The Age of Accountability

From our BEL Archives... * Crawling Before We Can Walk: The tiniest children, through their own fathers, have all inherited spiritual death from Adam. And as the Bible also teaches, God would of course never punish a child for the sin of her father. So no one who ever dies, let alone a child, would be sent to hell because of what is called "original sin" inherited from Adam. But people are judged, each one, for their own rebellion. For as God insists:

The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son… Ezekiel 18:20

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At what age then does a person become eternally responsible for joining the war being waged against God? Jesus taught that to whom less is given, less is required. And for, "that servant who knew his master’s will… to whom much is given, from him much will be required" (Luke 12:47-48). From Scripture Christians realize that people reach the "age of accountability" at different ages, with young people who die and many handicapped folks never reaching that age on this earth. But let's back up and consider how sin is inherited.

Spiritual death is inherited from the father, not from mom. Thus Jesus could be born from Mary's body, yet not inherit her sin. Regarding the Incarnation of Christ, some have taught that for Jesus to be born of Mary without inheriting sin, that Mary herself must have been immaculately conceived. However, that only begs the question. For then, how could Mary have been born to her mom, if her mother had not herself been miraculously conceived? So the claim that Mary was immaculately conceived, which the Bible does not teach, would require immaculate conceptions "all the way down," beginning with one of the daughters of Eve, through one of Noah's daughters-in-law, through Sarah, Rebekah, Leah, Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth, and so on to Mary's own unnamed mother.

But that was not how Jesus could be "born of a woman" (Gal. 4:4), yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). For children inherit spiritual death from their father, not their mother. The Bible does not teach that all the world died in Eve. Rather, even in the most technically careful theological passages, the Apostle Paul wrote that, "by the one man’s offense many died," for "in Adam all die," and death "came through the one who sinned," and the results of sin came "from one offense," so that "by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one," and "through one man sin entered the world" (Rom. 5:12-17; 1 Cor. 15:22). From the time of the curse in Eden God prophesied a coming victory by the seed of the woman (Gen. 3:15). However, the Savior was also promised to be the "seed" of Abraham (Gen. 22:18), of Isaac (Gen. 26:4), and of Jacob (Gen. 28:14). And a thousand years before Jesus' birth, God gave this messianic prophecy to Israel's King David, "I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body… and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever" (2 Sam. 7:12-14). So when the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary (Luke 1:35), He provided the genetic compliment to the 23 chromosomes of her own ovum, so that the Scriptures could be literally be fulfilled that He was a true descendant of Abraham and David, yet He was also the seed of the woman, and thus, without sin.

So now back to original sin. God would never punish a child for the sin of his or her father. For as He says in the Mosaic Law (a passage often quoted by pro-lifers refuting the "abortion for incest" lie):

Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin. Deut. 24:16

Later, a king arose in Judah who did not do "what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25 [see also Deut. 12:8; Jud.17:6, Prov. 12:15, etc.; Jer. 3:17; 7:24; 9:14; 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12; 23:17]) but who "did what was right in the sight of the LORD," (2 Kings 14:3). And of Amaziah the sacred history records:

But the children of the murderers he did not execute, according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, in which the LORD commanded, saying, "Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; but a person shall be put to death for his own sin." 2 Kings 14:6

God gets angry at those who allege that He would be so unjust that He would punish a child for his father's sin (or for that matter for Adam's sin). You've heard of the expression, sour grapes, but did you know that phrase comes from the Bible? Some of the most colorful and meaningful passages of Scripture are largely unknown to Christians, in large part because they contradict what some theological schools have taught, wrongly, about children being at risk of punishment from God because of Adam's sin. Yet God is as clear as clear can be. The Israelites had a popular though uninspired proverb which claimed that God would punish them for the sins of their fathers, and the Lord did not appreciate this saying. Ezekiel chapter 18 begins:

The word of the LORD came to me again, saying, “What do you mean when you use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying:

'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

"As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “you shall no longer use this proverb in Israel!" Ezek. 18:1-3

And speaking of a future time when Israel understands better God's ways, the Lord says:

In those days they shall say no more: "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge." But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.” Jer. 31:29-30

Colorado's 2010 Personhood Amendment 62 Logo[Note: To continue with this Age of Accountability discussion, Bob Enyart recommends listening to BEL's Bible Study on Romans. The above study is not a preview designed to sell Bob's Romans study, but he has not yet had the time to finish writing this article from his notes on this topic. When that's done, we'll try to remember to update this article here at KGOV. Also, listening to the July 9, 2010 BEL radio program will add Bible material to the above study. Thanks!]

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* Human Male vs. Female Mutation Rates: Famed geneticist Francis Collins, the Christian though theistic evolutionist who led the sequencing of the human genome, wrote:

...the Y chromosome only passes from fathers to sons, so it only travels through males—you can get a fix on the mutation rate in males compared to females. seems that we [males] make mistakes about twice as often as the women do in passing our DNA to the next generation. That means, guys, we have to take responsibility for the majority of genetic disease. It has to start somewhere; the majority of the time, it starts in us.

* Evolutionists Claim that Disease Equals Evolution: No actual evidence exists for the evolution of one kind of organism into another kind. So to fabricate evidence, Darwinists claim that disease (organisms breaking down) is evidence for the natural origin of an organism. Of course though we all know that entropy and the countless ways of breaking things are qualitatively different than the far fewer ways of making those things. Yet desperate for evidence that he could point to for evolution, Collins continues his above quote as follows:

...genetic disease... If you are feeling depressed about [genetic disease], let me also point out [that] evolutionary progress... is the same phenomenon.