Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Does God punish the descendants of the sinner?

I really don't know why I need to ask the question since it's stated clearly several times in the Bible we're reading now but I thought I 'd put it up for a discussion.

A few examples that God DOES punish others;

Exodus 20:5
I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

Deuteronomy 23:2

A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

1 Kings 2:33
Their blood shall therefore return upon the head of Joab, and upon the head of his seed for ever.

Isaiah 14:21Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.

I'll expand on the question a little bit;
Does God punish the innocent for the sins of the guilty?
Let's not dwell on the issue that some of you don't believe that any man, woman or child is ever innocent.  Let's just assume they are not directly connected to the sin that God feels needs punishing.

Feel free to discuss biblical and real world examples.


  1. The bible is clearly bipolar on the issue. I personally feel that this is an instance of legal evolution within society that is eventually reflected in the text. The notion of inter-generational punishment seems to have been roundly rejected (and rightly so!) by later texts. (Ezekiel 18:20)

    It would be nice to have (and there probably is available) a bible arranged by the chronology of when the texts were actually written. (to the best of our knowledge - based on modern scholarship - NOT apologetics). I think it would be easier to see the legalistic, ritualistic, cultural, etc. changes over the course of the OT instead of all this jumping back and forth.

  2. I hate to blog-drop, but I did a blog post on this just a while ago.

  3. Chronological wouldn't work. First sometimes later authors pasted together earlier bits (from different earliers). Second ancient Jewish society was not monolithic and some pieces of the Bible were probably written about the same time but by different groups.

    Some of the earliest bits may be some of the prophets. In order (though some of the books may have later writings) the books are

    Amos and Hosea
    Isaiah - fall of Israel (though the second half 40 on is much later)
    Jeremiah (and Lamentations)- before and after the fall of Jerusalem
    Ezekiel - Babylonian Exile
    Zechariah and Malachi
    Joel - unknown date
    Obadiah - unknown date
    (Jonah and Daniel are more stories than words
    of actual people)

  4. @Bruce,

    Why not give some more context to your first post of Exodus 20:5 like adding in verse 6. And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

    So yes live in sin feel the heat, live by Gods law and live.
    See: Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15

    For Deuteronomy 23:2 and 1 Kings 2:33 are, from my understanding to be as a sign to future generations about what happened in the past to separate them from specific things. This may have been used as a deterrent to keep people away from those unlawful marriages and unlawful lusts. Such as Deut 23:2. Bastards, some say, was not just a child born out of marriage, but all the issue of those incestuous mixtures which are forbidden.

    As for Isaiah 14:21 Nebuchadnezzar had killed Zedekiah's sons (Jeremiah 52:10), and for that sin of his, his seed are paid in the same coin. Reminds me of II Timothy 4:14, may be my dry humour. :-)

    I think what you want is God just letting things go. The thought that i have is that if this is what you want is just not logical. What do you consider "punishment"? Is it only if someone dies? Because there be allot of dead people. :-) Or is it when you don't get everything you want?

    What's the problem with God doing what He wants with His creation? Even after warning them over and over again to repent? What is the method to be used to instil into man Gods incredible hatred of sin? It's sin that separates us from being with God for eternity. Granted that's if you want to be with God. If you don't your in luck, you'll go to a place where your in charge... you can do whatever you want.. or can do. ;-) So even if you are wrong and there is a God, your still going to be ok. (I personally don't consider it ok, however who am i to say how you will feel.)

    As for a jumping back and forth. I think it goes more along the lines of God gives commandment(s), man obeys for a season, then man decides to change it to his own liking. Jesus mentioned this in Matthew 15:3-9. Old habits die hard i guess.

    Maybe this punish for iniquity of the fathers comes from Deuteronomy 24:16 or Ezekiel 18:20?

  5. @Erp,

    Second ancient Jewish society was not monolithic
    Now this is true, see II Kings 17:33-41.

    Isaiah - fall of Israel (though the second half 40 on is much later)
    Are you just parroting what you heard from the school of modern destructive criticism? Can you present me some evidence that this is the case? Or is it just we believe or feel this is a much later addition?

    Jonah and Daniel are more stories than words
    of actual people

    And are you saying Jonah and Daniel did not exist?

  6. @Edward,
    Hmmm, so you don't contest that God unjustly kills the offspring of the sinner. You just try to justify it. Bottom line, God kills innocents to make his point. Not very loving is it?

    You also said "What's the problem with God doing what He wants with His creation? " I guess the creator can do what ever he pleases with his creation. including killing almost everything on this planet even if it is blameless. It just makes him look like a dick to those of us that don't blindly follow him.

    As for me wanting it both ways, I'll say again that ultimately I don't care since I don't believe in gods. But, as far a reading the Bible, I just wish the loving and all powerful main character would be a little more loving. No child should have their life screwed up for them before they have a chance to do it themselves.

  7. @Bruce,
    Not very loving is it?
    Yes it is, i got the message loud and clear. Which reminds me your little tag at the top Obey God or die, is better read Obey God and live! Your already dead Bruce. (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13; John 10:10) See that little dash we have between our Born-on-Date and the expire date. Hold that up against the full breadth of eternity, do you still see it? Without Jesus Christ your spiritually dead. Gods not going to take to kindly to your dead carcass showing up in His Kingdom.(Ecclesiastes 12:7) ;-)

    including killing almost everything on this planet even if it is blameless.
    You referring to the flood? or the final judgement day when all sinners are thrown into the furnace of fire? (Matthew 13:41,42)

    i don't believe in gods
    Well that's fine however the one true God, the great I AM, is who you really have a problem with. People don't like Him because He doesn't do things the way they think they should be done.
    What i am perceiving, correct me if i be in error, is that you are taking "loving" stick it on God and saying now i will define what "loving" really is. If this is true, it's a joke. How is it that we can come across as to what God does cannot be right because that's not our kind of "loving"? Now if you would please answer this question, i want to know how you would accomplish this?
    What is the method to be used to instil into man Gods incredible hatred of sin?
    Nah, you don't really need to because all i will do is pick it apart and show you how unloving your method really is. :-P

    those of us that don't blindly follow him.
    What a blanket statement you've made there Bruce, so what, i blindly follow God? Come now, really sir? Then do i have the liberty to say that it's you and many others who blindly follow a wicked heart to the broad path that leads to destruction?(Matthew 7:13) The truth is that those that don't believe in Jesus Christ are the blind ones(Matthew 15:14; Acts 26:18). The evidence is all over the place(Romans 1:20). Many are just "willingly ignorant." (II Peter 3:5) Edward's translation. Stupid on purpose.

    And what's this all about?
    No child should have their life screwed up for them before they have a chance to do it themselves.
    Bruce really there is a existence after this life. Whether we like it or not, it's a fact. How can i say it's fact, because the Creator said it (John 14:2-6;Acts 1:3), that settles it.

    So yes before a child has to go through the pains of this life they are spared, and can rest in the next. (This being a child before the age of accountability. The age of accountability being passed once he or she is capable of making a faith decision for or against Jesus Christ.)
    Now this is that which is sad, you perceive that this life is all you do have to look forward to. As is written about John Bunyan.
    Despair reached his mind, and he formed this desperate conclusion, that he must be miserable if he left his sins, and miserable if he continued in his sins; and therefore he determined to take his fill of them, as the only pleasure he was likely to have.
    And continuing on it says of others
    It may justly be feared that multitudes perish by such temptations as these. There language is, “There is no hope—but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.”

    My encouragement to you and others is keep search long and hard for the truth, no matter how bad you may not like what you are finding. Because this is serious, there's no redo or last minute bargaining. Eternity is a long time to get this wrong. Also, keep questioning.

  8. OK (takes deep breath),
    Your correct that the tag line could be "Obey and Live" Most of us just don't like living in fear and subjection.
    I do LOVE your line "God's not going to take to kindly to your dead carcass showing up in His Kingdom." My hats off to you!

    As far as God killing everyone, I was referring to both the flood and final judgement.

    As for blindly following an ideology, I believe in science and research. I read about something and evaluate the evidence. My beliefs and opinions have evolved over the years as I acquire evidence.
    I did believe the Bible was the word of God until I started looking at it critically and not accepting it without question. You seem to just quote lines from the same book over and over. Who is willfully ignorant?

    You said; "Bruce really there is a existence after this life. Whether we like it or not, it's a fact. How can i say it's fact, because the Creator said it (John 14:2-6;Acts 1:3), that settles it."
    See my previous statement. My requirement for a fact is evidently much more rigorous then yours.

    Again, you have no problem with god causing pain and suffering in innocent children. I do. A child that is starving, bleeding to death or spending a lifetime in poverty isn't thinking "It's OK, I'll probably go to heaven and spend eternity being happy."
    Heaven sounds like a nice, invented fantasy to give the hopeless hope.
    That's not necessarily a bad thing but it doesn't make it true.

    I am and will continue to search for the truth. I will search far and wide, I will not rely on one source to give me the answer. I will judge what I currently know against new information that I find. I will not accept extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidence.

  9. @Bruce,

    I was going to ask what authority do you base your belief, i now see it's in science. So Bruce how have you tested for God, the afterlife, or Heaven? How do you test for logic? Is that something you went to the local hardware store and picked up? Do you trust your senses and have you ever tripped? And has your science ever been wrong? Your telling me that your science can get life from non-life right? And you have tested that, because if that is true you may have saved me allot of time. :-)

    Your requirement for a fact is rigorous than mine? Serious? Tell me Bruce how did this universe get it's order? and where did all this matter come from? Because science says order does not come from chaos. Have you tested that? So really Bruce you have the answers to these three questions?

    1. How do you create matter from non-matter? You know the material in the universe? See First law of thermal dynamics.
    2. How do you get life from non-life. I mentioned that earlier as well.
    3. Since we have thousands of fossils where are all the transitional forms? And you can't use the imaginary line. That's if you believe in evolution.

    Want to accuse me of being wilfully ignorant by all means go ahead. As i said back in Job 21:3 Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on.

    This book is the foundation that i stand upon, it's been tested and survived greater minds than yours or mine. And you throw up science that is like a fog over the land. You are free to shape it in whatever way you want. The only authority in your belief system is you.
    I have checked "science" alone Bruce and found it lacking.

    Your science sounds like a nice, invented fantasy to give the hopeless hope, to set sinners free to believe that after this life they will not be held accountable for those things which they have done (Revelation 20:12).

    I will not accept extraordinary claims without extraordinary evidence.
    Really now, you think i believe that? See my above questions. I asked a guy that designs aircraft if he thought that an explosion in a junk yard would produce an air plane. His answer was obvious, no way. And i asked then how is it that people think they came about by an explosion. (This is a true story i am not parroting what someone else has said. I was really happy to meet someone that did design aircraft so i could ask that question.)
    I had the great privilege of seeing images of the eggs they harvested from my wife for our attempt at getting pregnant. (I know what your thinking. AHH! He was allowed to breed! :-D) So that tiny egg with my "stuff" come together to form a baby which grows up... and someone really wants to pass this off as happening by chance? My faith doesn't go that far Bruce, that is an extraordinary claim that i just cannot believe... to me it's not logical.

    Now is it true that you have filtered down your science to only those things that don't challenge your belief system? I ask this because of what little i do know, the enormity of the problems would, i believe, leave any honest person knowing, this just cannot happen by mere chance. Everything is tuned exactly right and it's incredibly complex.

    Did you every learn about caterpillars and how they transform into butterflies? Or, the bird, pacific golden plover? Talk about guidance system.

  10. > 1. How do you create matter from non-matter? You know the material in the universe? See First law of thermal dynamics.

    First law is actually about Energy and Matter but E=mc^2 shows how energy equates to matter and vice versa (so yes matter can be created from non-matter, aka energy). Rephrase then as how did the matter/energy of the universe come into being? Well first the total is within a closed system. How do we know the sum total of energy/matter in the universe isn't zero to begin with? Potential energy is negative when doing calculations. To be exact we don't know what happened in the beginning, yet. But we will use reason and evidence to try to find out.

    2. How do you get life from non-life. I mentioned that earlier as well.

    Are viruses life?

    3. Since we have thousands of fossils where are all the transitional forms? And you can't use the imaginary line. That's if you believe in evolution.

    Fossils are a jigsaw puzzle where many of the pieces are missing so there will always be gaps. However one can look at the pieces we do have and still know what the jigsaw puzzle is about. There are transitional forms, you just refuse to see them (for example look at the hominid fossils and tell us where you consider the separation between humans and other hominids is).

  11. @Edward,
    Before I reply to your generous response to my response to your response, I feel the need for a little pissing contest.
    Arena; formal/informal education.

    As I believe I've mention in the 'About Me' posts of this blog, I was once a believer and an active member in the Catholic Church until my mid-teens. I have been in the religious state of mind for the lack of a better term.
    I have a communications BA from St. Xavier University in Chicago. While attending this catholic university (2.5 years), I was required to take a class on religion every year. Those classes were 1) Comparative Religions, 2) Eastern Religions and 3) Atheism vs. Christianity (I know that seems a very daring class for a christian school to offer but St Xavier encourages open thought and discussion). My GPA was 3.5 out of 4.
    Before I attended St. Xavier, I attended Governors State University and Prairie State College where I studied science and broadcast communication as well as a few classes in philosophy. I received Associate Arts degrees in Physical Sciences and Psychology. I was also ground school certified for multi-engine aircraft, but that's a whole different story! Don't remember my exact GPA but it was just under 3.0.
    I'm an active member of the Chicago Skeptics and the Chicago Science Writers.
    I read Science and Nature (peer reviewed journals) and the King James Bible (not peer reviewed ;-)).
    I'm also a fan of history and the evolution of humanity.

    Anyway, those are my 'credentials' and why I feel I have a knowledgable background to speak from.

    Edward, what are your credentials?

  12. Well, if he's using the "airplane in a junkyard" apologetic in this day and age, then he's really not worth your time Bruce. He's one of the reasons I dropped out of this little project.

  13. @Bruce,

    Nice, creds, i don't have any. Which i think should make you feel all the better. I should be easily instructed in the correct way, right? So is it true you need to go to school and get some letters behind your name to think critically and be able to question?

    As for the KJV not being per-reviewed, please. 400 years and still going strong. This is a whole different year of study.. well i spent 2 on it and still i'm not finished.

    So with all those titles why didn't you answer my questions? If you could just take these "extraordinary claims" and give something logical to explain them, i'm listening. However all i see, correct me if i'm wrong, is that you decided to retreat behind a bunch of letters. Like a magician, get my attention off of the questions and onto "look at my credentials i'm more qualified than you fundamental Christian" And are you trying to intimidate me by this act? If so it's not working. I guess your "science" teaches not to question it, just take it on blind faith, right? Hence you needed to know my credentials.

    Because i sure don't sound like i gotten me any edumacation.

    As for my formal/informal education no college, i just read a bunch of books, reviews, watch debates, documentaries and talking with individuals such as yourself. That's about it. Now knowing this, is it now you can't answer those questions because my low education could not possibly comprehend the solutions that are taught for these problems and appreciate them?

    Oh here i go quoting from that "book" again, Not that you are marvelling at me or anything. ;-) (John 7:15; Acts 4:13)

    I believe i'm in good company. :-D

    However i concede, if thou will not answer these questions, for thou hast become that which ye despise.

    I guess those Catholics taught you more then you realize.

    (In the KJV those "T"'s and "Y"'s in their usage means something) ;-)

  14. @Erp,

    1. Where did you get the energy? Law of the Conservation of Energy. Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another.
    2. Where did you get the virus?
    3. They were never joined to be separated in the first place. I did read Bones of Contention by Marvin L. Lubenow . Maybe this explains why i don't go with the magic lines idea.

  15. 1. When calculating the amount of energy in a closed system one adds all the different types and some types are negative (e.g., gravitational potential energy). Remember 1+(-1)=0. So it is possible that the total amount of energy in a closed system is zero but the amount of kinetic energy is positive.
    2. So you concede that viruses are alive? There is some debate on that.
    3. So were Neanderthal humans or not?

  16. Erp,

    1. Your not answering the question. Where did this energy come from (kinetic or potential). Thanks for the math by the way.
    2. No i asked where you got that virus. Information doesn't come about by chance now does it?
    3.Yes in my view Neanderthal was human. Now i say this having read that evolutionists don't have a generally accepted definition for the Neanderthals.

  17. 1. The energy has always been there. Note if all the numbers add up the same, nothing has been lost (or gained) overall.
    2. Information can come by chance plus natural selection. Remember the earth itself is not a closed system.
    3. So was Homo Erectus human? I'm just trying to figure out where you draw the dividing line.

  18. @Erp,
    There is no dividing line for creationist!!! Adam and Eve were the first humans. Period. Well, except for the possibility of Lilith but she doesn't count because she was a jewish myth and a trouble maker.

  19. So Homo erectus was human then and Homo habilis and Australopithecus. Remember there is no dividing line for scientists either except for convenience. Go far enough back and we will find a population some of whose descendants became modern day chimpanzees and some modern day humans (though given that this ancestor was likely a jungle dweller the chance of finding fossils is slim [jungles are not good environments for fossil creation]). We depend instead on comparative studies, dna testing (which shows that the latest common ancestor probably lived some 5-10 million years ago).

  20. @Erp,

    The assumption that i have read is that the chimp dna represents the original condition (or close to it) that human dna diverged. It was also stated that this was circularity with a vengeance.

    Yes jungles are not good for making fossils. A majority, from what i have read, are aquatic.

    From the book i mentioned earlier it said this
    pg 305 Both humans and mice have about 30,000 genes. An editorial in New Scientist states, "What's the difference between Stuart Little and William Shakespeare? Answer (to a very rough approximation); about 300 genes.

    So we are more closely related to a mouse than a chimp. Well that is what i have read. Feel free to correct me if i'm getting bad data.

    1. So energy is eternal. That i have not heard before.
    2. Information can come by chance plus natural selection? I see people are trying to push this. Very interesting.
    3. The dividing line. Ape | Human. They were created before man on day 6. Homo Erectus human yes this is a possibility. Lilith will steal the baby boys at night. :-)

  21. What you read is wrong. Both Chimp DNA and Human DNA have diverged from the original though less might have changed in some areas for Chimps.

    I'm not sure whether a majority of fossils are aquatic though it wouldn't surprise me (the majority of the world is aquatic and things like chalk cliffs are solid fossils [almost all very small organisms]).

    Your conclusion about differences between mice, humans, and chimps does not follow from your premises (note that there are different ways of calculating and one must use the same method for each calculation before comparing results). You might find interesting. To quote: "To put this into perspective, the number of genetic differences between humans and chimps is approximately 60 times less than that seen between human and mouse and about 10 times less than between the mouse and rat. On the other hand, the number of genetic differences between a human and a chimp is about 10 times more than between any two humans."

    1. The first law states that observationally the total amount of energy in a closed system (which the universe seems to be) is unchanging.
    2. They push it because it is observationally true. An interesting demo is
    3. You do realize that humans are apes. We are closer to chimpanzees than either chimpanzees and humans are to gorillas much less the other apes.

  22. @Erp,

    2. This is an interesting one to comment on. I watched the demo, and my thought was, someone has a goal in mind. Let's write a program to try random combinations to achieve our goal. We give it parts necessary for the task. And that is the problem i see. You have to start with no parts, and no goal. I say this because i think how does nothing know where it needs to go?

    3. From my belief systems we are not apes or did we come from apes. I am glad you posted the link. I read it then did a little more digging. Say i wanted to prove my point and you found out i only used the material that would prove my point, would you be upset? From the article
    The DNA sequence that can be directly compared between the two genomes is almost 99 percent identical.
    I read that like they used only that which would support their belief, because using it all would produce a smaller number. Is that wrong? Also
    Most of these differences lie in what is believed to be DNA of little or no function.
    Yes i have heard of the same claim for vestigial organs. And we found out they had usages. So when/if they do study to find out what that DNA does this number may drop down even more. 1-5% is allot of data.

    You have pointed me to more areas i need to study on. Thanks Erp.