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Author Topic: Do babies go to heaven?  (Read 3281 times) Average Rating: 0
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deusveritasest
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« Reply #45 on: June 08, 2009, 05:05:41 PM »


My personal thought is, our merciful Lord would not send a baby to hell. But what is the point of baptizing then? If new born babies are sinless, why are they getting baptized?  Huh

It doesn't appear accurate the infants are born "sinless" in an entirely unqualified matter. Yes, most EO do not believe that infants are born with the guilt of sin, as they have committed no personal sin to be guilty of. Yet the Fathers speak of the inheritance of the ancestral curse, by which all humans are born spiritually dead and devoid of communion with God and sanctifying grace. This is sometimes referred to as "ancestral sin" or even "original sin". This very state that infants are born into is the state that we understand Holy Baptism to be healing.
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Bono Vox
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« Reply #46 on: June 08, 2009, 05:11:08 PM »

My priest told me he believes all infants who die go to heaven. I personally agree with him. I cannot imagine God would condemn an infant to be tortured and damned for all eternity simply because he/she was born with the anscestrial curse. It just does not seem rational to me.
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« Reply #47 on: June 08, 2009, 05:16:54 PM »


According to our Humble resident and Saintly Father Ambrose that teaches the infallible teaching of the Holy Orthodox church,we are all born immaculate sinless..

No, no.  I didn't say that.   In the thread about the Immaculate Conception what I have said is that the Mother of God and all humankind is conceived in the same spiritual state.

Oh! OK Father is the state were born in then is just mortality that we all die eventually ...Huh

I don't intend to speak for Irish Hermit. I just want to contribute my 2 cents:

Physical corruption is not really the big picture of the state we are born into. It is rather the consequence of the root problem. Adam and Eve were originally "spirit bearers". They were gifted with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, sanctifying grace, and a lively soul/spirit. As a result of their first sin, all of this change. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit was withdrawn (or rather we could even conceive of this as Adam and Eve casting out the Holy Spirit themselves by their sin), communion with God was broken, sanctifying grace was lost, and Adam and Eve became "spiritually dead". There were a number of secondary consequences, the beginning of physical corruption being one of them. And while the Augustinian understanding of a "stain of original sin" or a "hereditary guilt" is generally rejected, this other understanding of an "ancestral curse" and "spiritual death" (I believe systematized by Athanasius) is generally accepted by Eastern Christians.
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« Reply #48 on: June 08, 2009, 05:19:32 PM »

They are baptized so they can receive the body and blood of Christ...

They have been receiving it since they were in the womb... (sorry, but I assume this would be Orthodox) They are baptized so that the body and blood isn't taken away from them upon birth, since they had already been receiving it (assuming) for 9 months of their life already.

It's not heretical or anything. But it is generally against the sentiment of the Church as found in canon law. It was decided that if a pregnant woman was Baptized that the infant born of her would still have to be Baptized as well. The Sacred Mysteries are understood to be received on a personal level. Likewise, Holy Communion would probably be understood to not be received by a child until the first time they personally receive it.
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« Reply #49 on: June 08, 2009, 05:28:02 PM »

My personal thought is, our merciful Lord would not send a baby to hell. But what is the point of baptizing then? If new born babies are sinless, why are they getting baptized?  Huh
I had the same perplexing question on my mind when the Orthodox Priest told me that babies are born without sin and unlike the RC, the EO Church does not believe in original sin like we do. I mention this becasue as a RC it all made sense to me. For example, I was taught this as a RC:

The baby is born with the stain of original sin, therefore it must be baptized to wash away that stain, and introduced into the family of God. As circumcision introduced the newborn Jewish baby (in this case a Jewish boy) into Gods' family, according to the Old Covenant; now Baptism is the spiritual circumcision of the New Covenant.

Colossians 2:11-12
11 In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your sinful nature was put off when you were circumcised by  Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.

Romans 2:29
 29But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.

While it would be correct to say that "we do not believe in original sin like the RC do", it would not be accurate to say that we do not believe in any form of an inherited unholiness, but rather express it in the form of the "ancestral curse" that I elaborated on elsewhere. Also, the concept of a "stain of original sin" is generally not used by EO, who for the most part seem to feel that such a thing could only be generated by a personal sin. The ancestral curse is not so much a "stain" or a "blemish" like a personal sin, but rather a lacking in original holiness resulting from breach of communion with God, loss of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and spiritual death.
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Tags: afterlife infants 
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