Drippings from the Honeycomb
More to be desired are [the rules of the Lord] than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:10)
This is not a question unique to today (though emotionalism and universalism perhaps make it more difficult to address). Infants died in Bible times, pioneer Ontario, and indeed still today. Although infant mortality has decreased, still children die, particularly the unborn (miscarriage, abortion, the disposal of embryos in fertility treatments, etc). So long as there are children and so long as there is sin and death this question will be relevant.
Before I begin to give a basic and introductory response, I want to emphasise that I do not embark on seeking to answer this question as if from a distance. My wife and I lost numerous children through miscarriage and we have had close friends and family members suffer the loss of both unborn and newborn children. Something else that I must stress before I proceed is that this question is often approach through emotionalism. While our affections have a role to play we must submit ourselves to Scripture, conceding that our ways are not God’s ways (Isa 55:8–9). Generally when we are uncomfortable about something in the Bible God is correct and we are wrong. If you proceed in reading this blog please pause, pray and be open to reason [or reasoning] (James 3:17). Christianity is like a train and the order of that train is important. First must come the train, then the car and finally the caboose. Put another way, first must come fact (or the promises and truths of God), then faith (or belief in those) and then feeling. Get the order wrong and the train soon runs off the track to wherever we want it to go. Get the order right and it runs smoothly along.
The question centres around salvation and namely, if the Bible teaches original sin and the need of salvation (which it clearly does), what about children? It also touches upon our beliefs about what the character of God should be in relation to this question, either leaning toward His love (how could a loving God allow…) or His justice (God is soft on sin if...).
Numerous passages and verses in the Bible teach original sin, but three are perhaps most pertinent to this subject.
The first is Psalm 51:5 where the Spirit says through David: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. This verse teaches that not only from birth but from conception we are sinners.
The second is Ro 5:12, which addresses why we are born sinners. Here the Spirit says through Paul: Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. This means that because the head of the human race—Adam—sinned, all humans are born sinners (original sin). Not only are we born guilty sinners but we also co-opt into sin through sinful choices throughout our lives.
Thirdly, and perhaps the most challenging, come passages like Deut 20:16–18 and 1 Sam 15:2–3 where the Spirit says the following about the destruction of the Canaanites:
2 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”
We must remember that these passages speak of judgement because of societal sin of a great magnitude (with simply a different means to address it being commanded than against say Sodom and Gomorrah). It does not spell genocide. Traditionally this total judgment has been understood by Christians as a real event backed up by archaeology, but also as a picture of hell.
If children had no sin, children wouldn’t die, because death—generally speaking—comes from sin (Ro 6:23b).
In light of these three passages, we return to the question.
There have been at least 8 ways that Christendom has sought to answer this question.
 In 2020 there were 1622 infant deaths under the age of one (or 4.2%), 74,155 abortions and untold deaths of embryos in fertility clinics.
 I believe it is possible to differentiate between the immorality of abortion for instance and issues of infant salvation. One is a moral issue and the other spiritual.
 Jesus saying, “let the little come to me” has as little to do with salvation as it does baptism, rather Jesus is breaking down barriers in the apostles hearts, because the Gospel was not meant for “us” (the disciples or the Jews) but for them (Jews and Gentiles and all who believe).
 This is very similar to forms of universalism where it is believed people will get a second chance before entering heaven to believe (but see Heb 9:27).
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