|Volume 22 Number 7 July 2020||
For many years, people have been taught that their babies must be baptized. The doctrine of infant baptism grew out of a belief that should a child die without having been baptized, he or she would suffer eternal punishment in hell with the devil and his angels. It is supposed that souls share in Adam’s guilt, and every person, therefore, is under condemnation and is punishable for the inherited guilt quite apart from any actual sins one may commit. Hence, the manmade doctrine of original sin teaches that children are born with the guilt of sin through inheritance and are depraved in nature.
However, this is not what the Bible teaches. Had it been so that children are born in sin, and thus depraved, Christ would not have said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted, and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Again, in another instance, when little children were being brought to Him so that He might put His hands on them and pray, His disciples rebuked those who were bringing their children to Him. Then, Jesus said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Now, if those children were depraved sinners, as it is supposed by some people, why did Christ say, “of such is the kingdom of heaven”? Further, why did He tell the disciples to become as little children to enter the kingdom of heaven?
The truth of the matter is that babies, little children, have no sin in them. They are as pure as Adam and Eve were in the beginning when God created them after His own likeness and in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). Adam and Eve were not created by God as little babies, but as full-grown man and woman. They were intelligent, rational, were able to differentiate between wrong and right and were able to choose to do or not to do a certain thing. However, they chose to disobey God’s command, and therefore, they became sinners when they did what God had commanded them not to do (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-13).
This is how sin is defined in the Bible. It says, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). Adam and Eve disobeyed the law or the command of God and, thus, became sinners. Likewise, when a baby is born, he or she is without sin. He does not have the capability to understand right from wrong or the full consequences of disobedience. True, at an early age a child can begin to understand obedience to parental commands, but the concept of God and of obedience to Him, and the laws concerning sin and its consequences are beyond the mental capability of a little child. However, when the baby grows and become of a mature age—when he or she is able to know right from wrong, is able to make personal decisions, is able to choose to obey God or to disobey Him, when he or she is accountable to God—from that point onward, God holds him or her responsible for every action the he or she does.
Some turn to Romans 3:23 to teach that all are born with the sin of Adam, but it does not say that. It reads, “All have sinned.” Not, “All are born with sin.” Others go to Psalm 51:5 to justify the erroneous belief that babies are born as sinners. Yet, again, this is not what is taught in that passage. Notice what King David said in that passage. He said, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity.” David was brought forth, but who had brought him forth? His mother! So, he was talking there about his mother who had brought him forth and who was in iniquity when she had brought him forth. Again, notice, next he said in that passage, “And in sin my mother conceived me.” Who had conceived David? His mother! So, who was in sin? His mother! David was not yet even born! This statement is parallel to someone saying, “In anger my mother beat me.” Now who was angry? The mother, not the child! David was certainly bemoaning the fact that as an adult he was a sinner. He said one reason he committed sin was sinful influence into which he was born. He did not say he was born a sinner, but he was brought forth in iniquity. He did not say he was conceived as a sinner but was conceived during the time his mother was in sin. In other words, the people who were around him after he was born tempted and influenced him to sin.
David’s situation was like Adam and Eve’s when they were created. They were created sinless, but it was through the persuasion of the devil they chose to sin. So it is with every individual. One is born innocent into the world, but it is a world made up of sinners. It is a world of sinners persuading others to sin. Yet, “Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14-15). Sin is committed personally by every individual and not inherited from another. Likewise, the Bible teaches in Ezekiel 18:20, “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. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”
To be saved from sin, the Bible teaches, all need to be baptized (immersed in water) for the remission of sins, after believing in Christ, repenting of sins and confessing Christ as the Son of God (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 8:35-39). The fact of the matter is that a baby or child is not a sinner, and therefore, that baby or child does not need baptism.
The Butterfly Fish
Nothing is more beautiful during the late spring and summer than the appearance of butterflies that float so gracefully around the flowers in our gardens and yards. Indeed, some of them have such amazing lives, but I would like to turn our attention to the butterfly fish!
Butterfly fish live in freshwater streams in the rainforest of Congo, Africa. The fish is relatively small, being no more than five to six inches long. Butterfly fish normally are very slow moving and prefer to spend their time lying around near the surface in floating plants. They are like many slow-moving, surface-dwelling fish in that they are able to use their swim bladder to breathe air by gulping air at the surface. When seen from above, the widespread pectoral fins of the butterfly fish look just like the decorative wings of its namesake insect, the butterfly. The fins are a silvery brownish green and patterned with dark markings.
Yet, these fins have other uses than just being decorative and given to this fish by the Creator. When it is attacked, it jumps up and seemly flies out of the water as a predator attempts to eat it. The large pectoral fins (the fins located on the sides of a fish) flap and glide up out of the water and away from danger. You can relate this to the jumps out of the water of the flying fish in the oceans. People who have witnessed these jumps say that the nearest thing to this fish’s appearance is the flight of a butterfly.
Besides using the pectoral fins as wings to escape from predators, they also help this fish leap from the water to capture terrestrial insects from above the surface of the water. This feature gives the butterfly fish an advantage over fish that must wait for the insects to fall into the water. The butterfly fish’s eyes are upturned so it can see only things above it, and its mouth turns upward to eat insects from above. In addition, the brain of the butterfly fish has extra bundles of neurons for viewing objects above it. So, when the Creator designed the butterfly fish, allowing it to use its fins for multiple purposes, He showed His amazing engineering design ability and created the complete package to fill its niche in creation.
When evolutionary scientists try to explain the existence of the butterfly fish, they must also explain the fact that they have also been found in the fossil record in a completely unchanged appearance. They call these creatures that are found as fossils and yet that are alive today in the exact same form, living fossils. According to the old earth dating methods of evolutionists, butterfly fish have remained unchanged for 100 million years! This fish as well as all living fossils baffle evolutionary scientists, and they must come up with special exceptions to their natural selection process to theorize this.
The butterfly fish stands as proof of the marvels of the creation that we can see that fortifies our faith in our Creator. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16).
[Editor’s Note: As with so many other organisms, evolutionists cannot explain how something such as the butterfly fish could avoid being eaten to annihilation, starving to extinction or being deprived of oxygen while waiting to evolve unique characteristics over an imagined span of millions of years. Design in the universe demands a Designer God (Romans 1:20). ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]