Punishment for Usury: the Comments
(Some very interesting comments; I could not reply to everyone!)
Silver Stock Report
by Jason Hommel, September 13, 2013
Thanks! I love it.
You can never write too much or "preach" too much against usury!
It is "Biblical Economics" not Keynesian or Austrian Economics...nor is it Libertarianism or Statism...it is totally different. It is God's economics...
But almost nobody really teaches it...and no one even hardly touches the surface of it.
You have some interesting biblical interpretations. These struck me because I have never loaned anyone money. I have had people request loans but I have given the amounts requested to them as gifts with no strings attached. I have suggested that, if they are able to in the future, they do the same for someone else. I think this now called "Pay it Forward" or something like that, but I have been doing it for a long time. I am not a Christian and certainly not a "saint", I just do not like the idea of having people owing me money. It seems kind of "Yucky".
Great insight Jason! Thanks for tying it together. Let me know when green monster boxes are again available as I would prefer to buy from JH Mint. Last quote from other dealers was around 13,050.00
I want your thoughts on this paragraph from the Dead Sea Scrolls
And Jesus answered: "Seek not the law in your scriptures, for the law is life, whereas the scripture is dead. I tell you truly, Moses received not his laws from God in writing, but through the living word. The law is living word of living God to living prophets for living men. In everything that is life is the law written. You find it in the grass, in the tree, in the river, in the mountain, in the birds of heaven, in the fishes of the sea; but seek it chiefly in yourselves. For I tell you truly, all living things are nearer to God than the scripture which is without life. God so made life and all living things that they might by the everlasting word teach the laws of the true God to man. God wrote not the laws in the pages of books, but in your heart and in your spirit. They are in your breath, your blood, your bone; in your flesh, your bowels, your eyes, your ears, and in every little part of your body. They are present in the air, in the water, in the earth, in the plants, in th e sunbeams, in the depths and in the heights. They all speak to you that you may understand the tongue and the will of the living God. But you shut your eyes that you may not see, and you shut your ears that you may not hear. I tell you truly, that the scripture is the work of man, but life and all its hosts are the work of our God. Wherefore do you not listen to the words of God which are written in His works? And wherefore do you study the dead scriptures which are the work of the hands of men?"
Jason, I simply love your enterpretations of prophesy! Every time I read one of
I replied: Thanks James. I think there will be money in the Kingdom after Jesus comes. I think that's why God made silver and gold, and called the gold "good" in Genesis. What use is silver or gold after the rapture? Well, not everyone is raptured! Some are made immortal and "we" who are will rule as kings and priests, says the Bible in many places. I don't see what immortals would need money for, since you might not need to eat or need shelter from the elements even. You might not even need sleep. But the remnants of the nations who did not go in the rapture, and who were not destroyed in the tribulation, they will probably use silver and gold as money. I don't think they will use paper or any usury system money. The silver and gold I have will probably be left behind. For who? Who knows. There's no use taking it with you, that's for sure. Rich men don't get into heaven, because I don't think any riches can come with you. I think it's sad that nobody in your church has tried to answer your question. What do you think of my answer?
James answered me:
Jason, I love your answer. This is what I had pretty much figured out from reading the scriptures, and from talks with my Dad before he passed away. There's so much to know about the end times except just the rapture - just as there is much more than talking in tongues (which are merely the evidence) to the babtism in The Holy Ghost (acts: 2). When I have asked these questions concerning earthly wealth and many other topics that I know will be very important to know in these last days,
Don't you think 17% for Silver Eagles is Usurious?
I replied. Not when our add on mark up is no more than any other product.
The cost is due to fresh minting cost, millions of sunk capital into machines, and the scarcity factor.
Hello Jason – Thanks for the e-mail and interesting commentary, but let me enlighten you…..There is no ‘Rapture’ it is not scriptural, I am not sure where or how you came about this false doctrine, but you should research it fully, as to believe in it will leave you unprepared for the tribulation we will face.
Interesting attempt to tie the false premise of the man made doctrine of the rapture theory and the sin of usury. Usury was just one of the sins of rebellion that caused their punishment. The abuse of widows, orphans and foreigners along with the idolatry and the blatant rejection of God's regulations given through Moses are just some of the reasons for the judgement of God against them. It suggest that you research the history and origin of rapture with an open mind and I honestly believe you will discover the truth.
"An honest but mistaken man, once shown the truth, either ceases to be mistaken, or ceases to be honest"
Apart from your obsession with this rapture theme, it was a very well thought out and explained teaching regarding usury...honestly.
I replied: Thank you. You can study more of what I have studied about the rapture at bibleprophesy.org.
Noonan is correct that the Church consistently condemned usury in the most official way. For example, Canon 13 of the Second Lateran Council (1139) says: "Furthermore we condemn that practice accounted despicable and blame worthy by divine and human laws, denounced by Scripture in the Old and New Testaments, namely, the ferocious greed of usurers; and we sever them from every comfort of the Church, forbidding any archbishop or bishop, or an abbot of any order whatever or anyone in clerical orders, to dare to receive usurers, unless they do so with extreme caution; but let them be held infamous throughout their whole lives and, unless they repent, be deprived of a Christian burial."
Similarly, Canon 25 of the Third Lateran Council (1179) says, "Nearly everywhere the crime of usury has become so firmly rooted that many, omitting other business, practice usury as if it were permitted and in no way observe how it is forbidden in both the Old and New Testament. We therefore declare that notorious usurers should not be admitted to communion of the altar or receive Christian burial if they die in this sin." And Canon 29 of the Council of Vienne (1311) says, "If indeed someone has fallen into the error of presuming to affirm pertinaciously that the practice of usury is not sinful, we decree that he is to be punished as a heretic."
These injunctions were approved by many popes, including Alexander III, Gregory IX, Urban III, Innocent III, and Clement V The teaching of the Church condemning usury is unambiguous, binding, and irrevocable. (Noonan is right, I think, to insist that if anything has been infallibly defined in the Church by both popes and councils, the condemnation of usury certainly has. There have been so many solemn decrees on the matter that to argue, as some have, that the technicalities of an infallible teaching have not been met, or that the prohibitions against usury are only disciplinary and not doctrinal, is an exercise in special pleading [Noonan, 61-3].)
But just what is usury? This is the crux of the matter. First, let's be clear about what usury is not. It is not, as many people think, exorbitant interest on a loan. All parties in this discussion are agreed that the rate of interest has nothing to do with whether a loan is usurious (Noonan, 56). So what is it? Noonan argues that usury is the taking of any interest on any sort of loan. He claims that the condemnation of usury, so defined, is the teaching of Scripture and that this biblical principle was taken up by the Church Fathers and later codified in the Church's official teaching: "The teaching on usury of the Old Testament was explicitly confirmed by the New Testament. The text of the Vulgate was clear and phrased with legal exactness to condemn all profit on a loan: Mutuum date, nihil inde sperantes, 'Lend hoping nothing thereby.' The words were taken to be an express commandment. They were taken [by the early Church] as the words of the Lord himself. Absolutely, unequivocally, without exception, all return on a loan was condemned" (ibid., 57).
If this is the correct definition of usury, then we do have a contradiction in the Church's teaching and practice. (The 1911 Code of Canon Law, for example, required Catholic institutions to keep operating funds on deposit at interest.) But is Noonan's definition correct? Let's do a bit of investigation.
In the Old Testament the injunctions against interest-taking fall generally into three classes.
First, passages such as Exodus 22:25 and Leviticus 25:35-38 command that the poor among the Israelites are to receive interest-free loans, out of compassion and mercy.
The second group of texts is illustrated by Deuteronomy 23:19-21: "You shall not charge interest to your countrymen: interest on money, food, or anything that may be loaned at interest. You may charge interest to a foreigner, but to your countryman you shall not charge interest, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all that you undertake in the land which you are about to enter to possess." Here the principle of interest-free loans is extended to embrace all of Israel (and would include those non-Jews who are living under Israel's protection). But notice that the Scripture also says, "You may charge interest to a foreigner," indicating that interest-taking is not presented as inherently evil or sinful.
Finally, the third group of texts (Ezek. 18:13, 17, Jer. 15:10, Prov. 28:8) condemn the greed of the rich, who oppress the poor by, among other things, exacting interest which the unfortunate are unable to pay.
So in the Old Testament we have specific prohibitions against Israelites taking interest on loans to other, poor Israelites, or more generally to any Israelites, but this prohibition does not constitute an absolute prohibition against all interest-taking; in fact, we have explicit testimony that interest is not completely forbidden. The larger ethical issue of the morality of interest-taking is not addressed in the Old Testament. Rather, "interest was viewed only as a problem of social justice. The problem of commutative justice, i.e., of equivalence of value in an exchange of present for future goods, remained quite untouched" (Thomas F. Divine, S.J., Interest, 10).
In the New Testament the situation is much the same. The Lord urges compassion and generosity from his people in lending: "Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you" (Matt 5:42). So too our Lord says, "And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, in order to receive back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men" (Luke 6:34).
Situated here, in the Sermon on the Mount, this passage is clearly an appeal for Christian generosity; but it says nothing of the intrinsic morality of interest-taking. In fact, in the Parable of the Talents, our Lord chides the lazy servant who failed to receive any return on his master's money: "You ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest" (Matt 25:27; cf. Luke 19:23). The Lord Jesus himself is the "master" in this parable, and it is impossible that he would place in his own mouth an injunction for his servant to do something intrinsically immoral. So here, as in the Old Testament, the New Testament urges generosity and freedom in lending, especially to the poor, but fails to support the blanket condemnation of all interest posited by Noonan. Indeed Noonan passes over in silence the parts of Scripture that indicate that interest-taking is not inherently immoral.
The Church Fathers were concerned, as is Scripture, to protect the poor from the rapacity of the rich who oppressed them through interest-taking, but they stopped short of categorically labeling all taking of interest as intrinsically immoral. As the Jesuit Thomas F. Divine says, "In the writings of the early Fathers, we find only reiterations of the scriptural precepts that it is contrary to charity and mercy to exact usury of the poor, without any intimation that these precepts imply a universal prohibition" (Divine, 26).
The Catholic Encyclopedia says that until the fourth century all that can be inferred from the writings of the Fathers and ecclesiastical writers is that it is contrary to mercy and humanity to demand interest from a poor and needy man. The vehement denunciations of the Fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries were called forth by the moral decadence and avarice of the time, and we cannot find in them any expression of a general doctrine on this point; nor do the Fathers of the following centuries say anything remarkable on usury; they simply protest against the exploitation of misfortune and against transactions that, under the pretence of rendering service to the borrower, really threw him into great distress.
The Church Fathers, like the authors of Scripture, are not intent on presenting an analysis of the morality of interest taking. But there is an added development in the patristic writings: "Where the problem of commutative justice is touched, it is practically always with respect to conditions such as these in which money is 'idle' and unfruitful, and usury is defined as anything (whether of money or of any other commodity) in excess of the amount advanced to the borrower" (Divine, 33).
It is a bit hard for us to understand, but, during the greater portion of antiquity, economies were characterized by a lack of competitive markets and thus few opportunities for investment. Money itself was considered primarily a medium of private and not commercial exchange. As Joseph Rickaby says of the Middle Ages (and his comments apply to much of antiquity as well): "In those days land was hard to buy, agriculture backward, roads bad, seas unnavigable, carrying-trade precarious, messages slow, raids and marauders frequent, population sparse, commerce confined to a few centers, mines unworked, manufactures mostly domestic, capital as yet unformed. Men kept their money in their cellars or deposited it for safety in religious houses. . .-They took out coin as they wanted it to spend on housekeeping, or on war, or on feasting. It was very hard, next to impossible, to lay out money so as to make more money by it. Money was in those days really barren" (Moral Philosophy,261).
During the Scholastic period of the Middle Ages, many issues, including the question of the morality of interest-taking, were subjected to more detailed analysis. On what specific principles is interest-taking moral or immoral? This was at the heart of the question of usury. Eventually the morality of interest-taking came to be understood as intrinsically bound up in the nature of the thing lent and the impact (or lack thereof) on the person lending it. It is immoral to take interest on the loan of a thing that is completely consumed by its use, for which one has no other use, and for which one incurs no loss by lending it.
The New Catholic Encyclopedia elaborates on the technical definition of usury as it came to be used in the Middle Ages and thus in the formal conciliar texts of the Church: "From the Latin usura, usury originally meant a charge for a loan of a fungible, i.e., perishable, nonspecific good, whose use consisted of its consumption. Such a loan was called a mutuum. Money, considered to be 'consumed' in the process of exchange for other goods, was classified as a fungible good. And as a money loan became the most common form of loan of this type, usury came to signify a charge for the use of money. Only after repeal of the laws prohibiting interest (usury in the above sense) and the establishment of legal rates did usury assume its present meaning of a charge for a money loan that is exorbitant or exceeds the legal rate."
As we have seen, money itself was considered "barren," since there were only two licit things one could do with it: spend ("consume") it or hoard it. The Catholic Encyclopedia explains: "Money [in the early Middle Ages] was considered a fungible good since, once it was exchanged for other goods, its use ceased to exist for the borrower." (In civil law, goods are considered "fungible" if one unit of them can replace any other unit, such as in paying a debt. The term may be applied to things other than money, such as bushels of wheat or bales of cotton, provided they may be used interchangeably as a means of exchange and that their value is consumed by their use.)
One can lend money at interest, but in lending such money the lender is guilty of usury: "Apart from risk of nonrepayment, to take interest for money that you had no use for but to hoard was getting 'a breed of barren metal.' It was taking up what you laid not down; it was making profit out of your neighbor's need, or your neighbor's gain, where there was no corresponding need unsatisfied, or gain forfeited, on your part" (Rickaby, 261).
As these ethical and economic principles became fully appreciated, and as civilization progressed, it became clear that money in more modern economies—with competitive markets and almost unlimited opportunities for profitable ("fruitful") investment—did not suffer from the same tendency to be "unfruitful" as it had before. In the face of this change, the Church defined what is meant by usury. Session X of the Fifth Lateran Council (1515) gave its exact meaning: "For that is the real meaning of usury: when, from its use, a thing which produces nothing is applied to the acquiring of gain and profit without any work, any expense or any risk."
So too, Pope Benedict XIV in his encyclical Vix Pervenit, says: "The nature of the sin called usury has its proper place and origin in a loan contract[mutuum]. This financial contract between consenting parties demands, by its very nature, that one return to another only as much as he has received. The sin rests on the fact that sometimes the creditor desires more than he has given. Therefore he contends some gain is owed him beyond that which he loaned, but any gain which exceeds the amount he gave is illicit and usurious."
Note again that a mutuum is "a loan of a fungible, i.e., perishable, nonspecific good, whose use consisted of its consumption" (New Catholic Encyclopedia). But at present the choice for one's money in our world-economy is never simply between spending and hoarding, for money can always been invested in any number of genuinely profitable ("fruitful") enterprises. There is much greater facility nowadays for making profitable investments of savings, and a true value, therefore, is always attached to the possession of money, as also to credit itself. A lender, during the whole time that the loan continues, deprives himself of a valuable thing, for the price of which he is compensated by the interest. It is right at the present day to permit interest (which is different from usury) on money lent, as it was not wrong to condemn the practice at a time when it was more difficult to find profitable investments for money.
Money is no longer a barren thing in itself, and thus the loan of money at interest is not usurious. Rickaby sums up the correct view of usury nicely: "[I]t is usury to take any interest at all upon the loan of a piece of property, which (a) is of no use except to be used up, spent, consumed; (b) is not wanted for the lender's own consumption within the period of the load; (c) is lent upon security that obviates risk; (d) is so lent that the lender forgoes no occasion of lawful gain by lending it" (Rickaby, 258).
Due to advances in transportation, communications and generally expanding economies, the nature of money itself has changed in the course of time. A loan that was usurious at one point in history, due to the unfruitfulness of money, is not usurious later, when the development of competitive markets has changed the nature of money itself. But this is nota change of the Church's teaching on usury. Today nearly all commercial transactions, including monetary loans at interest, do not qualify as usury. This constitutes a change only in the nature of the financial transaction itself, not in the teaching of the Church on usury. "Still she maintains dogmatically that there is such a sin as usury, and what it is, as defined in the Fifth Council of Lateran "(ibid., 263).
One of the parables of Jesus was not explained to his disciples. It was the parable of the fig tree. This was the most important parable which he commanded his disciples to learn. Do you know what Jesus taught in this regard ?
Jason, the book of revelation states that by their sorceries (magic) were all the nations deceived, never in world history has all the nations of the earth at one time been creating money from thin air i.e.( by and from the prince of the power of the air). The horseman with the set of scales is announcing that unjust weights and measures are an abomination to God. and immediately followed by a statement that it will cost a days wages for a loaf of Bread. Amos states that the famine of the end time will not be for food but for hearing the word of God. The food will be available but who will be able to afford just a loaf of bread. The very first act of Jesus upon declaring himself King of kings and Lord of lords was to enter the temple and overturn the tables of the money changers. They were dealing in graven images,substituting Graven images for acceptable money. The dollar is the ultimate graven image, a credit based money created out of thin air by none other than the enemy of our souls. the pre trib rapture doctrine is also part of Satan's deception, It is place in the book of revelation between chapters three and four in order to make it fit. the last two paragraphs of the book of revelation announce the penalty for adding to or taking away from the words written in this book.The pre-trib rapture doctrine is a man made fable, and the spirit speaks expressly that in the latter days some would depart from the faith giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. God also pronounced that he would send a spirit of delusion on those that believe This lie. If you believe in the pre trib rapture then you have in effect pronounced Jesus to be a liar in Mathew chapter 24,mark chapter 13,and Luke chapter 21. After all from the mouth of two or three witnesses is every matter established. All three clearly state that Jesus comes after the abomination of desolation is set up by Satan. the spurious messiah Satan shows up at the 6th trump 6th vial and 6th seal, 666 the true Christ arrives at the 7th trump at which time we will be changed into spiritual beings. behold I tell you a secret we will all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of the eye AT THE LAST TRUMP. The word rapture cannot be found in scripture and is a cunningly devised fable and part of satans end time deception. Ezekiel chapter 13 states that God is against those prophets that teach their children to fly to save their souls. that refuse his outstretched hands.
As for Ezekiel 13, I have a commentary on your common misunderstanding.
Thank you for the Bible Prophesy.
Glad you are back, thank you.
Becareful to distinguish between Jews and Gentiles.... Under Grace, since the conversion of Paul we are the same before God (Jews and Gentiles). All cast in unbelief so he might have mercy on all. Reconciled to God by simple faith in Jesus , not our Messiah, not even Messiah for Jews now , but our reconciler who makes us in righteous before God by our faith in Him. We (Gentiles) were not included in the Old Testsment and The Four Gospels ( as anything to do with Gods chosen People) , as Gentiles were considered dogs. Gentile faith in the Four Gospels was used as an example to basically embarass the Jews or prove to them his being the Son of God.
Jews will again be the witnesses to the World they were supposed to be up to the stoning of Stephen then ...Paul was Gods chosen vessel to the Gentiles. Jews were put on hold until ? Then the Rapture, then the last 7 years.
Hey Jason, completely agree. Did you just read "The Harbinger"? It is amazing how God is revealing Himself in these last days.
Jason,from the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses is every matter established,I gave you the testimony of Jesus in Mathew 24,mark 13 and Luke 21 and add 2 thess:2: 9-12. Titus 1: 13-14,Gal: 1: 6-12,rev 22:14-15, acts 4:22, 2 tim. 4;3 and 1 john 5:10. I now ask you to furnish me with your 2 or three biblical witnesses to prove your pre-trib belief. I close with acts 4:22 and it shall come to pass that every soul which will not hear that prophet ( Jesus) shall be destroyed from among the people. and john 8:47. looking forward to your biblical witnesses proving your belief in the pre-trib doctrine.
I replied: G, I completely agree that things are established by two or three witnesses, as the Bible says. Here are some links to some Bible passages that prove to me that the pre tribulation rapture is true, based on the two verses you quoted from Matt 24, and 2 Thess 2.
And for further reference, here are 300 verses, broken down into 19 main arguments, why I believe the pretribulation rapture is true. Please note, this is merely a summary.
Please note further, the many Biblical warnings of trying to look at any verse, but also Matt 24 without the proper Biblical foundation and study and comparison to the many other similar verses in the Bible, which I showcase in my commentary.
2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
1Cor 14:22 ... prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
I could teach or debate your point of view on the rapture (successfully) because I studied both sides in depth many years ago and understand both sides of the argument very well. I just came to the conclusion (post-pan) after discovering the origins and people involved in introducing the teaching of this doctrine in the church. The charismatics or which might include the word of faith movement today where the instigators. Just not sound doctrine as Paul would encourage Timothy to teach. Instigates anger and controversy and really doesn't matter. This is a new teaching (100 years or so) in comparison to 2000 years of the teaching to the church. It is very much connected to many other false doctrines prevalent today in the church. Remember, I'm a PanTriber (it will all pan out) and I would rather concentrate on the sound aspects of the Gospel...Faith...Hope and Love being the mortar that binds it all together.
Again, check it out for yourself and if you need some good links that are very comprehensive and convincing I will happy to do so.
I replied: Dear M, I have discovered that the doctrine of the pre tribulation rapture was taught by two of the very earliest Church Fathers, both Clement and Polycarp, so I sincerely believe the doctrine is entirely Biblical, and is certainly 1900 years old, not 100.
Furthermore, there were people teaching the pretrib as far back as the late 1500s and late 1700, too. Ribera and Edwards.
And not surprisingly, some people claim that the supposed "Jesuit" origins of Ribera in the late 1500's are the reason to reject the idea of futurism and the pretribulation rapture.
So, if you are going to reject the idea of the rapture, you should at least be accurate, and claim rightly that the doctrine was not made popular until Darby and Scofield.
But if you are going to reject the doctrine because men who teach it are sinful, I'm sorry, but all men are sinful, as we have inherited sin from Adam, or did you miss that part in Genesis and explained by Paul in Romans?
And your argument, that the doctrine makes you angry, is the first time I have ever, in well over 1000 discussions, heard that as a reason to reject it. Most reject it because it is a "comfort doctrine", but the Bible says prophecy is supposed to bring comfort.
I do understand that the doctrine cannot bring comfort to someone who refuses to believe it, but that's also what the Bible teaches.
1 Cor 14:22 ... prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
Hebrews 10:26-27 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
Mc sent me another email:
See attached. (3) These commentaries are a good start at understanding the history of the rapture teaching and how scriptures in the bible support that there is only one resurrection on "The last Day" when the Lord returns.
I hope you do read it and not simply disgard it because you have already come to a conclusion.
Also, I have read a lot of your commentary on your prophecy site and enjoyed much and learned more about the old testament history.
I also believe the resurrections will happen on or at the last day. I believe the last day is 1000 years long, and starts with the pretribulation rapture, and the casting out of Satan out of Heaven, followed by the darkness of the 7 year tribulation for the first seven of the 1000 years.
The topic of the entire Chapter of 2 Peter 3 is the day of the Lord.
2 Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
Remember, God told Adam he would die in that day, but Adam lived to be 930 years old. Adam did die within the day, because with the Lord, a day is as 1000 years.
Genesis 4:3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.
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