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

Discussion in 'Theological Forum' started by Reformed Baptist, Apr 14, 2009.

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  1. Reformed Baptist

    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-----

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

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

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

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

    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.
     
  4. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor

    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.
     
  5. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

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

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

    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.
     
  7. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    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...
     
  8. Skyler

    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.
     
  9. Reformed Baptist

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

    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.
     
  10. Ivan

    Ivan Pastor

    Could you please provide a link?
     
  11. Reformed Baptist

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

    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-----

    Infant Salvation
     
  12. OPC'n

    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.
     
  13. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    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.
     
  14. Reformed Baptist

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

    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.
     
  15. Scott1

    Scott1 Puritan Board Doctor



    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.
     
  16. tcalbrecht

    tcalbrecht Puritan Board Junior

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

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    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.
     
  18. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    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.
     
  19. Reformed Baptist

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

    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.
     
  20. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

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

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

    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-----

    Please reference my confession for such an answer.
     
  22. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    How do they fall short? WCF 10:3 seems to be pretty clear to me. They cite these Scriptures:
     
  23. Reformed Baptist

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

    Ignorance as to the character of God.

    Please read the Spurgeon sermon.
     
  24. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    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?

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

    So do the Pentecostals. :lol:
     
  25. Reformed Baptist

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

    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.
     
  26. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    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.

    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.
     
  27. Reformed Baptist

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore


    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?
     
  28. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist Staff Member

    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.
     
  29. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    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?
     
  30. Reformed Baptist

    Reformed Baptist Puritan Board Sophomore

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

    Consider Spurgeon:

     
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