Monday, 27 February 2017

Socialism and Capitalism are Two Sides of the Same Coin. Both are Evil, Demonic and Vile. To Hell with them Both!

Satan is very clever and flexible. He is adaptable. He is able to make two enemy group agree on the same thing, by appealing to their evil motives, both of which are the same. He is able to stir up conflict between wicked people who are enemies of each other, and then use something they agree on to promote a greater evil. This manifests in all kinds of ways.

One of the way this manifests in conservatives of America. Satan uses Islam to bait the conservatives, including the conservative Christians of America into fighting evil, by means of promoting the counter-jihad movement. However, the American counter-jihad movement is full of secularists, who hate Christianity and are pro-homosexual. So, they are simply not your friends, Christian. They are not, whatever they may say in enticing you, or in ensuring you that they tolerate you.

What do many of these conservative Christians do? They continue to support the counter-jihad movement, even though they are pro-homosexual. Yet, little do these Christians know they have fallen into the trap of on one hand. They aggressively proclaiming the need to resist the homosexual agenda, and to protect Christians' 'religious liberty', but yet the same time support these counter-jihadists who equate opposition to homosexuality with support for islam. This simply provides a basis for the world to accuse them of hypocrisy, for it is hypocrisy. This ground is not simply an empty one, but a proper ground for this accusation of hypocrisy.

The same thing can be seen in the conflict between socialism and capitalism. A person, so they say, can only be either capitalist or socialist. Anyone who is anti-capitalist is a socialist, in their view, just like how anyone who is against the 'left' is a 'rightist'. This is just the devil's deception in making two evils, look like a conflict between good and evil, to trap unsuspecting people into his deception, and distort their thinking, into a worldly thinking.

Both socialism and capitalism are of the spirit of mammon. They are the same spiritually. They are only different in terms of who should be providing people with wealth. Socialism says that government should provide one with wealth. Capitalism says that oneself should provide one with wealth. This is in stark contrast to the Bible which says that all things belong to God, and that seeking wealth, instead of trusting in God to provide, is a manifestation of a failure to seek God:

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles [or pagans as per the NIV translation] seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
(Matthew 6:30-34)

Both capitalism and socialism are evils. They have been the cause of all the economic problems, and the conflict that ensues, because they based on lust. The 20th century is the bloodiest century there has been. This coincides with the rise of capitalism in its mature stage, and socialism. 

You may say that this blog has criticised capitalism, but not socialism. This not true, for it has dismissed socialism as an evil that is not to be treated with respect. You may say it has not written much about socialism. That is because many of you already know socialism is evil, and so there is no need to really write about it. What many of you need to learn, however, is that your pet ideology of capitalism is also an evil, and no more righteous than socialism. So, to counter this argument, because it does not fit your vile narrative, you accuse me of being 'socialist', for which I am not. I am a follower of Christ, and therefore I am not a socialist, communist, or supporter of democracy , more aptly called "demon-cracy".

The Bible already tells us about where does warring and fighting come from. This warring and fighting refers to such conflict resulting from envy. Examples include class warfare in Australia, and hatred between developed and developing nations, and capitalist and socialist nations during the 1970s.

From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
(James 4:1-3)

So, it would help us as followers of Christ to remember and learn what this means:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

(1 John 2:15-17).

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

On What Love is and What Love is NOT

The modern evangelical Church in the west thinks that love is to be "nice" and manifests itself in a timid, weak way, under a false guise gentleness and graciousness. They equate "cultural sensitivity"  with gentleness and graciousness. Anyone behaving in a way that is different to what they think is the "culture" they are trying to reach out to is to be "ungentle" and "ungracious" just because of being different. Just making me think about them makes me so infuriated.

They think that boldly speaking against sin is not love. Love can be bold, and it is unfortunate that these evangelifish think that love cannot manifest in boldly confronting sin, head on. They really hinder others in their evangelism when they not only seek to spread their false doctrines of gentleness, but impose it on others.

Ironically, whenever one challenges their false thinking on evangelism, they became aggressive and angry, as if the evangelical industrial complex rules of "cultural sensitivity" not longer applies all of a sudden.

Is there any wonder why some pastors and theologians just want to scream and shout at evangelicals? It seems like I am not the only one.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

How the idea that Usury was Wrong Simply because it could be used to "Take Advantage of People" opened the door to All Usury. The Law of Love makes it clear that Usury is Sin.

A particular moral position taken by a person may be right, but for the wrong, that is, unbiblical reasons. A person may even have the right reasons for being against a wrong, but have the wrong, that is, unbiblical approach in fighting it. 

Opposition to usury, simply on the grounds that it could be used to "take advantage of someone", rather than because God hates usury, has lead to the total endorsement of usury in the west. This was indeed the argument made by John Calvin, who argued that whether usury was wrong was dependent on whether it was "equitable" or not. It is this very distinction itself between "equitable" and "unequitable" usury which opened the door for support for usury.

This argument can be referred to as the 'slippery slope' argument. So, what is a slippery slope argument? It is an argument which in supporting something, for which one must logically conclude that one must support another thing of the same kind, but of a greater degree. For example, support for sodomite marriage is the support of marriage between any persons, or living things, on the basis they "love" each other. If marriage is not longer the conjugal union between a man and his wife, a woman as the Bible prescribes (Mark 10:6-9), then it follows that there is no boundaries to what marriage is, as long as the two (or more!) people, or animals love each other. 

So, likewise, if one argues that a "small amount" of usury is legitimate, then what is the limit to how much usury can be charged? One might argue, cunningly, as Calvin did, that it is what the parties "agree" to be equitable. So, what is right is determined by whether two flawed, sinful, wicked human beings agree? You might that that just two human beings agree does not mean it is wrong. But that does not make it right either. You might then argue this is is unequivocal and depends on the circumstances as to what a reasonable third party would have thought, as not everything is about whether the Bible specifically prescribes something. Thus, you argue, whether usury is right or wrong is solely dependent on the secular law of contract of the relevant jurisdiction applied to the individuals.

Such a vile argument does not apply to the issue of usury as usury is a sin (Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-37; Deuteronomy 23:19-20; Ezekiel 18:13, 18:17, 22:12; Psalm 15:5 Luke 6:34-35). Usury is the manifestation of the love of money, and is not love. Even if one could not be equivocally clear as to whether usury is sin based on the reading of the Biblical text itself, usury can clearly a manifestation of greed, unforgiveness, and the antithesis of usury. It is clearly not love. How could you say you love your neighbour if you charge usury on him or her?

You may say that banks charge usury. Exactly, banks are known be greedy, merciless and unforgiving towards those who owe them money, and harsh. They embody the ways of the world. Indeed, Jesus said in the Parable of the Minas:

 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? (Luke 19:20-23)

This is not Jesus implying that usury is righteous or justified in saying that a wicked servant was wicked because he did not charge usury. This is especially so, given that it is to be noted that the two good servants are not indicated to have charged usury. No, rather, the master was judging the wicked servant by his own mouth, saying that if he thinks that the master was a hard or austere man, he should have done in accordance to what a hard man does which is to lend by charging usury. In other words, charging usury is what a hard man does. 'Austere' in Luke 19:21 has been described by Barnes' Notes on the Bible to mean:

An austere man - Hard, severe, oppressive. The word is commonly applied to unripe fruit, and means "sour," unpleasant; harsh. In this case it means that the man was taking every advantage, and, while "he" lived in idleness, was making his living out of the toils of others.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible explains it this way:

because thou art an austere man; cruel and uncompassionate to his servants, and hard to be pleased; than which nothing is more false, since it is evident, that Christ is compassionate both to the bodies and souls of men; is a merciful high priest, and is one that has compassion on the ignorant, and them that are out of the way, and cannot but be touched with the feeling of his people's infirmities; and is mild and gentle in his whole deportment, and in all his administrations: 

thou takest up that thou layest not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow; suggesting, that he was covetous of that which did not belong to him, and withheld what was due to his servants, and rigorously exacted service that could not be performed; a most iniquitous charge, since none so liberal as he, giving gifts, grace and glory, freely; imposing no grievous commands on men; his yoke being easy, and his burden light; never sending a man to a warfare at his own charge; but always giving grace and strength proportionable to the service he calls to, and rewarding his servants in a most bountiful manner, infinitely beyond their deserts.
To say that whether usury is right depends on whether the borrower and lender 'agree' is like saying that whether two people fornicate or commit adultery depends on whether they 'consent'. That is exactly what the problem with the argument that the legitimacy of usury is dependent on the borrower and lender. Usury itself is a sin, because it violates the Law of Love, as the Lord Jesus Christ proclaims:

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.
(Matthew 22:37-40)


Thursday, 9 February 2017

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Why the Prohibition on Usury was Not because it could be "Used to take Advantage of Someone"

If there is nothing that sickens me more, the argument that the Bible prohibited usury on the grounds that it could be used to advantage of someone sickens me the most. It truly does. This belief is simply the manifestation of the spirit of mammon, for it is a self-centred, humanistic view of the Biblical view of usury. It is opposed to the true Biblical spirit. 

One of the signs that a person is perverting true Biblical teaching is that the spirit in which the person explains a teaching is one which is apologetic for the Biblical teaching, and resistant towards simply expressing it unapologetically and boldly. 

Another sign is that a person appears to be very theological in using all kinds of doctrinal theological arguments, but is using this as a guise to avoid the key issue which they want to avoid because it exposes sin in them. They think they are very doctrinally sound, but are full of error, and think that anyone else who explains a concept differently from them is "misinterpreting" or "mishandling" the Bible. 

This is all very common among reformed calvinist circles, and evangelicals, one may suspect. 

One such argument that people seek to find in the Bible, in claiming to be so theologically and doctrinally sound by taking the text, and not imposing belief onto the text,  but yet ironically do themselves, is that God prohibited usury, merely because it was used to "take advantage of people".

No where in the Bible does it indicate that the prohibition on usury was based on this alleged rationale that it was used to "take advantage of people", namely the poor. 

To those of you who claim to read the Bible "in context" and yet use this argument, let's see how you really do read the Bible in context.

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.

36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.
37 Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.
(Leviticus 25:35-37).

Many of you simply say that the Old Testament only prohibited usury against the poor, and yet claim to be so doctrinally sound. So, how about this: the usury prohibition refers to poor people because money in ancient Israel was lent to the poor. It was they who borrowed money. Since Old Testament civil laws were written for the Israel of that time, it would encapsulate the circumstances of the time. The reference to the poor in the verses which express the Biblical prohibition on usury simply reflect this context. That the verses refer to the charging usury against the poor does not mean that usury against the 'rich' was acceptable under the Old Testament Law, or the Moral Law of God as it stands forever more.

You might say, "if the prohibition on usury was a civil law, then how would it apply today?". The prohibition was written in the civil law of Israel, but does not mean it is not part of the Moral Law of God, as many of you would like to think, out of your own sinful rebellion endorsement of usury.

If you are confused, just ask yourself, "is is love to charge usury?" Or, let's turn it around. How would you like it if someone charged YOU usury? Perhaps this is the best way to get so many of you to understand usury, by directing the question towards you. Is it loving towards your neighbour, that is, anyone you come in contact with, to charge usury against him? 

When someone asked Jesus, "Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" in Matthew 22:36, Jesus responded saying:

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

(Matthew 22:37-40).

Those truly are glorious words. They are glorious not because they make one feel warm on the inside. They are glorious because it upholds who God is, and the whole of the Law of God. God is love. 1 John 4:8 says: He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.These are no trite words, but they are made trite because people often quote that flippantly. 

What the Bible means when it says God is love, is not to give one a lovey-dovey feeling at all, and to make one feel good. No, it is to say that because God is love, one must love, which is an absolutely impossible thing to do in one's own flesh, for the flesh does not submit to God, nor can submit to God (Romans 8:7-8). Since God commands that humans are to love, but the flesh is against God, one cannot love. Thus, the statement that 'God is love' is to show how wicked people are by failing to love, in contrast to how God loves. It is not to make one feel so loved by God as so many people in the modern Church think. 

Yet, on the other hand, it is to encourage the follower of Christ to love. Love here is not the sentimental sappy romantic love that everyone in modern society thinks of when hearing the word "love". No, it is love which seeks righteousness, justice, holiness, mercy and goodness, all things against modern society, which know not what righteousness, justice, holiness, mercy or goodness is.

True agape love rejects all that is of the flesh, and seeks only that which is of God. When one seeks God, one loves. It is not self-centred, but is God-centred.

The argument that usury was prohibited because could be used to "take advantage of people" is not based on love. It is based on a distorted view of love, which people who hold onto this argument do not realise. It is based on a self-centred view of love, that one loves because one wants to loved in return. The idea that something is wrong because it can be used to "take advantage" of one is a self-centred one. It is the fruit of humanism that has spread through the Church like HIV since the 16th century. The idea that any sin is wrong because it takes advantage of someone views the sin as wrong, only because how people, including oneself is affected, and not because God hates it.

God hates sin, not because of how it affects people. Human love is concerned with only how things may affect others, ultimately because of how it will affect himself. It is full of respect for persons, justifying the sins of others, including the self-centredness of others, because one wants to justify one's own sins oneself. God's love is love because it is not concerned with how it will affect people and their despicable self-interests, but because it is against His nature. The Law of God is an expression of His love which has no respect for persons (Romans 2:11; Acts 10:34). 

The argument that usury was prohibited in the Bible because it "took advantage of people" based on that self-centred spirit of humanism. It is to imply that what makes usury, and sin in general, a sin is because of how it affects the self-interests of people, not because God hates it. God hates sin, not because of how it affects the self-interests of people, but because He is Holy, Holy, Holy. 

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
(Isaiah 6:1-3). 

True agape love does what it does because it cares not for one's self-interest, but what is right, and only for that reason, for it is pure. Only God's Moral Law which hinges on His love determines what is right and wrong. 
The rationalisation of the prohibition on usury as that would take advantage of people is a dangerous one because it rejects God as the standard of right and wrong, replacing him with man's standard. 

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

(Matthew 22:37-40).


Thursday, 2 February 2017

An eternal and heavenly mentality - Tim Conway

Rebuttal of Got Question's Response on Usury

Got Questions has it totally wrong on usury. So, if you from Got Questions, listen up, I have some news for you. You are wrong on usury, if not heretical on usury. You make usury out to be totally legitimate, as it appears, "as long as it does not harm anyone". Your thinking on usury is no different from the world's view on morality, that there is nothing wrong with it "as long as it does not harm anyone".

I sent Got Questions the following feedback:

Hi there 

I am writing to enquire as to Got Questions' article called "What is usury in the Bible?" I note it says "While the Bible does not prohibit the charging of interest, it does warn against becoming too concerned with money, telling us that we cannot serve both God and money at the same time (Matthew 6:24)". I have been researching this topic of usury for a while, and have sought God for counsel and wisdom on it. 

In Luke 6:34, Jesus Himself says " And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full." It is to imply that a Christian should not expect to be paid back what is lent, that is, what we call the loan principal, let alone, charge usury. 

Also, in Luke 19:11-27 Parable of the minas, I think it that the master was ascribing the charging of usury to "hard men". This is indicated by Luke 19:22-23 where the maste r says that he judges the wicked servant by his own mouth, that if he thought he was a "hard man", why did that servant not deposit it for usury. It think it also implies that depositing money for usury is what lazy servants do, not what good servant do, who do not appear to charge usury. 

Thanks for reading my comment

A person from Got Questions responded with the following:

Jesus' context in Luke is about personal "good works." His point is that lending with a business-minded approach can't be considered a "good work." His meaning is that those who lend to another with an expectation of repayment are not doing something charitable, so there is no spiritual "credit" they can take. Jesus was not saying that expecting repayment was a sin, only that business-style "lending" is not an act of charity or sacrifice.

Regarding the ten minas, remember that the words and attitude of the nobleman are his own, not necessarily those of Jesus speaking in His own approach. Parables are meant to make a point, not to be literal or exhaustive explanations. The nobleman is chiding the servant for doing literally nothing with the money, when he could have at least let it sit in a bank and earned interest.

While there's no hard definition for usury, it generally involves making the rate of interest unfairly high. This is why we refer to loan sharks, who prey on those who are financially desperate in order to make money. If God considered all charging of interest a moral sin, He would not have allowed Israel to do it, as per Deuteronomy 23:20. The OT law viewed charging interest on a loan given to a poor or destitute fellow Israelite as "usury," not because of the interest itself, but because it was seen as taking advantage of the other person.

We appreciate the feedback, and hope this helps, as well!
Note in his answer, he does not back his answer with specific verses or passages in the Bible. He misses the true spirit of the commandment of Jesus in Luke 6:34, and simply indirectly accusing me of using a literal approach to understanding the Parable of the Minas, when he is the one doing that. He says "Parables are meant to make a point, not to be literal or exhaustive explanations", and then in the next sentence says, "The nobleman is chiding the servant for doing literally nothing with the money, when he could have at least let it sit in a bank and earned interest." Are you not just interpreting the Parable literally when you just previously rebuked someone (me) for doing the same thing?

Note how he simply adopts the modern, that is, perverted definition of usury, by saying "While there's no hard definition for usury, it generally involves making the rate of interest unfairly high. This is why we refer to loan sharks, who prey on those who are financially desperate in order to make money." That itself shows that he is not qualified Biblically to speak on usury.

I would also like to say to this person, I do not think you response helps at all. It was totally unbiblical and if not outright worldly, and heretical. 

So, I responded with the following detailed response. I received no reply from this person, probably, one could suspect, he had no way to rebut it. Please note that it is not in italicised as my initial feedback and his response were.

My response:

Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it very much.
Re: Luke 6:34
So, yes, I accept that in Luke 6:34, Jesus was referring to what it meant to do good works. He is saying expecting a repayment does not make one good, because to expecting repayment is what the unsaved do, what the unbelieving world does. You seem to be thinking that 'expecting repayment' means to simply uphold the principle in Psalm 37:21 that one must repay for one's debt as "the wicked borrow and do not repay".

Based upon my careful study of this topic, I believe that what it means by 'expecting repayment' in the context of Luke 6:34 is to have the legalistic mindset that one seeks after a repayment. It is referring to holding onto one's so-called "right" to be repaid, rather than lending generously. The world holds onto its "rights", including that to be repaid, legalistically demanding and expecting to be repaid when it loans. As Christians, however, we are not to hold onto our so-called "rights", having the legalistic mindset that one should receive what one lends.

So, what Jesus was saying is to not have the legalistic mindset. Although it is sin on part of a borrower to not repay (Psalm 37:21), it is also a sin on part of the lender, to expect repayment, in the sense of having that mindset that one has lent money, such that one is entitled to be repaid on one's part. 'Expecting repayment' does not mean to disregard the principle in Psalm 37:21, or ignore the sin of not repaying. It is referring to the lender on one's part of not demanding what one loans for that is of the spirit of legalism, which is sin.
So, if that mindset is a sin, therefore, it follows that charging usury ('interest' is a perversion of the term usury) is sin. Jesus was simply enforcing what was said in the Old Testament.

Even if expecting repayment was not a sin or a sin per se, and as you say, merely that business-oriented lending is not charitable, did Jesus not give the two Greatest Commandments to love God and love one's neighbour? So, is not  the failure to love a sin? So, would it not be the case that expecting repayment in the sense that Luke 6:34 means it, is a sin?

Re: Old Testament prohibition of usury
I don't know if you have read this verse, as seems to be overlooked by many Christians, but I would like to draw it to your attention: He lends at interest and takes a profit. Will such a man live? He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he is to be put to death; his blood will be on his own head (Ezekiel 18:13 NIV). Some translations use the word 'abomination', instead of 'detestable' such as ESV, KJV, and NASB, which is a very strong word. I think if you check the original Hebrew of the word 'usury' as used in not only Ezekiel 18:13, it refers to all interest on a loan, not just excessive interest: So, the word 'usury' does have a real definition in the Bible, that is, interest per se, not just "excessive interest".
That usury was called an 'abomination' as long side other sins, in Ezekiel 18:10-13, such as murder, idolatry, adultery, robbery by violence and oppressing the poor and needy. So, this is what usury is under the Old Testament Law, a violation of the Moral Law. Usury itself is a sin, because it is usury, and not because it was simply seen as 'taking advantage of someone'. This could not be the case because the heart of the issue of usury is how it enslaves people to debt, that is, money, so that people will not be able to fully serve God, as Jesus said that no one can serve both God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).

Thus, to view usury as wrong because it 'takes advantage of someone', is to view the rightness or wrongness of it based on the consequences to people, rather than that is a manifestation of the love of money, an abomination to God. This resembles humanistic ethical reasoning  which is based on consequences or how it may negative affect people. It focuses ultimately on man, and not God.  So, the moral Law, being of inspired by God, would not view usury based on the consequences caused to people. God is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11), and so no Law of His is based ultimately on how something may be used against someone, but rather, whether it is a manifestation of love for Him, and of His Will.

So rather, the Old Testament views usury as that which furthers a person's bondage to money, which results from the love of money, which is against His Will.

Re: usury as a concept

The perversion of the word 'usury' to interest is the result of the push by secular anti-christ forces to legalise it in Europe during 1500s when Europe. Just like how people twist the word 'child sacrifice' and call it "abortion" or "termination of pregnancy", people likewise twisted the word 'usury' to justify it. Deception knows no bounds.
The idea that there is no hard definition of usury is to imply that what 'usury' is relative. If the meaning of 'usury' is relative, then the rightness or wrongness of usury is relative. Thus, it is akin to saying that abortion has no hard definition, and so whether it is right or wrong depends on, for example, the age of the baby (not "foetus") in the womb, the situation and the motive of murdering the baby. This may sound to you like a deliberate misrepresentation, or even mockery of what you are saying, but that is not at all my intention. So, please do not take it personally. I hope you do not.

Rather, what I am saying is that usury is a moral issue. If it is not a moral issue, what is it? A ritual? A economic process?
If usury can be viewed as 'taking advantage of someone', as you pointed out before then would not usury be a moral issue?
You refer to 'loan sharks', which is a term that is used in the modern context and borne of modern thinking, not Biblical thinking. I think if one reads the Bible, which I am sure you do very seriously, it does not refer to 'loan sharks' or any equivalent term, used to refer to people who charge "excessive interest" to "prey on vulnerable poor people". It simply says 'usurers', without distinguishing between people who have good or bad motives to charge usury, or between lending to the 'rich' or 'poor'.
While Exodus 22:25 may say, "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", this verse does not mean that all of a sudden, it is legitimate to charge rich people usury. I think the reason why it specifically refers to the poor is that loans were usually made to the poor. I think it is just like how the Old Testament specifically points out how orphans, widows and the sojourners are not to be oppressed because these were the specific groups who were oppressed by oppressors. This does not mean it is legitimate to oppress those who are neither orphans, widows or sojourners. Surely no one would say that because the Bible specifically says do not oppress the widow, orphan or sojourners, that it means that the Bible permits those who are neither orphans, widows or sojourners to be oppressed.

Re: the (apparent) usury "exception"
I note that you point out Deuteronomy 23:20 as a justification for the claim that not all usury is sin. God allows Israelites to charge those foreigners interest in that particular context because they were under God's judgment. The Hebrew word for foreigner in this verse was ' nokri' as opposed to 'ger'. The word 'nokri' carried a negative connotation, meaning 'strange', like for example, the 'strange woman' in Proverbs. He or she was under the judgment of God. A 'ger' was an immigrant of non-Jewish blood who was a sojourner, who was usually a convert of the Old Testament Jewish faith. A nokri being an unbeliever was therefore under the judgment of God, and not entitled to legal protections as a 'ger' was. So,the so-called usury "exception" applied, only because the ger was under the judgment of God. Just like how God told Israelites to kill  foreign nations because they were under God's judgment, the same applies here.

In the same way that God telling the Israelites to deliberately and wilfully kill foreign nations because of their wickedness does not make murder right, that God allowed the charging of usury against nokris, because of their wickedness in most likely charging usury themselves, does not make usury right.

Re: Parable of Minas
The meaning behind it was what I was trying to get at, which is based on the text. Despite Parables being that which are not to be interpreted literally, the text is still that which is what guides us Whether the words and attitude of the nobleman are his own, not necessarily those of Jesus speaking in His own approach, is not the issue. The issue is that charging usury is attributed to what a hard man does, whether it is Jesus' Words, or that of the master in the parable. While the master is condemning the servant for doing nothing with the money, he is also implying that charging usury is what a hard man does by judging the wicked servant in accordance to his own words. Notice how he, the master, said "If you think I am a hard man, why did you not, by your own standards, put the money on deposit for usury". He is not saying that he himself would like to receive usury.

Hope this helps. I have enjoyed discussing this topic with you. I hope you have enjoyed reading my thoughts and that you have learned something.
Grace and peace