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Question: Does God Get Angry?
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No
Yes, but not in the same sense that humans get angry.

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« on: December 26, 2009, 06:40:24 PM »

I have been reading a book called The Life: The Orthodox Doctrine of Salvation by Clark Carlton. In the book, the author makes this statement:

"God is not an egotistical tyrant. He does not get angry - contrary to the sermon, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God' that you no doubt read in high school. Nor does He live according to some external code of justice whereby He is constrained to punish sinners."

I agree with most of this statement. God is not an egotistical tyrant, and God is not bound by any "external code." But I have difficulty with the statement, "He does not get angry." The gospels reveal that Our Lord was angry when He drove the money changers out of the Temple. And it seems He was angry when He rebuked the Pharisees and called them a "brood of vipers." So if Christ exhibited anger, then it proves that God is indeed angered by certain sins and injustices.

My personal opinion is that we mistakenly view anger as somehow opposed to love. But love and anger are not necessarily contradictory. In fact, St. Paul advised, "Be angry, but sin not." [Ephesians 4:26]

Anyway, I was just wondering what others more learned than I think about this subject.

Thanks.

Selam
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2009, 07:20:21 PM »

I have been reading a book called The Life: The Orthodox Doctrine of Salvation by Clark Carlton. In the book, the author makes this statement:

"God is not an egotistical tyrant. He does not get angry - contrary to the sermon, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God' that you no doubt read in high school. Nor does He live according to some external code of justice whereby He is constrained to punish sinners."

I agree with most of this statement. God is not an egotistical tyrant, and God is not bound by any "external code." But I have difficulty with the statement, "He does not get angry." The gospels reveal that Our Lord was angry when He drove the money changers out of the Temple. And it seems He was angry when He rebuked the Pharisees and called them a "brood of vipers." So if Christ exhibited anger, then it proves that God is indeed angered by certain sins and injustices.

My personal opinion is that we mistakenly view anger as somehow opposed to love. But love and anger are not necessarily contradictory. In fact, St. Paul advised, "Be angry, but sin not." [Ephesians 4:26]

Anyway, I was just wondering what others more learned than I think about this subject.

Thanks.

Selam

Father Hopko did a two episode reflection on this very subject not too long ago on his "Speaking the Truth in Love" podcast series on AFN.  (they're the Oct 6 and 25, 2009 episodes).  He is of the opinion, backed by the Fathers, of course, that God does get angry at us, but it is a "perfect divine anger" as opposed to the "imperfect, selfish anger" that we humans usually experience.

He also makes the point that hatred and love are not diametrically opposed; it is contempt that is the opposite of love, as most hatred has, at its core, some sort of loving aspect to it.  Contempt, however, is the willful disregard of someone else entirely.  Hatred, at least, keeps one engaged with another person in some sense, while contempt seeks to destroy the existence of another entirely.

I have a love/hate relationship with Clark Carlton.  While I think alot of his points are spot on, his rhetorical style is not to my tastes, especially listening to him speak.  I would much rather read him, but, even then, he seems a bit too triumphalist to me.
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2009, 07:20:57 PM »

I have been reading a book called The Life: The Orthodox Doctrine of Salvation by Clark Carlton. In the book, the author makes this statement:

"God is not an egotistical tyrant. He does not get angry - contrary to the sermon, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God' that you no doubt read in high school. Nor does He live according to some external code of justice whereby He is constrained to punish sinners."

I agree with most of this statement. God is not an egotistical tyrant, and God is not bound by any "external code." But I have difficulty with the statement, "He does not get angry." The gospels reveal that Our Lord was angry when He drove the money changers out of the Temple. And it seems He was angry when He rebuked the Pharisees and called them a "brood of vipers." So if Christ exhibited anger, then it proves that God is indeed angered by certain sins and injustices.

My personal opinion is that we mistakenly view anger as somehow opposed to love. But love and anger are not necessarily contradictory. In fact, St. Paul advised, "Be angry, but sin not." [Ephesians 4:26]

Anyway, I was just wondering what others more learned than I think about this subject.

Thanks.

Selam

I agree wholeheartedly with Prof. Carlton's statement. The examples you note are of Christ Incarnate, which is when He emptied Himself of His Divinity and was a man.
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2009, 07:34:13 PM »


I agree wholeheartedly with Prof. Carlton's statement. The examples you note are of Christ Incarnate, which is when He emptied Himself of His Divinity and was a man.

With respect, I don't think your statement, "...Christ Incarnate, which is when He emptied Himself of His Divinity and was a man..." is an Orthodox statement.

Selam
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« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2009, 07:43:15 PM »


I agree wholeheartedly with Prof. Carlton's statement. The examples you note are of Christ Incarnate, which is when He emptied Himself of His Divinity and was a man.

With respect, I don't think your statement, "...Christ Incarnate, which is when He emptied Himself of His Divinity and was a man..." is an Orthodox statement.

Selam

"The Apostle Paul, writing to the Philippians (II: 5-11), explains that Christ Jesus, “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” He who was nothing less than God from eternity, voluntarily emptied Himself of His glory and assumed flesh, a flesh subject to every human propensity, sin only excepted, and the experience of anguish, pain and ultimately death. This Kenosis, or ‘emptying’ demonstrates perfectly the incomparable wonder of the love of God for creation, St. Cyril of Alexandria says, “He became like us that we might become like him. The work of the Spirit seeks to transform us by grace into a perfect copy of his humbling.”"

http://www.britishorthodox.org/sermon03.php
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2009, 08:00:16 PM »


I agree wholeheartedly with Prof. Carlton's statement. The examples you note are of Christ Incarnate, which is when He emptied Himself of His Divinity and was a man.

With respect, I don't think your statement, "...Christ Incarnate, which is when He emptied Himself of His Divinity and was a man..." is an Orthodox statement.

Selam

Let me clarify. I am not saying that only Christ's humanity was crucified. That would be a false teaching. What I am saying is that God the Son was voluntarily made flesh and in doing so, willingly gave up his "Divine Attributes" (ie, omnipotence, omniscience etc.) His anger is thus not necessarily "divine" but an example of how we, as Fallen Creation, can have righteous anger on occasion.

I think Prof. Carlton's point is that God is Love. Some of us may experience His Love in a way that we would consider "angry." But its not "anger/angry" its just "Love."
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« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2009, 08:24:28 PM »

I think we have to be careful not to say that He emptied Himself of His Divinity. As the Orthodox Study Bible states:
 "Philippians 2:7 - 'emptied Himself' - deals with the Son's will, not His nature. He emptied Himself not by laying down His Divine nature or setting it aside, but by voluntarily taking on our human nature."

Selam
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2009, 08:32:09 PM »

I have been reading a book called The Life: The Orthodox Doctrine of Salvation by Clark Carlton. In the book, the author makes this statement:

"God is not an egotistical tyrant. He does not get angry - contrary to the sermon, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God' that you no doubt read in high school. Nor does He live according to some external code of justice whereby He is constrained to punish sinners."

I agree with most of this statement. God is not an egotistical tyrant, and God is not bound by any "external code." But I have difficulty with the statement, "He does not get angry." The gospels reveal that Our Lord was angry when He drove the money changers out of the Temple. And it seems He was angry when He rebuked the Pharisees and called them a "brood of vipers." So if Christ exhibited anger, then it proves that God is indeed angered by certain sins and injustices.

My personal opinion is that we mistakenly view anger as somehow opposed to love. But love and anger are not necessarily contradictory. In fact, St. Paul advised, "Be angry, but sin not." [Ephesians 4:26]

Anyway, I was just wondering what others more learned than I think about this subject.

Thanks.

Selam

Father Hopko did a two episode reflection on this very subject not too long ago on his "Speaking the Truth in Love" podcast series on AFN.  (they're the Oct 6 and 25, 2009 episodes).  He is of the opinion, backed by the Fathers, of course, that God does get angry at us, but it is a "perfect divine anger" as opposed to the "imperfect, selfish anger" that we humans usually experience.

He also makes the point that hatred and love are not diametrically opposed; it is contempt that is the opposite of love, as most hatred has, at its core, some sort of loving aspect to it.  Contempt, however, is the willful disregard of someone else entirely.  Hatred, at least, keeps one engaged with another person in some sense, while contempt seeks to destroy the existence of another entirely.

I have a love/hate relationship with Clark Carlton.  While I think alot of his points are spot on, his rhetorical style is not to my tastes, especially listening to him speak.  I would much rather read him, but, even then, he seems a bit too triumphalist to me.

Thank you Shcultz. Some good points. I like the distinction between hate and contempt, and the explanation. This makes me think of the abortion issue (surprise, surprise). Abortion is not the result of "hatred" for unborn children, it is the result of contempt for them. And when society has contempt for any segment of humanity, then horrific acts ensue. And I think the Scriptures reveal that God is righteously angered by our contempt for anyone created in His image.

Selam
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« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2009, 08:37:49 PM »

I have been reading a book called The Life: The Orthodox Doctrine of Salvation by Clark Carlton. In the book, the author makes this statement:

"God is not an egotistical tyrant. He does not get angry - contrary to the sermon, 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God' that you no doubt read in high school. Nor does He live according to some external code of justice whereby He is constrained to punish sinners."

I agree with most of this statement. God is not an egotistical tyrant, and God is not bound by any "external code." But I have difficulty with the statement, "He does not get angry." The gospels reveal that Our Lord was angry when He drove the money changers out of the Temple. And it seems He was angry when He rebuked the Pharisees and called them a "brood of vipers." So if Christ exhibited anger, then it proves that God is indeed angered by certain sins and injustices.

My personal opinion is that we mistakenly view anger as somehow opposed to love. But love and anger are not necessarily contradictory. In fact, St. Paul advised, "Be angry, but sin not." [Ephesians 4:26]

Anyway, I was just wondering what others more learned than I think about this subject.

Thanks.

Selam

Oh God can get angry alright, and has gotten angry on many occasions in human history, the evidence fills the pages of the Bible. But that's not to say that He is an angry God, that He's in a permanent state of anger. And you're right anger is not opposed to love, anger is not the same thing as hatred. I absolutely love my family members, but boy they can make me really mad sometimes.

He also makes the point that hatred and love are not diametrically opposed; it is contempt that is the opposite of love, as most hatred has, at its core, some sort of loving aspect to it.  Contempt, however, is the willful disregard of someone else entirely.  Hatred, at least, keeps one engaged with another person in some sense, while contempt seeks to destroy the existence of another entirely.

Hmm, that's interesting. I've always understood hatred as the absence of love, like darkness is the absence of light.
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« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2009, 09:06:58 PM »

GMK, I wrote a short article a while which sought to express the patristic view on the subject. You can read it here if you're interested.
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« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2009, 09:13:58 PM »



Hmm, that's interesting. I've always understood hatred as the absence of love, like darkness is the absence of light.

That would all depend on weather there was darkness first or light first. If darkness came first it couldn't be an absence of light. One would have to wait for the light to come first.
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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2009, 09:31:51 PM »

My initial thoughts regarding this thread were, "No, God doesn't get angry, for God is immutable, passionless". However, if the Scripture and Fathers were merely using anthropomorphic language about God being angry, so as to hint at some deeper truth, then that still leaves the question of what that deeper truth is...  
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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2009, 09:38:06 PM »

From St. Anthony in the Philokalia (ch. 150, first volume):

"God is good, dispassionate, and immutable. Now someone who thinks it reasonable and true to affirm that God does not change, may well ask how, in that case, it is possible to speak of God as rejoicing over those who are good and showing mercy to those who honor Him, and as turning away from the wicked and being angry with sinners. To this it must be answered that God neither rejoices nor grows angry, for to rejoice and to be offended are passions; nor is He won over by the gifts of those who honor Him, for that would mean He is swayed by pleasure. It is not right that the Divinity feel pleasure or displeasure from human conditions. He is good, and He only bestows blessings and never does harm, remaining always the same. We men, on the other hand, if we remain good through resembling God, are united to Him, but if we become evil through not resembling God, we are separated from Him. By living in holiness we cleave to God; but by becoming wicked we make Him our enemy. It is not that He grows angry with us in an arbitrary way, but it is our own sins that prevent God from shining within us and expose us to demons who torture us. And if through prayer and acts of compassion we gain release from our sins, this does not mean that we have won God over and made Him to change, but that through our actions and our turning to the Divinity, we have cured our wickedness and so once more have enjoyment of God’s goodness. Thus to say that God turns away from the wicked is like saying that the sun hides itself from the blind."

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/loving-an-angry-god/
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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2009, 10:06:40 PM »

^Thanks for that quote.

I think we struggle with this because we tend to identify love and anger primarily with emotion. We are driven by our passions and emotions, and we know that God is not. But maybe we need to recognize that the essence of love and the essence of anger is not emotional at all. Pure love is treating our worst enemy with forgiveness and mercy, even though our emotions would dictate we do the opposite.

God's anger is a righteous and holy anger with which we humans are all too unfamiliar. He is not surprised by evil, and then suddenly aroused to anger. He is not overwhelmed with emotion and then subsequently compelled to pour out His wrath.

The anger of God is like the love of God; it is ineffable and it is mystery. I think that we should avoid the extremes of either projecting human emotion onto the Divine nature or imagining that anger is absent from the Divine personality.

Just some thoughts. I could be wrong.

BTW, I like this quote form St. Isaac the Syrian:

"The fire of hell is the love of God."

Selam  
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« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2009, 12:50:30 AM »

In the OT, God would often command laying waste to cities after being angered by their behavior. How can we not relate this activity to anger in the sense that we understand it?
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« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2009, 01:13:13 AM »

In the OT, God would often command laying waste to cities after being angered by their behavior. How can we not relate this activity to anger in the sense that we understand it?

This is a good question, but was God really angry, or did the authors of various Old Testament books just attribute anger to Him as an attempted explanation of the unexplanable? I think it's a misstep to take things too literally, especially when we're talking about a God who we admit is incomprehensible in his essence.
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2009, 01:22:17 AM »

was God really angry, or did the authors of various Old Testament books just attribute anger to Him as an attempted explanation of the unexplanable?
The latter. Anger is an irrational passion which an Omniscient God is incapable of. In fact, if God ever really got "angry", He would be a big phoney unworthy of worship. How can a God with perfect foreknowledge of everything possibly react with anger when it happens? What is described as God's "wrath" in both the Old and New Testaments is actually a cool, calculated plan of corrective action. The "Seven Bowls" and "Seven Trumpets" of the Apocalypse have been planned before time began- it would be stupid to think they are a sudden outburst of an "angry God" who suddenly decides He "can't take it any more".
The "angry God" myth is people projecting their own passions on to God- ie man creating God in his own image.
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2009, 06:54:52 AM »



Hmm, that's interesting. I've always understood hatred as the absence of love, like darkness is the absence of light.

That would all depend on weather there was darkness first or light first. If darkness came first it couldn't be an absence of light. One would have to wait for the light to come first.

Well God who is light is eternal, so He "came first".
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2009, 10:47:56 AM »


The "angry God" myth is people projecting their own passions on to God- ie man creating God in his own image.

It is one thing when the OT writers say that God was angry. But how are we to interpret such passages, when they claim to be the spoken words of God, which clearly attribute to Him anger/wrath?

“The LORD spoke further to me, saying, ‘I have seen this people, and indeed, it is a stubborn people. 14 ‘Let Me alone, that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of you a nation mightier and greater than they.’ 

He goes on further to describe this conversation he had with God:

“For I was afraid of the anger and hot displeasure with which the LORD was wrathful against you in order to destroy you, but the LORD listened to me that time also. The LORD was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him; so I also prayed for Aaron at the same time."

Here it seems that God is ready and willing to destroy his people, (while giving Moses an incentive to stay out of the matter by promising him a great and mighty generation) but Moses pleaded with Him to give his people another chance. It almost seems as if Moses is being portrayed more merciful and compassionate than God here. How are we to make sense of this passage, if not by explanation using wrath/anger/jealousy?  Huh

http://nasb.scripturetext.com/deuteronomy/9.htm (I know this is based on the masoretic texts, but I doubt the septuagint varies much in the pentateuch)
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« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2009, 11:55:55 AM »



Hmm, that's interesting. I've always understood hatred as the absence of love, like darkness is the absence of light.

That would all depend on weather there was darkness first or light first. If darkness came first it couldn't be an absence of light. One would have to wait for the light to come first.

Well God who is light is eternal, so He "came first".
I'll agree with you in that he came first but his essence isn't light. His essence is unknowable. He is light in a spiritual sense. To say he is light would reduce him to an object like the sun. The old testament preached to people using knowable objects to try and revile the truth but it wasn't until Christ came the the spiritual aspects of scripture was relieved in the form of a person. Things like fire no longer mean real flames but allude to the our sins. Our sins create a fire in our souls. Not a real fire but a fire of pain when we do wrong. Now the real meaning was relieved through Christ. He is the light in a sense that he saves people from there sins. Not a real light you see. A light that only love can reveal.
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« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2009, 01:33:19 PM »

He can. Contrary to pagan religions and polytheism, God is not a subject to fate or any sort of Divine Law. He's not even a subject to His Essence, because He (as a person, a hypostasis) is beyond the Essence.

He doesn't ever get though, I think. He has chosen to be Love. Where to start? With all that heavy anthropomorphism or with the Essence-Energies distinction? Clearly, God does not get angry; it is us who interpret His good will (shown in His Energies) as bad.
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« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2009, 02:43:31 PM »

But how are we to interpret such passages, when they claim to be the spoken words of God, which clearly attribute to Him anger/wrath?
As human words and concepts trying to describe a Transcendant God.
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« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2009, 04:38:50 PM »



Hmm, that's interesting. I've always understood hatred as the absence of love, like darkness is the absence of light.

That would all depend on weather there was darkness first or light first. If darkness came first it couldn't be an absence of light. One would have to wait for the light to come first.

Well God who is light is eternal, so He "came first".
I'll agree with you in that he came first but his essence isn't light. His essence is unknowable. He is light in a spiritual sense.

You thought I meant that literally? No I meant it the way Scripture means it - symbolic for truth, i.e. in God is absolute truth.

To say he is light would reduce him to an object like the sun. The old testament preached to people using knowable objects to try and revile the truth but it wasn't until Christ came the the spiritual aspects of scripture was relieved in the form of a person. Things like fire no longer mean real flames but allude to the our sins. Our sins create a fire in our souls. Not a real fire but a fire of pain when we do wrong. Now the real meaning was relieved through Christ. He is the light in a sense that he saves people from there sins. Not a real light you see. A light that only love can reveal.

Let me explain what I meant when I said that I understand hate to be the absence of love, and darkness the absence of light, evil the absence good, ect.

God is "light" or truth, God is "love", and God is "good", as Scripture says. BUT above all, God is holy - meaning that He is set apart from everything that is not "light" or truth, "love" and "good". Where there is "darkness" or falsehood God is not to be found, where there is hatred God is not to be found, and where there is evil God is not to be found because He sets Himself apart (is holy).

Speaking of the more mystical aspects of these "objects", notice in Genesis 1 that God divides the light from the darkness BUT nowhere does it say that He created either of them. Truth, love and good are not created objects but energies which stem from God's essence, likewise falsehood, hate and evil are not created objects but are the result of God's absence.

Concerning contempt which as Father Hopko explains is willful and selfish disregard. I would say that hatred is the ultimate result of contempt.

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« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2009, 09:15:25 PM »

The old testament preached to people using knowable objects to try and revile the truth ...
Why would the Old Testament want to revile the truth?  To revile means to speak of abusively, to disparage.  Do you possibly mean to say reveal (to make known)?
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« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2009, 09:31:11 PM »

Speaking of the more mystical aspects of these "objects", notice in Genesis 1 that God divides the light from the darkness BUT nowhere does it say that He created either of them. Truth, love and good are not created objects but energies which stem from God's essence, likewise falsehood, hate and evil are not created objects but are the result of God's absence.

"Let there be light!" sounds very much like God is creating what we would call 'light' to me.

Quote
Concerning contempt which as Father Hopko explains is willful and selfish disregard. I would say that hatred is the ultimate result of contempt.

Fr  Tom says alot more about the nature of contempt than just that.  But even if hatred is the 'ultimate result of contempt,' the latter is still the primary cause, is it not?  Fr Tom, however, would say that hatred, even the most selfish, vile human hatred, is still ontologically different from contempt.  I'll give these a listen again tomorrow and try to summarize Fr Tom's argument better. Smiley


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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2009, 12:29:52 AM »

The old testament preached to people using knowable objects to try and revile the truth ...
Why would the Old Testament want to revile the truth?  To revile means to speak of abusively, to disparage.  Do you possibly mean to say reveal (to make known)?

Yes PTA, reveal was the word I was trying to get out. Thank God we have such scholars such as yourself here. Wink
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« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2013, 08:11:06 AM »

Sorry for reviving an old thread, but is there any online articles answering "Does God get Angry?" you see throughout the OT is he is getting angry. Does he really get angry ?.
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« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2013, 06:10:37 PM »

I'm not sure how well this fits with Orthodox teaching though I found it interesting; http://www.theocentric.com/theology/godhead/can_a_loving_god_be_wrathful.html

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« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2013, 06:12:10 PM »

Didn't Jesus beat up those guys in the temple?
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« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2013, 08:19:44 PM »

So many theological misstatements and errors in the above, I can't get to them all.

I just wanted to share that the most precise and exact explanation of this conundrum, is to be found in St. Maximus the Confessor, specifically, if I recall, in his Centuries on Love.

God remains completely immutably all-good, but our ways either match with or diverge from His. When they diverge, there is a tension, a conflict, a dire situation, which the biblical writers often describe anthropomorphically as "anger."

So the Bible often says God got angry, but God does not, to speak the most precisely, get angry. It's a poetic description of the gap or gash. Scripture often also says that God "repented," but that does not mean He sinned and had to repent, but that as man's ways came again into harmony with God's, the jangling dire tension ceased. It was man who changed, not God, but poetically and anthropomorphically speaking, the change is literately ascribed to God as in the nominative case. So to speak.
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« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2013, 08:24:22 PM »

Does he really get angry ?.
Does God do things that aren't real?
How are we to make sense of this passage, if not by explanation using wrath/anger/jealousy?  Huh
Well, we can assume that God strictly follows the pagan neoplatonic understanding of the divine, and explain away anything else as metaphor.

Or we can acknowledge that anger is, like love, an action, and not a "feeling", which is a vague, undefined state taken as self-evident truth in our society.
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« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2013, 08:39:59 PM »

So many theological misstatements and errors in the above, I can't get to them all.

I just wanted to share that the most precise and exact explanation of this conundrum, is to be found in St. Maximus the Confessor, specifically, if I recall, in his Centuries on Love.

God remains completely immutably all-good, but our ways either match with or diverge from His. When they diverge, there is a tension, a conflict, a dire situation, which the biblical writers often describe anthropomorphically as "anger."

So the Bible often says God got angry, but God does not, to speak the most precisely, get angry. It's a poetic description of the gap or gash. Scripture often also says that God "repented," but that does not mean He sinned and had to repent, but that as man's ways came again into harmony with God's, the jangling dire tension ceased. It was man who changed, not God, but poetically and anthropomorphically speaking, the change is literately ascribed to God as in the nominative case. So to speak.

Your posts point to some rather interesting insights.
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« Reply #32 on: January 30, 2013, 08:46:52 PM »

I should clarify that while I don't think I have misrepresented St. Maximus, the words "dire," "tension," and "jangling" are my own expressions, not his.

But the gist is his, and I can take no credit for its wisdom and perspicacity whatever.
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« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2013, 10:51:01 PM »

I have a question, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, why ?. Is that not a sign of anger ??. 
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« Reply #34 on: January 30, 2013, 11:02:15 PM »

It would probably be so, for a human.

God is not like us, and "His ways are not as our ways."
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« Reply #35 on: January 30, 2013, 11:11:32 PM »

Is that not a sign of anger ??. 
More accurately speaking, as Fr. Thom has mentioned, human anger is not something we attribute to God. Humans were made in God's image, not the other way around. So holy human anger, exemplified by the worthy anger displayed by Christ, is a human way of being like God somehow. Just as we call people 'father' because real human fatherhood somehow reflects God's Fatherhood (see Matthew 23).

So instead of talking about God's anger being illusory or poetic, wouldn't it be better to say that fallen human anger is something illusory, a vague reflection of the real thing?
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« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2013, 08:43:25 AM »

Mmm... Dunno sounds like we are in denial scripture clearly states God punished/destroyed Soddom and Gomorah.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_retribution#section_2

Dunno im just trying to understand
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« Reply #37 on: January 31, 2013, 08:48:16 AM »

God's anger is love.
Human anger is hate.
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« Reply #38 on: January 31, 2013, 11:03:47 AM »

as Fr. Thom has mentioned

Who?  police
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« Reply #39 on: January 31, 2013, 01:58:25 PM »

God's anger is love.
Human anger is hate.

God hates as well.

And not all anger that persons have is hate.
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« Reply #40 on: January 31, 2013, 07:09:40 PM »

Wisdom ch. 11 says, "For thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things which thou hast made."

Read St. Maximus. God does not get angry. And not all human anger is even sinful, although it's probably accurate to say most is sinful. Even apparently righteous anger can be somewhat sinful, "Mine eye is troubled with anger, as also my soul and my belly."

It's very important to know that God does not hate any creature within creation.

Clark has read his holy fathers.
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« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2013, 09:53:21 PM »

Wisdom ch. 11 says, "For thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things which thou hast made."

Read St. Maximus. God does not get angry. And not all human anger is even sinful, although it's probably accurate to say most is sinful. Even apparently righteous anger can be somewhat sinful, "Mine eye is troubled with anger, as also my soul and my belly."

It's very important to know that God does not hate any creature within creation.

Clark has read his holy fathers.

That he does.

St. Basil, IIRC, also states that, when we read an anthropomorphism in Scripture, we have to understand it in a manner that befits God and that we should not ascribe human emotion to the godhead.

As for Sodom and Gomorrah, God didn't just detroy it, but investigated it first (it's in the context of the three angels visiting Abraham). Later, the Lord said, "It will be more tolerable for Sodom..." than for those cities that rejected him. So, ISTM, the destruction of those cities had a purpose beyond punishing sin. First of all, the people weren't annihilated, their souls live on to be judged. Second, in light of this, the cities were destroyed as a warning to mankind.

Besides, who can ascribe unrighteousness to God? That's what Satan does, and he has never been successful in that department.
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« Reply #42 on: February 01, 2013, 09:05:10 AM »

Wisdom ch. 11 says, "For thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things which thou hast made."

Read St. Maximus. God does not get angry. And not all human anger is even sinful, although it's probably accurate to say most is sinful. Even apparently righteous anger can be somewhat sinful, "Mine eye is troubled with anger, as also my soul and my belly."

It's very important to know that God does not hate any creature within creation.

Clark has read his holy fathers.

That he does.

St. Basil, IIRC, also states that, when we read an anthropomorphism in Scripture, we have to understand it in a manner that befits God and that we should not ascribe human emotion to the godhead.

As for Sodom and Gomorrah, God didn't just detroy it, but investigated it first (it's in the context of the three angels visiting Abraham). Later, the Lord said, "It will be more tolerable for Sodom..." than for those cities that rejected him. So, ISTM, the destruction of those cities had a purpose beyond punishing sin. First of all, the people weren't annihilated, their souls live on to be judged. Second, in light of this, the cities were destroyed as a warning to mankind.

Besides, who can ascribe unrighteousness to God? That's what Satan does, and he has never been successful in that department.

Thanks for that, but I am still in limbo about it how can God be a loving God and then He destroys Sodom and Gomorrah because the people were sinful where was there freewill ?. I can understand they were not annihilated but there souls will live on, but will they be saved in the day of Judgement ?.
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« Reply #43 on: February 01, 2013, 09:12:19 AM »

Wisdom ch. 11 says, "For thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things which thou hast made."

Read St. Maximus. God does not get angry. And not all human anger is even sinful, although it's probably accurate to say most is sinful. Even apparently righteous anger can be somewhat sinful, "Mine eye is troubled with anger, as also my soul and my belly."

It's very important to know that God does not hate any creature within creation.

Clark has read his holy fathers.

That he does.

St. Basil, IIRC, also states that, when we read an anthropomorphism in Scripture, we have to understand it in a manner that befits God and that we should not ascribe human emotion to the godhead.

As for Sodom and Gomorrah, God didn't just detroy it, but investigated it first (it's in the context of the three angels visiting Abraham). Later, the Lord said, "It will be more tolerable for Sodom..." than for those cities that rejected him. So, ISTM, the destruction of those cities had a purpose beyond punishing sin. First of all, the people weren't annihilated, their souls live on to be judged. Second, in light of this, the cities were destroyed as a warning to mankind.

Besides, who can ascribe unrighteousness to God? That's what Satan does, and he has never been successful in that department.

Thanks for that, but I am still in limbo about it how can God be a loving God and then He destroys Sodom and Gomorrah because the people were sinful where was there freewill ?. I can understand they were not annihilated but there souls will live on, but will they be saved in the day of Judgement ?.
I tend to think of the "destruction by God" as figurative, symbolic, language. Actually, the sins of the inhabitants of Sodom led to their destruction. "God's anger" is actually the negative repercussions of one's own sins.
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« Reply #44 on: February 03, 2013, 06:52:29 PM »

It's all because we are thinking as men think. Big mistake, when it comes to God.

All cities of the earth will have an end.
Sodom and Gomorrha's ends came more quickly.
It was not just certain sins, but also rape and cruelty, feral and beastly "life."
God was protecting the victims.

If God decides that a rapist will live to be only 25 instead of 70, is that "hate"?

Think how many people were rescued and saved from horrible things AND death, by God's shortening of the days of Sodom and Gomorrha.

He protects victims! And that's not "hate."
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« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2013, 06:55:59 PM »

It's all because we are thinking as men think.
Father, we are men, how else can we think?
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« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2013, 07:11:15 PM »

Well, we will think as men, but let us get it through our heads: God is not like us.

Fair?
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« Reply #47 on: February 03, 2013, 07:37:31 PM »

Well, we will think as men, but let us get it through our heads: God is not like us.

Fair?
True, Father, God is not like us.

But we are like God.

"Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..."

"And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil..."

I see what you mean about Sodom and Gomorrah, but I would still call that hate, because for the Hebrews hate was more of an action, rather than a sentiment. God hates iniquity because he ultimately defeats it, he hates human sacrifice in his commandment to end it, he hates death and destroys it.

Now, it has nothing to do of course with fallen hate. Fallen hate is not a real reflection of Divine Hate. Divine Hate and Wrath and Love are not at all opposed. But there has to be a real reflection of God in man or else what is the faith?

I suppose these are important points to me because we believe that humans are called to be Godlike, and it is in us, with God, to be that way, and so we must say that God is not quite so far away in how he chooses to exist, which is why the doctrine of uncreated energies and the incarnation are so important.



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« Reply #48 on: February 03, 2013, 07:43:38 PM »

Pretty darn excellent post...

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« Reply #49 on: February 04, 2013, 06:01:17 AM »

What about the Scriptures that say, "Be angry but sin not." [Psalm 4:4; Ephesians 4:26]? Would St. Paul instruct us to adopt an action or thought that was not divinely inspired? I agree with Fr. Aidan that we should understand that the biblical authors often used anthropomorphic language. But perhaps we are going too far in the other direction when we say that God does not in any way get angry. Of course, divine anger is something much different than human anger. God is not swayed by emotion. He is not surprised or disappointed by the actions of men. So, His anger is not reactionary. But it still seems evident from Scripture that there is indeed a divine anger. Again, I also point out that Our Lord was angry when He drove out the money changers.

But I am just thinking out loud. It is a dificult issue. Our view of God is not the Islamic view of God. In their efforts to avoid anthropomorphic descriptions of God, Muslims seem to make God into a robotic deity with whom humans can have no emotional connection.

Here is something St. John Chrysostom says about anger:

"Be angry with the devil and not your own member. This is why God has armed us with anger. Not that we should thrust the sword against our own bodies, but that we should baptize the whole blade in the devil's breast."



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« Reply #50 on: February 04, 2013, 06:13:55 AM »

This is from the Book of Samuel 1 Chapter 15 God commended Saul to kill all the Amalekites, Why ?, the same questions gets raised within my mind why would a Loving God command an Anointed King of Israel to Kill Amalekites even innocent people Huh.

15 Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel; so listen now to the message from the Lord. 2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will punish the Amalekites for what they did to Israel when they waylaid them as they came up from Egypt. 3 Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy[a] all that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’”

4 So Saul summoned the men and mustered them at Telaim—two hundred thousand foot soldiers and ten thousand from Judah. 5 Saul went to the city of Amalek and set an ambush in the ravine. 6 Then he said to the Kenites, “Go away, leave the Amalekites so that I do not destroy you along with them; for you showed kindness to all the Israelites when they came up out of Egypt.” So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.

7 Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, near the eastern border of Egypt. 8 He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. 9 But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed.

10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I regret that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was angry, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.
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« Reply #51 on: February 06, 2013, 06:40:14 AM »

What do we mean when we say God is unchangeable ?, that he's emotions are not like ours ? does he have one emotion ? or non at all ?.
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« Reply #52 on: February 06, 2013, 12:43:24 PM »


I agree wholeheartedly with Prof. Carlton's statement. The examples you note are of Christ Incarnate, which is when He emptied Himself of His Divinity and was a man.

With respect, I don't think your statement, "...Christ Incarnate, which is when He emptied Himself of His Divinity and was a man..." is an Orthodox statement.

Selam

I concur! Jesus could not cease being divine. He emptied Himself of the free exercise of His divine privileges and became a servant.
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« Reply #53 on: February 06, 2013, 10:59:05 PM »

Hmm, very well put!

"Who are you, who are so wise in the ways of science?"
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« Reply #54 on: February 07, 2013, 12:41:13 PM »

God does not get angry. He is perfect love, so all He does is always a consequence of love. An altruistic person never gets angry.
Anger is a problem among creatures who either choose evil/selfishness and so they subject themselves to the possibility of failure when their demands are not met, or creatures who encounter (unfair) opposition from other creatures. However, creatures are called to overcome their anger through God's power and love.
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« Reply #55 on: February 07, 2013, 12:59:19 PM »

God does not get angry. He is perfect love, so all He does is always a consequence of love. An altruistic person never gets angry.
Anger is a problem among creatures who either choose evil/selfishness and so they subject themselves to the possibility of failure when their demands are not met, or creatures who encounter (unfair) opposition from other creatures. However, creatures are called to overcome their anger through God's power and love.

The primary act for a Christian to do in order to believe the above is to take Scripture except for perhaps three to six verses and throw it into the trash.

Sola Platola.
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« Reply #56 on: February 07, 2013, 01:14:08 PM »

God does not get angry. He is perfect love, so all He does is always a consequence of love. An altruistic person never gets angry.
Anger is a problem among creatures who either choose evil/selfishness and so they subject themselves to the possibility of failure when their demands are not met, or creatures who encounter (unfair) opposition from other creatures. However, creatures are called to overcome their anger through God's power and love.

The primary act for a Christian to do in order to believe the above is to take Scripture except for perhaps three to six verses and throw it into the trash.

Sola Platola.

Not sure what you mean, but "anger" in the Scripture is just like the word "fear"; it does not suggest negative passion on God's part. If you have an actually angry God, you have a very big problem -- your god is actually satan, or very inferior person, at any rate. Smiley Even a Buddhist will tell you that you don't need to be angry. God's decisions are based on true love and in the light of truth. Even the demons, He did not punish, but sent away because He was a troubling presence to them (since they hate Him).
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« Reply #57 on: February 07, 2013, 01:21:52 PM »

God does not get angry. He is perfect love, so all He does is always a consequence of love. An altruistic person never gets angry.
Anger is a problem among creatures who either choose evil/selfishness and so they subject themselves to the possibility of failure when their demands are not met, or creatures who encounter (unfair) opposition from other creatures. However, creatures are called to overcome their anger through God's power and love.

The primary act for a Christian to do in order to believe the above is to take Scripture except for perhaps three to six verses and throw it into the trash.

Sola Platola.

Not sure what you mean, but "anger" in the Scripture is just like the word "fear"; it does not suggest negative passion on God's part. If you have an actually angry God, you have a very big problem -- your god is actually satan, or very inferior person, at any rate. Smiley Even a Buddhist will tell you that you don't need to be angry. God's decisions are based on true love and in the light of truth. Even the demons, He did not punish, but sent away because He was a troubling presence to them (since they hate Him).

Hey as long as the Buddhists know more than Scripture, awesome.

Anger is anger. If you have to use an "actually", you have an metaphysical problem, even Heidegger would tell you that.
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« Reply #58 on: February 07, 2013, 01:24:46 PM »

God does not get angry. He is perfect love, so all He does is always a consequence of love. An altruistic person never gets angry.
Anger is a problem among creatures who either choose evil/selfishness and so they subject themselves to the possibility of failure when their demands are not met, or creatures who encounter (unfair) opposition from other creatures. However, creatures are called to overcome their anger through God's power and love.

The primary act for a Christian to do in order to believe the above is to take Scripture except for perhaps three to six verses and throw it into the trash.

Sola Platola.

Not sure what you mean, but "anger" in the Scripture is just like the word "fear"; it does not suggest negative passion on God's part. If you have an actually angry God, you have a very big problem -- your god is actually satan, or very inferior person, at any rate. Smiley Even a Buddhist will tell you that you don't need to be angry. God's decisions are based on true love and in the light of truth. Even the demons, He did not punish, but sent away because He was a troubling presence to them (since they hate Him).

Hey as long as the Buddhists know more than Scripture, awesome.

Anger is anger. If you have to use an "actually", you have an metaphysical problem, even Heidegger would tell you that.

No, you have a problem with not knowing that words in the Scripture actually have meanings that don't match our current language, and were translated from hebrew or greek. I suggest you get yourself a guide to understanding the original words in the Bible or ask an expert. And, anger suggests that God does not allow the free will of creatures and that He Himself is not free, but dependent on whether creatures love or reject Him. Very bad notion of God; even I can try to do better. Smiley
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 01:30:55 PM by IoanC » Logged

orthonorm
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« Reply #59 on: February 07, 2013, 01:37:04 PM »

God does not get angry. He is perfect love, so all He does is always a consequence of love. An altruistic person never gets angry.
Anger is a problem among creatures who either choose evil/selfishness and so they subject themselves to the possibility of failure when their demands are not met, or creatures who encounter (unfair) opposition from other creatures. However, creatures are called to overcome their anger through God's power and love.

The primary act for a Christian to do in order to believe the above is to take Scripture except for perhaps three to six verses and throw it into the trash.

Sola Platola.

Not sure what you mean, but "anger" in the Scripture is just like the word "fear"; it does not suggest negative passion on God's part. If you have an actually angry God, you have a very big problem -- your god is actually satan, or very inferior person, at any rate. Smiley Even a Buddhist will tell you that you don't need to be angry. God's decisions are based on true love and in the light of truth. Even the demons, He did not punish, but sent away because He was a troubling presence to them (since they hate Him).

Hey as long as the Buddhists know more than Scripture, awesome.

Anger is anger. If you have to use an "actually", you have an metaphysical problem, even Heidegger would tell you that.

No, you have a problem with not knowing that words in the Scripture actually have translations that don't match our current language, and were translated from hebrew or greek. I suggest you get yourself a guide to understanding the original words in the Bible or ask an expert. And, anger suggests that God does not allow the free will of creatures and that He Himself is not free, but dependent on whether creatures love or reject Him. Very bad notion of God; even I can try to do better. Smiley

Yeah, those Greek and Hebrew words are doozies. And Biblical hermeneutics is a really complex subject.

An expert, I guess would be someone who agrees with you? Cause unfortunately, I was forced to learn this sorta stuff from experts or from people who make their entire life's work attempting to make sense of some of the most straight forward and clear writing to shape Western Civilization.

Moses, a Hegel he ain't.

Having an angry God ain't a problem. It only becomes one when that's all you think God is. Sorta like when you reduce God to simply love.

Frankly, I would much rather read Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God than it's possible counterpart:

Sinners in the Heart of Love.

At least Edwards' sermon allows God to be something other than angry, where your thinking reduces God to merely love.

Then you can just get rid of God completely.

It is you I think who might want to consider the rhetoric used when Scripture says God is love. Cause if you believe that to be the whole story, then well,  I think the Beatles have already started working on your new hymns:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4p8qxGbpOk

All You Need is Love - Beatles

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« Reply #60 on: February 07, 2013, 06:55:31 PM »

Ioan C has expressed very well the teachings of the Holy Fathers. Not only St. Maximus the Confessor, whom we commemorated this past Sunday, but also St. Gregory the Theologian, St. Anthony the Great (but have to double check that reference), and others.

He/she (the lack of gender clarity on here drives me nuts) does not deserve to be mocked for expressing Patristic thought.

And God being All Love is true. This is not your "warm and fuzzy." It is dangerous and it is a consuming fire. Nothing to trifle with.

Find someone else to make fun of.
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