Monday, November 9, 2009

AIDS Deaths #1 For Women

According to a study "the AIDS virus is the leading cause of death and disease among women between the ages of 15 and 44." Here is an excerpt from an AOL News article about the study:

AIDS Is Leading Cause of Death in Women
posted: 3 HOURS 38 MINUTES AGOcomments: 211filed under: Health News, World News

GENEVA (Nov. 9) - In its first study of women's health around the globe, the World Health Organization said Monday that the AIDS virus is the leading cause of death and disease among women between the ages of 15 and 44.
Unsafe sex is the leading risk factor in developing countries for these women of childbearing age, with others including lack of access to contraceptives and iron deficiency, the WHO said. Throughout the world, one in five deaths among women in this age group is linked to unsafe sex, according to the U.N. agency.

(Read whole article: Here).

While unsafe sex isn't the only cause for AIDs---it is a leading risk factor---so here are some thoughts of a Christian response to the sinful aspects of this devastating disease:
Christian response to AIDS must be guided by example of Jesus

Take the example of Jesus with the woman caught in the act of adultery - really the story of the missing man (1). Here are a bunch of angry men, looking for an excuse to lynch a woman, yet it takes two to and the man is nowhere to be seen. In Jesus' day there was a hierarchy of sin: woman sex sin punished by death, other sin was more or less acceptable, while man sex sin was hardly worth fussing about.

Jesus loathed their double standards and self-opinionated hypocrisy.

He cut right through them with just one sentence: "If any one of you is without sin let him be the first to throw a stone at her" (2). "Yes you sir, who's eyes have never strayed to the top shelf of WH Smith, you who have never been jealous, spiteful, rude or have never gossiped behind someone's back, you who are the perfect wife, you who have never lost your temper with the children, you who have never told a half-truth or broken the speed limit. You come now and cast the stone."

No one moved. Jesus stared them all out until they all left one by one - the oldest first. In one sentence Jesus had totally destroyed any possibility of judging others according to a ranking of sin. All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory (3), all are utterly dead outside of God's grace (4).

When it comes to pointing the finger, Jesus forbids the Christian community to put ourselves on a pedestal when it comes to HIV / AIDS.
He was the only person on this earth who had the right to condemn yet he says to the woman "neither do I condemn you". He also adds "go now and leave your life of sin" (5).

As Christians we get confused between the two things Jesus said: either we rush to make a moral statement, tripping up over judgmental attitudes along the way, or we rush to express God's mercy and love, falling into a deep hole where there is no longer a clear moral framework for living. The Jesus way is to hold infinite love and perfect standards in tension together - something we need his help to do. This is the Christian way.

Let us be absolutely clear that the teaching of scripture from Genesis to Revelation is constant regarding the wonderful gift of sex union, as a celebration of love and friendship between a man and woman committed together for life. God loves sex, it's the waste of sex outside marriage that causes him grief. The bible is far more daring and explicit than our sermons on sex, making clear that all sex union outside marriage is wrong.

Sex is shown to be a mystery, a spiritual event when two become "one flesh" (6). We see the physical side of this whenever a sperm fuses with an egg. Half a cell from a woman fuses with half a cell from a man to form literally one flesh: a new unique individual full of future personality and identity.

(Read full article: Here).

See also: A Christian response to HIV and AIDS.

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