Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

Be Not Deceived: There’s No Such Thing As A “Christian Banker”

The Bible calls bankers who lend money for interest an "abomination". Why aren't we putting them out of the church?

You know what makes me absolutely lose my mind?

Bankers who call themselves “Christians”. I realize historically that there may have been small pockets of people who identified as being both a banker and a Christian, but these days, it’s almost widely accepted. I mean, just the other day I saw an advertisement for the Fellowship of “Christian” Bankers! Even worse, they weren’t meeting at the Episcopal church– they were meeting at the Presbyterian church!

I think the fact that we’re seeing more people identify as “Christian Bankers” as if there’s such a thing (there isn’t), is a sign of just how corrupt society has become. Scripture warns us that when the end times are upon us, we’ll be seeing more of this kind of thing– people will exchange truth for a lie, and that they’ll have no desire to live out true Christianity.

Those days are upon us, my children. Instead of truth, people in today’s culture just want their ears tickled with false teaching that caves to the pressure of culture instead of remaining true to the Bible. People just want a “feel good” Gospel (which isn’t really a Gospel) without ever challenging them to actually obey scripture (hat tip, Dr. James White). Such is the case with these so called “Christian bankers” and all the supposed “Christians” who invite them into the Kingdom of God.

Let me be clear: you have NO RIGHT to be inviting these people into the Kingdom! If you invite them in and refrain from judging them in lieu of letting God work on their hearts, it’s simply proof that you’re not a true Christian either. You emergent and progressive leaders (aka, wolves in sheep’s clothing) who keep going out into the streets and saying “God is throwing a banquet, and you’re are invited to come in!” are every bit as much the problem as the “Christian” bankers themselves.

Honestly, the term “Christian Banker” outright disgusts me. Why someone would want to pair the words together is sick, sick, sick.

Be not deceived: there’s no such thing as a Christian Banker, and scripture makes that clear.

In Ezekiel chapter 18 we see it in no uncertain terms:

“He eats at the mountain shrines.
He defiles his neighbor’s wife.
12 He oppresses the poor and needy.
He commits robbery.
He does not return what he took in pledge.
He looks to the idols.
He does detestable things.
13 He lends at interest and takes a profit.

Will such a man live? He will not! Because he has done all these detestable things, he is to be put to death; his blood will be on his own head.”

That’s right: charging interest on a loan is “detestable”, otherwise translated as an “abomination”. The penalty? Death. This abomination is exactly how bankers make a living, and it’s sick.

So no– don’t try to give me your liberal nonsense that it’s possible to be a banker and a Christian at the same time. It’s not. If you think that, it’s only because you reject scripture and therefore reject God.

And no, don’t try to tell me that this passage might have a specific historical context instead of being a blanket prohibition for all times, all places, and all situations. We all know that there’s no reason to study the historical context any deeper than the surface of the English text.

No, don’t try to tell me that there might be reasons, completely known only to God, as to why some people are bankers. I don’t care why– and I don’t care if I don’t know why, it’s still an abomination worthy of death. God will not take into account any additional factors when judging, and neither must we.

No, this is not an area where Christians can disagree and still maintain fellowship with one another, or still have Christian charity towards one another. There is no “third way” on this issue, and if you try to find one, it’s only because you’re ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus and would rather deny him before men than take a stand against banking.

And, don’t even get me started on what I think you should do if your college age child tells you that they seem to have a natural affinity for accounting, because you probably won’t like the cold, hard truth I’ll tell you.

Instead of inviting bankers to join everyone else in experiencing Jesus and to therefore see that he is altogether wonderful, and instead of trusting that Jesus will reveal to their hearts whether or not he wants them to abstain from banking, it is my job to pronounce loud and clear that:

BANKERS ARE OUT and they are NOT WELCOME at this banquet.

 It’s that simple– and if you disagree with me, it’s probably because you don’t really love Jesus (and you’ll have an eternity in hell to wish you had listened to me).


Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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79 Responses

  1. This article opened my eyes, I can feel your mood, your thoughts, it seems very wonderful. I hope to see more articles like this. thanks for sharing.

  2. This is the biggest “no true scotsman fallacy” I’ve ever seen. If they call themselves Christian and worship the christian god then they’re christians.

  3. Oh brother. Benny is not funny…Benny is not clever…Benny, and Rob, and Brian, and the rest of these guys rally do need to get over themselfes. Effective retoric does not equal impressive argumentation and it is certainly no substitute for truth.

  4. I know you wrote this as a parody. But I think it’s pretty right on. Dorothy Day and most Catholic Workers would agree with it too. They believed collecting and paying interest is unbliblical, and declined to participate in the practice in their daily lives (to the extent possible). Biblical injunctions against interest aren’t limited to the Jewish scriptures. Jesus also preached against it: Luke 6:32-35 (parallel with Gospel of Thomas 95:1-2).

  5. I haven’t seen any comments from Christian lenders or bankers. Or anyone defending those folks while condemning gays. You have left them speechless, I guess.

  6. I had to read the comments to realize this was satire…oh well, that’s being autistic for ya!

  7. Oh no! There are 66 comments! Satanic! I know the obvious thing this is in reference to, but I’ve had many people refer to my yoga practice and esp teaching in this same manner. I am saddened by it all. Someone asked me yesterday if I feel that there is demonic work in yoga…and I pointed out that I think there is more demonic work in the greediness in ads on tv than in most yoga classes.

    1. Oh, I enjoy yoga, too! As exercise, naturally. I would worry about being overcome by the supposed religious nature to it and a conflicting spirituality, but since I’m already apparently possessed by a demon for being a…banker…I guess there’s nothing more to lose, right?

      1. 🙂 right. The funny thing is that Jesus only talked about losing our souls….by an attitude of the mind—denying ourselves—humility. I think even “bankers” can have that attitude of mind.

  8. you had me fooled, Benjamin! I actually felt sick and thought either Benjamin has lost his mind or someone hijacked Formerly Fundie and wrote this blog. don’t do that to me again! 🙂

  9. So, charging interest is “an abomination” in the bible apparently.
    Wait… what did the bible call homosexuality again….

  10. This is a satire but there is also truth in what you write. Without much effort I was able to find twice as many Bible verses condemning usury as homosexuality. The verses are also much clearer in their condemnation. In Dante’s Inferno usurers where placed in the seventh circle of hell along with Sodomites. There is also a large body of theological writing condemning usury. To be clear I am not making an argument that bankers should be excluded from the church but that if you apply scripture without context or understanding you would have to take this blog posting as a literal condemnation of bankers. That said I believe that usury is the great sin at the heart of the worlds problems and it is one in which we all participate.

  11. After reading once or twice I decided that you were kidding or something along that line. Now, I see you were using it as an example of how we can sound when we grab on to a topic to harp on.

  12. I am conflicted, I find myself agreeing with the essence of Benjamin’s posts; if I were to wear a label it would be “Anabapticostal” or Nonviolent Jesus following communitarian anarchist. No doubt I have had my share of pain and misery in ministry for embracing the life of a radical following of Jesus. However, it seems that brother Benjamin, though formerly a ‘Fundie,’ has yet to disentangle from the Fundie predisposition for pronouncing who the “real Christians” are and are not. I confess I have scoffed at such foolishness as “The Christian Businessmen’s Association,” or the notion of a Christian serving in the military or as a policeman myself. I fume over Amerikan cultural nationalist “Christianity.” BUT… I am beginning to become equally uncomfortable with a brother whose mission it seems to be to declare who is “in” and who is “out,” you may want to drop “formerly” from your moniker.

      1. Ahhhh, Okay, I hoped so and read to the end for the resolution. When I shared your blog on folks defending State murder aka “Capitol Punishment,” or military service without speaking of Jesus and asking if one could be considered “Christian” or a position could be considered “Christian” without reference to the teaching and commands of Christ I took a lot of heat from folks who thought I was suggesting one could not be a Christian and support violence (which could be a topic for serious discussion). Now I respond to your satirical tome against bankers with the same response…. ~sigh~ Press on my brother. But really, can you follow Jesus and remain a banker, soldier, capitalist….? 😉

  13. Given what the banking community has done to the global economy and the sheer agony and stress to my family personally from 2008-2013, I have no problem with this.

  14. Wow… Reading this? You need to re-title your blog… There’s nothing “formerly fundie about you… You are obviously still ensconced in that particular fold… (Which is assuming that all of the above isn’t just a “completely twisted sense of humor” as you allude to… In which case you might have simply deleted all of it…)

      1. Actually Benjamin? I figured that out – belatedly… But it’s still quite snarky and unhelpful, IMO… This really doesn’t help us, across the broad spectrum of faithful people who are so ready to insult each other and “go to war” over nothing more than words. I was taught a long time ago to always remember: “edify stupid… edify.” I’m simply thinking out loud that you are failing on that score…

        1. If it took you some time to work out that this piece is satire then my guess is that you ‘are failing on that score’ (appreciation of witty, satirical writing)

          1. Come live with us in Charlotte where this is actually an ongoing – and important – ethical debate among people of faith. Or simply continue being an asshole. Guess there’s a reason I don’t much bother with these patheos blogs much anymore…

  15. If your child comes to you and says they are becoming an accountant, you should confront the sin and if there is no repentance, you should cast them out. Don’t break bread with them, turn them over to Satan. Matthew 18 is very clear in this point. Bahahaha!

  16. All right. I’ll be courageous enough to admit it. For a few paragraphs I thought you had lost your mind.

    But I have to ask, being that I perceive you to generally be a kind and loving person, from where did you draw such vitriol?

    Great post. Great point.

    1. Oh, I don’t think any of this is Benjamin’s vitriol – it seems to me that he’s simply restating hateful-sounding opinions about…another issue, and swapping certain words there out with “banker.”

      1. I’m not trying to imply Benjamin carries vitriol in his mind or anything. You might be right that he’s simply drawing on his experience dealing with equally vitriolic arguments.

        It’s kind of as mysterious to me, though, as how Breaking Bad could have come from the mind of Vince Gilligan, who strikes me as a generally laid back and normal (whatever that means) person.

        Mostly, though, it wasn’t a serious question.

        1. Gotcha! I think what Benjamin draws more from is a slightly twisted sense of humor. It’s arch, even.

        2. He’s right– I just took things that are said to me on nearly a daily basis, and just swapped out the issue to show how obnoxious we can sound, in hopes of encouraging ourselves to be slightly less obnoxious about whatever our pet issue is.

          He’s also right that I have a completely twisted sense of humor too, so that might be part of what got lost in translation 🙂

          1. she?

            Do I look like a woman in my thumbnail? I mean, Jeff is traditionally a boy’s name…

          2. Your humour would be appreciated in Britain, Ben 🙂 We may not be the friendliest country in the world (according to yesterday’s media stats) but at least we understand humour. Satire is the truth told with ‘tongue-in-cheek’ in a clever witty manner ! It’s so acceptable here ! The Brits would love this piece. Encore ! Encore !

  17. Ben, this is absolutely classic ! Just rolled about reading it. One could exchange bankers in this satire for Theistic evolutionists, or any group of people that the church would fancy ostracizing.

  18. Fortunately, I know you aren’t *entirely* serious…

    One of the interesting bits about European history is that they DID take this literally. Since “Christians” couldn’t lend money at interest, the Jews stepped in to fill the need. While it was far from the only factor, it was a factor in European anti-Semitism, which eventually led to the holocaust.

    Just a bit of food for thought 😉

  19. Also, countdown to someone apparently taking you seriously on this one in 3…2..oh, wait, it looks like that already happened.

      1. Well, certainly we can’t be both gay and Christian, right? My KJV Bible is merely decoration on my nightstand. (It goes with the lamp.) 😉

        1. !! Heretic!! KJV? Please! There’s only one translation that’s translated properly. Everyone knows the NIV is the one to use. Mine has a chartreuse floral pattern on the cover. Matches my wallpaper! 😉

          1. It’s the one I got when I was 7, and I like the poetic language.

            And, my name’s embossed on the front.

                    1. Was probably Aaron in disguise… Moishe never could leave him alone without him getting into some sort of tsimmis…

      2. Wear the badge proudly, sir, for there are many who think gays can not be christian. I say nuts to that! If god wanted you to lie to yourself and others would he have forbidden bearing false witness?

        1. Thank you! I do actually. And that’s just the way I see it. I pretended for years and played straight for God. But after a very serious accident I felt I needed to be me. Just as He created me to be.

  20. Thank you Ben for illustrating the absurdity of wielding select (mistranslated) scriptures as weapons against others.

    1. Many are quick to quote scripture and slow to thinking. It’s sad, really.
      In everything you do and read, love should be first.

    1. On Little House On The Prairie they seem to do just fine without them. The doctor takes payment in chickens, and when Pa needed to buy Ma a Christmas gift, he just fixed up some old wagon wheels he found and traded them to Mr. Olson for a kitchen stove.

      1. Isn’t fantasy fun! Or there’s Star Trek. Just get everyone a Replicator. Then we can all have everything we need, just using voice-commands.

        Now, back to the real world….

    2. Bankers are not the problem, It’s landing money for an intereste that is. And if we think about it, it’s logical: in a sociaety in which we say that work is essential, how can we accept that people make more money without working. And from a Christian point of view, if God as been as good to you as to give you more than you need, why can’t you lend generously without asking anything in return but the amount you lent?

  21. HA! I was wondering when someone was going to catch the prohibition against lending money for interest, the absolute basis for a capitalist economy, and do a parody. Well spotted.

    Now, let the “But it can’t mean that!” fest begin!

  22. The difficulty I have with this article is that I find myself WANTING to get on the condemnation bandwagon re this group of people. I have to remind myself that the kingdom of God is for ALL!!

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