Wednesday, 16 December 2015

There is No True Exception to the Moral Prohibition against Usury

The Moral Law of God stems from His very Character and His very nature. It is eternal. God gave Old Testament Israel the Mosaic Law which contains three types of laws: ceremonial laws, civil laws and moral laws. Although the ceremonial and civil laws of the Old Testament are not morally binding today, they all have a moral and spiritual significant underlying them. It is the moral and spiritual significance underlying all the ceremonial and civil laws which still apply today because the moral and spiritual lesson behind them are of the Moral Law of God. 

The civil laws of Israel regulated how God's justice and law was to be administered regarding the temporal. For example, the laws regarding property were civil laws of Israel, which were based upon the Moral Law of God as all laws of God given by the Prophets are based on the Moral Law, which hinges on His Love. Jesus made this clear in Matthew 22:37-40, when asked what was the Greatest Commandment in the Law in Matthew 22:36:

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

On the Two Greatest Commands hang all the Law and the Prophets. It is not the other way round, where on all the Law and the Prophets hang the Two Greatest Commandments. The Two Greatest Commandments which are to love God with all one's heart, soul, mind, and strength and the love one's neighbour as oneself is the basis upon which the Old Testament law and Prophets hang. Indeed, God is the Great I AM (Exodus 3:14), who not only defines truth, by is Truth itself, and is Love itself. 

The Old Testaments laws are by no means dead as many in the modern Church seem to think. The Old Testament law against usury is certainly by no means dead as many in the modern Church would like to think as they are influenced by the world. Unlike the early Church, or Medieval Church, the modern Church at large not only has no problem with usury, but even thinks that it is righteous and Biblical! It even thinks that usury is needed to help the poor, and that if we "do not have resources", as if what we have comes from ourselves, instead of God, it is impossible to help the poor, all in that false sense of humility and hypocrisy.  This is just absolutely unbelievable. 

There are things we can know are sins, but not stated explicitly either in the Old Testament or New Testament to be sins. One such example of masturbation. Leviticus 18 does not give an explicit prohibition on masturbation, but yet all know it is a sin. People feel guilt as a result of it because they have a moral conscience telling them it is wrong (Romans 2:14-15). Usury, on the other hand in made clear both from Scripture and the moral conscience that it is wrong. The Bible only gives apparent exceptions to the prohibition of usury in some instances, which are only exceptions and are only apparent, such as Exodus 22:25 and Deuteronomy 23:19. 

You would not say that murder is not a sin, even though God allows Israel to kill, otherwise you would not be a true follower of Christ. You would not say that there are exceptions to murder which is the intention killing of a person. So, why is it that so many Christians think that because God allowed Israel to charge usury to the foreigners in Deuteronomy 23:19 that usury is generally permitted by God and not a sin? 

You would not think the same for murder, that because God told Israel to kill the people of wicked nations that murder is justified by God, so why so for usury? This is because of your heart which believes that usury is legitimate because you believe that lending money to people is a burden for the lender, and not the debtor. However, the Bible says that the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). 

In all cases, the borrower is a servant to the lender because the borrower has moral and spiritual obligation to repay that money. It is not because of any humans laws or social acceptance which imposes this obligation, nor even an angry creditor chasing debt. It is because all know in their hearts that once one is in debt, one must repay (Psalm 37:21). In reality, people who are owed money are all to happy to agree with this moral obligation, not because they are righteous, but out of their unrighteousness, thinking they are entitled to what they have, and not because not repaying what one borrows offends God. 

However, lenders typically all pervert the moral obligation to repay one's debt, turning into a matter of a "right" to be repaid what one is owed, rather than a matter of a moral obligation owed to God. They treat is a moral obligation owed to them, of course, out of their own self-centredness. This manifests in the belief that since a lender has loaned one's "own" property to the debtor, one is entitled to a gain on it. This explains how the legitimisation of the false demonic doctrine of private property leads to the legitimisation of usury. The belief that the property one has is ones "own" property, instead of God's, to whom all things truly belong, and only Him alone to whom all things belong, is precisely a manifestation of this self-centredness which blinds one's mind and heart into thinking that usury is legitimate. 

All civil and ceremonial laws in the Old Testament need to be understood by looking at the underlying moral and spiritual principle behind it to determine how it is to be obeyed. The apparent exception to usury as that which can be charged against the Canaanite foreigner in Deuteronomy 23:19 was a manifestation of God's judgment against that Canaanites for charging usury, just like how God told Israel to exercise His judgment against wicked nations by killing their people. The apparent exception that the prohibition only applies to loans for the poor is not a true exception. The law of usury must be understood in its context and its moral underlying principle must be understood. Its was not prohibited on the basis of how the poor were harmed as demonstrated by Ezekiel 18:12-13 which listed oppression of the poor and usury as two different and separate sins. It was prohibited because usury itself offends God because it is a perversion of His will for lending money.

Usury treats what God has given to humans into one's "own". It is not a mere means of treating what God owns as one's own, but itself an act of treating what God owns as one's own. It is to steal from God. It is based on pride, arrogance, self-centredness and unforgiveness. Usury, therefore is clearly a sin. It applies to all nations, throughout all the ages. There is no true exception to the prohibition against usury at all.