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9.5 Propositions against Compulsory Growth and for a Christian Financial Management

For the love of truth and justice and in our endeavour to bring them to light, and in view of the crisis of our global financial and economic system, that nowadays becomes obvious, the following propositions shall be discussed amongst Christians:

I. As our Lord and Friend Jesus Christ says: “Do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great ... etc”(Luke 6.35). He wanted Christians not to charge interest.

II. This word is in accord with God’s commandments given to Israel: “You shall not charge interest on loans to another Israelite, interest on money, interest on provisions, interest on anything that is lent” (Deuteronomy 23.20) Together with the granted periodical remission of debts (see Deuteronomy 15.1) the relinquishment of interest is the fundamental rule of the biblical economy, which follows the principle of solidarity. God sets a salutary limit to our greed.

III. Interest and compound interest lead to the growth of monetary assets and force the economy to grow exponentially. The increase of wealth for a minority is based on the work of the others. Thus poverty and wealth equally increase by the interest system. Growth by interest is an exponential growth, which unavoidably leads to the formation and collapse of speculative bubbles.

IV. The interest based monetary system works as a force of demonic nature from which escape is impossible. But it is written: “So acknowledge today and take to heart that the LORD is God in heaven above and on earth beneath; there is no other.”(Deuteronomy 4.39) And Jesus Christ says:” You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matthew 6.24)

V. Periods under interest –free economies were times of a sound distribution of wealth in the society and of cultural ascendancy as well. Ages under interest based economies led to economic dynamism, but at the same time to a drifting apart between the poor and the rich and to a structural sin against mankind and nature.

VI. Consequently it is not within the rights of Christians and the Churches to charge or to pay interest.

VII. It is high time that Christians develop alternative systems to the present interest based financial system. In this context we think of fact-oriented possibilities for co-operation with critical economists as well as with the Jewry, the Islam, and other religions.

VIII. Concepts for financial systems without capital interest do exist. Even today Christians are free to practice alternative ways – as giving interest-free loan in their personal sphere and within their parish, or interest-free investment at Christian banks, the participation in interest-overcoming regional currencies and finally the creation of a separate interest-free currency within the ecclesiastical sphere.

IX. Money without capital interest does not solve every problem of mankind, but without the surmounting of the compulsory growth not any of the big problems in this limited world can be solved.

IX.5 We appeal to all those who want to participate in this project to express their willingness under . Because the creation is ardently waiting for coming to know the freedom and glory of God’s children. (see Romans 8.21) We want to meet God’s salutary commandment today, in honour of God and for justice, peace and the preservation of the creation.

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