Thursday, February 25, 2010

How would you answer the bankers?

Last Sunday's Sioux Falls Argus Leader ran a front page story as new Federal credit card laws went into effect.

Dana Dykhouse, CEO of First Premier Bank, raised a question about these new restrictions on the lending business:

"Whose responsibility is it to know the balance on a card?" he asks. "Is it you or the bank? Is it the bank's responsibility to keep you from spending more than you have? Now we are swinging toward it being the bank's responsibility rather than the individual's."

Sounds like common sense. But The Bible, while warning that borrowing can put you in a bad place, puts significant moral responsibility on the lender to refrain from creating heavy debt burdens:

If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. Exodus 22:25

Do not take interest in advance or otherwise make a profit from them, but fear your God; let them live with you. Leviticus 25:36

Restore to them, this very day, their fields, their vineyards, their olive orchards, and their houses, and the interest on money, grain, wine, and oil that you have been exacting from them. Nehemiah 5:11

(If a man) oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore the pledge, lifts up his eyes to the idols, commits abomination, takes advance or accrued interest; shall he then live? He shall not. He has done all these abominable things; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself. Ezekiel 18:12-13

But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Luke 6:35

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