OK, In Protestantsim the doctrine of “Age of Reason” is mandated as a pre-requisite for baptism and to become “Saved”. Conversely, a person at the age of reason and not baptized is unsaved. At the same time, infants and young children need not be baptized, hence they are “saved” already. (The Catholic position is similar that the Church entrust the care of unbaptized Children to God. And since God is a “Just” God and merciful, it would mean Children somehow someway would find themselves being removed from Original Sin, perhaps through Purgation, and thus enter heaven - by the way, I pray that the Church defines this sooner rather than later)
OK, back to the “Age or Reason” doctrine. To start I just want to point out that the “Age of Reason” doctrine is nowhere to be found in scripture; it is in contradiction to Sola Scriptura (Only Scripture). There is no example nowhere of a young child with Christian parents waiting to reach this “Age of Reason” to be baptized. It is clear that those who believed before being baptized in Acts and so forth, were all converts. Again, no example of a child of one of these converts growing and getting baptized at the age of reason.
About the age of reason; It would seem to me that only God and the Child would be the only persons in the whole world to know when the EXACT time is for a child (any Child) to have reached this “Age of Reason”. By the way, some children reach the age of reason far sooner than others, and some far later. Because of slow learning, it is clear that some teens and even some adults have not reached the age of reason. (i.e, Down Syndrome, mild retardation, Social Learning Disabillity etc…)
If a child ( say Little Ricky) at age 9 reaches the “age of reason” on Monday night 7:58pm and God knows this, it still may be days or weeks, or even years before this child convinces himself to get baptized and become “Saved”. But lets say Little Ricky postpones his baptism for down the road, because A) he doesn’t want to change just yet, he is too busy growing and having fun B) or because peer pressure from friends and parents is non-existent, yet. Moreover, Little Ricky is NOT just going to get up on Monday 7:58 pm and run to Bible Church X and shout, “I’ve reached the age of reason, right now, at this very moment, Move over, I need to get baptized ASAP”.
The fact that Little Ricky didn’t get baptized at the exact moment he reached the supposed “Age of Reason”, isn’t that a huge gamble on a persons soul? The time after reaching the Age of Reason but before being baptized could be a very, very, precarious position to be in; especially if one is “traditionally” taught that the absence of baptism after the age of reason equates to a person not being a Christian and thus is not being “saved”!
Furthermore, in Protestant Traditions it is taught that God will hold one accountable for all unforgiven sins at death (remember, no such things as venial or mortal sins in these traditions. Sins are sins). So at 10:25 am next morning Little Ricky curses at his friends, or talks back to his mother, perhaps even hurting her feelings, and dishonoring her, meanwhile he is not baptized yet!
So what happens now to Little Ricky? If he died later that day without asking for forgiveness from his mother or God??? Just how would God judge him? Is Little Ricky’s fate sealed?? Would he go to hell?
My questions to my protestant brothers are, why wouldn’t it make sense for little Ricky to have been baptized much younger or perhaps as an infant, and avoid the gamble and at least have peace of mind?, Most kids don’t wake up in the morning and say, “I’m going to check my Age of Reason meter this morning to see if I hit benchmark, if not I will check it again next week, I don’t want to be unsaved not even for a minute”.
Why would you keep a infant from entering the Body of Christ just because it can’t say “I believe”. Why would you keep a child from Gods full dispensation of Grace(s).
On the contrary, an infant can’t disbelieve in Jesus either, so why not baptize? Did Jesus not say, bring the Children to me?
So, is little Ricky’s situation a gamble or is it not?
And for my Fellow Catholics: Does my argument make sense? is it clear? Support or Against? Anything you want to add? Change? Or is my point of view inconsistent with Church or inaccurate?
I will stand back and read! Thanks and God bless!