Age of Acountability

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Age of Acountability

Postby RevSears on Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:25 am

Where do kids go when they die that haven't accepted the lord? it's a very contraversial issue, i'm teaching on it wednesday night, just curious to your thoughts. I'll share my notes with you after getting some responses.
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Postby Matthew on Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:54 am

great question. My preacher talked about this a few months ago. Jesus gave us a great example.

Luke 2:41-52
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se ... ersion=31;
It says Jesus was 12 in this passage. This age must have been important enough for the writers to point it out, so I think it is roughly 12 years-old.
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Postby andrwfields on Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:32 am

I would almost say that the age of accountability is just a few years older now, like around 14-15. It breaks my heart to see children give their lives to God and then see them 5 years later without any God in their lives worshipping at the throne of sex, drugs, and alcohol.

Although, one could say that it could fall into our laps because we've been poor mentors...
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Postby camper on Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:40 pm

I've read that the age is anywhere from 13 all the way up to 20.

We only have very rough and circumstantial evidence to state that children (or mentally retarded) go to Heaven which makes it impossible to argue positively either way that they do or don't.

Personally, I believe they DO based on the often cited 'proof texts' out there, and that it seems to be within God's nature to apply Christ's sacrifice to those unable to choose it as you and I might.

No matter what, we have to remember that what God decides is right, and that He in His infinite knowledge sees and knows all, therefore whatever He decides is just.

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Postby JustAGrl on Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:03 pm

Personally, I think God would take it on an individual basis. I think a lot depends on how the shild was raised and what values they wre taught. So perhaps if the child was brought up in a strong Christian family and knew right from wrong, etc that would factor in. Or if the child had been brought up with little or no religion and hadn't been given a chance to gain their own testimony.

I tend to believe that it is not so black and white and God is merciful and will look to see what is in people's hearts.
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Postby Peter Cooper on Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:19 am

I agree with camper and justagrl. We can't answer questions about God's decisions that are out of our hands, although it's good to speculate and discuss. You can't say "13" or "6" (yes, some theories go as young as that) because age is human, and God isn't.

You can, however, rely on the fact that God is good, and will always do the right thing.
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Postby RevSears on Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:58 am

finally, here is some notes i gathered on the subject w/ verses.
Age of Accountability, Do young children automaticly go to Heaven when they die?
Many hold this belief w/o knowing the scripture on the issue, many are currently moving away from this belief in what has been called the Neo-calvinist movement, many of those too are likely unaware of what scripture has to say on the issue.

The invidual is responsible for sin: we know this !
There is none righetouness, no not one.
Inherited sin, or sin nature:
Ezekiel 18:20 says “the soul who is is the one will die.â€
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Postby Chaplain on Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:09 am

JustAGrl wrote:Personally, I think God would take it on an individual basis. I think a lot depends on how the child was raised and what values they wre taught. So perhaps if the child was brought up in a strong Christian family and knew right from wrong, etc that would factor in.


I have some issues with this: if they were brought up in a Christian family, one could see that as an "in". Yet if they are not, guilt is assumed from innocence – they didn't have the chance, so to speak. So a little sticky there.

JustAGrl wrote:I tend to believe that it is not so black and white and God is merciful and will look to see what is in people's hearts.


I agree God is merciful – but he does see what is in our hearts: selfish, inward facing love that is a twisted version of what he created. If he does look upon our hearts, particularly as young children, he sees a massive amount of selfishness. The thought above implies we start with some degree of purity which erodes, which I do not believe. The real question might be: when does sin occur?
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Postby camper on Sun Feb 03, 2008 12:33 pm

RevSears wrote:Age 12? it is the age of Bar mitzvah where a Jewish boy is considered accountable for his own spiritual status. Jesus should have taken part of this tradition but i am reminded of his comment about the Sabbath that it was for man and not the other way around. Our New covenant is less about rules and more about Grace, many have concluded, and i think rightfully so, we can't know the age for each person as it varies.


I can't find it (and I didd look) but there was an article justifying 20 as being the age of accountability due to the generation led to the promised land and the maximum age a person could have been to be granted entrance (with the 'older' generation not having faith and wandering for 40 years).

I personally think about 12-16 myself, but I wouldn't dare wait that long to teach kids about Christ. If a child wants to get saved at 5, that's a great thing and I wouldn't hold them back from it.

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Re: Age of Acountability

Postby tigerguy786 on Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:34 pm

I think the age of accountability is between 3-5, I say three because I have heard of children being that young and understanding the gospel. I think that as soon as a child can understand the gospel they have reached the age of accountability. Straying slightly off topic I would also say that if someone has a mental handicap that prevents them from understanding the gospel then they would also die and go to heaven under the similar principle as an infant dying and going to heaven.

There is a verse in 1 Samuel, about Bathsheeba's first kid dying. David says at the conclusion of the story that the baby cannot come back to him (because the baby is dead) but he can go to him (in heaven). I'll have to do a little searching but I can find it, when I do I'll post it.
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Re: Age of Acountability

Postby thea on Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:59 pm

I believe if a child dies under the age of accountability and the parents are Christians - the child will go to heaven.

When David and Bethsheba lost their first child - David said that the child could not come to him, but he could go to the child. II Samuel 12:23.

David was king of Israel and even though he had sinned, he was a Jew. He was a Christian from our standpoint - because he had the Holy Spirit abiding in HIM.

I don't believe the children of the peoples around Israel who were not Jews went to heaven when they died young.

I believe this promise is for Christians only.

I had a young girl tell me that it was o.k. to get an abortion because the baby went to heaven. She had been reared Lutheran, and believed that all children would go to heaven under the age of accountability. So? in asking a Theologian about this - he told me that we got this conception from David and Bethsheba.

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Re: Age of Acountability

Postby RevSears on Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:04 pm

I'm curious Thea, if you can find a scriptural reason for the promise only applying to the Jews or Christians. David may have been influenced by the Holy spirit, but not in the way we as Christians have access to it. The Jews were not automatically spirit filled with their membership into the religion, the Holy spirit came and went before Pentecost, but now we all have access to it.

The age of accountability is certainly no excuse for an abortion, provisions for the victim do not equate to lack of consequences for the one guilty of a sin.

I didn't find where i originally found the info but a new google search provided this: http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2140
Lutherans do not believe in the age of accountability Despite the scriptures i referenced.
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Re: Age of Acountability

Postby RevSears on Thu Feb 24, 2011 3:05 am

This topic is coming up again in class, but in a new light. If the fll of man made us Depraved, guilty and due a penality, shouldn't they all happen at the moment our soul comes into existence? Anyone have more to add to this old topic? i'm wrestling it a fresh right now. I still feel it the truth, but i have a new problem with it, Traduciniasm, i'll make a new post on that, seems like a great explanation for the transmission of sins, but... it may make it even harder to set up a special class like children.
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