Babies without Baptism?

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by UK Anglican, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering OC where in the Bible it says this. We can hope but not all children of believers necessarily become believers as they grow, so Christians to me would be in the same boat as non christians, havign to trust God in this matter.
     
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  2. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Would a Calvinist say that those children who die in the womb or as infants, unbaptized, are simply reprobate, and that's that? This is no condemnation or trap, just a question. :)
     
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  3. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    I think very few calvinists would say that, most would say we simply dont know :)

    Historically I think I am right in saying Zwingli was inclined to believe that all children dying in infancy belonged to the elect and it was a sign of God's mercy. However this seems to me to be quite speculative
     
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  4. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    It just seems like a natural conclusion - if they died without baptism or faith and could not hear the Gospel, they must be predestined to Hell. I make no emotional claims or reactions; only that this seems the logical consequence.
     
  5. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    Well, who says infants can't have faith? I believe they can since faith is a gift from God. If we are saved by God's grace alone then God can save anyone, even an infant in the womb
     
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  6. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    On a note to about infants ability to have faith. Faith is simple trust. Does a baby show trust in its mother? Does it cry to the mother to look after it? An infant may not be able to describe his mother in an essay, or speak eloquently of her but I think he can show simple trust thus proving infants can have faith.
     
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  7. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    An infant never sees or hears of Christ, however. Faith in God through Christ is the way of salvation. Since babies cannot attain to that Way, surely Augustinian theology must say he is damned.

    I don't necessarily agree with all this by the way. :p
     
  8. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    There have been stories of muslims who have had a vision of Jesus while never meeting another Christian, Christ can reveal Himself to whoever He wants, even a tiny infant, so if an infant is saved then we have to say he's saved by Christ and not saved because of ignorance etc.

    Also I would say that many migth be saved in far off tribes who had never heard of Jesus but nevertheless trusted in the one true God to find a way to save them, much liek the old testament believers. For example I remember readign about a tribe in a deep untouched part of the world, and the chief's daughter was the first to become a Christian when the first missionaries arrived due to her father's prophecy just before he died, he told her that men will come to teach them about how the one true God will save them. Powerful story
     
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  9. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Faith is a conscious rational assent that can only come at the age of reason. A fetus in the womb can no more have faith than a rock, or some animal, whose fetal shape it is identical to.


    Yes but so do all mammals. That kind of mammalian trust is based on instinct and is subconscious, prerational, and even non-rational. There's nothing wrong with that, but it is not an activity that is unique to Man. The only activity unique to Man is rational conscious activity, which cannot take place before the rational faculty is developed.
     
  10. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    The second story is very powerful and a blessing in my opinion, but the first story about Muslims who have had a vision is Jesus would not be too far from what I would expect from a devout believer in God, after all our Lord Jesus Christ to the Muslim is a prophet. Or was there more to that story?
     
  11. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    That's not what I meant.

    I meant that the children who are elected by God will be saved, not that all the children of the elect will be saved.
     
  12. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    The example of God ordaining the annihilation of entire nations, full of helpless children, just illustrates the point that He is not out to save each and every helpless person. It shows that man is by nature fallen, unholy and an emeny of God.

    And you're the one saying Mary Magdalane was a "reprobate," not I. She was a heinous sinner but Scripture tells us she was saved by Christ. Scripture, however, doesn't tell us that God saves every children that dies before what some people have conveniently argued to be the "age of reason." We can pray and hope for the salvation of anyone but we cannot presume it.
     
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  13. Old Christendom

    Old Christendom Well-Known Member

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    People are born at enmity with God, they don't need a chance to reject Him. This is as unscriptural as it gets.

    Whatever happened to the teaching of original sin, I wonder.
     
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  14. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    I find Calvinism and Augustinianism to be as unscriptural as it gets.
     
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  15. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    Oh apologies, I misread your post
     
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  16. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    We should never despair of God's mercy...especially for these little ones for the kingdom of heaven is filled with such as them. The scriptures teach that God can turn stones into children of Abraham. He can make an baptized child regenerate and it his good pleasure to do so.
     
  17. Jeff F

    Jeff F Well-Known Member

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    Regardless of our modern view of baptism, regenerative or not, the Apostle Paul stated it wasn't a priority for him. An astounding statement considering the thousands he preached to.

    "I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized any in my own name. Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanus. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other. For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel." 1 Corinthians 1:14-16
     
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  18. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    Your post has given me a lot to think about. I don't want to say anything that would undermine the rationality of faith, and yet if faith can only be grasped through our intellect how are the insane, the brain damaged, and infants able to be saved. I'm inclined to say that while saving faith is always in harmony with reason, it's not limited to just rational people, but I have to say I'm still pondering the issue. How would you see this? I know you believe that infants can be saved so if they can't have faith how do you reconcile the two. Because saving faith is primarily a supernatural gift I don't see why God can't give it to those who are incapable of having it naturally (I'm a Calvinist so I would say that's all of us :p) God made an ass hold a reasonable conversation with Balaam for example.

    Something that came to my mind is, if we have awareness after death then that must mean the soul has a rational awareness separate from the physical brain. Does a man in a vegetative state or a foetus without a developed brain still have an awareness and knowledge through this? An interesting philosophical question.

    Regardless there are some convincing Biblical passages for infants able to have saving faith:

    For you, O Lord, are my hope,
    my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
    Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; (Psalm 71:5-6)

    And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. (Luke :41-45)

    1. For John to jump in joy clearly shows awareness of the Christ and who He is. Not to mention the fact that Jesus uses little children as an example of faith (Luke 18:15-17) The word used of the infants brought to Jesus is "brephos" according to the NAS lexicon means "an unborn child, embryo, a foetus or a new-born child, an infant, a babe"
    This seems pretty clear
     
  19. Celtic1

    Celtic1 Well-Known Member

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    And those brought to Him, He blessed; He did not baptize them.

    But your post is a good and thoughtful one. I liked it very much.
     
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  20. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe the scriptures record Jesus baptizing anyone. By your logic then it would appear that no one should be baptized.​
     
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