Is there a Fallacy in this Satire?


If you can understand satire, please read the story that I’ve linked to.  Then tell me if you care to, if there’s some point missing in this satire.

No Birth Record, Not Alive

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11 Comments

  1. I think that the satire could be about being born again as a Christian… There should be a point in time that we can go back to and say that we were “born.” We should be able to go back and remember the way were before we were “born,” then the point of our “birth” and the life we now live. So this satire could be about salvation… But then agian, I am not the author… As far as the abortion aspect of it that was drawn out… We call it a birthday, because it was the “day of our birthing.” My question is what was “birthed” on that day? You, or a thing that was called by the same name?

  2. I couldn’t help but notice you’d linked to my post, and when I read your comment I felt compelled to respond. The post was indeed talking about the salvation “experience.” Let me explain the point I was trying to make a little more clearly. I wasn’t saying that being able to remember a day or moment of conversion is wrong. I know many believers do remember their conversion experience, but at the same time many cannot remember the definitive moment in time. I do remember a time when I was lost, but “wrestled” with the assurance of my own salvation for a number of years as a child. This was mainly due in part to the legalism I was brought up under that left me in a constant state of doubt and fear as to whether I was really “saved.” In time, by God’s mercy, I was delivered out of that legalism, and thus able to see and understand more clearly God’s word, thus gaining assurance. So the fact of the matter is that today I know I’m a Christian. I know I’ve experienced the new birth, but because of cloudy circumstances I cannot tell you the date or time it happened.

    But also, I’ll go a step further here. Because I believe the Bible teaches that God has chosen his elect in him before the foundation of the world, then we are passive in the new birth (reformed theology). Our regeneration in Christ is not dependent upon us. Therefore I do believe that one can be “saved” as a very very young child, at even such an age that he or she cannot remember a day not knowing Christ as he or she grows up. I will even go so far as to say I believe one can be saved in the womb. I think John the Baptist is a clear example of this. Where was his conversion day? Well, it was when he was filled with the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb.

    I grew up under a ministry that told people “If you can’t remember when you were lost then you’re not saved.” That’s not scriptural. Now, as I said before, it is very very common for one to remember a pre-conversion life, but I do not think one can make a Biblical case for saying that in order to be saved one must remember being not saved. I have met a few people in my life that cannot remember a day when they didn’t know Christ who were saved at a very very young age. But at the same time, while they don’t remember their “pre-conversion” days, they are fully aware of how sinful they are and know that without Christ they would be lost forever.

    So you see, my point was not to mock people who have dramatic definitive conversion experiences, but to point out the error of those who would say “If you don’t have that dramatic experience then you can’t be saved.”

    Thanks,
    Tom

  3. I’m glad Tom came over and added to his point. I know I personally got the point of his satire, and I’ve brought up the issue in discussions a few times.

    My question is… If a person shows signs of spiritual life, but can’t remember a particular time (not a date, just the event) when they “got saved,” does that mean they’re not saved?

    I think the being born analogy is biblically legitimate since Jesus himself used it. So, if you’re alive, doesn’t that mean you were born? And if you have spiritual life, wouldn’t that mean you’d been born again?

    This is a serious question for me, and I would like honest evaluations of it. Not the typical fundamentalist dismissal of it. I’m trying to be biblical.

  4. Well as far as John the Baptist is concerned… Plenty of people in the Old Testament were filled with the Holy Spirit, but that did not equate their salvation… Nor does the New Testament equate them as well… Hebrews 11 says that the Old Testament saints were saved by their faith at seeing what was coming… Ephesians 2 says that is grace through faith that saves us… Good old John 3:16 says that it is us believing in the Son… Romans 10:9-13 are more verses that say believe… So I am left with asking… Were people being saved in Jesus’ day? He had not sent the Comforter to Earth until the beginning of Acts… (BTW, John the Baptist would have been in that group of people too…)

    But onto the other point in your dissection of your satire… I completely agree that just because you cannot remember your life before you are saved that does not mean you are unsaved… But it is treading a very thin line… Because salvation REQUIRES repentence, and if we do not recognize our need for repentence, because of our sinful life, then that would be grounds for the questioning of salvation… Besides, being able to look back onto your old life, and seeing what God has done is one of the greatest ways we can honor and praise God (Not that praising and honoring God is a requirement for salvation, it should be a natural by-product though…)

    I have digressed into rambling again… So to sum up, I believe that while you do not have to “know” a date/time for your salvation (seeing as there are no verses that say that), and you do not have to remember your life before hand (seeing as there are no verses that say that either, although there are verses in the Bible that say something like, “as such were some of you”), we do need to recognize what we repented from and to (“Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish…”)

  5. Christopher

    I have a lot of points to add to what you’ve said, but let me begin by asking this question. How would you say an infant who dies can ever be saved if salvation requires repentance (as you’re defining “repentance” as a conscious recognition of one’s sinfulness and need of Christ)? According to Scripture we are saved by grace through faith in Christ alone. How does an infant or an unborn child do that?

  6. I understand your question quite well… And the answer is just as simple… Has that child had an opportunity to repent? Was it ever given an option to? Probably not… Has that child ever wilfully rebbeled against God in sin? No… It does the things that every baby naturally does… We have the example of David’s son in the Bible to point that out… But just so it does not seem like I am avoiding your question, I need to ask one of my own… Would you say that there is a point in time when a person must take responsibility for themselves? At what point is there a difference between right and wrong in a person’s life? Is that at conception? At birthing? The infant/crib years, toddler years? Oh yes, that point comes in everyone’s life and it is that point that a person chooses to rebel or accept God… Until that point would you not agree that is just to not punish a person for their ignorance of the law? Please, do not misiterpret me… I understand that we are all inheriently sinfull, and we all do deserve hell, but the point that I am making is this… Our God is merciful, much like Adam, he allows us to attain the knowledge of right and wrong, and just like Adam, we are held accountable when we attain it… So just because an infant did not get up and say, “I am sorry God for my sins” does not mean they are unsaved because in a base way of stating it, they have nothing to repent of because they do not know the difference between right and wrong… I hope this came out right…

  7. Oh and one more thing… I do belive we are saved by grace through faith too… Repentence is recognition of God’s grace (Romans 5:8) and faith in the saving power of Jesus Christ (John 3:16, Romans 10:9-13, etc…) Recognizing what we were and what we are now, is a big part of salvation… I often use the boat analogy to describe salvation…

    Pretend you are in a boat out at sea… (most people find this easy to do) You are having a good time, exploring the sea of life… But unkonwing to you, there is a small hole in the boat… You continue on never recognizing that there is a hole in the boat… What will happen? The boat fills with water, will eventally sink and you will die… But what would happen if you notice the hole? Would you try to bail out the water? Most people do, but you know what… No matter how fast you bail out the water, you still sink… There is nothing we can do… Finally there is a moment of realization where you notice on the horizon another boat, it has been there the whole time, but because you were too occupied with exploring the sea, and then with the impending water, you failed to notice it… What do you do now? Ignore it and keep bailing the water? No of course not… You realize that you are helpless and call out for help… You recognize that if you stay the way you are you are going to drown… You need a change, so you call out… That is my analogy for salvation… It is not a process, or steps… It is that moment in time you recognize that the way you are is going to get you into trouble and you call out for help… It is not repenting then calling… Or calling then repenting… It is repenting and calling or calling and repenting (if you prefer) …

    I hope that helps…

  8. Hmm. Let me explain what I believe.

    1. We are dead in our sins and trespasses. We are born sinful, guilty before God. This includes infants. Ignorance of the law doesn’t make one not guilty of breaking it. (Ephesians 2:1, Romans 3:9-18, Psalm 51:5)

    2. There is no “age of accountability.” I’ve searched the scriptures for any evidence that we are not held accountable for our sins until a certain age. I can find it nowhere. Therefore even infants are guilty of sin.

    There’s an old quote that says “If there is an age of accountability, the most merciful thing we can do is shoot our kids when they’re born.” I know that quote may be over the top, but if our guilt is based upon us knowing and understanding it first then we would be foolish not to kill all children when they are born, that way they could all go to heaven.

    3. There is ONE way of salvation, and ONE alone, by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. There are not TWO ways of salvation, one that says “Well those who can consciously do it, accept Christ by faith and those who cannot get a free ticket out.” (1 John 5:12, Ephesians 2:8-9)

    4. Since we are saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone, any infant that dies and goes to heaven does so because he has faith in Christ. Faith is a “gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8). What is faith? Well Hebrews 11:1 answers that “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is when one is sure of his hope and convinced of what he cannot see.

    Let me give an illustration of my own. When my son was born I immediately noticed that when he would cry either me or my wife taking him into our arms would calm him. Right there is an illustration of a type of faith. My son simply knew that to be held was security and peace. It calmed him, and he rested and slept. In a very short amount of time he learned to recognize our voices when we entered the room, immediately finding joy in our presence. If a young child can trust in his earthy father, can he not be given the faith at a young age to trust in his Heavenly Father? The simplest faith is still genuine faith.

    I think one of the obvious problems that we’re having in this discussion is that we’re coming from two different theological perspectives. I’m coming from a Presbyterian/Reformed perspective that believes that the new birth is a supernatural sovereign work wholly of God. He supernaturally gives his elect new heart at the time of salvation and then grants him the gift of faith to trust in him. I don’t see a distinction between faith and repentance. Repentance is turning from your sin to Christ. One cannot turn from his sin and not be turned to Christ, and one cannot be turned to Christ who hasn’t turned from his sins.

    So I believe even the youngest infant can have a new heart from God as well as the gift of faith within him. I believe that the covenant promises of God extend to our children (Acts 2:38-39). If a child is saved at a very young age then when he is taught the things of God he immediately clings to them without rebellion. His life from a very early age shows the fruits of the Spirit. He grows up trusting in Christ always, not knowing a time of not trusting him. As he gets older he comes to understand more clearly his sinful nature and how if Christ had not saved him he would be totally lost.

  9. Good morning Tom…

    1. I agree that everyone deserves the penalty of hell for their sins… I, of course, agree that we are bron in sin, the Bible says that… So I am glad we agree…

    2. I apologize for trying to explain with my own reasoning the Biblical example of David’s child… All I know is that David’s baby died and went to heaven… We do not know anything more than that… Not age, beliefs, behavior, nothing… We just know David mourned while the child was sick, and was happy after its death because the baby went to be with the LORD… And as far as the “Shooting the child…” quote, no offense, but what kind of Christians do you hang around that would even suggest murder? I cannot think of a Christian that would even joke about that… Life is sacred to God, so it should be to Christians too… I know I never had heard that phrase before, and I would be (and am) very offended if it was said in my presence… I understand the point you are making… Do not get me wrong, but still…

    3/4. I apologize if I presented what I believe as saying that there are two different ways for salvation… I would never mean to do that intentionally… Because that is a big no-no… I agree with several things that you said though… The biggest thing I agree with is what you said about Repentence… Repentence is turning from your sin to Christ… You cannot do one or the other… It is a simultaneous act… So to talk about your baby illustration, just like in my boat illustration, there was a moment of turning in both circumstances… Concious or not, the baby needed something it could not get on his own, so he cried out… Whether he knew it or not, he was no longer “satisfied” with his life, and needed someone to “save” him… He repented… Changed from his way to your way… Now how a babe does that with God, I do not know, but I also want to point out that I never said kids could not get saved, my point was that I do not know what point the age of accountability is, and if you do not like that term because it is not found in the Bible, then I ask you what Biblical basis do you have to show that David’s child was converted? Or did God show mercy on the child?

    So just to recap… I totally agree that a person does not have to know a day or hour of salvation… I agree that they do not have to remember there past life of sin… I believe that a person gets saved through recognition of their sinful condition (Rom. 3:23), seeing the results of their present condition (Rom. 6:23), understanding what Christ did for them (Rom. 5:8), and believing in that work (Rom.10:9-13). That is what salvation is… As far as babies go, while I cannot see how they could do this, but then again, I am not God and therefore, I do not need to understand why… I believe that He does…

    Thanks for conversation Tom…

    Christopher…

    P.S. I personally do not like to throw around, I am a this, or I am that… I would rather discuss Bible, rather than someone’s belief from some time past… Besides, and I mean this as no disrespect to you, I have a hard time with the word “Reformed” because that implies that something was broken and changed for the better, and I prefer to believe in the purpituity of the Bible and that the Gates of Hell has not prevailed against it… So for something to be “reformed” means that it was not around at the start… But that is just my two cents…

  10. Christopher,

    Regarding the quote, the person who said it was not at all being serious. He was simply pointing out the logical conclusion to an erroneous doctrine. It’s a “demonstrating absurdity by being absurd” sort of thing. It’s like saying “If those who have never heard the gospel are not accountable to God then we need to burn all the Bibles and stop sending out missionaries, then everyone will go to heaven.” Don’t worry. No one is advocating murder.

    I too believe David’s child was saved and went to heaven. On what basis? Well, since the Bible only mentions one way of getting to heaven, through Jesus Christ, then I must conclude that the Child was saved by the miraculous work of the Holy Spirit working in him faith to trust in the coming Messiah of Israel. You asked “Or did God show mercy on the child?” well my answer would be “Of course he did.” But God shows his mercy through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Sin must be paid for, not simply swept under the rug. When that child entered heaven when he died, he entered because Christ had paid for all his sins. Now, how the Holy Spirit worked faith in the heart of that tiny child I do not know. But I can only draw my conclusions from Scripture. Anyone in heaven is there because they were saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone.

    Regarding the use of the term “Reformed,” I think I understand where you’re coming from. Personally it’s just a helpful way of summarizing a system of belief.

  11. Sorry about that Tom… I treat most things like I treat the Bible… Literally… I think I have lost the point of our disagreement in the last couple of posts… I agreed with everything you said in your last post… So what were we disagreeing on again? I believe Jesus’ sins paid for everyone, even babies… I remember as a kid learning that concept, Jesus died for the “world”, that is, everyone… Regardless if they accept it or not, He still did it… So yeah, I do draw the same conclusion about David’s son as you did…

    As far as the absurd thing goes… I personally always try to steer away from the form of argumentation, because it can tend to rub people the wrong way, and give false impressions… So I am sorry to have jumped on your case for that…

    Thanks for the conversation thus far…

    Christopher…

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