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Cypress Hall at The Cypress                                                                                                       
20 Lady Slipper Lane
Hilton Head Plantation
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926

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843-290-0500 (cell)

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Sunday Services at 9:30 AM
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Sermon Archives
Pastoral Prayers

2. The Elusive Jesus

Jesus had been thinking for some time about what he would do when he came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. He intended to make the dramatic statement of an irrepressible religious reformer. Thus he drove out of the temple the money-changers and those who sold animals for sacrifice. He also overturned their tables in a display of puritanical fury. He was completely convinced this is what God wanted him to do.

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1. The Angry Jesus

what Jesus did in driving out those who bought and sold sacrificial animals and those who changed money in the temple was a major symbolic religious and political statement. He was strongly expressing disapproval of practices which had been going on in the temple for ten centuries and the religious politics which supported the concept of animal sacrifice. What specifically, we might therefore ask, was his opposition?

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The Goodness of God in Everything

The apostle Paul believed in the doctrine of predestination. According to John Calvin, predestination means this, and only this: Before anyone is born, God decides whether that person will go to heaven or hell, and there is nothing anyone can do to alter that outcome. Technically that is double predestination, meaning that each of us is predestined either one way or the other: for heaven, or for hell. What predestination doesn’t mean is that God preordains everything that happens in our lives. Many people think that’s what predestination is, but it isn’t. And if you have never heard that before, you have now heard it here first.

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The Inevitable Tragedy of War

This sermon is probably going to sound much more like an academic lecture in political/military strategy than a sermon in an ecclesiastical setting. I confess to you that through the years my preaching has become more and more academic and intellectually-oriented. I want you to know I am aware of that, and I presume you are aware that the tendency is not abating. In any case, this sermon is based on what I believe to be a fundamental biblical tenet, namely, that war under any circumstances is always morally unacceptable. To be sure, there are several instances, especially in the Books of Joshua and Judges and the historical books of the kings of Israel which clearly indicate that God intended the Israelites to wage fierce and total wars against some of their neighbors. I further believe, however, that was a human attempt to impose a purported divine mandate on a very human decision of the Israelites to attack those they chose to perceive as enemies.

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Immigration and Injustice

This sermon shall be largely devoted to a summary of how the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, understood the subject of what the Bible calls “strangers” or “sojourners.” In our terminology, we call such people either “immigrants” or “refugees.” But as we consider how God directed the Hebrews or Israelites or Jews to treat immigrants or refugees, we need also to ask ourselves, “How does the USA --- or the world --- treat strangers or refugees from Central America, the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere?”

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