God Abandons Corrupt Institutions


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).

Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, Francesco Hayez

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?


4 thoughts on “God Abandons Corrupt Institutions

  1. Casters

    Good morning to you All,

    There are many significant purposes for the destruction of the temple, upon the conclusion of Christ’s Crucifixion and death.

    One should look to the destruction as a final reminder that the Lord God does not need a building, walls or veil. When Christ died for the sins of the entire world, He became the temple. The meaning of the temple building as a worship focus is no more.

    The Chief Cornerstone is in Heaven interceding for us. There is no building needed. We can focus on Christ through prayer no matter where we go.

    Three facts about the Gospel According to St. Mark:

    It was Peter’s account of Gospel of Jesus Christ that Mark was writing
    It is the first written Gospel of Jesus Christ
    John-Mark is the John-Mark, cousin/nephew of Barabbas in the Acts of the Apostles.

    Compliments of Dr. David Jeremiah. Dr. David Jeremiah is doing an entire series on The Gospel According to St. Mark this month.

    Peace to you, All.

    Kindest regards,


  2. Wondering Wanderer

    Thanks for sharing this!

    *Keep the Faith,*

    *Rob Bohnenstengel *Community Care Pastor

    [image: cid:A57E61F1-F2F6-46F5-93F3-A881720A31B6@orchardhillchurch.com]

    2551 Brandt School Road Wexford, PA 15090 724-935-5555 x623

    724-935-7623 direct line 724-935-6805 Fax

    724-612-6234 Mobile *rbohnenstengel@orchardhillchurch.com*



    *From:* Faith Improvised [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com] *Sent:* Wednesday, December 02, 2015 7:07 AM *To:* rbohnenstengel@orchardhillchurch.com *Subject:* [New post] God Abandons Corrupt Institutions

    timgombis posted: ” 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 dis”

  3. Chris Zajdzinski

    I think the author is spot on in regards to our tendency to be presumptuous, even arrogant, in declaring that “God is our side”. I would argue however that God would never abandon an “institution”, no matter how corrupt it may become…as long as He has entered into a covenant with it. Throughout salvation history, the covenant people and institutions that God worked through for the good of humanity have always had corruption threaded through it, yet God remained faithful. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and the nation of Israel repeatedly failed and had moments of infidelity. The scriptures remind us that God is faithful and will not abandon those with whom he enters into covenant. I would also argue that Jesus Christ has pledged his unending loyalty to the visible, institutional Church he established, and no matter how many unfaithful wolves enter it, “He will be with her always, to the end of the age.”

    1. timgombis

      Chris! Hope you and your family are well!

      Indeed, God has given his life for the church, and he knows those who are truly his. But there are communities that God can and will abandon, as he threatens in Rev. 2-3, those that depart for some other sort of agenda. Further, many ‘Christian’ institutions (schools, mission agencies, mega-churches, publishers, etc.) do not have, as you put it, covenant relationships with God. They are not the church and when they become unjust, institutions of oppression and corruption, they have no assurance of God’s loyalty to them. Nations are included in this.

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