What about generational debt?
Several years ago, one of my closest relatives died leaving behind a pile of debt. Needless to say, his children were devastated. His pain was double; losing his beloved father and the unpaid personal loans he had taken out from friends and family. He was an honest man but caught in a bad situation. Since he left no assets to pay off the debt, his children felt overwhelmed and helpless. The lenders, on the other hand, after the initial shock of losing the debtor, abandoned the idea of receiving the money they had lent in good faith since no one expected the children to assume their father’s debt. Legally and morally the children did not have to repay the amount of the loan that their father had taken.
The injustice of punishing children for their parents’ mistakes
Here’s a scenario… John walks into a local 7-11 and empties the cash and walks away. As soon as he gets to the door, remorse hits him and he turns around, returns the money, and apologizes profusely to the owner. He promises to do whatever it takes to make up for his crime. The owner tells him that not only will he not accept John’s apology, but he will send him to jail. The last thing he tells her is that his children and his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren all bear the burden of Juan’s crime and everyone will be punished.
Anyone with a sense of justice will be perplexed as to why anyone would bear the brunt of someone else’s crime. We teach our children that we are responsible for our own actions. So how can a child be punished for his father’s action? In civilized societies, the legal system provides protection so that this never happens, because it is unfair.
Should children be held responsible for the crimes of their ancestors?
If we were to be held legally responsible for our ancestors’ crimes, then most of us would at least be paying our parents’ speeding tickets. Have you ever seen a mother arrested for driving under the influence of her son or a great-grandson serving time in prison for a crime her great-grandfather committed? When a serious crime occurs, such as murder, fraud, kidnapping, or arson, only the offender is charged. Also, what if the offender’s children had to pay for multiple crimes over time? When would the payments made up for the crimes end?
On the other hand, humans generally agree that forgiving is a great virtue while holding a grudge and being vindictive are negative traits. Which of these is more worthy of God? A God ceases to be God if he has the same weaknesses as his creation. Furthermore, He Himself created man with such weaknesses that there are so many things that he can be tempted with like food, money, power, etc. So how can He punish him in such a way that even innocent children are not spared from the burden of others? ? What makes this more problematic is that in Christianity, God does not punish the children of Adam, but punishes his own supposed child. This would be like a criminal who goes to court and the judge says he can’t pardon him unless he (the judge) puts his own son in jail.
How to be forgiven by God: sincerely repent
All this can be explained logically with simple concepts. First of all, God is perfect with perfect attributes and one of his attributes is that He is All-Merciful and loves his creations. He is the most grateful of his servants. He patiently waits for us to turn to Him and when we sin, all we have to do is sincerely repent to Him directly and He accepts it.
The justice of God: each soul is responsible for its own actions
Second, God is Just and wants justice. He would not put the burden of one man on another and would not put to death an innocent man to atone for the sin of sinners. In the eyes of God, perfect justice is that the person who committed the crime assumes the consequences of his own actions.
God’s Forgiving Nature
If someone believes in an unforgiving God, then my question would be, “How can you love and have a close personal relationship with such a God knowing that if you slip up, He will always hold you back?”
When Adam (peace be upon him) ate from the tree, he immediately realized his mistake and repented. God, the all-forgiving, forgave him immediately. The sin did not continue from generation to generation as the transaction was completed at that time and the sin was immediately blotted out with true repentance. If we say that Adam’s original sin (peace be upon him) has somehow seeped into you and me, then we can still seek forgiveness from the Merciful and He will forgive us. That’s all it takes. To say that He will not forgive even if we ask Him would be against the Just nature of God.
Islam: A Religion of Personal Responsibility and Forgiveness
Ultimately, each soul is responsible for its own actions and no one else will carry the burden. If someone were to sin, God does not need to sacrifice an innocent person to forgive. Some may argue that the sin is so great that it requires a sacrifice. Muslims agree that some sins are really big, but God’s forgiveness is bigger. If He wants to forgive, He simply does so without punishing or sacrificing an innocent person. Islam is a religion that is based on the absolute unity of God and his ability to forgive all sins without intermediaries.
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