Sunday, 26 June 2016

Usury is a Manifestation of Double-mindededness, and an Impurity of Heart

We the Church love to talk about purity, and how the world is disgusting, evil and vile in its impurity. Of course, the world is disgusting, evil and vile in its impurity, as evidenced by its rampant practice and approval of all kinds of sexual perversions, which is rising all the more. However, impurity of heart is need not necessarily be manifested in sexual perversion, although sexual perversion is of course impurity of heart.

Impurity of heart can be manifested in all kinds of ways that one could think of. It can be manifested in even the most innocent of ways, for example, in helping the poor. A person may actually be genuinely helping the poor, but he or she may be motivated by a desire to show his or her good works, all without realising it. That is why, for example, Jesus had to say: 

Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth (Matthew 6:2-3). 

You may say that you do not announce when you give to the needy. It is all too easy to keep quiet. The question therefore is whether you are concerned about what people might think of you when you give. That is exactly the manifestation of impurity of heart, a manifestation of self-seeking and self-preservation, in seeking to please God and also seeking to please man. That is the heart of the problem of those who are so concerned with what others think about them. They are not only full of the fear of man, they are impure in their heart. The modern Church in the west is infested with such people - conservative, orthodox, evangelical, Bible-believing Christians, who not only ensnare themselves with the fear of man, but also infect others with their fear of man:  The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe (Proverbs 29:25). 

Usury is a manifestation of impurity of heart. To even tolerate it is itself impurity of heart. Before we the Church condemn the world for normalising usury, let's ask ourselves, on our faithfulness and purity in heart before God on usury. We the Church since as early as the 11th century have been making compromises with usury. To make matters worse that they already were, John Calvin came along to make a "sophisticated", "enlightened" theological ruse, about why usury should be tolerated in the 16th century. The Church in the west then continued to ignore Biblical principles of finance since then, for four whole centuries. Is that not why the world thinks the Church in the west is weak and useless, in being neither Biblical Christianity or humanism, but rather some mutant form of Christianity that is not Christianity, and not humanism, but some mutant form of humanistic 'christianity'? 

Such are the ways of those impure in heart. They compromise their principles out of fear of man, or a lack of receiving the benefits of mammon. Usury seeks to lend money, which is an act of generosity, but yet at the same time, in its vile perversion, seeks to make a gain of that supposed generosity, perverting generosity altogether. 

What makes the Calvinist stance on usury even more perverse than Jeremy Bentham's stance on usury is that Calvin, while tolerating usury, yet sought to perversely gain the benefits of loan by claiming that usury should not be "too high" that it cannot be afforded. Bentham, on the other hand, just simply thought that there should be not limits on usury as usury is simply an economic transaction like the ordinary sales of goods and services where the onus lies on the buyer to decide whether they want to buy or not. 

Unlike Calvin, Bentham sought to gain no benefit from loans, or usurious loans, by saying there should be a cap on usury. Bentham, a liberal, was actually more decent than Calvin, a 'conservative', on the issue of usury, not than Bentham was right at all, but that he was not double-minded on it. The calvinist stance on usury was a manifestation of vile double-mindedness, in tolerating usury, but yet seeking the gain the benefit of being lent money. That is exactly what the problem with the calvinist stance on usury, apart from the vile tolerance of usury itself. Such is impurity of heart.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8).