Brotherly love and Calvin



Calvin, as if standing on the precipice of our good opinion

Some Christians who reject the doctrine of election are loving toward and tolerant of those who believe in it. Others not only reject the doctrine itself but in their genuine zeal for God’s glory hate Calvin, thinking that he not only invented the doctrine but was a murderer, because in Geneva, where he pastored, heretics were executed. (He was an expert witness – or prosecutor – in the case against Michael Servetus, who denied the Deity of Jesus Christ.)

Because of their rejection of God’s work in election and hatred of Calvin, they sometimes do their best to get Christians who believe in election to confess to being a “Calvinist”, even when in most circumstances these people would rather simply bear the name of Christian. They also will try to make a Reformed Christian feel and look guilty if they don’t acknowledge that Calvin had “blood on his hands.”

At the risk of raising a ruckus by writing about this poor sinner saved by grace, I would like to offer some counsel which I want to take myself. At all times, and especially in trigger issues, we need to remember to be careful in what we say – a tough thing to do, and I fail.

James 3:2-3

2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.

And the LORD gave us this command:

Exodus 20:16

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

That is, if in their zeal they’ve taken up an offense against John Calvin, they need to examine how much of his history they truly know.

Also, we cannot be filled with hatred toward him and still be walking in the light. Let’s remember God’s mercy toward us. Plus, we’re commanded to love him. (And to pray for James White.)

1 John 5:1

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 

Calvin was a Christian, begotten by the Word of truth, the Gospel. I 💗 my brother. Since the Lord forgave him, should I do less?

There are probably people who want to be called by Calvin’s name as a prideful thing, because of his intellect, and others who idolize him. (I don’t know any.) But there are some who use his name simply to be clear about what they believe, that is, that they believe in God’s election of sinners. And there are some who are cornered, made to admit that just as he did they believe in election and then slandered or injured in the process.

Please allow me to confess my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by calling myself a Christian. This name is my treasure.


 

60 thoughts on “Brotherly love and Calvin

  1. It takes a brave and bold soul to open this topic for discussion. Thank you.

    I buckle at the term “Calvinist” in keeping with 1 Cor. 1:12 & 13. Calvin did not die for my sins to be forgiven, nor could he. It was the Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God that took care of that. He and He alone is to be worshipped for all eternity because of who He is and what He has done.

    There are hundreds of Scriptures that I have found that speak directly to the complete Sovereignty of God in choosing who is saved, and conversely, who is not. To interject, project, or force the notion that a man/woman by an act of his/her (supposed) free-will can successfully attain to salvation simply by that “choice” is a slap in the Face of the Savior who said: “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” John 15:16. It is calling the Lord Jesus a liar. Also, in John 1: 13 that “who (we) were born, not of blood (by heredity, DNA), nor of the will of the flesh (our own), nor of the will of man (no one can ‘will’ another into the kingdom of God), but of God.” It is solely His work and we are the beneficiaries of this work.

    “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast.” Eph. 2:8 & 9. But the champions of “free-will” scream “foul”, “not fair”, or “God will not step on our free-will” or other such unbiblical nonsense, thereby falsely accusing God of being some sort of tyrant which He is not. If a person could attain to salvation by an act of his will, he would not be in need of the Grace of God; and if one does not need the Grace of God…………………………………..

    It is not possible for one to worship God in Spirit and in truth and believe that salvation was acquired by one’s own will. Scripture does not allow for this—anywhere! May the Lord increase your boldness, Maria, as you defend the faith and speak the truth concerning the Lord Jesus.

    Darrel

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I love all my Reformed sisters and brothers! Unfortunately, few evangelical groups are defending the Gospel of grace from creeping ecumenism the way the conservative Reformed do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Tom, you do!
      I think that doctrine is seen as an impediment to leading people to the Lord. Also, Christian faith is defined by the lowest common denominator now and so Catholicism is included. Too, the Charismatic movement helped to silence opposition to Rome. The end result is that few Christians care about the sound doctrine that sheds light on the errors of Rome. So sad and wrong!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In Calvin’s day there was a zeal like Phinehas had where God’s truth was concerned. They took it most seriously the stewardship to keeping it unsullied. They also feared for the eternal souls of those who could easily be led astray by those who spouted false doctrine.

    I, too, love my brother in Christ, John Calvin. I’m also glad that he was used by God in spite of his imperfections and failings. It gives me hope and also makes me appreciate God’s patience toward us.

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  4. I appreciate your thoughts on this matter and also the Scriptures that you shared. I like to read Calvin even though I don’t always agree with him. Being a Baptist I suppose I would be more of a Spurgeonist rather than a Calvinist. However, Spurgeon defended Calvin, and praised him where he was correct in his theology. You are correct in what you referenced concerning Servetus and the others who were imprisoned and executed in Geneva. Calvin fled to Geneva to avoid persecution in his home country of France. He wasn’t the king of Geneva, and didn’t have the final say in matters such as the one Servetus was involved in. Geneva during that time was a Theocracy, and no matter what we think about it, we can’t say for sure if we would have responded any better than Calvin. I read where Calvin pleaded with Servetus for his own good. That being said, I don’t agree with the situation, but I don’t blame Calvin. I have found when someone cannot refute an argument by someone they disagree with, they tend to attack their character.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Phil, it’s true that people go after someone’s character when their own argument is weak. May the Lord help us not to!

      Your saying, “He wasn’t the king of Geneva” is truth in a nutshell. And right! Would we have done any better? Somehow the attitude towards Calvin reminds me of our regular criticism of Samson. The Lord chose him to fight the Philistines, which he did, both before and after having stumbled.

      I enjoyed your comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. In all my years – approaching 77 – I’ve never found a doctrine so quickly to draw offense as the idea that God is sovereign in salvation. I think part of the reason is that it calls into question a great many people’s basis for their salvation – what they have done, and not what God has done. Do sinners believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved? Absolutely. Do we believe “on our own”? Absolutely not.
    Thank you for these posts about Calvin and Servetus. I’ve run across the argument that Calvin was responsible for his death a few times before. This is the best treatment I’ve ever read about it. Thanks, again, Marie, and God’s best to you and yours.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you for commenting, Clarence, and for the encouragement! The need to find something of merit in ourselves or our actions, even if it was simply “making a decision for Christ”, is part of fallen human nature, for sure.

      I want to go over to your blog to study Acts. Lord bless you, your wife, and loved ones!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow this post drew a lot of comments! I wished the doctrines was simply called doctrines of Sovereign Grace rather than Calvinism. Calvin makes up probably 1 percent of all my spiritual readings in my life thus far so I prefer it be called something else but I still use the label since its an easy way to identify what I believe to others.

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  7. There are still people being murdered and tortured for their beliefs today but this seldom takes place in the civilised western democracies. In Calvin’s day religion ruled the roost it was considered the most paramount property of a man or woman and to step outside the bastion of religion was dangerous. A coward like me would have to toe the line or face the consequences and I would like many have toed the line. Conformity is safe non-conformity is dangerous and I suspect many today conform out of necessity rather than conviction. The ultimate test of character are the fruits of a man or woman not what he or she profess with their tongues. My life does not lack fruit but I cannot boast about it for I know full well many have led far more fruitful lives. Some of my past has been seriously lacking in humanity and concern and yet I did those things knowing they were wrong. Perhaps I should join the Catholic Church and make confession except I do not believe our errors can be forgiven rather we must live with them as a cross to bear that helps us to improve as the years pass.

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    • Kertsen, yes, there are still people being murdered and tortured for their faith every day, but here in the West persecution is mostly nonviolent.

      You wrote, “The ultimate test of character are the fruits of a man or woman not what he or she profess with their tongues.” Why can’t it be both? Both “the fruit of lips giving thanks to His Name” (Hebrews 13:15) and “the fruit of the Spirit.”

      22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Those are indeed the fruits of a loving person but they are easily said but very difficult to maintain. You are right they fulfill the greatest law we know but it’s a law which many aspire too but very few can reach its exacting demands. If we could even partly act according to those precepts there would be no need for any laws ; harmony would prevail. We are greatly privileged when we meet those who aspire to those goals such humans bring peace and serenity to those they touch. The reason it cannot be both is that men and women have different estimations of the world and they cannot agree . The witness of this sad fact is right here under our noses on word press.
    I have met holy people who seem to bypass differences and accept you for what you are , their concern is not what you think but your well being as a person. I’m rambling again so I will take the liberty of quoting scripture because I believe the Bible has much to say to us all Christian or otherwise. In his dying pain and agony Jesus had the strength to say to the thief ‘ this day shall thou be with me in paradise’. Such ability to think of a stranger in such dreadful circumstances is incredible .

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    • Kertsen, you wrote “I have met holy people who seem to bypass differences and accept you for what you are , their concern is not what you think but your well being as a person.” But our thinking is part of our well-being . “As a man, thinks, so he is.” We have to gently persuade others so their thinking is right and good. Men and women are whole creatures.

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    • We need the power, the strength, of the Holy Spirit to obey God’s Word and do His will, which is our sanctification. Even so, we do stumble but praises be to God who, through Christ, forgives us our failings. We fall down but we get up with our Beloved’s help.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You must remember that although this is your real experience it is not the experience of many men and women. Believers and unbelievers have in common the experience of stumbling and if we look over our lives they are not what we hoped they might have been. I have said before that forgiveness can be dangerous because it enables us to side step our faults and not learn from our mistakes. Life is hard lesson for many but it leads to a mature outlook and character more willing to overlook the failings of others.

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        • Being a forgiving person is Christ-like. It reveals His character to others and shows that He is in us. The forgiveness of God is His goodness that draws men to repentance. Jesus said, If you do not forgive your brother neither will God forgive you. So, I would say that unforgiveness is what is truly dangerous. Yes, some will take advantage of forgiveness but the sincere born-again child of the living God does not want to sin against his Father, and it grieves him to do so, prompting prayer that asks our merciful forgiving God for the gift of repentance and the strength to obey Him.

          Are you a born-again believer of God? If so, praise God! May you grow still in the knowledge and grace of our Lord! If not, please don’t delay in asking God to make you His child by His Holy Spirit and through His Son’s finished work on the cross! You must have Christ’s righteousness and not your own to enter God’s kingdom. My prayers for you to know God and His Son Jesus with heart knowledge and not head knowledge. Amen~ \o/

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          • Thank you for your reply my answer is simple no I’m not a believer and reject the idea of an afterlife. Men and women must have their own characters and there is a wide variation of behaviour some good some bad and some indifferent. Christians see only two types of people : the perfect saved human being and the depraved sinner. Calvin took this a step further and said we are so depraved we cannot turn to God and he saves who he wishes to save. I must point out that many unbelievers are forgiving people , but our forgiveness has limitations and this is covered by the law which endeavours to make the punishment fit the crime. Just imagine our society without law it would quickly fail to function. Western democracy went a step to far in abolishing the death penalty it was a just policy following an eye for an eye.

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            • But where in the world did anyone find the perfect standard of law to go by? Yes, many unbelievers are forgiving people but their motives are selfish and fickle and who can be assured that the forgiveness is true? OK, we just have to trust that it is. Trust in sinful man to make the laws to abide by; and trust in the dark-hearted man for that forgiveness. Trust in fickle man…We can trust man, we can trust our vehicles to start, we can trust our jobs to be there for us, we can put our faith in anything but God, the Creator and Sustainer of all of life…

              Well, you may not believe there is an afterlife now but you will the second you go through death’s door! You’d better be right because the unfathomable torment is unrelenting and unending and there is no turning back for a do-over. You will curse the day of your birth and your mother who birthed you. Yet Jesus died to save you from God’s wrath and you foolishly think you are smarter than He and all that supposed nonsense. When you are in torment, the Lake of Fire, you will know of all those who prayed for your salvation through Christ Jesus, even with tears. Have you any loved ones who are Christians? You will have utter hatred for all of your loved ones there. So, you may as well eat, drink and be merry since you despise your eternal soul…

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              • I think your judgement of unbelievers is rather harsh not all people have underlying motives behind there actions. You use the words fickle and selfish ; well I’m 75 and I have rubbed shoulders with all types and they are a mixed bag , some would give you their last dollar , others help you although it is a great inconvenience in time and money. The parable of the Good Samaritan says it all far better than my stunted efforts.
                Remember in the west many of our laws are based on the Ten Commandments and the system that has evolved owes its origin to those early ideas of law. I agree we live in an uncertain world which teeters on the brink of breakdown but you and I live in wealthy countries one third of the world live on $2 per day. Please do not label me with smartness I’m far from that my life has been a struggle and full of mistakes.
                I’m not sure what you mean by the term Christian it covers a huge area of belief from those who attend church to those who sacrifice their lives to help others.
                My mother and father attended the high church of England the services had smells ( incense ) and bells. Father was an unbeliever but he read his Bible pretty well mother always claimed to believe and I think she was sincere.
                I’m retired in a small bungalow on the south coast of England . We have four ,now middle aged, children who are busy in the fast lane and too busy to see us overmuch. Three boys and one girl who lives with a long-term partner ; both boys are married and each has a child.
                As for deaths door well I’ve had my three score and ten so I must not grumble , but I do wish I had made a better job of my life but I’m fortunate in having my wife still with me .

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  9. Do not worry I appreciate that you are busy and know it is not your intention to leave anyone unanswered. I think we have some understanding of each other’s position but it is good to have an exchange of ideas .

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  10. All absolutely true, we are whole creatures and thinking is part of that wholeness.
    We had four children three boys and a girl who are now middle aged and in the fast stream. The youngest two boys were just two years apart and as teenagers they fought like demons. As they got big I was not strong enough to separate them and on one dreadful occasion we all ended on the floor with my wife screaming. She brought us to our senses but still they were like tinder ready to burst into flame.
    Now they run a business together with their partners and all that past has been swept away with time and circumstances. Violence is part of our very nature and men are generally more violent than women. Just look at the wars and battles in the Old Testament, it’s very clear the true nature of Man.
    I do not know if you read novels but The Lord of the Flies by William Golding created a sensation because it suggested that young boys were not innocent as modern society believed. We are tribal by nature it is our inheritance and we have fought throughout history.
    Some remarkable people have embraced pacifism and Jesus took this into a new dimension preaching that we should love our enemies and do good to those who despise us. It’s a very hard Gospel and one we are not equipped to follow.
    Please do not feel a reply is necessary , and certainly only reply when you have time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kertsen, a thought here about the Prince of Peace – the Lamb of God. He is also the Lion of Judah. He didn’t come the first time to bring peace as the world defines it.

      Matthew 10
      34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’

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  11. Those are difficult scriptures and I would have liked to questioned Jesus on them but here is my answer and a few more difficult questions that arise. The implication is that we must give up all ties,even family ones, and follow the way of Jesus. Do you really believe men or women should desert their families and leave them in need or even starvation? John Bunyan left his blind daughter and other children to the charity of his church members was that right? Was he not giving up his responsibilities those he had brought into the world as a father?
    The Jehovah’s witnesses sect often split families on these grounds but is it right? Just suppose we all took up our crosses and followed the life style of Jesus who would do all the work the nation needs to be done to operate as a civilised community? How would the church get its financial support ? Who would clean the pews and cut the grass?
    Today these questions are answered by each church supporting a pastor who serves that community of believers. Suppose the pastor went off on a preaching jaunt for a year what would happen ?
    Does not the Apostle Paul talk about responsibility of wives and husbands even when one is not a believer?

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    • Kertsen, you wrote, “The implication is that we must give up all ties, even family ones, and follow the way of Jesus. Do you really believe men or women should desert their families and leave them in need or even starvation?”

      The Lord isn’t calling us to desert our families. You can learn more about this difficult passage from its context and from other passages. It must be taken together with the rest of His counsel. First, notice what He goes on to say in the passage from Matthew that I quoted:

      Matthew 10
      37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.

      He also rebuked the scribes and Pharisees in this way,

      Matthew 15
      Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
      3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
      8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
      And honor Me with their lips,
      But their heart is far from Me.
      9 And in vain they worship Me,
      Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

      About Pastor Bunyan, where did you learn this?

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  12. There is so much about John Bunyan on the internet it is evident he was married twice and his first child by his first wife was a blind girl. If you take the account in Wiki as accurate and it is fairly consistent with other information. My point is simply that he choose to preach and go to prison and I’m sure he believed it was God’s leading. He could have chosen to look after his family , that would have been my choice . Perhaps with hindsight we may not have had Pilgrims Progress.
    What you are looking for in your passages is consistency , something we all crave even those of a scientific bent.
    There are two ways of looking at the Bible : it must be consistent so we will search and puzzle until we find it.
    It often seems inconsistent and we must admit it seems in places to contradict itself.
    My interpretation of what Jesus is saying is as follows. To follow my way of life you must give up all else including the family, the home, all other comforts . Whatever you cling to you must let go, position, wealth, friends, etc.
    Now the Old Testament God was a tribal family God who believed we must honour our elders and our parents and especially our Jewish nation but these are the commandments of men and tradition must go.
    It is often the way of preachers and prophets to tear down society and point out its wicked excesses, often those same preachers and prophets benefit from and live in society. The drop out still needs to go shopping and have a warm place to sleep and water to wash in. Some religious people drop out of politics they feel they seek the kingdom not of this world but we are flesh and blood and part of the world like it or not.

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    • Kertsen,

      Let me start with your statements about John Bunyan’s irresponsibility in regard to his family.

      The following excerpts are from The International John Bunyan Society’s website on a page entitled, BUNYAN CHRONOLOGY ~CHRONOLOGY OF JOHN  BUNYAN’S LIFE,  PUBLICATIONS AND TIMES.

      They help to demonstrate that as a father and husband Bunyan was a good provider:

      “1661 In early January Bunyan is tried under an Elizabethan statute of 1593 which had outlawed preaching at conventicles. The indictment charges that he has ‘devilishly and perniciously abstained from coming to church to hear divine service’ and that he is ‘a common upholder of several unlawful meetings and conventicles, to the great disturbance and distraction of the good subjects of this kingdom’. He is found guilty and sentenced initially to three months in prison (but continued refusal to give an undertaking to stop preaching means that he remains in prison for twelve years). His wife petitions for his release at the assizes in August, but her pleas are rejected. Bunyan writes an account of his trial and imprisonment in a series of five letters to members of the Bedford congregation (later published as A Relation of the Imprisonment of Mr. John Bunyan (1765), usually reprinted with Grace Abounding). His first prison book, a lengthy poem entitled Profitable Meditations, is published. He is occasionally allowed out of prison on parole, and even travels to London, but objections are raised and he is subsequently closely confined. He makes shoelaces to help support his family, as well as writing.

      “1685 Publication of Bunyan’s Questions about the Nature and Perpetuity of the Seventh-Day-Sabbath, arguing against Sabbatarians who worshipped on Saturdays, and A Discourse upon the Pharisee and the Publicane. He preaches in Southwark at Stephen More’s open-communion church. On 23 December Bunyan draws up a deed of gift giving all his property to his wife, evidently from a concern that he might be arrested and his property confiscated.

      There is more to say but I will write that separately.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You wrote this, “It often seems inconsistent and we must admit it seems in places to contradict itself.” First, no, we don’t have to admit this. Take this link to do some reading on so-called Bible contradictions:

      https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2017/10/16/50-alleged-bible-contradiction-refuted/

      You stated that “the Old Testament God was a tribal family God ” No, He is the Eternal, the Almighty, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose sufferings were foretold by Isaiah, in chapter 53 of the book by his name.

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  13. I had not realised that you were sensitive about John Bunyan so let me set the record right. It must be admitted that a good man can make a morally bad judgement and a bad man can make a good one. Religion can , and often does, lead to wrong acts and wrong judgements we only have to look at history to verify that.
    We are all children of our age and time as you rightly point out in your defence of Martin Luther. Wicked religious forces put the well meaning harmless , honest Bunyan in prison and indirectly robbed his family of their protector. It could not happen in our western rich democracies.
    He had a way out and I believe he owed that to his family. I’m sure Bunyan overall was a better man than me but remember we are allowed to criticize our betters and we can sometimes see faults in them. I know you will say get the plank from your own eye first but it’s one thing to criticizes quite another to condemn.
    I did look at the Bible contradiction site and made a few comments ; it seems anger between believers and unbelievers has reached a ridiculous pitch where each group is determined to outdo the other.
    Jews was very similar to John the Baptist he may have even eaten locusts and wild honey just imagine today us super civilised folk chewing on a locust or risking serious stings stealing bees honey. Yet the community loved John because he was basic and honest about men and women so they came out in droves to hear this Wildman. John had abandoned the trappings of civilised life and as a result saw things a lot more clearly; your word asceticism may well apply to such men. How terrible that such a man was beheaded when he had so much to say.
    Contrast an eye for an eye with love your enemies they are like chalk and cheese. The Old Testament and the New Testament.
    Now an eye for an eye makes sense but love your enemies is madness. Small wonder the Jews removed such an apostate teacher.

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  14. Kertsen, do you understand that “an eye for an eye” was part of civil law in the Theocracy of ancient Israel? It enforced just punishments that fit the crime. It was not meant to promote or justify personal vengeance.

    Leviticus 24

    19 ‘If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor, as he has done, so shall it be done to him— 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him.

    It was also meant to quash false witness, perjury done to injure the innocent, by punishing false witnesses with the punishment that their lie would have imposed on the innocent.

    Deuteronomy 19

    15 “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. 16 If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing,  17 then both men in the controversy shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days. 18 And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed,  if the witness is a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, 19 then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you. 20 And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you. 21 Your eye shall not pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

    The Lord Jesus Christ was teaching individuals – not the civil government – how to treat others. You’ve mischaracterized the distinction between the teachings of “an eye for an eye” and “love your enemy” as “chalk and cheese” by not acknowledging this.

    Kertsen, yes, I will defend people who are unjustly accused. My blog title, too, should help you see that I would defend Bunyan.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It would be wrong of me to go on defending my position and giving you the loss of time and trouble when you are so busy. So I will curtail my activities and limit my comments to once a month . Thank you for your concern for my welfare and my inclusion in your prayers.

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