Does anyone have any idea what Adam would have been like as a child if God made him a baby instead of a full grown man? When would Adam have been accountable? Never mind the question about how he would have been nurtured and trained. For the purpose of the question, let’s say God would take care of him as he grew.
Accountability, the idea, is rooted in the idea that a person has been judged by God to be accountable for sin and the wages of that sin is death. This makes me ask what is sin? Well, it’s a trespass against God, Col. 2:13. It’s doing what’s wrong, and not doing what is right, Jas. 4:17; Col. 3:25. When does a person go from innocent to accountable? Is it just a set age, say at 12 yrs old? Or is it more of a condition one is born with and nothing to do with what one has done? That seems terribly unfair and my sense of justice comes from God,
What we do know is that he was perfect for a brief period of time. Shortly after God made Adam, God made Eve. They were married – no parents to leave as they cleaved to each other. The devil, being aware of his intrusive ways, would not have waited long to start tempting them to sin. The point is they were perfect, they were grown and able to understand right and wrong, they were able to exercise free will, and when faced with the choice and temptation, they fell into sin.
“When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.” Gen 3:6
Here is my question: why did they sin when they were in a perfect and sinless spiritual state? For them to sin did not necessitate that they were evidently spiritually compromised or spiritually broken.
Now the quest arises why did we all sin? The Bible says all have fallen like Adam because all sin, Rom. 5:12. But why do we all sin? Is this because, as Calvinists say, we were born already depraved by inheriting this brokenness from Adam. How can this be since Jesus said children are innocent and it is we adults who need to become like them!
Children are conceived and are born innocent as Adam was when God made him. Children come into the world knowing nothing about good or evil. Their little eyes take in everything without any sense of boundaries. Their little hands and feet explore without any sense of boundaries. Their senses teach them some things to avoid, or prickly things, if they cause pain. Parents talk to the children, gently guiding them through a maze of dos and don’ts. Parents apply pressures, to impress life’s lessons to the children. Discipline doesn’t beat sin out of children; it corrects and shapes them to prepare them for life, Pro. 23:13. This is where parents learn patience because children need to be told the lessons many times for various reasons, but because they firstly do not understand. Surely daddy did not mean not to grab a cookie since it is obviously food and good to the taste. And even when little ones sneak or lie to the adults, they do not understand the importance of what they are doing. They do not yet grasp the importance of these things on later character traits.
Parents have a big job to take little innocent children. They must patiently guide the children from perfect innocence to adulthood. Parents understand the children are innocent and have to do all they can to protect that innocence from the world. Parents have to teach children that everything in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life are not from God. These are deep, nuanced, spiritual lessons that slowly impress their little souls.
There is no need to hurry children to get into the baptismal waters for salvation. Children have to become lost before they need to be saved. If parents have exemplified God’s plan and have lovingly guided their children to know and follow God, the child will know he is lost and will want God’s salvation. God does not save children because children are not lost. God saves people who have reached that age similar to where Adam was. Sinners then know their sinfulness and call on God to saved. “Blessed is everyone who calls on the name of the Lord.” Acts 2. Notice that in Acts 2, it was about 3000 men and women who were baptized and saved.
I have learned many things about parenting over the years. It’s one of the greatest works men and women will do. Part of my reason for writing this is because I understand the doctrine of John Calvinism and the impact it has had on bad attitudes towards children. They are not little devils, as one well-known theologian put described. They are not little sinners. They are too precious for these judgements. And such judgements foolishly show a childish lack of understanding of sin. When God sees a child breaking a house rule, God does not pronounce an ounce of judgement on that child. God reserves His judgement for adults who know better.
Share below your thoughts and wisdom on this matter.