11.11.2018
Dennis D. Frey, Th.D.
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We often speak of the "age of accountability."  Or, to be more precise, the age of comprehension.  Usually such conversations revolve around the age at which a child can be held responsible for understanding the moral difference between right and wrong. Universally, children who commit crimes are held to a different standard, but what is not universally agreed upon is at what age a child becomes morally responsible for  his or her actions.  This is understandable because children mature at different ages, and understanding is not totally tied to the calendar. Furthermore, we recognize that some human beings are by reason of birth mentally incapable of ever understanding moral truth, and can never reach an age of comprehension (accountability).   Biblically, this does not diminish their worth in the sight of God, but actually makes them a precious gift to their families and to humankind as a whole. Jesus himself speaks to this in the context of little children: "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 18:10). Yet, an age of accountability remains somewhat of an elusive thing to define.  Timothy Boyd in addressing this subject for the Holman Bible Dictionary say it (I think) quite well. The age of accountability is a concept not directly mentioned in the Bible. What the Bible teaches about personal responsibility for sin and the nature of salvation compels us to define this concept. Basically, the age of accountability is that time in the development of a person when he or she can and invariably does sin against God and thus stands in the need of personal redemption through Jesus Christ. Even under the Old Testament, the Jews recognized that children could not be held personally accountable to the law of Moses. They set the arbitrary age of twelve as the year when a child assumed adult status in religious matters.1 What is so compelling here is not that we can with complete accuracy state when a child (or a person of limited mental faculties) can be held responsible for his or her choices by reason of having made a knowing moral choice, but that it is universally recognized that a person "can" reach that age, and that most in fact do so. The conversation then must move on to address moral choice and freewill within the context of human existence.  What are the sources of moral truth? Next, we will answer the question of how, "How Natural Law, The Noahide, And Torah Are Like Tutors." For a deeper study, you are encouraged to consider enrolling in our 3 credit-hour academic course "THE LAW OF UNIVERSAL RIGHTEOUSNESS: Natural Law, the Noahide, and the Torah." You can check out all of our regular academic programs by clicking this link: PROGRAMS. Thank you for sharing time with me. I hope this brief post will encourage you to want to learn more about the laws of universal righteousness, and the manner in which God has implanted the awareness of right and wrong within your own heart and mind.  Dennis D. Frey, Th.D., 1.  http://odl.studylight.org/dictionaries/hbd/a/accountability-age-of.html?hilite=Accountability,%20Age%20of

NOVEMBER 11, 2019

 

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