if you read only one devotion, read this one

April 6, 2016

thinking over feeling

 

It is the view that occult powers or curses are passed from parent to child. Those who advocate this view usually quote Exodus 20:5: “You shall not worship them or serve them; for 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 who hate Me.” Proponents of this view believe that if a parent’s or grandparent’s curse or occult power is not specifically uncovered and removed by renouncing it, a Christian can be oppressed by such a past curse which would include “demonization.”

 

For at least two reasons this view is an inaccurate interpretation and application of the passage. First, when a person becomes a Christian, he is delivered from all of his sins, including occult sin, because a Christian cannot be demon possessed. The Bible does not recognize occult sin as a special category of sin that has not been dealt with by the Cross. Remember, everyone is born under the authority of Satan (Col. 1:13) and has Satan working through him (Eph. 2:2). Second, it is wrong to assume that Exodus 20:5 refers to God’s “visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children” because of inheritance rather than because each successive generation decides to follow in the footsteps of their parents. Ezekiel 18:2–20 says that God curses each Israelite individual for his own sins and not specifically because of something that his ancestors might have done. God specifically states in verse 4 that “all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine.” God goes on to state that if the son does right, in contrast to the parents’ sins, including occult sins, then “he shall surely live.”

 

This kind of “I-inherited-it-from-my-parents” view is also a popular explanation for all kinds of aberrant behavior within many Christian psychology circles as well. It is used to avoid personal responsibility and to explain mental and emotional disease, chronic sickness, all sorts of female problems from miscarriage to premenstrual syndrome, marriage and financial problems, and rebellious teenagers. But the idea that a Christian might have to be delivered specifically from a curse or occult power that salvation in Christ has not covered is not found in Scripture. In fact, not one example exists in the entire Bible of a saved person’s being under a satanic curse that had to be broken by Christian exorcism or distinct confession. The only curses that the Bible treats as effective are those uttered by God. This attempt to shift responsibility for current failures to someone else is reminiscent of Adam’s attempt to shift to Eve the blame for his sin.

 

The passages used to support generational cursing derive from the Old Testament (Exod. 20:4–7; 34:6–7; Num. 14:17–19; Deut. 5:7–10) and are all directed to Israel. In the context, these curses are part of the cursing and blessing pronouncements in the Mosaic Covenant directed to Israel. Those who obeyed God would be blessed; those who violated the covenant would be disciplined, or “cursed.” Because these statements applied only to Israel under the Old Covenant, these curses have no application today (Rom. 7:1–6; 10:4; Gal. 3:19; 3:24–4:7). Furthermore, because these curses derive from God as discipline on the disobedient, we know that the way to avoid the wrath of God is through faith in Christ (Rom. 5:8).

 

The nature of the curses in the Mosaic Law was to recognize that parents pass on certain traits and teach patterns of life to their children. When parents have rejected Christ and mire themselves in paganism, idolatry, and the occult, they teach these sins to their children. The result is the transfer of rebellion from one generation to another. But this fact does not remove from the subsequent generation their own responsibility for sin. In fact, the Bible teaches just the opposite. No matter what false religion is passed on by one generation to another, the children decide to accept or reject it. They are punished (“cursed”) for their own decision to follow the rebellious path of their parents. Jewish expositor Umberto Cassuto speaks strongly against the possibility of this “ancestral principle” interpretation.

 

    In regard to the fearful threat of punishment that will be inflicted upon the children and children’s children, various apologetic interpretations have been advanced, which it is not possible to accept. It has been suggested, for example, that we should see here an allusion to the transmission of parental qualities to the character of the children and children’s children, but this is merely a modernization of the verse; … The difficulty exists, however, only for those who overlook the fact that the verse, in its simple signification, is directed to the entire nation as a single entity in time throughout its generations. Since a man, and particularly an Israelite, grieves over the tribulation of his children and grandchildren not less? nay, even more? than over his own affliction, the Bible issues a warning, so as to keep man far from sin, that in the course of the nation’s life it is possible that the children and grandchildren will suffer the consequences of the iniquities of their father and grandfather. (emphasis added)

 

This concept of the transfer of curses or demons is prevalent within animistic religions but not biblical Christianity.

 

    This doctrine … rests on the assumption that our vulnerability to demonic influence derives from physical or symbolic contacts or contiguity with some object, word, or person rather than on moral, spiritual and doctrinal grounds—an assumption which is at the heart of magic and animism—but which biblical Christianity nowhere propagates.

 

Other deliverance teachers claim that any Christian with an occult past must specifically renounce those sins or he will not be free. In other words, salvation is not enough, there must also be a separate, postsalvation deliverance from presalvation occult sins. Yet if this is true, then Christ’s work is not sufficient, and salvation does not truly break the tyranny of the sin nature (Rom. 6:6–7; 17–18). If their position were true, then we would need to specifically go back and name all our sins in order to be saved. But this is completely contrary to the entire teaching of Scripture that Christ died for all sin—past, present, and future—and that every believer is delivered from all of his sins at the instant of salvation.

 

Those who teach the ancestral inheritance principle quite naturally and logically also teach that a postsalvation deliverance is necessary in order for the believer to really be free from the impact of one’s ancestral past. However, the idea that a Christian might have to be delivered specifically from a curse or occult power which salvation in Christ would not have taken care of is not found or implied anywhere in Scripture. This notion is even more far-fetched when one considers the fact that the individual did not even commit the sin. In fact, there is not one example in the entire Bible of a saved person being under a satanic curse, which had to be “broken” by Christian exorcism or distinct confession. On the other hand, one example of demonic deliverance by Christ in the New Testament seems to imply that the ancestral inheritance principle is totally off base.

 

John 9 records the incident of Jesus’ healing a man who was born blind. Apparently, Christ’s disciples believed wrongly that the man’s blindness was a result of the sin of his parents, just as many people wrongly believe today. Perhaps those Jews two thousand years ago misinterpreted the same passages that are being cited in our own day to come to their false conclusion. Notice the dialogue in John 9:2–3, “And His disciples asked Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

 

    Christians do face demonic opposition, for which God has provided the appropriate spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10ff.). We must put it on and utilize it to the fullest extent. However, we do not need some additional procedure for dealing with evil curses, for which there is no scriptural warrant.

 

The blood of Jesus covers every sin, breaks every curse and delivers every Christian period.

 

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

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