Author Topic: Usury is sinful?  (Read 23739 times)

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Offline jaderook

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #90 on: March 04, 2008, 09:16:32 PM »
They don't have to be sharia loans.
Our local Community Centre offers interest free loans for low income earners to purchase white goods. You don't have to be muslim (or even religious) to introduce interest free loans.

To the best of my knowledge, Sharia loans aren't limited to Muslims.

Offline Symeon

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #91 on: March 04, 2008, 09:17:42 PM »
Then I guess we are all going to hell.

Allowing yourself to be taken advantage of by the usurers is one thing; that doesn't qualify as a sin. Lending money at interest; that's the sin itself. That's the position of Thomas Aquinas at least, and he defends it with his usual scholastic rigor.

Speaking for myself, I've gone my whole life without being usurious. It really isn't that hard.

I think it's pretty ironic that you are insinuating that I think we do given that I have spent an inordinate amount of time explaining to Protestants that we do not have the same OT as them. Of course you have no way of knowing that but that is why I find it personally ironic.

However, let's not pretend that differences are total between the Masoretic text and the Septuagint. They are different, but they are not completely different, and I doubt that they are different on the point of usury.

I have no problem with the Masoretic text. After all, St. Jerome's Vulgate is based on it, and that is also something of a holy translation. I am speaking on the level of canon, not textual differences. The Jews rejected a whole bunch of books in our OT, and we don't, like the Protestants, consider them an authority on that matter. And anyway, even the Jews don't allow usury among their own kind. Only for us gentiles.

Quote
You might also want to ask why the Masoretic text is taught in Hebrew at your OCA seminary St Vladimir's though since you seem to have so much of an issue with it ;)

St. Vladimir's also employs Fr. Paul Tarazi, who was kicked out of Balamand for calling my patron Saint a "jackass," and who propagates Nestorian text-critical methods that debase God's word.  ;) But again, I am not exactly anti-Masoretic text.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2008, 09:43:24 PM by Symeon »

Offline GiC

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #92 on: March 04, 2008, 09:18:09 PM »
To the best of my knowledge, Sharia loans aren't limited to Muslims.

They're also not interest free, the interest is simply applied in a lump sum at the outset which, according to some Islamic scholars, gets around the formal requirements (though others disagree)...I don't think they'd quite work for us if we actually too usury seriously.
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #93 on: March 04, 2008, 09:19:21 PM »
Rates that are controlled by the seven member governing board of the Federal Reserve.

I personally don't buy that usury is a sin, but if we are going to say that it is and be consistent then we must say that when we borrow with interest we are causing someone to engage in the sin of usury. By your reasoning, people who fence stolen property arn't engaging in an immoral act because they didn't actually steal it themselves.
  If you believe that the government stole the money from tax payer, than yes, but the truth is that our government barrowed that money from the world bank. ;)
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.

Offline GiC

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #94 on: March 04, 2008, 09:28:32 PM »
  If you believe that the government stole the money from tax payer, than yes, but the truth is that our government barrowed that money from the world bank. ;)

Actually, more of our national debt is, by far, owed to the federal reserve than any other entity. Around 40%.
"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #95 on: March 04, 2008, 09:40:50 PM »
Actually, more of our national debt is, by far, owed to the federal reserve than any other entity. Around 40%.

The federal reserve is backed by gold. This county hasn't backed any money since right after WWII. If you can even find a phone number to the federal reserve. I will donate $20 to this forum.
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.

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #96 on: March 04, 2008, 09:48:18 PM »
The federal reserve is backed by gold. This county hasn't backed any money since right after WWII. If you can even find a phone number to the federal reserve. I will donate $20 to this forum.

1)  The dollar is not backed by gold and the Federal Reserve doesn't back anything.  We've also only been a fiat currency since the 1970's or so, not since the end of WWII.

2)  Here's the contact info for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, one of the 12 district banks of the Federal Reserve System.  I believe you owe the forum twenty non-gold backed dollars (although I'm sure Robert would accept Gold Eagles, as well).
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Offline GiC

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #97 on: March 04, 2008, 09:49:13 PM »
The federal reserve is backed by gold. This county hasn't backed any money since right after WWII.

I don't know where you've been, but federal reserve notes haven't been backed by gold since 1971.

Quote
If you can even find a phone number to the federal reserve. I will donate $20 to this forum.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/FRAddress.htm
"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry

Offline GiC

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #98 on: March 04, 2008, 09:50:32 PM »
1)  The dollar is not backed by gold and the Federal Reserve doesn't back anything.  We've also only been a fiat currency since the 1970's or so, not since the end of WWII.

2)  Here's the contact info for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, one of the 12 district banks of the Federal Reserve System.  I believe you owe the forum twenty non-gold backed dollars (although I'm sure Robert would accept Gold Eagles, as well).

You beat me to it, but I did include a link with phone numbers to all federal reserve banks aswell as to the office of the Board of Governors...I guess it's time for someone to pay up. ;)
"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #99 on: March 04, 2008, 09:53:00 PM »
You beat me to it, but I did include a link with phone numbers to all federal reserve banks aswell as to the office of the Board of Governors...I guess it's time for someone to pay up. ;)

I figured you were trying to one-up me with phone numbers for all the banks.  Does this mean OC.net gets $40?
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Offline GiC

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #100 on: March 04, 2008, 09:54:48 PM »
I figured you were trying to one-up me with phone numbers for all the banks.  Does this mean OC.net gets $40?

The way I count it, I provided a phone number for all 12 banks and the Board of Governors...13 in all. So that would total $260. ;D
« Last Edit: March 04, 2008, 09:56:20 PM by greekischristian »
"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #101 on: March 04, 2008, 10:20:29 PM »
The head quarters are in Washington. I tried calling the number they have listed for two weeks. No one ever picked up the line. Try it for yourself.
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.

Offline Veniamin

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #102 on: March 04, 2008, 10:32:22 PM »
The head quarters are in Washington. I tried calling the number they have listed for two weeks. No one ever picked up the line. Try it for yourself.

That wasn't the challenge.  The gauntlet you threw down was to find a number, not get someone to answer it.
Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #103 on: March 04, 2008, 10:35:07 PM »
That wasn't the challenge.  The gauntlet you threw down was to find a number, not get someone to answer it.
That's funny. I will honor the twenty dollars.
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.

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #104 on: March 04, 2008, 10:44:04 PM »
Is the forum sinning by excepting the money that I earned interest on. Because if it is than I will gladly hold back. I really don't want to lead you guy into sin. :laugh:
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.

Offline GiC

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #105 on: March 04, 2008, 10:47:39 PM »
Is the forum sinning by excepting the money that I earned interest on. Because if it is than I will gladly hold back. I really don't want to lead you guy into sin. :laugh:

Nope...has to come directly out of your next paycheck. ;D
"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #106 on: March 04, 2008, 10:50:31 PM »
Nope...has to come directly out of your next paycheck. ;D
My checkbook is linked to my savings. :o
You have to try a little harder than that. ;)
« Last Edit: March 04, 2008, 10:51:10 PM by Demetrios G. »
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.

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #107 on: March 04, 2008, 10:59:34 PM »
OK dear brothers,  I think y'all have answered my question.  I implore each of you to lay your swords down and let it go for the sake of each others' salvation. 
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Offline jnorm888

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #108 on: May 03, 2008, 11:09:02 PM »
A cut and paste from my blog:


I might have some typos. I've noticed some, but I don't think I corrected them all.


Quote
Calvinism & Usury
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 Prots 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.

He says:





"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 charge 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 embodied 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 money 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 prohibition 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 mass 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 2007











JNORM888
« Last Edit: May 03, 2008, 11:21:27 PM by jnorm888 »
"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/

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #109 on: May 05, 2008, 03:41:13 PM »
^In short, usury in any form IS sinful, just like fornication, adultery, theft and murder, right?

I do believe that it really is. We should just admit it and stop making excuses (even though we all are engaged in it, and will continue to be).
Love never fails.

Offline jnorm888

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #110 on: May 05, 2008, 04:48:38 PM »
^In short, usury in any form IS sinful, just like fornication, adultery, theft and murder, right?

I do believe that it really is. We should just admit it and stop making excuses (even though we all are engaged in it, and will continue to be).


I agree




JNORM888
"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/

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #111 on: May 06, 2008, 09:18:04 AM »
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.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #112 on: May 06, 2008, 10:17:03 PM »
I don't
We can see why from your earlier posts on this thread, but is it possible you can still offer up a bit more substance than this?  Maybe some reason you haven't offered yet?
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Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #113 on: May 06, 2008, 10:34:03 PM »
It seems as though it falls on the level of participation.  Is taking out a loan for things truly needed the same as loaning money and charging interst to someone else?  Do I sin because someone else charges me interest?
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Offline Vasileious

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #114 on: May 07, 2008, 05:32:46 AM »
I agree with Heorhij, you cannot reinterpret out of inconvenience.  No matter how inconvenient something may be.

Offline Tzimis

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #115 on: May 07, 2008, 11:09:53 AM »
We can see why from your earlier posts on this thread, but is it possible you can still offer up a bit more substance than this?  Maybe some reason you haven't offered yet?
The point I was trying to make is that lenders don't exist as individuals. When we borrow from the lenders we aren't causing there fall into sin.  A person who puts there money in a banking institution is more concerned with safety. keeping money home can cause injury to them as well as tempting thieves to rob the premises.
When we borrow for house loans, the bank has collateral if we default. The house itself is worth the weight of the loan. If we use credit cards and have the funds too back them. Where is the Usury?
When someone barrows that doesn't have the means to pay there debt back. Than it is a sin. It puts the lender in a position to use all means other than force. To reclaim the funds. Causing sins to happen. The sin happens when we want something for nothing. The system is intended for those who already have money. If you have no money than don't borrow.
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.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #116 on: May 07, 2008, 03:05:12 PM »
The point I was trying to make is that lenders don't exist as individuals. When we borrow from the lenders we aren't causing there fall into sin.  A person who puts there money in a banking institution is more concerned with safety. keeping money home can cause injury to them as well as tempting thieves to rob the premises.
When we borrow for house loans, the bank has collateral if we default. The house itself is worth the weight of the loan. If we use credit cards and have the funds too back them. Where is the Usury?
When someone barrows that doesn't have the means to pay there debt back. Than it is a sin. It puts the lender in a position to use all means other than force. To reclaim the funds. Causing sins to happen. The sin happens when we want something for nothing. The system is intended for those who already have money. If you have no money than don't borrow.
However, you're focusing on the borrower, on whom the biblical ban on usury places no restriction and is, in fact, irrelevant (except to reduce or eliminate interest payments).  You can borrow as much money under a biblical system as under the current capitalist, interest-driven system and not incur any divine sanction for immorality.  The biblical ban on usury, by definition, is a restriction against the lender, which your reasoning does not address.
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Offline Tzimis

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #117 on: May 07, 2008, 03:37:06 PM »
However, you're focusing on the borrower, on whom the biblical ban on usury places no restriction and is, in fact, irrelevant (except to reduce or eliminate interest payments).  You can borrow as much money under a biblical system as under the current capitalist, interest-driven system and not incur any divine sanction for immorality.  The biblical ban on usury, by definition, is a restriction against the lender, which your reasoning does not address.

The borrower is the lender.  :D
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.

Offline GabrieltheCelt

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #118 on: May 07, 2008, 05:58:46 PM »
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Offline Veniamin

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #119 on: May 07, 2008, 06:25:01 PM »
The borrower is the lender.  :D

Ignorance is strength.

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Offline Heorhij

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #120 on: May 07, 2008, 06:28:12 PM »
However, you're focusing on the borrower, on whom the biblical ban on usury places no restriction and is, in fact, irrelevant (except to reduce or eliminate interest payments).  You can borrow as much money under a biblical system as under the current capitalist, interest-driven system and not incur any divine sanction for immorality.  The biblical ban on usury, by definition, is a restriction against the lender, which your reasoning does not address.

But if there were no borrowers, there would be no lenders, and vice versa...

Borrowers actually encourage lenders to engage in usury. It's not quite the same as in, say, rape, when the rape victim is really, truly innocent.
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Offline falafel333

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #121 on: May 07, 2008, 07:32:01 PM »
I think we need to do a bit of research and ask ourselves the question is usury in any way, shape or form sinful in an absolutist sense or is it only the exploitative use of usury that is sinful?

I think to answer this question we need to ask ourselves why Christianity might have considered usury to be sinful in the first place. Is it because of the social implications where it might have been the cause of exploitation and enslavement? However, if these can be eliminated or controlled and some good could come out of usury, then fundamentally it would seem that there would be no grounds for opposition towards such a system besides a rigid literal and legalistic interpretation and application of scripture.

Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #122 on: May 07, 2008, 10:34:50 PM »
But if there were no borrowers, there would be no lenders, and vice versa...

Borrowers actually encourage lenders to engage in usury.
Not necessarily.  Borrowers encourage lenders to lend, no doubt.  Even without lenders expecting repayment with interest, we would still have people desiring to borrow money.  There's nothing in borrowing per se, however, that requires or even encourages lenders to add interest to the principal.
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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #123 on: May 07, 2008, 11:13:37 PM »
But if there were no borrowers, there would be no lenders, and vice versa...

Borrowers actually encourage lenders to engage in usury. 

And Lenders borrow there money from people.  What I stated above is 100% correct. ;)
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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #124 on: May 07, 2008, 11:17:40 PM »
And Lenders borrow there money from people.  What I stated above is 100% correct. ;)
But if I loan my brother $200 to pay a personal expense, the money comes out of my own income earned from work--it's not money I borrowed from someone else.  I guess that blows your little theory out of the water, don't it. ;)
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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #125 on: May 08, 2008, 12:21:37 AM »
Simply the fact that the value of a dollar now will be no where near what it is in 10 years time due to inflation and other economic dynamics, even if I were to repay what I was loaned, I would be expected to accommodate that change in value, and hence the interest.

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #126 on: May 08, 2008, 07:30:56 AM »
But if I loan my brother $200 to pay a personal expense, the money comes out of my own income earned from work--it's not money I borrowed from someone else.  I guess that blows your little theory out of the water, don't it. ;)

But Christ said, don't loan - just give, and don't ask to pay you back...
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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #127 on: May 08, 2008, 07:31:43 AM »
Simply the fact that the value of a dollar now will be no where near what it is in 10 years time due to inflation and other economic dynamics, even if I were to repay what I was loaned, I would be expected to accommodate that change in value, and hence the interest.

Expected by whom? Definitely not by someone who heard the Sermon on the Mount...
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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #128 on: May 08, 2008, 07:33:25 AM »
I think we need to do a bit of research and ask ourselves the question is usury in any way, shape or form sinful in an absolutist sense or is it only the exploitative use of usury that is sinful?

I think to answer this question we need to ask ourselves why Christianity might have considered usury to be sinful in the first place. Is it because of the social implications where it might have been the cause of exploitation and enslavement? However, if these can be eliminated or controlled and some good could come out of usury, then fundamentally it would seem that there would be no grounds for opposition towards such a system besides a rigid literal and legalistic interpretation and application of scripture.

Right. And then let's ask ourselves, is sex outside of marriage sinful in an absolutist sense, or only in the exploitative sense? Murder? (Oh, that one especially... ask politicians...)
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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #129 on: May 08, 2008, 08:55:15 AM »
But if I loan my brother $200 to pay a personal expense, the money comes out of my own income earned from work--it's not money I borrowed from someone else.  I guess that blows your little theory out of the water, don't it. ;)

You would than be committing a sin if you collect interest from your brother.  ;)
  But,when we borrow from a banking system we are borrowing against our own future earnings and our children's future. A prime example is the current mortgage crisis. Who will pay back the default loans? The answer is. The tax payer "us". To further prove my point. If the country was taken over by another force and they looked to take over the riches. They would whined up with nothing if the system falls. Money is worthless without the people that back it. Money is borrowed against our own future.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 09:22:02 AM by Demetrios G. »
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.

Offline falafel333

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #130 on: May 08, 2008, 09:15:01 AM »
Right. And then let's ask ourselves, is sex outside of marriage sinful in an absolutist sense, or only in the exploitative sense? Murder? (Oh, that one especially... ask politicians...)

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."

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #131 on: May 08, 2008, 09:16:32 AM »
You would than be committing a sin if you collect interest from your brother.  ;)
  But,when we borrow from a banking system we are borrowing against our own future earnings and our children's future. A prime example is the current mortgage crisis. Who will pay back the default loans? The answer is. The tax payer "us". To further prove my point. If the county was taken over by another force and they looked to take over the riches. They would whined up with nothing if the system falls. Money is worthless without the people that back it. Money is borrowed against our own future.

But I collect interest from the bank and Christ even reprimanded the lazy servant for not having at least deposited his money in the bank and thereby collected interest on it.

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #132 on: May 08, 2008, 09:19:51 AM »
But I collect interest from the bank and Christ even reprimanded the lazy servant for not having at least deposited his money in the bank and thereby collected interest on it.

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

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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #133 on: May 08, 2008, 02:19:40 PM »
That was a parable meant for Bishops. The interest collected is peoples souls. ;)
WTH? ???  Where in the world did you get this idea?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2008, 02:27:59 PM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: Usury is sinful?
« Reply #134 on: May 08, 2008, 03:38:38 PM »
WTH? ???  Where in the world did you get this idea?

Read the next parable of the sheep and the goats. Was he referring to animals or people?
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.