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

Be Not Deceived: There’s No Such Thing As A “Christian Banker” June 20, 2014

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).

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • 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!!

  • gimpi1

    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!

  • Lbj

    If we don’t have bankers how would our society survive? What would take its place?

  • Wonderful job on this one. Bankers, gays, divorcees, disobedient children, tax collectors. etc. Let’s stone them all.!! ;)

  • Jeff Preuss

    HA!

  • otrotierra

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

  • Jeff Preuss

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

  • Twasn’t me! I’m always fighting the battle as a gay Christian. I just hate the term. Why can’t I just be called a Christian?

  • 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.

  • Jeff Preuss

    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.) ;)

  • !! 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! ;)

  • Jeff Preuss

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

    And, my name’s embossed on the front.

  • Aren’t you special? I have a 1599 Geneva bible…pre -Shakespeare! So there! ;)

  • JTobias

    Also, let’s organize a march to reclaim our nation from these defilers!! #March4Bartering

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh, I was kidding. Mine is a set of engraved scrolls in Greek.

  • Moses was my grandpa! He left me photocopies of the Torah!

  • Thanks, Ben! It’s a good one.

  • And yes before you say it Methuselah was a youngster compared to me.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Pssssh. I won the stone tablets from Moses in a poker game. They’re above my fireplace.

  • Guest

    Oh. So you ARE old then.

  • Poker is a sin by the way. Sure it was Moses?

  • Timothy Swanson

    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 ;)

  • Guest2

    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.

  • Melinda Arlette Pace-Padfield

    That’s my favorite episode!

  • Paul Julian Gould

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

  • That’s what brothers do. Then we can blame it on them.

  • Alan Christensen

    I’ll bet you think being a banker is a choice!

  • gimpi1

    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….

  • Anthony

    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.

  • Robert Mark Wade

    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!

  • Jeff Preuss

    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.”

  • Anthony

    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.

  • Jeff Preuss

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

  • 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 :)

  • Anthony

    Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Thanks for writing it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    she?

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

  • LOL, sorry mate– had my head in the clouds.

  • Jeff Preuss

    :D I mean, I’m pretty sure I’m a guy…

  • silicon28

    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…)

  • You’re a Christian.

    There. :)

    And here’s an smile and a hug for you, too.

  • Bless you! :)

  • I’m thinking there’s a high probability that you missed this whole piece was satire.

  • HappyCat

    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.

  • silicon28

    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…

  • Guest2

    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)

  • silicon28

    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…

  • AJ

    *slow clap*

  • Cecile Lienhard

    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?

  • Leon

    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.

  • Michael Newman

    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.

  • Satire, mate. Pointing out how absurd we can sound. Just substitute “homosexual” for “banker” and you’ll see the point a bit more clearly.

  • Now he’s having a go at the bakers.:)

  • Dang. Missing that second cup of coffee.

  • I smirked through this whole article.

  • 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.

  • Leon

    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….? ;-)

  • TheSquirrel

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

  • TheSquirrel

    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?

  • TheSquirrel

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

  • Guest2

    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 !

  • Guest2

    :)

  • 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.

  • TheSquirrel

    Good on you! ^_^

  • Heather McCuen Dearmon

    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! :)

  • Heather McCuen Dearmon

    you guys are hysterical! loving this!

  • Thank you Heather! :)

  • Lisa Martinez

    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.

  • Jeff Preuss

    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?

  • Tlynn

    Awesome.

  • marikunin

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

  • Lisa Martinez

    :) 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.

  • Denise RN

    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.

  • Jan

    Nailed. It.

  • 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).

  • Sean M

    Nicely done :)

  • 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.

  • Ruaidrí Ó Domhnaill

    Cheap dig at the Episcopal Church.

  • Guy Norred

    In this context, as an Episcopalian I don’t consider it a dig.

  • Wasn’t a dig. I love my Episcopal mates, and Undiluted is dedicated to an Episcopal priest who has been one of the most influential people in my journey. I was making fun of the stereotypes that the right wing has towards them.

  • mp

    Genius

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    That BofA building on top…
    That’s the old Security Pacific building! My father worked on it and I recognized the columns, cap, and 45-degree angle.
    I thought BofA HQ in LA was in the ARCO Plaza, two blocks south.

  • Charles Toy

    This is over the top to imply that anyone who works at a Bank can’t be a Christian. In fact, I used to work for a mortgage lender. You need to reevaluate your stance on this.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Not sure if you’re playing along with the satire, or if you think Benjamin’s being serious.

  • Charles Toy

    This is satire? Wow. OK. That’s good to know.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yeah, when he wrote this, there was a rampant use of “gay Christian” in quotes, followed by an abundance of declarations that there are no gay Christians, citing Biblical explanations. Hence, the above.

  • Levi

    Poe’s Law: Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law

  • Levi

    Re-read the Luke passage. Jesus is not referring to interest, he’s referring to principal. If there’s no expectation of repayment of principal, it’s a gift, not a loan.

    He’s calling for generosity, not banning investment with the expectation of a reasonable rate of return. (If Jesus thought seeking a high ROR for invested capital was wrong, then the parable of the talents makes no sense.)

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Think you’ve got it wrong, Levi… Jesus Saves… It’s Moses that invests.

    Too much? {*grin*}

  • Lady Blue

    Exuse me, I have austism so I take things literally. A christian can’t be a banker? Is this true?

  • Paul Julian Gould

    I’m a guy with PDD-NOS, so I hear you…

    Ben was substituting “banker” for “gay” or any of the other folks seen as enemies by the Evangelical Christians, thereby showing just how ridiculous the arguments put forth by them really are.

  • Mr. Annoying

    Its interesting that Dante places bankers (he uses the term “usurers”) in the same section of Hell where he places gay people: in the section set aside for those who are violent against nature. The connection is that both were seen as being involved in unnatural breeding. The term “breeding money” was a popular slur at the time for lending money for interest.

    I have tried explaining this to people who insist that the definitions of sin do not change with time and culture. So far I have not had much success.