Infant damnation?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Harley4Him, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. Harley4Him

    Harley4Him
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    Does Calvin teach that it many people, including their infant offspring, are irremediably damned because it pleases God?
     
  2. Pastor Larry

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    No, it teaches that many people are irremediably damned because of their sinfulness before God and their refusal to repent.

    As for infants, there are differing opinions. There was a good book (I am told) that was written a few years ago on this but I can't remember the name of it. Perhaps someone can help me out.

    I personally believe that infants who die go to heaven. But it is not a matter of orthodoxy to believe that.
     
  3. Harley4Him

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    Larry, do you mean Calvinists, or Calvin? I heard or read somewhere that Calvin taught what I wrote above and was hoping someone could confirm or deny with something from the institutes or other works. I should have been more clear.
     
  4. pinoybaptist

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    Hello, Harley:

    God does not damn people or infants because it pleases Him. But He saves people, and infants, because that's what pleases Him to do.
     
  5. massdak

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    opinions vary on that issue even arminians cannot agree with one another on that issue. i myself do not know and i can only speculate, but one thing for sure God will have mercy or justice for all. a person is born a sinner and a baby rattle snake is still a snake by nature. will God have mercy on babys that have not done any good or evil yet? the bible never gives much information on this subject i believe it is because we are to just trust in Gods character and His righteous judgment.
     
  6. Ransom

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    Harley4Him said:

    Does Calvin teach that it many people, including their infant offspring, are irremediably damned because it pleases God?

    No, Calvin said that Scripture was silent on the subject of infant salvation and didn't dogmatize on the subject one way or another.

    Most Calvinists believe that infants are saved.

    (Pastor Larry, the book you are probably thinking of is When a Baby Dies by Ronald Nash.)
     
  7. Bro. James Reed

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    The word Calvinist is thrown around rather loosely, as John Calvin himself would probably be branded an Arminian by most Calvinists. John Calvin was indeed no Calvinist. ;)
     
  8. Pastor Larry

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    My apologies Harley. I did read that as "Calvinist" rather than Calvin. I am not sure what Calvin said about it.

    And yes, Ransom, it is the book by Nash I was referring to. Thanks for knowing that for me ... :D
     
  9. Ransom

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    Bro. James Reed said:

    The word Calvinist is thrown around rather loosely, as John Calvin himself would probably be branded an Arminian by most Calvinists. John Calvin was indeed no Calvinist.

    Something tells me you have never read Calvin for yourself, but are repeating secondhand [inaccurate] information.

    Care to put your money where your mouth is? John Calvin's most significant works are readily available on the Net, and I also have the Ages Calvin CD-ROM.

    It would be off-topic for this thread, but feel free to start another thread and show us that John Calvin made a poor Calvinist. Let's see if the assertions match the reality, shall we?
     
  10. Bro. James Reed

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  11. AllOfGrace

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    Folks,

    I don't believe the Bible is silent about infant salvation/damnation.

    Consider David. When the first child of Bathsheba was sick, he mourned, but when the child died, he said in 2Samuel 12:23 "But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."

    David believed, and it is recorded in scripture, that he would see his son again.

    Further, consider that, in several places in Revelation, the Bible states there are elect of God from "every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation."

    There are tribes and people who spoke different languages that have gone extinct without ever hearing the gospel. I believe that God's chosen in those tribes were children who died. (At least that is a plausible explanation.)

    The fact is, infant salvation is not a problem for people who belive in God's complete sovereignty, because God can choose whom He wills.

    There was no more ability in me to save myself than there is in those infants!
     
  12. Harley4Him

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    Found it: the so-called Dreadful Decree! I knew it sounded familiar. In summary, all the damned (including infants who never had the opportunity to either commit sin or accept Christ) are damned because it pleases God.

    Institutes Book 3 Section 23:

    " Scripture proclaims that all were ... made liable to eternal death. As this cannot be ascribed tonature, it is plain that it is owing to the wonderful counsel of God. I again ask how it is that the fall of Adam involves so many nations with their infant children in eternal death without remedy unless that it so seemed
    meet to God (sometimes translated as 'so pleased God')? Here the most loquacious tongues must be dumb. The decree, I admit, is, dreadful;"
     
  13. Pastor Larry

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    So what does it say after the semi-colon there??
     
  14. Harley4Him

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    In short it says, God knew they would be damned, quit complaining about it, and He arranged it as His pleasure.

    "and yet it is impossible to deny that
    God foreknow what the end of man was to be before he made him, and foreknew, because he had so ordained by his decree. Should any one here inveigh against the prescience of God, he does it rashly and unadvisedly. For why, pray, should it be made a charge against the heavenly Judge, that he was not ignorant of what was to happen? Thus, if there is any just or plausible complaint, it must be directed against predestination. Nor ought it to seem absurd when I say, that God not only foresaw the fall of the first man, and in him the ruin of his posterity; but also at his own pleasure arranged it. [\b]"
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    I was just wondering. It sounded like you quit in the middle of a sentence so I didn't know what came next. It seems like he is saying that as dreadful as it may sound, it only makes sense.

    It sounds like the essential argument is:

    If God knew before birth that certian people would reject him and he chose to bring them into existence anyway, how is that different than if he decreed them to reject him? Is one really more absurd than another??

    Perhaps someone who is more familiar wiht Calvin can comment more directly on what he meant here. I have seen this quote but have never read it in context.
     
  16. Harley4Him

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    I think that's pretty close, but it seems to me that he could also be saying that God created them because he wanted them to end up in the aitch-ee-double toothpicks. It would be nice if someone who knew more about Calvin's writings replied.
     
  17. russell55

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    Well, this particular passage from the institutes that even the so-called Calvin experts disagree on. I would think that Larry's summary is pretty close....

    It is one passage that supras use as evidence that Calvin was on their side of the infra/supra issue. Whether he was or not is hotly debated as well.
     

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