the baby Jesus

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Helen, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. Helen

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    I was asked the following question in an email, pursuant to the thread on whether or not a baby can sin.

    If you had baby Jesus and another baby, could you tell the difference? Would Jesus cry less? What is the sinful behavior that the other baby would be engaging in, that Jesus wouldn't have been doing?

    My position is that a babe in arms (let's say, for the sake of argument, for the first three months of life after birth, which puts it a full year from the date of conception) cannot sin. They simply react. They have sin nature which will show itself soon enough, but there is no possible sin a tiny thing like that can do.

    I have, of course, been slammed by the Calvinists for being unscriptural. As a mother and a grandmother I have to say I have seen no way imaginable anything a little baby does can be called a sin. As a Christian, I read that Jesus said all the little ones are His, which means their sin natures are covered by His sacrifice completely.

    It is in the course of this context that the question above was asked. I posted it at the end of the babies sinning thread and there were two responses: one that babies sin because the Bible says so and the other quoting from "Away in the Manger" which was written over a thousand years later and is a tad romanticized, I think.

    So I am curious about responses to this question I was asked: if we were to see the tiny infant Jesus, what differences would there be from any other tiny baby? How would the behavior be different?
     
  2. Daniel David

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    Helen, do you have to sin by doing something with your body? Did not Jesus make it clear that adultery is in the heart first? Obviously, I wouldn't expect a baby to have thoughts of the opposite sex. However, foolishness is bound in his heart. Also, Jesus made it clear that what defiles a person is that which proceeds from his heart. According to you, that isn't really true. According to you, he has to learn right and wrong first before it is right or wrong. According to you, if he is deceived by mom or dad, it isn't his fault and on and on and on and on... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Sad.
     
  3. Helen

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    From what I have seen with children I have raised and worked with, there is no clear differentiation between truth and non-truth, fact and fiction, until they are at least three, or possibly older.

    A little baby is not 'thinking' yet. The neurons in the brain are not capable of those connections -- they are made as the child learns. This is simple biology.

    I never argued sin nature.

    But tell me, please, how would a tiny baby be any different from the baby Jesus? Sin may start in the heart, but it is expressed as action. You have, by the way, vastly misunderstood me if you think I am arguing with sin starting in the heart. Please do not misquote me that way. I know very well it starts in the heart and have said in a number of posts that that is why God judges the heart.

    Nor did I ever say a child has to learn right and wrong before they exist. I said they must be learned before he can be held accountable for his sins. That does not mean he is not sinning. That means, rather, he does not understand that he is sinning. There is a big difference there.

    But the question I got remains, and all you are doing is attacking me. Can you answer the question itself for this person?
     
  4. Scott_Bushey

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    Helen,
    Just for the record, we Calvinists have not "slammed" you. You are perceiving our perseverance as an agression; it is not!
    With all due respect, the issue is that you have an opinion and you are bent on supporting that opinion based on ideas that are not necessarily biblical.

    The reason the rationale you pose is so hard to support is based upon the fact that you have disregarded the biblical position of "imputation of original sin".

    You add:
    It is in the course of this context that the question above was asked. I posted it at the end of the babies sinning thread and there were two responses: one that babies sin because the Bible says so and the other quoting from "Away in the Manger" which was written over a thousand years later and is a tad romanticized, I think.

    Scott asks:
    Is not the bible enough? The original greek exegete I posed proves that the Romans 5 verse has to do with one who has sinned and is worthy of punishment.

    Let us let the scriptures speak....no one has implied necessarily that all infants that die perish in their sin. We acknowledge that God saves in the womb even. But in regards to the topic at hand and as Romans 3 states, "All have sinned, all have fallen short of the glory of God".

    In regards to baby Jesus:
    How do you think Jesus made it through His life without sinning? The issue of whether He was an infant or not is (IMO) irrelevent!

    [ October 22, 2002, 01:39 PM: Message edited by: Scott Bushey ]
     
  5. Daniel David

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    Helen, this is something you are going to have to come to grips on. I will not continually argue for the integrity of the Bible with you. A woman of your intelligence should know better.
     
  6. Abiyah

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    So now we go so low as to slam another's
    intelligence? Preach, you should be ashamed.
     
  7. Daniel David

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    I was not slamming intelligence. Perhaps you misunderstood, or perhaps I wasn't clear. I honestly don't know how a literal creationist can be anything but literal in regards to such a fundamental teaching.
     
  8. Abiyah

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    Perhaps you do not realize it, but this is both
    demeaning and patronizing.

    I won't bring it up again, except to answer any
    additional posts from you. Thank you for your
    explanation.
     
  9. Rev. G

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    The major difference between "Baby Jesus" and any other newborn, past, present or future, is that Jesus was born of a virgin and thus born without sin.
     
  10. Abiyah

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    Sso are you saying that virgins have not
    sinned? That they have no sin-nature?
    Are you further stating that having intercourse
    is sin?
     
  11. rlvaughn

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    This seems like a question for another ten pages of opinions. :rolleyes: :eek: I assume that very few here (especially in this debate) will deny that Jesus was sinless. We are solidly grounded in the fact that Jesus the Son of God knew no sin, and this was just as true of the baby as the man. The question that remains is whether other babies sin. Speculations comparing the ways and reactions of baby Jesus to the ways and reactions of other babies will prove nothing (especially since we have very little SCRIPTURAL information on Jesus the baby). Did He cry? Probably, that is a way babies communicate. Do I know He cried? No, I have absolutely no idea! The Bible doesn't say, does it? The question of whether babies sin will be decided in the scriptures (Ps. 58, "they go astray as soon as they be born"; Rom. 3:23, "all have sinned"; and many others), not by speculating on this.
    Explain to me where I am misunderstanding you. You seem to give up your whole proposition here. If you do not deny the sin nature, and if not understanding he is sinning does not mean he is not sinning, where do you differ what I have been trying to say? What I have argued is that babies are sinners and do sin. Whether they understand it is irrelevant.
     
  12. Paul of Eugene

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    Being a lover of science and therefore preferring the experimental method, I dearly wish we could replicate the situation and evaluate the differences, if any, between Baby Jesus and other babies. Unfortunately, it would appear this is not going to be possible. However, I have some expectations. I would expect that the Baby Jesus would turn out to be one of those "calm" babies instead of one that was crying a lot for no known reason. I would expect him to be, as a child, to be a prodigy in all areas. I would not say I know these things to be true without having some kind of evidence. Hmmmm . . there was the temple journey at age 12 . . .
     
  13. Abiyah

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    Crying is necessary for the emotional and
    physical health of an infant. It not only fulfills
    the child's emotional need to communicate
    in order to get needs met, it also helps to
    complete the development of the lungs. Yes,
    He cried. Everything does not have to be
    written in the Book for us to know that it
    happened.

    What disturbs me about this subject is that
    no one seems to take His humanity serious.
    Are you saying that because He was the Son of
    our God, He could not have made the choice not
    to sin?
     
  14. Music Man

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    Sorry to step in, but that is certainly not what he is saying. I believe he is saying that the sin nature is passed down through the father, which is why he could not have an earthly father. (At least I hope that is what you are saying, Rev. G. [​IMG] ).

    I am sure he would say that no, intercourse within the bounds set forth by God in His Word, is not sin. Anything outside of that, is.

    Chris
     
  15. Rev. G

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    It looks like Music Man has already answered for me. :D

    Virgins have sinned. They have a sin nature. Contrary to Roman Catholic dogma, Mary was a sinner in need of redemption.

    Intercourse is not a sin when done within the God-ordained means of marriage, and by faith.

    Jesus was born without a sin nature because He was not born of a father who passed on the sin nature to him.

    This is why the doctrines of original sin and the virgin conception are so closely linked, and why they are vital to our Christology (not to mention soteriology).

    Rev. G
     
  16. Daniel David

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    Abiyah, by taking his humanity seriously, the Scripture declares that Jesus could not have sinned.

    Where does temptation come from? Within. Jesus had no sin nature. There was nothing to appeal to. His temptation were from without and not from within.

    Crying has nothing to do with sin. The only exception is if you are a Gator fan. Then it is sin. They are under judgment.
     
  17. Helen

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    Well, this thread was not about me defending my position, actually, but it seems to be turning into that...

    First of all to Paul of Eugene, thank you for being brave enough to go out on a limb here, for a limb it is -- but we have been enough rounds together in another area for you to know I can get exasperated but I don't 'fight dirty.' Yes, Jesus may have been one of those calm babies. But the point is, perhaps, there are others, too. My first was one. He rarely cried and when, at fourteen or fifteen months, he slammed his finger in a drawer and literally bent the bone (thank you Lord that little bones bend and don't always break!), all he did was grunt a little! So yes, Jesus, being sinless, may have been a very easy baby, and I have actually always presumed He was.

    But crying is not a sin, is it? I am still absolutely helpless in trying to answer the email asking me how Jesus would have been different from other infants where His behavior would have been concerned. And the reason is because I cannot think of a thing a babe in arms does that could ever possibly be construed as a sin! The most I got out of someone before was anger and crying at two in the morning. Neither of those is breaking any law God gave us that I am aware of.

    And crying for no known reason? The key word there is 'known.' As with my oldest daughter, it was not until she was 16 and diagnosed with a potentially fatal disorder of the autonomic nervous system that I had a clue as to why she had been such a 'difficult' baby, crying so much of the time. She was in pain.

    Now, before I get into any self-defense (and I am enough of a sinner to wish to do that), I would like to present a picture to everyone here. Jesus used pictures taken from nature to explain spiritual truths and there is one that might explain the way I am seeing some of this a little better.

    There is a type of pine called a Japanese black pine. They grow crooked, and each one has its own form of crookedness, which is what makes them so interesting. Even with clones, there are not two alike in growth patterns. They are a fascinating species. However, when a Japanese black pine first sprouts from the ground, it does the same thing the ramrod straight lodgepole pine does -- it sends one shoot straight up. The genetic crookedness does not show up until after a little more growth. Then, whereas the lodgepole will continue growing straight up, the J. black will start continue its growth in a variety of contortions and odd manners.

    But they both look the same when they sprout up, even though they are genetically different.

    This is the way I see Jesus and the rest of the babies. The first bit is straight. But whereas Jesus, not infected with that spiritual genetic mess that we have, continued to grow straight and true, we contorted. We couldn't help it. It is our inborn sin nature.

    Now, I think human babies also, having that inborn genetic (please excuse the term, but I am hoping it is understood only as spiritual here as far as I know) sin nature, cannot help but grow crooked as they grow. It's there deep inside and there is no other way to go. This is the same as saying we are all subject to death because of sin. The consequences of death are unavoidable for all sinners and we are all sinners. I'm not arguing that at all.

    Anyway, I hope the picture makes what I am trying to discuss a little more clear.

    Now, let's get on to some individual responses:

    Scott -- yes, I have been slammed. I have been told I need to go back to the basic instruction of the Bible, I have been accused of not paying attention to responses (and I read every one and try to consider it), and here as well have been accused of, if not being actually stupid, of not using my intelligence. So be it. I'll continue in my foolish California blonde way...

    You said I was bent on supporting an opinion based on ideas that were not necessarily biblical. What you need to understand is that is exactly how I feel about the Reformed position! For biblical reasons.

    And I believe the issue regarding Jesus as a baby was not to say He might have done anything wrong, but that, because He may have been no different at all from other babies, how can other babies be accused of sinning?

    Going further along this line, in Matthew 13:53-57, we have a strong indication that the upset of the hometown folk over this Jesus fellow was precisely because He had seemed so normal to them! Just a thought...

    Preach the Word
    I appreciate that you have credited me with intelligence. Given that opinion from you, perhaps that is a reason you ought to consider what I am trying to say a little more respectfully.

    You told Abiyah, "I honestly don't know how a literal creationist can be anything but literal in regards to such a fundamental teaching." But, sir, I am being literal. Jesus said the little ones are His. He said their angels always see the face of the Father. He implied that they must be CAUSED to sin. He said we must be as little children to enter heaven.

    Oh, I am taking our Lord VERY literally!

    And I am taking Paul literally when he says he was alive before the law came into his life.

    And I am taking Peter literally when he says God is not willing that one should perish.

    And I am taking God Himself literally when He tells Moses that the person who sins will have his name blotted out of the book. That means it was in the book to begin with...

    And I am taking very literally that the wages of sin is death. But death cannot occur unless a person is alive first. A dead thing cannot die further. In addition, a fertilized cell CANNOT SIN, and since life begins at conception, there is at least some time in a person's lifetime when he has a sin nature but has not yet sinned. The argument is not if that is true -- it obviously is -- the argument is the age at which it is no longer true, and the further argument is regarding a possible difference between the age of the first sins and a possibly different age of accountability.

    And it is that that I am willing to work through, bit by bit, here on this board. I will endeavor to use some intelligence doing it.

    Rev. G.
    I know that the fact that Jesus was born of a virgin and was also born without sin are usually attached to one another, but what if they should not be attached? We know being born of a virgin was a matter of prophecy fulfillment. And we know that He had to be sinless in order to redeem us. But I am curious as to whether the two are necessarily connected...

    rlvaughn
    If I didn't think it was worth bringing up about the babies, I wouldn't have brought it up... [​IMG] You see, there are too many parents who lose children early in life, or before birth, who agonize over where that child spends eternity. For some, their faith, or at least their ability to walk in that faith, is on the line. Now whether or not anyone wishes to judge these parents 'really saved' or not aside (for that is not our judgment), the fact is that these parents exist. Some of them are reading what we are writing now. And I want them to know, as surely as they are breathing, that their babies are with the Lord, no exceptions, no provisos. He said the little ones are His. He meant it. So it is important for the faith of some, and perhaps many, to bring this up.

    Your second point was well-taken. I have been making two arguments, actually, and should have clearly delineated which was which:

    1. I do not believe tiny babies sin. Sin is defined by the law and relates to actions (ref. the Ten Commandments) even though its roots are in the heart. Little babies are not capable of the actions which break any law God has given us.

    2. BUT, if, for some reason and in some way I do not see, they do actually sin, their sins are as completely covered by Jesus as mine are, so either way these infants are not separated from God, or not yet spiritually dead.

    Hope that clears it up a bit.

    Abiyah, you asked a very interesting question there. I am curious as to whether it will be answered or not.

    [ October 22, 2002, 03:31 PM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  18. Angie Miller

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    I have often wondered about how Jesus acted as a child more so then a babe. Like did he hit James and take away his toys, silly things like that. By the way I don't know the age seperation of the 2 but you get my general meaning.
    Babies are born of sin but I truly do not think they intentionally sin from birth. YIKES! :eek:
    I am curious about Jesus going and staying at the Temple at the age of 12 and in a way defying His earthy parents. Could that have been His so called age of accountability.
    But we must also remember that Jesus could have made the choice to sin but He did not. He knew His Father well and knew that His death and suffering was the only way to offer us a place in Heaven, a place where not one of us deserves to be.
    Love in Christ Angie [​IMG]
     
  19. Angie Miller

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    Abiyah, by taking his humanity seriously, the Scripture declares that Jesus could not have sinned.

    Where does temptation come from? Within. Jesus had no sin nature. There was nothing to appeal to. His temptation were from without and not from within.

    Crying has nothing to do with sin. The only exception is if you are a Gator fan. Then it is sin. They are under judgment.
    </font>[/QUOTE]But did He not go to the Garden and cry out to God if it be His will take this cup from me. I see that as right then and there Jesus could have said no Father I can not do this, does it also not say that He could have called 10,000 angels to set Him free. If He had done any of the 2 wouldn't that have been a sin against God's will?
    :confused: Love in Christ Angie [​IMG]
     
  20. Daniel David

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    Angie, I am not questioning whether Christ possessed authority to do certain things or the ability to do certain things.

    Christ had no ability to sin.

    It was within the authority to call for the assistance of angels. It was not part of the Father's will though. Therefore, Christ could not have done it.

    It was within the ability to walk away from the cross. It was not part of the Father's will though. Therefore, Christ could not have done it. In other words, Jesus had legs to walk away but no desire to actually walk away.
     

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