Author Topic: Infant Salvation?  (Read 2047 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

wannabelieve

  • Guest
Infant Salvation?
« on: November 27, 2007, 09:31:51 PM »
OK, I'm new here and I don't know if this has been discussed, but I've done a lot of reading on the topic of UR and haven't seen it addressed anywhere. So, here goes!

My church (which is very much NOT Universalist and holds the traditional view of hell) teaches that babies, young children, mentally retarded people, etc. go to heaven when they die. There is not strong scriptural support for this, but it's widely accepted in the evangelical community. I have a book on the subject by Robert Lightner called "Heaven for Those Who Can't Believe." We also don't practice infant baptism, so that's a non-issue. But when you think about it, what is this really saying? Here are some ramifications if this popular belief on infant salvation is true:

- There will be millions, probably even billions of people in heaven who did not make a choice to be there. In fact, from a traditional view of who goes to heaven, the babies/children/etc. will probably outnumber those who made a choice to be there.
- In fact, if it's true that most pregnancies end in "natural" abortions in the first two weeks, and if life begins at conception, then there are far more "aborted" babies thatn there are babies that have been born. These aborted babies surely go to heaven. Therefore the number of people in heaven will far outnumber those in hell, contradicting the popular interpretation of Matthew 7:13,14.
- People CAN be saved after they die. The standard view is that babies aren't born saved, but God sovereignly chooses to save that baby post-mortem. See Robert Lightner's book for details.
- The doctrine is not clearly taught in Scripture. It's arrived at by piecing together ambiguous verses (Lightner admits this in his book). I'm convinced that the primary reason for the belief is the moral/ethical
implications regarding the character of God if you believe babies go to hell.

So, in light of this doctrine, which is widely accepted, is Universalism such a far stretch? Why then is it so adamantly opposed by most evangelicals?

bhark54

  • Guest
Re: Infant Salvation?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2007, 12:38:40 AM »
I believe that the concept of infant salvation or "age of accountability" is one of the largest "chinks" in the armor of those who  hold to ET doctrines. 

If the doctrine of "selective innocence" (babies, mentally ill, etc.) is true then abortion should be encouraged!  The result of not being aborted is at least a 90% chance (or higher) of eternal damnation and torture.

By any reason of logic or mercy how could a "church"  believe in the age of accountablility and be against abortion? 

I am not for abortion,I am just pointing out that by their (ET) teaching abortion would be the mericiful thing to do in most pregnancies.

The way  sunday school songs  should be understood if ET proponents really believed what they say they believe:

Jesus loves the little children                     (well at least until the age of accountability)
All the children of the world                       (All doesn't really mean all)
Black and yellow, red and white                 ( He seems to especially like the white ones)
They are  precious in His sight                   (as long as they are not over age 12 or so)
Jesus loves the little children of the world   (doesn't really mean the whole world)

Jesus loves me this I know                (until I am bad then I get sent to hell forever)
For the Bible tells me so                   (KJV, unchanged and uncorrected since 1611)
Little  ones to Him belong                 (Hurray for the age of accountablility!)
They are weak but He is strong          (but not stronger then our free will)
Yes Jesus Loves Me                          (as long as I am good)
Yes Jesus Loves Me                          (and make all the right choices)
Yes Jesus Loves me                          (and if I instantly confess and repent if I mess up)
The Bible Tells me so 
                     

I believe Jesus is who He said He is  and that He suceeded in what He came to do. 

wannabelieve

  • Guest
Re: Infant Salvation?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 04:46:28 AM »
Jnr,

I hear what you are saying. However, the believer in ET and the age of accountability would argue that we reach an age where we are responsible for rejecting Christ, or as William Lane Craig argues, God knows that we would have rejected Him and therefore isn't responsible to give us the opportunity.

However, as I said in the original post, I think the main reason people conjure up the age of accountability is that they at least have some sense of morality and justice and sending babies to hell goes over the line for them. Why they draw the line there, I don't know.

Universalism doesn't have a line. I'm not sure I am conviced of that yet either, but I would like to be convinced of it!  :bigGrin:

Offline AJ

  • Snr
  • *
  • Posts: 108
  • Gender: Male
    • Jesus the Light of the World
Re: Infant Salvation?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2007, 02:06:34 AM »
 
Hi wannabelieve,

When you get all your q's figured out....here's what someone on another board is asking.

 

In my child baring yrs I used to wonder if I was pregnant when the rapture took place, would I be pregnant in Heaven and have a full term pregnancy? 

From 1988 to 1997 I was either pregnant or nursing a baby and just like now everyone was preaching Jesus is coming soon.  So a pregnant woman would wonder if she would be pregnant in Heaven if the rapture should take place. 

I also lost a child and wonder if babies grow up in Heaven or stay babies?  My daughter in Heaven would be 17 right now but is she still a 18 month old baby or a 17 yr old?
 
Pamela
 
"Pretty soon, everybody will get what they deserve, which is ..."Salvation"..."Reconciliation"..."Restitution"..."Restoration"..."Immortality"... and "Incorruption" --- now ain't that the coolest thing?

Offline Kratos

  • 500
  • *
  • Posts: 761
  • Gender: Male
Re: Infant Salvation?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2007, 02:38:21 AM »
This is what I believe though cannot quote exact verses off hand.

I believe that age is a carnal or physical attribute that only exists within the realm of time. Our spirits, however, are eternal and ageless. At conception, God put your spirit into an earth suit to exerience time and the physical realm and learn in the process.

Whenever your ageless spirit leaves your natural tent or tabernacle, that body returns to the dust and your spirit returns to God who gave it. It returns as it always was, ageless, regardless of whether the body that went to the dust was a month old embryo or a 5 year old child or a 90 year old grandmother.

So, to the question just posted on the other thread, take this with whatever grain of salt that fits, if you died pregnant, your spirit and that of your child would return to their ageless state in God. Your 18 month old infant was only that old in their natural body, but their spirit was ageless before it was placed in this body and remained so after it left that 18 month old body. Your child would appear no different in the spirit whether its natural body died at 18 months or 27 years old.

I seldom give opinions without scripture, but I do believe that I have the spirit of God on this one.

Blessings,

John
« Last Edit: November 30, 2007, 05:40:32 AM by Kratos »
Send me a Personal message
Seeking a Kingdom whose Builder and Maker is God

Offline Sarah

  • 300
  • *
  • Posts: 415
  • Gender: Female
Re: Infant Salvation?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2007, 05:14:01 AM »
If the age of accountability were right, then Adrea Yates was a heroin.  This comment is tortured logic, "as William Lane Craig argues, God knows that we would have rejected Him and therefore isn't responsible to give us the opportunity."  If God knows who's heaven and hell bound, why go through this whole masquarade called life?

martincisneros

  • Guest
Re: Infant Salvation?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2008, 12:56:47 AM »
Bottomline: if ET is true, then unbaptized infants that die ARE TOAST.  St. Augustine and others who argued for that had nothing remotely fallacious about their argument on that point.  The failure was the foundational assumption that UR wasn't true.  When you say that UR's sorta true, but not really, or that UR's not true, then ET's universally applicable to those who don't meet the qualifications set down by the Church's understanding of the Scriptures.  Plain and simple.  The only assurance for all of us is that through Jesus Christ, "it is finished!" and none shall ever be eternally separated from their place in the line-up of those being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.



For any guests reading this that don't normally participate on Christian Universalist boards: ET = the doctrine of eternal torment (still applicable to any watering downs of it like "eternal separation"); UR = the Scriptural doctrine of the Universal Restoration, or as you might call it "Universalism."

Average_Bear

  • Guest
Re: Infant Salvation?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2008, 03:39:10 AM »


The way  sunday school songs  should be understood if ET proponents really believed what they say they believe:

Jesus loves the little children                     (well at least until the age of accountability)
All the children of the world                       (All doesn't really mean all)
Black and yellow, red and white                 ( He seems to especially like the white ones)
They are  precious in His sight                   (as long as they are not over age 12 or so)
Jesus loves the little children of the world   (doesn't really mean the whole world)

Jesus loves me this I know                (until I am bad then I get sent to hell forever)
For the Bible tells me so                   (KJV, unchanged and uncorrected since 1611)
Little  ones to Him belong                 (Hurray for the age of accountablility!)
They are weak but He is strong          (but not stronger then our free will)
Yes Jesus Loves Me                          (as long as I am good)
Yes Jesus Loves Me                          (and make all the right choices)
Yes Jesus Loves me                          (and if I instantly confess and repent if I mess up)
The Bible Tells me so 
                     



I agree that just the question of the fate of infants weakens the whole ET doctrine. Recently I read an article that tried to be honest saying the AOA is not a Biblical doctrine. But since the author believes in ET, he concluded that some infants would be saved and others would not. Oh well.....

In the end, there are four possibilities with how God will deal with young children:
1. All children who are unfortunate enough to die too young to say the Sinner's Prayer are doomed. This is rare belief, but it's out there. Here's a song verse for this:
Jesus hates the little children, unless they say the Sinner's Prayer........
2. God will "elect" some to be saved, while the rest are doomed.
Jesus loves some little children, all the rest will burn in hell....
3. God will save them all.
Jesus loves the little children, until they reach the age of twelve.......
4. This whole hell thing is a lie.
Jesus loves the little children, and all the old and middle aged............

I like babies, don't you?...I hope they do get saved and I'm not worried because....

JESUS DIED FOR BABIES TOO!!

Chris

  • Guest
Re: Infant Salvation?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2008, 02:51:53 AM »
This is what I believe though cannot quote exact verses off hand.

I believe that age is a carnal or physical attribute that only exists within the realm of time. Our spirits, however, are eternal and ageless. At conception, God put your spirit into an earth suit to exerience time and the physical realm and learn in the process.

Whenever your ageless spirit leaves your natural tent or tabernacle, that body returns to the dust and your spirit returns to God who gave it. It returns as it always was, ageless, regardless of whether the body that went to the dust was a month old embryo or a 5 year old child or a 90 year old grandmother.

So, to the question just posted on the other thread, take this with whatever grain of salt that fits, if you died pregnant, your spirit and that of your child would return to their ageless state in God. Your 18 month old infant was only that old in their natural body, but their spirit was ageless before it was placed in this body and remained so after it left that 18 month old body. Your child would appear no different in the spirit whether its natural body died at 18 months or 27 years old.

I seldom give opinions without scripture, but I do believe that I have the spirit of God on this one.

Blessings,

John

Hi Kratos!!

I really like the way you summed that up. I agree.  :thumbsup:

I know (or maybe thought I knew  :happygrin:) who "the sons of God" are but I never really had what I thought might be a good understanding of these verses (especially the last) in Job:

Job 38:4-7 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Until I recently read something that willieH wrote on another thread about this verse and the ETERNAL nature of THE SPIRIT.  :thumbsup:


Michele

  • Guest
Re: Infant Salvation?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2008, 06:41:15 PM »
Interesting thread......I don't really see why an infant that dies would need to be saved.  What knowledge do they even have of good and evil (They have not died spiritualy yet)?  There minds are still untainted and clean IMHO.  :HeartThrob:

Our Wings are Burning

  • Guest
Re: Infant Salvation?
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2008, 06:33:05 AM »
And that indeed is a very good opinion to have.

Too bad the majority of the Church sees people as being born corrupted and evil and in desperate need of salvation from Hell.