To “Bless” or Not To “Bless”

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What are your thoughts about the article listed below?  Should the church “bless a child” because the mother wants this to happen?  Should the church stand by her believes or capitulate to conventional wisdom?  Is this even an issue?

DETROIT (WJBK) — Charity Grace lives on the east side of the city with her 2-year-old son, Joshua. The two recently started to attend Perfecting Church under the leadership of Pastor Marvin Winans.

On Sunday, a special blessing is planned at the church on East Nevada Street. They are having a dedication service for children two years old and under. Grace was looking forward to having her only child receive this blessing.

“I want to instill values and morals in my son based upon the word of God,” said Grace.

She called the church on Tuesday to make arrangements. “I told them I was not married and that’s where everything just broke loose.”

Grace says she spoke with a woman who told her Pastor Winans’ policy is that he is not to bless children of unwed mothers in front of his congregation.

“I’ve never felt so degraded and disrespected in my life,” said Grace.

Rev. W.J. Rideout III of All God’s People Church speaks out about injustice outside the church and all over the world. So, we asked if he thought this was an injustice inside the church.

“Every pastor has set up the pattern of his church, the way he feels or deems fit. But as it relates to the scripture, I feel like it’s wrong,” said  Rideout. “I feel like we’re judging, but we’re not judging with righteous judgement.”

We asked to speak with Pastor Winans about the allegations. He declined an interview.

“What they could do for me is let my son get dedicated, during a week day with one of the elders of my choice,” said Grace.

“I’m not speaking against the pastor, but sometimes we make poor decisions,” said Rideout.

“I absolutely would not set foot back in the church right now because I feel like they look down upon me and my kind, meaning single moms and unwed mothers. The church should be the last place you should go to be judged and denied,” said Grace.


9 thoughts on “To “Bless” or Not To “Bless”

  1. Why is this an issue? If I read this correctly the church didn’t say they wouldn’t bless the child. Is the response wrong I think not! I think people put too much power in man and not enough in God. The church still agreed to bless the child, even giving her the option to choose the elder of her choice. What are the mothers intentions? For show or sincere.

  2. I believe that the Winan’s Church has the right to execute its rights as a public organization. So, they should stick to their beliefs and policy.

    If I were Charity Grace (aptly named) I would move on to another christian church. I would defer to my pastor, but my heart says as our Lord says, …”As you do to the least of these, so you do unto me …”. A mother looking to the church to help aid her in breaking the cycle of predictive statistics for her son Is to be praised. For a church to deny her their blessing is a church that won’t exist very long.

  3. Carl,
    I understand your points. The church can get into murky water when she changes to accommodate varying request. The blessings performed by churches seem to varying. Let’s use a typical Baptist blessing. The Pastor would ask the parents, grandparents, godparents, special friends and the like if they will support and help teach the child in the ways of the church. The Pastor would also ask the church if she will support the parent(s). A lot of it is symbolic. I hope Charity and the church use this as a chance to grow closer rather than a part. Situations like this is uncomfortable and go the wrong way if mishandled. As Glenn stated, the church reached out to her but she didn’t like the answer and chose to use the media to fight her battle. That’s a telling sign.

  4. (Replying form a FB comment) Terry Price, I’m not certain if she repented from her sins. Heck, I have enough for everyone on FB! I wasn’t focusing on her “sin” since I don’t know her story. I hope she does have a longing to be in the church. If they have a policy, should they change because an outsider or new member wants to change the policy. This is a good example on how a perceived “right” can clash with the dogma of the church. One question would be, “Is she willing to conform to the rules of the church?” Or, “Is the church letting people know what they believe when people join the church and go through the new members class?” Regardless, I wish the situation could’ve been handled better. Going to the media isn’t going to help matters. I hope someone on the ministerial staff reaches out to her and prevent this from being a reason why she’d left the church in general. Perhaps this is a great chance to teach their church body what she stands for.

  5. Jesus never said that we would be without criticism. The best reply on the pastor’s part would be no reply. I think this situation is just best left alone. We should stand with a fellow minister thinking the best and putting it in the Lord’s hands. Otherwise, we let public opinion dictate to us instead of the Word of God. I don’t think the lady was sincere at all in the first placed. I have seen trouble makers stir things up like this. I think Satan is behind this attack. TAP

    1. Interesting response. I agree that we shouldn’t let public opinion dictate how the church is governed. This is a good opportunity for the church to educate her congregants about her beliefs on blessings. It’s also the opportunity for other Saints to step up and reduce some of the misunderstandings. I would hate for this issue to become a reason people stop attending church. Hurt people some times look for a reason to stop coming to church…they’re protecting themselves from more hurt.

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