The Professing Professor doesn’t keep his blog updated but I’ve been listening to a podcast of his sermons for several weeks now which is available through iTunes. In a recent sermon given in respect of Dedication Day (a day for the parents and the church community to dedicate themselves to raising new babies born into the community), he said something that I wish he would expound upon. The Prof said that all children belong to the Kingdom of God. He said that Jesus doesn’t say, “These are my children and those are yours,” but that all children belong to Him.
It’s a bad habit (I know) but I still find myself questioning who belongs to the Kingdom and who doesn’t. Whenever I visit that question, it tends to be with regards to adults, not children. I know that there are some doctrines in Christianity which attempt to say something about the status of children before God, but I have not given as much thought to them as I have other topics. The reason that I’m provoked to do so now is because the Prof and I come from the same church heritage and what he says sounds different from what I grew up hearing and I wonder what he’s learned. Of course, he’d have to explain what he thinks the term Kingdom of God means and what (if any) connection that has to “being saved”. In fact, the term “being saved” would need to be unpacked a bit.
So, I’m wondering are children automatically born into the Kingdom? Are only some children born into the Kingdom while others aren’t? (If so, which ones and why?) If children are born into the Kingdom, at what point and for what reasons do they end up “outside” and need to hear the good news of the Kingdom?
Again, I know that there are some complex doctrines out there which say something about this and I’m familiar with some of them, but maybe someone will have something to offer that I haven’t heard yet. Radical Congruency and iMonk, are you listening?
Of course, if the Prof could chime in, that would be great…