Are all Infants Elect? (Split from End Times Thread)

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Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I believe all who die in infancy are elect. All will be saved.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 09:51:48 EST-----

I'm guessing that the elect will be translated from their mother's womb and given glorified bodies in which they'll enjoy the presence of God forever. Meanwhile, the reprobate will be ripped from the safety of their mother's body to be given a body of their own in which they shall experience the horrors and torments of hell forever and ever.

Unless all infants are elect, in that case just disregard the second sentence.

Unbelievable. I think I would stop going to a church that held those views.
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
I believe all who die in infancy are elect. All will be saved.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 09:51:48 EST-----

I'm guessing that the elect will be translated from their mother's womb and given glorified bodies in which they'll enjoy the presence of God forever. Meanwhile, the reprobate will be ripped from the safety of their mother's body to be given a body of their own in which they shall experience the horrors and torments of hell forever and ever.

Unless all infants are elect, in that case just disregard the second sentence.

Unbelievable. I think I would stop going to a church that held those views.

Geoff, I don't think there is a reason(aside from emotional attachment) to do that. The Bible isn't explicit either way.
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I believe all who die in infancy are elect. All will be saved.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 09:51:48 EST-----

I'm guessing that the elect will be translated from their mother's womb and given glorified bodies in which they'll enjoy the presence of God forever. Meanwhile, the reprobate will be ripped from the safety of their mother's body to be given a body of their own in which they shall experience the horrors and torments of hell forever and ever.

Unless all infants are elect, in that case just disregard the second sentence.

Unbelievable. I think I would stop going to a church that held those views.

Geoff, I don't think there is a reason(aside from emotional attachment) to do that. The Bible isn't explicit either way.

On the subject yes, your correct. I would withdraw membership and fellowship from such a congregation regarding it as shortsighted, and woefully ignorant of the character of God.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Westminster Confession of Faith

Chapter X
Of Effectual Calling

I. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call,[1] by His Word and Spirit,[2] out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ;[3] enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God,[4] taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh;[5] renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good,[6] and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ:[7] yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.[8]

II. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man,[9] who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit,[10] he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.[11]

III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit,[12] who works when, and where, and how He pleases:[13] so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.[14]

IV. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word,[15] and may have some common operations of the Spirit,[16] yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved:[17] much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the laws of that religion they do profess.[18] And to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested.[19]


Scripture proofs for III.

[12] LUK 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. JOH 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 1JO 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. ROM 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

[13] JOH 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

[14] 1JO 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. ACT 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Summarizing the doctrine of scripture, the Westminster Confession does not say how many or how few infants are elect- it only makes clear God can save anyone He chooses, at any age.
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
I believe all who die in infancy are elect. All will be saved.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 09:51:48 EST-----
Unbelievable. I think I would stop going to a church that held those views.

Geoff, I don't think there is a reason(aside from emotional attachment) to do that. The Bible isn't explicit either way.

On the subject yes, your correct. I would withdraw membership and fellowship from such a congregation regarding it as shortsighted, and woefully ignorant of the character of God.

Just to clarify--is that because they suggest that some infants are reprobate, or is there another reason I'm missing?
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Westminster Confession of Faith

Chapter X
Of Effectual Calling

I. All those whom God hath predestinated unto life, and those only, He is pleased, in His appointed time, effectually to call,[1] by His Word and Spirit,[2] out of that state of sin and death, in which they are by nature to grace and salvation, by Jesus Christ;[3] enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God,[4] taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them an heart of flesh;[5] renewing their wills, and, by His almighty power, determining them to that which is good,[6] and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ:[7] yet so, as they come most freely, being made willing by His grace.[8]

II. This effectual call is of God's free and special grace alone, not from anything at all foreseen in man,[9] who is altogether passive therein, until, being quickened and renewed by the Holy Spirit,[10] he is thereby enabled to answer this call, and to embrace the grace offered and conveyed in it.[11]

III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit,[12] who works when, and where, and how He pleases:[13] so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.[14]

IV. Others, not elected, although they may be called by the ministry of the Word,[15] and may have some common operations of the Spirit,[16] yet they never truly come unto Christ, and therefore cannot be saved:[17] much less can men, not professing the Christian religion, be saved in any other way whatsoever, be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature, and the laws of that religion they do profess.[18] And to assert and maintain that they may, is very pernicious, and to be detested.[19]


Scripture proofs for III.

[12] LUK 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. JOH 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 1JO 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. ROM 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

[13] JOH 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

[14] 1JO 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. ACT 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Summarizing the doctrine of scripture, the Westminster Confession does not say how many or how few infants are elect- it only makes clear God can save anyone He chooses, at any age.

And so the confession falls short, but rightfully so. It would be left to the elders of the congregation to form a more unified perspective on the subject. Which is why I would leave a congregation whose judgment results in ripping unborn children from mother's wombs and tormenting them in the fires of hell. I would conclude that the congregation has strayed in some degree from a fundamental understanding the nature and character of God, or else is hyper-calvinist.

None I know of have treated the subject more biblically consistent than C.H. Spurgeon.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Just because babies are cute and cuddly does not mean all are elect. No baby, however young, is innocent of the sin of Adam or their own sin. They need to be Effectually Called like any adult. See WCF 10.3...
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
And also, we need to be careful not to turn this discussion into an emotional, name-calling flame fest. We must be careful to support our reasoning with Scripture rather than our fallible emotions.

edit: Not that anyone *has* yet, but this is a delicate subject and it's prone to going down in a ball of fire.
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Geoff, I don't think there is a reason(aside from emotional attachment) to do that. The Bible isn't explicit either way.

On the subject yes, your correct. I would withdraw membership and fellowship from such a congregation regarding it as shortsighted, and woefully ignorant of the character of God.

Just to clarify--is that because they suggest that some infants are reprobate, or is there another reason I'm missing?

Yes, for that reason. But not that some infants may be non-elect, but that those who die in infancy are non-elect. There is a member in my own congregation who holds such a view. If that person ascends to leadership, it will mark the end of my membership.
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
And also, we need to be careful not to turn this discussion into an emotional, name-calling flame fest. We must be careful to support our reasoning with Scripture rather than our fallible emotions.

edit: Not that anyone *has* yet, but this is a delicate subject and it's prone to going down in a ball of fire.

I agree. The OP was intended to be far less serious anyway than where I have commented.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 10:21:01 EST-----

None I know of have treated the subject more biblically consistent than C.H. Spurgeon.

Could you please provide a link?

Infant Salvation
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Infants aren't anymore innocent than adults. All have fallen short of the glory of God. Having original sin throws one into hell just as fast as one who has original sin and actual sin. The level of hell they experience might be different, but no one is without original sin. If God doesn't choose every adult for salvation, what makes us think He chooses every infant for salvation? We might think that they deserve heaven because they look innocent and are so very cute, but they too have a depraved nature and deserve hell just like the rest of us.
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
On the subject yes, your correct. I would withdraw membership and fellowship from such a congregation regarding it as shortsighted, and woefully ignorant of the character of God.

Just to clarify--is that because they suggest that some infants are reprobate, or is there another reason I'm missing?

Yes, for that reason. But not that some infants may be non-elect, but that those who die in infancy are non-elect. There is a member in my own congregation who holds such a view. If that person ascends to leadership, it will mark the end of my membership.

I see. Thank you.

I will say that there isn't a firm biblical warrant either way. There are scriptures which indicate strongly that at least some who die in infancy are elect--David's child, for example--and there are others which have been interpreted to suggest that some who die in infancy are in fact reprobate, for example the account of Sodom and Gomorrah.
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Just because babies are cute and cuddly does not mean all are elect. No baby, however young, is innocent of the sin of Adam or their own sin. They need to be Effectually Called like any adult. See WCF 10.3...

Both the WCF and LBCF fall short of actually addressing the subject we have begun to discuss here. This leaves interpretation open and subject to each congregation and private judgment.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Reformed Baptist

And so the confession falls short, but rightfully so. It would be left to the elders of the congregation to form a more unified perspective on the subject.



Please understand, it's not a matter of the confession "falling short." It's a matter of carefully stating no more and no less than Scripture says, not speculating.

Elders do not develop doctrine independently in a confessional church (they often might determine doctrine in a non-confessional church, and that consensus might change over time).

The emphasis of the confessional summary of Scripture here is really on a sovereign God's ability to do whatsoever He pleases with His Creation, without limitations or preconditions of any kind. That's why it is placed in a chapter, "Effectual Calling" instead of an independent chapter focused only on infants.
 

tcalbrecht

Puritan Board Junior
And so the confession falls short, but rightfully so. It would be left to the elders of the congregation to form a more unified perspective on the subject. Which is why I would leave a congregation whose judgment results in ripping unborn children from mother's wombs and tormenting them in the fires of hell. I would conclude that the congregation has strayed in some degree from a fundamental understanding the nature and character of God, or else is hyper-calvinist.

Would you also leave a congregation that categorically asserted that all infants are elect?
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
I believe all who die in infancy are elect. All will be saved.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 09:51:48 EST-----



Unbelievable. I think I would stop going to a church that held those views.

Geoff, I don't think there is a reason(aside from emotional attachment) to do that. The Bible isn't explicit either way.

On the subject yes, your correct. I would withdraw membership and fellowship from such a congregation regarding it as shortsighted, and woefully ignorant of the character of God.

What ignorance would they be displaying? God would be just and right to condemn any an all of the seed of Adam to everlasting perdition. Since Scripture doesn't say one way or the other that any particular individual or class of individual deserves grace any more than the other (and that is EXACTLY what it would be if God has mercy on the soul of an infant who dies) why would you presume to know better than Scripture? The Westminster Confession is EXACTLY right to leave the question unanswered and to state only what Scripture implies - that all elect will be saved, and that therefore elect infants are saved.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
Just because babies are cute and cuddly does not mean all are elect. No baby, however young, is innocent of the sin of Adam or their own sin. They need to be Effectually Called like any adult. See WCF 10.3...

Both the WCF and LBCF fall short of actually addressing the subject we have begun to discuss here. This leaves interpretation open and subject to each congregation and private judgment.

This is actually incorrect. They address the subject in a Biblical manner, stating clearly only what Scripture asserts clearly. The confessions have no business going further that what is either explicitly written in Scripture or deduced by good and necessary consequence.
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Infants aren't anymore innocent than adults. All have fallen short of the glory of God. Having original sin throws one into hell just as fast as one who has original sin and actual sin. The level of hell they experience might be different, but no one is without original sin. If God doesn't choose every adult for salvation, what makes us think He chooses every infant for salvation? We might think that they deserve heaven because they look innocent and are so very cute, but they too have a depraved nature and deserve hell just like the rest of us.

If you read Spurgeon's sermon on the subject matter, it reflects my own view that all infants who perish in infancy are elect.

As another poster here said, the Scripture does not infallibly declare the matter one way or another. I find it to be an example of the depraved human nature then to conclude that our Merciful and Gracious God would rip a baby from a mother's womb and cast it into the fires of hell.

Or to ordain the death of a baby/child/unborn in order to torment it for eternity. This view is highly inconsistent with the merciful character of God and brings reproach upon the name of God, both among the elect and non-elect.

Since all agree that the Bible is scant on the subject matter, why conclude a horrid end for an infant? No one on "my side" of the issue is arguing from innoncence....

Take a look at Spurgeon's sermon.

And aside from the argument presented by Spurgeon, my own spirit does not resonate with the judgment of some Reformed brethren today. And I too have the Holy Spirit.
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Just because babies are cute and cuddly does not mean all are elect. No baby, however young, is innocent of the sin of Adam or their own sin. They need to be Effectually Called like any adult. See WCF 10.3...

Both the WCF and LBCF fall short of actually addressing the subject we have begun to discuss here. This leaves interpretation open and subject to each congregation and private judgment.

This is actually incorrect. They address the subject in a Biblical manner, stating clearly only what Scripture asserts clearly. The confessions have no business going further that what is either explicitly written in Scripture or deduced by good and necessary consequence.

Actually it is correct. It stops short, or falls short, of answering what we are discussing. And as I wrote the same answer twice, I said rightfully so...for the very reasons you pointed out here.

I would suggest, however, if the issue became large, that some supplement be provided or something added to the confession itself.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 10:30:26 EST-----

How sinful is an infant, then, in your view? At all? Is that infant guilty of anything?

Please reference my confession for such an answer.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Just because babies are cute and cuddly does not mean all are elect. No baby, however young, is innocent of the sin of Adam or their own sin. They need to be Effectually Called like any adult. See WCF 10.3...

Both the WCF and LBCF fall short of actually addressing the subject we have begun to discuss here. This leaves interpretation open and subject to each congregation and private judgment.

How do they fall short? WCF 10:3 seems to be pretty clear to me. They cite these Scriptures:
LUK 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

JOHN 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
1 JOHN 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

ROM 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

JOHN 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

1 JOHN 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

ACT 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

MATTHEW 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Geoff, I don't think there is a reason(aside from emotional attachment) to do that. The Bible isn't explicit either way.

On the subject yes, your correct. I would withdraw membership and fellowship from such a congregation regarding it as shortsighted, and woefully ignorant of the character of God.

What ignorance would they be displaying? God would be just and right to condemn any an all of the seed of Adam to everlasting perdition. Since Scripture doesn't say one way or the other that any particular individual or class of individual deserves grace any more than the other (and that is EXACTLY what it would be if God has mercy on the soul of an infant who dies) why would you presume to know better than Scripture? The Westminster Confession is EXACTLY right to leave the question unanswered and to state only what Scripture implies - that all elect will be saved, and that therefore elect infants are saved.

Ignorance as to the character of God.

Please read the Spurgeon sermon.
 

Skyler

Puritan Board Graduate
Infants aren't anymore innocent than adults. All have fallen short of the glory of God. Having original sin throws one into hell just as fast as one who has original sin and actual sin. The level of hell they experience might be different, but no one is without original sin. If God doesn't choose every adult for salvation, what makes us think He chooses every infant for salvation? We might think that they deserve heaven because they look innocent and are so very cute, but they too have a depraved nature and deserve hell just like the rest of us.

If you read Spurgeon's sermon on the subject matter, it reflects my own view that all infants who perish in infancy are elect.

As another poster here said, the Scripture does not infallibly declare the matter one way or another. I find it to be an example of the depraved human nature then to conclude that our Merciful and Gracious God would rip a baby from a mother's womb and cast it into the fires of hell.

Others may find it an example of that same nature for a just and righteous God to allow a sinful creature to live. I think you're pitting one(or in this case, two) of God's attributes against the others.

Or to ordain the death of a baby/child/unborn in order to torment it for eternity. This view is highly inconsistent with the merciful character of God and brings reproach upon the name of God, both among the elect and non-elect.

Would you say that punishment of adults in hellfire is inconsistent with the merciful character of God?

Since all agree that the Bible is scant on the subject matter, why conclude a horrid end for an infant? No one on "my side" of the issue is arguing from innoncence....

Good question. But I don't know that anyone here is necessarily asserting that some infants will be damned, only that it's possible.

And aside from the argument presented by Spurgeon, my own spirit does not resonate with the judgment of some Reformed brethren today. And I too have the Holy Spirit.

So do the Pentecostals. :lol:
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Just because babies are cute and cuddly does not mean all are elect. No baby, however young, is innocent of the sin of Adam or their own sin. They need to be Effectually Called like any adult. See WCF 10.3...

Both the WCF and LBCF fall short of actually addressing the subject we have begun to discuss here. This leaves interpretation open and subject to each congregation and private judgment.

How do they fall short? WCF 10:3 seems to be pretty clear to me. They cite these Scriptures:
LUK 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

JOHN 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
1 JOHN 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

ROM 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

JOHN 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

1 JOHN 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

ACT 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

MATTHEW 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

I have already answered this. One more time.

It falls short, and rightfully so, as I have said 3 times already. As such, it falls short because it is not answering the controversy that surrounds the subject. As such, it is left to private judgment and the judgment of the local churches.

And if my local church held the view the infants will be thrust into the fires of hell, I would leave that congregation regarding them as lacking a grounded understanding in the character of God, or else an over-emphasis (hyper) on the doctrines of grace.
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
Both the WCF and LBCF fall short of actually addressing the subject we have begun to discuss here. This leaves interpretation open and subject to each congregation and private judgment.

This is actually incorrect. They address the subject in a Biblical manner, stating clearly only what Scripture asserts clearly. The confessions have no business going further that what is either explicitly written in Scripture or deduced by good and necessary consequence.

Actually it is correct. It stops short, or falls short, of answering what we are discussing. And as I wrote the same answer twice, I said rightfully so...for the very reasons you pointed out here.

I would suggest, however, if the issue became large, that some supplement be provided or something added to the confession itself.

I believe the confessions DO address the question. They don't give an answer because it would be inappropriate to do so any further than the answer that they DO give - that is, that elect infants are saved.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 10:30:26 EST-----

How sinful is an infant, then, in your view? At all? Is that infant guilty of anything?

Please reference my confession for such an answer.

So the infant is guilty of original sin, and as one who subscribes to the Westminster Standards, I too agree with that.

So why would it be wrong for God to send an infant to Hell? He has mercy on whom he will have mercy - and there it must rest. We cannot require of God more than he promises of himself.
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
Infants aren't anymore innocent than adults. All have fallen short of the glory of God. Having original sin throws one into hell just as fast as one who has original sin and actual sin. The level of hell they experience might be different, but no one is without original sin. If God doesn't choose every adult for salvation, what makes us think He chooses every infant for salvation? We might think that they deserve heaven because they look innocent and are so very cute, but they too have a depraved nature and deserve hell just like the rest of us.

If you read Spurgeon's sermon on the subject matter, it reflects my own view that all infants who perish in infancy are elect.

As another poster here said, the Scripture does not infallibly declare the matter one way or another. I find it to be an example of the depraved human nature then to conclude that our Merciful and Gracious God would rip a baby from a mother's womb and cast it into the fires of hell.

Others may find it an example of that same nature for a just and righteous God to allow a sinful creature to live. I think you're pitting one(or in this case, two) of God's attributes against the others.



Would you say that punishment of adults in hellfire is inconsistent with the merciful character of God?

Since all agree that the Bible is scant on the subject matter, why conclude a horrid end for an infant? No one on "my side" of the issue is arguing from innoncence....

Good question. But I don't know that anyone here is necessarily asserting that some infants will be damned, only that it's possible.

And aside from the argument presented by Spurgeon, my own spirit does not resonate with the judgment of some Reformed brethren today. And I too have the Holy Spirit.

So do the Pentecostals. :lol:


I agree that many Pentecostals have the Holy Spirit.

My statement here, which you have for some reason felt the need to mock?, is a statement of my private judgment.

Protestants still believe in private judgment, do they not?
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
On the subject yes, your correct. I would withdraw membership and fellowship from such a congregation regarding it as shortsighted, and woefully ignorant of the character of God.

What ignorance would they be displaying? God would be just and right to condemn any an all of the seed of Adam to everlasting perdition. Since Scripture doesn't say one way or the other that any particular individual or class of individual deserves grace any more than the other (and that is EXACTLY what it would be if God has mercy on the soul of an infant who dies) why would you presume to know better than Scripture? The Westminster Confession is EXACTLY right to leave the question unanswered and to state only what Scripture implies - that all elect will be saved, and that therefore elect infants are saved.

Ignorance as to the character of God.

Please read the Spurgeon sermon.

One could just as easily charge you with ignorance of the character of God, for he is a just God just as much as he is a Merciful God.

I've read the Spurgeon sermon, by the way. I just don't agree with his conclusions.
 

Backwoods Presbyterian

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Both the WCF and LBCF fall short of actually addressing the subject we have begun to discuss here. This leaves interpretation open and subject to each congregation and private judgment.

How do they fall short? WCF 10:3 seems to be pretty clear to me. They cite these Scriptures:
LUK 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

ACT 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

JOHN 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
1 JOHN 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

ROM 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

JOHN 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

1 JOHN 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

ACT 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

MATTHEW 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

I have already answered this. One more time.

It falls short, and rightfully so, as I have said 3 times already. As such, it falls short because it is not answering the controversy that surrounds the subject. As such, it is left to private judgment and the judgment of the local churches.

And if my local church held the view the infants will be thrust into the fires of hell, I would leave that congregation regarding them as lacking a grounded understanding in the character of God, or else an over-emphasis (hyper) on the doctrines of grace.

How does it fall short? Why would a just God be right in condemning an adult and not an infant who both are guilty of Adam's sin and transgressions of God's Law?
 

Reformed Baptist

Puritan Board Sophomore
This is actually incorrect. They address the subject in a Biblical manner, stating clearly only what Scripture asserts clearly. The confessions have no business going further that what is either explicitly written in Scripture or deduced by good and necessary consequence.

Actually it is correct. It stops short, or falls short, of answering what we are discussing. And as I wrote the same answer twice, I said rightfully so...for the very reasons you pointed out here.

I would suggest, however, if the issue became large, that some supplement be provided or something added to the confession itself.

I believe the confessions DO address the question. They don't give an answer because it would be inappropriate to do so any further than the answer that they DO give - that is, that elect infants are saved.

-----Added 4/14/2009 at 10:30:26 EST-----

How sinful is an infant, then, in your view? At all? Is that infant guilty of anything?

Please reference my confession for such an answer.

So the infant is guilty of original sin, and as one who subscribes to the Westminster Standards, I too agree with that.

So why would it be wrong for God to send an infant to Hell? He has mercy on whom he will have mercy - and there it must rest. We cannot require of God more than he promises of himself.

And by the revelation of God's character in Scripture, I find it inconcievabel that He would.

Consider Spurgeon:

In Calvin's advice to Omit, he interprets the second commandment "shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me," as referring to generations, and hence he seems to teach that infants who have had pious ancestors, no matter how remotely, dying as infants are saved. This would certainly take in the whole race. As for modern Calvinists, I know of no exception, but we all hope and believe that all persons dying in infancy are elect. Dr. Gill, who has been looked upon in late times as being a very standard of Calvinism, not to say of ultra-Calvinism, himself never hints for a moment the supposition that any infant has perished, but affirms of it that it is a dark and mysterious subject, but that it is his belief, and he thinks he has Scripture to warrant it, that they who have fallen asleep in infancy have not perished, but have been numbered with the chosen of God, and so have entered into eternal rest. We have never taught the contrary, and when the charge is brought, I repudiate it and say, "You may have said so, we never did, and you know we never did. If you dare to repeat the slander again, let the lie stand in scarlet on your very cheek if you be capable of a blush." We have never dreamed of such a thing. With very few and rare exceptions, so rare that I never heard of them except from the lips of slanderers, we have never imagined that infants dying as infants have perished, but we have believed that they enter into the paradise of God.

First, we ground our conviction very much upon the goodness of the nature of God. We say that the opposite doctrine that some infants perish and are lost, is altogether repugnant to the idea which we have of Him whose name is love. If we had a God, whose name was Moloch, if God were an arbitrary tyrant, without benevolence or grace, we could suppose some infants being cast into hell; but our God, who heareth the young ravens when they cry, certainly will find no delight in the shrieks and cries of infants cast away from his presence.
 
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