The Age of Accountability

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by pinoybaptist, Aug 29, 2004.

  1. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
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    I had started to post this in another forum but as I was doing the list items, I saw that, inevitably arguments presented here will be about the subect within the context of Arminianism and Calvinism so I am posting this here isntead.

    In another thread in this forum we were discussing about unborn infants who die or are killed before death, todllers or young babies/infants who die before at least late childhood, and those who are mentally incompetent.

    These groups came up in relation to a question posed to Arminians regarding their insistence that God saves on the basis of one's response to the Gospel message.

    Sometime during the resulting argumentations and debates, the age of accountability was brought up.

    KoreaHog posted the following, which I am quoting here with his permission:

    Here is my argument regarding the age of accountability.

    • There is no such thing as an age of accountability;
    • I agree with KoreaHog that all men are born totally depraved. The elect as well as the unelect are born in enmity with God;
    • However, the elect will be regenerated by God in His own time and will therefore not remain in enmity with God;
    • Further, the elect, after their regeneration, stand justified before God as if they have never sinned since all their sins, past, present and future have been judged in Christ, and therefore, sins they commit while in the flesh have no more eternal consequences for them, though it has timely consequences ;
    • That premise now being laid, the elect infants who do grow into late childhood and on to adulthood, and who will without fail be regenerated, and who have had their sins covered by the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, therefore, by principle, even before their birth, stand justified in Christ before God, and will not have to account for their sins, and so, have no age of accountability that they have to go past;
    • Under the same premise, the unelect infant who goes on into early childhood and into adulthood will inevitably be judged for their known and unknown sins since they have no sin-bearer, nobody who stood in their behalf and took their sins from them, and they have had no intercessor from eternity past and on to before eternity future. Likewise, they have no age of accountability to go into since they are always accountable for their sins.

      I have only one thing to ask. I am growing tired of the uncivil attitudes we are displaying towards one another in this forum.

      Please. No sarcasm. No snide references to the Calvinist God or to the Arminian God as if one or the other had another lesser and more sinister God. I believe that if one is elect, one is elect, whether he likes it or not, whether he agrees with it or not, whether he calls himself Calvinist or Arminian or SDA or Holiness this or that. The elect are all children of the same God and in eternity this will be manifested.

      Let us observe this, and everything will be fine.

      Thank you.
     
  2. BobRyan

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    That might make sense to a Calvinist.

    The reason for NOT engaging in infant baptism is that the person needs to "APPEAL to God for a clean conscience". (Corresponding to that Baptism now SAVES you NOT the magic touch of water to the flesh but the APPEAL to God for a clean conscience).

    The age of accountability -- implies that "a time comes" when you are called to recognize God, choose salvation, or be held accountable for rejecting Him BEYOND the fact of your "sinful nature" that you are born with.

    Makes perfect sense in the Arminian model that accepts the text of 1 Peter 3, John 16 (work of the Holy Spirit on the WHOLE World) and John 12:32 asis.

    However you may have a point that 4 and 5 pt Calvinists don't have a basis for accepting the age of accountability.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  3. koreahog2005

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    This is an interesting topic, and it becomes particularly important when a pastor has to preach a funeral message for the family of a dead infant or young child. I believe that some infants and children are elect, and some are non-elect. I believe that all infants and children who die before reaching their age of accountability are elect. Thus, I also believe that all non-elect infants and children will live past their age of accountability. God never hates elect infants, but He certainly in some sense hated Esau as a non-elect infant (Romans 9:11-13). Robert Mounce, a former professor of New Testament at Western Kentucky University and Bethel College, commented on that passage:

    “This should not be interpreted to mean that God actually hated Esau. The strong contrast is a Semitic idiom that heightens the comparison by stating it in absolute terms.”
    (Mounce, “Romans,” The New American Commentary, vol. 27, 1995, pages 198-199)

    The important thing to realize, however, is that the non-elect Esau lived past the age of accountability. Again, I believe that all infants who physically die in infancy are elect. That is true even when God causes their physical deaths. We can assume that many infants and young children died when God destroyed Sodom and when God sent the flood to destroy every human except Noah and his family. There is a difference, however, between physical death/judgment and eternal, spiritual death/judgment. There was corporate (group) guilt in the cases of Sodom and the flood, and elect infants and children physically died during those physical judgments on groups of sinful humans.

    Let’s look at a couple of relevant Scripture passages concerning the age of accountability:

    Deuteronomy 1:39 – “Moreover, your little ones who you said would become a prey, and your sons, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, shall enter there, and I will give it to them, and they shall possess it.”

    This case of corporate, physical judgment on Israel was different than the cases of Sodom and the flood. The elect infants and young children did not suffer with those who were past the age of accountability. Eugene Merrill, a professor of Old Testament at Dallas Theological Seminary, explained that they were preserved because they were needed to preserve the elect Jewish nation:

    “Along with Caleb and Joshua would go even the youngest and weakest of the people, the babies that the rebellious generation had predicted would perish as Canaanite prisoners (cf. Num 14:3, 31), infants so young that they did not know the difference between good and bad (v. 39; cf. Isa 7:16; 8:4; Jonah 4:11). They would become the seed of the next generation, the foundation upon which the theocratic community would be built in the land of promise.”
    (Merrill, “Deuteronomy,” The New American Commentary, vol. 4, 1994, page 84)

    Isaiah 7:15-16 – “He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.”

    Isaiah 7:15-16 tells us that there is a time when people do not have the knowledge to refuse evil and choose good. Thus, at that time their sins are unintentional sins of ignorance. Those sins, as I have previously stated, are forgivable:

    “Now when these things have been thus prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle, performing the divine worship, but into the second only the high priest enters, once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.” (Hebrews 9:6-7)

    “And the priest shall make atonement before the LORD for the person who goes astray when he sins unintentionally, making atonement for him that he may be forgiven.” (Numbers 15:28)

    The apostle Paul said that even his blasphemy as a non-Christian could be forgiven because he “acted ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13). He was not experiencing the special, illuminating conviction of the Holy Spirit when he blasphemed. When Paul unintentionally sinned after he became a Christian, he said that he was not doing “what I would like to do” (Romans 7:15); rather, “sin which dwells in me” was responsible for his actions (Romans 7:17). Thus, both Christians and non-Christians can commit unintentional sins.

    When Peter addressed the Jews in Jerusalem after the crucifixion of Jesus, he said that they “acted in ignorance” (Acts 3:17) when they put Him to death. Jesus said from the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).

    Willful (defiant, intentional) sin, however, is an unforgivable type of blasphemy. Again, notice the following passages:

    “But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be on him.” (Numbers 15:30-31)

    “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.” (Matthew 12:31)

    “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled
    under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?”
    (Hebrews 10:26-29)

    The infants and young children do not have the ability to commit willful sins until they reach the age when can understand the gospel and willfully reject Jesus as their Savior and Lord:

    “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day” (John 12:48).

    As I mentioned in an earlier post on another thread, God knows with His omniscient, counterfactual knowledge that elect infants and young children who died before reaching the age of accountability would have surrendered their lives to Him in repentance and faith if they had lived past the age of accountability. He has always known that the elect would surrender to Him if they had the opportunity to hear the gospel under the right circumstances, and He has also always known that the non-elect would reject Him if they had the opportunity to hear the gospel under any circumstances.

    [ August 29, 2004, 11:11 AM: Message edited by: koreahog2005 ]
     
  4. Me2

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    the elect in this age receive the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ as all elect do through wisdom and understanding.

    When God designed the elects life before its physical manifestation. He designed the elect to both live hear and understand in their physical Life.

    the elect are guaranteed to live past their childhood and be trained for Gods specific task in the next age with mature adult knowledge.

    if you believe otherwise. then your asking children without experience to understand somethings beyond their comprehension and individual knowledge. God doesent zap someone giving them wisdom, and understanding. theres is no instant knowledge. it is given by learning and being tried and tested in this age.

    2Ti 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution

    how can one learn love, mercy and forgiveness without knowing sin and greif and suffering?

    how can we forgive without first being forgiven?

    those who are not selected to be a member of the bride are not members of those elected to be persecuted. no experience..no proof of being selected. no wisdom and understanding.no knowledge.
    no knowledge of forgiveness. no power to forgive those who persecute you..

    and what is the function of the elect in the next age. to be the physical body of the high priest..the Lord Jesus Christ. and he knows through the many members experiences in this present age how to offer love and forgiveness and mercy...he understands persecutions beCAUSE HE EXPERIENCED PERSECUTIONS THROUGH HIS MULTI MEMBERED BODY during this present age.

    the age of accountability is a false doctrine.

    all are born in this physical world with imputed sin from adams transgression. we are born with adams carnal unrighteous spirit. it must be replaced with the rghteous spirit of christ and taught what is the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ with wisdom and understanding through the living of their own personal lives interraqcting with the Holy Spirit. one day at a time.
     
  5. Sularis

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    IMPUTED SIN!!!

    Get out of here Satan! trouble these boards no more with your lies!

    The Bible is so clear that children are not responsible for the sins of the father - that every time I read some persons disputation that we are born with sin that damns us already - I first laugh - then cry - then I want to reach out and smack em upside the head.

    We are born a marred image of our creator God - however we remain innocent - until such time as we gain the capacity to realize that what we are doing is contrary to someone's will

    For that - it may be as early as 2 years old or as late as never for certain special people.

    But as soon as we gain a rudimentary sense of right and wrong as well as the ability to act upon it - then we come under comdemnation

    There is an age of accountability - and no one dies save when God wants them to die
     
  6. Me2

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    today we view the similarities between the OT and NT are that those not called to be "in Christ" were never intended (before Time) to be an immediate member of Christs "bride" and not an immediate member of the elect.

    although all peoples born that are not called to be an immediate member of Christ Bride WILL BE JUDGED to be a secondary member within Christ Bride in the following ages after the complete selection of the bride is ended.

    i.e., "children" of the kingdom of God are the "children" birthed THROUGH the bride in the next age, with all creation eventually being completely reconciled, or birthed at the consummation of the ages.

    Col 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
    Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
    Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
    Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.
    Col 1:19 For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;
    Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.

    the bride is the firstfruits. dont forget that there is a main harvest that must be gathered in the following ages to come. the harvest being all other not called to be in the "bride" today in our present age.

    anyone prematuraly dying or not called in this physical life does not negate anything planned of God.

    it is the fault of those professing otherwise.

    If one is not called and trained in this age to be a viable knowledgeable member of Gods bride.
    then they will have to await their turn to be called to begin Gods processes of salvation in the ages to come.
    what we can knowingly with assurance state is that when they are ready. the "bride" will be their mentor leading them to the full knowledge of their lord Jesus Christ.

    Me2
     
  7. ILUVLIGHT

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    I believe that there is a time that comes in our lives when we have understanding of right and wrong. We understand the consequinces of both and choose which path we take. The Path I'm writing about is doing right or wrong. Shall we do what is right or what is wrong in what ever presents it self where a decision is needed. As far as children nornal or disabled the same aplies. Christ said;
    Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
    Joh 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words and said unto him, Are we blind also?
    Joh 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

    It's the type of site that is determined here in Jn 9. from birth a man who doesn't see is not held accountable because he can't see or understand the consequinces of his actions.
    The same is true of children who for what ever reason are unable to understand the difference between the two. This could be at any age.
    To say that a child retarded from birth who can't understand the simplest of terms is held responsible for sin is ridiculous.
    May God Bless You all;
    Mike [​IMG]
     
  8. npetreley

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    I understand your intent here, but I cannot in all good conscience refer to a god in the context of Pelagianism (which is much closer to what people here advocate, though they call themselves Arminians) with a capital G. IMO, it dishonors the Almighty Sovereign God. A god with the attributes of Pelagianism is not an almighty sovereign god let alone THE Almighty Sovereign God.

    I will try to rephrase things in the future to avoid this difficulty, but my intent (when I do it) is not to insult the person to whom I am addressing my post, it is to avoid dishonoring God.
     
  9. BobRyan

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    I like that Nick. And that is the same reason I do with Calvinism and its god.

    At least we agree on one thing.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  10. pinoybaptist

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    All right, if that's the way you all want to play it.

    I'm out of the Calvinism Arminian forum, then.
     
  11. billwald

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    OT age of accountability was 12 yrs for boys and 13 for girls.
     
  12. BobRyan

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    Christian Evolutionists pretend that you can toy with God's statements on origins and His role as Creator (and even the fall of mankind) and STILL preserve the SAME gospel. But if you think about it - that is impossible.

    In the same way - though it is lovely to pretend that Calvinist vs Arminian views of salvation result in "no significant difference" in how they portray God -- yet it is obvious to all that the Calvinist "future scenario" contrasted against the Arminian "future scenario" portrays and contrasts a "very different view of God".

    There is just no escaping it.

    The point is hammered home when you consider Pinoy's statement on the infant and unborn "elect" - which are very consistent with the LIMITED atonement and unconditional election (subselection really) of God. Pinoy maintainst that the SAME selection within-a-group process we see for adults must apply for infants since NOTHING ABOUT the person is supposed to determine the result of selection. IN terms of Calvinism - he is being consistent.

    And it magnifies the point I made in the future scenarios. It also serves to make Nick's point and my point above - that these are two very different views of God (At least they appear to be when an Arminian contrasts what Arminians say vs what 4pt and 5pt Calvinists are saying).

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. John Gilmore

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    A pastor gives comfort to the Christian parents of a dead infant because, based on the efficacy of the word, the pastor must assume that the child heard, was regenerated, and believed the gospel. Comfort based on some non-biblical "age of accountability" theory which is contrary to the doctrine of justification by faith alone (Sola Fide) is no comfort at all.
     
  14. koreahog2005

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    John, how is the age of accountability contrary to justification by faith?
     
  15. John Gilmore

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    koreahog2005,

    "Age of Accountability" denies that children are justified in no other way than by the faith of Christ alone. For example, various "Age of Accountability" theories postulate that children are justified by their so-called innocence, the surrogate faith of their parents, an "in view of" faith that never occurs, etc.

    Contrary to "Age of Accountability", scripture teaches that children are utterly corrupted at conception through original sin. They are spiritually dead, bound for hell, and incapable of cooperating in any way in their own redemption. By the mercy of God alone and by the perfect obediance of Christ alone, children who hear the gospel are justified by faith alone given by the Holy Spirit alone.
     
  16. koreahog2005

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    John, are you saying that all infants who die in infancy go to hell because they do not have faith in Christ?
     
  17. npetreley

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    John, I would have to agree with you in principle. But I allow for the fact that God can do anything He wishes to do according to His good pleasure. And if that includes mercifully saving an unborn child by any means He wishes, including something that contradicts sola fide, then so be it.

    The problem is that I don't know if God does this or not. According to my man-tainted wishful thinking, I would like to assume God saves all aborted unborn children, for example. Whether or not He actually does this is something I cannot say with confidence because scripture (IMO) does not directly address this issue. If it does, I don't see it yet.

    All I can say is that if God, by His mercy, saves every unborn child (or any infant/child/adult who is otherwise impaired) then praise God. If God only saves the elect among this group, then praise God. If God saves none of them, then praise God. There is one thing of which I can be 100% certain. Wherever I disagree with God on issues like this, God is always right and I am always wrong, and it would be insanely arrogant for me to think otherwise.
     
  18. ILUVLIGHT

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    Hi John Gilmore;
    Since Christ Himself took part in His Bar-Mitz-Vah (I hope that is spelled right) How is it non biblical?. Would Christ take part in something that was false?. Well not the Christ I know.
    May God Bless You;
    Mike
     
  19. npetreley

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    I'm truly sorry to see you go, if that's what you're going to do. I truly do not mean to offend anyone. My motives are sincerely to honor God, and if Bob's motives are the same, I cannot blame him for doing the same thing on the other side. One of us is right, the other is wrong, and we'll eventually find out which. If I owe Bob an apology in heaven, I'll gladly give it. Until then, I have to go with what I believe honors God.
     
  20. John Gilmore

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    No, I am saying that infants who believe in Christ are justified by faith alone not by the age of accountability. Matt. 18:6.
     

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