Why Marvin Winans' Refusal to Bless Baby Reflects Poor Theology

Charity Grace and her son, Joshua (Fox 2 Detroit screenshot)
Charity Grace and her son, Joshua (Fox 2 Detroit screenshot)

Pastor Marvin Winans missed an opportunity to begin "training a child up" when he recently refused to bless the son of an unwed mother, writes Washington Post columnist Rahiel Tesfamariam.

Prominent pastor Marvin Winans of Perfecting Church in Detroit joins a growing list of preachers who have recently made headlines for taking theological positions that do not seem to be in the best interest of the people they were appointed to serve. Winans' church allegedly denied single mother Charity Grace's request to have her 2-year-old son included in an upcoming baby dedication at the church.

How does a mother who says she wants to "instill values and morals in [her] son based upon the word of God" get turned away? While many people will point to this incident as evidence of the church's never-ending hypocrisy, it's not faith that is to blame here.

Elitist, patriarchal theology is the problem. And we all need to play a part in correcting this behavior among our pastors and religious leaders…

This situation could have played out very differently if more nuanced theology was at work. In a country where pews are often filled with women and their children, this toddler boy's Christian dedication should have been celebrated by the church. In a city like Detroit where violence, poverty and incarceration run rampant, this was an opportunity to begin "training a child up in the way he should go" to help ensure he doesn't become another statistic.


Read Rahiel Tesfamariam's entire piece at the Washington Post.

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