06 August 2009

The Pelagian Spirit

There was a very interesting exchange over on the challies.com blog the past few days. Tim Challies posted a blog entry about what the Bible teaches about the destination of infants (or pre-born persons) who die. Of course, the emotionalism almost immediately tried to overcome the scriptural approach to the issue. Many think this is a new issue, but in fact the Church has addressed this issue for a couple thousand years.

My comment was as follows-

It is proving to be true- “There’s a Pelagian spirit in all of us.”

Think about the crux of the tacit argument that, since babies have no moral ability (for right or wrong) it would be improper for God to do anything other than take them all to heaven. Have you forgotten that adults have no more moral ability to save themselves than do infants, or even pre-born (fetal) persons? It is God’s grace that saved us all, whether we were teens or octogenarians, children or still in the womb.

John MacArthur said this- “If infants were not sinful, if they were not morally corrupt, then they wouldn’t die. If they were born innocent or pure or morally neutral there would be no basis for their death.” So the Bible IS clear on that issue…that infants are inherently sinful (original sin, sin nature, whatever you want to call it). They ARE NOT morally neutral. Therefore, we can’t just jump to the conclusion they are all saved because it seems right to us that it be so.

What Tim has said is true. We should be willing to trust God in the salvation of the pre-born and the stillborn in the same way we trust God in our own salvation.

It still manages to surprise me how much the Pelagian spirit rears its head on emotional issues. But I suppose it shouldn't since that approach has been my own, on and off, for much of my life. Holding a consistent theological approach to life isn't easy to do when human pride interdicts itself, as it does in me often.

Much more thinking and reading to do on this topic. "The more you know, the less you know."

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