I'm not an Arminian.
No, you're a Pelagian. The unborn and infants qua infants have no sin, so they are innocent. Ergo, universal infant salvation.
Tell us, when exactly do infants become sinners? What's the magic age? Where is the exegetical argument? If it varies from individual from individual, where's the exegetical argument for that?
One of the problems with this appeal is that the selected text doesn't deal with the imputation of Adam's sin to anybody. It addresses an altogether different situation. Like many anti-Calvinists, B2K doesn't exegete the Bible, he quotes selected verses as if they make his case for him.
I deny inheritance of Adam's sin for the soul outright, per Ezekiel 18:20.
More on this spooftexting later.
I might be willing to allow that the body does inherit Adam's sin and consequently physical death if you'd like me to, although I can conceive of physical death accruing to all men from Adam without any inheritance of his sin even by the flesh itself.
1. If the former, that's dualism and Gnosticism. The body is bad, it dies as a consequence of Adam's sin. The soul, however, is good. B2k likes to throw around the charge of heresy with respect to Augustine, but apparently he doesn't bother to consult the Bible or church history for other heresies - like Docetism and its children.
2. If the latter, then men were created in a perishable state.
But Ezekiel 18:20 specifically denies any possibility of the death of the soul (i.e. the second death) coming from inheritance.Let's look at the context of Ezekiel 18. We have to ask ourselves what Ezekiel is discussing. What he's discussing the statements of his audience that they are being held responsible for the sins of their fathers. He tells them that they are responsible insofar as they agree with them.
Indeed, God specifically says He does hold other generations accountable for the sins of the fathers no less than 4 times within the Law itself:
(i) Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
(ii) Exodus 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.
(iii) Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.
(iv) Deuteronomy 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,
So, rather than saying that infants are innocent, we should be asking how God can say what He says in Ezekiel as well as what He says in the Law. Ezekiel 18 doesn't represent a change in the Law. Indeed, we should ask ourselves what the recipients of Genesis would have thought, knowing the Law, when reading the Law and seeing that the father of us all fell into sin, and not just in any way, for he plunged the whole race into sin in the process.
The sort of namby pamby spooftexting that B2K offers is what you get when you divorce a verse of the Bible from the context. Ezekiel 18 is not a get out of jail free clause for people who have allegedly committed no sins. It doesn't address the concept of original sin, infant mortality, or the imputation of Adam's sin. Moreover, the argument that this text addresses runs like this:
My father sins. His sins are imputed to me. This occurs from one generation to the next, eg. each male from one generation to the next has his sins imputed to me.
But that's not the argument for the imputation of Adam's sin to his posterity.
That argument runs this way:
Adam sins. We are born in his likeness. His sin is imputed directly to us. Further, Adam was the best of us. The fact that we sin is proof that, if we were Adam, we would do no better. So, we approve of his sin when we sin, and we would , in any other world, do no better. Thereby the imputation of Adam's sin to us is proven.
The point of Ezekiel 18 is simply this, men are not held to account for the sins of their father if they repent of their sins. This text would only apply to the situation at hand if infants could repent of their fathers' sins, but that's not B2K's argument. No, his argument is that infants are born in a state of innocence.
And traducianism is just plain stupid. Each soul is clearly a new production of God not a combo of shards of the parents' souls.So what, Calvinism doesn't select for traducianism. There are Calvinists who believe God creates each soul - in the image of fallen Adam, as a penalty of the Fall. Further Adam and Eve were not created innocent by nature. Rather, they were created in a state of righteousness, though mutable.
In short, infants haven't sinned so they can't go to hell. It's that simple.1. The Bible says that the wicked go astray from the womb and speak lies from birth.
2. The Bible says that people are conceived in sin and there is no soul that does not commit sin.
3. In short, you've just stated there are two ways of salvation, one for infants and one for everybody else. Do you even bother to think about what you write, or are your fingers divorced from your cortical matter?
4. You've also turned innocence into a form of merit. Thereby we can conclude you have no room for salvation by grace. You believe in salvation by merit, yet you criticize Romanists too. How ironic.
5. Let's assume infants are born "innocent." In that case, "innocence" must also equate to "holiness." "Innocence" and "holiness" are not convertible.
So, why does a person sin if he is born "innocent?" If he's born innocent, he should remain innocent. Where's the exegetical argument for libertarian freedom?