Friday, December 6, 2013

Do unbaptized infants go to hell?

Another article on the eternal destination of infants who die before birth/before baptism.

Once, a lady came to my office to talk to me about the sadness she was experiencing for many years; she had had five miscarriages and was mourning the loss of her children. Her biggest difficulty with the issue, she explained, was that her children were condemned to hell because they were never baptized.

I asked her how she had come to that conclusion and she answered that she was taught early in her life that all people who die and have never been baptized go to hell, even infants, because of “original sin”.

The two questions I would like to raise here today are (1) “Where has this idea come from?” and (2) “Is this the teaching of the Ancient Christian Church?”

Read the rest.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. I would like to add that our priest gave us a pdf of a chapter from "Life After Death" by Met. Hieretheos that analyses St. Gregory of Nyssa's explanation that infants are illumined at conception and even without baptism are in communion with God and go to heaven should they die before baptism (baptism is always better and unbaptised infants are in a bit of a different "state" than those who are baptised, as other saints have also said, but certainly not hell!!). Our child is expected to have Potter's Syndrome and we do not know if it will survive birth to baptise it before it reposes, so this was a great reassurance to us (although I certainly never thought God would send infants to hell! It was just such a good thing to read and remember).

Matushka Anna said...

Anonymous, I'm sorry to hear about your child's diagnosis. I know this is off-topic, but has your doctor researched trying the new technique of injecting saline into the uterus periodically during pregnancy (to take the place of the missing amniotic fluid)? There was recently a high-profile case of a baby who had this done and is now going home from the hospital (on dialysis and waiting for a kidney transplant).

inallthingsrejoice said...

The specialists I've been seeing actually say this is not a "new" treatment, but an experimental treatment that has been used in the past with typically disastrous results (usually resulting in uterine infections). They don't know why John Hopkins opted to do such a treatment and don't advocate it themselves since they say it has almost always been highly dangerous and not enough beneficial research has been done to know if it could actually help eventually. If the lungs have developed enough, dialysis is possible (as long as the baby is 5 lbs or more), but that rarely occurs. Currently the options are very impersonal and their latest plan is to separate me and the baby after birth in different hospitals.