In Luke 6:35, Jesus says that Christians are to:

"lend, expecting nothing in return"

Are there any denominations or groups in Christianity (past or present) which have taught and acted on the belief (and are known for this belief in a published source) that each and every loan made with their money - whether the loan was made by them directly or made through a 3rd party - is to be made without the expectation of repayment?

Note: Please exclude any Christian denomination or group which sanctions modern banking, as modern banking by its nature relies on making loans which expect something in return.

For further clarity, this is the only example I know of, which portrays the meaning I'm getting at.

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    Giving with out expectation of being remunerated is not he same as loaning
    – 007
    Commented Dec 6, 2015 at 17:10
  • @Pam, I agree. Jesus mentions giving to others in Luke 6:30, but this question is specifically focused at the "lending" (Jesus's term not mine) described in both Luke 6:34 and Luke 6:35 wherein he speaks about giving out loans without the expectation of repayment.
    – schulwitz
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 3:27
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    Could you explain your meaning when you write, "whether the loan was made by them personally or by a 3rd party"? If I advocated the loaning of money to another by a 3rd party, how could I reasonably expect them to abide by my convictions regarding the loan repayment? That doesn't seem to make sense. Also, I find the premise of the question is based on subjective interpretation as the address of Jesus seemed to be towards individuals and not a governing body such as a denomination. So personal loans would be the only application.
    – user31124
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 20:42
  • @user31124 I've edited the question to read "through a 3rd party." By this I mean banks, groups, or individuals who would loan your money out for you. To answer part 2 of your question, the original wording of my question actually did ask for examples of individuals who have held such a belief, but the members of this forum decided that the question was too broad, so I edited it to read "groups" of Christians. Perhaps now that almost a year has passed without a single valid answer, the administrators of this site will permit my original question, which doesn't seem so broad anymore...
    – schulwitz
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


Strict Eastern Orthodox Christian teaching requires this.

Although written in the 18th century, Counsels on the Particular Duties of Every Christian by Tikhon of Zadonsk is still considered by Orthodox Christians to be one of the most practical guides available for Christian living. (It is available in an English translation of the Greek version entitled Journey to Heaven). Tikhon writes:

When a debtor comes to such destitution and poverty that he genuinely has nothing with which to pay back his creditor, Christian love demands that the creditor either be patient, or, what is better, even to forgive the debtor his debt. Christian! He who took a loan from you is truly your debtor, but you are God's debtor. He is indebted to you for material things, but you are indebted to God for sins. His debt is very small against your debt of sin, it is as though it were nothing. Thus when you beg God to forgive you your ten thousand talents, forgive your neighbor his hundred pence. Spare the poor that God may spare you. Be a man merciful to men, that you may pray to God without pangs of conscience, God, be merciful to me a sinner! (Luke 18:13).

Tikhon also taught that the taking of interest in loans was expressly forbidden by Luke 6:35.

The holy word of God forbids the taking of interest. Lend, hoping for nothing again, says the Lord.

Interest or usury is considered to be among the greater sins as we see in the 14th Psalm, He hath not lent his money on usury. Read this Psalm for yourself diligently, and you will see the truth.

It is safer before the all-seeing God and before His just judgement not to take from those that do not have, than to take interest. Then choose the safer course.

I think I should add that Tikhon also cautions those who decide to take a loan to be careful to pay back everything "lest you appear before Christ's Judgement in debt".

  1. Usury - Yes many! Usery was a sin historically for thousands of years, which is part of the reason why borrowing from Jewish lenders in historic Europe happened. These values also come from many locations in the OT, where Jews were told not to charge interest to "their brothers."

Most if not all denominations have gone through a period where mutual aid, with no interest was attached to the plans to build a church, orphanage, etc. Modern Banking - with interest, begins in Italy, and other places, but also with more advanced math systems, and war funding.

You can also see inflation, house prices, and sizes grow with it...

The Catholic church history, as well as nearly every denomination I can think of was opposed to it.

The real answer may be when it become acceptable to take out loans? Make them? Google for this term to learn more.

Generally, to lend to foreigners / non-believers - people outside the group, is acceptable.

Islamics are also opposed to profit via interest...

Side note: Jesus talks in a parable about the servant who should have put his money with the bankers who would have returned interest... so there is a positive view from Him.

  • 4
    Welcome ! If you haven't already done so, I hope you'll take a minute to take the tour and learn how this site is different from others. However, I must take issue with this answer: the question does not ask about interest, but about the principal. Many denominations have rejected the collection of interest. But how many forbid the collection of principal? Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 23:40
  • This is not a discussion forum, ,but you have the core of a very good answer. Please refine it to tie your response to Christian doctrine or belief, as Nathaniel has pointed out. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 23:41

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