OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 24, 2014, 12:20:50 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 »  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Usury is sinful?  (Read 20864 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
buzuxi
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: GREEK ORTHODOX
Jurisdiction: WORLD ORTHODOXY AGAINST ECUMENISM
Posts: 265


« Reply #135 on: May 08, 2008, 03:43:45 PM »

Theres nothing wrong with charging interest, even the byzantine empire employed it. This was more of an issue under the papal states. If anyone doesnt like it then they should cut up their credit cards and not use them.
Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #136 on: May 08, 2008, 03:51:32 PM »

Christ also said that if your eye causes you to sin that you should pluck it out and that if your right arm causes you to sin you should cut it off. He also said that unless you hate your father and mother you cannot be my disciple. I suppose you would take all of these in a rigid, literal and absolutist sense as well. I think what is important is that we interpret and understand scripture in the spirit of Christianity and Orthodoxy..." for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

Sorry, I can't agree with this. I am not talking about the "letter." I am talking about the spirit of the Sermon of the Mount, which we very conveniently forget, living in the anti-Christian, demonic society based on greed and on the globalistic Darwinian, homicidal expansion. We "support our troops" who are busy killing thousands of innocent civilians. We elect homicidal maniacs to rule the world because they appease our greed, promising to lower our taxes. We engage in usury every day, even though we know very well that it is strictly forbidden by the Mosaic Law, not to mention that it drastically contradicts the spirit of Christ. We recall the Sermon on the Mount only when somebody else has a televized sex affair...
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 03:51:58 PM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,662


WWW
« Reply #137 on: May 08, 2008, 03:52:59 PM »

That was a parable meant for Bishops. The interest collected is peoples souls. Wink

The quoted parable refers to the Last Judgment where the servant who hid his talent (i.e. did nothing for himself or for anyone else) lost his talent to the one who had ten talents.

The parable of the sheep and goats also refers to the Last Judgment.

Neither parable has anything to do with usury.  Because modern translations of the Gospel use "every day" words to replace terms used in Jesus' time, there is clearly confusion in that Jesus was not referring to anything on earth, not even the actual monetary significance of a talent.  I stick to the King James or New King James for historically accurate and relevant Bible translations.
Logged
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,375



« Reply #138 on: May 08, 2008, 03:58:26 PM »

I stick to the King James or New King James for historically accurate and relevant Bible translations.
I try and stick with the original Greek where I can. Cheesy
Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,662


WWW
« Reply #139 on: May 08, 2008, 04:02:53 PM »

I try and stick with the original Greek where I can. Cheesy

With the New Testament Greek translation for "talent", "sheep" and "goats", there ought to be no ambiguity.  The translation from 5 talents to "a whole lot of money" tends to mislead the actual intent of the passage where the Parable of the Talents was not about money per se but judgment.
Logged
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,375



« Reply #140 on: May 08, 2008, 04:07:17 PM »

With the New Testament Greek translation for "talent", "sheep" and "goats", there ought to be no ambiguity.  The translation from 5 talents to "a whole lot of money" tends to mislead the actual intent of the passage where the Parable of the Talents was not about money per se but judgment.

I agree that talents were not money. Where we disagree is that I believe talents are people. The one that was reprimanded, a church leader.
Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,662


WWW
« Reply #141 on: May 08, 2008, 04:07:40 PM »

Christ also said that if your eye causes you to sin that you should pluck it out and that if your right arm causes you to sin you should cut it off. He also said that unless you hate your father and mother you cannot be my disciple. I suppose you would take all of these in a rigid, literal and absolutist sense as well. I think what is important is that we interpret and understand scripture in the spirit of Christianity and Orthodoxy..." for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."

Ascetics gave up their fathers and mothers and everything else in the world and went to the desert for spiritual purification.  Christ said that such a life was not for everyone, just as not everyone was born a eunuch or a permanent virgin.  Interpreting what Christ said about sin was a figurative interpretation because He's saying how all of us have sinned (and how the children of Israel failed to live up to Mosaic Law) and no one is perfect.  Recall that Christ originally preached to the children of Israel and instructed His Disciples to not preach to the Gentiles.
Logged
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,662


WWW
« Reply #142 on: May 08, 2008, 04:12:53 PM »

I agree that talents were not money. Where we disagree is that I believe talents are people. The one that was reprimanded, a church leader.

Refer to Matthew 25:14-30 (I'm using Orthodox Study Bible for interpretation):
The talents are the use of Gifts bestowed by God upon every person.  God does not show partiality to those who received based on their ability.  The wicked and lazy servant who buried his talent rejected God because such a servant used this divine Gift for earthly pursuits which did not result in any increase.  That person can be anybody including Hierarchs. The wicked and lazy servant also refused help from others in the community - staying silent and receiving his judgment.

One also has to look at Matthew 25:31-46 as a summation of the previous parable and the impending judgment.  The discussion of usury does not fit into the above 2 passages regarding the Last Judgment.  The sheep are righteousness and the goats are the unrighteousness; there's no mention of money.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 04:15:10 PM by SolEX01 » Logged
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #143 on: May 08, 2008, 04:23:43 PM »

I try and stick with the original Greek where I can. Cheesy

Me, too.
The Parable of the Talents surely is not about money. It's about faith and works. I constantly see some Protestants try to make it into something about 'stewardship', however. And I have used it many times to absolutely destroy their "salvation by faith alone"-thing.
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
falafel333
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 337


« Reply #144 on: May 08, 2008, 08:41:04 PM »

That was a parable meant for Bishops. The interest collected is peoples souls. Wink

Do you think that Christ would have used as the subject of an analogy, something that he disagreed with or even condemned, without expressly clarifying this somehow throughout his discourse?

I think that where the condemnation of usury existed and was enforced the economic structure was based probably almost entirely on a bartering system. However, economic dynamics are completely different today and the value of the dollar is constantly changing as mentioned previously thus its value when loaned is not the same when returned.

Also you are condemning a system which, if used responsibly, helps so many people and so if you removed or eliminated that system so many people would be left disadvantaged in that they would not be able to purchase a home, or car to go to work, or a loan to study, or build a church, or other essentials that may be needed. I don't understand how that would be in the best interest of myself or others or even in the spirit of Christianity and Orthodoxy. I think what we as Christians may condemn is what is really usury and which is at times the exploitative (usurious) demands made by certain banks and financial institutions. However, I believe that most governments usually have some kind of watch dogs and checks and balances to ensure that for the most part this does not occur.
Logged
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,375



« Reply #145 on: May 08, 2008, 08:49:30 PM »

Do you think that Christ would have used as the subject of an analogy, something that he disagreed with or even condemned, without expressly clarifying this somehow throughout his discourse?

I think that where the condemnation of usury existed and was enforced the economic structure was based probably almost entirely on a bartering system. However, economic dynamics are completely different today and the value of the dollar is constantly changing as mentioned previously thus its value when loaned is not the same when returned.

Also you are condemning a system which, if used responsibly, helps so many people and so if you removed or eliminated that system so many people would be left disadvantaged in that they would not be able to purchase a home, or car to go to work, or a loan to study, or build a church, or other essentials that may be needed. I don't understand how that would be in the best interest of myself or others or even in the spirit of Christianity and Orthodoxy. I think what we as Christians may condemn is what is really usury and which is at times the exploitative (usurious) demands made by certain banks and financial institutions. However, I believe that most governments usually have some kind of watch dogs and checks and balances to ensure that for the most part this does not occur.
Who is condemning the system? I think you should go over my posts in this thread. I am one of the few including yourself that think the system is pretty good.  Grin I was just pionting out that the verse you selected is being used out of context. If you would like to start a new thread about the parable, that is fine with me.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 08:52:38 PM by Demetrios G. » Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,375



« Reply #146 on: May 08, 2008, 09:04:12 PM »

Refer to Matthew 25:14-30 (I'm using Orthodox Study Bible for interpretation):
The talents are the use of Gifts bestowed by God upon every person.  God does not show partiality to those who received based on their ability.  The wicked and lazy servant who buried his talent rejected God because such a servant used this divine Gift for earthly pursuits which did not result in any increase.  That person can be anybody including Hierarchy. The wicked and lazy servant also refused help from others in the community - staying silent and receiving his judgment.

One also has to look at Matthew 25:31-46 as a summation of the previous parable and the impending judgment.  The discussion of usury does not fit into the above 2 passages regarding the Last Judgment.  The sheep are righteousness and the goats are the unrighteousness; there's no mention of money.

I don't have an Orthodox study bible. It could certainly be used in that context. I still believe it is about the Hierarchy rather than general people though.
Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #147 on: May 08, 2008, 10:27:41 PM »

I don't have an Orthodox study bible. It could certainly be used in that context. I still believe it is about the Hierarchy rather than general people though.
Do you have any patristic sources to back up your interpretation of the parable?
Logged
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,375



« Reply #148 on: May 08, 2008, 10:57:10 PM »

Do you have any patristic sources to back up your interpretation of the parable?
I have no patristic sources. I'm just offering my opinion.
Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
zoarthegleaner
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 398



« Reply #149 on: November 21, 2008, 10:42:01 PM »

This thread has been inactive since May, but the ever changing economic climate of the USA and the world seems to make it even more relevant than in the past. 

 I cannot accept a definition that "interest and usury" are equal, they are not, which is to say the earnings called interest are not the same thing as the earnings from usury.  The earnings from interest are "earned", while the earnings from usury are "stolen."   That said, my answer to the subject line's question is the same as those who have posted dogmatically that "usury" is sinful, but earning interest is not sinful, indeed it is righteous, holy and commanded.   

Anyone reading the above paragraph can see the paradox which exists when we talk about the difference between "interest" and "usury."  The paradox arises in our choosing to call the profit from practicing usury "earnings."   True 'interest is "earned" while the so-called interest of usury is always "stolen."   

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and characteristics which we as Orthodox Christians are called to possess is the gift of discernment.  We are called to know the difference between good and evil, wise and foolish, righteousness and wickedness.  This is important because "one man's interest may be another man's usury."  This means while we can make broad generalities, we must also make wise distinctions since things are always black and white even when they are also in full color (that is to say there exists different shades and hues in color).

First, interest is always earned, i.e., it requires work which in truth is always an investment.  We may invest time, material, labor either directly or indirectly.  As Orthodox Christians we often say that the first commandment given to man was to fast even before the FALL.  But the first commandment given to man after the FALL was to WORK i.e., to invest himself into his own salvation.  This same commandment continues for us even under the Gospel's dispensation as stated by St. Paul to the Philippians: "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

God expects and demands interest from His investments  Perhaps most of us haven't given this much thought, but the Parable of the Talents which has already been posted under this subject line is a most relevant passage establishing the dogmatic tone of the statement.  This is also the underlying reason for St. Paul's exhortation to the Philippians and to us all (whether Greek or Jew, male or female, wealthy or poor) to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

Therefore, if God requires interest in his investments, it is not unlawful or ungodly for mankind to do the same, since we have been created in His Image.  It is fundamentally wrong to believe and act as if we by our own labors alone can gain anything.  God is the reward-er of every man's deeds, words and even their thoughts and subsequently, but not least of all, their prayers.   Furthermore, he takes from those who have failed to make lawful investments even that which He had given them to be guardians thereof until his return and distributes them to others who have proved themselves to be wise and thoughtful investors.

Secondly, but not least importantly, the whole of Creation (both heaven and earth and things visible and invisible) are God's investment(s) so as to enlarge, enhance and expand His gift of inheritance to His Only Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ the one true THEANTHROPOS.   To withold God's earnings ("My Father worketh hitherto, and I work," our Lord answered the Jews) is theft, and if Crucifying our Lord be Deicide, what is stealing from God who said, "...bring the full tithe into the store house" (Malachi 3.10").  What is the tithe but God's earned interest on His investments. Was it not He who made the Sun to shine and the Rain to fall and the Earth to nourish and the Seed to grow and the Plant to bear Fruit and the Fruit to give an increase?   

The truth of the matter is that tithing is despised because it is simply to darn expensive, which is to say, we want to consume and deposit into the pit all that God has given us. We want to fatten ourselves, even though "...all the fat belongs to the Lord."  All the fat, i.e., the interest which is gained from investing ourselves into our labor, even the Ox which threshes can grow fat from its earnings, if he is not muzzled, not bad fat, but good fat (hasn't modern nutritional science taught us there is a difference?).  But I am not intending to expound loquaciously upon tithing, that would get my post posted elsewhere.  Wink

If in fact, our Lord is the true Prodigal Son who takes His inheritance and spends it among those who only want to use his doctrines and teachings to enrich themselves or to avoid labor (salvation by faith alone?) and subsequently returns to His Father's household with a train of seekers searching after Him (Follow me he told the two disciples who wanted to learn of the place where he dwelt) who would be washed and subsequently invited into a great feast, the the whole of His Incarnatational experience (which is without end, i.e., being enlarged, enhanced and expanding (like the expanding universe?)) can be correctly (i.e., Orthodox-ically) called an INVESTMENT TO AQUIRE INTEREST ON HIS INHERITANCE.

As I said, INTEREST IS NOT USURY. 

What is Usuary?  Who really cares to read my pithy thoughts which are full of illogical presumptions and bad grammer. 

 



Logged

Courteous is my name,
and I have always aimed to live up to it.
Grace is also my name,
but when things go wrong
its Courteous whom I blame;
but its Grace who sees me through it.
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #150 on: November 21, 2008, 11:38:35 PM »

This thread has been inactive since May, but the ever changing economic climate of the USA and the world seems to make it even more relevant than in the past. 

 I cannot accept a definition that "interest and usury" are equal, they are not, which is to say the earnings called interest are not the same thing as the earnings from usury.  The earnings from interest are "earned", while the earnings from usury are "stolen."   That said, my answer to the subject line's question is the same as those who have posted dogmatically that "usury" is sinful, but earning interest is not sinful, indeed it is righteous, holy and commanded.   

Anyone reading the above paragraph can see the paradox which exists when we talk about the difference between "interest" and "usury."  The paradox arises in our choosing to call the profit from practicing usury "earnings."   True 'interest is "earned" while the so-called interest of usury is always "stolen."   

One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and characteristics which we as Orthodox Christians are called to possess is the gift of discernment.  We are called to know the difference between good and evil, wise and foolish, righteousness and wickedness.  This is important because "one man's interest may be another man's usury."  This means while we can make broad generalities, we must also make wise distinctions since things are always black and white even when they are also in full color (that is to say there exists different shades and hues in color).

First, interest is always earned, i.e., it requires work which in truth is always an investment.  We may invest time, material, labor either directly or indirectly.  As Orthodox Christians we often say that the first commandment given to man was to fast even before the FALL.  But the first commandment given to man after the FALL was to WORK i.e., to invest himself into his own salvation.  This same commandment continues for us even under the Gospel's dispensation as stated by St. Paul to the Philippians: "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

God expects and demands interest from His investments  Perhaps most of us haven't given this much thought, but the Parable of the Talents which has already been posted under this subject line is a most relevant passage establishing the dogmatic tone of the statement.  This is also the underlying reason for St. Paul's exhortation to the Philippians and to us all (whether Greek or Jew, male or female, wealthy or poor) to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

Therefore, if God requires interest in his investments, it is not unlawful or ungodly for mankind to do the same, since we have been created in His Image.  It is fundamentally wrong to believe and act as if we by our own labors alone can gain anything.  God is the reward-er of every man's deeds, words and even their thoughts and subsequently, but not least of all, their prayers.   Furthermore, he takes from those who have failed to make lawful investments even that which He had given them to be guardians thereof until his return and distributes them to others who have proved themselves to be wise and thoughtful investors.

Secondly, but not least importantly, the whole of Creation (both heaven and earth and things visible and invisible) are God's investment(s) so as to enlarge, enhance and expand His gift of inheritance to His Only Begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ the one true THEANTHROPOS.   To withold God's earnings ("My Father worketh hitherto, and I work," our Lord answered the Jews) is theft, and if Crucifying our Lord be Deicide, what is stealing from God who said, "...bring the full tithe into the store house" (Malachi 3.10").  What is the tithe but God's earned interest on His investments. Was it not He who made the Sun to shine and the Rain to fall and the Earth to nourish and the Seed to grow and the Plant to bear Fruit and the Fruit to give an increase?   

The truth of the matter is that tithing is despised because it is simply to darn expensive, which is to say, we want to consume and deposit into the pit all that God has given us. We want to fatten ourselves, even though "...all the fat belongs to the Lord."  All the fat, i.e., the interest which is gained from investing ourselves into our labor, even the Ox which threshes can grow fat from its earnings, if he is not muzzled, not bad fat, but good fat (hasn't modern nutritional science taught us there is a difference?).  But I am not intending to expound loquaciously upon tithing, that would get my post posted elsewhere.  Wink

If in fact, our Lord is the true Prodigal Son who takes His inheritance and spends it among those who only want to use his doctrines and teachings to enrich themselves or to avoid labor (salvation by faith alone?) and subsequently returns to His Father's household with a train of seekers searching after Him (Follow me he told the two disciples who wanted to learn of the place where he dwelt) who would be washed and subsequently invited into a great feast, the the whole of His Incarnatational experience (which is without end, i.e., being enlarged, enhanced and expanding (like the expanding universe?)) can be correctly (i.e., Orthodox-ically) called an INVESTMENT TO AQUIRE INTEREST ON HIS INHERITANCE.

As I said, INTEREST IS NOT USURY. 

What is Usuary?  Who really cares to read my pithy thoughts which are full of illogical presumptions and bad grammer. 

 






I disagree.

I did a post some months ago called "Calvinism & Usury"

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/2008/04/calvinism-usury.html


There is a link between Calvinism and our modern use of Usury. We now live in an age where High Usury is commonplace, yet the Bible and Historic Christian commentary for 15 hundred years were all against it. Except for one person. And that person was John Calvin.

In the book "Christianity's Dangerous Idea" Alister Mcgrath goes through the common consensus of Biblical interpretation in regards to the issue of Usury. He notes how everyone was against it. Then he turns to Calvin and shows how his view eventually became the common interpretation of the text among Protestants and then about 3 hundred years later among Catholics, and eventhough he doesn't mention this, but it has alo become the view of some Orthodox in recent decades.


Quote
"Yet while Christians were Prohibited from lending money at interest, Jews
were explicitly exempted from this ban. This exemption led to the emergence of
the stereotype of the Jew as an avaricious moneylender, famously exemplified in
Shakespeare's Shylock in The Merchant of Venine. These views were not challenged
in the first phase of Protestantism. Martin Luther regarded the biblical
prohibition of usury as permanently binding. In his 1524 sermon on trade and
usury, Luther lashed out at any attempt to change interest. In his view,
Christians "should willingly and gladly lend money without any charge." The
Elizabethan Protestant bishop John Jewel reflected the views of his age when he
raged from his pulpit against the iniquities of usury. "It is theft, it is the
murdering of our brethern, it is the curse of God and the curse of the people."
This uncompromising opposition to usury was emodied in a statute passed by the
English Parliament in 1571, which had the uniforeseen and unintended effect of
legitimating usury at a fixed rate of 10 percent.



Yet the lending of monay at interest was essential to the emergence of
modern capitalism. A steady increasing hunger for capital led many in both
church and state to turn a blind eye to moneylending and to reconsider the
entire theological basis of the prhibition of usury. Calvin could not have been
unaware of these problems. The survival of the city of Geneva depended on being
able to sustain and develop its urban economy and remain independant of
potentially dangerous neighbors.



In 1545 Calvin wrote to his friend Claude de Sachin, setting out his views
on usury. The letter was not published until after Calvin's death (1564), when
Theodore Beza decided to make its contents generally known in 1575. At one
level, this letter can be read as a total inversion of the teaching of the Old
Testament; a more attentive reading confirms this suspicion but discloses the
sophisticated lines of argument that led Calvin to his surprising conclusion. So
how could Calvin reinterpret the Old Testament's explicit statement that usury
is prohibited to mean that it is actually permitted?.



Calvin's letter of 1545 reinforces the impotance of biblibal interpretation
to Protestantism. In one respect, Calvin reaffirmed the general Protestant idea
that not all the rules set out for Jews in the Old Testament were binding upon
Christians; in these instances, the Old Testament offered moral guidance only,
not positive prescription for conduct. Yet this way of interpreting the Old
Testament had been applied to cultic issues-such as the Old Testament's demand
for animal sacrifices. Calvin's extension of the principle to usury broke new
ground.



A fundamental theme recurring throuhout the letter was that things had
moved on. the situation in sixteenth-century Europe was not the same as that in
ancient Israel.
As Bieler points out in his magisterial study of Calvin's economic thought,
the new economic realities of the sixteenth century made it possible to view
interests as simply rent paid on capital. Calvin therefore argued for the need
to probe deeper and ascertain the general princliples that seemed to underlie
the Old Testament ban on usury in its original context. It was the purpose of
the prohibition, not the prohibition itself, that had to govern Protestant
thinking on this matter. "We ought not to judge usury according to a few
passages of scripture, but in accordance with the principle of equity." For
Calvin, the real concern was the exploitation of the poor through." through high interests rates.
This, he argued, could be dealt with in other ways-such as fixing of interest
rates at communally acceptable levels. Calvin's willinglness to allow a variable
rate of interest showed an awareness of the pressures upon capital in the more
or less free market of the age.

Calvin's views which were seen by many as running counter to the clear
meaning of the Bible, took some time to become accepted. By the middle of the
seventeenth century-more than one hundred years after Calvin's groundbreaking
analysis-usury was fully regarded as acceptable. Protestant jurists such as Hugo
Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf supplemented Calvin's theological analysis with
clarifications of economic concepts, especially in relation to price and value,
that finally removed any remaining scruples about lending money at unterest. The
Catholic church did not legitmate usury, however, until 1830, apparently in
response to the widespread acceptance of the practice within predominantly
Protestant western Europe.

Yet Protestantism did more than bring about the theological adjustment that
opened the way to a modern capitalist economy, its early development in the
cities of Europe, especially in Switzerland, created the economic conditions
that made such a change inevitable and essential. During the period 1535 to
1540, an economic recession descended on the area around Geneva. Despite this
downturn, Geneva was able to survive and to go on to benefit from the subsequent
recovery throughout the region, which lasted from 1540 to 1555. It is now
thought that one of the prime reasons for Geneva's resilience during this period
was the emergence of the Swiss banking system, which allowed Basel and other
major Swiss Protestant cities sympathic to Calvin's religious agenda to bail him
out through large loans. The Swiss banking system emerged as a direct response
to a shared sense of identity throughout the Protestant cantons of Switzerland
and neighboring cities-including
Geneva..............................................................................................The
raising of capital for economic expansion thus became imperative for Geneva
around this time. Calvin's removal of the remaining theological impediments to
the practice of usury was not merely religiously progressive; it was essential
if his version of Protestantism was to survive. So intimate was the connection
between the religious system of Calvinism and the city of Geneva that the
collapse of the latter would have had disastrous implications for the
former."
[1]


Calvinism's noval interpretation of Usury is one of the causes of masses poverty in the World today. Yes, the world has always had it's poor, but Calvinism has made it even worse.





[1] pages 332-335 from the book "Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution-A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First by Alister E. McGrath. Published by HarperOne, Copyright 20





JNORM888
« Last Edit: November 21, 2008, 11:42:01 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #151 on: November 22, 2008, 04:57:20 PM »

What is Usuary?  Who really cares to read my pithy thoughts which are full of illogical presumptions and bad grammer. 
Well, you gave us a long (by internet posting standards) essay on interest that only marginally addresses the primary "this-worldly" understanding of interest--an other-worldly view of interest is certainly a good thing to read, though.  You also defined usury as theft but said nothing more of that.  Why don't you go ahead and describe your view of usury a bit more and explain how your understanding of interest contrasts with your definition of usury?  IOW, what is usury to you, and how is it theft?
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #152 on: November 22, 2008, 05:09:44 PM »

I disagree.
You disagree with what?
  • With zoarthegleaner's argument that usury is okay?  But he never made such an argument; in fact, he did the exact opposite and called usury theft.
  • With zoarthegleaner's argument that interest is fundamentally different from usury?  Yet you go on to argue solely against usury without making any statements that interest and usury are the same thing.

Quote
Calvinism's noval interpretation of Usury is one of the causes of masses poverty in the World today. Yes, the world has always had it's poor, but Calvinism has made it even worse.
How so?
Logged
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #153 on: November 22, 2008, 07:23:45 PM »

I disagree.
You disagree with what?
  • With zoarthegleaner's argument that usury is okay?  But he never made such an argument; in fact, he did the exact opposite and called usury theft.
  • With zoarthegleaner's argument that interest is fundamentally different from usury?  Yet you go on to argue solely against usury without making any statements that interest and usury are the same thing.

Quote
Calvinism's noval interpretation of Usury is one of the causes of masses poverty in the World today. Yes, the world has always had it's poor, but Calvinism has made it even worse.
How so?

I dissagree with the idea that "Usury and interest are two different things". Who gets to define what is "Usury versus interest? In the western World John Calvin started the 10% limit. He thought that anything over 10% was "usury" (This is what I showed in the quote I gave).

But the Bible doesn't make that distinction. Also show me a Church Father that made that distinction. Usury and interest are one and the same to me. In the Old Testament, the Jews weren't allowed to charge interest on other Jews but they were allowed to do so for non Jews.


You also asked how did Calvinism make the situation worse.


Well, Whithout Usury our form of capitolism would be impossible.

Debt controls the World economy. Without it, we wouldn’t have what we have today. What John Calvin did was one of the necessary “contingencies”, that would lead to, what we have now (which was also shown in the quote I gave).





JNORM888
« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 07:31:47 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #154 on: November 22, 2008, 07:56:30 PM »

I dissagree with the idea that "Usury and interest are two different things". Who gets to define what is "Usury versus interest? In the western World John Calvin started the 10% limit. He thought that anything over 10% was "usury" (This is what I showed in the quote I gave).

But the Bible doesn't make that distinction. Also show me a Church Father that made that distinction. Usury and interest are one and the same to me. In the Old Testament, the Jews weren't allowed to charge interest on other Jews but they were allowed to do so for non Jews.
But what about investing your money in an interest drawing account, such as a money market account or a retirement account?  How is the interest accrued by such accounts the same as usury?  Somehow, I think THIS is what zoarthegleaner is talking about.  One could even say that we should see this investment as praiseworthy, judging from what Jesus said in his parable of the talents (the wise servants, who invested their money with the bankers to draw interest, vs. the foolish servant, who buried his in the ground).

You also asked how did Calvinism make the situation worse.


Well, Whithout Usury our form of capitolism would be impossible.

Debt controls the World economy. Without it, we wouldn’t have what we have today. What John Calvin did was one of the necessary “contingencies”, that would lead to, what we have now (which was also shown in the quote I gave).
So now you have to establish just how capitalism increases the size of the chasm between the rich and the poor and how this is actually oppressive.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 08:00:14 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
zoarthegleaner
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 398



« Reply #155 on: November 23, 2008, 12:06:41 AM »

Usury is at its most basic and fundamental level the accumulation of EXCESS, which is to say, taking more than is needed.  This is only a broad or general definition and in the relativity of individual experience may vary since the commandments of God allocate that we only take what we need.  As I stated in my first post "one man's interest may be another man's usury," therefore the needs of individuals (but also families, tribes, nations etc...) vary according to the hiearchial order within Creation to which they have been assigned by God.  This theme is everywhere present within the Holy Scriptures (and needs to be studied and used to test the Dogmatic theme of the American Dream, i.e., "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, but that is subject for another thread.).

Again starting with God we say He is the "maker of Heaven and Earth, all things visible and invisible," therefore, in that all things originate from Him, for Him and to Him, He can never be accused of receiving EXCESS or practicing USURY.  All Glory, honor, and power originate with Him,  belongs to Him and He Himself is the measure of all things.  To withhold one iota of Glory from Him is theft and whomever, be it an Angel, Man or any other Creation in Heaven above, on the earth or beneath the earth takes that which belongs only to God to itself and takes to itself excess.

As stated in the previous post, we Orthodox universally hold and confess that the first commandment given to Adam was to Fast.  Adam was not to take unto himself that which God had withheld from him, which was a Glory and likeness which Adam at that relative time unable to bear or measure up unto...however, Adam concured with the Serpent's whispers to his wife that God was witholding a measure of worth which if Adam possessed would increase his own self-worth.  That is to say that Adam sought to inflate the value of his ego through stolen interest, i.e., usury.   Once stolen, the weight of that Glory by which he thought to increase his self-worth began to corrupt his actual worth. 

Usury always introduces corruption into the value of whomever receives it.  Throughout the Holy Scriptures this theme is frequently rehearsed in many variant applications.  In the story of Abraham's payment of tithes to Melchizedek originates out of Abraham's refusal to hold in excess the profit/booty(?) which he and his soldiers acquired in the deliverance of Lot.  Abraham was refusing to be corrupted by a profit beyond the actual cost of his venture:

"And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,That I will not take from a thread even to a shoe latchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich: Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion."

This refusal by Abram subsequently earned him another greater reward when "After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward."

While there are many other examples, consider the commandment concerning the gathering of Manna in the wilderness,  "And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them."

Why did some of them ignore Moses commandment?  For what net value did they hope their over accumulation would result?  Were they hoping to only avoid work and personal labor?  May they not also have been looking at their accumulation as a goods which could be sold the next day to others who wanted to avoid the menial labor of gathering also and thereby gaining an advantage over their neighbors?  Perhaps these may appear to be only speculative or hypothetical questions, but it remains that their over-accumulation became corruption, a matter which had other consequences under the Mosaic Law which could even result in the burning of a house (tent).

Returning to my opening line: "Usury is at its most basic and fundamental level the accumulation of EXCESS.

Usury has as its primary purpose to be a means to avoid hard labor through excessive returns.  Excessive being broadly or generally defined as possession of more than one needs.  In the Lord's prayer we are taught to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread," and when the people coming to St. John the Baptist asked what could they do, he answered, "Give away your excess coat, meat, and to others to refuse taking more than what was allocated to them."


It may be true that these thoughts "only marginally addresses the primary "this-worldly" understanding of interest," but I am reminded of our Lord's words to Nicodemus which were, "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" 

The spiritual ailment of usury is widespread and has indeed been developed and spread more widely through our particular Economic system and that is what I am attempting to identify as the root of our present economic crisis which is affecting many and perhaps most of us.
Logged

Courteous is my name,
and I have always aimed to live up to it.
Grace is also my name,
but when things go wrong
its Courteous whom I blame;
but its Grace who sees me through it.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #156 on: November 23, 2008, 09:34:03 AM »

Honestly, I just do not understand the reason(s) for such a long discussion. Usury=giving money and demanding the money back with interest - is a sin. Period. Just like adultery or fornication or theft or murder or false testimony are sins, period. Unfortunately, we live in a society where usury is made a norm. Still, it's not a reason to modify Christ's understanding of usury to fit our own ideas and purposes in life. Whoever is involved in usury, must repent, without trying to justify him-herself. For example, I am involved in usury - although I never give money to people asking them to return the money with interest, I, nonetheless, use credit cards, i.e. I am participating in the system of organized usury, feeding it. I am very sorry that I am doing it, it's horrible, and I just ask God to forgive me this awful sin.
Logged

Love never fails.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #157 on: November 23, 2008, 05:41:18 PM »

Honestly, I just do not understand the reason(s) for such a long discussion.
Because this issue just isn't as cut and dried, or as black and white as you make it out to be.  You're convinced that usury is sinful and that this fact is so clear from Scripture and Tradition that we shouldn't even be discussing (that is to say, rationalizing) it.  I'm happy you're so convinced, but most of us aren't.  Maybe we're blind, or maybe we're just much more perceptive of the fine gradations of gray and a broad spectrum of other colors in this issue than you.  I don't know. Undecided  What I do know is that most of us need to discuss this issue at much greater length so as to see the larger picture.
Logged
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #158 on: November 23, 2008, 06:15:21 PM »

Honestly, I just do not understand the reason(s) for such a long discussion. Usury=giving money and demanding the money back with interest - is a sin. Period. Just like adultery or fornication or theft or murder or false testimony are sins, period. Unfortunately, we live in a society where usury is made a norm. Still, it's not a reason to modify Christ's understanding of usury to fit our own ideas and purposes in life. Whoever is involved in usury, must repent, without trying to justify him-herself. For example, I am involved in usury - although I never give money to people asking them to return the money with interest, I, nonetheless, use credit cards, i.e. I am participating in the system of organized usury, feeding it. I am very sorry that I am doing it, it's horrible, and I just ask God to forgive me this awful sin.


CO-sign!!!



JNORM888
Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #159 on: November 23, 2008, 06:16:17 PM »

Honestly, I just do not understand the reason(s) for such a long discussion.
Because this issue just isn't as cut and dried, or as black and white as you make it out to be.  You're convinced that usury is sinful and that this fact is so clear from Scripture and Tradition that we shouldn't even be discussing (that is to say, rationalizing) it.  I'm happy you're so convinced, but most of us aren't.  Maybe we're blind, or maybe we're just much more perceptive of the fine gradations of gray and a broad spectrum of other colors in this issue than you.  I don't know. Undecided  What I do know is that most of us need to discuss this issue at much greater length so as to see the larger picture.


The only reason I see to talk about it more is to justify it. ......to ease ones conscience.





JNORM888
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 06:25:31 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #160 on: November 23, 2008, 06:24:00 PM »

I dissagree with the idea that "Usury and interest are two different things". Who gets to define what is "Usury versus interest? In the western World John Calvin started the 10% limit. He thought that anything over 10% was "usury" (This is what I showed in the quote I gave).

But the Bible doesn't make that distinction. Also show me a Church Father that made that distinction. Usury and interest are one and the same to me. In the Old Testament, the Jews weren't allowed to charge interest on other Jews but they were allowed to do so for non Jews.
But what about investing your money in an interest drawing account, such as a money market account or a retirement account?  How is the interest accrued by such accounts the same as usury?  Somehow, I think THIS is what zoarthegleaner is talking about.  One could even say that we should see this investment as praiseworthy, judging from what Jesus said in his parable of the talents (the wise servants, who invested their money with the bankers to draw interest, vs. the foolish servant, who buried his in the ground).

You also asked how did Calvinism make the situation worse.


Well, Whithout Usury our form of capitolism would be impossible.

Debt controls the World economy. Without it, we wouldn’t have what we have today. What John Calvin did was one of the necessary “contingencies”, that would lead to, what we have now (which was also shown in the quote I gave).
So now you have to establish just how capitalism increases the size of the chasm between the rich and the poor and how this is actually oppressive.


Look at the mortage alot of people have to pay. If they don't have a fixed "interest rate" then that increases their chances to not only stay in poverty, but to become more poor.

When rich countries give loans to poor countries, must the poor countries pay interest?

When alot of American slaves got out of slavery they were givin loans they couldn't repay. I can go on and on and on.


Charging people interest is wrong, and the idea that only "high interest" is usury is the idea of John Calvin. Not the Bible nor the Church Fathers and councils of the Church.

But since we live in a system of sin, we have to make the best out of what we have.




"Yet Protestantism did more than bring about the theological adjustment that
opened the way to a modern capitalist economy, its early development in the
cities of Europe, especially in Switzerland, created the economic conditions
that made such a change inevitable and essential. During the period 1535 to
1540, an economic recession descended on the area around Geneva. Despite this
downturn, Geneva was able to survive and to go on to benefit from the subsequent
recovery throughout the region, which lasted from 1540 to 1555. It is now
thought that one of the prime reasons for Geneva's resilience during this period
was the emergence of the Swiss banking system, which allowed Basel and other
major Swiss Protestant cities sympathic to Calvin's religious agenda to bail him
out through large loans. The Swiss banking system emerged as a direct response
to a shared sense of identity throughout the Protestant cantons of Switzerland
and neighboring cities-including
Geneva..............................................................................................The
raising of capital for economic expansion thus became imperative for Geneva
around this time. Calvin's removal of the remaining theological impediments to
the practice of usury was not merely religiously progressive; it was essential
if his version of Protestantism was to survive. So intimate was the connection
between the religious system of Calvinism and the city of Geneva that the
collapse of the latter would have had disastrous implications for the
former.""
[1]



JNORM888

[1] from the book "Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution-A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First by Alister E. McGrath. Published by HarperOne, Copyright 20
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 06:30:09 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #161 on: November 23, 2008, 06:30:37 PM »

Honestly, I just do not understand the reason(s) for such a long discussion.
Because this issue just isn't as cut and dried, or as black and white as you make it out to be.  You're convinced that usury is sinful and that this fact is so clear from Scripture and Tradition that we shouldn't even be discussing (that is to say, rationalizing) it.  I'm happy you're so convinced, but most of us aren't.  Maybe we're blind, or maybe we're just much more perceptive of the fine gradations of gray and a broad spectrum of other colors in this issue than you.  I don't know. Undecided  What I do know is that most of us need to discuss this issue at much greater length so as to see the larger picture.

Let's then also discuss the various shades of gray in the issues of adultery, murder, theft, false testimony etc. - why not? Maybe we need to be more "perceptive" in all the fine gradations....
Logged

Love never fails.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #162 on: November 23, 2008, 07:05:08 PM »

Honestly, I just do not understand the reason(s) for such a long discussion.
Because this issue just isn't as cut and dried, or as black and white as you make it out to be.  You're convinced that usury is sinful and that this fact is so clear from Scripture and Tradition that we shouldn't even be discussing (that is to say, rationalizing) it.  I'm happy you're so convinced, but most of us aren't.  Maybe we're blind, or maybe we're just much more perceptive of the fine gradations of gray and a broad spectrum of other colors in this issue than you.  I don't know. Undecided  What I do know is that most of us need to discuss this issue at much greater length so as to see the larger picture.

Let's then also discuss the various shades of gray in the issues of adultery, murder, theft, false testimony etc. - why not? Maybe we need to be more "perceptive" in all the fine gradations....
No, let's just keep focused on usury, since such associations as you make with these other sins only serve to cloud this issue even more.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008, 09:36:17 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #163 on: November 23, 2008, 07:08:06 PM »

Honestly, I just do not understand the reason(s) for such a long discussion.
Because this issue just isn't as cut and dried, or as black and white as you make it out to be.  You're convinced that usury is sinful and that this fact is so clear from Scripture and Tradition that we shouldn't even be discussing (that is to say, rationalizing) it.  I'm happy you're so convinced, but most of us aren't.  Maybe we're blind, or maybe we're just much more perceptive of the fine gradations of gray and a broad spectrum of other colors in this issue than you.  I don't know. Undecided  What I do know is that most of us need to discuss this issue at much greater length so as to see the larger picture.


The only reason I see to talk about it more is to justify it. ......to ease ones conscience.
Really?  You don't think it might actually be more nuanced than this?
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #164 on: November 23, 2008, 07:15:25 PM »

So now you have to establish just how capitalism increases the size of the chasm between the rich and the poor and how this is actually oppressive.


Look at the mortage alot of people have to pay. If they don't have a fixed "interest rate" then that increases their chances to not only stay in poverty, but to become more poor.

When rich countries give loans to poor countries, must the poor countries pay interest?

When alot of American slaves got out of slavery they were givin loans they couldn't repay. I can go on and on and on.
Claims that you have yet to substantiate.  Can you cite any outside authorities who support the above claims?  No, quoting your own blog doesn't count.

Charging people interest is wrong, and the idea that only "high interest" is usury is the idea of John Calvin. Not the Bible nor the Church Fathers and councils of the Church.
Maybe you already provided on this thread what I'm about to request.  If so, please forgive me and just point me to the relevant post(s).  Can you cite specific statements of Church Fathers who support your point of view?


But since we live in a system of sin, we have to make the best out of what we have.




"Yet Protestantism did more than bring about the theological adjustment that
opened the way to a modern capitalist economy, its early development in the
cities of Europe, especially in Switzerland, created the economic conditions
that made such a change inevitable and essential. During the period 1535 to
1540, an economic recession descended on the area around Geneva. Despite this
downturn, Geneva was able to survive and to go on to benefit from the subsequent
recovery throughout the region, which lasted from 1540 to 1555. It is now
thought that one of the prime reasons for Geneva's resilience during this period
was the emergence of the Swiss banking system, which allowed Basel and other
major Swiss Protestant cities sympathic to Calvin's religious agenda to bail him
out through large loans. The Swiss banking system emerged as a direct response
to a shared sense of identity throughout the Protestant cantons of Switzerland
and neighboring cities-including
Geneva..............................................................................................The
raising of capital for economic expansion thus became imperative for Geneva
around this time. Calvin's removal of the remaining theological impediments to
the practice of usury was not merely religiously progressive; it was essential
if his version of Protestantism was to survive. So intimate was the connection
between the religious system of Calvinism and the city of Geneva that the
collapse of the latter would have had disastrous implications for the
former.""
[1]



JNORM888

[1] from the book "Christianity's Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution-A History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-First by Alister E. McGrath. Published by HarperOne, Copyright 20
Can you quote an authority other than Alister McGrath?  Nothing against him, but it seems your pool of research on this issue is rather shallow.
Logged
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,990


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #165 on: November 23, 2008, 07:33:42 PM »

Ok than. Paying your landlord so he can pay his mortgage must also be a sin. Wink

Actually, yes. I know it sounds funny, but from a strictly Scriptural standpoint usury is a sin, and any action on our part that assists it is a sin.
Well this is a bummer.  I'm hoping to become a landlord within 6mos when I purchase my first duplex.  Is this really a form of usury?
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
zoarthegleaner
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 398



« Reply #166 on: November 23, 2008, 09:02:00 PM »

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).

Also, as has been repeated the Parables of the Talents and it remains for those who make a blanket claim that the earning of interest is sinful to explain how our Lord can call the servant unprofitable and to be subsequently cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, it earning interest is sinful?  Has not our Lord identified the character of Himself (since He is the Lord) on the day of judgement? 

Logged

Courteous is my name,
and I have always aimed to live up to it.
Grace is also my name,
but when things go wrong
its Courteous whom I blame;
but its Grace who sees me through it.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #167 on: November 23, 2008, 09:34:54 PM »

Also, as has been repeated the Parables of the Talents and it remains for those who make a blanket claim that the earning of interest is sinful to explain how our Lord can call the servant unprofitable and to be subsequently cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, it earning interest is sinful?  Has not our Lord identified the character of Himself (since He is the Lord) on the day of judgement? 
I think I know what you're trying to say, but maybe a clearer way to say it is to ask why the master didn't reward the lazy servant who buried his talent and didn't punish the shrewd servants who invested theirs to earn interest, if the earning of interest is sinful.
Logged
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,662


WWW
« Reply #168 on: November 23, 2008, 09:39:53 PM »

What if the Parable of the Talents is about the Last Judgment and the "interest" earned on the talents received is really the talents that God gave each of us to glorify Him?  The metaphorical interpretation has nothing to do with usury.   Smiley

For the servant who hid his talent, that servant didn't do anything to glorify God; Hence, earning the punishment of being cast into darkness with gnashing teeth.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #169 on: November 23, 2008, 09:45:06 PM »

What if the Parable of the Talents is about the Last Judgment and the "interest" earned on the talents received is really the talents that God gave each of us to glorify Him?  The metaphorical interpretation has nothing to do with usury.   Smiley

For the servant who hid his talent, that servant didn't do anything to glorify God; Hence, earning the punishment of being cast into darkness with gnashing teeth.
Of course we know the spiritual, allegorical interpretation, which was the ultimate truth Jesus wanted to communicate through this parable.  But must we thus deny the real-life scenario that is the basis for the parable?
Logged
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,662


WWW
« Reply #170 on: November 23, 2008, 09:57:52 PM »

Of course we know the spiritual, allegorical interpretation, which was the ultimate truth Jesus wanted to communicate through this parable.  But must we thus deny the real-life scenario that is the basis for the parable?

Yes.  Usury was dealt with in the Old Testament.  The Muslims dealt with usury by banning interest.  Man has crafted civil laws capping interest rates except for payday and car title loans (some states have higher caps than 24% annually which I believe is MD's usury rate).

Quote
MARYLAND, the legal rate of interest is 6%; the general usury limit
is 24%. There are many nuances and exceptions to this law.  Judgments
bear interest at the rate of 10%.
Source

If usury can be seen as "fulfilling one's duty to God faithfully" then I suppose usury can be discussed in the context of the Parable of the Talents.

Quote
It often happens in life that people who have been greatly endowed by the Lord will diverse talents and earthly goods do not want to use them for the glory of God. But in His parable the Lord points out the servant who had only one talent and shows that it is not a high or noble position in life that is important, but whether or not a person has fulfilled his duty faithfully. Only that point will serve to justify us at the Lord’s Judgment, and prior to that our conscience can serve as our barometer, provided we are ready to heed it
The Parable of the Talents
Logged
zoarthegleaner
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 398



« Reply #171 on: November 24, 2008, 10:41:19 AM »

"What if the Parable of the Talents is about the Last Judgment and the "interest" earned on the talents received is really the talents that God gave each of us to glorify Him?"

Well, concerning the Last Judgment, of course it is...but as our Lord said to Nicodemus, "If I have told you earthly things, and you believe not, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?"

But why do you think the "earthly part" of the Parable of the Talents has no "earthly reality" upon which the Lord based the Parable? 
---------

"If usury can be seen as "fulfilling ones duty to God faithfully" then I suppose usury can be discussed in the context of the Parable of the Talents."

Of course it is, He who gives to the poor, lends to the Lord and the Lord always pays back in multiples as stated in the Parable itself.

----

If "earning interest" is an unfaithful and ungodly, then so is receiving wages for work not performed in equal measure as ones neighbor, i.e., if my neighbor works eight hours and receives $80 dollars, and I do the exact same work for six hours I should receive $60 and the labourer who works four hours should receive $40; if however I work eight hours and earn $80 dollars and the Master hires a man to work only three hours but pays him $80 and he only works the easiest part of the day, has the Master been just?

If "earning interest" is sinful, why would not the unequal pay based upon the amount of labor performed not also be sinful?  And would not the man who labors be equally sinning when he receives an equal share for less than equal work as the man whose earnings were the interest accrued upon his investment. 

And what of the Landowner, would he not be sinning if he sold his gathered grain which he paid $200 dollars for seed and $600 dollars for labor and $200 dollars for marketing the harvested grain and then sells his produce in the market place for more than $1000 dollars which is his actual expense?  And what of the man who decides to lease another mans property for $1000 dollars and invests $1000 dollars (in seed, labor and marketing) and then goes to market and sells his produce for more than $2000 dollars,(i.e., for a profit=interest/gain)  be equally sinful as the man whose increase=profit/gain was acquired only through leasing?

If earning interest is sinful, so is making any and all profit and gain beyond actual cost, because all profit is increase/gain.

But if earning interest which is =  to making a profit/gain is sinful, so is undervaluing and selling any goods or services at a discount below actual costs, because that creates dishonest gain by creating a market below costs which increases sells resulting in losses to ones neighbor.

Furthermore, if this forum takes in more contributions than actual costs to operate so as to make a gain, it also has acted sinfully.  And if a Parish Church receives more income via tithes, offerings, donations, contributions, yard sales, bake sales, etc..., beyond its actual costs (whether evaluated weekly, monthly, semiannually, or annually) it also acts sinfully if it keeps that money in an interest bearing account for its future building program. 

Also, it X priest receives $100 month, but he manages his affairs so as to live on $80 dollars a month and then sends his widowed mother $20 dollars a month whose actual affairs are such that she only needs $10 dollars of the $20 dollars, but she wants to improve her living condition because the fence needs mending, the roof leaks, so she pays a man who charges her only $1 dollar above his costs which is $19 dollars, has not that man acted sinfully in equal measure to the man who leased his property or sold his grain or loaned money on interest to a man who is building a bigger barn?

If so, why did God only require the Israelites to ONLY tithe their increase and allow them to keep 90% (hypothetically) for their ownself.  Why did God allow them to choose to even use that increase to purchase strong drink for the feasts when beer (hypothetically) was sufficient? 

Why? Because INCREASE is not sinful, but is the created order established in "Be fruitful and multiply."
It is the established order in have "DOMINION and OCCUPY" until I come.  It is the established order in "Go and make Disciples of All Nations."

If Interest = increase/profit and INCREASE IS NOT SINFUL, then something other than the created ordinance established by God within Creation CORRUPTS INCREASE so as to make it sinful.

Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect, who Created all things to Increase save sin.












Logged

Courteous is my name,
and I have always aimed to live up to it.
Grace is also my name,
but when things go wrong
its Courteous whom I blame;
but its Grace who sees me through it.
t0m_dR
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 174


« Reply #172 on: November 24, 2008, 10:49:14 AM »

Interest, Usury, Capitalism
 By the Rev. Hierotheos Vlachos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos and Saint Vlassios

http://www.oodegr.com/english/koinwnia/politika/tokoglyfia_kapitalismos1.htm

Logged

Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #173 on: November 24, 2008, 10:56:00 AM »

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).

Also, as has been repeated the Parables of the Talents and it remains for those who make a blanket claim that the earning of interest is sinful to explain how our Lord can call the servant unprofitable and to be subsequently cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, it earning interest is sinful?  Has not our Lord identified the character of Himself (since He is the Lord) on the day of judgement? 

But there are no strangers anymore.

And the Parable of Talents is symbolic. It certainly does not talk about loaning money, and I am sure you know it.
Logged

Love never fails.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #174 on: November 24, 2008, 02:45:38 PM »

And the Parable of Talents is symbolic.
Yes, we all recognize that the Parable of the Talents is symbolic.  But how do you answer zoar's and my question regarding the real-world scenario that Jesus used to communicate His deeper message?

Quote
It certainly does not talk about loaning money, and I am sure you know it.
Yes, and I'm sure you know that zoar is not talking solely about loaning money, either. Wink
Logged
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #175 on: November 24, 2008, 02:58:58 PM »

And the Parable of Talents is symbolic.
Yes, we all recognize that the Parable of the Talents is symbolic.  But how do you answer zoar's and my question regarding the real-world scenario that Jesus used to communicate His deeper message?

I believe He just used an example that was understandable to His listeners. In another parable He gave an example of a king who goes against another king with twenty thousand soldiers, while the other king has forty thousand. That was simply an example of an action understandable for Christ's listeners. It does not follow from this example that it is morally good to invade another country militarily, does it? Similarly, I think, the parable of talents tells us that we have to work on ourselves, never being satisfied with something good that we might have by nature; we must try to increase this good in us. Money-loaning is totally irrelevant, I think...
Logged

Love never fails.
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #176 on: November 24, 2008, 05:37:49 PM »

Why is Dr. Alister McGrath shallow?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alister_McGrath

I think the book I quoted from was far from shallow. He tracks how various Protestant interpretations changed through time, and he mostly quotes from primary sources. One of the issues in the book was "Usury" and he shows how the Protestant view eventualy changed, and since America was started by mostly protestants and since our American system comes from that tradition, what Mcgrath said is far from shallow.

Dr. Pelikan wrote a book that delt with the same time period, but I don't know if he talked about Usury for I never bought the book. Also Dr. Peter Harrison deals with alot of the same issues that Dr. Alister McGrath does, but so far I only have one of his books and it doesn't cover the issue of Usury. Instead it deals with Protestantism and the rise of Natural Science.

So tell me, why is Alister McGrath shallow? I agree with what he said. Do you have any evidence that would suggest he was wrong? If not, then what he said about the issue still stands.

Our system just didn't fall from the sky! It has a history, a development.......a context.

Also if you read most of the posts on this thread then you would of known what the Church Fathers had to say about the issue. So I shouldn't have to prove what others have done already.



P.S. "What I quoted from my blog was Mcgrath - not me"




JNORM888
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 06:04:20 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 32,903


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #177 on: November 24, 2008, 06:07:16 PM »

Why is Dr. Alister McGrath shallow?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alister_McGrath

 Also Dr. Pelikan wrote a book that dealt with some of the same issues, but I don't have that one yet.

So tell me, why is Alister McGrath shallow? I agree with what he said. Do you have any evidence that would suggest he was wrong? If not, then what he said about the issue still stands.
First, I didn't say anything about Alister McGrath being shallow.  What I called shallow is YOUR  apparent reliance on little more than Alister McGrath.  Can YOU present other authorities contemporary with McGrath to deepen your pool of research?  Simply saying that Dr. Pelikan addressed the same question of usury doesn't count unless you can actually quote what he said.

Our system just didn't fall from the sky! It has a history, a development.......a context.

Also if you read most of the posts on this thread then you would of known what the Church Fathers had to say about the issue. So I shouldn't have to prove what others have done already.
I must have overlooked something, then.  I looked over this whole thread for one, JUST ONE, reference to any teacher whom we would call a Church Father.  I couldn't find any.  Not one.  And this thread is now 177 posts long.  Maybe you could help me see these patristic references I'm missing.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 06:13:42 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #178 on: November 24, 2008, 06:14:26 PM »

Interest, Usury, Capitalism
 By the Rev. Hierotheos Vlachos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos and Saint Vlassios

http://www.oodegr.com/english/koinwnia/politika/tokoglyfia_kapitalismos1.htm




Thanks for posting this link. I wonder if Max Weber's book is out of print? If not then I'm gonna put it on my list of books to get.




 

"Deification of money, hedonism and easy living are the things that prevail in the age we are living in.

The utilization and exploitation of money came to be developed within Protestant circles, within a morality that presumed money to be God’s blessing and the rich as those blessed by God. This topic has been expounded in detail by Max Weber in his widely-known classic, “Protestant Morality and the Spirit of Capitalism”. In it, he maintains that Capitalism, the rationalized utilization of money and life are the result of all the principles that were developed by the various Protestant groups in Europe.

Specifically on the worth of money, Max Weber quotes the guidelines given by Benjamin Franklin, which we find in his books, “Necessary hints to those who desire to become rich” and “Advice to a Young Tradesman…”. In these books, Franklin advises:

«Remember that TIME is Money…Remember that CREDIT is Money…Remember that Money is of a prolific generating Nature. Money can beget Money, and its Offspring can beget more, and so on... Remember this Saying, That the good Paymaster is Lord of another Man's Purse. He that is known to pay punctually and exactly to the Time he promises, may at any Time, and on any Occasion, raise all the Money his Friends can spare...».

This is the basic principle of the financial market that is nowadays undergoing a crisis."
[1]










JNORM888

[1] from the website link
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 06:15:16 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
jnorm888
Jnorm
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 2,516


Icon and Cross (international space station)


WWW
« Reply #179 on: November 24, 2008, 06:30:23 PM »


Clement of Alexandria is not a Father of the Church, but he said.


""His money he will not give on usury and will not take interest.". . .These words contain a description of the conduct of Christians." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.


"We must not take usury. . ."You will not lend to your brother with usury of money" [Duet 23:19]. Cyprian 250 A.D.


"Let a bishop, presbyter, or deacon who charges usury to those to whom he lends either cease doing so, or else let him be deprived." Apostolic Constitutions compiled around 390 A.D."
  [1]



JNORM888

[1] page 663 from the book a dictionary of early christian beliefs by David Bercot. (I don't recommend this book, just for the fact he picks and chooses what to put in and what to leave out)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 06:38:25 PM by jnorm888 » Logged

"loving one's enemies does not mean loving wickedness, ungodliness, adultery, or theft. Rather, it means loving the theif, the ungodly, and the adulterer." Clement of Alexandria 195 A.D.

http://ancientchristiandefender.blogspot.com/
Tags: usury sin capitalism 
Pages: « 1 2 3 4 5 »  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.2 seconds with 71 queries.