I'm writing something about usury and want to mention Christianity point of view on it.

There are several verses in Bible that prohibit usury. Also Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther have despised interest. However, modern Christians seem to be OK with lending and borrowing with interest, especially in US.

How did so many modern Christians come to accept this practice?

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    See this post for a partial answer. – Flimzy Oct 11 '15 at 19:26
  • I agree this question needs to be narrowed. Asking for "a history of Christian usury" is pretty broad--we're talking about 2,000 years of history, and countless sects, denominations, etc. Your question "Are there modern Christians who don't indulge in usu ray altogether?", however, seems perfectly scoped to me, and would stand on its own as a good question. – Flimzy Oct 11 '15 at 19:28
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    The new question is well written, however it is now a duplicate of Why do some Christians think it's not a sin to charge interest?. – curiousdannii Oct 12 '15 at 21:12
  • Usury usually means "excessive interest" in modern English. If you just mean the charging of any interest, you should make that clear. – ThaddeusB Oct 13 '15 at 0:43

Modern Christians may have come to accept the practice of charging interest to unbelievers who can afford it, because the Bible doesn't forbid it.

  • 1 Corinthians 10 says Old Testament examples were also written for the benefit of Christians. Leviticus 24 tells God's people they are not to take advantage of "poor", fellow Israelites, by charging them interest or selling at a profit. It did not forbid charging interest to, or making a profit from sales to non-Israelites.

  • Acts 4:32 ff., sets an even higher standard. Christians were voluntarily selling their possessions, to meet the needs of poor Christians, so there would be equality. No mention is made of Christians doing this for non-Christians.

  • The NT calls on Christians to "remember the poor" (Gal. 2:10).

The practice of lending with interest to unbelievers who can afford it, was not prohibited in the Bible.

As far as borrowing with interest,

  • Romans 13 says "Owe no man anything...". However, "owe" is in the present tense, not the perfect tense. Therefore, it doesn't necessarily mean never owe any man anything at any time, but may be interpreted as "don't keep on owing any man anything" (i.e. don't let your debts remain outstanding).

  • With that understanding, a person who pays their monthly rent on time, is not allowing their debt to remain outstanding, but is paying it when it is due.

  • We were actually paying as much in rent as we later paid in monthly mortgage, when purchasing a home. While Proverbs warns against becoming a slave to the lender, it was actually a better stewardship for us to take out a loan to buy a house (with interest), than it was to pay the same amount in rent, but without ownership or equity.

Christians may have come to accept the practice of borrowing with interest, because it can sometimes be better stewardship than paying rent.

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