Establishments and Institutions

Sermon idea: 

I like institutions (look up definition). They exist to carry out a needed duty.

‘The establishment’ on the other hand seems to mainly be there to maintain itself. 

In Yancey’s ‘The Jesus I Never Knew’ book he says, on page 197, that Jesus posed a genuine threat to the establishment in Jerusalem.

More later (e.g., pg 203). It was very ironically, the supposed church of God that had Jesus killed. As an establishment, they had spiraled far away from God.

The institution that Jesus was proposing was to  love your neighbor sacrificially. This was certainly difficult to comprehend and to grasp by even the disciples. But the institution of loving one’s neighbor sacrificially proposed a threat to the good-ol-boy establishment. Enough of a threat that it got him killed.

Loving one’s neighbor sacrificially is the opposite of an establishment, which is inward looking/self-centered. 

An institution, by definition is outward looking/other-centered.

We, as the church, need to be careful that we don’t turn from an institution to an establishment.


Fun to look at the words




Grasping and being moved to Please, Know, and Resemble God

From Tim Keller’s daily reading plan (and his fuller book) from YouVersion (below).

I want this ultimate relationship with God. I want to grasp what Jesus did for me and all of mankind. I want to be in relationship with God to please Him, know Him, and resemble Him, as I love those around me as He (Jesus) loved us.

A Catholic, Baptist, and a Methodist Go to Heaven

A Catholic, Baptist, and a Methodist Die and Go to Heaven

They go before St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.

All three are believers (and strong Christians) so St. Peter is going to let them in.

However, their mansions are not quite ready yet and St. Peter doesn’t have any place to put them.

With no other options, he call Satan and asks if he can send the Catholic, Baptist, and a Methodist down to him temporarily.

Satan agrees and the three go down to hell.

Everything seems to be going fine, but a couple days later,  St. Peter and says, hey, you gotta take these three back.

St. Peter asks, “What’s the problem?”

Satan says that the Catholic is forgiving everyone, the Baptist is saving everyone, and the Methodist has almost raised enough money to install air conditioning.