are babies born sinless,having to be taught to sin ?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by er1001, Mar 19, 2003.

  1. er1001

    er1001
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    :confused:
    Some baptist friends of mine found themselves comfronted with the issue of sinless perfection when their preacher began teaching that babies were born sinless and had to be taught to sin.He said that if they could keep their children from sin they would not need to be saved.This teaching has caused quite a stir there causing some to leave the church.
    Is this teaching widespread???????????????? ER
     
  2. Daniel David

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    As wide as hell.
     
  3. Helen

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    What seems to be going on there is a mish mash of stuff!

    Babies are not born guilty of any sin. But they have sin natures, so they don't have to be taught to sin -- Genesis 8:21 states that the hearts of all men always tend toward (or incline toward, or whatever word your version uses) evil from childhood. Now, granted, 'childhood' is not quite babyhood, and I, for one, have argued that the little ones simply can't sin.

    There are a number of times in Romans and other books where it is said clearly that "without the law, sin is dead." "Dead" at the very least meaning "powerless" there! Now, there is a fine distinction there -- because even a dead thing can still be 'there'. So sin can be present at any point, but it is not capable of separating a child from God (the children are His, as He said) until that child knows the law. Then sin, as Paul again says, 'springs to life' and it is then powerful in the person's life.

    So there is, or seems to be, a definite distinction between sin nature -- which is the ever-present desire towards evil, or that which is against the good -- and sin itself, which the Bible seems to define as a conscious understanding of breaking the law.

    In the sacrifices in the Old Testament I noticed something interesting -- the sacrifices for unintentional sins were only offered with the consciousness of having sinned, albeit unintentionally. We also see that Job sacrificed for his grown children just in case they had sinned. Presumably those sacrifices were considered efficacious whether or not the young people knew they had sinned!

    In either case, the children appear to be covered by Christ's sacrifice.

    So do they sin as infants? I don't see how, but others do. I am quite positive they cannot sin in the womb! So in that sense they are born sinless. But they all have a sin nature, and so all depend on the sacrifice of Christ for covering. What I am trying to say is that even if the argument is good that babies are born sinless, their sin natures are part and parcel of who they are and will drag them down at some time.

    But does anyone have to be 'taught' to sin?

    Do you have to teach a toddler to be selfish or to share?

    Do you have to teach a four year old to have a tantrum or to start practicing a little self-control?

    Do you have to teach a six year old to lie or to start recognizing the truth and telling it?

    Do you see? No one had to teach any of us to sin. No matter when it starts, it starts because we have a sin nature from the moment of conception -- it's part of what being a human being is. And that sin nature is enough to start us sinning, whether or not we argue about the age at which sinning starts.
     
  4. er1001

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    [​IMG] Thanks Helen,your right on,I believe the same and appreciate your opinion.
    My pastor's last church was in Virginia so he is indirectly involved with the discussion there.It seem this teaching on babies being able to grow up and live sinnless lives is setting for the stage for the teaching that if a believer sins they were never converted and should repent.As a result some long time believers are finding themselves at the alter.Long time friendships and fellowships are being broken :( too bad.
    Preach The Word.....The teaching must be pretty wisespread if is as wide as hell!!!!!! ER
     
  5. Jeptha

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    Here is what the Bible says about babies:

    1. That babies are born in sin.
    Ps 51:5 "Behold I was shapened in iniquity; and in sin did my mother concieve me."
    Job 14:4 "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one."

    2. That Adam's transgression has passed upon all men ever born. That this sin is not only in practice but in nature, so much so that all men are guilty at birth and at once considered enemies to God, unless grace intercede. (Rom 5:10,12; 3:23; Eph 2:1) Note that Esau was, prior to birth, non elect and that Jacob was favored with God's mercy, and for no other reason but God's sovereign will. (Rom 9:11)

    3. There seems to be a good hope through grace that we have recorded in Scripture. When David's baby was sick he prayed. When the child died he ceased in prayer and fasting. At that point he said, "can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." (2 Sam 12:23) David assumed by faith that the child was saved and that there would be a reunion in heaven. This faith was not based in any action of the child, that would be impossible. It was not based on David's good works, he had none..especially in relation to this child. Therefore his hope must of been 'built on nothingless than Jesus Blood and righteousness.' David hoped in God's mercy.(Ps 147:11)

    4. I conclude that the very best we have to assure us regarding the death of the 'innocent' is our hope in the mercy of God. I do not think we have a leg to stand on otherwise.

    It is wonderful to have the evidences of unseen faith (Heb 11:1) in the lives of God's little ones.(Jeroboam's son was also sick & died but evinced faith, 1 Kg 14:13) But as in the case above it does not always happen.


    Jeptha
     
  6. Andrey

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    To be self-centered is to be on the throne of your life, and thus bathed in sin.

    It is human nature to be self-centered, and thus repeatedly sinning.

    You don't have to teach me to be selfish, I come by it naturally. I have to be taught to focus on God instead of on myself.

    Those babies are no different, the preacher is struggling to explain what he does not understand, which is a common sin for me, too.

    &lt;&gt;&lt;
     
  7. mountainrun

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    Anyone who believes children must be taught to sin is not very observant. Parents spend a great deal of time teaching them NOT to sin.
    A child in trouble has the instinct to try to lie his way out of it, with no teaching necessary.

    Children are selfish, refusing to share their toys in spite of Mom's constant admonishment to do so.

    Children are violent by nature and must constantly be told "it's not nice to hit."

    The preacher is way out of line and ignorant of a very basic Christian doctrine.

    MR
     
  8. preacherman3

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    If your preacher says any one does't have to be saved you need to run out of that church as fast as you can.ALL must come to JESUS. [​IMG]
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    Simple way to remember about sin
     
  10. John3v36

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    Psalm 58:3
    The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.
     
  11. David Ekstrom

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    There are two parts to original sin. First, there is original guilt, that is, the sin of Adam is imputed to all his race. Romans 5 says that we are guilty of the sin of Adam because he was set up as our federal head. God counts all the children of Adam as guilty in his sin. So babies are born guilty. "In Adam's fall, we sin all," the New England Primer began.
    Therefore, Helen was in error to say that children are not born in sin. True, they are not born in their own sin, but they are counted guilty, nonetheless.
    Then there is original corruption. The sin nature is inherited. It is this corrupt nature that causes persons to commit sins.
    Some New England theologians (the most notable was Charles Finney) denied Original Guilt and tried to substitute a "Mediate Imputation," (that is, only original corruption) instead of "Immediate Imputation" (which includes both original guilt and original corruption). Conservative theologians see in this "Mediate Imputation" a tendency toward Pelagianism, and in fact, Finney has been accused of the heresy.
    But the teaching that our original poster reported is flat out Pelagianism and was rejected as heresy from the church many centuries ago. Even Catholics don't teach that. It is a serious error and the pastor should be removed from the pulpit.
     
  12. Gina B

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    Interesting question.
    If babies are born guilty was Jesus born guilty too, or was he an exception to this even though he was born human? If children are born with a sin nature, which most agree is true, but they aren't guilty of sin until they act on that nature, that would mean that we could say Jesus really did go through what men go through, but remained sinless despite, which does make more sense than saying all are born guilty.
    How would a sin nature make you guilty? It is said Jesus went through the temptations we go through, would he have been tempted if he wasn't born with a sin nature? Or do you believe he didn't respond to the temptation or ever want to follow through on it, never struggled with human desires? :confused:
    I'm just kinda thinking out loud here, sorry if it sounds confusing!
    Gina
     
  13. LandonL

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    I would say Jesus would be an exception since He was born of a Virgin. The scripture says that through one man sin entered the world, so my opinion is that because Jesus was not born of a man that He was born without a sinful nature--just as Adam was created, which lends itself to the thought that He is the firstborn over all creation, if He was born with the same nature Adam was created with... and now I'm rambling. But my opinion is that Jesus was born without a sin nature. Sure, one can be tempted without having the sin nature(e.g. Adam & Eve vs. the serpent), but he who does not have a sin nature acquires the sin nature by giving in to temptation(e.g. Adam & Eve eating the fruit) and passes it on to his offspring(God does use generational curses, e.g. Ham, Noah's son.), which eventually was handed down to us. OK, I'm through rambling, I realize it's late, and that probably made no sense, but hey, I'm too tired to really care at this point.
     
  14. Gina B

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    Hehe Landon, don't worry, I understood perfectly, and "firstborn" is the key here I think to what I was saying. He wasn't of the line of Adam, Jesus was referred to as firstborn, and Mary as the first mother in that sense if I remember right, it all implies a new beginning. So that makes sense.
    Someone help me out if I'm wrong on that.
    Ok, now the question is basically if being born with a sin nature makes one guilty of sin. I think the bible says it does, all are born guilty, whether they've sinned or not, and this is another place I believe "election" comes in, and God in his grace chooses to forgive and cleanse those who haven't reached the age of accountability.
    Although...there is also the idea that those who die, their spirits are complete and have no "age" and since time is something that only binds on earth, perhaps the spirit passes through it and comes before God as having lived and done all it would have done on earth, or with a full knowledge of it perhaps.
    More rambling thoughts! [​IMG] But I'm serious. What do you guys think of the possibilities? Is there anything in scripture that might back up the last two paragraphs?
    Gina
     
  15. Chick Daniels

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    David is right on to mention Charles Finney. He was not trained in theology, in fact his training was as a lawyer. When he began dabbling in preaching he approached the Bible with a logical lawyer's mind. Hence, he preached presenting the evidence (as he saw it) and demanded the jury (congregation) return a verdict. He concluded there was no original sin, because he viewed that sin was always a personal choice and that men were completely free (versus the Biblical teaching that men are bound by sin).
    In fact, the only reason Finney made it through ordination was that the council asked him if he agreed with the Westminster Confession (a thoroughly Calvinist document). Finney replied (using his law training), that as much as he understood it, he was in complete agreement with it. IN FACT, at that point, Finney later admitted, he had never even heard of the Westminster Confession!!
    When he later saw it, he was aghast at what it claimed.

    Chick
     
  16. David Ekstrom

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    Sorry to be so long in replying. This may be a dead thread by now.
    Landon was right in saying that since Christ was born of a virgin, the original guilt of Adam was not imputed to Him. He was also free of original corruption (sin nature). Christ was not born in sin.
    However, in some of the discussions, it seems that folks aren't clear of the difference between original guilt and original corruption. Original guilt is imputed. Just as Christ is the Federal Head of the saved, and his righteousness is freely imputed to all His children, Adam is the Federal Head of all unregenerate mankind and his sin is imputed to all his children. See Romans 5.
    Adam stood in a special relationship to mankind as our Federal Head. But what about an infant? The Bible is clear that infants are born in sin. Historically, Baptists have believed that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them. It's hard to prove conclusively because the biblical message is addressed to those who can understand it, and infants cannot understand it. But in the OT, David testified re: his infant child who had died that the child can't come to him, but he (David) will go to be with him (someday in heaven). In other words, they are redeemed by Christ even though they are born in sin. We certainly can trust God to do the right thing with our children.
     
  17. Baptist Bible Believer

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