Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Usury is sin, whether charged against the poor or rich

Many western Christians think the usury is only a sin when charged against the poor owing to Exodus 22:25.  This, however, is a misinterpretation. The Bible makes it very clear that usury is a sin, and not only a sin but an abomination (Ezekiel 18:13).

To think that usury is a sin only when charged against the poor is to favour the poor. Such people are siding with the poor. While the Bible does command the follower of Christ to care for the poor and needy (Deuteronomy 15:10-11; Proverbs 29:7; Matthew 25:31-46; Acts 20:35; 1 John 3:17-18), it also commands him not to show partiality towards the poor:

Nor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit (Exodus 23:3)

You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor (Leviticus 19:15).

These verses concern treatment of the poor, not just in lawsuits but how to treat the poor. Thus, the same applies to the usury prohibition. We are not to be partial towards the poor regarding the charging of usury.

Usury is not to be charged against anyone, whether poor or rich.