1. Is there a difference between usury and interest?
Today, the words have different meanings, however originally usury meant all interest. Generally, usury is used today to mean an exorbant or illegal rate of interest. When the shift in public attitude came toward interest, the word usury which was used to mean any interest changed to its new meaning of an exorbant rate.
However, in scripture, and also in the nation of Israel there was no distinction between acceptable and unacceptable rates of interest, it was all considered to be extortion (Ps 109), and the extortioner was considered to be a robber. 1 Cor 6:10
2. What does the world say in favor of interest?
First, as Christians let us remember, "If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself." (emphasis added) 1 Tim 6:3-5.
When worldly Christians or people in the world begin defending interest they often try to muddle the issues. They like to make the issues seem complicated. They also to try to show that interest taking has benefits.
Let's take a glance at this last item, that interest taking has benefits. They say the lender takes risks, so interest encourages loans. All ventures have risks, who can ascertain the future even on the safety of crossing the street? Does this mean I deserve to be paid for crossing? The risks taken by a usurer loaning to a company are far different than the company's and its pardners' risks who must take their lumps on whether the business prospers or fails. And the loss of their property, or goods remains ever present. That the usurer is in a way risking his money is true, but it is a totally different risk than the company and its pardners are experiencing. Further, if risk is a criteria for receiving extra money, every person even remotely connected to the business venture can claim some compensation. The families of the company, the janitors, and the neighbors all have a risk of some kind. That is the crux of the matter. The usurer supposes he deserves to be congratulated and honored for his risk taking. But the honest farmer, or the honest carpenter take risks everyday without compensation not supposing that their risks are special above everyone else's. No one pays the farmer for taking a risk when he plants his seeds, so that we can eat. No one pays the carpenter for taking a risk when he begins a house not knowing absolutely if a fire or strong wind might not damage it during construction. The carpenter takes this risk that we might have shelter. Risk entitles us to nothing. If it did we should all have a claim on riches.
But the world will shudder, "Loans are necessary and who wants to loan if they are given interest?" In a sense, our sinful economy does need sinful interest taking to function. The Pornography market needs more lewd photographs to continue selling books. However, many economies including the modern Moslem economy are (or have) functioning fine without interest taking. It is only to be expected that the world will shudder, but then they shudder to think of a world without sin. To live without cigarettes, booze, wild women, etc. seems incomprehensible to them also.
This author is not concerned that by getting very technical and indepth in the issue of interest taking God's word might contradict itself. God's will for us is not inconsistent. His pronouncements against Interest are not inconsistent with His best wishes for our lives. The problem with getting indepth is that this Author's approach is based on the scripture's value system, and that what the worldly Christian must realize is that what he might call benefits in God's eyes are a shame. For instance, it will be argued that trade is encouraged by interest. That interest helps trade does not add merit to interest, for most trade today is conducted unchrist-like. Does our trade glorify God or man? Trade can go on without interest. The old Hebrew nation and many others have managed without.
If we get sucked into the complicated theories about interest a person can get really confused. The world has their financial gurus that are argueing, studying and contradicting each other as to how interest functions upon an economy. We are not to let ourselves be spoiled by philosophy (Col. 2:8). They would have us believe the economy regulates interest rates and borrowing, and they see all kinds of "benefits" of interest. In simple terms, interest allows people to spend more than their limits, and brings many to ruin.
Sometimes, as Christians we give the thief our coat and our hat besides our wallet to show him that God loves him. Interest is robbery and perhaps we may need to experience it for God's glory, but that does not mean robbery is O.K.
What would you replace lending on interest with? Won't people who will be ruined by borrowing, be ruined whether they took interest or not? Couldn't hard feeling arise if a man lending freely is injured for the need of money that was promised to be repaid, but wasn't? Isn't money lent longer when interest is charged and wouldn't the shorter period of freely loaned money be a hardship?
People can injure themselves with about anything. The Christian applies God's principles and the dynamics of those principles work toward success. First, we are commanded to lend where we do not expect to receive again—Lk 6:35. The borrower is instructed to be "Not slothful in business"—Rm 12:11 and 2 Thes 3. The borrower is plainly instructed not to live off of others unnecessarily. We are all commanded to honestly work with our hands. If we suffer for having righteously loaned money for a need, the Scripture's value system esteems such suffering. If that seems cruel to the world—they should recall all the suffering they have encouraged people to go through, it is an honor in the world to suffer through the Iron Man Triathalon (talk about pain), it was the in thing for worldly women to wear painful corsets and whale-bone girdles to force their bodies into painful unnatural shapes, unless one gets wasted with alcohal and suffers a hangover he is not cool at parties,... the list could go on of the many ways the world expects their people to suffer. So understand that for us to suffer for our God is our glory.
If we give money so that a person can be slothful and waste it, we show poor stewardship, because we do not want to encourage that person's sin of slothfulness. (Some misunderstand and think that not charging interest is carelessness. Satan would have us overly careful lest we lose some of our abundance—yet that abundance was given us so that we could share.) The question is not whether we might suffer without charging interest, but what is the morally correct thing to do. That is the question. That money freely lent has its faults is no secret. The underlying principle is to do what is most loving toward God, and one's fellow man. The focus of interest is self.
How would the world today survive without interest?— How would it survive without soldiers to fight wars? What if this? What if that? Let us not worry about something the Scripture says will not happen. We know that evil along with its "bloodsucking usurers" are not going to all stop their bloodsucking just because you and I do, nor will the world self-destruct from lack of interest taking. But so what if it did? Why should the Christians be disturbed if the One-World-Order feel apart? These "if" questions are vain— but perhaps it may console the sincere seeker to know that the modern Moslem world has done very well without interest taking. Medieval Europe was often without interest and did fine. The natives of the Americas and Australia did fine without interest. And it is conceivable that the New Heavens and New Earth will be able to do just fine without interest.
As it stands today, interest takers have a vested interest in people being in need. If interest were not allowed the interest takers would develop more concern to see others sufficiently prosper.
Doesn't Mt 25:14-24 teach interest is right? We can use the Master's money to get worldly or heavenly treasure, it's your decision. You can use it selfishly or give it to Christ, it's your decision. God provides us with a surplus, so that we can use it to glorify Him, and so we might enjoy the blessings from giving.
Isn't a man worth $1,500 who loans $100 to a neighbor worth $1,500 losing more than the one borrowing gains? No. It is true though that the value of money can fluctuate—there is nothing wrong with repaying according to the real value of the paper one has borrowed. To say "you loaned me x amount of purchasing power and I will pay back x amount of purchasing power," is not interest. This is due to the fact that the paper we call money is not real money, but the alchemy of the Satanic financial Power. Yes, the occult does create gold out of paper and lends it out to nations and individuals on interest. (See chap. 3.3 to learn how the international bankers are a satan worshipping clique.)
And then to avoid the effect of the Satanic alchemists and their inflation people try to use the interest-rates (extortion-rates) to profit from inflation. They justify their interest in extortion by claiming they are merely "protecting" themselves from inflation. If they simply want to protect themselves they should buy real money, i.e. gold, silver and real wealth i.e. land, houses, and tools; rather than stealing from someone through interest.
Aren't you trying to turn the world upside down? True Christians, like Paul was (Acts 17:6), will be accused of this, because they are trying to turn it right side up. When the Power makes Christianity illegal, will we have enough Christianity to be convicted? I hope so.
3. What have Christians done in the past (before the Media was controlled by the wrong people) concerning interest?
We should not rest our faith on the actions of men, but rather "let God be true, but every man a liar." Rm 3:4
Still, many will be interested in the past.
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