20 Year old Robbery Suspect Montoya Givens
The gospel singer Marvin Winans and Pastor of 4,500 member Perfecting Church is Detroit, Michigan who gave the eulogy at singer Whitney Houston’s funeral recently became a crime victim. Pastor Winans who is black was robbed by three young African American men Montoya Givens, 20, Christopher Moorehead, 20 along with Brian K. Young.
According to news reports, the pastor was accosted at a Detroit area gas station and relieved of his SUV, cash, Rolex watch and credit cards. Following the robbery, the three suspects were quickly arrested, charged with several crimes and are currently being held on bonds totally $200,000.
It’s doubtful that the young men knew who Pastor Winans was and were simply attracted to his outward displays of material wealth. Following the ordeal in, which he sustained a few bruises and scrapes, Rev. Winans said, ”I’m just saddened that it has come to this. This kind of nonsense just has to stop. It’s just the savageness of what’s happening in the street.”
While I empathize with pastor Winans and what he went through, what “saddens” me is that this Man of God had to be relieved of his $50,000 SUV, $10,000 Rolex watch etc. for him to realize how dire things were in the very community he purported to serve and with the youth of the community. The old people use to sing a song, “maybe God is trying to tell you something.”
The sad truth of the matter is that pastor Winans was actually blessed in that he came through this ordeal with his life. I can remember a time when our youth were robbing and killing each other over Starter Jackets and Michael Jordan tennis shoes.
What so many of us fail to realize – or we realize and just don’t care about as we devout the bulk of our time to seeking more pleasure, and material possessions for ourselves and families – is that young men like Montoya Givens, Christopher Moorehead, and Brian K. Young need help. Help that I can guarantee you is not going to be given to them in the criminal justice system, regardless of how many years, or decades in prison they’re sentenced to.
What kind of help do they need? Help to overcome the nihilism that has become the day to day reality of so many young black men in this society. Help to realize their self worth and potential and that there are better ways to get nice cars, clothes, money, jewelry etc. than knocking a 54 year old man upside the head and taking his.
Since they obviously didn’t get this guidance or direction at home or in the public school system and are not going to get it from the criminal justice system where they are now headed .
Where should they be able to get it? I’ll tell you, from the Rev Winans and his 4,500 member church. You see instead of responding with the typical worldly mentality which is to “lock ‘em up and throw away the key.”
The church should let them know that they forgive them and that their lives are precious and that they have value. And because faith without works is dead the church should then bond these young men out of jail, assign each one a mentor who will help them get career training, jobs, decent housing, and most importantly effective life skills.
Then turn around and seek leniency from the criminal justice system by having the young men placed on probation which the church administers. You see when they chose to rob a man of God they brought themselves into direct contact with the work of God which is a divine opportunity for the church do do what God would do, love ‘em to death.
This is what I believe Jesus would’ve did if he had been robbed of his worldly possessions while on earth. How many of you think he would’ve went to Pontius Pilate and said, “get justice for me. Arrest these men!” No he would’ve forgiven, sought reconciliation, and used it as a teaching monument.
That’s what I call “Radical Christianity” and it’s nothing short of the God kind of Christianity. Read your bible Jesus always bucked conventional wisdom of his day by healing on the Sabbath, forgiving a prostitute instead of stoning her, kicking it with a woman of Samaria, tax collectors and other conventional sinners and outcast.
But this other mess that we have in so many of our churches where people are more concerned about who looks the nicest, sings the best, has the nicest car, house, clothes and who sleeping with who, cheating on their spouse etc where nobody is getting born again, delivered, or set free is just a bunch of manmade mess and God ain’t in it.
As long as we who call ourselves children of God arid followers of Christ are doing, acting, and thinking just like the world we can continue to expect our families, churches and communities to decline just like the world is doing around us. With the young men who should be our next generation of leaders locked up for robbing our old leaders who have failed to lead them out of poverty, ignorance, despair, addict ion, nihilism and hopelessness. When this happens ask yourself who’s really the victim?