Heretic R.L. Dabney making exceptions to the Mark 16:16 and Romans 1:16 rule:
“There were once two Jewish babies, John and Judas; John an elect infant, Judas a non-elect one. Had John the Baptist died of croup he would have been redeemed without personal faith and repentance; but he was predestinated to live to man’s estate, so he had to be saved through effectual calling. Judas, being a non-elect infant, was also predestinated to live to and receive his own fate freely by his own contumacy" (R.L. Dabney, The Five Points Of Calvinism, p. 48).
So here’s Dabney denying that the gospel is the power of God to salvation to EVERYONE BELIEVING (Romans 1:16). All of the elect without exception — from the elect infant, to the
elect mentally handicapped person — will be regenerated and saved by
Jesus Christ and will immediately be given knowledge and faith in Him (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Dabney approaches Scripture with a false premise or presumption
regarding the mental capacity of infants. He assumes that infants are not able to believe due to their supposed lack of mental capacity or to the
“fact” that infants cannot hear and understand anything while inside
their mother’s womb. But Jesus Christ Himself obliterates this
pseudo-scientific-psychological nonsense by saying that infants and/or
little children ARE ABLE TO RECEIVE the kingdom of God (see Luke 18:17). And if this were not enough, we also have the infant John the Baptist in addition to the passages already mentioned (e.g., Mark 16:16; Romans 1:16). John leaped in the womb because he understood (Luke 1:41-44).
"Presbyterians do not believe that the Bible or their Confession [WCF 10.3–CD]
teaches that there are non-elect infants dying in infancy and so
damned. Had they thought this of their Confession, they would have
changed this section long ago” (R.L. Dabney, The Five Points Of Calvinism, p. 48).
In light of Romans 10:13-15 (which Dabney does not take seriously), one must consider or contemplate whether or not these particular "little ones" had even heard the gospel of the coming Messiah:
“And Sihon the king of Heshbon was not willing to let us pass by him, for Jehovah your God had hardened his spirit, and had emboldened his heart, so as to give him into your hand, as [it is] this day. And Jehovah said to me, Behold, I have begun to give Sihon and his land before you; begin to possess, in order to possess his land. And Sihon came out to meet us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz. And Jehovah our God delivered him before us, and we struck him and his sons, and all his people. And we captured all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed every city, men and women and little ones. We did not leave a remnant” (Deuteronomy 2:30-34).
“O Jehovah, remember for the sons of Edom the day of Jerusalem; who said, Make [it] bare! Make [it] bare even to its foundation! O daughter of Babylon, O destroyed one! Blessed [is] he who shall repay [to you] your recompence which you dealt to us. Blessed [is] he who seizes your little ones and dashes [them] against the stone!” (Psalm 137:7-9).
Heretical Calvinist Dr. Curt Daniel comments on this subject:
"Lewis Sperry Chafer once wrote, 'No theology is established or complete which does not account for the salvation of those who die in infancy.'... one of the popular slanders against Calvinism is that we Calvinists teach that all dying infants are reprobate and consigned to hell. That simply is not true. I for one have never read of a single Calvinist who has taught that all dying infants are reprobated to Hell.
...Theoretically, there are several options open to the question:
(1) We don't know. Some writers say that Scripture does not reveal the answer.
(2) All dying infants are lost. I know of no theologian, Calvinist or otherwise, who asserts this.
(3) Baptized infants are saved, but unbaptized dying infants are lost and reprobate. As we shall see, there are several theologians who have made this claim. But extremely few Calvinists, if any, have alligned themselves with this view.
(4) Some are definitely saved (such as baptized infants), but we do not know about the rest. This has been the position of some Calvinists, such as Francis Turretin, Herman Hoeksema, and several of the older Reformed theologians.
(5) All dying infants are saved and elect, whether baptized or not. This is by far the prevailing view among Calvinists, such as Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield, C.H. Spurgeon, A.M. Toplady, Ulrich Zwingli (probably the first to say so in no uncertain terms), Lewis Sperry Chafer, W.G.T. Shedd, Loraine Boettner, etc." (Curt Daniel, The History and Theology of Calvinism, p. 334).
Commenting on 10.3 of The Westminster Confession (the part Dabney commented on above), Daniel writes:
"Some non-Calvinist critics read this [WCF 10.3--CD] and feel that it insinuates that there are some non-elect infants, but the Confession does not say that. Almost all Reformed theologians take this as a pronouncement that all dying infants are elect. At the least, it is only an assertion that some are elect but we do not know about the rest (a few theologians take it this way)" (Curt Daniel, The History and Theology of Calvinism, p. 334).
Some additional comments that are orthodox regarding the salvation of infants are found at the following link: