Can you condemn children?

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Elizabeth May, Jun 13, 2003.

  1. Elizabeth May

    Elizabeth May New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess this is for the real hardcore fundies. I mean, you see a heathen (or whatever you term them) with children. If the heathens are damned then the usual reasoning is that the kids are damned too.

    My point is: if you think god condemns kids and babies, don't you think that either you or your perception of God is evil?

    I mean this in a sense for discussing.
     
  2. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    Absolutely not! I would not believe it possible that anyone could be so unfeeling to their fellow human being, let alone the little children! Yet it happens! A blight indeed.
     
  3. Down

    Down New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2003
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    I dont think anybody has the ability to condemn anyone else. It is not anyones place to do so. As far as I know, The Bible says that christ will be the only one to judge.

    Then again, I havent even read that book, im not a big fan of fiction.
     
  4. brian

    brian Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    Messages:
    338
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can I condemn children? Not at all.

    I'm not very good at condemning anybody, actually.

    Well, except politicians. :)
     
  5. WHKeith

    WHKeith New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    0
    This question was one of the Big Ones for me, that helped drive me away from fundamentalist Christianity many years ago. Catholicism--not exactly what you think of as fundy nowadays--came up with the idea of limbo, a place for newborn babies who'd died before being baptized. It wasn't hell, exactrly, but it wasn't heaven, and it assuredly was not a concept founded on the scriptures!

    But the fundamentalist worldview, as I understand it, admits, first, that ONLY baptized Christians can get into heaven ("I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father, but by me." --John 14:6 "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."--Mark 16:16.) There is absolutely NO wiggle room here for unbaptized babies, innocent children, or pagans who've never heard the Gospel.

    Some groups soften the above with the sentiment that God will take care of the ones who fall through the cracks, or by saying that we can't judge, God is responsible for it all, and His ways are mysterious, not fathomable to mere humans. Granted. I still feel the whole doctrine of hellfire is an afront to civilization and to all men of good will, and I find the fact that some DO condfemn unbaptized children to hell starkly appalling.
     
  6. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    You make an interesting point about fundamentalist beliefs. It is these extremes expressed so simply that makes myself question the application of the term Christian at all for myself.
     
  7. Iacchus

    Iacchus God of the Mask

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    "At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:1-6).

    What does being saved have to do with being baptized, or anything else which is "external" in nature? Granted the external act is there to remind us of "the spirit" that exists behind the act, and yet to the degree that we embrace the act, but fail to embrace the spirit, then all we really practice is idolatry (externalized worship).
     
  8. X Q mano

    X Q mano New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jesus also said, "Let the small children come to me, and hinder them not, for the Kingdom of God belongs to them"

    (This is translated to english from Norwegian, so I don't know if it is like what it says in the english bible, but this is what it says in the norwegian at least)

    Now this was in a slightly different situation than we are discussing now, but the last sentence. The Kingdom of God belongs to them is a little interesting don't you think? :)
     
  9. Dave the Web

    Dave the Web New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is it because children are more forgiving? Does their innocence make them more likely to do what is right, or thought of as right? Is it a generalisation too far or a metaphor? General ponderance.
     
  10. Iacchus

    Iacchus God of the Mask

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    0
    [quote author=Down link=board=7;threadid=172;start=msg731#msg731 date=1055741331]
    I dont think anybody has the ability to condemn anyone else. It is not anyones place to do so. As far as I know, The Bible says that christ will be the only one to judge.

    Then again, I havent even read that book, im not a big fan of fiction.
    [/quote]

    "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (Matthew 7:1-3).

    Fictional? Would you say this is fictional? Indeed, there's a whole wealth of resources throughout the Bible which tends to suggest otherwise ... Granted there are many who will read the Bible and misconstrue what is says, perhaps deliberately? and/or for personal gain? But this is also covered under the third commandment, "Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain."

    Have you actually taken time out to read it for yourself or, is your opinion based on the behavior you see in others?
     
  11. Arch

    Arch New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe a long shot but is there a connection between calling children little lambs and Jesus being the lamb of God?
     
  12. iKwak

    iKwak New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is only my opinion and not from any other source or from the bible...


    but if the parent of the child is not a christian, the child will not enter the kingdom of God.
    Or ..God knows you and everyone one of us, our whole life. Therefore, God already knows the life of the baby and will judge the baby accordingly.
     
  13. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    8
    Hi CPInteract, and welcome to comparative-religion.com!
    Alas, this is the sort of thinking that makes the Christian perception of God somehow seem terrible.
     
  14. Siege

    Siege New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm not picking on you, Dave, but the quote seemed apropos. For those who claim children are kind, sweet, innocent, or forgiving, how much time have you spent around children? OK, probably more than me (I'm not particularly fond of kids), but having seen 2 year olds having tantrums, not to mention at least one 6 year old, and remembering my own childhood, I disagree with depicting children as angelic creatures who are incapable of wrongdoing.

    I'm not a Fundamentalist, and I've read too much that I find repellant from people who are. I can't condemn children, not even 6 year olds who are acting like 2 year olds. I don't buy the notion that children are without sin; if they are, at what point does that state wear off? I believe that since free will and perfect obedience are incompatible, Christ's death and resurrection granted salvation to all who are willing to accept it. This includes children and non-Christians. I'm a bit hazy on the details here, but, since I believe the age of one's soul is not tied to the age of one's body, I would say the choice to accept God's mercy is given to the soul after the death of the body and is always available.

    CJ
     
  15. WHKeith

    WHKeith New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe that Jesus's injunction that "such as these will inherit the kingdom of heaven" speaks of the believer's attitude and belief. Luke 18:17 adds to this statement: "Verily I say unto you, Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God like a little child shall in no way enter it."

    This seems to suggest that a childlike frame of mind--trusting, open, direct, and accepting, excited by the possibilities, approaching the Father in love rather than out of religious duty, seeking a genuine and intimate relationship with the Creator rather than one borne of ritual or the observance of mere form.

    Note that the verses immediately proceeding this one in Luke have to do with the parable of the Pharisee and the publican, pointing out that the Pharisee--puffed up with pride over his observance of the Law and looking down on the humble tax collector--would not be favorably received by God.

    No, Siege, I don't think Jesus had a 2-year-old's tantrums in mind when he said this!
     
  16. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    8
    Well, there I was about to splutter and pontificate. I thought to make a light-hearted post defending children - after all, my perception was probably like Seige's - before I became a parent.

    Then I thought to dig in my resources of articles from other sites about children, and suddenly found a list of the quotes from the Old Testament where killing children is applauded. Never knew I even had that list. But figured if I posted the thing it would look like a personal attack, so I couldn't.

    Then I stopped and realised that I'd argued elsewhere that I didn't believe in morality - yet here I was trying to circle the subject of "condemning children", without being too brutal.

    I guess there is a conflict within myself, of a struggle between the spiritual and biological aspects. I know the struggle will on day be resolved - and the spiritual will win. Yet somehow I fear that - as if that triumph will destoy my sense of personal humanity.

    I cannot condemn children - how can I? Condemn them for what? Yet neither can I condemn those who condemn, either.
     
  17. WHKeith

    WHKeith New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mm . . . perhaps some agreed-upon definitions of terms are in order here. My understanding is that the original post was asking if God condemns--as in sending to hell--babies. I find the very idea repugnant and an insult to all persons of good will. Such an idea makes a mockery of the concept of God being at all a loving or a rational entity.

    When you, Brian, condemn those who condemn, however, you're not talking about sending them to hell, are you? Not unless you have considerably more pull with the Almighty than I've been giving you credit for!

    The old expression has it that we should hate the sin and love the sinner--something those Christians who engage in the wholesale condemnation of others sometimes forget. I detest that spirit so prevalent in the species that would relegate babies or the unknowing inhabitants of some remote island to an eternity of torture for what amounts to a technicality--they were born at the wrong time or the wrong place or in the wrong culture or they just didn't live long enough to learn differently . . . all factors of their life over which they had absolutely no control. If I could condemn such a spirit to the lowest and most vile of hells, I would.

    But the people who espouse such a spirit? They are guilty of ignorance, sometimes of entenched and stubbornly willful ignorance, but it is merely ignorance nonetheless. I can hate the fact of that ignorance, but not the individual.

    I do admit that I sometimes dispair of this species when its members refuse to learn, when they refuse to see or tolerate any point of view beyond their own.

    But then I see folks like those I've met on this board, and hope is restored.
     
  18. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    8
    Hm, I don't believe I was condemning. Quite the reverse, I hope. :)

    But my own use of language is always fairly loose - in the instance of my last post "judge" would have been quite interchangable with "condemn".

    After all, it is not God we see condemning - but instead, people declaring God's judgements for Him. That's a general observation of some elements of belief, rather than aimed at anyone here.
     
  19. Siege

    Siege New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    A while ago, on a different message board in an argument with a hard-core Fundamentalist, I had this to say on the subject of condemning people. If I am told I must condemn one person to hell, torture everlasting, unspeakable agony, or what have you, then the person I condemn is me. I have absolutely no right to condemn another human being, even if I consider them the most vile creature imaginable. That is not my provenance. I also suspect that if I condemn someone else to hell, I am that much closer to going there myself, if only because doing so damages my own soul.

    As for kids, eh, I've got a few issues, but I've also enjoyed the company of a great many. There are some really neat human beings out there of all ages, and the mischief-makers tend to be my favourites.

    CJ
    A mischief-maker if ever there was one!
     
  20. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2003
    Messages:
    6,532
    Likes Received:
    8
    Same here - lovely as my own children are, they haven't let me sleep well for over a week now! Quite exhausted. Last night was almost good - until a police heliopter started buzzing just above our street at 03:30. As it was hot and the windows were open it was quite noisy and woke some of us up.

    Good point - I quite agree. :)
     

Share This Page