The Trinity

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Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 12:48 AM | Locked

PetahChristian:

Puddin’:
Tertullian (whom, BTW, was an ontological subordinationist—and, comically, would be labeled a “heretic” by contemporary Trinitarians๐Ÿคซ)

I don't believe all Trinitarians would think that.

Regardless of what group we're talking about, it seems to me that there exists a diversity, a range of beliefs. Members of a group don't think exactly the same, or believe exactly the same, or come to the same conclusions.

Puddin’:
Might want to allow others to actually speak for themselves prior to attempting to define what we believe—on both sides of the debate.

Church, for me, was the inexpressible joy in the worship of God. I was happy when God was my focus.

The downside was the expectation that I should believe what the denomination believed. It made me wonder, has God's house become man's house?

Perhaps I am overly simplistic or overly idealistic, but it seems that there was a contentment in simply worshipping God, rather than disagreeing over what we should believe about God. Conflicts like that just took the focus off God, and made man more important than God.

We can be vain, or arrogant, or stubborn, or boastful, or proud, or selfish, etc., but God is not like us. He's perfect; upright. God's judgements are not wrong.

I think we all can get caught up with thinking and saying what seems right to us, but isn't necessarily good or acceptable or pleasing in God's sight. If there are two sides of the debate, perhaps they're not Trinitarian vs. Oneness. Perhaps they're God's ways vs. man's ways?

A lot to ponder here and I do completely understand what you’re saying about the simplicity of worshiping God.  

I think both sides of the debate would appeal to Scripture in declaring that our worship is only as good as the extent that we embrace the biblical presentation of the object of said worship.

But, I’ve probably already said too much on this thread.  BTW, I personally know of several Oneness Pentecostals on this forum—all of whom have written extensive, academic works on Trinitarianism in the public arena (one is currently studying for his PhD.).  My point is that there are far more Oneness believers on here than many seem to believe—I’m just to most vocal๐Ÿ˜œ.

I appreciate the tone and thoughts in your post.  Ultimately, God will be the Eternal Judge.

Posts 344
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 1:04 AM | Locked

MJ. Smith:

Puddin’:

and then disregard or explain away the fact that they constituted the majority of believers (I have an entire word document rife w. direct quotes from early writers that speak to this end).

Just pointing out the inconsistent approach—

Ah ... I see we put things in a very different frame of reference - because I define "church" primarily as "those who worship together" (a gross over-simplification), I see Tertullian as saying that the majority of the assembly stumble over the concept of the Trinity despite proclaiming it in the creed (rule of faith). Whereas you appear to be more concerned with the beliefs themselves even though they are contrary to what the church members profess. If that is a reasonably fair description of your perspective, it is easy to guess how far back in our presuppositions we would have to go to correctly understand each other's position. A useful tidbit to stick in memory as you represent a tradition I know little about.

Gotcha’—yeah, we probably would view Tertullian’s quite a bit different from one another.  I’m not so sure that there was any codified creeds at the time of Tertullian’s quote—but, then again, I don’t think that’s what you were saying now that I think about it ๐Ÿ˜Š.  The codification of Trinitarianism seems to have come ca. AD 325 (Nicea), 381 (Constantinople) & 415/425 (Chalcedon).  The vast majority of scholarship I have reviewed asserts that the Trinity doctrine was flowering or being codified in this rough time era (cf. Daniel Wallace, J.N.D. Kelly, etc.).

I see Tertullian as describing the same group he is writing against as constituting the majority of believers during his day, but I will certainly take a look at your viewpoint.  

Ok—it’s sooo difficult to post anything substantial on here from my iPad.  I have to virtually correct every word from autocorrect ๐Ÿ˜ก.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 2:22 AM | Locked

Puddin’:
 I’m not so sure that there was any codified creeds at the time of Tertullian’s quote

While I would say

  • There are creeds in the New Testament most notably 1 Cor 15:3-7 ... but I would not push this point
  • The Rule of Faith to which Tertullian refers is a creed (early 2nd century)
  • Old Roman Creed is referred to by Tertullian and Irenaeus - based on the Rule of Faith and the baptismal interrogatory declaration of faith [see J.N.D. Kelly pp. 100-130]
  • There is a creed in the Apology of Aristes (fl. 2nd century) referenced by Eusebius and Jerome
  • There is an Ethiopian manuscript of the Letter of the Apostles on a creed dated 160-170
  • There are a number of creeds that are likely of similar age but they are difficult to date based upon the manuscript evidence we have.

May I suggest you search your library to find references to these titles? My library has many that (to my surprise) appear in Bible commentaries. Less surprisingly they appear in Church History and Confessional Documents.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 344
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 2:42 AM | Locked

MJ. Smith:

Puddin’:
 I’m not so sure that there was any codified creeds at the time of Tertullian’s quote

While I would say

  • There are creeds in the New Testament most notably 1 Cor 15:3-7 ... but I would not push this point
  • The Rule of Faith to which Tertullian refers is a creed (early 2nd century)
  • Old Roman Creed is referred to by Tertullian and Irenaeus - based on the Rule of Faith and the baptismal interrogatory declaration of faith [see J.N.D. Kelly pp. 100-130]
  • There is a creed in the Apology of Aristes (fl. 2nd century) referenced by Eusebius and Jerome
  • There is an Ethiopian manuscript of the Letter of the Apostles on a creed dated 160-170
  • There are a number of creeds that are likely of similar age but they are difficult to date based upon the manuscript evidence we have.

May I suggest you search your library to find references to these titles? My library has many that (to my surprise) appear in Bible commentaries. Less surprisingly they appear in Church History and Confessional Documents.

Thanks for these.  Will take a look into these๐Ÿ‘.

Since you mentioned that you’re not very versed in our beliefs—I attempted to include a couple of documents below from my iPad, but it looks like only one attached. I am NOT attempting to “convert” you ๐Ÿ˜Š...just providing what we believe from us contra from our antagonists.

0675.Bernard, Oneness View of Jesus.pdf

Posts 1144
Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 6:37 AM | Locked

Really useful reading on the subject:

https://community.logos.com/forums/t/10072.aspx 

Posts 10625
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 6:58 AM | Locked

Puddin’:
I see Tertullian as describing the same group he is writing against as constituting the majority of believers during his day, but I will certainly take a look at your viewpoint.  

I'm not uncomfortable with the forum guidelines, since Mother Logos threw the juicy bone out, and coated it with yummy sectarian language guaranteed to 'draw fire' (and sell books). And, being a literalist, binity, yes, trinity, meh. Actually, if you tag theological terms in the NT, and approximately date them by source, you'll note a layering of dieties in the discussion.

But just chatting, why would you think a leftover Montanist bishop who largely wrote in the vulgar  from western Africa would represent a norm (when the church was largely Alexandria and western Asia)? I'm not arguing the latter, only suggesting the LATER church might have valued him (ergo retaining his thoughts)?

And secondly, exactly what is a 'creed'. Most would likely say 'what we believe', and that would put creeds in Jesus' (and the DSS Righteous Teacher's) time. Well before the writings. Or are creeds, how churchmen manage their respective flocks? Us vs you? That would move them later.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 7:00 AM | Locked

Puddin’:
our worship is only as good as the extent that we embrace the biblical presentation of the object of said worship

Does that exclude anyone who is unable to "embrace the biblical presentation of the object of said worship" from pleasing God? Does a person with no education not worship as well as an educated person? What about a person with a disability?

Does it add a condition of what a person needs to do (to worship well)? For whose sake? Does it become God + man's work, not God's alone?

Thank you for helping me to reflect on this topic.

My top three Logos 9 Wishlist items: Carta, Dark mode, and Hebrew audio bible, please.

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Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 9:23 AM | Locked

Hi JohnB:

My best advice to you, is to investigate details yourself, and then come to the best theological construct given the evidence available to you.

I will refer to some important points so you can research:

1 keep in mind the standards:

a. God cannot die (argument by atheists). I do agree with this, so how do we explain Jesus died?

John 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

So the above verse seems to indicate that God made His image have life in Himself so that that image could die for us.

b. Modes of existence not experienced by us as we are not like God:

John 10:30 I and the Father are one. 

Early Greek theologians realized that it was wrong to refer to God from an anthropocentric view. God is so different to us (Creator), that we really have no idea of what His Existence entails.

The word Hypostasis came to be used to acknowledge the fact that we are too far removed from God's existence. So what we may perceive as a divine Entity (Angel of Yahweh, commander of the Army of the Lord, Angel of the Pact, great Light from Heaven shining around Paul, etc.) we understand is directly related to Yahweh the Father, but even though seems to be a different person, we cannot be 100% sure because of John 10:30.

c. Jesus perfected by death, glorified to be the New Temple of God (seems like God veiled in human flesh to prevent killing us with His presence as Spirit).

Colossians 2:9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

Jesus Christ the New Temple of God where the fullness of Deity dwells bodily.

d. A oneness thrust runs through the Bible that cannot be denied.

Deut 6:4 Basic for Jews, they even declared heretical movements that wanted to suggest there were two powers in Heaven due to the narration of the  Ancient of Days and the Son of Man. Since the Son of Man was traveling in the clouds they understood He was divine. Some thought it was personification of Israel, but heavy duty leaders said that God is one, no two powers.

From our more progressively revealed point of view:

Isaiah seemed to have understood the unity:

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born,to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

While the above is controversial to many Jews and Christians, we have other prophets seeing and understanding the unity:

Zec 14:9 And Yahweh will be king over all the earth; on that day Yahweh will be one and his name one.

 Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Bible (Zec 14:9). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

The above verse is problematic because we know Yahweh is not a name. and the only name give above every other name is "Jesus Christ".

Now showing coherence, consistency, and coherence, John sees in Patmos a vision of One Being, and is similar to the Son of Man (Jesus Christ), but not equal Rev 1: 12 - 18.

Jesus died young, the Man John saw in Patmos had White hair (just like the Ancient of Days), also some other of the attributes seem to be the ones unique of Yahweh.

So yes, the Being John saw seems to be a mix of the Ancient of Days, and the Son of Man that Daniel saw.

It all makes it very strange, an to complicate matters more we read:

Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water,and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. 

Does the above verse mean that the Father the Creator is a little bit to the left of the Lamb who is said to be in the midst, so that the Son can be to the right? very unlikely.

So yes, the New Temple of God (Jesus Christ), where the fullness of Deity dwells bodily (God shrouded in human flesh (before the fall type), to be able to be with us without killing us.

The above seems like a plausible theological construct given the evidence.

2. So what is my problem with the modern definition of the trinity: the use of the modern term person in it.

Some knowledgeable people that study this, have come to the conclusion that to use the term person when referring to God is wrong, because God is above the person concept.

So my take? I stick to the old definition: "Love relation between Divine substantive realities (Hypostasis)". [rough paraphrase] Because we do not have a clue what actual existence of God mode is like.

Ireneaus said it succinctly: "Jesus and the Holy Spirit are like the arms of God that He uses to bring believers close to His heart". [rough paraphrase] Note that arms are not different persons, but inherent members of One Divine Being.

So how the whole problem got to be? talking to a reformed friend, it seems that  Athanasious was the first to use the term Person (which is incorrect, because someone suggested Latin: Personae which means the mask worn by an actor in a play, and Tertullian reluctantly accepted due to the fact that Jesus is the image of the invisible God), when referring to the trinity.

My friend mentioned that even Calvin was not happy of the term person.

So like a poster implicitly suggested: we are not to accept the input of an uninspired person if what they suggest does not jibe with the Bible.

3. The long post is to encourage further research, reflection and constructive comment, not to start polemics nor to violate guidelines.

From the post many concepts can be searched using L8, and check to see if there are resources available about the specific items. 

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PetahChristian | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 9:51 AM | Locked

Hamilton Ramos:

Zec 14:9 And Yahweh will be king over all the earth; on that day Yahweh will be one and his name one.

 Harris, W. H., III, Ritzema, E., Brannan, R., Mangum, D., Dunham, J., Reimer, J. A., & Wierenga, M. (Eds.). (2012). The Lexham English Bible (Zec 14:9). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

The above verse is problematic because we know Yahweh is not a name.

Did you mean that you don't believe that yud-hey-vav-hey is a name? There are people on the forums who believe it is the name for God.

Let's strive to be respectful of different beliefs that exist among Logos customers.

Hamilton Ramos:
The long post is to encourage further research, reflection and constructive comment, not to start polemics nor to violate guidelines.
 

Saying our posts aren't meant to violate guidelines, doesn't mean they don't violate guidelines. I think we've all been guilty of posting controversial things we shouldn't be posting, or replying to posts we shouldn't reply to. Sad

My top three Logos 9 Wishlist items: Carta, Dark mode, and Hebrew audio bible, please.

Posts 649
Into Grace | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 11:30 AM | Locked

I'm amazed by how some people take a different view as a violation of guidelines. Tolerance should go both ways. It's okay to respectfully disagree with someone's views.


The doctrine of the Trinity is a controversial subject. People have disagreed and even been put to death over this topic. The Orthodox definition of the Trinity is not in the Bible. This doctrine evolved over time.

Posts 729
Hamilton Ramos | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 2:06 PM | Locked

Hi PetahChristian:

Just remember that unlike most in the Forums I am not an expert.

To my little knowledge Yahweh translates something in the way of: I Am that I Am, I will be what I will be, or I manifest the way I want, etc. Some think is more of a descriptor, not a name. I just read about it, not invented such, but to me does make sense, because there is going to be only one Name above all others:

Yahshua HaMashiach for some, Jesus Christ for others. I used to worry about the right pick from the two, then I noticed that Jesus Christ was good for the Apostles, so it became good to me also.

With the little I have checked the above is what seems to be, but if you care to share with us more (links, resources, etc) where we can check why some think Yahweh is a name you could help us learn more.

On the other quote:

The post originator seems to be sincerely concerned with finding out the arguments counter to the "conventional view" of the trinity. I have posted (for that poster) some things that I think may help the person check to find important information. It was specifically writen for that post originator, and with the intention of facilitating finding resources that deal about some of the issues mentioned so that can have a better conceptual framework for evaluating arguments pro and con.

If I was looking for resources, about a topic, if someone suggested what the key variables seem to be in the against, that would facilitate the studying of the validity of such, and would make easy find the cons of such.

I have learned a great deal from posters writing such conceptual framework enlarging pieces, and I am grateful for that. That sometimes are in the border of the envelope of violating guidelines, maybe so, but allowing others to speak their mind many times bring into keen focus what is really the underlying issues.

I believe strong dialogue helps find truth when done with noble intentions and in a check and understand where coming from to elucidate core concepts.

I am respectful of others beliefs, convictions etc. I have never attacked anyone for them, I have also been thankful for the candid sharing of such beliefs, etc. as that allows me to explore different angles and points of view, to then compare with the Scriptures and see if things are so.

As I have mentioned before, I firmly believe in the "check all, retain what is good" advice from the Bible.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 2:22 PM | Locked

Into Grace:
I'm amazed by how some people take a different view as a violation of guidelines. Tolerance should go both ways. It's okay to respectfully disagree with someone's views.

I'm not as there are always a very small number of people who have the hubris to believe the guidelines do not apply to them because they (and often only they) have the TRUTH and the other 4,199 religions and 51,313** denominations are going to hell because they are WRONG. Fortunately, it has been a few years since we have had anyone that extreme.

But I do believe there is an obvious distinction between someone saying "hey, would you like to learn more about my position - here's a source" and someone spewing a list of Scripture and telling me what the correct interpretation is. I think it is the latter is where we get different views as to what constitutes a violation - human nature is biased so that we tend not to see the violation if the "correct interpretation" confirms our beliefs and see a violation when it does not. It takes work to keep one's judgments as neutral as possible.

It also takes work when passing on tips to someone to do so with respect and neutrality. For example, when I suggested there was evidence of creeds in Tertullian's time, I would have violated the guidelines if I had introduced it with "Of course, there were creeds in Tertullian's time; there have always been Christian creeds as Christian worship came out of Jewish worship. Jewish worship included a creed (The Shema) so the Christians had to have something that filled its role." That would have been pushing my view, my interpretation of the data, through liturgical theology, not a sharing of resources that he might have missed as two of them are rather obscure. Simply providing the information on possible creeds that he may have missed may skirt the line - whether or not I would do so depends upon my judgment of how the person receiving the information will respond. Those who will respond to it as a simple sharing of information will receive it ... and follow up based on their personal interest. Those who will be forming a rebuttal before they've checked the information will not.

** a number certain to be both incorrect and obsolete but drawn from http://www.ncregister.com/blog/scottericalt/we-need-to-stop-saying-that-there-are-33000-protestant-denominations as good a source for an obsolete estimate as any.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 3:10 PM | Locked

Into Grace:

I'm amazed by how some people take a different view as a violation of guidelines. Tolerance should go both ways. It's okay to respectfully disagree with someone's views.


The doctrine of the Trinity is a controversial subject. People have disagreed and even been put to death over this topic. The Orthodox definition of the Trinity is not in the Bible. This doctrine evolved over time.

All doctrines evolved over time. Some less time than others and some with less controversy than others. Some use terms not found in the bible to explain and categorise them, others terms found only a few times in the scriptures. For the scriptures are not a systematic theology, but rather the Word of God, first to the original audience in their time, place and understanding & understanding of the world, and then preserved for all throughout history. Doctrine is our understanding of scripture shaped by our time, place and understanding & experience of the world; these things season our reason and tradition.

Trinty has been one of the more controversial do as it is so fundamental to our understanding of God.

Posts 29
LW | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 7:33 PM | Locked

Thanks for the links, SineNomine. I would add that St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa, which Logos sells, would well be consulted directly also, as part of any study of the Trinity.

Best wishes, everyone.

Posts 344
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Dec 5 2019 11:54 PM | Locked

Denise:

Puddin’:
I see Tertullian as describing the same group he is writing against as constituting the majority of believers during his day, but I will certainly take a look at your viewpoint.  

I'm not uncomfortable with the forum guidelines, since Mother Logos threw the juicy bone out, and coated it with yummy sectarian language guaranteed to 'draw fire' (and sell books). And, being a literalist, binity, yes, trinity, meh. Actually, if you tag theological terms in the NT, and approximately date them by source, you'll note a layering of dieties in the discussion.

But just chatting, why would you think a leftover Montanist bishop who largely wrote in the vulgar  from western Africa would represent a norm (when the church was largely Alexandria and western Asia)? I'm not arguing the latter, only suggesting the LATER church might have valued him (ergo retaining his thoughts)?

And secondly, exactly what is a 'creed'. Most would likely say 'what we believe', and that would put creeds in Jesus' (and the DSS Righteous Teacher's) time. Well before the writings. Or are creeds, how churchmen manage their respective flocks? Us vs you? That would move them later.

Tertullian was describing the beliefs of Praxeas and his disciples—whom, in passing, identified them as “the majority of believers.”  Also, as already mentioned, I do have a PDF rife w. numerous quotes from ECF affirming the same thing,  Simply, the further back we go in Ecclesiology the more prominent were ancient Oneness believers (although, again, there are definitive doctrinal distinctions...but the same can be said about “early” Trinitarians).

Personally, I could care less about extra-biblical “creeds” & “councils”...or so-called “orthodoxy” ๐Ÿ™„.  But, I am a sola scriptura kinda’ feller’ (not merely in lip service)๐Ÿค“.

Posts 344
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 6 2019 12:05 AM | Locked

PetahChristian:

Puddin’:
our worship is only as good as the extent that we embrace the biblical presentation of the object of said worship

Does that exclude anyone who is unable to "embrace the biblical presentation of the object of said worship" from pleasing God? Does a person with no education not worship as well as an educated person? What about a person with a disability?

Does it add a condition of what a person needs to do (to worship well)? For whose sake? Does it become God + man's work, not God's alone?

Thank you for helping me to reflect on this topic.

Again, I understand what you’re saying and agree w. the premise of the simplicity of worship—and I encourage the same to ANY guests we have at our church.  No, I absolutely do NOT think that a strict-systematic-codified belief is necessary to worship God...or, if so, who can break down the finer minutia of the Incarnation?  How did infinite become finite?  What was the actual mechanics of ontological, eternal divinity (i.e., the sole YHWH of the OT) becoming frail humanity in the historical Messiah?  I could on & on, but the point is, if perfect knowledge is demanded...then we’re allll in trouble.

However, to turn the coin over, how far do we take this premise?  Without being too specific, are those who reject the divinity of Christ also saved?  Or, what about those who don’t even believe He was the Messiah?  Saved?  I could go on & on, but I think you see the point.

Again, God will be the Eternal Judge, but my job is to study the scriptures, sincerely pray for understanding & application...while ignoring the charges of “heresy,” “legalist,” “Pharisee,” etc.  Ultimately, as I preach all of the time at the church here, either God is merciful to me in eternity or I go to Hell...period.

Posts 344
Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 6 2019 12:11 AM | Locked

Into Grace:

I'm amazed by how some people take a different view as a violation of guidelines. Tolerance should go both ways. It's okay to respectfully disagree with someone's views.


The doctrine of the Trinity is a controversial subject. People have disagreed and even been put to death over this topic. The Orthodox definition of the Trinity is not in the Bible. This doctrine evolved over time.

Very good post๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผโ˜๏ธ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿฝ.

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DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 6 2019 3:16 AM | Locked

Wow theology being discussed in the forums ๐Ÿคญ I cannot believe this ๐Ÿ˜‚

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Sean | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 6 2019 3:47 AM | Locked

DAL:

Wow theology being discussed in the forums ๐Ÿคญ I cannot believe this ๐Ÿ˜‚

Yeah apparently the forum rules apply only some of the time.

Posts 6859
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Dec 6 2019 4:24 AM | Locked

Sean:

DAL:

Wow theology being discussed in the forums ๐Ÿคญ I cannot believe this ๐Ÿ˜‚

Yeah apparently the forum rules apply only some of the time.

Or only to certain individuals ๐Ÿ˜‚

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