Donnie Cruz
Donnie Cruz

April 7th, 2006, 1:06 pm #21

William,

That analogy just doesn't work and needs to stop being used. A song leader is NOT a worship leader. Let's look at your analogy...

Song leader -
A requirement when any two or more sing together. A person who begins the first note of a song so that others may follow. Provides the song and verse for others. A person who's role is to keep order in the praising of God - to prevent chaos. Someone who helps pace the song so that everyone knows when to sing the next word. Literally it means to be a temporary guide during a song, a helper, a servant. It is not a "leadership" roll, but is shared by any male Christian brave enough sing in front of others. A necessity.

Fact: Song leaders existed in Jesus' time. How do we know? Well, unless all the early Christian's had the ability to read each other's minds, someone had to start the song off. It was usually done by a elder or older deacon (according to 1st/2nd century writings) and done in an orderly fashion without the use of instruments. We also know that the assemblies were extremely orderly, quiet, simple, and reflective. Any dancing, high spirits, instruments, and clapping were considered satanic and paganistic. (Why doesn't that still apply today when we still have pagan religions?)

Worship Leader - (per job descriptions and the many worship leader websites)
A position of authority over the singing and entertainment portion of the services. Used when services incorporate more than mere praising through song. The worship leader's main job is to enthuse the crowd with emotion and spirit via theatrics and enterainment. To evoke passion beyond that which was originally intended by Christ. To add to the orderly and simple assembly described in the NT. To bring about "feelings" that are not normally felt with the regular psalms or songs.

Facts about the job - to attract members that are not comfortable with the type of assembly described in the NT - like the ones held by Jesus and the Apostles.
Reason - the original Word of God is not inspiring enough or entertaining enough to hold the attention of the masses. A gimick is needed to get their attention centered back on Christ.

So let's compare:

A simple job that any Christian accepts when beginning the first note of a song for others to follow.
VS
a position intended to create, design and provide entertainment and merriment by adding theatrics/instruments in order to make the basic assembly more exciting and less scriptural based.

Don't see the analogy there...
<font color=indigo size=3 face=times new roman>Great job. Thanks!</font>
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Anonymous
Anonymous

April 8th, 2006, 3:33 am #22

William,

That analogy just doesn't work and needs to stop being used. A song leader is NOT a worship leader. Let's look at your analogy...

Song leader -
A requirement when any two or more sing together. A person who begins the first note of a song so that others may follow. Provides the song and verse for others. A person who's role is to keep order in the praising of God - to prevent chaos. Someone who helps pace the song so that everyone knows when to sing the next word. Literally it means to be a temporary guide during a song, a helper, a servant. It is not a "leadership" roll, but is shared by any male Christian brave enough sing in front of others. A necessity.

Fact: Song leaders existed in Jesus' time. How do we know? Well, unless all the early Christian's had the ability to read each other's minds, someone had to start the song off. It was usually done by a elder or older deacon (according to 1st/2nd century writings) and done in an orderly fashion without the use of instruments. We also know that the assemblies were extremely orderly, quiet, simple, and reflective. Any dancing, high spirits, instruments, and clapping were considered satanic and paganistic. (Why doesn't that still apply today when we still have pagan religions?)

Worship Leader - (per job descriptions and the many worship leader websites)
A position of authority over the singing and entertainment portion of the services. Used when services incorporate more than mere praising through song. The worship leader's main job is to enthuse the crowd with emotion and spirit via theatrics and enterainment. To evoke passion beyond that which was originally intended by Christ. To add to the orderly and simple assembly described in the NT. To bring about "feelings" that are not normally felt with the regular psalms or songs.

Facts about the job - to attract members that are not comfortable with the type of assembly described in the NT - like the ones held by Jesus and the Apostles.
Reason - the original Word of God is not inspiring enough or entertaining enough to hold the attention of the masses. A gimick is needed to get their attention centered back on Christ.

So let's compare:

A simple job that any Christian accepts when beginning the first note of a song for others to follow.
VS
a position intended to create, design and provide entertainment and merriment by adding theatrics/instruments in order to make the basic assembly more exciting and less scriptural based.

Don't see the analogy there...
With all due respect to your analogy,in my 45 years of attending church I have seen a lot of "song leaders" do much more than just lead songs. I have seen them ask a congregation to stand in order to enhance the singing. I have seen them be very animated even to the point of seeming to want all of the attention to be on them (could this be entertainment-at least in their minds). I have seen them so self centered that they get upset if they are asked to give up their "stage" to a visiting song leader. Most of this, I have seen in our most conservative churches.

So I ask again, where is the Biblical authority for a man to stand in front of a congregation and call himself a "song leader." It just simply is not in the Bible. Many of the things that we consider to be acceptable would cause the first century Church to fall out of their chairs. For example singing in parts instead of chanting. The only reason we accept so many of the things we do is because they make sense or have been around so long that all of the people who complained about them when the "change agents" introduced them 50 or 100 years ago are now dead.

I predict that in 50 years (if God allows us to survive that long) most of the things that we argue about now will be generally accepted and a new set of things to fight over will be around.

Lest we forget, our very existence is because Jesus set about changing the way things were done. He took the religious status quo and stood it on its ear. And he did not care what the religious elite had to say about then and neither should we now. As long as the Word of God is our guide and is in our hearts we can not go wrong.

One final thought. Our movement came about because some "change agents" (primarily the Alexander Campbell, Thomas Campbell, and Barton W. Stone) did not like what they saw in the church of their day and set about to change the way things were done and the way things were looked at.
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PPB
PPB

April 8th, 2006, 5:20 am #23

Anonymous/William:

There is always someone out there that takes advantage of their position - that does not make a song leader the same as a worship leader. That's someone's personal issue and the congregation needs to deal with them as an individual. You still can't use it to make your analogy - they are not comparable. There has to be someone who starts off the song - unless you and your congregation are mind readers. I've been to many, many churches and all of them had several song leaders. In fact, most congregations have a large list of song leaders for that very reason. It is not a "position", it is just a guidance. Anything more turns it into a possible scriptural issue.

As for how the church operates now vs. 50 years from now. I can promise you that it will be very much the same with new break offs occurring over the same issues. Just as it did in 1810, 1850, 1900, 1950, etc. This is a pattern and the church always comes back to the basics. Always will. Will there be some congregations that fell into Satan's trap - sure. Just like the division between the C of C and the other congregations.

As for Campbell, Stone, etc...Please study that issue. You will find many manuscripts and letters discussing these same issues that go back over a thousand years in England, France and Scotland. This is NOT new, the ideas are NOT new, the splits are NOT new. In fact, if you read letters from the 2nd and 3rd centuries, you will find that the early church (pre-Catholic) were turning their backs on the new congregations for the same reasons, these churches were considered heretical.

There is plenty of historical info on this issue if you wish to research it. It will open your eyes/mind to the realization that the "change agents" are the same false teachers as they have always been, pushing the same type of issues for nearly 2000 years. They have never been overly successful for any length of time in respect to the church. It continues to survive and grow as it once was and still is. People get tired of the theatrics and entertainment and want to go back to loving God and his Word without all the hoopla needed by those that are weak and easily bored.

As for Lee Gullism -- have you contacted a counselor in your area for your obsessiveness and anger management? I mean this sincerely and with a kind spirit. Your postings worry me - they are not quite conherent at times.
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seeking the truth
seeking the truth

April 8th, 2006, 10:38 pm #24

PPB wrote:

It was usually done by a elder or older deacon (according to 1st/2nd century writings)

Can you please give us exact references? I find this to be laughable. However, if you could supply exact references, i would be very much appreciative.
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PPB
PPB

April 10th, 2006, 1:17 am #25

Laughable? Really? And why would that be? Do you come from a church where the elders/deacons are put on pedestals and do not particpate in the service?

Early church writings and writings from Roman citizens clearly state that the early church members did NOTHING without the okay of their elders/presbyters. Deacons could not baptize or accept tithing without the authorization of the elders. The size of the congregations were not extremely large at first and met in homes. There is much dispute that they ever met in the catacombs except when they were celebrating the dead. As the church grew, they began meeting in several homes - having to meet monthly as a larger group when possible. As the church grew in the first several centuries, they began to add more Elders and Deacons beyond the initial chosen ones. Because of their relatively small size, they did not have hundreds to chose from that were well versed in the scriptures. In the early church, the Elders determined who was to lead the teachings/readings/songs/etc. Most of which was given to the Deacons to do as the church groups expanded.
**************************************
For further information on the history of the early church, please feel free to read any of the early writings which you can find on-line and at large local libraries. There are also plenty of books available for purchase. D. Bercot has a great dictionary of early writings.

You might want to check out the term "anitphonal", "liturgy" and "responsorial". Of course, the early Christian changed the process up a little but it was still closely related. Though there were some changes as the gentiles were added.

***************************************

Part of me doesn't really think I should provide you with the references, as it is important that you discover the TRUTH on your own. What's that old saying..."Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime"

So, I decided to give you just a small taste of the tons of info out there on early christian music. Also, remember that hymns/songs/praises were considered "teaching tools" and not for entertainment. This is a long and complicated subject that can't really be addressed in this one posting. Suffice it to say, that it did change once the Gentiles were added and the Apostles continued to oversee the church.

Just a few references on music in the early church:

"Chanting and Music":
"We have said that the chanting of 'songs and hymns and spiritual songs' was an essential part of Christian worship and was inherited from the Hebrew tradition. In spite of this demonstrated inheritance by the Church of Hebrew chant forms and traditions, however, there can be no doubt that here again after the fourth century a profound change gradually occurred. This was not a change or development in musical theory or technique, but a change in the function of the Church's chanting, its new place in the general structure or worship, its acquisition of new liturgical significance.

"This change is best demonstrated by the peculiar duality in the place and function of chanting in our modern worship. On the one hand, a 'singing quality' has been assigned to almost every word pronounced in Church; Western rubrics still speak of the 'chanting' of the Gospel by the DEACON, and the manner of reading the psalms or parimia is close to being a form of chant. In using the term 'chant' ancient Ordos had reference to the entire service, which was thought of in all its parts as a singing of praise to God.

"We find the same definition of worship as chanting in the New Testament. In Revelation the ELDERS sing a new song before the Lamb, and the Apostle Paul summons the faithful to 'teach and admonish one another ... by grace singing in your hearts to the Lord' (Rev. 4:9; 14:3, 15:3 and Col. 3:16). While not dealing here with the heart of the question, whether there was here a 'Semitic' concept of liturgical chanting, we may note simply that the first meaning of chanting in our Ordo and worship correspond precisely to this Semitic concept. This does not mean that early Christian worship recognized no difference between the various types of chanting and made no special provision for 'hymns' — i.e. for material written expressly to be sung (for example, the biblical 'song'). But their function was the same as that of prayers and psalms and litanies — all were to the same degree the prayer of the Church, all were subordinated equally to the general scheme of worship."


"Music has evolved into an indispensable element of worship. It underscores the fundamental concept of community which was so vital and so real in the early Church, for it was the task of all present to sing, to participate in song, and to respond with one heart and one voice to the celebrant. It must be noted here however, that music was never understood as a private, or personal devotional service, rather its function was communal; it identified the popular element of liturgical celebration. It is for this reason that any music sung in the church which "focuses attention onto a particular person or group, which forces another group into becoming passive listeners and observers, is alien to the age-old tradition of the Church and to the literal meaning of liturgy: an act of the people." This is not to say that there were no soloists in the Church, because there were, however, their primary task was to lead and cue the responses from the assembled body of the faithful, and not to alienate them from the communal aspect of worship. Musical tradition suggests that simple melodies, ideal for congregations with little or no formal musical knowledge were used and many of the early written melodies that still exist today support this fact."
Rev. Father Peter J. Orfanakos

Drillock: The most widespread method for the chanting of psalms, however, is the second example noted by St. Basil, commonly called responsorial psalmody. One person (a leading chanter) begins the chanting of the psalm verse, while all the others respond, either with a verse selected from the psalm itself, or with "Alleluia." Such a practice was not only common at the time of St. Basil, but was a well-established traditional way of psalm singing, having its roots in the original poetic form and structure of many of the psalms themselves. An example of such a form is found in Psalm 135, where the second half of each verse of the psalm is exactly the same: "for his mercy endures forever."

ERASMUS "We have brought into our churches certain operatic and theatrical music; such a confused, disorderly chattering of some words as I hardly think was ever in any of the Grecian or Roman theatres. The church rings with the noise of trumpets, pipes, and dulcimers; and human voices strive to bear their part with them. Men run to church as to a theatre, to have their ears tickled. And for this end organ makers are hired with great salaries, and a company of boys, who waste all their time learning these whining tones." (Erasmus, Commentary on I Cor. 14:19)

EUSEBIUS "Of old at the time those of the circumcision were worshipping with symbols and types it was not inappropriate to send up hymns to God with the psalterion and cithara and to do this on Sabbath days... We render our hymn with a living psalterion and a living cithara with spiritual songs. The unison voices of Christians would be more acceptable to God than any musical instrument. Accordingly in all the churches of God, united in soul and attitude, with one mind and in agreement of faith and piety we send up a unison melody in the words of the Psalms."

Christianity Today: "Much of the music of today’s church would have little meaning to those hardy saints of the early church. For them, music was the means for Spirit-led prayer and praise - NOT a pathway to an emotional experience.

St. Ignatius, writing about 110 AD, said: "You must, every man of you, join in a choir, that being harmonious and in concord and taking the keynote of God in unison…sing with one voice through Jesus Christ to the Father…"

Singing was central in the early church because the powerful pattern for the worship of the church was the heavenly worship found in Revelation 4 and 5. (See Isaiah 6:1-4 and Ezekiel 3:12). Many early church fathers (leaders) speak of this connection in relation to worship. Because of this, the early church took a very consistent and conservative approach to music. For if a chant took them to "heaven", the treatment of the music of worship needed to be as "otherworldly" as possible."

Leonard: "The New Testament does not specify who is to officiate in worship, or to administer the Lord's Supper, although prophets (deacons/elders)clearly had a role in corporate worship (1 Cor. 14:23-33)."
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B
B

April 10th, 2006, 3:29 pm #26

1. Somebody write down the date. Donnie quoted the NIV in SUPPORT of his argument. I had to pick myself up off the floor. By the way, I looked at the Greek, and it seems like 4 groups to me as well. The conjunction also changes from "de" to "kai" between the last 2 words in Greek. That being said, I don't think that's any kind of proof against worship leaders or preachers.

2. Worship leader is a title. It is no more or less scriptural than "songleader". What Madison's worship leader does can be entirely different than what a worship leader in a church in Ohio or Oklahoma or even across town does. Assuming Keith is still the worship leader there, I can guarantee you that he is vastly different from other worship leaders I know.

3. These knee-jerk generalizations weaken your scriptural arguments. It seems to me that the root problem here is not whether the title "worship leader" is O.K. The concern is more about what that "worship leader" or "songleader" actually does during the service.

4. If the worship leader sang from a list of songs you chose and didn't strike you as performing, would it be as much of a problem?
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Dave
Dave

April 11th, 2006, 2:05 am #27

Laughable? Really? And why would that be? Do you come from a church where the elders/deacons are put on pedestals and do not particpate in the service?

Early church writings and writings from Roman citizens clearly state that the early church members did NOTHING without the okay of their elders/presbyters. Deacons could not baptize or accept tithing without the authorization of the elders. The size of the congregations were not extremely large at first and met in homes. There is much dispute that they ever met in the catacombs except when they were celebrating the dead. As the church grew, they began meeting in several homes - having to meet monthly as a larger group when possible. As the church grew in the first several centuries, they began to add more Elders and Deacons beyond the initial chosen ones. Because of their relatively small size, they did not have hundreds to chose from that were well versed in the scriptures. In the early church, the Elders determined who was to lead the teachings/readings/songs/etc. Most of which was given to the Deacons to do as the church groups expanded.
**************************************
For further information on the history of the early church, please feel free to read any of the early writings which you can find on-line and at large local libraries. There are also plenty of books available for purchase. D. Bercot has a great dictionary of early writings.

You might want to check out the term "anitphonal", "liturgy" and "responsorial". Of course, the early Christian changed the process up a little but it was still closely related. Though there were some changes as the gentiles were added.

***************************************

Part of me doesn't really think I should provide you with the references, as it is important that you discover the TRUTH on your own. What's that old saying..."Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime"

So, I decided to give you just a small taste of the tons of info out there on early christian music. Also, remember that hymns/songs/praises were considered "teaching tools" and not for entertainment. This is a long and complicated subject that can't really be addressed in this one posting. Suffice it to say, that it did change once the Gentiles were added and the Apostles continued to oversee the church.

Just a few references on music in the early church:

"Chanting and Music":
"We have said that the chanting of 'songs and hymns and spiritual songs' was an essential part of Christian worship and was inherited from the Hebrew tradition. In spite of this demonstrated inheritance by the Church of Hebrew chant forms and traditions, however, there can be no doubt that here again after the fourth century a profound change gradually occurred. This was not a change or development in musical theory or technique, but a change in the function of the Church's chanting, its new place in the general structure or worship, its acquisition of new liturgical significance.

"This change is best demonstrated by the peculiar duality in the place and function of chanting in our modern worship. On the one hand, a 'singing quality' has been assigned to almost every word pronounced in Church; Western rubrics still speak of the 'chanting' of the Gospel by the DEACON, and the manner of reading the psalms or parimia is close to being a form of chant. In using the term 'chant' ancient Ordos had reference to the entire service, which was thought of in all its parts as a singing of praise to God.

"We find the same definition of worship as chanting in the New Testament. In Revelation the ELDERS sing a new song before the Lamb, and the Apostle Paul summons the faithful to 'teach and admonish one another ... by grace singing in your hearts to the Lord' (Rev. 4:9; 14:3, 15:3 and Col. 3:16). While not dealing here with the heart of the question, whether there was here a 'Semitic' concept of liturgical chanting, we may note simply that the first meaning of chanting in our Ordo and worship correspond precisely to this Semitic concept. This does not mean that early Christian worship recognized no difference between the various types of chanting and made no special provision for 'hymns' — i.e. for material written expressly to be sung (for example, the biblical 'song'). But their function was the same as that of prayers and psalms and litanies — all were to the same degree the prayer of the Church, all were subordinated equally to the general scheme of worship."


"Music has evolved into an indispensable element of worship. It underscores the fundamental concept of community which was so vital and so real in the early Church, for it was the task of all present to sing, to participate in song, and to respond with one heart and one voice to the celebrant. It must be noted here however, that music was never understood as a private, or personal devotional service, rather its function was communal; it identified the popular element of liturgical celebration. It is for this reason that any music sung in the church which "focuses attention onto a particular person or group, which forces another group into becoming passive listeners and observers, is alien to the age-old tradition of the Church and to the literal meaning of liturgy: an act of the people." This is not to say that there were no soloists in the Church, because there were, however, their primary task was to lead and cue the responses from the assembled body of the faithful, and not to alienate them from the communal aspect of worship. Musical tradition suggests that simple melodies, ideal for congregations with little or no formal musical knowledge were used and many of the early written melodies that still exist today support this fact."
Rev. Father Peter J. Orfanakos

Drillock: The most widespread method for the chanting of psalms, however, is the second example noted by St. Basil, commonly called responsorial psalmody. One person (a leading chanter) begins the chanting of the psalm verse, while all the others respond, either with a verse selected from the psalm itself, or with "Alleluia." Such a practice was not only common at the time of St. Basil, but was a well-established traditional way of psalm singing, having its roots in the original poetic form and structure of many of the psalms themselves. An example of such a form is found in Psalm 135, where the second half of each verse of the psalm is exactly the same: "for his mercy endures forever."

ERASMUS "We have brought into our churches certain operatic and theatrical music; such a confused, disorderly chattering of some words as I hardly think was ever in any of the Grecian or Roman theatres. The church rings with the noise of trumpets, pipes, and dulcimers; and human voices strive to bear their part with them. Men run to church as to a theatre, to have their ears tickled. And for this end organ makers are hired with great salaries, and a company of boys, who waste all their time learning these whining tones." (Erasmus, Commentary on I Cor. 14:19)

EUSEBIUS "Of old at the time those of the circumcision were worshipping with symbols and types it was not inappropriate to send up hymns to God with the psalterion and cithara and to do this on Sabbath days... We render our hymn with a living psalterion and a living cithara with spiritual songs. The unison voices of Christians would be more acceptable to God than any musical instrument. Accordingly in all the churches of God, united in soul and attitude, with one mind and in agreement of faith and piety we send up a unison melody in the words of the Psalms."

Christianity Today: "Much of the music of today’s church would have little meaning to those hardy saints of the early church. For them, music was the means for Spirit-led prayer and praise - NOT a pathway to an emotional experience.

St. Ignatius, writing about 110 AD, said: "You must, every man of you, join in a choir, that being harmonious and in concord and taking the keynote of God in unison…sing with one voice through Jesus Christ to the Father…"

Singing was central in the early church because the powerful pattern for the worship of the church was the heavenly worship found in Revelation 4 and 5. (See Isaiah 6:1-4 and Ezekiel 3:12). Many early church fathers (leaders) speak of this connection in relation to worship. Because of this, the early church took a very consistent and conservative approach to music. For if a chant took them to "heaven", the treatment of the music of worship needed to be as "otherworldly" as possible."

Leonard: "The New Testament does not specify who is to officiate in worship, or to administer the Lord's Supper, although prophets (deacons/elders)clearly had a role in corporate worship (1 Cor. 14:23-33)."
You are right William, the "song director" is not mentioned in the NT. This is one of those areas where the WORD of God is silent. However we know that the example of singing is found in the NT. In this instance we must reason and come to the conclusion that a song director is needed. We must be careful as this pertains to the "worship in song" part of the service. We feel that his only duty is to lead the song. He must not draw attention to himself. Again this is a touchy subject and opinions vary.
We look to the Bible for guidance but sometimes must make decisions based on opinion. We must be careful and always look for guidance in the WORD of God first. Church history (secular) is another reference but only the work of man. GOD is perfect, however church members and church leaders are only human and cannot be relied upon as an example in ever situation. Remember the very early Church and how quickly some became corrupt.
I doubt if we have it all right, but consult the Bible first and pray for guidance. God Bless!
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seeking the truth
seeking the truth

April 12th, 2006, 2:19 am #28

PPB,
You seem a bit hateful
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Anonymous
Anonymous

April 12th, 2006, 5:37 am #29

Seeking the Truth/Matt

Actually, if you go back and read YOUR comment, it was rude and condescending. I chose to ignore your tone and provide facts. However, I do not believe that my job is to spoon feed fellow christians with basic church history to refute the trash the change agents are teaching. Why have they been allowed to get by with such obvious lies? Why do Lee Gullism and others not see the HUGE holes in their thinking and theories? Its so obvious if you look - really look. It saddens me.

If I provide ALL the research, then I am doing YOUR job as a Christian, am I not? Why would I provide you all the info instead of asking you look it up and finally realize how much the change agents have lied to people? That way, you can't point a finger at me and say "You are trying to manipulate me". You see, that's what the change agents do. They take away your power to learn and study on your own. I just give you the power back so that YOU can find the TRUE facts. Its my gift to you. I'm hoping one day you will realize that.

And believe me, I'm used to the "new" christians getting angry when a response clearly disputes their derogatory comment. I've learned that giving the info doesn't help - they just ignore it.

By the way, please don't transfer your feelings/emotions onto me. I'm NOT angry with you, just sad. Very, very sad.

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Seeking the truth
Seeking the truth

April 12th, 2006, 11:07 am #30

I think you missed my point. Besides, i said nothing hateful, you seem a bit sensitive. Please grow a tougher skin.

We can not use ANY early writings to guide our worship. The 27 books of the new testament are all we need, and nay, authorized. We can't look to these "early writings" for guidence. The ONLY pattern we have is the NT. I wpould go as far as to say the corporate woship we have today is not authorized and we are all in error. Ken Sublett is correct, most if not all of the Churches practices can be traced to pagenism.

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