02 March 2011

Ecclesiology #6- A note on the Age of Accountability

With regard to the Age of Accountability, not only is it absent from Scripture but it raises a couple of points to consider.



The first is admittedly absurd, but it’s been used on more than one occasion to make a point. If a child is not accountable for sin until they reach the accountable age, and if they were to die before reaching that age, they were guaranteed a place in heaven….isn’t killing them the most merciful thing you can do for them?

Absurd I know, but it’s something you often hear. It’s deliberately hyperbolic, but it makes a point.

Astoundingly Chuck Colson once actually argued along these lines. It was several years ago during one of his little daily commentaries. It was in reference to something in the Middle East where the United States I believe, was being condemned for civilian casualties.

Colson argued that since those kids were going to grow up, become lost Muslims and then go to hell, it was actually a mercy that they were being killed. He wasn’t trying to justify the political policy using that argument, but it was a little aside that he was sharing for his Christian audience, to feel better about the Collateral Damage I guess?

Further, he appealed to the conquest of Canaan by the Hebrews in the book of Joshua…that when the Israelites were exhorted to destroy and slaughter it was an act of mercy for the Canaanite children.

Because of the Age of Accountability, all those kids automatically go to heaven.

The fact that he would understand the Conquest in this manner shows once again he knows virtually nothing about Scripture. I’m not trying to belittle the guy. I honestly believe he’s lost and lost people cannot understand the basic messages of Scripture. Colson is just one of a long line stretching back centuries of people who think the Bible is a tool for power. He and his supporters would disagree, but that’s my opinion after reading and listening to him for years.

The Conquest was a Holy War (in the true sense) commanded by God. The Judgment unleashed was a picture of the Judgment at the End when Christ returns, and it’s a Judgment all of us deserve. We all deserve to die that way, we all deserve to suffer and die in an Auschwitz. Yes, it’s difficult to fathom, but even children. We’re all born sinners and deserve eternal punishment.

It’s not very palatable, but the Scriptures are abundantly clear. Remember, the Gospel is an offense to the world. No one likes to be told their sinners and sinners from the womb.

The theologian Lyman Abbott also found it offensive. He realized the problem was with regard to the doctrine of Headship, the fact that we’re tied to Adam….or for those of us who are saved….the Second Adam.

Abbot’s response, “Adam didn’t represent me, I never voted for him.”

Good old American democratic values and instincts….but hardly Scriptural.

Speaking of acculturated theologians, while Colson wouldn’t go so far as Abbott did, his views are just as unbiblical and culturally conditioned.

The Conquest was in no way an act of mercy. It was Judgment.

The fact that Colson and others like him appeal to such passages and then try and apply the Divine Mandate of Holy War with the accompanying commands of utter destruction to a modern un-covenanted nation like the United States is not just grossly ignorant, it’s really quite sick.

The world will not understand this. They read the Bible apart from the Holy Spirit and they think…genocide.

It wasn’t. It was a Divine Command. God has the right to command that. When God Judges, it’s not a crime.

We have no Covenanted Nations today and no Prophets provided Oracles for us to take up the sword.

So when man or a nation commits such acts….it’s murder. It’s genocide. It’s man saying…I’m God and I get to be the Judge.

A final point….why then did King David say he would go to his child that he lost? I’m referring to his illegitimate child with Bathsheba.

It could have just meant, following him to the grave….to Sheol. That doesn’t always mean Hell.

Or it could have meant Heaven. And if it did, David’s basis for thinking that his child was with God can only rest in the Covenant….again, a Theology of Means. God operates through them. He operates through Covenants. The Jews grossly abused the Means by making them Supreme. I don’t think we can accuse David of that. If anyone understood the Substance behind the Means…saving faith…it was certainly David.

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