Quoting Quiverfull: Generational Sin?

by Doug Wilson from Blog and Mablog

The Bible teaches that sin is organic. It grows and develops, and does so in a natural progression. There are many images of this, but the upshot is that the harvest of terrible consequences does not look anything like the field did when it was first planted.

When sin is trans-generational, this means that the apparent innocence occurs in one generation, and the subsequent payout occurs in the third and fourth generation. So, then, when we sin with our fathers, this does not mean that everything looks the same way. The same sin may look bright green and promising in one era, and dark and forbidding in another.

Our sin, our central sin, our glaring sin, is the sin of secularism. We call it secularism, pretending that nations have the option of being neutral about who Jesus is, but secularism is actually corporate unbelief, national unbelief.

This secularism, the sin we have committed with our fathers, looked quite different in their era than it does in ours. In their era, it looked like traditional values that were self-evident; it our era it looks like the abortion carnage, homosexual perversion parades, and looting the public treasury. When we ask the question, “How did we get here?” the answer is that we sinned with our fathers.

Never forget—no deliverance without a deliverer. No salvation without a savior. No rescue without a rescuer. And this means we are lost without Jesus.

Comments open below

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce

 

About Suzanne Calulu
  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com Retha

    I believe there are ways in which sin is affects the next generation, without God’s anger and just with natural consequences: If your parents were too selfish to make a marriage work (and I know- one parent can’t make it work alone), it is statistically more likely that yours will not work either. Children of alcoholics are more likely to drink, etc.

    But it is simply not true that all/ most secularists “sinned with their parents” – many children are less – or more – religious than their parents. I believe several now-secularists here are less religious than their parents (for example ex-quiverful daughters), and others used to be more religious than their parents and are now less so.
    Besides, being very religious and far from secular can be equally sinful if it is about other things than Jesus and the life He taught and braught.

  • saraquill

    In this quote, it sounds like this man wants to foster fear and paranoia so that others will turn to him and hang on to every word in the futile hope of being less scared. Is it just me?

  • Antigone10

    If your parents were too selfish to make a marriage work

    Please kindly f*ck right the hell off. My parents are FINALLY getting divorced after miserable year after miserable year of being married. I have been begging them since I was 13 to get a divorce (I’m 28) now. Do you think it was good for me or my siblings to listen to the emotional, verbal, and physical abuse? Do you think we were modeled healthy relationships? Do you think that it was so emotionally healthy for us to watch something as simple as asking for money for a field trip spiral into a 3-hour fight about money, where we would end up blaming ourselves for bringing it up in the first place?

    My mother, a committed Christian, listened to this crap from churches that said it was “selfish” to want to divorce. That you just needed to work “a little harder” because “love was actions, not a feeling”. (And, to boot, insinuations to flat out statements that if she wasn’t so fat and if she was a better person and maybe a little more submissive, there wouldn’t be these problems). My dad watched a world where his privilege for being a straight, cis, white man is slipping away and he was never raised with the tools to handle it, so he took it out on the rest of us.

    The only thing “selfish” about this scenario was the selfishness of complete strangers demanding that relationships look like they do in some fictionalized, tv world. Real life is more complicated.

    Oh, and by the by- 5 years of marriage with my husband and we’re still going strong. Little sister has 2 children, a military husband, and after 6 years of marriage are still as insufferable as they were as newlyweds. If our parents sinned, then we’re probably missing the fall out because we left the church. Jesus doesn’t have jurisdiction.

  • M

    I have no idea how he can justify this drivel from scripture.

  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com Retha

    I am sorry for wording myself in a way that triggers you. It sounds, in your case (correct me if I am wrong) if your father, not mother, was too selfish to make a marriage work.

    I did not suggest that there is wrong with the person who decide on a divorce because the partner is selfish. I suggested that when people are truly unhappily married – whether there is divorce or not – this is a non-working marriage, and it is likely that in a non-working marriage at least one partner is being very selfish.
    It takes two non-selfish partners to make a marriage work – if one partner makes life hard for the family, that is the selfish partner that makes the marriage to not work. I will not tell the spouse of an abusive or addicted partner to stay.

    Your statement about your marriages still working – I am glad for you – answers nothing I said about statistical likelihood either. And where does “Jesus doesn’t have jurisdiction” fit in with anything?

  • Nea

    Retha, stop using the word “selfish.” There are many reasons marriages fall apart, and yet right after being told not to psychoalanyze another person’s situation… you force the other person’s story into your scenario. You are not the final authority on divorce, and you do not know the one and only reason why marriages don’t work.

  • Nea

    No, not just you; you’ve hit on the main reason why he’s doing it.

  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com Retha

    I never said there is only one reason why marriages do not work?

  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com Retha

    In short: If someone gave your mother messages that she will be selfish to divorce, it was not me, and I won’t say that. I only said that sometimes marriages fail – whether the couple divorce or stay together unhappy – because one or both partners are selfish. I never said anything about your mother, or all marriages that fail. Anyone who read more into my original words read something I never said.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Sometimes people get divorced because one or both of the partners is selfish. And sometimes people get divorced because two people just aren’t compatible or happy together anymore. Maybe they were very young and totally inexperienced when they got married and have since grown apart? (Hey, maybe Christian culture should stop fetishizing youth and inexperience and this will happen less!) There are lots of reasons people get divorced and it is not always somebody’s “fault.”

    Also, generally speaking, I think people try very hard to stay married. I know plenty of people who have gotten divorced and those divorces have always come on the heels of years of trying to make the marriage work. People don’t just blithely walk away from relationships that they’ve invested a lot of time and emotional energy into. And even if they did, divorce is, if nothing else, a huge pain in the butt that takes plenty of time and emotional energy all by itself! Barring a maybe handful of people who see marriage as just a way to get at somebody’s money, or to gain disposable trophy wives or something, its’ just not a choice that people make lightly or for any other reason than a marriage just really not working, despite many efforts. I really think this idea of people just divorcing willy-nilly because they are too selfish, or flighty or whatever to be bothered to “make the marriage work” is a myth cooked up by social conservatives who think that upholding “the institution of marriage” is more important than upholding the wellbeing of the people involved in it. To hell with that. People who divorce often struggle with feelings of failure as it is. The last thing they need is shame and judgment being heaped upon them by outsiders.

  • madame

    ” I really think this idea of people just divorcing willy-nilly because they are too selfish, or flighty or whatever to be bothered to “make the marriage work” is a myth cooked up by social conservatives who think that upholding “the institution of marriage” is more important than upholding the wellbeing of the people involved in it. To hell with that. People who divorce often struggle with feelings of failure as it is. The last thing they need is shame and judgment being heaped upon them by outsiders.”

    Amen to that!

  • Antigone10

    I did not suggest that there is wrong with the person who decide on a divorce because the partner is selfish. I suggested that when people are truly unhappily married – whether there is divorce or not – this is a non-working marriage, and it is likely that in a non-working marriage at least one partner is being very selfish.

    Add to PP above- selfishness is not why people get divorced. People get divorced for incompatibility (as in the case of my two close friends) because their lives are not working together any more (as is the case of my friends who had to move for different jobs and couldn’t make it work being so far apart). Divorce happens because of as many of the different reasons that marriage happens.

    My parents are finally divorcing because they made themselves unhappy being together. They might make someone else happy. Each of them have flaws, but “selfishness” is not one of them. Dad was “abusive” not “selfish”. Words mean things.

    And you can “sometimes” all you want, but that’s not what you put in your first comment. You put fairly definitively “parents too selfish to make a marriage work”. You might not know my parents personally and who knows, maybe if you had met them you would have counselled them to divorce (I rather suspect not- like most unhappy families they put enough of a happy facade on in public for people to have plausible deniability). But, you put on the internet that divorced people are “selfish” and that sin is going to make it so their children get divorced as well. If you speak in these generalization, you are adding to the chorus of voices that convince people, like my mother, that marriage needs to be maintained or else there’s something wrong with them and they’ll ruin their children.

    You just became a “they” of “Well, they say that only selfish people divorce”.

  • Antigone10

    Re: “Jesus doesn’t have jurisdiction”. It has often been said in the churches I grew up in that “Jesus is Lord”. A Lord is a sovereign. Jesus is not my lord, so he doesn’t have jurisdiction over my thoughts, actions, or my immortal soul, should I have one. So, if generational sin exists, I bypass it because I am no longer on the rules of that particular sovereignty. It’s basically like saying I can, for instance, wear a halter top because I’m under the US’s laws instead of Saudi Arabia.

  • http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com Retha

    This whole comment thread reads things into my words which I never said, and this will be my last reply. I will choose my words more carefully in future, in order not to trigger any of you. But I take no responsibility for your triggered state on this thread any more.
    Here are my actual words, said among a few examples of things that could possibly affect future generations:

    If your parents were too selfish to make a marriage work (and I know- one parent can’t make it work alone),

    I expressly said
    a) the word “if” implying the possibility, not the certainty, of selfish parents in a non-working marriage
    b) that one parent cannot make it work alone, meaning that a marriage could fail to work even if there is a non-selfish partner in it

    Some readers read this as if speaking of:
    a) divorce – I never mentioned divorce, and I know and thought when writing that an intact marriage could be a marriage that does not work too.
    b) that I see only one reason a marriage could possibly fail – no, I mentioned marriages with a selfish partner as one example of my point which was not even about marriage, not the only reason marriages fail
    c) that I will blame anyone who chooses divorce for selfishness, which is probably a conclusion arrived at from the previous two points. But since the previous two points are not what I said or meant, this triggering conclusion is yours, not mine.


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