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Customer Discussions > Christianity forum

Sins of the fathers passed down


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Showing 1-25 of 33 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 13, 2009 4:04:15 PM PDT
Ham Salad says:
In the Bible there are several instances of generational curses. For example,

Exodus 20:5: You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me

Exodus 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9 are others I've found. So my question is, how can God be considered fair when people are weighed by sins they didn't even commit?

And another point of discussion: how can God be considered unchanging, when he does these things, then later claims that the sins of the father shall not be passed down to the children? (Deuteronomy 24:16).

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2009 5:39:57 PM PDT
DocMMV says:
Try using what small intelligence you possess to investigate the question you ask.
It may prove helpful to investigate it through numerous English translations, rather than one.

Best of luck

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2009 5:48:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 13, 2009 6:08:53 PM PDT
Ham Salad says:
What kind of argument is it to say "you're wrong, but I'm not going to tell you how exactly you're wrong. Go figure it out yourself."

If you had any intelligence you'd show me which translation, other than the few I've already seen this same contradiction in, you have noticed a difference and tell me why you think it is the definitive translation. Obviously your translation isn't one I've heard of before. The only other translations that have much of a difference instead of "punish", say says "visit their inquity upon" or "lay their sins upon" which still means the children have to pay for those sins.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2009 6:05:31 PM PDT
The explanation you seek is not found in Biblical exegesis, but in the culture of the Tribes of Israel at the time of the Decalogue and the formation of the federation of the Tribes.

The House of Israel was called out by God to be the repository of sacred truths, and the charge to them not to mix with other nations, nor worship their gods, and not to marry their women was the formula for creating and maintaining a nation that would remain faithful to yhvh and obey his orders.

God does not say that the children of apostates are cursed, but that their sinfulness denies them the blessings of faithful fellowship and service to God, their salvation.

John Piper explains it by linking the verse to other passages that mitigate what seems at first view to be an unjust and ungodly curse. He writes:

"Sometimes critics will say that the early parts of the Bible (Exodus 20:5-6; 34:6-7; Numbers 14:18) portray God as "visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children," while later parts of the Bible (Jeremiah 31:29; Ezekiel 18:2; Job 21:19) reject this and teach that "sons [shall not] be put to death for their fathers." But this evolutionary way of thinking about the development of Bible doctrine does not fit the texts.

There are three problems with this view.

In the same Biblical books you get both angles. For example, Deuteronomy 5:9-10 says, "I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands [of generations, see 7:9], to those who love Me and keep My commandments."

But in Deuteronomy 24:16 it says, "Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin."

Both perspectives are in the same book. (Compare also Jeremiah 32:17-18 with Jeremiah 31:29.)

Not only that, there are texts that describe God's punishment as owing to both the sins of the fathers and the sins of the children.

For example, in Isaiah 65:6b-7 God says, "I will even repay into their bosom, both their own iniquities and the iniquities of their fathers together." (See also Leviticus 26:39 and Jeremiah 16:10-12.)

Even in the early texts that describe the visitation of the fathers' sins on the children, the children are described as those who are opposed to God and therefore deserving of punishment, and those who continue the heritage of blessing as covenant keepers.

For example, Exodus 20:5-6 says "I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations OF THOSE THAT HATE ME, but showing lovingkindness to thousands [of generations], to those who love Me and keep My commandments" (see also Deuteronomy 5:9-10; 7:9).

Psalm 103:17-18 says, "But the lovingkindness of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children, to those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts to do them."
What conclusions shall we draw from these observations?
The visitation of the fathers' sins on the children is not a simple punishment of innocent children for what the fathers did. The children themselves are always thought of as sinful and rebellious as the fathers' sin is worked out in their lives. See point three above.

There are two kinds of effects of fathers' sins in the lives of children: one is rebellion against God; the other is the calamities of judgment that God brings on the children. We are not told how this rebellious condition is passed to or "visited on" the children.

God has the right to punish fathers in the calamities that come upon their children, as Jeremiah 16:10-11 says ("For what reason has the LORD declared all this great calamity against us?"... "It is because your forefathers have forsaken Me"), but he chooses to do this in a way that justly correlates with the children's own guilt.

None of this should make anyone feel trapped and without hope because of his parents' sins. For Ezekiel 33:14-15 says, "When I say to the wicked, 'You will surely die,' and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness . . . he shall surely live; he shall not die."

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Posted on Sep 13, 2009 6:33:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 14, 2009 12:53:40 AM PDT
Ham Salad says:
"God does not say that the children of apostates are cursed, but that their sinfulness denies them the blessings of faithful fellowship and service to God, their salvation."

I don't know if you put that first part as an excuse, but I don't see how having parents "mix with other nations" and having their children shunned by the company and teachings of fellow Jews mitigates the condemnation of such a curse. If you can't associate yourself as Jewish or get taught the proper rights of Judaism, you are still essentially cursed by not being able to get to heaven.

"But this evolutionary way of thinking about the development of Bible doctrine does not fit the texts."

All you've done change the second point I made from "why does God change over time" to "why is God so inconsistent as to change from moment to moment?"

"We are not told how this rebellious condition is passed to or "visited on" the children."

The passages say specific things like, "I am a jeaolous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers onto the children." I'm sorry, but there is no way you can interpret these passages as just saying oh, the sins of the fathers will have their effects on the children. Or that sinful fathers will teach their sons sinful things to steer them away from God. It says God will visit these iniquities himself.

"but he chooses to do this in a way that justly correlates with the children's own guilt."

Just because the sons are occasionally guilty and receive their own punishment also, does not mitigate the fact that there are others not guilty that God condemns.

""When I say to the wicked, 'You will surely die,' and he turns from his sin and practices justice and righteousness . . . he shall surely live; he shall not die."

Who knows who this person is speaking to? Probably not people God has cursed. But even if it were so, one instance of God being nice hardly makes up for it. In fact it just further proves his inconsistency.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 2:53:03 PM PDT
Ham Salad says:
Seriously, nobody can come up with a good answer for this? Are you just going to leave me thinking God is unjust and flaky?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2009 3:45:26 PM PDT
The Bible is not a well written book
Too many cooks, too many editors

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2009 5:39:57 PM PDT
DocMMV says:
Speaking only for myself, "Yes."
I don't care what you think of God nor do I desire to help you.
So, have a life and do with it as you choose.

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 11:07:14 AM PDT
Ham Salad says:
"I don't care what you think of God nor do I desire to help you."

If you don't care what I think, why are you posting here? This is a discussion forum, not a place to speak at people. At least with my life, like with my discussions, I like to add something useful. But as you say, do with yours as you choose.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 1:26:11 AM PDT
Ham Salad says:
Well ladies and gentlemen, seeing as how only one person could even try to prove my argument false (who was then thoroughly debunked), apparently I've proved without a doubt that one of two things is true:

1) The God of the Bible is unjust and unreliable
2) The Bible is unreliable.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 8:23:21 AM PDT
Little G. says:
I've read the curses in Deu and my family is of Jewish descendants. I have felt that perhaps the curses placed on these 12 tribes for disobedience to God still stand today. God said forever.

In our family, we have repeated bad behavior from children, not raised in the same household. This is pretty hard to describe, but it's a restlessness, that gets itself into all kinds of trouble, at home as well as with the law. I'd go into detail, but I'm sure you get my point.

With my siblings, we all have gloucoma, as well as other genetic disorders. Mostly having to do with the nervous system.

Christ makes the difference in our lives but the diseases still remain.
Now, may I ask, has anyone else felt this kind of experience in their lfamilies? I am not sure if it relates to only the Jewish families.

I am not sure of any of this, but it does stand to reason. God said the curses would be for ever. Any comments? Appreciate your questions and thoughts. Blessings Littlegandy

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 8:50:59 AM PDT
Hi Asystole:

I do have a answer for you but like most who do not understand the gosple or do not except it will brush it off.. I hope you have a open mind and open ears.

God never has changed we humans have. We have gotten worse and worse even though some think the human race is getting better. We are drifting farther and farther from wanting or needing a God.

Stay with me Asystole..
The Old Testament from which you are quoting was before God sent His Son Jesus.. God allowed us humans to sin and sin and sin to show us we needed to be Saved...God punished and cursed to try and get the attention of us humans...Remember before God sent Jesus all people including even Moses was under the curse of the Law..Since no human could live up to the standards of the Law God sent His son Jesus...Jesus was the only one who could live the life to take all sins and all curses and all punishment.

The Good News and the New Testament is all about Jesus our Savior...No more punishment, no more curse, no more threats, it is all now a Gift. Do you want the Gift or not..God knew we humans were lost so he throw us a life preserver named Jesus....grab it or dont ....your choice..

Theres your answer ...hope that helps ..Old Testament is the opening for the New Testament....it pretty simple if you understand just that...why do I got a feeling you will just brush this off...lol...Stan

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 11:26:16 AM PDT
Little G. says:
The Good News and the New Testament is all about Jesus our Savior...No more punishment, no more curse, no more threats, it is all now a Gift. Do you want the Gift or not..God knew we humans were lost so he throw us a life preserver named Jesus....grab it or dont ....your choice..
=============================================
Granted, Jesus makes the difference - changing your life from curses to blessings. But diseases, and genetics, as they enter in, do not change. I believe my family was cursed with diseases. We belong to God as born again Christians, but the diseases stay with us as a reminder of how sin affected our lforefather's lives. Only my opinion. I believe even Paul had an eye condition, could have been gloucoma. I have gloucoma. So does my brother and my sisters. A curse, or not?
Do you have any Jewish background love? Blessings Littlegandy

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 12:49:04 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2009 12:49:51 PM PDT
IFeelFree says:
The only way I know to answer this question is to refer to reincarnation. We each come into this life with the karmic burden of our actions in previous lives, or the "residue" of past actions. That's why "bad things happen to good people" and vice-versa. During each of our incarnations we tend to be born into families with whom we have have past connections. For example, it is likely that your parents or children in this life were related to you in previous lives. As a result, there is a "family karma" that accumulates -- "punishing the children for the sin of the father." The reason this is "fair" is that, for example, if your parents in this life were, say, your children in a previous life, then you helped to shape their personalities, and so are partly responsible for the actions they chose. As a result, you inherit some of that karmic burden.

This is how I understand it.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 1:25:09 PM PDT
Little G. says:
So you believe in reincarnation? I take it. Goes against what the bible teaches. Hebrews 9:27 "For man is destined once to die, and then the judgement." Could man be judged twice, different lives? Little

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 1:41:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2009 1:41:37 PM PDT
IFeelFree says:
LittleGandy,

I have a different understanding than you. The passage you quote is consistent with reincarnation because the person that you take yourself to be in this life only dies once (and then the judgment). When you reincarnate in your next life you will be someone else, as far as you know, because you won't remember this life. Also, the conditions of your incarnation in your next life will be largely the result of the judgment that follows this life.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 1:57:52 PM PDT
Little G. says:
What about the judgement? Does he stay in judgment, or does he step out of judgment to become another person? The bible says for eternity. How can this be IFF? Little

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 2:06:28 PM PDT
IFeelFree says:
No one stays in judgment for eternity. That doesn't make sense. Judgment determines one's future situation. After jugement, most people spend a period of time in the astral (spiritual) plane, whether a heaven world, hell world, or something in-between, and then reincarnate again on earth (or some other habitable planet). Some individuals attain liberation from the necessity for further birth and death in the physical plane, and go on to their evolutionary destiny in the higher realms.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 2:11:26 PM PDT
Little G. says:
Interesting, but bears no resemblance to Truth. Where did you get your information? What/who is your source of truth for your theory?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 3:25:00 PM PDT
IFeelFree says:
I have many sources for my understanding, including my own experiences. I have had certain vivid memories for as long as I can remember, and which I cannot attribute to anything in my own life. I take them to be memories of past lives. In addition, I have studied various esoteric traditions and teachings, as well as some traditional religions. As a result, I accept the doctrine of reincarnation.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 3:29:11 PM PDT
Little G. says:
I have many sources for my understanding, including my own experiences.
========================================
Me too, but I don't call that truth. Mine were acts of satan. That's not truth. Little

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 3:31:59 PM PDT
Well, that wasn't very nice.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 3:39:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2009 3:39:42 PM PDT
Dunno.

I always figure that something translated multiple times over thousands of years might have lost something in translation. You see, I've played telephone before.

Of course, that would mean I don't take the bible to be the literal word of God which, unfortunately, consigns me to hell in some people's eyes. You can't win them all.

I suppose a reasonable reading could render it to read that children often pay for the sins of their father, whether they deserve to or not. Maybe the scripture is basically describing an instance where God is essentially saying "Look, I'm warning you: don't worship other gods, it'll screw you up, and you'll be so screwed up you'll screw you kids up etc etc." Kind of like drinking alcohol when pregnant. It's not exactly fair for the kid, but that's the consequence of the parents behavior, right? The kid's kid is probably screwed to and so on.

Just a thought.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 3:48:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2009 3:52:25 PM PDT
Akhenaten says:
"So you believe in reincarnation? I take it. Goes against what the bible teaches. Hebrews 9:27 "For man is destined once to die, and then the judgement." Could man be judged twice, different lives?"

First you must understand what is meant by death then, look deeper. Life, is cyclical, death is somewhat an illusion more another part of the life. Once you truly die you step out of this cycle, hence the one death. Okay this is extremely stripped down but still. It may go against what paul teaches but there are references to it throughout.

*edit* before anyone says death means only death....keep in mine your one death quote, every time you "die daily" as you were instructed.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2009 3:48:59 PM PDT
Akhenaten says:
It rarely is.
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Discussion in:  Christianity forum
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Initial post:  Sep 13, 2009
Latest post:  Oct 2, 2009

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