Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

by Rayola Kelley

      Q:I have heard reference made concerning paying for the sins of our fathers. For instance, as a nation we must pay for the sins of slavery through redistribution of wealth, as a family we must pay any inheritance to those less fortunate in order to be saved, and we must pay for the sins of the previous generations for daring to be successful by taking on a debt that will literally bury us for generations to come. What is your take on this matter?” 

       A: To be honest with you, such a philosophy is nothing but a false gospel that is being promoted by those who are using propaganda and rhetoric to cover up their covetous, hateful thieving ways and wicked, socialistic agendas. I was introduced to this false gospel a few years back when the craze was to apologize to the Indians for taking their land and the blacks for slavery, but the reality is that conquering nations have always made slaves of those they conquered. Taking land from those who have been conquered to enlarge the borders of a nation, kingdom or country is the way of the world we live in. Ask any people who have a history such as the Jews. People that have been found to be weak or made weak have lost their land and tasted the harsh reality of slavery by those who prove to be stronger. In Scripture, we see that servitude was not condemned, but Christians were given clear instructions as to the attitudes they were to have towards those who may be their lords or towards those who were serving them. (See Ephesians 6 and Colossians 3.)  

       Slavery never has been nor will it ever belong solely concerning the blacks. If you know history, you know that initially it was not the whites who sold blacks into slavery; it was the blacks who represented warring tribes or greedy individuals within their own ranks who initially sold them into slavery. Granted, ruthless men may have brought them as slaves to America’s shores, but oppressive slavery is the result of wicked, darkened hearts that are already enslaved by the tentacles of that which is wicked, and not a matter of race, color or culture.

       At the time, I thought such apologies to be nonsense, but I suppose it appeared quite noble to those who were buying the folly of such teaching. Admittedly, I did not recognize that the Church was being conditioned to accept the gospel of social justice where “so-called” justice is being demanded from the present and future generations for the past practices of others. However, to use the word “justice” in this text is not only a contradiction of real justice, it is a slam against all that is decent, true and righteous.

       To try to pay for the past sins of others through governmental or social tyranny or oppression makes the accuser of such crimes the actual abuser who practices such tyranny for personal gain. It is nothing more than a front that allows for the tyrants and despots of society to take and oppress others. Promoting this belief as a Christian practice is an abomination to God, and his wrath abides upon those who foolishly mishandle His truth to justify such wickedness (Romans 1:18). The promotion of it as a gospel frustrates the real message and work of the true Gospel (Galatians 2:21). Instead of salvation being a free gift of God, it has become a matter of works by paying some type of penance for other people’s actions (Ephesians 2:8-9). The Bible is clear in Ezekiel 18 that we do not pay for the sins of our fathers, nor do they pay for our sins. We each will be held accountable for our own moral deviation when we stand before the Great Judge who will execute true righteousness in all matters.

        It is obvious that those who are promoting such a gospel are using it to get rich for themselves. However, people are attracted to it because it lets them off the hook for personal actions. After all, the next generation can pay for their indiscretions. Interestingly, people are more apt to take responsibility for others’ actions than their own. This allows them to appear noble about the sins of others, while covering up their own sins. However, salvation is not collective, it is an individual choice. No one can receive the gift of salvation for me, I must humbly seek it out for myself by seeking out the redemption God has acquired for me through Jesus Christ. He has bought me back from the spiritual slavery of sin, and I am not to give my liberty away to those who would once again try to take me captive with their insane and ridiculous claims or false gospels

       This brings me to an interesting Scripture that has caused some confusion about this subject. It is found in Exodus 20:5. It talks about God visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him. The word “visit” has to do with oversee, deposit, appoint, commit, and or count. It appears as if iniquity is passed down from generation to generation, but it is important to point out that this is in reference to God bringing judgment on the third and fourth generation of those families or dynasties who fail to repent of the iniquities that plague them. You can see in Scripture where God gave certain families or lineages three to four generations before He brought judgment on them. This is brought out in the instances of Eli’s descendants and Jehu’s dynasty. It simply proves that God is long-suffering even towards those who hate him, but eventually the people’s iniquity will come to full fruition in the third or fourth generation and at that time He will bring judgment on it.

       If you encounter this false gospel of “social justice” in a place or church near you, I have one suggestion: flee from it. It is a perverted gospel that stands cursed. God will give this false gospel room to test the hearts of men, but do not be fooled by it, in due time He will judge it as perverted and heretical, and His wrath will consume it.