Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Why the Church must attack Usury, an Abomination

The modern world has very strong, effective satanic stronghold over it. It is an invisible one for it is a spiritual one. The wicked spectre of the devil blinds the Church, and has been blinding her to the evils of usury since the 15th century when she started to merely compromise with it, not fully support it, but support it nevertheless. Mere compromise or partial support is still support. Such is the Church’s deal with the devil, without her even knowing.

The satanic stronghold of Usury

The issue of usury has divided, discouraged and deadened the Church. Division, discouragement and deadening are the age-old, ever effective tactics of the devil. This is what he has done and now laughs at the modern Church as she is as blind as a bat towards this issue, even harshly castigating those within the true Church who try to merely raise the issue. The devil has succeeded in casting the stronghold of usury, modern finance and modern banking over the world, holding souls in captivity to such evil deceptions.
It is time for the Church to wake up and attack it. She must not just merely attack usury, but aggressively, zealously and intensely attack usury with no compromise, no exceptions, not even with a desire to even consider to the soft lull of satan that there is nothing wrong with usury, or that it is some non-issue.

Usury is an abomination

Usury is interest or payment charged on a loan. The term ‘usury’ means ‘a use’ in Latin. It is the charge for the use of money. The modern Church is asleep about the whole issue because of a real literal satanic stronghold. Satan has been able to use usury as a stronghold over the world because of the Church’s compromise with usury in the 15th and 16th centuries, in particular the 16th century.

Usury is not an economic issue, but a spiritual and moral issue just like how abortion, prostitution and pornography are moral and spiritual issues. Usury is sin, and there is no exception to this. The failure to treat usury as sin by the Church in the 15th and 16th centuries, but instead one that needs to be in accordance to the economic culture of the age has allowed satan to get a stronghold over the Church and the world regarding this issue, leading many souls to Hell. Such liberalisation had led to the legitimisation of usury, and eventually the establishment of the ‘modern bank’ (The Scholastic Analysis of Usury, John Noonan).

The Church made a deal with the devil in the 16th century, in the name of ‘keeping up with the times’. The seed of such a pact was sown, producing the bitter fruits the modern world now has to eat: debt slavery and all her bastard offspring whom she has with her many lovers, who use her to do evil.

As such usury is to be treated as sin, sin alone, not an economic hardship or financial burden, but sin.

It is because it is spiritual stronghold over the world that only the weapons of God can defeat usury and abolish it.  No method that is of the arm of the flesh can attack usury. Rather, such methods can only regulate usury, which may appear on the surface to be acting against it. However, regulation of usury is merely the legitimisation of usury; a wholesome, righteous guise. It is exactly because this guise is a wholesome one that makes regulation of usury all the more demonic.

Usury is against the God-ordained order to humans to work for resources, not earn it off that labour or hardship of others. It is a rebellion against God’s order and God Himself. God told humans to work: “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life” (Genesis 3:17).

Ephesians 4:28 says “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working withhis hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth”.  The Greek word for ‘steal’ is κλέπτω as used in Ephesians 4:28, is pronounced kleptó. The word ‘steal’ means to simply take away. It must be understood very clearly here that the meaning of ‘steal’ does not in any way confer a “right” to private property, another subject of discussion in itself. To steal, therefore is to take, and not make due return, regardless of the right to ownership conferred on the thing taken by the law of the nation.

Usury takes, and does not give. It gives conditionally, not freely as Jesus commanded: “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil (Luke 6:35). Usury is against the ethic of giving freely, the ethic Christ commanded.

The Bible condemns usury, clear and unequivocally
The Bible has an abundant number of passages that condemn usury. On the surface, it may seem as though it permits exceptions to prohibition on usury, such as prohibiting usury only on the poor, but not those who are not poor, and that the prohibition only applies to one’s brother. These apparent exceptions have caused much confusion in the unfortunately required ‘debate’ about usury.

If thou lend money to [any of] my people [that is] poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury (Exodus 22:25).

Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury: Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it (Deuteronomy 23:19-20).

Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him (Ezekiel 18:13).

Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury (
Deuteronomy 23:19).

In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD (
Ezekiel 22:12).

Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase (
Leviticus 25:37).

He [that] hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, [that] hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man (
Ezekiel 18:8).

And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: [yea, though he be] a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. (
Leviticus 25:35-37).
Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee (Leviticus 25:36)

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil (
Luke 6:35).

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender (
Proverbs 22:7).

[That] hath taken off his hand from the poor, [that] hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live (
Ezekiel 18:17).

He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor (
Proverbs 28:8).

A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance (Psalms 112:5-6).

Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; [yet] every one of them doth curse me (
Jeremiah 15:10).

And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, [are] many: therefore we take up corn [for them], that we may eat, and live.  [Some] also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute, [and that upon] our lands and vineyards. Yet now our flesh [is] as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and [some] of our daughters are brought unto bondage [already]: neither [is it] in our power [to redeem them]; for other men have our lands and vineyards.
And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them. And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing [to answer]. Also I said, It [is] not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies? I likewise, [and] my brethren, and my servants, might exact of them money and corn: I pray you, let us leave off this usury.
Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth [part] of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. Then said they, We will restore [them], and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise. Also I shook my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labour, that performeth not this promise, even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the congregation said, Amen, and praised the LORD. And the people did according to this promise (Nehemiah 5:1-13).
LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.  [He that] backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.  In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. [He that] sweareth to [his own] hurt, and changeth not.  [He that] putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these [things] shall never be moved (Psalms 15:1-5).

If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, [in that] which he wanteth. Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.  Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land (Deuteronomy 15:7-11).

Confusion and division about the Biblical condemnation of Usury

There are many objections made against the statement that usury is a sin. These objections are sometimes genuine. However, they are often made out of anger and agitation, out of a mere reaction. Much of these objections, if not most, arise out of a permissive interpretation of the Bible, one which is very revealing of the objector’s heart. While the Bible contains many passages that are difficult to understand, making the reader feel extremely confused or puzzled, it cannot be denied that it is all too easy for fall into using a permissive interpretation to justify oneself.

A permissive interpretation is one which interprets the Bible to allow something simply because it is not expressly condemned, or treats as a “right” an action which is said to be not unlawful, despite the selfishness of the act. It often accepts something as legitimate on the basis that it was mentioned in a Biblical account, story or parable.

One may argue that such interpretations are illogical and irrational, so why would anyone make them? Such interpretations are from the heart. They are made out of a fear of accept what the flesh fear to be the truth of God’s Word, so as to justify a particular sin, or to make compromises out of fear of people. Thus, wherever a permissive interpretation of the Bible is made regarding any passage, one must always recognise this as such and know that such interpretations are almost always invalid, if not always.

Objection 1: Prohibition on usury is applicable only to Old Testament Israel
The prohibition on usury is not a ceremonial law, but a moral law. It concerns the character of God. The act of usury itself indicates whether one has love, the fulfilment of the Law of God (Romans 13:10; Galatians 5:14). Since the prohibition on usury is based on the very nature and character of God who never changes (Malachi 3:6), the moral law against usury never changes
Objection 2:  Prohibition on usury is applicable only to the poor, if applicable at all
Exodus 22:25 which says “If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury” is used to argue that the prohibition only applies to the poor for their protection. Such a statement is merely to remind people not to charge usury on the poor in particular because it shows cruelty and heartlessness. It is not implying that it is otherwise a right to charge usury on those who are not poor. This verse is analogous to the statement that ‘it is wrong to molest children’. Such a statement does not mean to imply that it is right or legitimate to molest others, namely adults. It is just that it is particularly cruel to do such a thing to children.
Objection 3: Prohibition on usury is applicable only to one’s brother or sister, if applicable at all
Deuteronomy 23:19 which says “Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of any thing that is lent upon usury” has been used to make this claim. Like as the usury prohibition is not exclusively applicable to the poor, it is also not exclusively applicable to one’s brothers and sisters. It can be known from Psalm 15:1-5 which lists those who do not take usury as those who may abide in the tabernacle of God for Eternity, and also the Moral Law of God written on the heart of every person (Romans 2:15) that usury is a sin.

Objection 4: Usury is not a sin as God permitted it to be charged on foreigners
Deuteronomy 23:20 which says “Unto a stranger thou mayest lend upon usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon usury: that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it” is what appears to be an exception. All the other verses in the Bible regarding usury condemn it, not permit it. Thus, the permission of usury is not the ‘rule’ as many Christians treat it to be, but the exception.
To argue that usury is not a sin but legitimate on the grounds of Deuteronomy 23:20 is analogous to arguing that murder is not a sin because God told the Israelites to kill the rebellious nations. Yet, none one argues that murder is legitimate on the basis on the exceptions where God told Israelites to kill wicked nations.

The permission for usury in this case is an exception. It is not a legitimisation of usury.

Objection 5: Prohibition on usury is not applicable in business loans
Nowhere in the Bible does it make a distinction between business loans and non-business loans in determining the morality of usury in the eyes of God. This is a false distinction made to excuse and ignore usury as sin.

Objection 6: The Bible is silent about usury in the New Testament

Simply because the Bible does not expressly condemn an act does not mean it is not sin. For example, it does not expressly condemn gambling. Yet, it is rightly condemned as a sin by most professing Christians.

Objection 7: Jesus used a usurer to represent God in the Parable of the Talents, and so thus, He approved of usury

A parable is an analogy to convey a spiritual meaning. The Parable of the Talents was told to explain that one is only worthy of God if one uses what He has given to him to serve Him. The use of a usurer to represent God is to illustrate that God demands that He expects the gifts He gives to His servants to be used fruitfully. It is not a statement that the Christian, or the unsaved, has liberty to charge usury.

Objection 8: Attacking usury is an earthly thing, and thus unbiblical
Attacking usury as anything other than sin is earthly indeed. However, attacking it as sin to serving God, and not out of self-interest is not earthly, but in fact, very spiritual.
Objection 9: Usury is not the only sin that damns souls to Hell
This is true, but not a reason why one should not speak out against usury. It is a fallacy in reasoning. Since it is a sin that is generally supported or approved of by the culture, it is all the more why the Church should speak out against it.

Objection 10: Usury/mammon is only a ‘minor’ issue
It is ‘minor’ only in the eyes of the person. However, in the eyes of God, no sin is ‘minor’. There is no such thing as a “minor issue” regarding righteousness and holiness.

Objection 11: Even if it is a sin, there is no reason why secular or any non-Christian governments should make it illegal
The doctrine of ‘separation of church and state’ is used by modern Christians to justify their apathy towards government approving evil. Yet, however, these very same people would (rightfully) condemn a government that approved and permitted paedophilia, murder and rape on the basis that such things are evil.  Such inconsistency of these Christians warrants questioning as to why they think some sins such as usury should be permitted or approved of by government.

One might still argue that since government has its power to legislate, it can make absolutely any law as it chooses. This is to claim that government as absolute power when this is absolutely false. Government is ordained by God, and its power comes from God, not the people, no matter what the world says (Romans 13:1). The role of government is defined by God, and God alone, not any persons, no matter what the world says, for it is a “minister of God” (Romans 13:4). It does not say ‘minister of people’, or ‘minister of God because the people voted for it’. It just says “minister of God” which means exactly just that – a minister to punish evil, not just some, but all evil, and to reward good (Romans 13:3-4).

One may further argue that governments are permitted by God to make iniquitous decrees for He still allows them to rule nations. This is an irrelevant argument because whether a government is full of iniquity or not does not change any Moral Law of God, or its role which is defined by God and Him alone.

A Call to the Church

The Church must wake up and realise that usury is sin. There is no excuse for usury at all. It must be the Church and fight the beast of mammon who is the spirit behind the whole system of usury.

Church, wake up, expose and attack usury!