In the early days they did believe that human nature had been corrupted by the sin of Adam and Eve and it was passed on from generation to generation. But from 1963 and later Southern Baptist Conventions modified this belief. "Concerning the doctrine of Original Sin, they simply say that man is "inclined toward sin." "[Adam's] posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin, and as soon as they are capable of moral action become transgressors and are under condemnation." (Wegpage: Original Sin in Southern Baptist Confessions Through Time) In other words, there is no condemnation before actual individual transgression of the law. How they arrived at this conclusion in view of St. Paul who states, "All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God." (Rm 3:23) and King David who states, "Behold, I was born in guilt, in sin my mother conceived me" (Ps 51:7) is beyond my understanding. So, if man is not guilty before actual personal sin, all unbaptized infants go to heaven. Some Baptist maintain that Original Sin is real inherited guilt but that God does not hold infants who die responsible for this sin.

Consider the following:

The Catholic Church began to baptize children from early times some believing that if a child died before Baptism he or she would go to hell. Reflection on the justice of God led the Middle Ages to postulate the existence of Limbo where unbaptized children would go. It was considered a place or state of natural happiness. In the 20th century, Catholic theologians began think that God desires the salvation of all men and that man has only a supernatural destiny, heaven or hell. How would God accomplish this? It may be that an unbaptized child reaches psychological maturity after death and is given the option to accept the salvation of Christ of reject it.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church does not mention Limbo but states, "As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them." (Catechism of Catholic Church #1261) One such blessing reads as follows:

"Trusting in Jesus, the loving Savior,
who gathered children into his arms
and blessed the little ones,
we now commend this infant [N.]
to that same embrace of love,
in the hope that he/she will rejoice
and be happy in the presence of Christ."

 

So, why baptize children? Again in the Catechism we read, "The baptized have 'put on Christ'.' Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies and sanctifies." (#1228) In other words, Baptism is a free gift of God which means that Baptized children inevitably go to heaven. In the case of baptized infants who die, they are already disposed psychologically to accept Christ as their Savior and will do so willingly. In this way the Baptist insistence of necessity to Confess Christ in order to be save is realized, not before death but after death.

4. Baptist Bible vs. Catholic Bible