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Age of accountability = 33 years old (03/02/2008)
From: Jamie Smith

If you missed Bill Steidtman's Feb. 24th letter concerning the doctrine of age of accountability, you missed a doozie. The religious will say, "How dare he say all those things. Jesus is pro-abortion? Steidtman is going to hell!" A thinker, a seeker, will say, "Hmmm, now that I consider it, what was I thinking?! I had better re-visit this teaching."

In centuries past, Bill and his family would have been beaten and dragged through the streets to Plaza Square where they would have been burned at the stake as an example to others. Some of us are very happy that Christian heretics are no longer killed.

You see, the doctrine of age of accountability introduces a two tier system of salvation. Conscience demands it since the alternative is hideous. When children younger than 13 years of age die, although the actual age can be flexible, they go to heaven on the basis of their innocence. None of them go to hell. Everyone else goes to heaven based on their faith, but most go to hell because they don't believe.

Years ago I asked a missionary about this doctrine. He believed it and taught it. I asked how many of the natives he dealt with would be saved. He thought that hardly any would be. I asked if it would not be better for him to kill all the children in the villages. Heaven would be their end. He said, "That is not my calling." What a cop-out, thankfully.

When the final piece in salvation is the individual, that doctrine is false. I believe that Scripture teaches that a child's innocence or an old fogey's faith is not the final determinant.

Christ became accountable for our sins around the age of 33. That's the age of accountability! He took our blame, just like a good friend in grade school. All are ultimately saved by Christ's faith apart from any human work, including the work of faith or the state of supposed innocence.

The truth concerning Christ is very simple indeed. It is the unwinding of bad doctrine, terrible translations and powerful traditions that muddy the waters to such a degree that the truth seems complicated and the lie seems clear. For most, clarity will not come until resurrection. What a great day that will be. Then, the Protestant, the Roman Catholic, the Muslim, the Satanist, the atheist and all will see the purpose of the ages fulfilled - endless life with all creation in God's universe.



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