OrthodoxChristianity.net
July 28, 2014, 03:15:16 PM *
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 19903 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,983


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« on: March 03, 2008, 11:53:55 AM »

Hey y'all,

Basically, another poster on another thread brought up this topic.  So, to keep it from detracting from the OP of that thread, I thought we could discuss it all on it's own here since it is an issue that's very important (and quite relevant) for us Christian's in today's economic outlook. 

I guess I had overlooked this topic in the scriptures and Tradition.  Is it truly frowned upon?  How can we, in today's credit driven world, deal with it?  What about 401(k)'s and IRA's and the like?  In America, you cannot own a house without a loan from the bank.  What are Christian's to do?  And what specifically to the Scriptures and Saints say about this?

In Christ,

Gabriel
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Schultz
Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,462


Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


WWW
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2008, 12:12:23 PM »

Hey y'all,

Basically, another poster on another thread brought up this topic.  So, to keep it from detracting from the OP of that thread, I thought we could discuss it all on it's own here since it is an issue that's very important (and quite relevant) for us Christian's in today's economic outlook. 

I guess I had overlooked this topic in the scriptures and Tradition.  Is it truly frowned upon?  How can we, in today's credit driven world, deal with it? 

For starters, one can cut up the credit card, pay that sucker off, cancel the account, and live frugally within one's means.  It's not that difficult once you get started but it does require a radical change in one's outlook and attitude towards money.  My wife and I are in the process of doing just that.  I've lived through massive credit card debt and repayment and it's not something that I would wish on my worst enemy.  Yes, I put myself in that situation through irresponsibility, but I've paid back what I owed and realized one does not need a credit card.  Indeed, both of my wife's grandparents have lived their entire lives without a credit card or indeed an ATM card.  Her grandfather has bought everything, including two homes and a number of automobiles, with cash, and most of that AFTER the powers-that-be decided that we must live in their "credit driven world".

Quote
In America, you cannot own a house without a loan from the bank. 
I have to disagree.  The problem arises when people think loan = free money and they live outside their means.  The incredible rise in foreclosures due to variable rate loans and borrowers inability to educate themselves and guard against predatory lenders is indicative of a much larger problem of people who do not, cannot and will not live within their means. 

Again, I say this as someone who has screwed up their financial life once through such irresponsibility.  A friend of mine who makes less than $50k a year working one job has two kids with a stay-at-home wife lives in a nice town about forty miles from DC with a 2 bedroom house w/ finished basement.  He also has two running cars and a third that he's restoring.  He paid for his house in cash, has no credit card, and puts about 15% of his earnings away into savings and a retirement account.  He's utterly flabbergasted at his peers who have no savings and are enslaved to creditors when he makes so much less a year than he does and do not have the responsibility to provide for a wife and two children.

He's one of my heros and a major impetus (along with my wife's grandfather) for getting my life back in order and being responsible.  It's not easy, but it is possible. 
 
Logged

"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

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



WWW
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2008, 12:22:56 PM »

Apparently, yes. In the OT, there are many passages that prohibit and condemn lending money and charging interest (Exodus 22:24; Leviticus 25:36-37; Deuteronomy 23:20-21; Ezekiel 18:8-17; 22:12; Psalms 15:5; Proverbs 28, vs. eight). I don't recall any specific lift of these prohibitions in the NT. (The parable of talents is certainly not about money at all, as far as I can see, so it does not count.)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2008, 12:23:58 PM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2008, 03:33:34 PM »

I agree with Schultz. Frugality is great! Especially when compared to living in debt. Basically, we've substituted one form of feudalism for another by living in financial debt.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,374



« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2008, 04:19:34 PM »

Hey y'all,

Basically, another poster on another thread brought up this topic.  So, to keep it from detracting from the OP of that thread, I thought we could discuss it all on it's own here since it is an issue that's very important (and quite relevant) for us Christian's in today's economic outlook. 

I guess I had overlooked this topic in the scriptures and Tradition.  Is it truly frowned upon?  How can we, in today's credit driven world, deal with it?  What about 401(k)'s and IRA's and the like?  In America, you cannot own a house without a loan from the bank.  What are Christian's to do?  And what specifically to the Scriptures and Saints say about this?

In Christ,

Gabriel

There is nothing wrong with barrowing money to buy a home. What is troubling is that people don't realize what they are getting into with some of these newer types of loans. Many today are in trouble because they have misused arm type loans. Many professionals mortgage lenders also are at fault because they never explained to applicants what these loans are and misinformed honest people about arms. The main issue is mortgage brokers were feeding off of uneducated people. 
  There is an old Greek saying that says. There are two places where man must be careful not to leave his mark. One on paper and the other ,  angel
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.
Veniamin
Fire for Effect!
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the South
Posts: 3,372


St. Barbara, patroness of the Field Artillery


« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2008, 04:29:36 PM »

I agree with Schultz. Frugality is great! Especially when compared to living in debt. Basically, we've substituted one form of feudalism for another by living in financial debt.


Don't remind me!

(*has a small mortgage in student loans*)
Logged

Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great
Irenaeus07
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catechumen
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox
Posts: 204


« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2008, 04:33:39 PM »

There is nothing wrong with barrowing money to buy a home. What is troubling is that people don't realize what they are getting into with some of these newer types of loans. Many today are in trouble because they have misused arm type loans. Many professionals mortgage lenders also are at fault because they never explained to applicants what these loans are and misinformed honest people about arms. The main issue is mortgage brokers were feeding off of uneducated people. 
  There is an old Greek saying that says. There are two places where man must be careful not to leave his mark. One on paper and the other ,  angel

Never make a deal with the devil, you always lose. ha ha.

I consider usury, a form of slavery.  It is slavery without whips and chains in the literally sense, but they do exist in the metophorical sense.
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 #7 on: March 03, 2008, 04:34:49 PM »

There is nothing wrong with barrowing money to buy a home.

But lending money and charging interest is, according to the Bible, a sin. And lenders would not lend if there were no borrowers. So, if you are a borrower, you are helping those who lend with interest, or, in other words, you are assisting someone in committing a sin.
Logged

Love never fails.
admiralnick
Cardinal, Editor for Photogalleries
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,880


« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2008, 04:43:13 PM »

If you're like me and pay off your bills monthly, you don't get charged interest  Tongue

In general, on a note, if it wasn't for debt, this country would not have gained the economic advantage that it has today, and would not be the great capitalist country it is today. The US financial system is based around debt. Hell, every financial system in the world is based around debt. How many doctors, lawyers, accountants, theologians, seminarians, etc. would make it through school if there was no ability to take out a loan to pay for schooling? Or how many people would be without houses if there was no ability to take out a home mortgage loan? How would new ventures on the cutting edge ever develop if there were no such thing as Angel investors? Lets face it, if you use debt wisely its the greatest financing tool ever created.

-Nick
Logged

The ORIGINAL: "NULL"
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2008, 04:58:52 PM »

Don't remind me!

(*has a small mortgage in student loans*)

For me personally, my student loans made me money in a sense.  The interest rate on them is under the rate of inflation, so it makes no sense for me to pay them off early. My wife had some private loans for law school, which were 8%, which I can understand would totally suck, but she got hit by a car and the settlement was to the exact thousand dollars what she needed to pay off the private part....she says God allowed a little bit of pain for a great reward.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2008, 04:59:13 PM by Anastasios » Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2008, 05:00:26 PM »

But lending money and charging interest is, according to the Bible, a sin. And lenders would not lend if there were no borrowers. So, if you are a borrower, you are helping those who lend with interest, or, in other words, you are assisting someone in committing a sin.

Given that Jews themselves reinterpreted those passages, I think we can too since they were OT. I think the guiding principle is not to overcharge interest, or charge interest to those we are helping out personally as charity.
Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
Veniamin
Fire for Effect!
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the South
Posts: 3,372


St. Barbara, patroness of the Field Artillery


« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2008, 05:01:46 PM »

For me personally, my student loans made me money in a sense.  The interest rate on them is under the rate of inflation, so it makes no sense for me to pay them off early. My wife had some private loans for law school, which were 8%, which I can understand would totally suck, but she got hit by a car and the settlement was to the exact thousand dollars what she needed to pay off the private part....she says God allowed a little bit of pain for a great reward.

Fortunately, there's a new federal program that will forgive the unpaid balance of federal student loans after ten years in public service.  Since I planned on being a career prosecutor anyway, that's how most of mine will go away.
Logged

Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2008, 05:26:35 PM »

Given that Jews themselves reinterpreted those passages, I think we can too since they were OT. I think the guiding principle is not to overcharge interest, or charge interest to those we are helping out personally as charity.

Since when do we follow the example of the Talmudists? They don't even have the same OT as us.

The Fathers didn't reinterpret this. Usury is a sin.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2008, 05:26:58 PM by Symeon » Logged
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2008, 05:44:26 PM »

Since when do we follow the example of the Talmudists? They don't even have the same OT as us.

The Fathers didn't reinterpret this. Usury is a sin.

Then I guess we are all going to hell.
Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2008, 05:49:25 PM »

Usury is slavery to the world. It creates a Servile State which is ultimately unChristian.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2008, 05:51:24 PM »

Since when do we follow the example of the Talmudists? They don't even have the same OT as us.


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.

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 Wink
Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2008, 05:52:50 PM »

Usury is slavery to the world. It creates a Servile State which is ultimately unChristian.

Most Orthodox Churches in this country either have or had mortgages.

The problem is not with borrowing money with interest. The problem is using interest in a sinful way.

in the time the Fathers wrote, usury was generalized and could be avoided. It cannot be avoided now. Everything we do has some connection with interest.

We can either choose to go move to the woods, or we can use our money responsibly as good stewards of God's blessings.
Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
falafel333
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 337


« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2008, 05:53:56 PM »

If you're like me and pay off your bills monthly, you don't get charged interest  Tongue

In general, on a note, if it wasn't for debt, this country would not have gained the economic advantage that it has today, and would not be the great capitalist country it is today. The US financial system is based around debt. Hell, every financial system in the world is based around debt. How many doctors, lawyers, accountants, theologians, seminarians, etc. would make it through school if there was no ability to take out a loan to pay for schooling? Or how many people would be without houses if there was no ability to take out a home mortgage loan? How would new ventures on the cutting edge ever develop if there were no such thing as Angel investors? Lets face it, if you use debt wisely its the greatest financing tool ever created.

-Nick

I don't think the issue is really with debt, borrowing or loans as much as it is with charging interest on these debts. Imagine you could borrow the amount you needed and be fully reassured that would only have to pay exactly that amount back and not a single cent more. How great would that be?
Logged
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,374



« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2008, 06:10:46 PM »

But lending money and charging interest is, according to the Bible, a sin. And lenders would not lend if there were no borrowers. So, if you are a borrower, you are helping those who lend with interest, or, in other words, you are assisting someone in committing a sin.

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

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



WWW
« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2008, 06:13:50 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.
Logged

Love never fails.
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2008, 06:15:08 PM »

I don't think the issue is really with debt, borrowing or loans as much as it is with charging interest on these debts. Imagine you could borrow the amount you needed and be fully reassured that would only have to pay exactly that amount back and not a single cent more. How great would that be?

It wouldn't--there would be no incentive for anyone to loan money because they would LOSE money due to inflation.

Well ok in a fantasy land I agree, it would be great Smiley
« Last Edit: March 03, 2008, 06:15:56 PM by Anastasios » Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

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



WWW
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2008, 06:15:14 PM »


The problem is not with borrowing money with interest. The problem is using interest in a sinful way.


Both.
Logged

Love never fails.
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2008, 06:19:21 PM »

Both.

No. I'm arguing that it has to be understand in its cultural and historical context...kind of like you do with Genesis there Wink
Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
Veniamin
Fire for Effect!
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the South
Posts: 3,372


St. Barbara, patroness of the Field Artillery


« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2008, 06:25:21 PM »

I don't think the issue is really with debt, borrowing or loans as much as it is with charging interest on these debts. Imagine you could borrow the amount you needed and be fully reassured that would only have to pay exactly that amount back and not a single cent more. How great would that be?

If it's so important to not pay interest, then save and pay in cash rather than going for instant gratification.  Interest is the fee for having now what you would otherwise have to save to have.
Logged

Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,374



« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2008, 06:38:11 PM »

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.


Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
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.
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #25 on: March 03, 2008, 07:09:35 PM »

For starters, one can cut up the credit card, pay that sucker off, cancel the account, and live frugally within one's means.  It's not that difficult once you get started but it does require a radical change in one's outlook and attitude towards money.  My wife and I are in the process of doing just that.  I've lived through massive credit card debt and repayment and it's not something that I would wish on my worst enemy.  Yes, I put myself in that situation through irresponsibility, but I've paid back what I owed and realized one does not need a credit card.  Indeed, both of my wife's grandparents have lived their entire lives without a credit card or indeed an ATM card.  Her grandfather has bought everything, including two homes and a number of automobiles, with cash, and most of that AFTER the powers-that-be decided that we must live in their "credit driven world".

Rather than attacking the idea of credit and modern banking because of its misuse by people (and taking out a loan you can't pay for a la the current foreclosure, racking up credit card debt, etc. is entirely irrelevant to credit and is more a matter of self control), the ability to obtain a loan has revolutionized the standard of living for many people around the world.  There is no better example of this than the work of Dr. Muhammad Yunus. 
Logged
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 19,956


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #26 on: March 03, 2008, 09:09:48 PM »

the ability to obtain a loan has revolutionized the standard of living for many people around the world.  There is no better example of this than the work of Dr. Muhammad Yunus. 

I still think that receiving a loan does not help the individual more than saving and using cash, unless the person using the credit turns that money around and makes more in investment interest than what he's paying in repayment interest.  Yes, it is quick cashflow that in the short-term increases standard of living.  But it also mortgages the future, forcing people to work longer later in life, rather than actually retire, and I'd argue this situation is actually a reduction in quality of life.
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,983


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #27 on: March 03, 2008, 09:23:07 PM »

I don't want to give the impression that I'm attacking, or even against, capatilism per se, but it's fairly obvious that the love of money is something that Christians are to be very wary of.  I'm very worried that the Christian world-view today is shaped by a more secular world-view of which money seems to be at the center.  We're definately light years away from when the first Christians shared everything they had in a very communal sense; something that seems to go completely against the grain of the Western, individualistic ethos.  

Yet, what I'm primarily interested in is; what exactly is 'usury' as defined by Scripture,  why has it been prohibited (or has it?), and how can a Christian even exist in a Capitalist society while maintaining a Christian outlook?  I have some ideas and theories, but I'm chiefly interested in hearing how y'all  understand the issue?  And how, for those of you who've chosen to, have you learned to live with less?  
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Veniamin
Fire for Effect!
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the South
Posts: 3,372


St. Barbara, patroness of the Field Artillery


« Reply #28 on: March 03, 2008, 09:44:13 PM »

I still think that receiving a loan does not help the individual more than saving and using cash, unless the person using the credit turns that money around and makes more in investment interest than what he's paying in repayment interest.  Yes, it is quick cashflow that in the short-term increases standard of living.  But it also mortgages the future, forcing people to work longer later in life, rather than actually retire, and I'd argue this situation is actually a reduction in quality of life.

I believe Nektarios is speaking specifically of the Grameen Bank, which offers microcredit to poor women in Bangladesh.  The idea is that by making small loans to the extremely poor for business purposes, they'll be able to repay the loan with their earnings, while also retaining enough to substantially improve their standard of living. 
Logged

Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 19,956


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #29 on: March 03, 2008, 10:00:31 PM »

I believe Nektarios is speaking specifically of the Grameen Bank, which offers microcredit to poor women in Bangladesh.  The idea is that by making small loans to the extremely poor for business purposes, they'll be able to repay the loan with their earnings, while also retaining enough to substantially improve their standard of living. 

An interesting point indeed, and one which would buck many of the lending trends.  It's a decent model for business, but not for personal use; and then the question becomes: is usury disallowed for businesses by the Bible?

Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #30 on: March 03, 2008, 10:03:42 PM »

I believe Nektarios is speaking specifically of the Grameen Bank, which offers microcredit to poor women in Bangladesh.  The idea is that by making small loans to the extremely poor for business purposes, they'll be able to repay the loan with their earnings, while also retaining enough to substantially improve their standard of living. 

Bingo. 

People can grossly abuse the fruits of capitalism, but then again every previous and contemporary economic system has had as many serious problems.  The point is that capitalism has the most potential to eradicate extreme poverty... not so that everyone has a plasma TV, more like so that children won't be malnourished, communicable diseases can be slowed and the like. 

And even in middle class America the responsible use of credit has enabled to own homes or attend university that would otherwise never have been able to. 
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 #31 on: March 03, 2008, 10:25:05 PM »

No. I'm arguing that it has to be understand in its cultural and historical context...kind of like you do with Genesis there Wink

Is fornication also to be understood in its cultural and historical context... like my daughter and her fiance are truly loving each other and living together, and of course having this most wonderful, fulfilling sex... glory be to them, no sin?
Logged

Love never fails.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

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



WWW
« Reply #32 on: March 03, 2008, 10:25:46 PM »



Romans 6:14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Yeah. So go ahead and fornicate, you're under grace...
Logged

Love never fails.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

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



WWW
« Reply #33 on: March 03, 2008, 10:27:24 PM »

Rather than attacking the idea of credit and modern banking because of its misuse by people (and taking out a loan you can't pay for a la the current foreclosure, racking up credit card debt, etc. is entirely irrelevant to credit and is more a matter of self control), the ability to obtain a loan has revolutionized the standard of living for many people around the world.  There is no better example of this than the work of Dr. Muhammad Yunus. 

Well, and the ability to live under the same roof and have great sex and not be bound to each other for life has also, presumably, revolutionized the standard of living of very many people around the world...
Logged

Love never fails.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

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



WWW
« Reply #34 on: March 03, 2008, 10:28:10 PM »

I still think that receiving a loan does not help the individual more than saving and using cash, unless the person using the credit turns that money around and makes more in investment interest than what he's paying in repayment interest.  Yes, it is quick cashflow that in the short-term increases standard of living.  But it also mortgages the future, forcing people to work longer later in life, rather than actually retire, and I'd argue this situation is actually a reduction in quality of life.

Why all this philosophy... a sin is a sin is a sin...
Logged

Love never fails.
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,374



« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2008, 10:30:57 PM »

The secular life is about having more than your neighbor. If your neighbor buys a BMW than you have to purchase a Mercedes Benz. It forces good people to compete with each other. The outcome becomes hatred. Competition is what drives the economy, fuels the beast. The secular life destroys souls. Being Christian today is difficult from a spiritual aspect, for those unaware.
That is what is meant when Christ tells us to hate the world.

Quote
1 John 2:15
 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
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.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

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



WWW
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2008, 10:33:56 PM »

I don't want to give the impression that I'm attacking, or even against, capatilism per se, but it's fairly obvious that the love of money is something that Christians are to be very wary of.  I'm very worried that the Christian world-view today is shaped by a more secular world-view of which money seems to be at the center.  We're definately light years away from when the first Christians shared everything they had in a very communal sense; something that seems to go completely against the grain of the Western, individualistic ethos.  

Yet, what I'm primarily interested in is; what exactly is 'usury' as defined by Scripture,  why has it been prohibited (or has it?), and how can a Christian even exist in a Capitalist society while maintaining a Christian outlook?  I have some ideas and theories, but I'm chiefly interested in hearing how y'all  understand the issue?  And how, for those of you who've chosen to, have you learned to live with less?  

The Scripture is against usury. Love of money is a separate issue. Murder is a sin, and so is envy. Usury is identified in the Bible as a sin, and so is the love of money. While all things are related, there is no real reason to always try and deduce one sin from another or to whitewash one sin and say that it is the other that is "really" a sin.
Logged

Love never fails.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

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



WWW
« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2008, 10:37:50 PM »


Yet, what I'm primarily interested in is; what exactly is 'usury' as defined by Scripture,  why has it been prohibited (or has it?), and how can a Christian even exist in a Capitalist society while maintaining a Christian outlook?  I have some ideas and theories, but I'm chiefly interested in hearing how y'all  understand the issue?  And how, for those of you who've chosen to, have you learned to live with less?  

Usury means charging interest. Like, you give one cent to someone, and say, give me back this cent and one half of the cent. Or, one thousand dollars that I gave you, plus two hundred dollars. It does not matter what exactly is the interest and why is it being charged and whether the lender uses it for good or for evil purposes. The Scriptures are clear. You charge interest, so you are doing what the Lord commands you NOT to do. You aid someone who is charging interest by agreeing to pay this interest - so, you are patraking in sin.

As for how a Christian can exist in a Capitalist society - he cannot.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2008, 10:39:13 PM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2008, 10:45:20 PM »

As for how a Christian can exist in a Capitalist society - he cannot.

And that's why no matter how inspired a document is, it isn't literally applicable after a few thousand years. 
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 #39 on: March 03, 2008, 10:47:19 PM »

And that's why no matter how inspired a document is, it isn't literally applicable after a few thousand years. 

Well... maybe it IS literally applicable, but we aren't up to the mark in everything and anything.
Logged

Love never fails.
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2008, 10:51:29 PM »

There's nothing stopping you from entering paradise now. 
Logged
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,983


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2008, 11:04:48 PM »

Usury means charging interest...
As for how a Christian can exist in a Capitalist society - he cannot.
Yet, are we at fault if someone else charges us interest?

 
And that's why no matter how inspired a document is, it isn't literally applicable after a few thousand years. 
Then why waste your time on a forum whose very members base there very lives on this very document? Wink  Oh, wait; more sarcasm? Roll Eyes
Logged

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

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #42 on: March 03, 2008, 11:10:31 PM »

Yet, are we at fault if someone else charges us interest?

You don't have a savings account?

Quote
Then why waste your time on a forum whose very members base there very lives on this very document? Wink  Oh, wait; more sarcasm? Roll Eyes

I simply admit what others practice but don't admit. 

I believe that Orthodox Christianity is about taking the spirit of the Gospels and making it relevant to any time period or culture - not literally applying the externals of one time period and culture to other times. 
Logged
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,374



« Reply #43 on: March 03, 2008, 11:10:40 PM »

Well... maybe it IS literally applicable, but we aren't up to the mark in everything and anything.

No one has lived up to the glory of God. That is why we needed a savior.
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.
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

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



WWW
« Reply #44 on: March 03, 2008, 11:15:24 PM »


No one has lived up to the glory of God. That is why we needed a savior.

Right, but right here on this forum, people spend time and eloquence condemning those who fornicate, and yet nobody spends nearly as much time and eloquence condemning those (beginning from our very beloved selves) who partake in usury. Meanwhile, usury is as much a gross sin and insult to God as fornication is.
Logged

Love never fails.
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 0.143 seconds with 72 queries.