Infants going to hell & the WCF?

Not open for further replies.


Puritan Board Freshman
Reading Calvin I became convinced the the old "age of accountability" doctrine in some Arminian circles is not biblical or Reformed. Speaking about the requirement of all believers (incl. infants and little kids) to have saving faith in Christ alone to attain salvation and thereby avoid hell I was corrected by my small group leader that the "age of accountability" doctrine is reformed and is biblical. Can anyone point me to where in the Westminster Standards this issue is adressed?

To me it seems that if one allows for some "age of accountability" then the justification of an infant that is not yet accountable is not due to Christ's atoning work as that infant would have a lack of faith, nor is that infant's sin due to their fallen nature as their age would prevent them from needing saving faith. I would think the age of accountability to flow out of Arminianism when they need to deal with an infant's ability or inability to "choose" salvation. Within a Reformed framework we would understand God to elect those that are His, regardless of age. Otherwise, in order to maintain the sinful nature of infants and the justification of those infants by faith in Christ and some "age of accountability" wouldn't the argument need to be universalism for infants? Am I off based here?

Willem van Oranje

Puritan Board Junior
The age of accountability doctrine is not supported by Scripture or the WCF.

The WCF simply states:

WCF 10:3 WCF 10.3 Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the Spirit,(1) who worketh when, and where, and how He pleaseth.

There are those among us who think that all infants who die in infancy are included in the number of "elect" infants, but the Confession leaves this question open. I think it's an area where we ought not to speculate. But as for believers, as the Canons of Dordt state, Christians ought to have faith that God has saved their children who die in infancy based on his covenant promise to be a God to us and to our seed.
Not open for further replies.