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Oct 24

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.

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Fun to look at the words

establishmentarian 

disestablishmentarian

antidisestablishmentarian