Friday, March 17, 2017

On Generational Curses, Legacy, and Freedom

The Holy Redwoods
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Being back in the City of Baldwin Park, a city stricken by poverty, has caused me to think about the topic of intergenerational curses. Now, I know in our modern world, belief in such concepts is frowned upon. For, we tell ourselves that such ideas are superstitious and have no place in our realm of science and empirical thought. But is that really the truth?

What I've observed is that poverty, drug addictions, violence, alcoholism, self-image issues, and other vices seem to pass from father or mother to their children. And then, when I look at the grandparents, there appears to be the roots of such vices as well.

Although not logical, it appears that sometimes the grip of being born in certain families or tribes carries with it a certain predestination - whether that be good or bad. A.E. Winship, an American pastor and educator, noticed a similar pattern. He did a 150 year study on genealogy of the famous preacher Jonathan Edwards and a convict during Edward's Times, Max Jukes.

This is what he found of their issues and heirs. Jonathan Edwards’ legacy includes: 1 U.S. Vice-President, 3 U.S. Senators, 3 governors, 3 mayors, 13 college presidents, 30 judges, 65 professors, 80 public office holders, 100 lawyers and 100 missionaries.

Max Jukes’ descendants included: 7 murderers, 60 thieves, 50 women of debauchery, 130 other convicts. 310 paupers (with over 2,300 years lived in poorhouses) 400 who were physically wrecked by indulgent living.

T.H. White, the author of a number of King Arthur's legends also recognized the concept. For he penned these lines:

When shall I be dead and rid
Of all the wrong my father did?
How long, how long 'till spade and hearse
Put to sleep my mother's curse?

Really, the principles of blessings and curses is as ancient as time itself. Even our Hebrew Torah, though not a popular subject, talks about curses. The first curses are discussed in Genesis, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and in doing so, condemned all of mankind.

Exodus says this about the subject: "The Lord then passed in front of him [Moses] and called out, “I, the Lord, am a God who is full of compassion and pity, who is not easily angered and who shows great love and faithfulness. I keep my promise for thousands of generations and forgive evil and sin; but I will not fail to punish children and grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for the sins of their parents.” (Exodus 34:6-7).

I guess the following principle of Exodus is this. If you do good, your generations get blessed for thousands of years. If you do something evil, your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren reap the poisonous harvest for at least 150 years. No wonder why the Scripture frequently mentions that the Law brings death.

Perhaps, one might argue - that's not fair. Why should my children suffer for what I've done? Well, that logic is flawed. Yes, the Scriptures draw a line about the criminal penalties that should afflict a relative that is not involved in a crime, but a more permanent cost seems to be taxed on the family.

For instance, a father can say that his alcoholism or drug abuse  or affair isn't affecting anyone but himself. But is that true?

Of course not. Such harm penetrates through the whole family, even if it isn't brought out into the open. To say it's not fair, really underestimates, trivializes, and denies the scorching harm that evil has, which burns not only the committer of it, but those around him or her.

I don't have children; (though, I have a kitty named Jeh Pan. I don't know if it applies to him). But, it makes you wonder and think, what kind of legacy you'll leave behind by what you've done and said on this earth. Remember; it's not only about you but the next generation to come.

The bleakness of it all, begs the question: Is there an escape for one and their issues to come? In Apostle Paul's letter to Galatians he presents the solution.

Paul says that Abraham and all of Abraham's issues were blessed, not because he obeyed the Law - which brings death, but because he had believed in God and believed God. And through that belief, God has cleansed him and made him right with God.

Then Paul goes onto write:

But by becoming a curse for us Christ has redeemed us from the curse that the Law brings; for the scripture says, "Anyone who is hanged on a tree is under God's curse." Christ did this in order that the blessing which God promised to Abraham might be given to the Gentiles by means of Christ Jesus, so that through faith we might receive the Spirit promised by God. (Gal. 3:13-14 NLT)

In short, the High Priest has already paid the price that was supposed to be incurred on us. Therefore by believing in Him, all debts and blood covenants have been satisfied, because all current and past debts have been preempted by our High Priest already.

In knowing this, I suppose I have to give public notice too. Whatever blood covenants that my parents or ancestors have made, have been fulfilled and satisfied; therefore, such covenants no longer have authority over me or my issues. I and my issues are also released from any duties that remain outstanding. I also renounce any worthless benefits (which all of them are) associated with such covenants. This notice is effective on the date of publishing This Article, though it should've been in effect when I was baptized.

And with that, I end with this quote by Celso Cukierkorn: “Shalom is understood to mean peace, but peace is only one part of the word’s real meaning. The root shalem means completeness.”

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