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Oh dear,

It's as though no one is reading my posts at all. I don't understand why no one sees that i have never said all babies. i have never said that. I don't know how many more times I can say it, or in what other way I can say it. God knows those who are His. He knows which babies will die and have died in infancy. I feel like a broken record.

You know, i was thinking today though, that Pilgrim said that God does not impose death. Well.. sure He does. He did with David's baby. He is not caught by suprise by the death of an infant. I just don't know how else to get anyone here to understand that I am not saying that EVERY CHILD is elect. I have never said that. If you all continue to put words in my mouth, or attribute to me that which I have never said, I will be convinced completely that you are not reading what I am saying. Just arguing from a position that you THINK I am taking.

I don't know why it is important that I explain my understanding of "elect" for this thread. It is the same as yours.

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To clarify a little more. I don't think I will ever come to a conclusion if all infants are elect or only some. Scripture seems to be silent on this point, which means maybe it is not for us to know.

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I hold open the possibility that God might have decreed and elected all infants who die to go to Heaven. I am not saying this is what I believe to be true, but I am saying that I think it could be a possibility that does not conflict with Calvinism. See the Boettner article I linked to in another part of this thread.
It is theoretically possible that God has decreed that all infants dying in infancy will be taken to heaven. But, then again, one could also postulate all kinds of things which might be included in God's decree. What is certain, is that what you hold open to possibility cannot be found in Scripture; not even a hint. Now, wouldn't it be even be more feasible to "hold open to possibility", that if such a thing was true, that God would have included this important truth in His written Word? It does mention the election of sinners by grace and even gives us a good reason to believe particular individuals were included in that election, e.g., Jacob vs. Esau, the Prophets, Apostles, et al. Surely, God knows the anguish and grief that parents experience when a child is lost. Since God is allegedly so merciful in that He has theoretically elected all infants who die infancy, then it seems only consistent with that mercy that He would also make this election of infants known so as to provide a sure hope and comfort to the parents. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

In regard to Boettner's article, although I find him great in 90% of his writings, I find him woefully lacking in his view concerning the salvation of infants who die in infancy for the very same reasons I oppose those who have voiced that view here; i.e., there is NO biblical support for it. And I mentioned elsewhere as well, he uses this to bolster his postmillennial presuppositions concerning the kingdom and Christ being "victorious", etc. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />


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You know, i was thinking today though, that Pilgrim said that God does not impose death. Well.. sure He does. He did with David's baby. He is not caught by suprise by the death of an infant.
Clarification is needed here. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Ponder.gif" alt="" /> God does not bring/impose death upon someone who is "innocent", for death is one of the punishments which sinners experience and them only. Thus what I meant in my previous remark was that infants die, not because of some accident which catches God unawares. And it isn't that God simply "knows" who will die and when. God has foreordained ALL THINGS, including the death of all men, infants/children not excluded. God doesn't have to "impose" death upon an infant, because an infant is by nature under the sentence of death and condemnation already. God simply determines the time and circumstances of when that death shall occur. There is no such thing as an "untimely death". When IS the "proper" or "acceptable" time for a person to die? ANS: Never.. death is the enemy of mankind. It is the great revealer of men's souls, that they are all corrupt and at enmity with God.

BTW, some of us have read your messages and have not understood you to say that "all infants" are elect, but rather "all infants who die in infancy are elect". And you still have no biblical grounds upon which to base that wishful thinking, nor are your reasons logically sound. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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It is theoretically possible that God has decreed that all infants dying in infancy will be taken to heaven. But, then again, one could also postulate all kinds of things which might be included in God's decree. What is certain, is that what you hold open to possibility cannot be found in Scripture; not even a hint.

I agree that Scripture does not say that all infants are elect. But it also does not say that all infants are not elect (to my knowledge). It remains silent on the point. Therefore, I can only conclude that we don't know which infants are elect or not. It may be all or it may be very few. There are some things that we are not meant to know. If it is all, I can think of many good reasons why Scripture is silent on the issue. I am not "postulating" that all infants are elect or only some, I am saying I don't know, and that might very well be the correct answer to the question.

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Now, wouldn't it be even be more feasible to "hold open to possibility", that if such a thing was true, that God would have included this important truth in His written Word?

I see no reason why one would be led to this conclusion. There are many many things that are true that God did not see fit to include in His Word.

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Since God is allegedly so merciful in that He has theoretically elected all infants who die infancy, then it seems only consistent with that mercy that He would also make this election of infants known so as to provide a sure hope and comfort to the parents. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Again, I see no reason for this conclusion. Why would it be not be consistent with His mercy to not make this election known if it were true. Then, why doesn't God make 100% known all the elect: adults, children, and infants. Wouldn't it be nice to know 100% that your father or mother went to heaven. That would certainly be a great comfort and hope to their children.


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In regard to Boettner's article, although I find him great in 90% of his writings, I find him woefully lacking in his view concerning the salvation of infants who die in infancy for the very same reasons I oppose those who have voiced that view here; i.e., there is NO biblical support for it. And I mentioned elsewhere as well, he uses this to bolster his postmillennial presuppositions concerning the kingdom and Christ being "victorious", etc. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/rolleyes2.gif" alt="" />

I too disagree with postmillennialism. As I said before although maybe not clearly. I don't think it is possible to know exactly who the elect infants are. Maybe it's only some maybe it's all. I don't know exactly how Boetnner argues from all infants are elected to Postmillenialism, so I can't comment on that too much. Of course, it's easy to start with a true set of premises and arrive at a wrong conclusion by some other error on the way. I have already agreed with your ealier statements that there is no Scriptural support that all infants are part of the elect, so in arguing from that premise, Boettner was probably mistaken. But I also think that Scripture does not necessarily preclude the fact that all infants might be elect.

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I can't help but wonder if both sides are dealing with speculation.
What we know is only elect (infants and older) go to heaven when they die.
We also know that all come to salvation the same way (by grace through faith) and that includes babies.

Saying that all babies who die in infancy were/are elect is speculation and not based on Scripture.
However, as far as I can tell, saying that there are some babies who die in infancy who were/are not elect is also speculation and not based on Scripture.

Why can't we just leave this matter to God and stick with what God has revealed from His Word?

Tom

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Dear Pilgrim:

Thanks for the following bit of information:
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We also know that out of the entire human race, there is only a "remnant" that is saved. So the Postmillennialists like Boettner, who are wont to read into such words as "victorious", etc. re: the kingdom, force this to mean quantity rather than quality. That is, the number of saved, according to them, MUST exceed those who are lost if Christ is to be the Victor. Now, to further this erroneous eisogesis, they make all infants who die in infancy elect and saved, and thus they have their larger number.

Once again I have gained some insight into a position by reading a thread that is not specifically dealing with that subject, ie Postmillenialism. The quality/quantity issue is very revealing to me at least.

I also would point out that the very word "remnant" as you allude to above implies a lesser number in my mind, as does the scriptural reference to "few" vs "many" on the paths that lead to eternal life and destruction, respectively, and thus this tends to give credence to the idea that not all infants dying in infancy are elect.

Finally, I don't know the specific passage but as I was reading this thread I thought about the OT passage(s) wherein the Lord commanded David (I think) to smash the heads of the infants of the Ammonites (again I could easily be misstating here) against the rocks. If that is at all correct, it doesn't sound on the surface at least that God is pleased with these infants. I also think of verses that express displeasure at children for the sins of their parents as well as those that express God's delight in children because of the faithfulness of their parents.

Any thoughts on these ideas/passages would be appreciated as you have time.

In Him,

Gerry

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I am all for the fact that God can not do an unjust thing.
However, I do not believe that God would be unjust if He allowed an infant who died in infancy go to hell.
I don't want to read too much into what people like you mean when they say "that God can not do an unjust thing".
But it sure seems like they are saying that God would be unjust if He allowed an infant to go to hell.

I don't think it is wrong to have the hope that an infant who dies in infancy is with the Lord, but I don't think we can know either way. In fact that is where my sentiments lie.

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Any thoughts on these ideas/passages would be appreciated as you have time.
Gerry,

I haven't anything to comment on the passage(s) you are eluding to, but it sure jogged my old brain enough to cause me to remember other similar passages, e.g., What about the days of Noah? Surely, there were infants and unborn existent when the flood waters came upon the earth and destroyed all of mankind except righteous Noah and his family. If there was an elect infant among them, I would have to conclude that it would have been spared and not destroyed with the ungodly. And then there is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Surely there were infants and unborn at the time God brought fire and brimstone as judgment upon that region and those cities. We know from the conversation Abraham had with the Lord concerning the impending judgment that not one righteous individual was left to suffer God's catastrophic wrath that day; they were all spared. I find it near impossible to imagine that God's promise to Abraham was ingenuous and/or false. For, if there was an elect individual among the inhabitants of those places that was not spared, as was Lot and his family, then God lied and that righteous individual was judged and condemned with the reprobate that day. Add to these two examples, all the women and children who were slaughtered in Canaan by the Israelites, at the direct command of God as judgment upon them, for they were all evil. And of course, I would be remiss if I did not also mention the Second Commandment, which lends itself to the view that some infants are elected by grace and some are not.

Exodus 20:4-6 "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."


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Gerry

FYI, not all people who are Postmillennialists believe that all infants who die in infancy go to heaven.
In fact I know quite a few Reformed Baptists who are Postmillennialists that have argued against that position.

This seems to be an in house debate among Reformed Christians of various back grounds.

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john said:

I agree that Scripture does not say that all infants are elect. But it also does not say that all infants are not elect (to my knowledge). It remains silent on the point.

In opposition to my own post, the numerous passages in the OT concerning Israel entering the promised land and being instructed to destroy complete towns (men, women, and children) are strong evidence in my mind that all infants are not elect. Also, the plague of the firstborn in Egypt might be considered evidence of non-elect infants. Sorry, I know I'm advancing several different opinions, but I really am trying to come to the correct conclusion here.

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And you still have no biblical grounds upon which to base that wishful thinking, nor are your reasons logically sound.

Well, I am glad you understand my position. I am not an idiot, nor am I illogical. From my viewpoint, if the scripture is silent on the issue, than I am allowed to disagree with you. Scriptures that say that God had men, women and children killed, does not prove to me that they are thrown into hell. Neither does it prove that because Noah wasn't instructed to take infants away from their mothers before entering the flood... proof that they are in hell. That would be to say that the infants were righteous. I am not saying infants are righteous. Never have.

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Now, wouldn't it be even be more feasible to "hold open to possibility", that if such a thing was true, that God would have included this important truth in His written Word?

It wouldn't be such a stretch to think that maybe, just maybe, God did not include a hint of it, because people would be killing all their infants.

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Michele,

I haven't misunderstood your position! You wrote that you believe that all infants who die in infancy are elect. Right?

Well, since you believe this is true are you also convinced that the babies that were sacrificed to Molech the god of the Ammorites are elect?

Child sacrifice was common in ancient times, especially in the Phoenician colony of Carthage in North Africa. In ancient pagan cultures, children were sometimes sacrificed in times of great need as an expression of devotion to a god (2 King 3:27). Even some Israelites at times engaged in this detestable practice (Judges 11: 30-40; Psalm 106: 34-39; Jeremiah 7: 31).

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Michele writes:

I don't know why it is important that I explain my understanding of "elect" for this thread. It is the same as yours.
Because unless I ask for your definition I don't know if we're talking about the same thing. I don't know you and you don't know me so in an effort to understand you better I've simply asked.


Wes


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Well, since you believe this is true are you also convinced that the babies that were sacrificed to Molech the god of the Ammorites are elect?

yes

along with all those jewish children who were ripped in half and thrown into the river by Hitler's men. Yes.. that is what I believe.

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