be insulted with.

The goal of these talks, also is mysterious for me.

This is the crux of what is my problem brother.  You have NO IDEA how convoluded these discussions are.  If you take a look at the WCC statement on the nature of the church:  http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-commissions/faith-and-order-commission/i-unity-the-church-and-its-mission/the-nature-and-mission-of-the-church-a-stage-on-the-way-to-a-common-statement.html


You will see that part of the discussion is an ECUMENICAL understanding of the statement "one holy catholic and apostolic church" which basically they have taken all of the ecclesiological thoughts from all the church and came up with a statement of which all can agree on, without any of them losing anything.  according to the premise anyway. 

I may start another thread just based on these arguments b/c they have come up quite often recently in other posts.  I took a class where we studied ecumenical statements on ecclesiology, so if you guys really want to get into the arguments, we could do our own thread on it...let me try to put that together...


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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2009, 09:53:23 AM »

I can understand talks between Orthodox and Anglican, Catholics, Oriental Orthodox, and a host of others that have some thread of commonality between them, but with Baptists? Its amazing really!
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2009, 10:12:08 AM »

Just a question.

At the end of such dialogues,Will not the Orthodox Church and their representatives continue to insist that we are the ONLY TRUE CHURCH of Christ? I mean, in the end, nothing much will change right?. We will still insist, that to some point, we are the ONLY ones who hold THE TRUTH, and nobody else, which of course many protestants, and "churchless christians", would be insulted with.

The goal of these talks, also is mysterious for me.


This is the crux of what is my problem brother.  You have NO IDEA how convoluded these discussions are.  If you take a look at the WCC statement on the nature of the church:  http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-commissions/faith-and-order-commission/i-unity-the-church-and-its-mission/the-nature-and-mission-of-the-church-a-stage-on-the-way-to-a-common-statement.html


You will see that part of the discussion is an ECUMENICAL understanding of the statement "one holy catholic and apostolic church" which basically they have taken all of the ecclesiological thoughts from all the church and came up with a statement of which all can agree on, without any of them losing anything.  according to the premise anyway. 

I may start another thread just based on these arguments b/c they have come up quite often recently in other posts.  I took a class where we studied ecumenical statements on ecclesiology, so if you guys really want to get into the arguments, we could do our own thread on it...let me try to put that together...




I just started a thread in Faith Issues in regards to this:  http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,19740.0.html

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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2009, 05:32:21 AM »

I think I know what one of them is.

I am not cradle Orthodox.  In fact, most of my life was spent as a Baptist.  Some years ago, my church was part of a missionary effort to Bulgaria.  During planning, preparation, and execution of that mission, typically the Bulgarian Orthodox Church wasn't even considered.  Many probably were unaware of its existence, ignorantly assuming that there was no existing church in formerly communist countries.  When Orthodoxy did come up, it was always considered to be part of the problem.

I don't intend to paint with too broad a brush.  But the Baptists with whom I used to worship considered Orthodox Christians to be just as lost as the unchurched.  Their mission trips were systematically and deliberately aimed at converting Orthodox just as much as converting atheists and everyone else.

I can see how that might be a point of tension.

Yes, I have a friend who is a Baptist missionary to Russia (yes, we have fought over this many a time) and they see members of the Orthodox Church just as lost as the Catholics in Mexico. (Also knew Baptists who went to Mexico to "save" them as well.)

Apparantly if you're not conforming to their methods of worship, you're not Christian and need saving.

I would just be happy if the Baptists could walk away from these talks and realize we're not pagan worshipping idoloters.
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2009, 12:53:41 PM »

I don't understand what the point of these meetings are. Both parties are walking in with the intent that they are right and the other party is wrong, and one must convert to the other. So what is the point?

Orthodoxy has no interest in becoming Baptist or Pentacostal, so what is the point?

This is not always the case.  Not all ecumenical dialogues are for the expressed purpose of "converting each other" but rather being a witness to each other and their expression of faith in Christ, toward a common purpose of reunification.  That doesn't mean that they're there to convert people. 


It may not always be the case, but when you are dealing with certain groups.....then I feel it is the case.




JNORM888
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2009, 12:55:36 PM »

Perhaps the reuniting spoken of here is meant to convey more one of cooperation and recognition of each the other as true followers and servants of Christ than of organizational merger. It seems to me to be more about building bridges than about attempting to besiege one the other.  Wink

Admittedly, I am not aware of who these groups or persons are and base my comments merely off of a general reading of the quoted material in the OP. Undecided

What you just spoke off is conversion to a protestant view. You may not see it as that, but what you said is just that.





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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2009, 12:57:22 PM »

Just a question.

At the end of such dialogues,Will not the Orthodox Church and their representatives continue to insist that we are the ONLY TRUE CHURCH of Christ? I mean, in the end, nothing much will change right?. We will still insist, that to some point, we are the ONLY ones who hold THE TRUTH, and nobody else, which of course many protestants, and "churchless christians", would be insulted with.

The goal of these talks, also is mysterious for me.

These talks may be a means to understand who is coming into their country and what beliefs and customs they all have.

So it may be a way to bring some kind of order to chaos.





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« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2009, 12:59:42 PM »

What are these "points of tension" which are being discussed? Could they include the resentment of Orthodox Christians in traditionally Orthodox Christian countries of having heterodox missionaries in their midst?

I think I know what one of them is.

I am not cradle Orthodox.  In fact, most of my life was spent as a Baptist.  Some years ago, my church was part of a missionary effort to Bulgaria.  During planning, preparation, and execution of that mission, typically the Bulgarian Orthodox Church wasn't even considered.  Many probably were unaware of its existence, ignorantly assuming that there was no existing church in formerly communist countries.  When Orthodoxy did come up, it was always considered to be part of the problem.

I don't intend to paint with too broad a brush.  But the Baptists with whom I used to worship considered Orthodox Christians to be just as lost as the unchurched.  Their mission trips were systematically and deliberately aimed at converting Orthodox just as much as converting atheists and everyone else.

I can see how that might be a point of tension.

Bingo!



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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2009, 10:11:54 AM »

I don't understand what the point of these meetings are. Both parties are walking in with the intent that they are right and the other party is wrong, and one must convert to the other. So what is the point?

Orthodoxy has no interest in becoming Baptist or Pentacostal, so what is the point?

This is not always the case.  Not all ecumenical dialogues are for the expressed purpose of "converting each other" but rather being a witness to each other and their expression of faith in Christ, toward a common purpose of reunification.  That doesn't mean that they're there to convert people. 


It may not always be the case, but when you are dealing with certain groups.....then I feel it is the case.




JNORM888

I think part of the confusion when we are talking about these things are two points.

1.  have you engaged in any kind of ecumenical dialogue yourself?
2.  Have you ever read the minutes, statements, or gotten deep into the discussions that would be considered "ecumenical dialogue".  For example, have you read the minutes and statements of the WCC, or even this baptist-orthodox discussion? 

These questions are important because when we are basing our opinions on conjecture, it can tend to get pretty dicey. 

What are these "points of tension" which are being discussed? Could they include the resentment of Orthodox Christians in traditionally Orthodox Christian countries of having heterodox missionaries in their midst?

I think I know what one of them is.

I am not cradle Orthodox.  In fact, most of my life was spent as a Baptist.  Some years ago, my church was part of a missionary effort to Bulgaria.  During planning, preparation, and execution of that mission, typically the Bulgarian Orthodox Church wasn't even considered.  Many probably were unaware of its existence, ignorantly assuming that there was no existing church in formerly communist countries.  When Orthodoxy did come up, it was always considered to be part of the problem.

I don't intend to paint with too broad a brush.  But the Baptists with whom I used to worship considered Orthodox Christians to be just as lost as the unchurched.  Their mission trips were systematically and deliberately aimed at converting Orthodox just as much as converting atheists and everyone else.

I can see how that might be a point of tension.

Bingo!



JNORM888

What certain Baptists FEEL and what is the teaching of their church are two different things.  Permutations of baptist theology in their churches is probably not the best.  But what about orthodoxy?  How many churches you know actually LIVE an orthodox life?  They live the life of Christ as orthodoxy has taught and historically lived?  Yet we expect the baptists to live based on their actual theological statements and beliefs?  Seems ironic to me.

I would challenge all of you to do some homework and get deep into baptist theology and see what it is that they REALLY believe. I think you would be surprised to see that THEOLOGICALLY speaking, we have a lot more in common than some may think.  This is my challenge. 
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« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2009, 07:10:32 PM »



Apparently if you're not conforming to their methods of worship, you're not Christian and need saving.

Wow, that sounds so familiar... where have I heard this before?
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« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2009, 08:05:12 PM »

I don't understand what the point of these meetings are. Both parties are walking in with the intent that they are right and the other party is wrong, and one must convert to the other. So what is the point?

Orthodoxy has no interest in becoming Baptist or Pentacostal, so what is the point?

This is not always the case.  Not all ecumenical dialogues are for the expressed purpose of "converting each other" but rather being a witness to each other and their expression of faith in Christ, toward a common purpose of reunification.  That doesn't mean that they're there to convert people. 


It may not always be the case, but when you are dealing with certain groups.....then I feel it is the case.




JNORM888

I think part of the confusion when we are talking about these things are two points.

1.  have you engaged in any kind of ecumenical dialogue yourself?
2.  Have you ever read the minutes, statements, or gotten deep into the discussions that would be considered "ecumenical dialogue".  For example, have you read the minutes and statements of the WCC, or even this baptist-orthodox discussion? 

These questions are important because when we are basing our opinions on conjecture, it can tend to get pretty dicey. 

What are these "points of tension" which are being discussed? Could they include the resentment of Orthodox Christians in traditionally Orthodox Christian countries of having heterodox missionaries in their midst?

I think I know what one of them is.

I am not cradle Orthodox.  In fact, most of my life was spent as a Baptist.  Some years ago, my church was part of a missionary effort to Bulgaria.  During planning, preparation, and execution of that mission, typically the Bulgarian Orthodox Church wasn't even considered.  Many probably were unaware of its existence, ignorantly assuming that there was no existing church in formerly communist countries.  When Orthodoxy did come up, it was always considered to be part of the problem.

I don't intend to paint with too broad a brush.  But the Baptists with whom I used to worship considered Orthodox Christians to be just as lost as the unchurched.  Their mission trips were systematically and deliberately aimed at converting Orthodox just as much as converting atheists and everyone else.

I can see how that might be a point of tension.

Bingo!



JNORM888

What certain Baptists FEEL and what is the teaching of their church are two different things.  Permutations of baptist theology in their churches is probably not the best.  But what about orthodoxy?  How many churches you know actually LIVE an orthodox life?  They live the life of Christ as orthodoxy has taught and historically lived?  Yet we expect the baptists to live based on their actual theological statements and beliefs?  Seems ironic to me.

I would challenge all of you to do some homework and get deep into baptist theology and see what it is that they REALLY believe. I think you would be surprised to see that THEOLOGICALLY speaking, we have a lot more in common than some may think.  This is my challenge. 


I was raised Baptist, and that was the only reason why I said what I said. I shouldn't have to re-study what I already know. Now I may not know every Baptist denomination on the planet, but I do know a good bit about Baptist theology and history in general. Outside of a few basic stuff of adult baptism, full immersion, and congregational church government (for most baptist groups).

Outside of that, a good number of them can be split in three or four theological camps.

Calvinist-Reformed-amill

Calvinist-landmark

4-point Calvinist primative Baptist

Calminian-dispensationalist-Zwinglian

Arminian-dispensationalist-Zwinglian

Liberal/modernist

For Some African American Baptist churches you may have liberation theology.



Now do we have things in common? Yes, and depending on what Baptist group we are talking about will depend how much we may or may not have in common.








JNORM888

P.S. "I am still good friends with alot of Baptists, and I still know alot of Baptists as well......at least in America(both black and white Baptists)"
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2009, 09:56:17 PM »

I don't understand what the point of these meetings are. Both parties are walking in with the intent that they are right and the other party is wrong, and one must convert to the other. So what is the point?

Orthodoxy has no interest in becoming Baptist or Pentacostal, so what is the point?

This is not always the case.  Not all ecumenical dialogues are for the expressed purpose of "converting each other" but rather being a witness to each other and their expression of faith in Christ, toward a common purpose of reunification.  That doesn't mean that they're there to convert people. 


It may not always be the case, but when you are dealing with certain groups.....then I feel it is the case.




JNORM888

I think part of the confusion when we are talking about these things are two points.

1.  have you engaged in any kind of ecumenical dialogue yourself?
2.  Have you ever read the minutes, statements, or gotten deep into the discussions that would be considered "ecumenical dialogue".  For example, have you read the minutes and statements of the WCC, or even this baptist-orthodox discussion? 

These questions are important because when we are basing our opinions on conjecture, it can tend to get pretty dicey. 

What are these "points of tension" which are being discussed? Could they include the resentment of Orthodox Christians in traditionally Orthodox Christian countries of having heterodox missionaries in their midst?

I think I know what one of them is.

I am not cradle Orthodox.  In fact, most of my life was spent as a Baptist.  Some years ago, my church was part of a missionary effort to Bulgaria.  During planning, preparation, and execution of that mission, typically the Bulgarian Orthodox Church wasn't even considered.  Many probably were unaware of its existence, ignorantly assuming that there was no existing church in formerly communist countries.  When Orthodoxy did come up, it was always considered to be part of the problem.

I don't intend to paint with too broad a brush.  But the Baptists with whom I used to worship considered Orthodox Christians to be just as lost as the unchurched.  Their mission trips were systematically and deliberately aimed at converting Orthodox just as much as converting atheists and everyone else.

I can see how that might be a point of tension.

Bingo!



JNORM888

What certain Baptists FEEL and what is the teaching of their church are two different things.  Permutations of baptist theology in their churches is probably not the best.  But what about orthodoxy?  How many churches you know actually LIVE an orthodox life?  They live the life of Christ as orthodoxy has taught and historically lived?  Yet we expect the baptists to live based on their actual theological statements and beliefs?  Seems ironic to me.

I would challenge all of you to do some homework and get deep into baptist theology and see what it is that they REALLY believe. I think you would be surprised to see that THEOLOGICALLY speaking, we have a lot more in common than some may think.  This is my challenge. 


I was raised Baptist, and that was the only reason why I said what I said. I shouldn't have to re-study what I already know. Now I may not know every Baptist denomination on the planet, but I do know a good bit about Baptist theology and history in general. Outside of a few basic stuff of adult baptism, full immersion, and congregational church government (for most baptist groups).

Outside of that, a good number of them can be split in three or four theological camps.

Calvinist-Reformed-amill

Calvinist-landmark

4-point Calvinist primative Baptist

Calminian-dispensationalist-Zwinglian

Arminian-dispensationalist-Zwinglian

Liberal/modernist

For Some African American Baptist churches you may have liberation theology.



Now do we have things in common? Yes, and depending on what Baptist group we are talking about will depend how much we may or may not have in common.








JNORM888

P.S. "I am still good friends with alot of Baptists, and I still know alot of Baptists as well......at least in America(both black and white Baptists)"

I think also I was trying to take into consideration the dialogues and their statements, decisions, etc.  Because several advancements have been made BECAUSE of ecumenical dialogue.  Certain baptist thoughts have changed because of influences from other churches (according to some of the things we have talked about in classes), and whether or not that is reflected in the churches themselves is a different thing. 

I think this should also be taken into consideration. 
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2009, 02:31:37 PM »

Quote
I think also I was trying to take into consideration the dialogues and their statements, decisions, etc.  Because several advancements have been made BECAUSE of ecumenical dialogue.  Certain baptist thoughts have changed because of influences from other churches (according to some of the things we have talked about in classes), and whether or not that is reflected in the churches themselves is a different thing. 

I think this should also be taken into consideration.
 


Understood





JNORM888
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