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Age of accountability?

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  • Age of accountability?

    It seems to me that people are awfully dogmatic about the concept of the age of accountability, even though it doesn't appear anywhere in Scripture. The way I look at it, I have no idea what God will do but it's nothing we can dogmatically affirm (I wonder if it's somewhat of an emotional reaction based on the idea of eternal torment in hell; as an annihilationist I don't have that problem).

    Those of you who do believe in it, what do you see as the strongest Scriptural arguments? Or is it more of a philosophical case?
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2

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    • #3
      Romans 7:9 would be the best place I could think of off the top of my head.
      That's what
      - She

      Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
      - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

      I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
      Stephen R. Donaldson

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      • #4
        I agree. It's something that I'm very hesitant to state with any level of certainty.
        I DENOUNCE DONALD J. TRUMP AND ALL HIS IMMORAL ACTS.

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        • #5
          42

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          • #6
            I think it's mainly a philosophical case based on the supposed innocence of a child.

            However, there is also some small evidence from 2 Samuel 12:22,23 when the child of David and Bathsheba dies and David says, "Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me". Some think this is a reference to heaven where the child went, although it is equally plausible that this is meaning the grave.
            Last edited by alaskazimm; 03-26-2015, 05:32 PM. Reason: adding verse cite

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            • #7
              And I think the arbitrary assignment of a chronological age is problematic. I have a man in my congregation who is 37 years old, and has the mind of a child. He hasn't the ability to understand right and wrong- just that he prefers his plastic key ring to real car keys.

              And some children seem to be much more "aware" at age 7 or 8....

              My wife is really good at talking to children to discern if they're ready to "get saved" -- they first have to understand that they are "lost".
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                It seems to me that people are awfully dogmatic about the concept of the age of accountability, even though it doesn't appear anywhere in Scripture. The way I look at it, I have no idea what God will do but it's nothing we can dogmatically affirm (I wonder if it's somewhat of an emotional reaction based on the idea of eternal torment in hell; as an annihilationist I don't have that problem).

                Those of you who do believe in it, what do you see as the strongest Scriptural arguments? Or is it more of a philosophical case?
                Philosophical case. I don't really see any Scriptural case for it. God being omniscient would certainly know what an unborn baby's life would have been like if the baby had been born. He could then judge accordingly.
                "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

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                • #9
                  I believe the age of accountability is different for every person, and only God knows what that is.

                  This allows for those who are mentally handicapped, as well.


                  Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mossrose View Post
                    I believe the age of accountability is different for every person, and only God knows what that is.

                    This allows for those who are mentally handicapped, as well.
                    Yeah!
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                      Philosophical case. I don't really see any Scriptural case for it. God being omniscient would certainly know what an unborn baby's life would have been like if the baby had been born. He could then judge accordingly.
                      Um, I would consider that unjust. I don't think God punishes people for what they may do in the future, but for what they've already done. Parents can often know that there children will do a certain thing, and warn them against it. They still won't punish them until after they've done whatever it might be.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
                        Um, I would consider that unjust. I don't think God punishes people for what they may do in the future, but for what they've already done. Parents can often know that there children will do a certain thing, and warn them against it. They still won't punish them until after they've done whatever it might be.
                        Wasn't there a movie about punishing people for crimes they commit in the future? And causing a self fufilling prophecy.
                        If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Christianbookworm View Post
                          Wasn't there a movie about punishing people for crimes they commit in the future? And causing a self fufilling prophecy.
                          Minority Report, I think.

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                          • #14
                            In the honor/shame paradigm, it seems to me that in the life to come, everyone is exposed to the love of God. Those who reject God experience that love as a burning fire. Those who have accepted God experience it as blessed light. It seems to me that those who never had a chance to accept or reject God would not feel the shame of having rejected God, and so would be more likely to have the latter experience than the former.
                            Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                            Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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                            I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                              It seems to me that people are awfully dogmatic about the concept of the age of accountability
                              I see no reason to believe in just one 'age' except for ill-considered simplification. It would seem more natural that as humans mature in understanding they are thereby aware of and thus responsible for more and more sins.

                              even though it doesn't appear anywhere in Scripture
                              Those who espouse Sola Scriptura tend to be a unceasing source of irony.

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