Born to be Bad?

OK, I’ve got a question about babies. Are they innocent?

Let’s first take a look at a mini-‘Cliff Notes’ version of a popular interpretation of sin:

Adam disobeyed God, committing the first sin (Eve was there, too, but apparently the buck stopped with Adam). The result of his disobedience was that every generation to follow Adam, every person who will ever live, will be born with the blemish of original sin. This original sin amounts to a sentence of eternal damnation. Thankfully, there is a way to remove it.

Some traditions, particularly the Roman Catholic, say that the only way for original sin to be removed is through holy baptism, resulting in the baptizing of infants, to ensure they make it to heaven. Other traditions say that baptism is merely symbolic, and that the only way to salvation is through a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior.

The Roman Catholic church has dispensed with the doctrine of limbo, saying that all children are innocent before they reach the age of reason ( seven? eight? twenty eight? ). So the Catholic view here is that babies are not damned but go to heaven.

But what is the typical Evangelical Protestant diagnosis for the child who dies before reaching the age of commitment? Do these babies and young children go to heaven or hell? I discussed this with a fellow the other day and he said that his church’s position is that they are covered by God’s grace. But aren’t we all? Is it Biblical to think that we are all born ‘bad’? And if so, is it Biblical to think that God has special exemptions for children?

I don’t mean to sound silly or trite. I think this speaks to what we believe about sin, how much of our doctrine about sin is biblical and how much of that doctrine we truly accept.

What’s your take on this?

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  1. #1 by Christian on May 26, 2008 - 10:46 am

    Kelly, is it simply that you are struggling with ‘religion’? Because if so, I can sympathize. I think if most people are honest they do not struggle so much with what God tells them but with the way that religious ‘leaders’ have reworked his message to line up with their own world views.

    That’s why I like that quote of John Adam’s I placed somewhere on this page; “Where do we find a precept in the Bible for Creeds, Confessions, Doctrines and Oaths, and whole carloads of trumpery that we find religion encumbered with in these days?” I think this question is as pertinent today as it was 200 and 2000 years ago. Jesus tried to cut through the religious dross of his time, and I think he was very successful at it. But his words are the enemy of religious man (which we all tend to be) and religion as been very successful in supplanting God with convoluted and ego satisfying doctrines and dogmas.

    We all bring our own very personal perspectives to how we encounter God. I don’t think we need to be told to abide by the way of other’s, just because they have become traditional.

  2. #2 by no name on May 26, 2008 - 2:39 pm

    Sounds to me after reviewing this thread, that original sin is a result of the conspiracy of Adam and Eve. All are born in sin because of them. So what is that original sin. I doubt it’s only the eating of an apple, and I don’t think knowledge of good and evil can actually be contained in an apple. (Or whatever produce came from the tree). Hmmmmmm. So do you think possible that original sin could also be called the domestication of the human being. Could that be why little ones are deemed innocent, they have not been fully domesticated. I only ponder……and maybe throw a monkey wrench for enjoyment.

  3. #3 by Christian on May 26, 2008 - 10:47 pm

    Good point, no name. I have often thought of man’s ‘advances’ through technology and science has encouraged him to think of himself as being that much more ‘independant’. Sophisticated man is arrogant man.

    Primitive and simple man, living ‘dangerously’ close to God’s creation has a greater respect for and understanding of the Creator.

  4. #4 by RLTJ on May 29, 2008 - 3:22 am

    Religions out there need to bring morality closer and understandable to present day generations. I have seen young people beating it out when they saw preachers were coming for the bible study. They see preachers as weirdos talking about them as sinners before they were born!

    [Probably many of them relate to themselves like brand new PCs with blank drives the day they were born! Like medicines in the shelves, some literatures could be expired or have ceased to be potent and useful. They have to be modified to deal with the present.]

    There’s no end to religion and God

    Moses came three thousand years before Christ who came two thousand years before us. Society has evolved much in the last five thousand years. Between static and modern minds exists a widening communication gap.

    Religious institutions have only two choices: Evolve with society or fade out to extinction, replaced by consistent ones.

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