I’ve been enjoying David Garland’s excellent new work, A Theology of Mark’s Gospel, especially his treatment of Mark 13. This paragraph sums up the relevance of the chapter brilliantly:
Contemporary readers should learn from this historical disaster of the temple’s destruction that they should not be blind to the corruption of their own sacred religious institutions and think that they are immune to God’s wrath. Christians of any era can be deceived by appearances and fooled by the great stones of modern edifices that project the illusion of the invulnerability of a nation or of a hallowed organization or cause. They must not be deceived by appearances and also must be ready to read the signs and dissociate themselves from false ideologies even when they are attached to sacred institutions (p. 527).
How easy is it to presume God’s loyalty to a nation, church, denomination, Christian school, mission organization?
God abandoned and judged the one institution that had more of a claim to his protection than any other in history. How wary ought we to be of the institutions and causes that elicit our loyalty, asking us to give them the benefit of the doubt?