Sorry my response on this is late. I had meant to check back on this, but then I ended up going in and having my tonsils out, and then there were pain meds...
But others' sins, and yes - especially our parents - affect us in ways that may set us up for failure. The son of an alcoholic isn't guilty of his father's drunkeness. He's guilty of his own drunkeness, though, when he acts out what he saw daddy do. That (mis)behavior became "normal" to him. This is the sense in which "the sins of the fathers" are visited on the children. It's pretty powerful. I thought the scriptures say the sins of the father won't pass to their sons or children?
It actually says that the iniquity
of the fathers will be visited
on the children. Notice the bolded words. "Iniquity" isn't exactly a synonym for sin. "Visited" is different from inherited or passed down.
Iniquity is institutionalized sin - a sort of environmental damage. I gave an example before; I'll try another one now. Let's say that your family has a long, glorious history of being moonshiners and bootleggers. (That is, your grandfathers and great-grandfathers were engaged in the illegal production and distribution of alcohol products, during a time when that was illegal). When the sin has become an institution of your family like that, that's what Old Testament calls "iniquity." But it's important to note that being born into that family doesn't automatically make you guilty of that sin. It makes it significantly more likely that you will engage in it later... but you aren't personally guilty until you actually do it.
Then when people speak of original sin and our bearing that when we're born they're wrong? That's not scriptural?
It's a misinterpretation/misapplication/misunderstanding of something that is real/scriptural. Iniquity exists. That's real.
But the theoretical extremes - Saying that a newborn is guilty of someone else's sin is kind of ridiculous, IMO. And mostly irrelevant. Spend a day with a toddler. I bet you can count at least 2 or 3 sins before the day is over.
Predestination then only applies to Israel? Those verses that speak of Gods predestination of the elect? The elect then being Israel alone?
Yes, election and predestination refer only to the descendants of Abraham. The proper term would be "Hebrews," I believe.
But here's the thing... so many people have been adopted unto Abraham... and so many people have been trimmed off that family tree... that the word "Hebrew" doesn't even identify an ethnic group of people anymore. We're all... red, brown, yellow, black, and white... So sometimes the title "elect" gets used a little cavalierly to refer to all believers, since we are all adopted to Abraham.
What you describe here is what I call fate. Not destiny. Not much of a difference is there? In terms of an omniscient father God being at the root of all that transpires amid his creation.
Fate is tied to a single person. There is therefore no escape from fate.
Predestination is tied to a group of people, usually in a certain place, and usually related to each other. A person born into that place and group is "predestined" but he can change his destination if he changes his location and/or family ties. The son of a Columbian drug-lord is "destined" to be a bad man as long as he stays with daddy in Columbia. But uproot him at age 2 and give him to a nice foster family in Los Angeles, and suddenly his "destiny" looks a lot different.
I'm aware of the scriptures that speak of Christ and his reign on earth. But I thought that when we die prior to that that our souls go to Heaven or Hell immediately.
Maybe they do... I don't honestly know that. But as nearly as I can tell, our final destination is here on earth. Seems odd to me to send everyone to "heaven" only to bring them back to earth.