Sunday, October 08, 2006

Are Babies Sinners?

This news article hit close to home. When I went to church as a child it was one that believed infants should be baptized because they were born with "original sin" (the sin of Adam). I was sprinkled as an infant but questioned the teaching in college. I was baptized at 21 because I was convinced that sin was a choice I made--and believe me I did a lot of it. I remember studying with my old minister back in Marshall, MO. We studied Ezekiel 18:20 which suggests that children will not be punished for their parent's sin--but for their own. He said, "Wow, that's the first time I really looked at this verse that way. However I am too old to change but will pray about it."

While we were not Catholic I wonder if he is thinking what I'm thinking while reading this article.Isn't it great that we can change our views, no matter how old they or we are?What do you all think?


Keith Brenton said...

One of the verses which some have thought supported the idea of "original sin" is Psalm 51:5 ... but it's really just poetic hyperbole; the conclusion of the exaggeration in verse 4 before it that David has sinned only against God. (That can't be true on its face; he sinned against Uriah, against Bathsheba, against his own family ... as king, against the whole nation of Israel!) But the focus of David's psalm is on his guilt at having sinned against God and feeling so full of sin that he must have been filled with sin even in his mother's womb.

One of the other passages is Romans 5:12-13. But I think the phrasing of the NIV says it all: "... just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned" (my emphasis). One man opened the door to sin, but we've all walked through it.

Not as infants, though.

Infants can't walk. Or make moral decisions. Or worry about being in Limbo.

Which is good, because it's really hard to play Limbo if you can't walk.

KMiV said...

Thanks Keith,
I remember the Rom. 5 verse as well. I remember mentioning to the minister I studied with that if sin entered through Adam and is inherited by us, then salvation entered through Jesus and is inherited by us (mentioned later in the verse). That would mean that Adam sinned we sinned, Jesus was faithful we are saved. He didn't go for that one.

Anonymous said...

No original sin? Hmmm. Has anyone ever had to teach a small child to be selfesh, to take what is not theirs, to lie, etc.? Of course not, they by nature do wrong. We must teach them to be unslefesh, not to take what is not theirs, and to tell the truth.

The mark of Adam is on every man, woman, and child who was ever born, with the exception of Jeus who had no human father. Only He was exempt from the propensity or tendency to sin.

Just because a child is a little sinner does not make him or her guilty before God. Only when a child is old enough and mature enough to plan his or her sin do they become guilty before God.

Bearing false witness (lying) is always sin. If the person is only a few months old or very old, a lie is still a lie and it is sinful. Only when there is a knowledge of the law against lying is there any condemnation associated with it. (Romans 5:13)

The doctrine of original sin in no way conflicts with our insistance that babies need not be baptised. They are not responsible for their sinful acts before they can understand clearly the concepts of right and wrong.

Grace and Peace
Royce Ogle