|Obviously, the pristine beaches were exempt from hardship categorisation.|
One way Dad showed grace and compassion to the people to whom he was ministering was his refusal to dedicate certain babies in the church.
In fact, now that I think on it, I don't remember a single baby dedication that actually took place during a church service at all.
Dad denied this special privilege to those babies who were conceived out of wedlock. So, pretty much every child we came into contact with the whole ten years we were there, excepting a few.
Instead, he would conduct a private dedication ceremony in the shameful woman's home and that would be the end of it. She'd be admonished by this chastisement to go and sin no more. Till the next baby she had out of wedlock was born to be punished like this as well. I recall one women who was kicked out of our church membership because she got pregnant with her boyfriend. She had to confess her sin of whorishness in front of the church before Dad would let her come back.
And if perfect repentance was the requirement for continued church membership, then none of us would qualify, right? I seemed to put a lot of pressure on the potential church member to be sinless, and not really any focus on humbly walking with God, since He's the only one who can actually help.
'Course, now I don't think babies ought to be dedicated at all, but that they should be baptised into saving faith, but that's a different post.