AIDS as Divine Judgment: A personal note....

Those who deny the connection between human catastrophe and divine judgment often throw out the presence of "innocents" among the victims of catastrophe as proof the catastrophe could not be related to judgment.

As a hemophiliac who saw half the hemophiliacs of his generation die from AIDS (contracted from exposure to contaminated blood), I have little trouble making that connection.

By God's grace I was spared that illness, though I did receive another blood-born disease (HCV) often linked to illicit behaviour. Nor do I hesitate to view HCV as God's judgment on sexual profligacy and drug addiction.

But had I come down with AIDS, that would not have lessened the obvious link between AIDS and God's judgment on sodomy. Jonah's shipmates weren't running from God yet they suffered God's judgment on his sin. Nor were Lot's sons-in-law Sodomites in the transitive sense of the verb. But they died with those who were.

Few of the hemophiliacs I knew who died of AIDS would have hesitated to link AIDS to sodomy. In fact, I suspect some of their families resented sodomites for spreading the disease and selling blood which infected others with their disease. Nor would those who were Christians have blinked at understanding AIDS as divine judgment on sodomy.

Finally, had I come down with AIDS, it would have been quite possible to understand it as God's work in my life calling me away from sin. Indirectly, it could have been judgment. Indirectly, my HCV is judgment. It is the product of sin in general, and of my own sin in particular. God is chastising me as a son in accord with His promise in Hebrews 12. But it is not direct judgment of a sinful act.

When God allows the act of sin itself to carry with it the penalty of death, the man who denies any link to divine judgment is simply a fool.

Comments

It is by no means a biblical principle that corprate judgment spares the innocent. Think of the blameless prophets who were hauled off into exile along with the people they'd been warning about that very judgment.

David,

I completely agree with your post. I made a similar comment in one of my seminary classes and was practically hounded out of the class session (mostly by counseling majors, I suspect).

Kamilla

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