Ooh Lordy, I recall them well from a mega-church I once belonged to in my late teenage years.
Strangely, I recall them being based on Old Testament verses.
The idea is said to be based on certain statements in the Bible. For example: "I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of
the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations" (Exod. 20:5, italics mine; cf. 34:6-7; Num. 14:18; Deut. 5:9).
So it had nothing to do with salvation itself, but it was part of "spiritual" warfare teachings, and the authorities on that back then were Chick
comics and the books by Rebecca Brown.
Some books had entire lists to repent of anything your ancestors might have been involved with.
It could get quite lengthy.
Fortunately "homosexuality" sufficed for my sexual sin, and I didn't have to mention every act under that banner (and it's lengthier than one might
think), but for occult stuff they had everything from witchy-this to claudo/tele-whatever, and names for every US Masonic and occult group imaginable
(most of which didn't even exist here).
Nowadays, considering that people convert from extremes one could also repent for the rock music your dad might have listened to, and if you get
anxious or depressed you can anoint the corners of the house with oil, and repent the name of every metal band that he might have listened to in his
misspent youth when he made you, that is, after all the occult/Masonic groups from the second generation:
"Dear Lord - please tell Satan he has no right to my life, because I repent of the sins of my father, who may have listened to occult music like:
AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, The Rolling Stone, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Queen, King Diamond, Megadeth, Metallica, Death,
Carcass, Obituary, Slayer - and also Winger, Kylie Minogue and Bros when nobody was watching but You. I know my depression is gone now. Amen."
On the other hand in Christianity our very position at birth is sinful, or prone to sin because of Adam and Eve.
So if one follows a religion where one is a hellbound entity lower that crap because of what two naked hippies did in Genesis thousands of years ago
in creationism, then why not also have specific inter-generational curses for maladies?
How does one say one aspect is wrong in a wider, even more ridiculous set-up?
In any case, I don't think a lot of Christians believe it any more these days, and some would say it's against certain key principles.
A lot of it was also thinly disguised neo-colonialism in which Native American and African land was considered "cursed".
It was just a cult-like way to make everything that went wrong your fault, even if you were just unlucky to have sinful forebears.
It could also absolve others from personal responsibility: "What? The pastor pocketed the cash and committed adultery again? Oh, he had the spirit of
Mammon and Lust because his great-grandfather once played the Ouija board! Poor man let's pray for him and send more money!"
Later, when I became more interested in Hinduism, I actually interpreted those verses as referring to reincarnation, and the suffering that people
went through now was due to their sins in a past life, which came back to them as children a few generations later.
Either way, it's not a pretty or particularly loving world-view, and it's morally unsound.
Call it religion if you will, but it ain't loving then, and it ain't good.
I'd say happiness is counting your blessings, and not your fore-fathers' cursing.
edit on 21-7-2012 by halfoldman because: (no reason