Posted by: ucanwalkonwater | March 20, 2008

Drawing the line . . . ministering to those who are at risk or have HIV

What started as assisting my daughter with developing an AIDS awareness program in her high school evolved into becoming an AIDS activist.  The statistics are startling for African-Americans.   According to www.aids.gov, Blacks are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. While making up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, they account for more than 49 percent of AIDS cases. AIDS is now the leading cause of death for Black women ages 25 to 34, and the second leading cause of death for Black men ages 35 to 44.

My friend attended an AIDS seminar focusing on AIDS awareness and testing.  What was so shocking was that the speaker (who was a lesbian) demonstrated to the audience how to perform oral sex using a “special condom,” without the man even knowing what was going on.  (I thought it ironc how a lesbian is teaching this technique for men.) On the subject of AIDS and the black church, this speaker stated that the problem is that the people are unable to accept openly gay men.  If they do, then the men would be free to have sex with other men and not live a lie by having sex with men in private.  Needless to say, if I attended this class I would leave the seminar and head to the nearest bar for a drink . . . and I don’t even drink!

A new term was also learned.  To describe men living an appearance of a heterosexual lifestyle while having sex with other men we say “downlow.”  That is politically incorrect.  The correct term is MSM, meaning Men having Sex with Men.  OK now, what is a Born-Again, Spirit-Filled, Fire-Baptized woman to do!  Compromise is not the answer; acceptance of alternative lifestyles is not an option.  However, shunning, criticizing, or otherwise condemning the individual is not the answer either . . .

As a believer, I am deeply troubled that HIV/AIDS can be prevented and controlled through an adjustment of lifestyle, education, love, and support.  Today’s music and pop culture has opened Pandora’s box on exploring various sexual experiences for the purpose of satisfying the flesh.  However, these experiences although may feel good at the moment, does come with a price. 

How do you minster to someone who is engaging in risky sexual behavior and/or is HIV positive?  Can you effectively minister and deal with the lifestyle?  God is love so how do we love those in need and deal with the lifestyle, or do we address the lifestyle?

What would Jesus do?

After taking a few deep breaths, I began to ponder on this issue.  Where do you draw the line?  People are dying and if the church (especially the black church) doesn’t get their act together to openly face this issue we will be facing a pandemic problem like in Africa.  Then it hit me:  hate the sin, love the sinner.  From this philosophy I began to formulate a position from a Christian perspective to love the individual, meet their need (prayer, medicine, education, support, finances), and minister the Gospel.  The Holy Spirit will do the conviction.  Helping someone who is living an alternative lifestyle does not mean that their actions are condoned or condemned.  Everyone who is affected needs prayer. 

STATEMENT ON HUMAN SEXUALITY

The healing ministry of Ucanwalkonwater, by no means either explicitly or implied, condone homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality, incest, fornication, bestiality, or pornography.  By educating the African-American community on HIV/AIDS awareness, the purpose is to present sound information, dispel myths to equip the individual to make intelligent decisions regarding their sexuality and sexual behavior.  If the individual is HIV positive or has an STD, the ministry will provide resources for treatment and control.  No one will be turned away for prayer or emotional support.

This position is from a Christian perspective, not an argument on alternative lifestyles.  This blog is open for comments, but please provide input for improvement.

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