Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sins of the Fathers

Ayamma Edeani
Port Harcourt, Nigeria

The issue seems like the proverbial bad coin that keeps turning up at odd moments. Yesterday was such a moment in my life again and I feel I should throw it open to all of us in this forum where I have often been enlightened and blessed. Every time I take a stand based on what I understand from the Word, another argument that also comes from the Word that makes me review my earlier stand. I guess maybe I get shaken based on happenings in my life but I would like answers again based on the Word that may help me take a final decision on this issue once and for all.

So what is the issue? Inheritance of curses based on acts done by our forefathers. Wait! Before you jump up arms in the air, quoting scriptures or wondering what kind of baby believer question this is. Let me present the different sides as I have heard it and the most recent being from a Caucasian Christian (I was of the opinion that only African ministers believed the issue and hence the proliferation of deliverance ministers).

The book I read that made me reexamine the issue is written by an author Cindy Jacobs (The Voice of GOD. Ventura, Calif. Regal Books, 1995). In the book, she talked of generational sins and bondages using Deut 5: 9, 10 as her background scripture. She pointed out that this was equally applicable to Christians of the church age. She tried to explain that these sins and weaknesses tended to manifest even in believers lives who had such background as strongholds that tended to pull at them even when they had no desires of such. Although she mostly used old testament characters such as David, Solomon, Rahab to illustrate, she clarifies her point by saying that generational iniquity is the effect seen down the generations when sin was by a forebear.

Christ has carried our iniquities but she postulates that we as Christians have to appropriate the power of the cross at times in very specific ways to receive freedom, Acts 19:18. She listed the following areas as areas to check for generational iniquities and bondages that may manifest in different ways in a believers life, some seemed rather farfetched to me but here it is:


These she says may be the source of hardship and problems in a believer’s life that will demand a conscious identification with these sins and breaking their effect in one’s life. She equally advised that one may need to meet someone to help with breaking this bondage.

I have attended several bible studies during which the issue of sins of the fathers affecting the children and I can assure you it was never a dull one. Opinions varied depending on which school the speaker was from. Some claimed since the Deuteronomy verse was in the Old Testament before Christ, it cant be applied to born again, Holy Spirit filled Christians. Still others quoted the scripture wherein God said no longer will the iniquities of the fathers be accrued to the children that do righteously (Ezekiel 18). Quoting from the New testament, in 2 Corinthians 5:17, they argued that in Christ, we are new beings and so should not have to bear any of the sins of our parents seeing we have now been born into a new family.

Others talk of the sins of the parents giving satan a legal entry into the children’s life because God respect covenants and so will not intervene when rights were given to satan by the parents until the children consciously reject and renounce such covenants.

I hold unto the premise that Christ finished His work on Calvary as such we have no business with the sins of our fathers. However I also know that many people are plagued by issues and problems they cant seem to fathom the origin. A more thorough look at their lineage reveals engagement by forefathers in all sorts that are usually reprehensible. Some pastors have claimed that it is the ignorance of these christians in their authority as believers that has made them easy prey for the devil. I also know some of these ones who are firebrand Christians, yet life has not been easy for them. For some, the earth is like brass and the heavens closed in terms of prosperity despite every effort and hardwork.

The court is open, for genuine word based arguments. No sentiments please because the future of certain people will be determined by the advice given here on how to address the issue. Can the sins of the father or forefathers plague the future of a child of God?

1 comment:

Akin said...

The writer of this article has asked for a respectful and scripture backed discourse, devoid of sentiments. I happen to agree with that. The thing is though, the topic of discussion, in and of itself, is a practice steamed in sensationalism. Anyway we should keep it civil in our comments…if there are any.

Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that's where life starts (Proverbs 4:23 Message Bible)

We ought to be careful what we hear or what we allow to find roots on our minds. That an idea or opinion is written down in a book or preached as a sermon is not a stamp of its authenticity or authority. Not all Christian books are Christianly. Not all messages proceeding out of the mouth of a pastor or a preacher are divinely accurate. That's why we have heretics and false prophets and false teachers.

Opinions and ideas wrapped up and served as divine oracles still need to pass the scriptural sniff test. In Acts 17:11, the Jews at Berea are described as being more honorable than those at Thessalonica in that, "....they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

We need to always ask the question, "Are these things true? Does this message conform to the scripture? Is this practice, which is a tradition, in our church biblical?" The days of “pastor said it so it must be so”, or “I read it in a Christian book so it is a fact”, or “it is the way it has always been done in our church”, are over.

I have not come across an instance in the New Testament where a Christian is said to need deliverance or had deliverance performed on him. There is nowhere in the New Testament, that I know of, that a Christian is said to be under a generational curse or bondage.

In a lot of ways we are like the Jews on the journey from slavery and bondage in Egypt to the freedom and salvation in the Promise Land. We just have to ALWAYS build ourselves a golden image to worship. We simply have to trust, if only little, in the arm of flesh. There has to be a sacrifice. We must always shed the blood of bull and goats as a backup plan. The forgiveness of sins in the blood of Jesus can’t simply be enough. To us, mere faith in the finished work of redemption isn’t sufficient to wipe away all curses and bondages. We believe in the promises in the Book of Romans alright, but we just have to sow back the torn veil of the temple (Luke 23:45).

As Believers in Christ, we are not immune from “issues and problems of unknown origins”. Examples abound in the scriptures. The Great Paul had “a thorn of the flesh and the messenger of Satan buffet him” 2Corinthians 12:7-10 and Timothy had a “chronic stomach bug and often infirmities” 1Timothy 5:23. I don’t know that either of them went to anyone to have a deliverance ceremony. We live in a fallen world ruled by Satan and his minions. We are engaged in constant battle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12. But the good news is, the collection of weapons in our arsenal are out of this world; 2 Corinthians 10: 4-5.

The problem with us is that tremendous amount of secular ritual and occult practices have been imported into the church and Christianized. The “deliverance rituals” carried out in most of our churches today is nothing more than exorcism practiced by the Roman Catholic Church. It has no basis in the Word of God.

We’ve got to go back to the Scriptures.