02 April 2022
Do you understand why God forbade interest on loans (usury)?
Humans are predatory and require restraints. God said we must make and enforce laws against loans with interest. The whole point of wealth is to bless our tribe, so we cannot charge interest on loans within our tribe. And if our tribe happens to be a rather large nation, then the whole nation is exempt from paying interest on loans. Does that discourage commercial lending? That's the whole point. God promises to bless the tribe that obeys His laws. As others have said, you can have economic growth without debt.
The only loans for which God approves are those between family members. That is, you loan and hope they repay, but you are prepared to take a loss because this is the welfare of your own family at stake. It doesn't matter the purpose of the loan. You loan for things your convictions approve, and you always keep in mind that it could end up being a gift.
Loaning by contract, even at negative interest, breeds evil. It is a predatory practice designed to enslave the borrower. There is no other possible outcome. Of course, you need to view this across a wider scale. When the entire economic system relies on credit, that system is doomed, cursed by God. The eventual outcome is that all physical and notional wealth is concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. Meanwhile, everyone else becomes de facto a slave of those few wealthy.
Let's take just one example. You have a rather poor, Third World country sitting on top of great mineral wealth. They lack the native industry to extract it. The rich international bankers want that mineral wealth for their own uses. So they offer a loan to get things started, enabling the harvest of said minerals. Even at zero interest, the loan is itself a tight collar that requires the minerals to be harvested. If the local government can't make it happen, then the bankers have legal rights to seize it. If necessary, the bankers will send in troops (via some proxy they already control) and the equipment to do it as cheaply as possible. This usually means destroying the local ecology. In the end, the wealth is gone, and the people's lives are worse than ever, and their whole country is technically a slave to the bankers.
Do you not realize that this is how things have been happening since the Middle Ages? The widespread use of charging interest on loans grew out of the collapse of the official feudal system, and was replaced with another kind of feudal system that was simply called another name.
Do you see how the worship of Mammon has created such a horrific monster? Western Civilization rests squarely on this foundation. The whole collection of all previous civilizations in history together have more in common with each other than any of them have with the West. The West is uniquely evil in human history. You should expect it's fall to be much harder than any previous civilization.
Babylon is fallen, is fallen!
Practical advice: It's quite unlikely you can escape the use of credit in some form. The issue for Covenant holiness, then, is to minimize your exposure. Make do with less every time credit becomes an issue. Wait and trust in the Lord to provide. Yes, this is particularly hard at first. It requires you to invest a lot of yourself up front by bearing the shortage. However, if you intend to walk in the Covenant, the Lord will provide in due time.
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