Calvinists and Children

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by mnw, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. mnw

    mnw
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    Please let me begin by saying I am not looking provoke a "fight", these are genuine thoughts that led to genuine questions.

    Last night I stopped in my 18 month old daughter's room on my way to bed. She was fast asleep and looked completely peaceful. It amazes me the love a father can feel for his child... I began praying for her, especially her salvation.

    Then a thought struck me that sent a chill down my spine and brought a tear to my eye, momentarily - "What if she is not one of the elect?"

    Now, I know we do not have a 100% safe formula or theology to ensure our children one day recieve Christ. But, if I were a calvinist the thought of one of my children being condemned to Hell from eternity past would prevent me from ever having children in the first place.

    Again, I realise the argument of Sovereignty will be played and some would say if I were destined to have children I would have children.

    But the whole thought that God would have condemned my child to hell would prevent me from ever having children.

    I believe salvation is of God, 100%, but I don't go for the whole predestined against our wills thing.

    I know I am bringing out nothing new here, and maybe it is a thought shot through with misconceptions, but I just wanted to share it, throw it out there for the masses to consider.
     
  2. Martin

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    ==I am really not sure what that has to do with Calvinism. Whether Calvinism is true or not your child can still end up in hell for all eternity. Salvation cannot be transfered from parent to child nor can a parent force salvation on a child.

    Also, I mean this question to be very serious, do you believe human free-will is better than the Sovereignty of God? Do you think God is wrong for choosing those whom He will draw to Himself (Jn 6:37)? It is a very serious question.

    I am often troubled by the kind of example you provided above. Apart from their overly emotional, and less theological, trend these examples show either (a) a general misunderstanding of the Doctrines of Grace or, and much worse, (b) a general mistrust of God. I can't say who belongs to which group, nor would I even try, but I am afraid that many non-Calvinists I have heard (in person, on the radio, etc) seem to fall into group "b" (not saying you, or anyone on this forum, does).

    ==Have we forgotten the doctrine of sin? People don't go to hell because God is mean, or enjoys watching people suffer for all eternity. Far from it, in fact (Ez 33:11). All people are sinners, all of humanity are sinners (Rom 3:23), and all humans "deserve" hell (Rom 6:23). If God would be fair, if God would give us what we really deserve, He would cast every single one of us into hell (and be 100% just in doing so). We are sinners in action, throught, and in our very natures (Rom 5:6-11, 12-21, Eph 2:1, etc). That sinful nature, that brings about sinful thoughts and actions, is present in every single human being. From conception to death it is in all of us because all of us are children of Adam. We don't deserve salvation, we deserve hell and condemnation. However God, in His grace, sent His Son Jesus into the world to save those who would believe in Him (Jn 3:16). The fact is that NO HUMAN would believe in Jesus on their own (Rom 3:9-20, Jn 6:44, Rom 8:5-8). God has chosen to save certain people and if God did not elect, nobody would be saved. These people, the elect, He draws to Himself (Jn 6:37-40, 10:26-30).

    So lets not make the theological error of saying "God would have condemned my child to hell". God only condemns people to hell because that is what we deserve. However, in His grace, He offers what we cannot deserve or earn and that is salvation.

    ==I think you have a general misunderstanding of election and the Doctrines of Grace. Nobody is elect against their will. God is not dragging anyone into heaven against their will (though I suppose He could). God draws His elect to Himself and they come to Him (Jn 6:37, 10:27, etc). God does that drawing of the elect through the Holy Spirit.

    Having said that, however, I would suggest you read Acts 9 again.
     
    #2 Martin, Jan 1, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2007
  3. Scarlett O.

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    When I was new to the internet several years ago, I found myself on a Calvinist message board before I even really knew what a Calvinist was.

    One gentlemen that I had conversed with was very excited about the upcoming birth of his and his wife's first child.

    When the boy was born, he made the announcement that we were to rejoice with him in the birth of his son, but to rejoice more that there was now one more member of the elect and he coveted our blessings for our new brother in Christ.

    I was stupefied to say the least. I realized after a few months that I was not on the same page, biblically speaking, as everyone else there. I am not saying that this is my understanding of how all Calvinists view the elect.....being born into the Kingdom because your parents are......but these people believed it.
     
  4. donnA

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    Whether you believe in calvinism or not, your child can still go to hell. Without salvation all go to hell.
     
  5. donnA

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    Scarlett, I've never heard that before, doesn't seem to go with what I do know about calvinism.
     
  6. whatever

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    I don't know of any Calvinist who believes that anyone is predestined against his or her will. Maybe I am misunderstanding what you mean.

    In any event, for me it comes down to whether you trust God to do what is right or not. Since God is holy and all-loving then why would you be afraid to leave the destiny of your child in His hands? Surely He will be more merciful to your child than your child will be to herself. Don't you think?
     
  7. ituttut

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    No fight, just His Word, and forget theology of man.

    Scripture does not show our directive to "Be fruitful, and multiply" has been rescinded, any more than justice should be carried out of any that sheds the blood of a human being.

    In faith we "reproduce" and His will, will be done. I believe your daughter will be foreknown upon her believing on the name of Jesus Christ, her savior, and then be predestined, as she believes in Him.
     
  8. ituttut

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    How do you read scripture "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
    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", Acts 2:37-38?

    And then with further enlightenment to we Gentiles, Christ speaks from heaven, are we not to believe Acts 16:28-31, "But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
    29. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
    30. And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
    31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

    The Jew of that day is of the "great commission" and must "repent, and be baptized in only the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of their sins. Once they do this they are predestined, as they become foreknown. The same is for each of we today. We become foreknown, and are then predestined when we "believe on the our Lord Jesus Christ for our salvation.
     
  9. Martin

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    ==That passage does not deal with election does it? Nope. Those who are elect will believe, those who are not will not believe (Acts 13:48).



    ==Again, what does that verse have to do with election? Nothing. Those the Father gives to the Son will come to the Son and will recieve eternal life (Jn 6:37, 17:2).




    ==Actually you are wrong. People are elected before they are born (Eph 1:4-7). Both Paul and Jesus make this point very, very clear. In John 6:37 Jesus states that those the Father has given Him, will come to Him. In Romans 8:29-30 Paul states that people are foreknown and predestined before they are even called to Christ and justified.
     
  10. webdog

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    This is comparing apples to oranges.
    You wrongly assume that the converse of John 6:37...which is immutable truth, is also immutable truth. The converse is not a given, while the contrapositive always is. What the text says...

    Joh 6:37 Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.

    What the calvinist will claim the text says...

    Joh 6:37 Those that don't come to me were never given to Me by the Father, and those are cast out.

     
  11. webdog

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    ...then, mnw, you love your daughter more than God does. Amazing, huh, that we can love someone more than a God who IS love?
     
  12. webdog

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    That text does NOT say that. We are chosen IN HIM "before the foundation of the world"...the same HIM that was slain "before the foundation of the world". The moment we becme IN HIM we are regenerated.
     
  13. Martin

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    ==So you are saying that some of those given to Jesus do not come to Jesus? What about the "fact" that Jesus said that "all" that the Father gives Him "will" come to Him? What about the "fact" that Jesus said that He gives eternal life to those the Father has given Him (JN 17:2)?
     
  14. Scarlett O.

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    Someone here on the BB help me out, then.

    Do all Calvinists believe like the ones I met several years ago that any children born to the elect are automatically part of the elect?

    If not, how does a Calvinist know when and if his or her child is not a part of the elect? What do they do, as a "sheep" if they find out that their child is a "goat", that is one that God predestined for hell?
     
  15. Martin

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    ==So the fact that we are chosen (elected) in Christ before the foundation of the world does not mean that we were elected before the foundation of the world?
     
  16. webdog

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    I'm saying just what the text says....only those that are given to Christ were given by the Father, and of those, Christ will not cast any of them out. That is what the text implies, is it not? I do not read into it what a calvinist does. Seven verses later we are told that no one comes to Christ unless drawn by the Father, so those who come and are given to Christ were drawn and given by the Father. Both texts do NOT state the converse, however, as is taught in calvinism.
     
  17. Martin

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    ==I think that is a common belief among hyper-Calvinists and not mainstream Calvinists.

    ==The same as everyone else, when they believe. We don't, btw, know who the elect are.



    ==John 10:27

    Nobody is predestined to hell.
     
  18. Nicholas25

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    I believe the elect are the Jews. I feel that every human being can be saved. I don't feel God predestines anyone to hell; althought he does know who will not allow him in their heart. Have a Happy New Year.
     
  19. webdog

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    If we are "in Christ"...we are. The greek for before (pro) is translated "before" by finite beings who are bound by time and space. The deeper meaning of pro is "above", "ago" or "ever". God's plan is outside of time, while working within it. To state that God chose us "before" anything bounds God to a place in time doing the choosing before it happens to take place. God is omnipresent / omnitemporal, and not bound by time. The prefix "fore" and "pre" are human phrases used by finite being (who are bound by time) in trying to get a slight glimpse of an all powerful, infinite God. Calvinism does NOT have soteriology all figured out. If it did, it would be on par with God.
     
    #19 webdog, Jan 1, 2007
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  20. Scarlett O.

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    Thank you, Martin.

    Then, in Calvinistic thinking, how does a person go to hell?
     

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