Do Calvinists believe children go to Hell?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Cutter, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. Cutter

    Cutter
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    A Calvinist once said to me that if a child died and he was not part of the elect he would go to Hell. Is this true? How do you other Calvinists feel about this? Say a child 4 years old dies and he is not part of the "elect" that you Calvinist espouse, will he go to Hell?
    When I told him my God would not do that, he said he hated it when people based their argument on having a superior relationship with God thus knowing what He would or wouldn't do. I guess he had problems with Paul, too.

    Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
     
  2. TCGreek

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    1. Cutter, I believe this subject has been discussed at length in a previous thread and to my knowledge no well-bred Calvinist believes that a child who dies at such tender age would go to hell, for all infants are elect of God when they die.

    2. Other Calvinists would no doubt add to this discussion, but you can do a search at the moment.
     
  3. Cutter

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    Being relatively new to the BB I wasn't aware that it had been discussed, but was speaking from personal experience.

    Let me ask though, if a believer is a Calvinist and believes that children do not die and go to hell, at what age do they go into the election pool and become part of the elect or not part of the elect?
     
  4. TCGreek

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    1. I'm fairly new myself, but I was able to be a part of that one.

    2. There're several assumptions in your question: an age of entering into the election pool; an entering into the election pool in time.

    3. Calvinists who teach that all infants who die in infancy are elect of God and go straight to heaven, do so from several compelling texts of Scripture. So the idea of age and entering the election pool, become irrelevant.
     
  5. Cutter

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    Examples, please.
     
  6. David Lamb

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    I imagine that those who are given the nickname "Calvinist" are no different to others in the sense that there is no one single and all-encompassing document that would fully describe, down to the smallest detail, what every "Calvinist" believes about the Scriptures. With regard to this particular issue, I have come across some Calvinists (in print or in real life) who believe that all children are elect and go to heaven, others who believe that, just as with older folk, some children are elect and go to heaven, while others are not, and yet others who believe that God has seen fit not to tell us, beyond knowing the answer to that rhetorical question of Abraham's, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" I think all Calvinists would agree that anyone who goes to heaven does so on the basis of God's election, or choice, not for any good in them.
     
  7. larryjf

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    It's important to not go beyond Scripture on questions like this.
    I will say that i believe all elect infants who die in infancy go to Heaven. But i can't in good conscience say that all infants who die are elect...or that they aren't. I just don't find compelling Scripture to point to either.

    Infants are just as incapable of entering Heaven as adults. We all do so only by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit.

    I do wonder why i've heard so many who believe that we are only saved by a personal choice believe infants go to Heaven, who clearly have not made a personal choice.
     
  8. ReformedBaptist

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    Cutter,

    I think David Lamb present the reality of the situation. There are men in my own congregation who do not share my opinion that all infants (and mentally retarded such that they are infants in mind) are elect. I say opinion because I have not found a positive precept in Scripture that gives God's judgement on the matter. That said, upon Scripture (some that allude to infants being saved) evangelical principles (calvinism) and upon the character of God I have concluded that all are infants are elect and saved. As MacArthur puts it, "Instant Heaven."

    I have not read MacArthur's book in full, but it was a sermon preached by the late C.H. Spurgeon that convinced me. Here is the link for your edification and consideration: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0411.htm

    RB
     
  9. larryjf

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    RB,
    I would be very interested in the Scripture that you refer to that alludes to infant salvation.
     
  10. 2 Timothy2:1-4

    2 Timothy2:1-4
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    Children do not become the unelected until they become adults? What a contradiction! Good grief.
     
  11. larryjf

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    That's not really the idea behind all who die in infancy being elect.
    The idea is that God foreordains everything. As such, He chooses not to ordain infants to die unless He has ordained them to election. So it's not that they would lose their election, it's that because they die in infancy they have been elected.
     
  12. Cutter

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    I read the sermon and was not impressed by it. Spurgeon takes great liberties with God's Word to illustrate what supports his belief. Although I believe as he does, children that die will go to Heaven to be with the Lord, I reach the conclusion differently.
    My biggest problem with what he wrote was, "Mother unconverted mother, from the battlements of heaven your child beckons you to Paradise. Father, ungodly, impenitent father, the little eyes that one—looked joyously on you, look down upon you now, and the lips which had scarcely learned to call you father, ere they were sealed by the silence of death, may be heard as with a still small voice, saying to you this morning, Father, must we be for ever divided by the great gulf which no man can pass? "

    Teaching that the children that have passed on may possibly be attending to the process of conversion of their parents and drawing them unto Christ, is absurd and totally false.
     
  13. ReformedBaptist

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    Tim, you know what we believe about election. God has elected a people for Himself before the world began, including those whom he calls in infancy.
     
    #13 ReformedBaptist, Sep 11, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2007
  14. ReformedBaptist

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    Try not to read too much into what Spurgeon is saying here. He is merely making an appearl to uncoverted persons to repent and believe the Gospel. You will not find a shred of unorthodox teaching in his sermons. You may disagree wtih his doctrine, but it is clearly within the realm of orthodoxy.
     
  15. ReformedBaptist

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    Larry,

    Spurgeon outlines them in his sermon.
     
  16. Cutter

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    I JUST did and called him on it. Then you come along and give it a green light by saying, "Try not to read too much into what Spurgeon is saying here." Excusing him of his folly by a nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Well we all know what Spurgeon was thinking by saying such fodder, so it's allright. Hogwash, don't let your heroes be so big that you are blind to their false teaching, unless you really believe that children keeping watch over their parents is "clearly within the realm of orthodoxy."
     
  17. ReformedBaptist

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    I will never cease to be amazed with how much disdain some Christians make, and with what irreverant language they use, of the servants of God. It's one thing to disagree with someone Cutter, but to dishonor the saints of God with this kind of rhetoric is shameful.

    You have lost my respect my friend.
     
  18. larryjf

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    Spurgeon picked a terrible verse to expound infant salvation from (2 Ki 4:26). The child was not even an infant, but was grown (2 Ki 4:18).
     
  19. Cutter

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    Frankly, RB I do not desire the respect of someone that can defend false doctrine being taught from the pulpit. Sorry to burst your Spurgeon worship bubble.
     
  20. ReformedBaptist

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    *shrugs* The Scripture is scant on this whole subject. God in His wisdom has not chosen to reveal great detail about this, but we should have an answer for grieving parents if they come under our care. This is what I see is one of Spurgeon's main reasons for preaching this sermon, to bring comfort and consolation to such parents. What a great pastor.

    Besides, how old do you think a full grown child is? lol perhaps 6 or 7, maybe a little more. My oldest son is 7 years old. If he were to perish today by the will of God, what would you tell my grief stricken wife? If your message did not provide the kind of solid ground and comfort I find in a sermon like Spurgeon preached you wouldn't spend 5 seconds in my house trying to console my family.

    If there be a calvinist to deny what we affirm here, let him speak for himself. But for us, I agree with Spurgeon in saying this: "You may have said so, we never did, and you know we never did. If you dare to repeat the slander again, let the lie stand in scarlet on your very cheek if you be capable of a blush." We have never dreamed of such a thing."

    Edit: Lest it be misunderstood brother, I am not refering to you personally in that Spurgeon quote, but those who accuse us for believing infants go to hell.
     
    #20 ReformedBaptist, Sep 11, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2007

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