The question of retribution for past or ancestral sin is one which people have pondered for millennia. In superstitious cultures, people assumed that disabled folks were cursed for some misdeed done in this or a previous life. Even I was the victim of such heartless speculation.
When I joined a charismatic house church, the minister and the woman in whose house services were held assumed I could be healed by them. After every attempt of the congregation as they spoke in tongues and placed hands on my head, my vision never improved. Instead of consoling me, the elders accused me of lacking faith to be healed
Instead of asking themselves if their faith was strong enough, they blamed me for hidden sin, lacking faith, ancestral sin, and lusting for sight. No matter how hard I squelched all doubts, my vision remained poor.
A minister in Zambia named Chipita Sibale preached a pertinent sermon recently on people to avoid and why they should be shunned. His comment on John 9:1-3 was especially relevant to me.
The passage in the Bible in Basic English reads, “And when he went on his way, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples put a question to him, saying, ‘Master, was it because of this man’s sin, or the sin of his father and mother, that he has been blind from birth?’ Jesus said in answer, ‘It was not because of his sin, or because of his father’s or mother’s; it was so that the works of God might be seen openly in him.'”
One fact that Chipita noted was that this uncaring attitude breeds indifference in people. They soon lack compassion for sufferers and blame them or their families for the disability.
This certainly was true of the cultic church which I stupidly attended for more than fifteen years. In retrospect, I can see plainly how heartless such judge mental people were.