February 25, 2010
BABIES ARE WONDERFUL BUT THEY HAVE TO BE BORN AGAIN
By: Pastor Bill Randles
I very recently have been accused of thinking that babies are evil - by Jesse Morrell, an open air preacher, and Moral Government proponent. How did he possibly arrive at such a conclusion? After all, I have 6 children and 10 grandchildren, (my secret plan for taking over the world…shhhhh!). I love babies, and celebrate the birth of every one of them as gifts of God. Where did Jesse Morrell ever get the idea that I pastor a church that thinks babies are evil?
I suppose he came to this unfair conclusion about me by inference, because I believe in the doctrine of original sin. Jesse’s Moral Government theology insists that there is no such thing as original sin, hence babies are born as pure and innocent as Adam and Eve were in the garden. I on the other hand, subscribe to the Biblical teaching that the fall of Adam affected everyone in the human race, corrupting our nature, imparting to one and all a sinful nature.
To put it another way, people who subscribe to Jesse’s theology believe that people become sinners only after they chose to sin. If they hadn’t chosen to do evil, it is conceivable that they could live their whole lives without sinning, they would not be sinners! This is also called Pelagianism, named for a fifth century British Monk, Pelagious who debated Augustine over the issue. The emphasis of Pelagianism is human choice. We choose to sin, we can choose not to, we are entirely culpable for our freely chosen sins. We are sinners because we have sinned.
The way I have seen the scriptures, with countless millions of others down through the ages, is that the opposite is true, that is that Man sins, because He is a sinner. It is Sin (in the singular) that precedes all of our countless sins. By that we mean that Sin is deeper than a specific act, or even the choice to do the act. Sin is a state of being, out of which man expresses in countless acts (sins) his alienation from God. There are sins, indeed, transgressions against God and his Holy Law, but they arise out of a state of being called Sin, which is the universal context that every human being is born into.
“Behold I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5-6)
"The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies in hypocrisy."(Psalm 58:3-4)
Both of these verses point back to birth, as David realizes by God’s revelation just how deeply ingrained sin really is! Who hasn’t asked at some point, “Where did I go wrong? If only I hadn’t have done this sin or that sin, then I would be better!”? You couldn’t go back far enough, because you and I were born in Sin (singular), a state of being that is already alienation from God, with a nature that is tainted and biased towards evil. Those of us who have raised children know that a sweet, pretty, innocent child will lie to you before they can even talk!
Do I believe babies are evil? No I don’t, babies are not evil but they are fallen and alienated from God. All babies are destined to express some kind of sinful life as they grow up, therefore they need to be trained, restrained, and most importantly they will need to be Born Again at some point. Why? Because ever since the fall of our first parent Adam, there is something wrong with us in our first birth. Babies are not evil but they will definitely need to be born again.
What if one of these fallen babies dies before coming of age, will they go to hell? I do not believe that they will for several reasons-
• Jesus told us that we have to “become as a little child” to enter into the kingdom, for it is made up of such as these.
• “Truly I say unto you unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
• King David, after having conceived a child with Bathsheba, begged for the baby's life, having been born sick unto death. After praying and fasting and pleading for seven days the baby died. When asked why he was breaking the fast, David said -“Can I bring him back again from the dead? I shall go to him but he shall not return to me” (II Samuel 12:23)
• In Jeremiah, God catalogued the horrors of Israel’s many sins, including offering babies to the fires of Moloch-God said it would never even enter into his mind to put a baby in a fire- (Jeremiah 19:5)
• Jesus died for all of those little, undefended babies even though they were estranged from God at birth. He knows that those who never had a chance to even express their lostness still would need a Saviour.
God definitely believes that there must be something wrong with us in our first birth, and our common descent from Adam. As it is written“In Adam all die”. Every descendant of Adam is born with a defect which is fatal, we all need a second birth, we need to receive a new nature. Paul tells us that we once were “By Nature the children of wrath, even as the rest(of humanity) “ Ephesians 2:3 The problem goes so much deeper than what we have done,(ie sins) but to the level of who we are(Sin). The solution is from God himself, a resurrection, a new birth.
The New Birth is not a mere decision to not sin anymore, as though that would be all that it took, A new birth is an act of God, an impartation of eternal life, nothing less than a change of our very nature.
“As many as received him, to them gave the power to become sons of God, even to those who believed on his name. Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13)
So in closing, I definitely don’t think babies are evil, (I wish we could have had a lot more). Babies are wonderful gifts from God. They are God’s reward, his entrustment to us of something so little and helpless, and beautiful is an awesome blessing. But they do need to be born again, they will have to be trained, they will have to overcome the inborn tendency to rebel against God. But God has already seen our need and provided for us.
“ For by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and death spread to all men for all have sinned…even so by the obedience of the one man shall the many be made righteous” (Romans 5:12-21)