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#25858 - Sun Jun 12, 2005 9:13 AM Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded  
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David_P Offline
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Hi everyone

I have just been thinking about the issue of what happens to babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded when they die.

I'm sure all of you have at some point dealt with this issue and know all the questions raised by it. So, won't you please comment on this, or refer me to a source that I can read up about it.

Many thanks,
Dave

#25859 - Sun Jun 12, 2005 12:14 PM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded [Re: David_P]  
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Reformation Monk Offline
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Quote
Romans 9:11-21 (Amplified Bible)

11And the children were yet unborn and had so far done nothing either good or evil. Even so, in order further to carry out God's purpose of selection (election, choice), which depends not on works or what men can do, but on Him Who calls [them],

12It was said to her that the elder [son] should serve the younger [son].

13As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated (held in relative disregard in comparison with My feeling for Jacob).

14What shall we conclude then? Is there injustice upon God's part? Certainly not!

15For He says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion (pity) on whom I will have compassion.

16So then [God's gift] is not a question of human will and human effort, but of God's mercy. [It depends not on one's own willingness nor on his strenuous exertion as in running a race, but on God's having mercy on him.]

17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, I have raised you up for this very purpose of displaying My power in [dealing with] you, so that My name may be proclaimed the whole world over.

18So then He has mercy on whomever He wills (chooses) and He hardens (makes stubborn and unyielding the heart of) whomever He wills.

19You will say to me, Why then does He still find fault and blame us [for sinning]? For who can resist and withstand His will?

20But who are you, a mere man, to criticize and contradict and answer back to God? Will what is formed say to him that formed it, Why have you made me thus?

21Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same mass (lump) one vessel for beauty and distinction and honorable use, and another for menial or ignoble and dishonorable use?


I've read and understand the arguments for the "age of accountability."

I don't believe in baptismal regeneration.

I try not to be emotionally humanistic.

And I have come to decide that for me and my family, the reformed doctrines most closely reveal the truth of the Holy Scriptures.

But with saying all of this.... this subject a lot like the subject of baptism isn't black and white and it's always going cause heated debate in the body.

As a reformed believer, I have to believe that God chooses who are the elect. So the way I approach it is that I pray earnestly for my own children, asking God to effectually work in their hearts, but also accepting that His will, will be done. And I pray earnestly for others; during infant baptisms, during confirmation and when ever the Spirit leads me to pray.

What I try to keep in mind when it comes to issues like baptism, age of accountability, ordained woman ministers and such is not necessarily the individual significance but how my doctrinal decisions on tough issues pertains to the whole of scripture and to the life of the church. Sometimes on tough issues like these, we have to really rely on the "whole counsel of God" to help us in our final analysis.

Y.B.I.C,

Dave.


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
#25860 - Sun Jun 12, 2005 12:17 PM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded [Re: David_P]  
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Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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Hopeful

You have raised a very controversial subject.

It is my humble opinion (though may other Baptists disagree with me) that every person whether they are adults, babies or handicapped are saved in the same manner, by grace through faith.
I find no exception to this in Scripture; though I do see passages that one may speculate exceptions.

Babies and some handicapped people may not be able to show their faith, but does that really mean that they don't have faith?

Perhaps I will say more later, but right now I am getting ready for Church.

Tom

#25861 - Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:46 PM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded [Re: Reformation Monk]  
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What a mind boggling question...<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> On one hand I'd like to think, "how could God damn the infant, young child and mentally retarded," and on the other hand if I take my first thought to its logical extreme I would also ask, "so then how could God damn the immature young adult, middle-aged, or lil' ole grandma who were never regenerate but were "good people"."

All I can say is that if I believe the Scriptures and the sovereignty, justice, righteousness, wisdom and yes, even the goodness of God, then I must conclude that it is His choice. ..."So, then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy." Romans 9:16 ESV and if I question am confused about or question God's justice then,

"But who are you, O' man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?" Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?" Romans 9:20-21 ESV

These are hard words but they are truth and once again I think we find the case that to the child of God, the doctrine of Election/Predestination/God's Sovereign Choice (or whatever you like to call it) is a doctrine received and proclaimed in utmost humility. It is not a doctrine which shows the unfairness of God but rather His grace and mercy as we understand it in the light of His holiness...and may I understand its depth and truth more and more.


tj
"-that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection..."
#25862 - Mon Jun 13, 2005 6:28 AM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded [Re: David_P]  

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Quote
Hopeful said:
Hi everyone

I have just been thinking about the issue of what happens to babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded when they die.


Believing and regenerate babies, toddlers, and mentally retarded are saved. Unbelieving and unregenerate babies, toddlers, and mentally retarded are damned. Mark 16:16.

#25863 - Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:11 AM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded  
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Pilgrim Offline
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Quote
speratus said:
Believing and regenerate babies, toddlers, and mentally retarded are saved. Unbelieving and unregenerate babies, toddlers, and mentally retarded are damned. Mark 16:16.

Oh really? Mark 16:16 you say is the text that answers this question?

Quote
Mark 16:16 (ASV) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.

I guess that the only ones that are going to be saved are those who believe and are baptized . . . according to your quasi Roman Catholic synergistic theology. The BIBLE.... teaches us that ALL whom God has predestinated, those whom He has elected, those whom He has called, He justifies and at the end, glorifies. The BIBLE teaches us that it is not of man's will, nor of baptism, but of God's mercy that any are saved. Salvation is of the Lord, speratus. Oh when will you come to realize this?

I much prefer the BIBLICAL teaching as summarized rightly in the Westminster Confession of Faith:


The Westminster Confession of Faith
Chapter X Of Effectual Calling


III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit,[12] who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth:[13] so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.[14]

12. Gen. 17:7; Luke 1:15; 18:15-16; Acts 2:39; John 3:3, 5; I John 5:12
13. John 3:8
14. John 16:7-8; I John 5:12; Acts 4:12


Notice the stark difference between one having to outwardly believe and undergo baptism for salvation and one being elected by God, regenerated by God the Spirit and saved by Christ [color:red]when, and where, and how HE pleases. Again, "Salvation is of the LORD" and not by man's will or by some outward ritual.

In His Grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#25864 - Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:02 AM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded [Re: Pilgrim]  
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David_P Offline
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South Africa
Thanks Pilgrim!

That really makes it a lot clearer for me <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />. I never really looked at it that way. I see it is also applicable to all those who do not have an opportunity to hear the Gospel (people in remote unreached countries etc)...

Have a great day everyone!

Through God's Grace,
Dave


[color:"blue"]
~ The worth & excellence of a man is measured by the object of his love. That is why we make God the object of our love! ~
[/color]

#25865 - Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:08 PM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded [Re: Pilgrim]  
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So I guess that works for all the folks everywhere who have been isolated from the Gospel? American Indians, South American Indians--pretty well everyone--who died before the missionaries arrived?

Last edited by doulos; Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:10 PM.

Josh
"...the word of God is not bound."--2 Timothy 2:9
#25866 - Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:48 PM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded [Re: doulos]  
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Pilgrim Offline
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Quote
doulos said:
So I guess that works for all the folks everywhere who have been isolated from the Gospel? American Indians, South American Indians--pretty well everyone--who died before the missionaries arrived?

Doulos,

To whom is your question directed? And, to what is your question in relation to? <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" /> Sorry, but I can't figure out either. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/stupidme.gif" alt="" />

In His Grace,


[Linked Image]

simul iustus et peccator

[Linked Image]
#25867 - Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:22 PM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded [Re: Pilgrim]  
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David_P Offline
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Pilgrim,

I think he is referring to "so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word."

So yes, I would venture to say that what Doulos says is correct...?

Dave


[color:"blue"]
~ The worth & excellence of a man is measured by the object of his love. That is why we make God the object of our love! ~
[/color]

#25868 - Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:50 PM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded [Re: Pilgrim]  

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Quote
Pilgrim said:
Quote
speratus said:
Believing and regenerate babies, toddlers, and mentally retarded are saved. Unbelieving and unregenerate babies, toddlers, and mentally retarded are damned. Mark 16:16.

Oh really? Mark 16:16 you say is the text that answers this question?

Quote
Mark 16:16 (ASV) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.

I guess that the only ones that are going to be saved are those who believe and are baptized . . . according to your quasi Roman Catholic synergistic theology.


Quasi Roman Catholic synergistic theology? What are faith and the washing of regeneration other than gifts given entirely by the Holy Spirit without any work, merit, or cooperation by man? I reject every form of synergy including the Calvinist "Order of Salvation" whereby men actively cooperate in their own justification by faith.

Quote
The BIBLE.... teaches us that ALL whom God has predestinated, those whom He has elected, those whom He has called, He justifies and at the end, glorifies. The BIBLE teaches us that it is not of man's will, nor of baptism, but of God's mercy that any are saved. Salvation is of the Lord, speratus. Oh when will you come to realize this?


God has chosen to work salvation through the means He has ordained. John 3:5. Those who despise the means that God has ordained have no faith and are not regenerate. Luke 7:30.

Quote
I much prefer the BIBLICAL teaching as summarized rightly in the Westminster Confession of Faith:

<blockquote>
<center><font size="4" color="blue">The Westminster Confession of Faith</font>
Chapter X Of Effectual Calling
</center>

III. Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit,[12] who worketh when, and where, and how he pleaseth:[13] so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word.[14]

12. Gen. 17:7; Luke 1:15; 18:15-16; Acts 2:39; John 3:3, 5; I John 5:12
13. John 3:8
14. John 16:7-8; I John 5:12; Acts 4:12<br>
</blockquote>


What happened to "Sola Fide"? No quasi-Romanism here! The Papists would certainly agreely that infants are regenerated and saved without faith.

Quote
Notice the stark difference between one having to outwardly believe and undergo baptism for salvation and one being elected by God, regenerated by God the Spirit and saved by Christ when, and where, and how HE pleases</font>. Again, "Salvation is of the LORD" and not by man's will or by some outward ritual.


Exactly, which is why I reject the Calvinist view of covenant baptism in favor of the baptism of scripture that truly cleanses the believing and regenerate of all sin in the blood of Christ. Acts 22:16

#25869 - Mon Jun 13, 2005 8:04 PM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded  
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J_Edwards Offline
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Quote
Speratus quasi-Arminism states,

Quasi Roman Catholic synergistic theology? What are faith and the washing of regeneration other than gifts given entirely by the Holy Spirit without any work, merit, or cooperation by man? I reject every form of synergy including the Calvinist "Order of Salvation" whereby men actively cooperate in their own justification by faith.

If you have not noticed MAN, not the Holy Spirit, physically administers water Baptism. Even in the case of Christ, His baptism was administered by John the Baptist. YOUR theology and reading of the Scripture continues to flawed with error.

Would you mind proving that the Calvinism (of Berkhof, etc.) has a synergistic order?

Quote
Speratus spurts, saying,

What happened to "Sola Fide"? No quasi-Romanism here! The Papists would certainly agreely that infants are regenerated and saved without faith.

Please prove ďallĒ babies (without exception) are not elect?

Quote
[/b]Speratus, spreads his heresy, saying, [/b]

Exactly, which is why I reject the Calvinist view of covenant baptism in favor of the baptism of scripture that truly cleanses the believing and regenerate of all sin in the blood of Christ. Acts 22:16

Since, according to you, baptism truly cleanses did you use Ivory, Irish Spring, or no tears Johnsonís soap at your baptism? Those that BELIEVE that BAPTISM cleanses one of sins are synergistic and either (1) misunderstand baptism, (2) are heretics, (3) or both.

Speratus, have you read the Forum Guidelines of late, which state;

Quote
This forum encourages free discussion of other views that are not in accord with those believed to be of this tradition. However those messages that are of the following nature will be immediately deleted and the authors possibly banned from further participation. Those that post messages that do not qualify under these guidelines but are of questionable content will receive a warning and be asked to refrain from posting similar messages:
1. Pornographic or offensive language
2. Trolling or inflammatory messages
3. Blasphemous messages
4. Frivolous messages
5. Duplicate messages
6. Non-prayer messages in the Prayer Forum
7. Non-theology messages in the Theology Discussion Forum
8. Proselytizing or promoting the teachings of cults or damnable heretical views


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#25870 - Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:51 PM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded  
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Quote

Exactly, which is why I reject the Calvinist view of covenant baptism in favor of the baptism of scripture that truly cleanses the believing and regenerate of all sin in the blood of Christ. Acts 22:16


Just what kind of baptism are you talking about? Are you really saying that a certain type or mode of baptism itself cleanses "regenerate" and "believing" persons from sin, ex opere operato? I do wish you would make more of an effort to clarify and explain your statements rather than just delivering them as a barrage of snappy one-liners that are frequently confusing and ambiguous. I say this respectfully, as someone who is willing to dialogue with you.
Also, I was just wondering, especially in light of President Edwards' intimations of heresy, what confession or denomination do you identify with or are you a part of. Since Presbyterianism and the WCF now seem out of the question in light of your views on baptism, are you Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Church of Christ, something else altogether, or like Roger Williams or John Milton, a sect of one? Are you an active part of a local church and in submission to any ecclesiastical or pastoral authority?


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#25871 - Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:55 PM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded [Re: J_Edwards]  
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TN
Rev. Edwards,
Both you and Pilgrim have indicated (or so it appears to me) a rather high level of frustration with Speratus and have alluded on several occasions to views he ought to repent and/or be ashamed of. I've not been on this board very long and I don't get to spend as much time on it as I would like, so are there any threads that might help me understand these sentiments a bit better?


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#25872 - Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:51 PM Re: Babies, toddlers and the mentally retarded [Re: J_Edwards]  

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Quote
Those that BELIEVE that BAPTISM cleanses one of sins are synergistic and either (1) misunderstand baptism, (2) are heretics, (3) or both.


Quote
To Jordan came our Lord by Martin Luther
And though our mortal eye is dim
And sees but simple water;
Faith sees Christ Jesus, and in Him
The Lamb ordained for slaughter.
We see the cleansing fountain, red
With the dear blood of Jesus,
Which, from all sins inherited
And our own misdeeds, can free us;
Eternal life bestowing.


Since you have accused me of violating forum guidelines by "promoting the teachings of cults or damnable heretical views", I will not post further until there has been a ruling by the board. If the board rules against me, I will withdraw from The Highway Discussion Board.

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