Zygotes, newborns, etc...

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Gina B, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I've heard so many people ask if babies can go to heaven or hell.

    I don't think they can go to either. Not in the sense that people are using to appeal to emotions, trying to make people envision cute cuddly newborns burning in hell, which I personally don't find any more confusing mentally than a two month old zygote laying on a golden heavenly floor waiting to develop.

    I understand it's spiritual, but at some point in time everyone will be given their new bodies, and at any given point in time there's quite a number of unborn or very young children who have gone home.

    Isn't time an earthly constraint? Does a spirit have an age and a time to mature before it is an adult spirit? Does it matter if God knows who would reject him and who wouldn't?

    Did not God order children killed simply because of their family's sin? Were pregnant women not stoned to death according to the law? If the children were innocent and had committed no sin, wouldn't that make the scriptures wrong to say that all have sinned, if we are to consider the unborn and the immature as complete humans?

    :confused:
     
  2. canadyjd

    canadyjd
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    Gina L

    2 Samuel 12:15-23 is the only place I have found that comes close to mentioning what happens to babies that die.

    David's child by Bathsheba became ill unto death. While the baby was sick, David fasted and begged God for mercy; so much so that the attendents were afraid to tell him when the baby died, fearing he would harm himself. When he learned the baby died, David washed and annointed and prepared himself to worship.

    The attendants were amazed, and asked about his behavior.

    David says, "I will go to him, but he will not return to me."

    David seems to take comfort in knowing he will see his child again, presumably in heaven after he dies.

    I don't see it as a question of whether the unborn or very young are sinful, but whether God's mercy and grace can be poured out on someone, unto salvation, even if they can't express it in a way we can understand.

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  3. JamieinNH

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    You bring up a good question. In looking at it, I believe on first glance that maybe the spirit maybe is "fully grown" as our "standards" go.

    Now, fully grown might not be the right word, because I am not saying it/we know everything from birth, but I think maybe the spirit is grown, so if a baby were to pass away, in heaven, I am not sure you would be able to tell a baby (spirit) from an old man/woman (spirit). The spirit of all would be the same I think.

    Again, this is just my thoughts in first reading this, I will study it more and if I change my mind, I'll repost.

    Jamie
     
  4. Archei

    Archei
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    The spirit? You seem to be forgetting the bodily ressurection. Every culture on earth believes in the immortality of the soul, but Christianity is set apart because it also believes in the immortality of the body.
    How do the disembodied souls look? The bible is vague. It speaks very little about "heaven" proper, because being disembodied is unnatural and incomplete. After the ressurection of the dead, however, much is said. Like Christ was raised, so we also will be raised in imperishable bodies. We do not spend eternity in an etherial heavenly spirit world, but in the tangable, physical city of New Jerusalem on a new earth.

    What age of body an infant recieves I do not know, but it is a body, not an etherial spirit.
     
  5. just-want-peace

    just-want-peace
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    I've often mused as to our "age" in Heaven.

    Mainly, I guess, because my Dad died at 52, and I'm now approaching 70. I'm sure it would feel a little odd "being" ~20+ years older than a parent?!

    Perhaps everyone will "be" 33 since that's Jesus' age at death/resurrection, hmmmmm?

    I have no doubt that God has the situation well in hand though!
     
  6. Gina B

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    No, the bodily resurrection is the whole point. There are people here who use the emotional appeal that God elects all children because if he didn't there would be little cuddly cute babies in hell.

    I'm saying that makes no sense to think of either in hell. If election is based on age, and there truly are people of ALL ages in EITHER one, then when bodies are resurrected, you're going to have mass amounts of zygotes all over the place, and that's just a really weird thought. It makes no sense. There's going to be humanity in all stages of physical development?
    No, that makes no sense.
    It stands to reason that people who ask if babies go to heaven or hell are asking a pointless question and making vain appeals to emotions because a spirit is a spirit, and a perfected body is not physically immature or it's not perfected.
     
  7. Helen

    Helen
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    It's not a matter of an emotional appeal. It's a matter of sin. Babies, even zygotes, don't sin. They can't, regardless of having sin natures, because they don't know the law. But they are alive. Jesus said the angels of the children always see the Father's face in heaven. Those children are His. The condition they are in in terms of 'development' is His business.
     
  8. Gina B

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    Does "all" change meaning between "all" have sinned, and Christ died for "all"?

    Or, is it simply a matter of common sense, and keeping those verses in their context? Should the verses that use the word "all" in terms of the world reasonably be interepreted as meaning "all capable of understanding"?

    All (who are old enough to understand right and wrong) have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

    That all (who are old enough to understand right and wrong) should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    While we're here...let me make sure I have the right person. Is it you that believes peope aren't capable of truly understanding between right and wrong until around 18-24 years of age? If not please correct me. I remember speaking to someone who thought that, based on the age of the Israelites entering the promised land and all that, but am not sure if it was you or not! :confused:
     
  9. Mercury

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    You skipped right over the part where David explains his behaviour:

    "Then his servants said to him, 'What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.' He said, 'While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, "Who knows whether the LORD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?" But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.' " (2 Samuel 12:21-23, ESV)

    Note that the reason for David stopping his fast is clearly mentioned. He fasted and wept to appeal to God for his son's life. When his son died, he realized that God had acted, and that further appeals would be pointless.

    As for the last sentence which you isolated, the thought appears to be the same as that of Jacob in Genesis 37:35, though without Jacob's weeping. Jacob also thought he would eventually go to where his son Joseph was, but that place was Sheol, not heaven. David gives no indication that he is looking further than the grave -- the shared fate of all -- with his statement.
     
  10. genesis12

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    Good grief. [​IMG]
     
  11. Archei

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    My comments wern't about your post, but in response to the ones talking about spirits' ages. You're right, the bodily ressurection of both the saints and sinners does seem to make the idea of infants in flame rather bizarre.
     
  12. Aaron

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    I countered a recent argument about babies in hell with the same kind of thoughts expressed in the OP. I was called a pagan.
     
  13. canadyjd

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    Mercury

    You seem to be saying that David didn't believe in life after death. Is that what you are saying?

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  14. Gina B

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    I post this every year, maybe everyone's just tired of calling me a pagan by the end of the year. ;)

    It does seem to tone down the "babies in hell" or "babies in heaven" argument for a short time, as I would point out this topic for a few weeks after.

    I personally wish people would quit discussing it so openly at all, but nobody does, so the least I can do is try to counter it with a bit of common sense that reminds us that we don't know everything.
    No parent who has miscarried or otherwise lost a child should have to be reminded of it constantly, nor have people use their loss as a way to argue theological points.
    I did like having the Cal/Arm forum separate for that reason. People knew the arguments and most parents who were sensitive to the topic would just not click on the forum and not have to see it at all.
    I was personally very shocked the first time I came across it, having miscarried, and having lost Mandi's twin...it seemed so cruel and disgusting to have people openly discussing such solemn ideas, things that should be spoken of with discretion and instead are flung out in the open carelessly and even violently.

    I've never once seen someone have a sensible and biblically reasoned out proof on this topic, because there isn't one. There isn't one...

    There isn't one.

    There isn't one.

    And there wasn't one last year.
    Or the year before...or the year before...
    and there won't be one next year.
     
  15. Mercury

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    No, I am saying that in the sentence you quoted, there is no indication that David was speaking about life after death.

    I also pointed out that Jacob spoke of Sheol (the grave, the shared fate of all) in Genesis 37:35. Do you see how pointing out this fact is not the same as saying Jacob disbelieved in life after death?
     
  16. canadyjd

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    I fail to see why David would be comforted by the thought of going to the grave and describe it as "I will go to him", unless he actually thought he would see his son again.

    Jacob refused to be comforted. He seems to be saying "I will go to my grave mourning for my son". Gen. 37:35 doesn't indicate that Jacob thought he would be "going to him", as David says.

    As I said above, there is no direct teaching of the doctrine that his child went to heaven, only that it "comes close", and, at best, it is an assumption, based on his actions and what he said.

    peace to you [​IMG]
     
  17. Mercury

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    The text doesn't say David was comforted. It says David broke his fast and washed his face. The reason is provided: David realized that God had acted and he could not change it.

    It does not make sense for his change of behaviour to be due to hope of seeing his son again. Why would that hope only register when his son died? I think David probably did have hope in an eternal reunion with his son, but this did not stop him from fasting and holding vigil while his son was alive.

    In most translations it does. The NASB was the only exception among the fairly literal translations that I checked.
    </font>
    • "I will go down into the grave unto my son" (KJV)</font>
    • "I shall go down into the grave to my son" (NKJV)</font>
    • "I shall go down to Sheol to my son" (ESV)</font>
    • "I will go down to Sheol to my son" (ASV)</font>
    • "I go down mourning unto my son, to Sheol" (YLT)</font>
    • "I will go down to Sheol to my son" (HCSB)</font>
    • "in mourning will I go down to the grave to my son" (NIV)</font>
    That far, I agree. I think too many try and use this passage to make a point it does not seem intent on making.
     

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