Total Hereditary Depravity, Part 3 – The Tangled Web That Total Hereditary Depravity Weaves

Beginning with Total Hereditary Depravity, Calvinism weaves a very tangled web. There are some big problems with saying that everyone who is born is born a sinner. Besides the fact that Total Hereditary Depravity contradicts the teaching of the scriptures, one huge problem arises when the question, “What happens when babies die” is asked. Why ask such a question? Because sadly, it does happen; but even sadder is the answer that Calvinists must give when it does.

Calvinists don’t like this question. At least ones who realize what they’re saying. Why not? Well, remember, all a person has to do to go to hell is be born! After all, it’s sinners who are going to hell. And according to Total Hereditary Depravity that’s exactly what a baby is born!

Babies going to hell??? For being born??? According to Calvinism!!! No wonder the question is so uncomfortable. So how is the situation dealt with? Well, there are a few (howbeit extremely, extremely far-fetched) options on the table.

If you’re Catholic, you baptize the baby. This opens a whole other can of worms, but non-the-less the answer is you baptize the baby without faith contrary to what the scriptures teach (Mark 16:15-16). After you baptize the baby you can “worry” about the faith part later and have them “confirmed” without the baptism. It’s not a good answer, much less a scriptural one, but hey, it’s an answer!

Now if you’re Protestant you don’t believe that baptism has anything to do with salvation (at least the vast, vast majority believe this). If baptism isn’t necessary for adults, then how could it be for babies? The only way Protestants who believe in Total Hereditary Depravity deal with the issue is by saying babies who die get a “special exception” from said depravity. So that leaves all the babies who die as members of God’s predestinated, unconditionally elected group. I guess that makes all the babies who survive the one’s we have to worry about!?

Let’s cut to the chase. If you believe that Total Hereditary Depravity is the truth, you have one of two choices. One, the baby won’t go to Hell because they didn’t sin – but we can’t have that because they were born sinners!!! As for number two, the baby won’t go to Hell because they were born a part of God’s predestinated elect BUT you can’t be sure about it since they never expressed their faith. Either way, there can be no genuine hope because if you ask a person who truly believes in Total Hereditary Depravity, they will say you can’t be sure if a baby is in Heaven because they deserved to go to Hell.

But do you know what the biggest problem and flaw with Total Hereditary Depravity is? It’s Jesus! Jesus was born in the flesh (John 1:14; Galatians 4:4), but He was the sinless Lamb of God offered for our sins (2 Corinthians 5:21; John 1:29).

So how does one get out of saying that Jesus was born sinner? You have to come up with some idea that teaches Jesus was “immaculately conceived” or that men pass along the “sinner’s gene” and not women; because if women passed the gene along then Jesus would have been born a sinner!!! You see, the more and more a person looks at Total Hereditary Depravity, the more and more you have to get into crazy and fanciful ideas that take you further and further away from the scriptures of God!

By the time a person gets done looking at Total Hereditary Depravity and everything that comes along with it, they get so stuck defending the other false hoods of Calvinism that they can’t help but rely on the doom of innocent souls for their convictions to be true! That’s one tangled web to be caught in scripturally and spiritually. EA

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20 comments

  1. Wow Wow Wow; Love It Love It Love It!! The Logic, Your Analysis Is Spot On, The Common Sense Approach To This Study Is Absolutely Worthwhile. One of the Best Treatments I’ve Ever Read On This Doctrinal Issue. Thank You For Your Time & Effort Into This Study. God Bless My Bro.

  2. Eugene: This is a difficult target to follow but I was able to do so. I am not sure that Calvin actually believed the conclusions that we draw from his teachings but many of his believers do.

    1. Hey Steven, thanks for commenting.

      When I did a sermon series on this topic I specifically mentioned that I wasn’t going to talk about what John Calvin himself taught, but rather focus on what “mainstream” Calvinism adheres to; when it comes to the “mainstream” there are a lot of “fish” who get caught in this current. The fact that this topic is so commonly taught, believed and thought to be true, that I have even had “debates” with atheists who attacked the Bible becuase they believed it supposedly taught that “babies go to hell.”

      While I believe that mainstream Calvinism may differ from what Mr. Calvin taught about “Limited Atonement,” I am of the understanding that his personal beliefs concerning this topic are very close to what is taught today. He is quoted as saying in “Institutes” (one of his own writings), “Even though we grant that God’s image was not totally annihilated and destroyed in him [Adam], yet it was so corrupted that whatver remains is frightful deformity.” Regardless of his personal thoughts, what the “mainstream” of today teaches is much easier to discuss, so that’s what I stuck with.

      If this particular doctrine is not held to be true, then the need for “unconditional election” is useless, and if “unconditional election” is useless, then so is “Limited Atonement” etc. and this is the reason why I aim at this target. If the “foundation” crumbles then so will the “house.”

      Take care, Steven.

  3. You said: “When I did a sermon series on this topic I specifically mentioned that I wasn’t going to talk about what John Calvin himself taught, but rather focus on what “mainstream” Calvinism adheres to…what the “mainstream” of today teaches is much easier to discuss, so that’s what I stuck with.”

    You know that God judges the dishonest, right?

    “It is important to emphasize that, in our view, God is not saving infants because they are innocent. They are not innocent, but guilty. He is saving them because, although they are sinful, in his mercy he desires that compassion be exercised upon those who are sinful and yet lack the capacity to grasp the truth revealed about Him in nature and to the human heart.

    It should also be emphasized that the salvation of all who die in infancy is not inconsistent with unconditional election (the view that God chooses whom to save of His own will, apart from anything in the individual). As Spurgeon pointed out, it is not that God chooses someone to salvation because they are going to die in infancy. Rather, He has ordained that only those who have been chosen for salvation will be allowed to die in infancy.”

    http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/what-happens-to-infants-who-die

    “We believe that our Lord graciously and freely received all those who die in infancy – not on the basis of their innocence or worthiness – but by his grace, made theirs through the atonement He purchased on the cross.”

    http://www.albertmohler.com/2009/07/16/the-salvation-of-the-little-ones-do-infants-who-die-go-to-heaven/

    “Now the point that we have to make is that infants who die are given a special dispensation of the grace of God; it is not by their innocence but by God’s grace that they are received into heaven.”

    http://www.ligonier.org/learn/qas/what-happens-children-who-die-they-can-accept-gosp/

    Now apart from Spurgeon, Piper, Mohler and Sproul, who represents this imaginary “mainstream” of calvinism that you are discussing?

    1. I am well aware that God says he will judge the dishonest person. Show me where I was I dishonest! His judgment includes fasle teachers like you if you teach infants are born sinners. I am well aware of the fact that the false theory of “total depravity” is in line with the false theory of “unconditional election.”

      Mainstream Calvinism teaches exactly what I said and your comments show it to be true.

      According to Calvinism we don’t have to worry about the babies that die, just the ones who live??? Only babies that are unconditionaly elect die??? Where is this “special dispensation” mentioned at in the scriptures??? Where is ANY OF THAT in the scriptures? (1 Peter 4:11) You talk with the words of men because you cannot talk with the word of God.

  4. “Where is ANY OF THAT in the scriptures?”

    I explained quite a bit of it with the scriptures. You deleted it. Remember when you lied and said this?

    “I have always welcomed comments, questions and even debates on topics that I have written about on my blog whether or not the person agrees with me as long as the conversation goes back and forth and it does not remain one-sided with one person doing all the asking but no answering.”

    You complained about others censoring you and yet you censor me and again demonstrate that you are a hypocrite and incapable of truth…(John 8:44)

    Your nature is motivated by pride alone and you know it. God sees it. You like to think you can change if you want but the bible says otherwise:

    Jer23:13Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.

    God alone can change your nature. God alone gives a soft heart leading to repentance (Ezek36). I hope He eventually breaks your heart and makes the Truth more important to you than your pride.

    Until that time, keep surrounding yourself with people who agree with you and censoring those who show your errors in thinking. (Hey, censorship worked for the Ayatollah…)

    1. First off, you’re a liar. I didn’t delete one thing that you said here on this post. As to your other comments on the election post, they added absolutely nothing to the conversation. Nothing at all. Maybe you should pay attention to the topic that I’m talking about.

      You offered NO scripture about total hereditary depravity! If you don’t stop calling me a liar and trying to paint the picture like you’re innocent and I’m doing something wrong then I’ll delete the whole conversation. End of story. I won’t spam you as your Calvinist brother did to me because he couldn’t handle the truth about the faslehood of unconditional election, but I will end the conversation.

      As to your comment about my statement concerning comments, questions and debates, I would remind you that you never asked a question other than “who’s the mainstream?” one. You started the conversation by telling me that I’m going to be judged as a liar. Nothing else. Then you went on to tell me what people said, and not the scriptures.

      Cut the name calling, or I’ll cut the conversation. Your name calling reveals how weak your argument really is – even comparing me to a Muslim???

      Like I said before, all you can quote are the words of men and NOT ONE SINGLE VERSE about total hereditary depravity and this “secret” exception that children who die get.

      Here’s your chance! Give the me scripture that says all children who die are apart of the unconditionaly elect. The fact that you can’t answer this shows how you teach false doctrine.

      I repeat: all you can quote are the words of men and NOT ONE SINGLE VERSE about total hereditary depravity and this “secret” exception that children who die get. Total hereditary depravity and calvinism condemns children and turns the cross of Jesus Christ into a sign of hopelessness!

      Here’s your chance to prove me wrong. Remember, answer with scripture; not the doctrines and commmandments of men like you quoted earlier.

    2. And just so you know, your scripture reference is wrong; it should be Jeremiah 13:23.

      And have you ever stopped to realize that this verse is written and directed toward God’s “unconditionally” elect people??? I thought God’s “unconditionally elected” people can’t lose their salvation? You have some here doing that very thing!

      The point (in context, which calvinists love to ignore) is about people that become ACCUSTOMED to doing evil…not born doing it. Look at it Charles, it’s right there in the very verse you tried to quote. Not born evil, but become so accustomed to it that they cannot change anymore than the Ethiopian can change his skin color or the leopard his spots.

      There’s not one hint of total hereditary depravity in that verse/context much less “irresistable grace” or “perseverence” of the saints.

      Listen to what Jeremiah said in context – “This is your lot, The portion of your measures from Me,” says the Lord, “Because you have forgotten Me And trusted in falsehood.“(Jeremiah 13:25)

      They forgot God; it’s not they never knew Him – they intentionally forgot Him by becoming idolaters!

      Look at verses in their context and you’ll never find any truth that supports the falsehood of any of “Calvinism’s tulip.” It’s as simple as that.

  5. I don’t believe there is any way God would send a baby to hell. That’s the bottom line. I could never worship a God that cruel. That would kind of make our God like Molech, the false god in the OT that demanded child sacrifice, but the real God detested that demon god. My God is love, and there is no way he would let that happen. I had never studied and “worked through” the doctrine of original sin; I just accepted it because that is what I was taught. Thank you for showing me the error in my thinking in this matter. I was wrong.

    1. Asked a Catholic (and this goes for Protestants’ who believe the same thing too, even though they don’t all baptize babies) what would happen if a baby isn’t baptized (because if you’re doing it in relation to sin then it must be done) and they wouldn’t answer because they knew what the conclusion is, they just didn’t want to admit it. The conversation involved much more than that but that was a major pressing point with me.

      1. I was just thinking about how we sometimes really don’t think things through, or seek the truth in our beliefs. It can lead to dire consequences. It’s like if a woman thinks the child in her womb is only a mass of tissue, she has no trouble aborting it. However, once she studies it and finds out the truth, it changes everything.

  6. My curiosity got to me and I looked up TULIP on a “Reformed” website. I read what it means, and my first reaction was no, no, no, no! God would never set up such a system where we had no choice whether to be lost or saved. People even had a choice in the days of Noah…God said so.
    AND the God I know would not condemn an innocent baby.
    I had never heard of TULIP. Had heard of Calvinism but didn’t know what it meant. As a Catholic, I learned and believed in original sin, but now I don’t believe that any more after studying what the Bible says. I had just never read the Bible with understanding before the past few months, and still just learning the basics. I know there are probably hundreds of books written about original sin, but why study it any further if God explains it in his Word?
    I know the priest who mentored me would be disappointed, but what is true is true. I still have some lingering Catholic beliefs. Still think about a lot of things and look back on occasion. I’m going to look through some past articles and see if I can find some answers. Thanks!!

    1. There are varying degrees of belief/adherence to Calvinism in Protestant churches. The baptist church I grew up in only taught the Perseverance of the saints (once saved always saved) part of the TULIP.

      Unfortunately, often times, reformed theology was/is based on a counter-Catholic position leaving its conclusions in error because the counter-target was wrong as well.

      Not all of Catholicism is wrong (many biblical beliefs are held and practiced) but unfortunately, as you’re aware of, many are based on Catholic hierarchal practices instead of true Bible-based beliefs.

      Glad these old articles are useful for you.

      1. Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off just concentrating on the basic things, but then I am so hungry for God’s Word…I just want to know more and more. Also, I am so often inclined to go in the wrong direction. It’s already happened twice since I was baptized, but I was able, with help, to get back on the right path pretty quickly. It’s just that things can seem so right to me, but end up being false. I worry about that…worry that I will fall away because of a wrong belief.
        It’s so inconsistent…I tend to believe that if saved, one will not fall away, yet I’m saved and worry about doing just that. I’m a senior citizen and should be beyond this! I should be baking cookies and knitting sweaters or something! :-) But then there was Nicodemus; he was pretty old and still searching…

  7. I decided to stop studying Calvinism for a while and go back to the basics. There was so much joy when I was just reading the Bible all the time and learning about God and how he wanted me to live my life. I feel like the more I read about Calvinism, the more I am going down this giant rabbit hole and getting away from the joy and peace I found in just learning about Jesus. I learned a lot, and it will be beneficial. For one thing, I learned that original sin is not found in the Bible, and that’s probably one of the most important things I need to know. But as far as the whole TULIP thing, I just can’t go there yet. I’m just not ready, and my knowledge base is too limited to really understand it very well. I’m not wanting to ignore it, but I feel if I spend so much time on studying it, I am missing the more basic things I need to be learning about my own personal walk as a Christian. Does that make sense?

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