Is "Age of Reason" a gamble?


#1

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!


#2

Those Protestants that do not believe in infant baptism do not believe children are saved through baptism. They do not believe bpatism is a sacrament, in fact, most deny there are any sacraments. These Protestants claim all are innocent until old enough to discern right from wrong. That is why they do not baptize and why they don’t think it matters. For them baptism is only a symbol not a channel of grace. So, that is why they try to get their children to “accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior” as soon as the child is able to know what that means. They are gambling that they are right about baptism and the Church is wrong, you see.


#3

Auhsoj and Della:

Did you ever notice that in the OT the jews were circumcised after 8 days? These babies were ‘brought’ in without their consent yet there should be unanimous agreement that yes, the parents have the right to dedicate their son to God through this covenant.

From what I can recall there’s no incidence in the bible of a devout Jewish parent questioning infant circumcision and waiting for their child to reach an age of reason to get baptized.

in Xt.


#4

[quote=Della]Those Protestants that do not believe in infant baptism do not believe children are saved through baptism. They do not believe bpatism is a sacrament, in fact, most deny there are any sacraments. These Protestants claim all are innocent until old enough to discern right from wrong. That is why they do not baptize and why they don’t think it matters. For them baptism is only a symbol not a channel of grace. So, that is why they try to get their children to “accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior” as soon as the child is able to know what that means. They are gambling that they are right about baptism and the Church is wrong, you see.
[/quote]

When I was an independent Baptist, I was taught that baptism was like a marriage ring. If you loose you marriage ring you are still considered married. The ring is only a symbol. The marriage was salvation and the ring was baptism. My former pastor stressed that baptism was important only to publically show your faith and commitment to Christ. I don’t which denominations teach this but I know that Baptist do.

For some fundamentalists it is the child’s age of maturity that determines if he/she can accept Christ as their savior. There was a lot of talk in my church about people who had accepted Jesus as their savior during childhood only to backslide and have to make another commitment to God, later. It was believed that their first salvation was not true or else they wouldn’t have backslid. I think that this is more what you are referring to.


#5

Thank you guys for your responses!

When does a child reach “that” maturity to accept Christ or not?When does a child know right from wrong to accept Jesus or not? I need that moment! Cant spend anytime unsaved!

If I am Protestant, then these are the questions that would boggle me???


#6

[quote=auhsoj88]Thank you guys for your responses!

When does a child reach “that” maturity to accept Christ or not?When does a child know right from wrong to accept Jesus or not? I need that moment! Cant spend anytime unsaved!

If I am Protestant, then these are the questions that would boggle me???
[/quote]

You raise some very good questions. From my understanding the evangelical protestant perspective is such that all people who do not accept Jesus as thier Lord and Saviour, regardless of circumstance is unsaved. Your hypothetical in your original post is a good example of just why this doctrine goes counter to the logic God gave us. It simply doesn’t line up with our concept of a loving and merciful God.

It blows me away, frankly, how they dance around this doctrine. “People respond to the light they are given”. “If they respond they are given more light”. Just what does this defense mean? It doesn’t take much deep thought to acknowledge the ramification of this reasoning. This reasoning makes no allowance for the individual born into another faith and lives thier life loyal to thier family and faith, loving, and following thier conscience to the very best of thier God giving ability. Where is the logic in this?

I apologize, I think I went off on a tangent here. But this docrine scared the life out of me when I began to examine my conscience and come to faith in Christ. Thank God I found the Catholic Church.


#7

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