Diary Of A Christian

Everyday comings and goings of a person who has been touched by the Grace of God.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Generational Curses

Ok I am a bit fired up now.
Jeff Weise is the teenager who shot and killed 9 people and then himself in Minn.
According to the latest news reports his father had killed himself several months ago and his mother was in a nursing home.
Every one that knew this young person said he was weird and a loner.
What I am wondering is who in the community tried to help this young man?
Generational curses can be broken.
I would ask each Christian to take a good look at your community.
If you know of a child whose parents has taken their life.
Spend some time with that child. Let them know that the devil is a liar and just because your parents or grandparents did something wrong, they do not have to follow down the same path.
If you know of a child who is in poverty, take that child and speak wealth into their life. Let that child know that with Jesus, they can break the poverty spirit.
If you see a child whose parents might be in jail, take that child and remind them that Jesus forgives all and they do not need to follow in the same path of their parent.
If you see a child that does not fit in, take that child and remind them that Jesus did not fit in with the crowd either.
We have to break these generational curses off of people and especially children.


At 10:47 PM, Blogger philjohnson said...

I "hear" what you are saying about caring for those who feel marginalised, alienated and hurt, which is very much at the heart of Jesus' teaching on servanthood. Compassion and understanding and realistic action is needed; and unless we become a little Christ to our neighbour (as Luther put it) then how are the hurt and lost ever going to see faith active in love?

However, I am not so sure that we can "explain" tragedies like this by the "generational curses" teaching.

Strictly, the "sins of the parents visited to the third and fourth generation" was a specific proviso of the Sinaitic covenant. It was locked into the entire covenantal provisions that as Israel had been delivered by grace out of Egypt, their response to God was to be one of loving obedience.

The covenant of blessings and curses specifically applied to the real estate in Canaan that God had promised Abraham. If they obeyed the blessings would come on them and on the fruitfulness of the land; if they disobeyed then judgment would fall on the nation and the land would fofeit its vitality.

At Sinai God indicated in the preamble to the Ten Commandments all that he had done by grace for them. Now their covenantal obligations related to the exclusive worship of God and the pattern of life that the nation was expected to live out in the promised land.

Thus the many blessings and curses spelled out in Deuteronomy 28 were framed in a specific historical, cultural and geographical context. The provisions of the Sinatic covenant were specific to the existence of ancient Israel as a nation. Those provisions came to an end at the cross, and with Israel's forfeiture of the land and the Abrahamic covenant because they had rejected Jesus as messiah. The judgment on them unfolded in the "great tribulation" of 66-70 AD with Jerusalem destroyed, all in accordance with Jesus' prophecy in Matthew 24 that that generation would witness these calamities.

When Jesus died on the cross and the veil in the Temple was ripped to pieces, that symbolised the end of the entire sacrificial system as laid down in the Sinaitic covenant; and with it came the end of the legal arrangement between God and that nation. Israel was no longer the custodian or repository for the good news of grace. Now it was opened out for all people, who would become grafted in as the New Israel, built on Christ as the Saviour and Christ as the One who fulfilled the law.

The "generational curses" of the Torah applied specificaslly to the nation of Israel, and these curses were specifically abrogated by Jesus' death on the cross.

The danger, as I see it, in the way some current teachers present "generational curses" is that the direction their teaching takes tends to dumb down personal responsibility for sin. Events are construed in a quasi-form of fatalism ("don't blame me, it's not my fault because my grandpa was a bad man; the devil made me do it").

The New Testament however makes it very clear that non-one can excuse themselves or absolve themselves and shift the cause or blame for their sinfulness onto a prior generation or the devil or a demon, for as Jesus pinpointed it, it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks and all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

The tragedy in Minnesota involves a complex web of factors: social, psychological, emotional, economic, and spiritual.

Certainly the strained relationships within that family created an environment of instability and poor modelling out of which this teenager lived and acted. But his distress and mental disturbances and spiritual strife cannot be realistically reduced down to this happened because of some "generation curse" in this Native American Indian tribe or mechanistically because of what his own father did. The fact that the boy's father committed suicide cannot be interpreted through the prism of "ah ha, see a curse was set in motion and this boy was deceived into pursuing the same actions."

God actually rebukes that sort of explanation as to why bad things happen, when he rebuked Job's comforters. Job's comforters actually presented a series of false doctrinal explanations as to why things went wrong in Job's life. God rebuked the comforters and their answers as false (chapters 38-40).

Sorry to put a dampener on the theological model you have learned on this point, but as one who was nurtured in Pentecostal faith I find the modern-day generational curses teaching to be very much at odds with Scripture; and it is also at odds with what the Church has historically taught on the subject of sin; and the biblical scholarship/commentaries on the Law and the atonement simply do not support generational curses applying beyond the bounds of Israel's covenantal obligations to Yahweh.

All the best.


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