Infant Salvation in the Baptist Faith & Message

Some Southern Baptists have been disagreeing (imagine that!) over what the Bible teaches about infant salvation. Actually, some Southern Baptists don’t like what other Southern Baptists believe or might believe (imagine that!) about infant salvation. My point is not to take sides or even express a position, but to quote below exactly what the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 the Southern Baptist confession of faith – states about infant salvation.





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tagged as , , in apologetics,calvinism,Christianity,Church Issues,Gospel,Southern Baptist,theology

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chris Roberts September 4, 2013 at 10:19 am


2 LesProuty September 4, 2013 at 10:27 am

Well that settles it. Good quote.

3 Jonathan September 4, 2013 at 10:32 am

I see what you did there.

4 Mark Lamprecht September 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

LesProuty I can’t take all the credit, but thanks.

5 Mark Lamprecht September 4, 2013 at 10:43 am

@Chris Roberts 🙂

6 Mark Lamprecht September 4, 2013 at 10:44 am

@Jonathan Almost like there was nothing there to quote. 🙂

7 LesProuty September 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

Mark, in all seriousness, I happen to think there are good reasons to believe that all infants (and the severely mentally challenged) dying in infancy are regenerated and will immediately be in the presence of Jesus. But that said, it is not explicit in scripture. The reaction of some “lumping” those who are not sure with virtual heretics due to their uncertainty shows the lengths some will go to try and trash Calvinists. One would think that a person who says on this issue, “Well, I can’t say for sure” has just denied the trinity or something.
Lost in all this is their denial of guilt for all. No human deserves heaven and no human (aside from Jesus) would be dealt unfair treatment if they never saw heaven.

8 Chris Roberts September 4, 2013 at 11:37 am

LesProuty There are also good reasons not to believe it. We are just not given enough to make a conclusive, dogmatic statement. There are hints that babies who die go to Heaven, but only hints, while there are also a number of theological problems with assuming they go to Heaven – problems that exist whether one is a Calvinist, Arminian, Calminian, Traditionalinian, or whatever. We are not given enough information in Scripture to reconcile the issue. Most people let emotion rule over this decision, and there are dastardly folk today who want to rile up people’s emotions to turn the SBC against Calvinists. They are not relying on reason; they are not relying on Scripture; they are relying on raw, manipulated emotion. Hardly the Christian thing to do.

9 LesProuty September 4, 2013 at 11:47 am

@Chris Roberts LesProuty Chris, totally agree. As I said, I think there are good reasons. But my view, as Spurgeon’s, etc., is just that…reason (informed by scant scripture and other theological positions. But it is not unChristian, as is being implied by those trying to “Lump” some together, to either say “I just don’t know” or even to say that one believes that all infants do not go to heaven. I don’t think one can absolutely say the latter and I don’t actually know anyone who hold that. But it’s possible.

10 Lynn Mac September 4, 2013 at 12:19 pm

The above link “Baptist Faith and Message 2000” did not work and Avast anti-virus gave me an alert to that site:
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Infants are born in a neutral, safe, innocent state, Rom 9:11, having done no good or evil works and therefore would be saved if they died.

11 Mark Lamprecht September 4, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Lynn Mac I’m not sure what you experienced with that link, but I clicked on it from my post and it opened just fine. Hmm…

12 Mark Lamprecht September 4, 2013 at 12:45 pm

@Chris RobertsLesProuty There is also good reason to try to understand one another without lumping various groups together (as you indicate). Since this issue is not explicit in the BFM, why are some views treated almost like damnable heresies?

13 Chris Roberts September 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Lynn Mac Romans 9:11 tells us that God’s election of Jacob over Esau had nothing to do with their future actions. It does not tell us they were innocent when they were born.

14 Lynn Mac September 4, 2013 at 1:31 pm

@Chris Roberts Lynn Mac
The verse does tell us “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil,…”
So everyone when they are born have done neither righteousness or unrightoeusness…a neutral/innocent state. Infants cannot be called sinners when they have committed no transgression – sin – unrighteousness.

15 LesProuty September 4, 2013 at 2:05 pm

@Chris Roberts Lynn Mac Right Chris. In fact the scriptures make clear that no one is born innocent. No, not one.

16 HaitiOrphanProj September 4, 2013 at 3:17 pm

Lynn Mac The bible also says, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” You have to do a bit of context work and hermeneutics Lynn Mac.

17 Lynn Mac September 4, 2013 at 3:24 pm

HaitiOrphanProj Lynn Mac 
This still does not change the fact that children are born without having done any good or evil…innocent.

18 HaitiOrphanProj September 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Lynn Mac HaitiOrphanProj Whether an infant has done good or evil or not, that does not change the fact that they are all born sinners. No innocent. Guilty in fact.

19 Lynn Mac September 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm

HaitiOrphanProj Lynn Mac 
How can they be born sinners when they have committed no sin?
I cannot call a wall painted that has not been painted no more than I can call a person a sinner who has not sinned, transgressed.
1 Jn 3:4 John said sin is transgression of the law. Infants are not capable of transgressing God’s law therefore are not sinners. 
 If they are sinners then what law have they transgressed?? Lying? Stealing? Murder? Adultery?

20 Mark Lamprecht September 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Lynn MacHaitiOrphanProjThe verse also says, “in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls.” Even if we grant that Romans 9 here is indicating that those who are not yet born are innocent, their next steps are placed in God’s sovereign election. 
On a side note, Lynn, it seems as though you argument would lead someone to believe the we could win God’s favor by doing good which we know is not true.

21 Lynn Mac September 4, 2013 at 5:42 pm

Mark Lamprecht Lynn Mac HaitiOrphanProj 
But God’s sovereign election does not change the fact the infants had done no works good or evil.  Even if God chose Esau over Jacob , it has no effect on the fact infants are born innocent having done no good or evil.  So God did not base His choice on any evil or good works either twin did for neither twin had done no works.  Since neither had done any good works then good works did not win God’s favor.

22 HaitiOrphanProj September 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Lynn Mac says “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child.”
Eph. 2:3 “among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” We were what? “by nature children of wrath.”
(Psalm 58:3) “The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth.
Lynn Mac, people are not born innocent as the scriptures show. The verses from which you are trying to prove that  do not prove it.

23 Lynn Mac September 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm

HaitiOrphanProj Lynn Mac
“Nature” in this verse means “a mode of feeling and acting which by long habit has become nature” – Strong’s.
If you practice something for a long time it becomes part of your nature.  Note Eph 2:1,2 …”ye walked according to the course of this world” and “had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh”.  They had practiced sin for so long it became part of their was how they lived not how they were born.
In Psal58:3 David said they “go astray” NOT “born astray”.  Going astray shows personal culpability in one’s own action not how one was passively born against his will having no choice in the matter.
Again Rom 9:11 does not contradict the verse you post above, all infants are born innocent having done no works good or evil.  All verses harmonize.

24 HaitiOrphanProj September 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Lynn Mac HaitiOrphanProj
Brother, as to the word nature:”Phonetic Spelling: (foo’-sis)
Short Definition: nature, inherent nature
Definition: nature, inherent nature, origin, birth.”
“properly, inner nature, the underlying constitution or make-up of someone (something).”
It has been pointed out to you several times that not only is “baby innocence” not in the bible, but the verses you are trying to use do not say that. They don’t even hint at it. But you continue to try and prove otherwise. I’ll leave you with your misguided belief.

25 HaitiOrphanProj September 4, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Lynn Mac HaitiOrphanProj
Oh, one more:

“and were by nature–He intentionally breaks off the construction, substituting “and we were” for “and being,” to mark emphatically his and their past state by nature, as contrasted with their present state by grace. Not merely is it, we had our way of life fulfilling our fleshly desires, and so being children of wrath; but we were by nature originally “children of wrath,” and so consequently had our way of life fulfilling our fleshly desires. “Nature,” in Greek, implies that which has grown in us as the peculiarity of our being, growing with our growth, and strengthening with our strength, as distinguished from that which has been wrought on us by mere external influences: what is inherent, not acquired (  ,  ). An incidental proof of the doctrine of original sin.children of wrath–not merely “sons,” as in the Greek, “sons of disobedience” (  ), but “children” by generation; not merely by adoption, as “sons” might be. The Greek order more emphatically marks this innate corruption: “Those who in their (very) nature are children of wrath”; , “grace” is opposed to “nature” here; and salvation (implied in  , “saved”) to “wrath.” Compare Article IX, Church of England Common Prayer Book. “Original sin (birth-sin), standeth not in the following of Adam, but is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man, naturally engendered of Adam [Christ was supernaturally conceived by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin], whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil; and therefore, in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation.” Paul shows that even the Jews, who boasted of their birth from Abraham, were by natural birth equally children of wrath as the Gentiles, whom the Jews despised on account of their birth from idolaters (  ,  ). “Wrath abideth” on all who disobey the Gospel in faith and practice (  ). The phrase, “children of wrath,” is a Hebraism, that is, objects of God’s wrath from childhood, in our natural state, as being born in the sin which God hates. So “son of death” (  , Margin); “son of perdition” (  , ). ” Jamieson,Fausset,Brown

26 Lynn Mac September 4, 2013 at 9:45 pm

HaitiOrphanProj Lynn Mac
The word ‘nature’ has different meanings so CONTEXT will determine its meaning in Eph 2:1-3.
NOTHING in the context speaks to how they were born but as to how they lived, walked, their conversation of life and not to how they were passively born against their will.
It can also be noted in Eph 2:1 that Paul said “when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins”. They were YOUR own personal sins and not someone else’s sin you passively inherited. [The word “your” is not in the KJV – textus receptus but Is supported by many ancient Greek texts]
“…in verse three Paul affirms that all of us “were . . . children of wrath.” The verb emetha (“were”) is an imperfect tense form. The imperfect tense describes continuity of action as viewed in the past. Thus, here it depicts the habitual style of life which had characterized these saints prior to their conversion. Had the apostle intended to convey the notion of inherited sinfulness at the time of their birth, he easily could have expressed that idea by saying, “you became by birth children of wrath.”
“…. it is also significant that the verb is in the middle voice in the Greek Testament. The middle voice is employed to suggest the subject’s personal involvement in the action of the verb. The language therefore stresses that the sinful condition of the Ephesians had been their individual responsibility. Hence, combining the imperfect tense and middle voice aspects of the verb, we might paraphrase the passage thusly: “you kept on making yourselves children of wrath.”
 “…it is worthy of note that if this passage teaches that babies are born totally depraved, one would have to infer necessarily that infants who die in that condition are lost since they are clearly designated as “children of wrath” (cf. the expression “son of perdition” in John 17:12). By W Jackson of

27 HaitiOrphanProj September 4, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Lynn Mac HaitiOrphanProj Ah, Lynn Mac. You are Church of Christ?

28 Lynn Mac September 4, 2013 at 10:12 pm

HaitiOrphanProj Lynn Mac Yes

29 HaitiOrphanProj September 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Lynn Mac HaitiOrphanProj I see. I doubt, then, we will ever see eye to eye on this issue. For I’m sure there are other significant issues we also will differ on. Have a good evening.

30 Lynn Mac September 4, 2013 at 10:36 pm

HaitiOrphanProj Lynn Mac
Have a good evening too.
(I will add the word ‘nature’ in Rom 2:14…”For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:”  They were not born with the law in them but they lived, acted by God’s law without being taught the law.  If these Gentiles were also “by nature children of wrath”, how could they also by nature do things contained in the law?)

31 clarkdunlap October 1, 2013 at 2:08 pm

SO, who actually wrote that section on infant salvation? Was it collaborative between Mohler and Patterson?


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