Dec 13

Question: In the case of a child then, you would believe that even though they may do many things that seem to be sinful, they are not considered a sinner until they knowingly are going against God himself. Right?

Answer: With a child I hold that the Scriptures teach that from birth they are imputed righteous by God, but are not converted. Also, that a time will come in their life where they will knowingly transgress the law of God and will experience guilt and condemnation that will not be relieved by having that act revealed and receiving correction by their parents.

At this point, they are separated from God, or are spiritually dead or what the Bible calls “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1). It is common for children to feel guilt for wrong actions, but this will pass when their acts have been revealed and they have received correction for the offense.

One of the signs that a child has passed from innocence into the age of accountability is when wrong actions have been revealed and received correction for, but the guilt the Child experiences does not leave. At this point, they need more than forgiveness and correction from their parents: they need forgiveness and conversion.

Paul brings this out in Romans 7 when he discusses when this happened to him. “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (Rom 7:9).

This is referred to many as “the age of accountability”. Typically it will be from the age of 8 to 12, but can be as early as 5 or 6, and if the person is mentally-challenged they many never come to the age of accountability.

I suggest you read the article on Leading Your Children to Christ.

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5 Responses to “Q&A: Are Children Sinners?”

  1. 1. timothy sauder Says:

    The Mennonite handbook says it this way, you start with heart faith passed down from the parents and church in their instruction. You grow into head faith as you learn and understand that instruction. When the heart faith and head faith come together you have mature faith. I was baptized at 16 and for me it was that mature faith. I am against too early a baptism for children. They almost always end up repeating it as a teen and thus deluting the meaning. They are saved just let them grow up. Maybe we need an act of affirmation for children outside of adult baptism if they have a desire to express their faith.

  2. 2. chris woods Says:

    So then if a child that has not reached the age of accountability dies he goes to heaven? What about Christ saying that ” I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and NOBODY goes to the Father except through me” . If this was true that children who die before the age of accountability go to heaven, then it would be in their best interest that we kill them before they reach that age, insuring that they would be in Heaven. That would then be love.

  3. 3. bob Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Are you saying that infants that die go to hell?


  4. 4. chris woods Says:

    Bob, I am not saying that all infants that die at birth are going to hell, only those who have been predestinated to hell, according to God’s will. Man is born wicked by the sin of Adam. There is a number of scriptures to prove this,ie.: Psalm51:1, Psalm58:3, Ephesians2:3, and others which talk of Adams sin passing to all those of who he was head of. I would be interested to know of which scriptures you use to prove of an age of accountability, as your article above is silent to these. Thanks, Chris

  5. 5. Believer Says:

    What scriptures exactly are you referring to that teach that from birth a child is imputed the righteousness of God?

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