Systematic Theology is an oxymoron. God is not a system. God is Spirit!
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” – John 4:24
The citizenship of the Kingdom of God is composed of lovers. The citizenship of earthly kingdoms, and the prostitute with whom they keep company, (i.e. Babylon the Great, mother of Harlots) is made up of merchants of one kind or another — all with an agenda of getting.
These merchants range from those who sit in the market place crying out, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn,” Matthew 11:17,
all the way to: “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more [i.e. cargoes including the… ] the bodies and souls of men.” – Revelation 18:11a, 13b.
Slave traders buy and sell the bodies of men, but who can buy and sell the souls of men?
Religious merchants. These merchants include the kings of this earth:
“When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: ‘Woe! Woe, O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come.” – Revelation 18:9,10.
Kings commit the same adultery as the merchants, but their interests are not quite the same; the kings want pure power, and the merchants want purchasing power. All the jewelry of Babylon – the gold, silver and precious jewels – are displays of this power. In the case of kings and those in authority, this power may in the first instance be preeminence. “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.” “3rd” John 9, 10.
There is a leadership – a kingship of sorts that is in a position to buy and sell the souls of men. This is religious leadership. Beware!
P.S. Please don’t speak to me of Catholic indulgences, by now there have been far too many Protestant indulgences to justify such a narrow understanding.
By Jay Ferris, originally posted April 27, 2012