1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Blessings and curses are originally found in the book of Genesis. The initial blessing is bestowed upon the living creatures, which were instructed to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:22). When the Lord created man, He also blessed them saying “be fruitful and multiply” and also added another blessing “have dominion over” (Genesis 1:28). These three fundamental blessings of: “be fruitful”, “multiply” and “have dominion over” form the foundation of all future blessings, such as the Abrahamic blessings and their reversal forms the foundation of all next curses such as those in Genesis 3. Fruitfulness is the capacity to happily express your inner characteristics and feel that which you are doing is truly productive, worthwhile and important. Its negative is pain in creation especially barrenness. Multiplication is exponential increase. Multiplication is a mighty increase in productivity for a minor increase in effort. Its negative is frustration and futility. Putting in heavy effort for small or no reward. Authority to conquer means dignity, headship, power, the capacity to be ascendant, to be the head not the tail. Its negative side is being humbled, to consume the dirt, to be bruised and humiliated, inability to rise. The world was created by the spoken word of God and is clipped together by the power of His Word (Genesis 1, Hebrews 1:1-3, Colossians 1:17-20). Therefore God’s spoken words can change creation and Jesus’ curse caused the fig-tree, constituting barren Israel, to shrivel up. Blessings and curses are first of all God’s words that moves at this primary level of creation and “bends the playing field” of life one way or another. Curses can be from evil spirits or flow from the human spirit. Goliath's curses against David were “by his gods” (1 Samuel 17:43). The David and Goliath encounter was a power clash of one spiritual system against the other and both contenders came in the name of their specific deities. Shamans and magicians such as Balaam were hired to inflict curse on the people in Old Testament times and still do nowadays. Though curses from evil sources much less powerful than curses from God they still were feared and were able to do much damage. There are 22 references exhorting believers not to curse others. Curses are finally ended in the new creation (Rev 22:3). From Genesis 3 being the first curses in operation. The woman is made unfruitful, the man is made to work in futility and the serpent is told he will eat the dirt. The three major things that make life enjoyable are reversed. Life becomes frustrating. Hence, when we are cursed we find life very frustrating indeed. No matter how strong we try to rise we never quite make it. From time to time we get to the brink of success only to have it taken away. Curses can affect many areas of our life including church growth. They can affect earning power and they can affect our ability to have authority and command over our lives and people who are cursed may have to endure lifelong humiliation. Therefore the study examines parental curses, the effect on the church growth and the way forward.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Curses are an unusual topic, but they are real, you can even buy numerous books on how to curse people in most bookstores especially New Age bookstores. They are now part of "teenage witch" type TV programs. However parental curses are not playthings and are profoundly emotionally disturbing for those who experience them. They are not just angry words or swear words; they are acts of power in the spiritual realm. Curses are mentioned over 200 times in Scripture, and were foundational to the Old Covenant (see Deuteronomy 28-30). God Himself was the first one to pronounce curses – on the earth, on Eve’s fertility and upon the serpent. Curses are not just a primitive superstition; they are spiritual pronouncements recorded in Scripture that profoundly affect the very structure of reality in some way. Hence the study, parental curses, the effect on the church growth and the way forward is examined.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine parental curses, the effect on the church growth and the way out. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1. To examine concept of parental curses and church growth
2. To examine the biblical perspective of parental curses and church growth
3. To examine the effect of parental curses on church growth
4. To examine the relationship between parental curses and church growth
5. To examine the way out of parental curses and effect on church growth
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is concept of parental curses and church growth?
2. What is the biblical perspective of parental curses and church growth?
3. What is the effect of parental curses on church growth?
4. What is the relationship between parental curses and church growth?
5. What is the way out of parental curses and effect on church growth?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant effect of parental curses on church growth.
H1: There is a significant effect of parental curses on church growth.
H0: There is no significant relationship between parental curses and church growth.
H1: There is a significant relationship between parental curses and church growth.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will be of profound benefits to enlighten the people on the effect of parental curses on church growth and the way forward. This study would also be of immense benefit to students and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to parental curses, the effect on the church growth and the way out.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Church: a building used for public Christian worship. "The term "church" is intended to be synonymous with the terms "denomination" or "sect" rather than to be used in the universal sense."
Church Growth: church growth is seen as growth in numbers (i.e., the growth of the church) or growth in church planting. The Church of Jesus Christ would grow by planting new churches.
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