I have a hypothetical question regarding over-doing the legalism bit. This is taking place, but not here; so nobody knows who or what. I just heard about it and would like some opinions. A girl (who was molested by her biological father) grew up from six with another father who adopted her when the father went to prison and lost his parental rights. Now she is about 20. She went through a period of rebellion, then came back and appologized for it and realized she wasn't really a Christian and accepted Jesus and made it public and was Baptised less than a year ago. She has a baby out of wedlock which was conceived before she became a Christian. She still has some problems and issues due to her past. She is also ill with a disease that is not fatal, but is painful. She tried going to church while she was pregnant but in the later stages couldn't due to being uncomfortable and having to use the rest-room often. She did come some and sat in what they call a cry room (darkened out room with a window in the back.) She has been attending church in the cry room with her child and usually leaving shortly there-after. Although she has been "in" church several times too. (The baby is only a month and a half old). So, she is not only in pain, she has to deal with taking care of the baby by herself. She has been asking the pastor for a baby dedication. (More probably to show off the baby, but also wants prayer for the baby.) She is very clear that this does NOT save the baby. She just wants to dedicate him the way all of the new-borns are shown to the church and ask for prayer that he might grow up to know the Lord. Upon request of the pastor, here was his answer to her mother: "You must realize that baby dedications are more for the parents, because they want to raise their child in a Christian like environment. Maybe this will be motivation for the girl will become MORE active in the church and if she does this for a while, then maybe we can TALK about having her baby dedicated." This is one of the reasons she would like the dedication. Facts: The church has not followed up on this girl since she was saved. The pastor may have visited her in the hospital when she had the baby, but that would be the only contact (if he did). The girl is still wondering and confused about her life and is going through post-baby depression. She often brings the baby to the cry room and watches the service where the pastor does not see her, although she does not attend most evening or classes. She does work at a nursing home on Sundays. So, one service is out and being with a child and ill with a 12 hour shift she is beat. Questions: If the mother tells the daughter exactly what the pastor said, she is going to feel shunned, disappointed and hurt. With the depression she is going through, she just might drop out. Is this pastor being too legalistic since he dedicates all other babies without question? What is wrong with simply introducing the baby to the church? She was accepted as a member only months ago? Does the pastor have the right to make these decisions without church approval? How do you explain this to the girl without loosing her entirely? The pastors own daughter got pregnant at 26 unwed. He once said he was worried the church wouldn't accept her, but they did when she repented. This pastor is HEAVY putting new members to work somewhere in the church doing something voluntary in order to make them feel they belong. Since she has to work (often two shifts) and care for this month and a half year old baby, she doesn't feel like volunteering for anything. How far can a pastor go as judge and jury on the sins of a particular person? Just curious, up for debate. By the way, don't answer the pastor may know something I don't know. . . not the case. All he knows is how often he "thinks" she comes to church. How does a pastor draw the line on these type of situations? Would it not be better to get the girl involved in church by allowing her to dedicate her baby before the church?