Chapter 3

Debtors – What Would Jesus (Or Moses or Muhammad) Say?

Matthew 18:21 to 22 – Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

Chapter 3 Featured Submissions

“I was raised with belief that borrowing or lending for profit is evil. And in my family people who borrow or lent were look down upon…”

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In the featured submission section box is just a small sampling of the scores of passionate – sometimes heated – contributions made to this chapter. “What Would Jesus Say…” has provoked the greatest chapter response to date, and will likely continue to do so until the book is completed.

Which religion/belief system is the most forgiving of debtors and debt? Which seems to be the least forgiving? Which allow for interest to be charged, and which forbid it? In Islam, loans can be made. But, any “additional money” (interest) is called “Riba” and is strictly banned regardless of the form or amount.

As would be expected, society’s laws have their roots in religion.  As example, where did U.S. bankruptcy laws come from?

“At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release” (Deuteronomy 15:1-2)

A more secular and contemporary contributor suggests putting religious considerations to the side: “Indebtedness has many severe penalties.  Fire, brimstone and damnation are not among them.”

Enjoy this chapter and the submissions we have to date.  Come back for more as they arrive, or share yours as well. You may not agree that you are your brother’s keeper, but you could be his educator.