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#1 User is offline   Diamond369 

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 08:33 AM

I have heard this phrase quite often. "The biggest devils go to church." It means that some of the worst people are professing believers or churchgoers in general. My question is, is hypocrisy REALLY that rampant in the church? "The biggest devils go to church" is not an uncommon statement used even by believers. I remember while in college I was witnessing to this young lady in my class and she wasn't religious to say the least. I told her that there are many professing believers but to not to have negative beliefs in God because of some of those who are not really true believers at all. Interestingly enough, she made that very statement. "The biggest devils go to church." Why does it seem that some of the meanest, most hypocritical people are those who are churchgoers or professing believers? I actually feel bad for those who are unrepentant because of their eternal destiny (if they don't repent). They will be among the ones who Jesus never knew because they were not true followers of Christ. (Matthew 7). Having said that, is this a case of rampant hypocrisy or is it just a case of those who are true believers not doing enough to be salt and light to the world?
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#2 User is offline   JAG 8 

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 03:24 PM

* The parable of the weeds in Matthew 13:24-30 teaches that the Christian church was going to have a lot of false hypocritical Christians [weeds] within it. They were called weeds or tares and they were contrasted with the wheat that was symbolic of the genuine Christians within the Christian church. At the end of history, says this parable, the weeds/tares will be burned up, while the wheat will be gathered into the barn and saved.

* Unbelieving agnostic or atheist secularists have a history of been drawn to church membership for economic and other pragmatic reasons. This was especially true years ago, but still significantly true today. Say you were an atheist dentist who had just moved into a town of 20,000 people and you wanted to build up your clientele quickly. A good way to do that would be to join as many social organizations as you had time to attend, and church membership in say the largest Christian church in that town is going to quickly put you on a first name basis with a large number of potential clients.

* The New Testament, in a large number of passages, is urgently concerned with warning the sheep about false prophets and a various assortment of false teachers who had crept into the first century churches and were preaching a false gospel. Just one example is Paul in Galatians where he said two times "let the false teachers be eternally condemned" (Gal. chapter 1), and in another place in Galatians Paul said he wished the false prophets teaching that circumcision was necessary for salvation, would "go the whole way and emasculate themselves." (Gal. chapter 5)

* And John in I John 2:19 said about the hypocrites and false teachers in the church, "They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with is [ie doctrinally].

* Then there were people who had obtained church membership in the first century churches that were openly living in sin, for example in the Corinthian church there was a dude having sex with his mother, whether step mother or biological mother, that was a terrible sin. Paul gave instructions about getting rid of people like that in the churches.

* The same hypocrisy goes on today, and so its nothing unusual.

* I would observe that Christianity teaches a very high standard, whereas the religion of Liberal Secular Humanism has very low standards. Their moral code is basically built around the protection of human physical life, the protection of human freedom/liberty, and the protection of people's material wealth and possessions [money]. The religion of Liberal Secular Humanism will call you a very good moral man as long as you do not violate any of these 3 moral rules, and moreover adults can practice just about any sexual activity, no matter how perverted, as long as its consensual, and the religion of Liberal Secular Humanism will call you a good moral man. In other words, its very hard to be a hypocrite in the religion of Liberal Secular Humanism ---- as long as you do not infringe on human freedom, steal human's money, or harm humans or animals, you are considered a very righteous saint.
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#3 User is online   rogerg 

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 07:47 PM

View PostDiamond369, on 08 February 2016 - 08:33 AM, said:

I have heard this phrase quite often. "The biggest devils go to church." It means that some of the worst people are professing believers or churchgoers in general. My question is, is hypocrisy REALLY that rampant in the church? "The biggest devils go to church" is not an uncommon statement used even by believers. I remember while in college I was witnessing to this young lady in my class and she wasn't religious to say the least. I told her that there are many professing believers but to not to have negative beliefs in God because of some of those who are not really true believers at all. Interestingly enough, she made that very statement. "The biggest devils go to church." Why does it seem that some of the meanest, most hypocritical people are those who are churchgoers or professing believers? I actually feel bad for those who are unrepentant because of their eternal destiny (if they don't repent). They will be among the ones who Jesus never knew because they were not true followers of Christ. (Matthew 7). Having said that, is this a case of rampant hypocrisy or is it just a case of those who are true believers not doing enough to be salt and light to the world?


I think that what's needed is to distinguish between the corporate Christian church and the spiritual Christian church. Those (and only those) who have become born again have become a part of Christ's spiritual church. While not always living perfect lives as individuals, God has granted to them enduring faith, and a renewing of the mind by which He will lead them into ever growing spiritual wisdom. Please observe:

Romans 12:2

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;


1 Co 12:13

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.



Those who follow after the teachings of a corporate church, place themselves into very great spiritual jeopardy. This is because corporate churches typically have a leadership structure (in addition to a corporate structure), that does not truly recognize Christ, and Christ alone, as Lord, Savior, God and King, though they may pay superficial lip service to it. The doctrine that is actually taught, and the one which must be accepted by the congregation, has as its basis the achievement of salvation through works of their own righteousness, rather than of trusting and resting in the completed work of Christ.

Please observe:

Matthew 24:24

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mark 13:6
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Mark 13:14

But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

This post has been edited by rogerg: 09 February 2016 - 11:21 AM

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#4 User is offline   lyria 

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 11:00 AM

View PostDiamond369, on 08 February 2016 - 08:33 AM, said:

I have heard this phrase quite often. "The biggest devils go to church." It means that some of the worst people are professing believers or churchgoers in general. My question is, is hypocrisy REALLY that rampant in the church? "The biggest devils go to church" is not an uncommon statement used even by believers. I remember while in college I was witnessing to this young lady in my class and she wasn't religious to say the least. I told her that there are many professing believers but to not to have negative beliefs in God because of some of those who are not really true believers at all. Interestingly enough, she made that very statement. "The biggest devils go to church." Why does it seem that some of the meanest, most hypocritical people are those who are churchgoers or professing believers? I actually feel bad for those who are unrepentant because of their eternal destiny (if they don't repent). They will be among the ones who Jesus never knew because they were not true followers of Christ. (Matthew 7). Having said that, is this a case of rampant hypocrisy or is it just a case of those who are true believers not doing enough to be salt and light to the world?


Well, I wouldn't go that far. But I will say that there are hypocrites, they stand out, and they make a big impression on people who are not believers.

For example, these days the worst pressure I get to convert is from my father-in-law, a born-again Christian. He keeps "reminding" us to go to church, to pray, to read the Bible. We deflect. He pressures. We say we aren't interested, he says we're hell-bound if we don't. We arrange our visits to avoid the church-going hour, he insists we pray with him. He will insist on us saying grace at our own table in our own house! No respect for differing beliefs whatsoever! My husband gets it worse, of course, but I get it too because even though he's convinced I "led him astray" (I didn't - neither of us were Christians when we began dating) he is also convinced I can bring him "back". I suppose yay for realizing I'm not going to just go away? Anyway, this would be annoying enough but the real problem is the hypocrisy. He sure likes to tell everyone about his beliefs, but I see no evidence that actually he lives them. In fact, he's the cruelest man I've ever had the misfortune of meeting, who doesn't give a fart in the wind for anyone less fortunate, and donates nothing extra to charity (he puts a pittance in the collection plate) despite being retired with both enough time and enough money to do something meaningful. He doesn't tip, he is outwardly and vocally racist, sexist, and anti-LGBT, he is cruel to animals. There's nothing in him about loving the sinner and hating the sin, he just hates everyone. He routinely feuds with his family - no turning the other cheek there! In other words, he is the biggest devil I know and he most certainly goes to church. Why would I convert to any religion that he belongs to?

Now, I can point to a dozen other friends who are also Christian, many church-going, who are lovely people. I know people who believe and try - even if they fail - to model their behavior after Christ. I know people who make service and charity a real part of their lives. But because they don't make quite the impression father-in-law does, it would be very easy to walk away with a negative impression of Christians in general.

I don't know if there is anything that can be done about this, other than just be the good person that you are.

This post has been edited by lyria: 09 February 2016 - 11:01 AM

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#5 User is offline   RET423 

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 12:38 AM

Well, if I use the biblical axiom that "To whom much is given, much is required" (and I do) then I would qualify as one of those "Biggest devils" who always goes to church. I know many Christians who understand far less of the scriptures than I do who nevertheless resemble Christ far more than I do, after over 25 years as a Christian it still requires a deliberate effort on my part to view my enemies as worthy of my Lords Grace; if I slack off for one second in disciplining myself I will view them as subhuman and treat them accordingly.

I do live in California where the godless rule with an iron fist and zero empathy, but that is hardly an excuse that I could offer in good conscience since I know very few who could bring a sin list to Gods throne that would exceed the one that God buried in the deepest ocean when he saved me.

I don't see my faithful church attendance as "hypocrisy" because I don't pretend to be better than I am, a hypocrite is one who presents himself as one thing while secretly being something else.

The Church is really the only logical place for a "big devil" who knows that they are hopeless apart from an act of unilateral Divine Providence based entirely on the Grace of God, if God required me to become worthy of his Church before I attend then I would never be able to attend.

When I am asked how often I struggle with sin I always answer "I am the second biggest in the world", when the person asking says "why do you say the second biggest?" I say "Because the Apostle Paul already said that he was the chief of all sinners and the Bible contains no errors; that means I can only be the second biggest sinner".

The Church is an entity which teaches that all men are hopelessly lost and dead in sin, that mans only hope for being in a positive relationship with God is if God himself pays the sin debt that men owe; the biggest devils would naturally be the most grateful ones that find this message the most appealing!
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#6 User is online   Wag-a-Muffin (D) 

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 06:31 PM

One of my favorite books is C.S. Lewis' Screwtape Letters.

“Surely you know that if a man can't be cured of churchgoing, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighbourhood looking for the church that "suits" him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

I had a good friend who would not go to church (any church) because she was convinced she wasn't good enough. I told her the quote (I don't know who originated it) "A church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints."

I don't know why others go to church, (and I try not to judge anyone's reasons) but I know that I go to church not to show everyone how pious I am, but because I know that I know (and God knows) how bad I am--and He loves me in spite of it.

This post has been edited by Wag-a-Muffin (D): 13 November 2016 - 06:35 PM

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#7 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 06:34 PM

I love "The Screwtape Letters" too! Great book.

:yes:
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#8 User is online   rogerg 

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 11:43 AM

View PostDiamond369, on 08 February 2016 - 08:33 AM, said:

I have heard this phrase quite often. "The biggest devils go to church." It means that some of the worst people are professing believers or churchgoers in general. My question is, is hypocrisy REALLY that rampant in the church? "The biggest devils go to church" is not an uncommon statement used even by believers. I remember while in college I was witnessing to this young lady in my class and she wasn't religious to say the least. I told her that there are many professing believers but to not to have negative beliefs in God because of some of those who are not really true believers at all. Interestingly enough, she made that very statement. "The biggest devils go to church." Why does it seem that some of the meanest, most hypocritical people are those who are churchgoers or professing believers? I actually feel bad for those who are unrepentant because of their eternal destiny (if they don't repent). They will be among the ones who Jesus never knew because they were not true followers of Christ. (Matthew 7). Having said that, is this a case of rampant hypocrisy or is it just a case of those who are true believers not doing enough to be salt and light to the world?


In my humble opinion no one should ever be criticized for being drawn to, or seeking the Gospel, for this is how God brings people to Christ and His salvation plan. Christ came to save especially the "biggest devils" whom He has chosen to save, to the uttermost, of which all who have been saved were/are a part of at one time (see Paul's testimony). The question of overriding importance is: do the churches they attend actually teach the true gospel as set forth by the Bible alone -- a gospel of God's mercy and grace thru Christ given to the elect completely freely and not of a gospel of the achievement our own righteousness thru our own attempts to satisfy works of the law. Few churches nowadays do.

2 Th 2:3 & 4
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Romans 12:12

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

This post has been edited by rogerg: 17 November 2016 - 01:01 PM

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#9 User is offline   Taylor McLaughlin 

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Posted 27 May 2017 - 03:53 PM

Growing up a Christian I can pretty much confirm that some of the biggest hypocrites are the ones who go to church. This isn't saying that everyone who goes to church is a hypocrite or a 'bad' person. However, I've been to my share of churches, the one I grew up in being Catholic. From there I've been to a couple non-denominational churches, a baptist church, and one that I'm not quite sure what it was. ( It was my friend's church- it may have been non-denominational, but it didn't really seem like it.)

I was quite young when I went to the Catholic church, so I don't remember much of it. I do remember not liking it though. It just didn't seem very involved. My family was on the less wealthy end. We didn't have tons of money to donate to the church or the school ( in which I went to ) that was connected to the church. Therefore, I feel like we were looked down on a lot. I was included in sunday school things. The preacher was weird and it was all together a bad experience. ( Though I can't quite say I had any experiences viewing the people as hypocritical, but I was young. )

After my parents divorced we didn't go to any church for a while, but ended up going to a non-denominational church with some family friends. I was baptized into this church as I had only ever been baptized in the catholic church. It was all fine for a while, but as I got older I started to see things. In this specific church we ( the members of the church) didn't get to choose anything. We didn't vote on anything. The preacher had a leadership team which consisted of his wife, family, and close friends. This group of people were one of the most hypocritical group of people I had ever met. The women would gossip about everything. ( Not saying I've never gossiped or that it's the worst thing you can do, but they would gossip about things they weren't supposed to know. People would go to the preacher and tell him confidential information and he would tell his wife and she would tell all of her girlfriends. Which like I said before, made up the leadership team. Plenty of other things happened, but there are long stories and I'm not going to get into it.

The next thing some of you might have heard of. ( I'm not sure. ) Love Out Loud is a program put on by Just For Him Ministries. It is a family and they travel around in an RV and put on these religious type festivals. It's a great festival, by the way. They would have food, and clothe booths where people could pick up things for free that they needed. They would even have pillows and things like that sometimes. They had inflatables for kids. There was also music, and then the father of the family and basically the main guy of the show would preach and talk about his experiences with God. I must also mention that they preached love and acceptance the whole time. They would talk about loving everybody. I don't know how many times I heard him talk about how he would love anybody of any sexuality, color, etc. Love Out Loud hasn't been around my town in several years and I haven't seen the guy in forever. I do still follow their facebook page. When all of the stuff went around about Target having a unisex bathroom or whatever (I can't remember exactly what it was that happened with target, just something with the bathrooms and allowing everyone to use the bathroom. ) They posted on Facebook that for their safety they would no longer be going to Target. Does that sound like acceptance to you?

There are so many experiences I have. Once I went to my friends church and they talked about how gay people deserved to be hung. I don't care what you agree with or disagree with, you don't say any human being deserves to be hung. Jesus ate with sinners. He wouldn't want anyone as a christian to talk about hanging people. I don't know how some people justify their words when they say things like that as a Christian. I don't even identify as a Christian anylonger, I don't know if I'd consider myself an atheist, but regardless, my point is that I have more morals than some of the people that walk into church. Even though, they would like to believe that just because I don't believe I'm horrible.
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#10 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 11:57 AM

Taylor McLaughlin - I agree that nobody "deserves" to be hanged just because they're gay.

But I disagree with your take on the unisex bathrooms. You can be 100% accepting of another person's sexual orientation, but still not want your daughter having to share public bathrooms with men. That's not being "unaccepting", it's just plain common sense.

B)
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#11 User is offline   ilja 

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 10:27 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 28 May 2017 - 11:57 AM, said:

Taylor McLaughlin - I agree that nobody "deserves" to be hanged just because they're gay.

But I disagree with your take on the unisex bathrooms. You can be 100% accepting of another person's sexual orientation, but still not want your daughter having to share public bathrooms with men. That's not being "unaccepting", it's just plain common sense.

B)

That's what I came back to comment on. I don't believe Jesus expects you to want men to go in the bathroom with your little girl to walk with Him.
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#12 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 28 May 2017 - 11:41 PM

View Postilja, on 28 May 2017 - 10:27 PM, said:

That's what I came back to comment on. I don't believe Jesus expects you to want men to go in the bathroom with your little girl to walk with Him.


I agree. And in any case, it has nothing to do with accepting or not accepting a person's sexual orientation. As all you long-time RN posters know, I'm an outspoken defender of "gay rights", gays in the military, same-sex marriage, gays being born gay as opposing to "choosing" it, etc etc etc. That doesn't mean I want men in the same bathroom as girls, or women in the same bathroom as boys. There's just no logical or defensible excuse for that.

B)
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#13 User is offline   lyria 

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 02:04 PM

I think you all are conflating a few things. Religious beliefs can be all over the place, and by the highest law of our land, no one can tell you to believe differently (though we can, by law, ban acts in the name of religion that cause harm others). Go forth and be a hypocrite. Or don't. That's all on you. Public policy is another thing altogether. There, our laws must have a secular purpose.

So, your personal religious beliefs about sexual orientation or sexual identity are your own, whatever they happen to be. It could be that your personal beliefs don't touch on either subject. Or that they are very strongly held on those two subjects. But what your state or city or the whole country decides to do about who uses which bathroom and who can marry who and whatnot is an entirely different thing.

This post has been edited by lyria: 26 June 2017 - 02:06 PM

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#14 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 03:22 PM

View Postlyria, on 26 June 2017 - 02:04 PM, said:

I think you all are conflating a few things. Religious beliefs can be all over the place, and by the highest law of our land, no one can tell you to believe differently (though we can, by law, ban acts in the name of religion that cause harm others). Go forth and be a hypocrite. Or don't. That's all on you. Public policy is another thing altogether. There, our laws must have a secular purpose.

So, your personal religious beliefs about sexual orientation or sexual identity are your own, whatever they happen to be. It could be that your personal beliefs don't touch on either subject. Or that they are very strongly held on those two subjects. But what your state or city or the whole country decides to do about who uses which bathroom and who can marry who and whatnot is an entirely different thing.


Same-sex marriage affects nobody but the participants. So I agree with you 100% on that issue.

But bathroom use affects everybody, so it can't be compared to same-sex marriage. There simply isn't any defensible excuse for a "public policy" letting men into girls/women's bathrooms, locker rooms, etc. (nor women in boys/mens) It has nothing to do with "religious" beliefs, it's a simple matter of common sense and common courtesy.

B)
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#15 User is offline   lyria 

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 04:14 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 26 June 2017 - 03:22 PM, said:

Same-sex marriage affects nobody but the participants. So I agree with you 100% on that issue.

But bathroom use affects everybody, so it can't be compared to same-sex marriage. There simply isn't any defensible excuse for a "public policy" letting men into girls/women's bathrooms, locker rooms, etc. (nor women in boys/mens) It has nothing to do with "religious" beliefs, it's a simple matter of common sense and common courtesy.

B)


You are agreeing with me, I think! :) Even though we disagree on the subject of trans people and which bathroom they should use, we do agree on the point I was making: this is not a religious issue. This is a secular issue and requires a secular solution.
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#16 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 04:46 PM

View Postlyria, on 26 June 2017 - 04:14 PM, said:

You are agreeing with me, I think! :) Even though we disagree on the subject of trans people and which bathroom they should use, we do agree on the point I was making: this is not a religious issue. This is a secular issue and requires a secular solution.


Oh. :blush: Oops, LOL.

Yup, We agree on that point: Those are both issues which shouldn't be decided on religious grounds. It's not the government's job to make sure everybody goes to Heaven. It's the government's job to make sure people don't cause each other undue harm or hardship.

B)
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#17 User is offline   lyria 

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 05:10 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 26 June 2017 - 04:46 PM, said:

Oh. :blush: Oops, LOL.

Yup, We agree on that point: Those are both issues which shouldn't be decided on religious grounds. It's not the government's job to make sure everybody goes to Heaven. It's the government's job to make sure people don't cause each other undue harm or hardship.

B)


We agree! And there was much rejoicing.
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#18 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 26 June 2017 - 06:11 PM

View Postlyria, on 26 June 2017 - 05:10 PM, said:

We agree! And there was much rejoicing.




(Gotta love a Monty Python reference.)

:D
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