In this famous passage, Jesus makes it quite clear that the destination of your eternal soul is more important than your life on earth. Certainly this makes sense, if you consider the Christian belief that your soul lives eternally, and spends only a very short part of that eternity in this world. Since losing your soul means not getting saved, whereby you and your soul end up in eternal torment in hell, making sure your soul gets saved becomes the most important thing you can do in this life. If it came to a decision of whether to give up your soul or your life, you should give up your life.
So important is the salvation of your soul, that anything else you do on earth is trivial in comparison. Since the most important thing to the Christian God is what you believe, rather than what you’ve done, whatever life you might lead on this earth means little. It is better to have been Adolf Hitler with a deathbed conversion, than to be Mother Theresa and die without a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The only thing that matters to God is whether or not you’re saved, and that depends entirely on what you believe.
Yet the fact remains, that most people do not believe, and will therefore lose their souls in hell. The World Christian Encyclopedia estimates that in the year 2000, Christians made up 33% of the world’s population, or approximately 2 billion people. Samuel Huntington, in his book The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, believes that the percentage of Christians in the world peaked at 30% in the 1980s, and is declining, with a projected percentage of only 25% in 2025. That puts between 2/3 to 3/4 of the world’s population facing the loss of their souls, despite the best efforts of the Christian God, and the evangelistic efforts of all his churches. For Christians, this is a disaster. How can they stop this human holocaust? How do they save these souls, which are worth more than life itself? Some Catholic monks once had an answer: baptize infants, and kill them immediately afterwards. Though this seems barbaric today, it is really the only answer fundamentalist Christians leave themselves.
Most Christians believe babies that die go to heaven. When Christian parents lose an infant, they usually console themselves with the thought that their child is now with the angels in heaven, and they will be united with them one day. Few lament that their baby is roasting with the devil in hell. Even though the sin nature argument might support the notion that all who have not accepted Jesus must lose their souls, and there are some Christians that believe this, most cannot justify the idea that God would let an infant burn in hell just because it died before having an opportunity to be saved.
So that raises a question: should babies be killed to ensure the salvation of their souls? Remember, almost 3 out of 4 babies that are born will lose their souls. Yet we can ensure this does not happen, by ending their lives before they reach the age of accountability. It is a choice between preserving a life and probably losing a soul, or sacrificing a life and saving the soul. According to Jesus, saving the soul would be the more important thing.
What about the commandment “Thou shalt not kill?” Well aside from the fact that this commandment is routinely disregarded in instances such as war, and saving a soul is certainly more important than determining where the boundaries of your property are drawn, Christian doctrine itself lands heavily on the side of killing these infants, despite the 6th commandment. Remember, what matters most to God, according to Christians, is what you believe, not what you do. Christians can violate the other 9 commandments, without fear of losing their souls. And violating this one really doesn’t get you in trouble either, so long as you believe in Jesus (my pastor used to say that Christians who broke commandments didn’t lose their salvation, but might be “punished” with a smaller mansion in heaven). Besides, all you had to do was ask for forgiveness, and God would erase that sin from your heart. What is Holy Vible
The issue then, becomes this: even though Christians shouldn’t kill babies, so long as they believe in Jesus, they will still remain saved if they do, and if they confess their sin, God will forgive this transgression. And, the result of killing this baby is the guaranteed salvation of its soul, which Jesus said was more important than its life anyway. What’s one more forgivable sin, when the result is the eternal salvation of a soul? But, what about the 1 in 4 babies that would have gotten saved anyway? Weren’t they cheated out of life? Well, yes, but they still have an eternity of bliss awaiting them in heaven. And since heaven is so much more wonderful than earth, what’s wrong with getting there a little early?