Fate of a baby? Non-Catholic Chrisitan View

Hello all. Tragic story: A pregnant 17 year old girl at my wife’s school was killed last week in a car accident. She was 9 months pregnant and was due to be induced the day after she and the baby were killed.

We went to the service at her church which I believe was bible based evangelical. The pastor mentioned that the girl had accepted Jesus so she was in Heaven, but he did not mention her baby. My wife and I were wondering what is the view of other Christian churches in the case of non-baptized infants.

PLEASE NOTE: This is just informational, we are curious what our brothers and sisters believe. We know what we believe as Catholics and I don’t want to start a debate on the validity of each other’s views. Thanks in advance.

In my denomination we believe that salvation comes through grace alone. Not through an act of human righteousness, such as being baptised as the Bible tells us (believers) to do. The baptism is seen as an outward sign to the community of the inner work of the Holy Spirit.

Most denominations which do not baptise children also hold that salvation comes with belief, baptisms then follow. And that children are blessed before they are morally responsible.

According to the Word of God… the baby is in heaven. This is the case for ALL babies.

Mat 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Mar 10:14 But when Jesus saw [it], he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: **for of such is the kingdom of God. **

Luk 18:16 But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and** forbid them not**:** for of such is the kingdom of God**.

Another view (a minority view, I believe) is that children of Christians (or even one Christian in a mixed marriage: see 1 Corinthians 7:14) are, before the age of responsibility, saved from hell and brought into heaven, but that other children are damned.

Of course, many Christians do not believe in hell for anyone.

The previous poster’s view, that all baby’s are saved, is probably the majority view among Protestants.

Most Protestants believe that infants go to heaven, period. Most Protestants (with the exception of Anglicans and maybe Lutherans) would not see baptism as relevant in and of itself. However, the historic Reformed position is that the children of believing parents are saved, whether or not they are baptized. Some Calvinists teach clearly that all infants are saved. Others have taught (I don’t know any who teach this today, but I wouldn’t bet that there are none) that infants may be damned (presumably because their parents were not believers) because of Adam’s sin. You keep hearing that some Calvinists believed that all infants were damned. Michael Wigglesworth’s poem “Day of Doom” could be read that way, but it may also just be speaking of infants who were not elect (which in practice usually meant infants whose parents were not believers). I have yet to find any Calvinist text stating explicitly that all infants are damned. The majority view traditionally seems to have been that we know that some infants are elect (including the children of believers at least), but we just don’t know about the others. However, as I said, the dominant view today even among conservative Calvinists is that all infants are saved.

In short, it’s pretty hard to find a Protestant today who thinks that those who die in infancy are in any danger of damnation. One odd exception is the Methodist philosopher Jerry Walls, who speculated (if I remember and interpret him correctly) in his book on heaven that infants would be given a probation after death (which could result in their damnation if they rejected God’s grace), because otherwise God would not be fair to the rest of us.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.