Suffer the children

Meet Jaxon Buell.


Picture is from CNN. He just celebrated his first birthday even though he is missing most of his brain. His condition, microhydranencephaly, was determined in the 2nd trimester. His mom says,
"When we first learned there were concerns for Jax during the pregnancy, we were given the options of carrying him to term or having an abortion because there was the unknown issue. No doctor could tell us exactly what was wrong or what to expect, but we did make sure to ask if Jaxon was in pain or was suffering, and we asked if there were any added risks for Brittany during the pregnancy or potentially at time of delivery. Since the answer to both questions was "no," we never came close to considering abortion. Yes, we are Christians, and our faith has certainly been vital during this entire journey for our family, but we're still realists. Had there been any suffering in the womb or a danger involved other than Jaxon possibly not being able to live outside the womb because of the concern for his head and brain, then we certainly would have had a different discussion. However, that wasn't the case, and it was our choice, and only our choice." CNN
He is not a vegetable. Some people with this condition can live into their 30's with some measure of functionality. Most likely, this kid, with Christian parents, will likely never have the cognitive ability to respond to a salvation message and receive Jesus as his Lord and Savior. So what is Jaxson's eternal fate?
There are hard line Christian tribes who only take the bible literally, so when Jesus says in John 3:18 "The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God." It doesn't matter if one is capable of believing, belief is the criteria.

There are other hard line tribes that have a little empathy and figure God has predetermined some people for hell and others for heaven regardless of their mental capacities or ages because God is glorified either way. These harder liners take verses declaring we all are born in sin and only those predestined by the arbitrary will of their God will join him in heaven. Source.

The tribe you grew up in was less hard and talked about an age of accountability.

This is an idea approved “biblically” by a story of King David. God killed King David and Bathsheba’s first baby, David took comfort that he would one day join the baby. Somehow, our tribal interpreters thought the God who would kill a baby for the sin of his father was good enough to bring the child to heaven where David, the (murderer, adulterer, polygamist, idol worshipping) poet and friend of God expected to go. Obviously, there are many issues here, but at least your tribe believes their God will make it up to kids who die young. They figure the upper limit is around the onset of adolescence, the age when Jewish boys have their rite of passage ceremony. Even the hard liners recognize their is some flexibility on that date as well - their view of God allows a little victory of mercy over his justice. As John MacArthur writes, “There is nothing in the Bible that says, "Here is the age and from here on you are responsible!" I think the reason for that is because children mature at different paces. That would be true from culture to culture, and from age to age in history.” Source. However, MacArthur’s appeal to no direct verse in the Bible, but the ethos of God's compassion. You understood that your God had some generosity in him, that he was not only moved by justice.


Now, if children and babies who die before their “age of accountability” when God becomes a hard ass, doesn’t make that bridge across the fiery canyon of hell more populated?


Let me extrapolate this a little further. What about those babies who die before they are born? Generally your tribe opposes abortion because it is murder of a child, a fully distinct human being, although small, dependent and less developed. There are natural and induced abortions. The natural ones, miscarriages, happen at a much higher rate than the induced kind, even up to 50% of all pregnancies, source, owing to the fact that most of them occur before a woman knows she is pregnant. This being the case, shouldn’t the crowd of innocents crossing over the bridge to heaven dwarf the crowd of guilty plunging into hell fire and damnation?


One more thing about babies. Older Christian tribes baptize babies, inducting them into the family. They believe this preserves them unto death. Now your tribe doubted they understood God correctly to even get to heaven in the first place, but by college you recognized them as fellow believers, in a distant cousin sense. Their teaching meant that even if they did stray, they would still go to heaven. Since those older tribes compose over a billion humans today, it might be time to add a couple lanes to the bridge to heaven. Right?


At this point, allowing for the innocent, that picture should have made heaven in the bright canyon, and made the other side full of fire and brimstone, that only a few people were crossing over to.

By this point, it's clear I do not think that picture from your bedroom was correct. In my proposal of a truth and reconciliation after-life, babies like Jaxon would get a fast pass through that metaphysical space, on their way to heaven. What offense would a baby have to confess to?


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