Heaven or hell.

Dedesmond's picture

If a baby (child) died immediately after birth. Where will the child go?

De Maria's picture

Re: To hell with children?

JL,

De Maria, doesn't the Catholic church teach that children who are not baptized go to hell?

No. The Catholic teaching is:

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them," allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.
Catechism

And, doesn't this then bypass the mercy of God and place all reliance upon works for salvation--that is, if the child is baptized it will be saved, but if it is not baptized then it will be damned?....

Since the child who is baptized does not baptize himself, how is it a complete reliance on works?

And since the unbaptized child is not considered condemned but is simply entrusted to the mercy of God, I don't understand your concern. Do you doubt God's mercy?

Thus,the importance of the closing remarks in the Catechism quote. "...to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism." They "hope" which suggests that Catholic doctrines offer no assurance outside of baptism.

You are wrong. We hope in God. That is quite of bit of assurance. But we don't presume our salvation because we are not the judge. God is our Judge. This is according to Scripture:

1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.

Thus, this god which they have created is neither just nor merciful but is exacting and cruel for through no fault of the child or careless neglect of the parent the souls of children are placed in peril of eternal damnation in the torments of hell for the unthinkable and unpardonable sin of one single breath of life in this world. I do not worship nor would I praise a god like this.

Nor would I. But the Catholic Church has taught me to place my hope in God and not in myself or anyone else.

My theology presents a more just and merciful God who does not torment babies in eternal hell fires for as long as God shall exist. In fact, no one will be tormented in hells fires for all eternity.

Well yeah. But I don't have presume to have the authority to rewrite Scripture:

Jude 1:7
Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

The wicked will be consumed by fire but they will be burned up, consumed, and prerish.

Matthew 25:46 (King James Version)

46And these shall go away intoeverlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

They will suffer eternal damnation in that there is no hope of life again after this second death by fire. But no one will burn eternally. Especially not innocent children.

"I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life..." --Deut 30:19 (KJV)

For...

"the wages of sin is death..." --Romans 6:23 (KJV)

but...

"as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." --John 3:14-15 (KJV)

So what happens to these children who die at birth? We are told that the children are sanctified by the parents.

"For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy." --1 Cor 7:14 (KJV)

It is my belief that children born to parents who are saved will be restored to them in the resurrection. And those babies who died at birth to ungodly parents will not be punished but simply not know life. Everyone is rewarded, or rather punished, according to their works. There will be some worthy of many stripes and some worthy of few.

Apparently you've dispensed with Baptism all together. But when it says that the spouse and children are sanctified by the believing spouse or parent, that means that they will be converted and baptized. Not that they will remain unbelieving and unbaptized and still be saved.

"And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes." --Luke 12:47-48 (KJV)

Now I ask you, what sin has a little baby committed worthy of spending eternity in hell fire?

I don't know why you keep asking that question. Unless you have a very poor view of the Mercy of God.

It would have been better for that child to be aborted than to have taken one single breath of life only to spend all of eternity burning in the fires of hell for it.

???

An aborted child has died without baptism. A child conceived is a living, breathing human being.

Such an hideous doctrine.

That unbaptized children are committed to the Mercy of God is hideous? You must consider God a monster.

I can think of nothing more evil, more satanic, more inhumane, more inhuman than burning someone in fire for all eternity.

Oh, you mean the doctrine of hell? I suppose you have a right to your opinion. I and my family, we will follow the Lord.

It seems to me that the Lord has given all people ample warning about the consequences of their behaviour. If some begin to teach that there is no hell, in opposition to the Word of God, that is their decision. God has spoken clearly on this issue.

Yet, this is how the church has portrayed the God of love who gave His life to save His creation.

The verses teaching the existence of hell are in Scripture. And the Catholic Church is not alone in teaching the existence of hell. The majority of Christians accept the teaching.

And if we believe we were created in His image and we see Him in this light then no wonder we have inflicted such human suffering upon the world through our religious dogmas. No wonder we are "Okay" with a doctrine which teaches such torment.

You have twisted the teaching all around. God doesn't inflict Hell on anyone. Those who wind up in hell make a decision to go there. They confirm this decision by their behaviour.

Infant baptism, not being meritorious, is also contrary to God's will. It was God's will that man should have free choice.

So, if your child decides to stick his hand in the hot stove, you will permit him to do so? Quite a novel, parental doctrine.

On the contrary, however, I love my children. Therefore, I gave them all that I could give them which I knew would be of benefit to them. God's grace, through the Sacraments, I considered very beneficial for them. Also, making them members of the Body of Christ.

If they choose to forfeit those gifts when they get older, that is their business. I've done my duty as a parent.

Let me give you a concrete example. Lets say that a known child molester comes up to your child and coaxes him to get in his arms. Your child wants to go with him, he wants the candy and such which is offered to him.

What will you do? Will you permit that man to take your child? Or will you take your child away from him as soon as you can?

That is the purpose of Baptism. Baptism takes a child out of Satan's hands. We are children of wrath:

Ephesians 2:3
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

God would not have created man with free will if it was not according to His will. And, while God desires for all men to come to repentance and be saved He does nothing to force them to love and worship Him. Love demands choice and God is love.

That is a gross oversimplification. Love demands caring. And it is not love to permit a person to unknowingly come to ruin.

Therefore, the unknowing child is brought to Jesus, an he is not prevented. If that child grows up and decides that he doesn't want Jesus, that is his business.

Therefore, God can only accept our willing worship and reciprocal love. To baptize infants before they are able to make that choice for themselves is nothing less than making that choice for them.

And that is God's will. Remember that in the Old Testament, children were circumcized within 8 days.

They must be allowed to grow up and decide for themselves.

Who's stopping them?

And during their ignorant years when they do not know better God winks at, or excuses their sin because of their ignorance.

"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" --Acts 17:30 (KJV)

You've misunderstood. That verse refers to the time before Christ when God winked at their ignorance. But NOW God comamands all men to repent.

But there comes a time of accoutablility when God calls all men to repent. But a child cannot repent until it can comprehend. And, forgiveness comes only through a proper and sincere repentance. Therefore, I conclude that baptism has nothing to do with whether or not a baby who dies at birth will be saved. Thus, it is all of God's mercy and nothing else. And, if the parents are saved then I believe this offers the baby assurance of salvation and that baby will be rejoined to its parents in heaven at the resurrection. Angels will retrieve the baby from the tomb and bring it to its mother's arms and then together they will ascend into the air to meet Jesus.

"...the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:..." --1 Thess 4:16-17 (KJV)

You were right in calling this "my theology". It is truly and uniquely yours.

It's important to note that the "Dead in Christ" "rise first." That is, they are resurrected. Then the resurrected and those who never died are "caught up together." That is, they ascend together up into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. In other words, neither group precedes the other but they arise at the same time.

I don't know what that has to do with unbaptized children who die so I'll leave it alone.

Sincerely,

De Maria




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