OSAS and Infants


Not trying to be legalistic, so please forgive me if it comes out that way…

heard this comment the other day and it got me thinking

To someone that believes in OSAS… If an infant dies do they go to heaven?

If they do, according to OSAS, that means infants are saved. If infants are saved, that means that we should always be saved, and nothing we can do will ever change that, because once we are saved, we are always saved…

If they do not, why…

If OSAS does not apply to infants and they at some point loose that initial salvation, why…

If it is because of culpability, does this also mean that people with retardation issues are also saved? What about those that never properly heard about Jesus… With respect to Jesus, a 3 year old may know more about Jesus than a Muslim in Iraq. Are they culpable?

Anyway… Like i said, just a question. please do not think I am trying to be rude, and forgive me if it came out that way… Just trying to understand…

In Christ


This question came up in my mind too (as I was reading the water baptism thread). If you must have faith to be saved, and there is no other way, then how is it infants could be saved ?

If infants are saved, how can they “lose” their salvation ? This is very perplexing indeed.


I think it was your post that got me thinking :wink:


A good point for which most n-Cs have no good answer.:shrug:


Except to trust in the infinite mercy of God.



But what about those Calvinist types who believe in election without free will?


I’ve asked the same question. OSAS coupled with a reasonable trust in the mercy of God seems to lead to universalism.

This is another instance where I think Calvinism (grotesque as it is) is the only logically consistent alternative to the Catholic understanding of these matters. Everything else is a mishmash that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.


Keep in mind one thing… this only really applies to OSAS and Calvinism… Methodist, Lutherans, Episcopals don’t agree with OSAS and acknowledge one can looks there state of grace.

In Christ


This ties into a question I’ve always had for those who hold you must accept Jesus into your life in order to be saved. (Often these are OSASers) What happens to those who die before they do make this confession of faith? (Babies, 2 yrs olds, 6 yrs, 10 yrs. etc.) What’s the cut off date for making the decision. I asked this question on another forum, and from the one response received there, it appeared there was no clear cut answer. For babies and young children they trust God’s mercy. But what about after the age of reason? These sects also usually hold that unless you’ve “accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior” you go to hell - no, if’s and’s or but’s. Another related question - does this confession of faith have to be made before the congregation, or is making it in private considered just as valid?

Atemi, where are you. We need your answers.



I think you would do better posing the question in terms of predestination, rather than in terms
of eternal security, or, as you prefer to call it, OSAS.

Eternal security, or OSAS, would be subsequent to predestinnation. :tiphat:


Greetings Sandusky :slight_smile:

Thanks you for the response…

While I understand how predestination as Calvinist hold it can in theory answer this question, It really only answer the question Children and those who lack true mental capacity, However, you still have the problem of did god predestine a child to be born with faulty lungs, dies several days later, and then destines that child to hell? Or is it that anyone that does not have the intellectual capability are automatically predestined to heaven.

What about those in the Arab or Hindu world that have never properly heard about Jesus. Does predestination only work for those in a Christian environment.

My understanding, and I could be wrong so correct me if I am, If someone is predestined according to Calvinism, is that Someone predestined will automatically know Christ. if this is true, does that mean no one in the Muslim, Hindu, Or even tribes that have never even heard of Christ have NO ONE predestined? If they were, they would worship Christ. Again though, I could be mistaken in my understanding and have no problems in being corrected :wink:

All the same, I appreciate your comments and look forward to your responses

In Christ


Please clarify in light of the following:

My 8-year old son is presently unable to make a confession of faith, and due to the nature of his disability, he may never develop the abilities necessary to do so. Is it possible that he’s predestined to hell, even in light of his challenges?


[quote=djrakowski]Please clarify in light of the following:

My 8-year old son is presently unable to make a confession of faith, and due to the nature of his disability, he may never develop the abilities necessary to do so. Is it possible that he’s predestined to hell, even in light of his challenges?

I’m sorry to hear that DJ, and am certain that, as two couples, whom I know quite well, and are in similar circumstances do, that you would count it all joy to have your son in the condition that he is in.

But, DJ, theologically, you and I don’t have much in common, and so, I’m surprised that you would even ask that question of me, except that you would like to put the mean old Calvinist on the spot, and watch him squirm.

However, I don’t squirm in these situations, but am well-acquainted with them, having been involved in a handicapped ministry at my church for a bit longer than you’ve had your son; many have downs syndrome, with varying degrees of mental capacity, and others have different types of “palsies,” ranging from familial, or genetic, in which more than one child in the family has the condition, and others who, due to lack of oxygen during birth, have varying degrees of physical, and mental capacity.

That said, according to your theology, I would assume that you’ve had your son baptized, and since, according to your belief, baptism cleanses the effects of original sin, and regenerates the spirit, I do not understand your concern.

However, if you want to discuss this, then please PM me.


I believe Dan presented a legitimate question and many forum members would be interested in reading your response. Since only God can infallibly know what’s in a person’s heart, I would suggest that you refrain from judging Dan’s intentions.

God Bless,


Thank you for this comment, and indeed, I do consider it a privilege that God considers my wife and I as worthy servants for the difficult task of raising children with developmental disabilities.

Actually, I’m surprised that you’re surprised. This is a thread in which a Catholic posed a question about an aspect of Calvinist theology and how it relates to the salvation of infants (and by extension, those with diminished intellectual capacity). Therefore, it seems like a legitimate and on-topic question, and was honestly not directed at making you squirm, nor was it intended to make you look like a “mean old Calvinist.” I have no interest in putting anyone, including you, on the spot, but rather, would like to know the answers on how different theological schools address these difficult questions.

You are involved in a very rewarding work - may God bless you through your involvement in this ministry.

I understand Catholic theology on this topic. I’m interested in learning how Calvinism addresses it. Others are interested, as well (including, at least, mikeledes). Therefore, I would appreciate it if you would present your answers in the forum rather than in PMs.


Here’s what my OSAS friends told me:

A child is ‘saved’ by the mercy of God until they reach the age of accountability. Once this happens, if they don’t accept Jesus as their Savior they are not saved. I asked when this age was, but just got ‘it depends’.

But, I will say a friend of mine was worried that her 4 year daughter had not yet professed Christ as her Savior and was worried if she died she would go to hell. All I could think to say was *'She still believes in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, and you think God is going to expect her to be able to comprehend the act of professing Jesus as her Savior and will condemn her to eternal hell for not doing it by now?" * Yes, she did. It was so sad. I tried to talk to her but her beliefs are so radical that I don’t think I did much good. This is when I found out they don’t believe in baptizing infants because to them, baptism is only a symbolic, public profession of faith.


That’s what I believed when I was an evangelical. I’d like to see a Biblical justification for the idea of ‘age of accountability’ from a non-Catholic perspective.

I’ve met very few people who were as hardcore as your friend in holding to this belief. My 5-year old is quite spiritually minded, but I know she doesn’t have enough knowledge to make an evangelical-style commitment to “accept Jesus Christ into her heart as personal Lord and Savior.” She’s just starting to get a handle on the basics anyone might reasonably expect of a 5-year old.


And that brings up a more interesting point which i briefly touched on…

Basically this argument says it deals with culpability. OK, fine, but what about a child who grows up in an area where Jesus is not heard of, and/or the culture teaches Jesus is a ‘Bad Man’. Are they less culpable? Does the salvation they had a birth continue for them becuase there is little to no chance they will get an accurate teaching about Christ?

Culpability argument is fine, but you can’t JUST apply it to infants…

So, how would OSAS argument be used in this case…

Still have the issue of… But they were saved… so they lost their salvation simply because they aged?

In Christ


This is a true “loss” of salvation. God simply stops being merciful and demands an “acceptance of Jesus” ? This is more legalistic than the Sacramental theology that so many of the evangelical, fundamentalist types rally against.

Catholics do not believe you can “lose” salvation, as in “I was saved but now I’m not…where did my salvation go ? Why did God take it away from me ?” Most people argue this point incorrectly on both sides. Catholics believe we can REJECT salvation, not LOSE it.


Where have all of our Calvinist and/or ‘once-saved-always-saved’ brothers gone? There are a few questions that remain unanswered.

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