EMISSARY^7 (G²)

COMMISIONED by CHRIST 4 SHARING HIS LIFE/KEEPING IT REAL ADMIST THE LIES (II Cor. 5:17-21))

AIDS: Is there any way to PRACTICALLY END THE DEFICIENCY in DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM?

Posted by Gabriel (G²) on January 24, 2008

To anyone interested,  

To begin,

A couple of days ago, Brother Lionel Woods (someone who’s akin to dear/older brother to me in the Lord) wrote a post on his site entitled “LIFE IN THE CONGO”:

 http://blackandreformedministries.com/2008/01/22/life-in-congo-over-5-million-dead-in-a-decade/#comment-201

      The post was basically a response to the issue of the genocide/wars taking place in the CONGO and how often we in the WEST are COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS to it. I greatly appreciated the post, as it really had me stirred to action/convicted on many things…..particularly on an issue that it seems MANY CHURCHES/BELIEVERS have decided to remain silent on:

AIDS/HIV

The above videos were posted with the intention of showing how serious the issue of AIDS really is………..However, the post also got me wondering about the other side of the coin….that is, how many Christians are aware of the perils that are happening all over the WORLD and are trying to deal with it and yet there are no clear lines as to where one should stop regarding PARTNERING with PEOPLE IN ORDER TO DEAL WITH IT. In short, it seems that many have switched from an extreme of “APATHY”/STANDING By and doing nothing to doing ANYTHING in order to achieve a goal.

That said,  The following is from one of the Blogs that I enjoy visiting entitled “A Little Leaven”. Recently, as many know, Rick Warren decided to have a conference on AIDS, where many were called upon to come and brain-storm on how to deal with the issue regardless of their stances……..whether for abortion, pro-gay, or anything else. Members who’ve made it in previous years were individuals such as BONO and BARACK Obama……and in this year’s previous conference, it was HILARLY CLINTON who was invited this time.

For more info, one can go here:

 http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/radio-show-episode.php?EpisodeID=3136

https://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/religionpolitics-where-does-the-line-get-drawn-for-the-christians-involvement/

https://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/11/07/the-road-to-hell-is-paved-with-good-intentions-a-study-on-the-recent-situation-on-rick-warrenworking-with-those-against-the-faith/

What follows is an interesting satire on the issue, seeing that many Christians are having issue with Warren due to his not being agressive regarding calling out/adressing the issues that many of these individuals support that go contrary to the Word of God.

Now that Hillary Clinton has spoken from the pulpit at Saddleback Church and the media is already spinning the story in such a way that Evangelical Christians are supposedly ‘warming up’ to leftist pro-abortion socialist politicians, we’d like to know how Rick Warren plans to top this year’s performance. Afterall, one year ago Barack Obama spoke at Saddleback Church and Warren topped Obama’s appearance by giving his pulpit to Hillary Clinton. So we’d like to know how he plans to make an even bigger splash at next year’s AIDS Summit?

We’d like to offer some suggestions by way of a blog poll. Below is our “short list” of suggested featured speakers for Rick Warren’s 2008 Saddleback AIDS Summit. Please be sure to vote for your favorite.
Shortilist

If you’re not particularly fond of any of the men on our short list, please remember the words that Warren gave to justify Hillary’s appearance at Saddleback Church. Said Warren:

“…when millions are dying each year we are interested in lives, not labels

Apparently, in Rick Warren’s world (AKA Purpose Land), the Pro-Abortion “Label” is just a “Label”. It doesn’t have any “real” consequences regarding any “real” human lives. So now it is okay to be “Pro-Abortion” as long as you work with Warren to save lives by fighting the AIDS epidemic.

This explains why we chose the men that we did for next years AIDS summit.

“Brutal Communist Dictator” is JUST A LABEL. “Islamic Facist” is JUST A LABEL. “Terrorist” is JUST A LABEL. As Rick Warren said, “when millions are dying each year we are interested in lives, not labels.”

For more info, go here:

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20071201/30293_Clinton%27s_%27Gutsy%27_Church_Appearance_Softens_Evangelicals.htm

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20071205/30348_Saddleback%27s_Conference_on_AIDS_Gave_Hillary_Evangelical_Cover.htm

 http://www.christianpost.com/article/20071203/30320_Bushes_Support_AIDS_Fight_in_Churches.htm

         Now, to be fair, by no means in posting this am I trying to focus SOLEY on RicK Warren. There are many others who have been involved in trying to solve the AIDS issue as he has been. T.D Jakes, for example, has done the same thing….Go here to find out: 

 http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-10-07-AIDS-meeting_N.htm

 Also, I’m not s saying that working on finding a way to solve the AIDS issue is not noble. For that, Rick Warren is to be commended…..

Also, there are a MYRIAD of opinions out there on the subject. For starters, consider this Article by Newsweek:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/44081/page/4 

Moreover, as one of the commentators on “A Little Leaven” said,

             

I understand that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama bother many Christians, particularly because of their similar view on abortion, their claim to be Christians, and the odd dichotomy that creates. But Clinton was speaking at Saddleback not as part of a Sunday service, but as part of (as the post eventually indicates) Saddleback’s AIDS summit.

The AIDS crisis is significant enough that picking/choosing who we want to partner with in addressing it as a country and/or as Christians is not realistic. Clinton is a viable presidential candidate and it would be particularly beneficial to be able to work with whomever the next president is to continue the strong commitment President Bush has made to AIDS relief. The fact that Rick Warren also invited Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Rudy Giuliani (along with Obama and John Edwards) to speak at the AIDS summit, I believe, demonstrates his appropriate (and non-partisan) motivation. Would there have been a similar outcry if Rudy Giuliani (who is twice divorced) had accepted the invitation?

I must also address the comments of Pastor Mike, who said: “A huge portion of AIDS victim have it due so some sort of sin (not all but alot).” Consider this passage:

John 9:1-3 – “As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ ‘Neither this man nor his parents sinned,’ said Jesus, ‘but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'”

 the majority of HIV/AIDS contractions occur through sex and drug use which is outside of God’s mandate for how we are to live. However, I believe that the example Christ set for us is to go to these people and to extend love and mercy to them.

Matthew 25:35-40 – For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

It is my opinion that Rick and Kay Warren have taken on, along with many others, a great task that should be among many of the things Christians are concerned with. You mention that most of the people worldwide that have AIDS contracted it through “adultery, fornication, and drug use.” Yes, they have sinned…I have too. Many of them are hurting, broken, and lost. I don’t know why God has chosen to move the Warren’s to tackle the AIDS crisis and I also don’t know who else God will use to touch those afflicted with this disease (perhaps our next president). I do believe that God cares deeply about the lives of these people – both physically and spiritually.

Matthew 10:5-8 – These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Again, please consider John 9:1-3. Jesus is not concerned with who sinned, how they sinned, or what effect that sin had…he is concerned with seeing God’s transforming power displayed in the life of a broken person.

To that, I must say that I definately say that I feel where the Man’s coming from. Regarding Matthew 25, there has been much debate about the identity of the “brothers”. Some have said that they were Jews; others say they were all Christians; still others say they are suffering people everywhere Such a debate is much like the Lawyer’s question to Jesus “WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?” (Luke 10:29). But the point of the parable is not the WHO, but the WHAT—THE IMPORTANCE OF SERVING WHEREVER SERVICE IS NEEDED. The Focus of this  parable is that we should love every person and serve anyone we can. For such love glorifies God by reflecting our love for Him.

Luke 10

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

 25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

 26“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

 27He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]

 28“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

 29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

 30In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

 36“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

 37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
      Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

        

If we were to be honest for a moment, regarding the AIDS issue, I think that we are often moreso like that Lawyer and the others in that parable than we’d want to believe. We treat the AIDS Topic as an topic for discussion like the Lawyer did with the wounded man,  or we act like the priest and treat the man as a topic to avoid or an object of curiousity and go about our buisness for the “Lord” like the  Levite……rarely acting like the Samaratin and acting out of love.

And like the Lawyer/Levite and Priest in the story, we all tend to act first out of our prejudices and build our theology from there. For example, there was a deep hatred that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans. The Jews saw themselves as pure descendents of Abraham, while the Samaratans were a mixed race produced when THE Jews from the northern kingdom intermarried with other peoples imported from other nations by the King of Assyria after the exile…..and whom the Jews considered to be “IMPURE”RACIALLY/refused to recieve help from, even during the rebuilding/return from EXILE…… For more info, go check out II Kings 17/2 Kings 17Ezra 4 ,  Nehemiah 2 , Nehemiah 4.)……BUT RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO GROUPS GOT PROGRESSIVELY WORSE, even into Jesus’s Day (and hence, the reason WHY JESUS CHOSE TO HAVE A SAMARATIN BE THE HERO of HIS STORY, as he would’ve been the person least suspected by a Jew to be worthy/capable of anything good)

 Are we not doing the same in principle regarding those in Africa? Let’s be honest…..our history with Africa/West hasn’t been the greatest either….and there have been many STIGMAS against the continent for various reasons, whether economic or racial, THAT MANY IN THE WEST HAVE DECIDED TO HIDE FROM. Moreover, as the Jews did with the Samaritans, many of us due to our stigmas/prejudices with Africa have simply avoided them altogether…..as if they’re really not worth the time, while we go about doing what “GOD HAS CALLED US TO DO”……

 ((We justify our lack of love and forget that our neighbor is anyone of any race, creed, or social background who is in need……and we forget that love means ACTING TO MEET A PERSON’S NEED.  Surely, CHILDREN INFECTED WITH AIDS fit the BILL…..However, .Being a Human Services Worker, I’ve witnessed people limiting AIDS to lifestyle, as if it’s something that people just ask for because they’re practicing homosexuality or sexual immorality/drug usage…..

And yet they never seem to realize that though these things are a bulk of what’s keeps AIDS going, many people have received it without any fault of their own (ex. children of parents with AIDS, people with blood transfusions that unknowingly received blood from a AIDS patient, women being forcefully subjected to rape by men with aids/practicing sexual immorality, etc).

I’m all for not supporting anything keeping the negative aspects of the AIDS initiative alive (ex. having sex education programs that don’t really teach about what Sex is, or giving protection/condoms out to people, as if you could give a physical solution for a spiritual problem, while still condoning sexual immorality when people should be taught self-control and value for the human body).

But much of it, I believe, is worthwhile to support

 It’s very sad seeing how often many Christians are proud of their theological beliefs, as if they’ve made it due to their being able to make an argument from Scripture effectively, knowing the Word of God, attending Church, and not being in the position that many others are in—positions that are more “messed up” than they are, IN THEIR OPINIONS.

       To that, I say that we’re the ones who are bringing shame on the NAME OF CHRIST. As the Lord said, Compassion/MERCY should be the things which characterize us as BELIEVERS rather than PIETY/KNOWLEDGE alone. That’s nothing more than what the Pharisees had……..…….and nothing of the kind of love CHRIST HAD FOR US

Matthew 23

Seven Woes

 1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

 5“Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

 8“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.[b] 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Mark 10:44-46 , Mark 10

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

In our society today, it’s sad that Christianity has become more of an issue of STATUS rather than SERVICE…..WHERe we know the Bible and it doesn’t change our lives…or where we do not live by His Standard of Love….and where the issue is moreso on LOOKING HOLY rather than being HOLY. We go to prayer meeting after prayer meeting, service to service, DEBATE after debate, and yet in where it counts, our actions have nothing to show for it.

  Isaiah 58

For day after day they seek me out;
       they seem eager to know my ways,
       as if they were a nation that does what is right
       and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
       They ask me for just decisions
       and seem eager for God to come near them.

 3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
       ‘and you have not seen it?
       Why have we humbled ourselves,
       and you have not noticed?’
       “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
       and exploit all your workers.

 4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
       and in striking each other with wicked fists.
       You cannot fast as you do today
       and expect your voice to be heard on high.

 5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
       only a day for a man to humble himself?
       Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
       and for lying on sackcloth and ashes?
       Is that what you call a fast,
       a day acceptable to the LORD ?

 6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
       to loose the chains of injustice
       and untie the cords of the yoke,
       to set the oppressed free
       and break every yoke?

 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
       and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
       when you see the naked, to clothe him,
       and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

( John 13). As the Word makes clear, love is about ACTION AS WELL AS WORDS……something that we in the West have greatly forgotten in many places.

OUR LOVE IS TO BE A SACRIFICAL LOVE, which is more than warm feelings…..it’s a MATTER OF ACTION….helping others when it’s not convient, giving when it HURTS, DEVOTING ENERGY TO OTHER’S WELFARE RATHER THAN OUR OWN. That kind of love is what’s hard to do….but it’s the kind of love that THE WORLD WILL RECOGNIZE AS PART OF CHRIST:

John 13:34-36  

34“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

 Moreover, if we’ve truly been changed and recognize the EXTENT OF GOD’S MERCY TO US, would we not be taking action/changed to go out and DO SOMETHING. How often has the issue of AIDS come up and individuals say “Well, that’s on them….and that’s their parent’s fault but it’s no issue of mine”…yet earlier when they were in need of Mercy, the Lord was MERCIFUL TO THEM REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT IT WAS THEIR PARENT’S SIN THEY WERE BEING AFFECTED BY. Again, if God’s mercy has transformed us, should we not be BE MERCIFUL AS HE IS MERCIFUL?And even if  someone were in the position where they  did not merit being saved, so were you and I ONCE…..so would you not wishto bring you the empowering news of the GOSPEL so that you’ll be transformed/changed as well for the better??

 Matthew 5:7/ Matthew 5
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

 Luke 6:35-37

Love for Enemies

 27“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. 30Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31Do to others as you would have them do to you.

 32“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full. 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Colossians 3

 12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Titus 3

Doing What is Good

 1Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, 2to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

 3At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, 6whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 8This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

 James 1

Listening and Doing

 19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

 22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

 26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

 James 2

Faith and Deeds

 14What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

1 John 3:17-19 

17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence

1 John 4

 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that[a] Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Knowing God Through Love

   
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Seeing God Through Love

   
12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

The Consummation of Love

   
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him[b] because He first loved us.

Obedience by Faith

   
20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can[c] he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

Moreover, what is it that the Church has been called to do? Is it not to be involved in the issues of our world as “SALT AND LIGHT“, to the point where our good deeds will cause others to glorify our father in HEAVEN?

Matthew 5:13-16

Salt and Light
13″You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14″You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Mark 9:50
Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

       1 Peter 2:12

 11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

 Again, God’s Word does make clear that as Believers we’re not to hid our lights by being quiet when we should speak, going along with the Crowd, denying the Light, letting our light dim, and ignoring the needs of others. We should make a difference in the “flavor” of the world we live in, just as Salt change’s meats flavor…….and we should be the ones who COUNTER-ACT the moral decay in society, just as salt preserves food from decay…..for when we lose this desire to “Salt” the earth with the love and message of God, we become useless to Him

Nonetheless, one cannot FIGHT THE DARKNESS IF THERE IS DARKNESS ALLOWED TO COME IN:

 Matthew 6:21-23 

  22“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Luke 11:36

The Lamp of the Body

 33“No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”

 In my understanding, the Lamp is Christ and the eye represents spiritual understanding/insight. Evil desires/actions make the eye less sensitive and blot out the light of Christ’s presence…..which is why it’s important to make certain one is free from anything that’d hinder their effectiveness as a Christian. For sin is INFECTIVE…and tolerating any of it will lead to being affected by ALL OF IT. That is why we must be RUTHLESS in removing sin from our lives….

Even the Lord was quite serious about this very same principle, as I try my best to explain from the OT: GO HERE TO SEE:

https://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/11/07/the-road-to-hell-is-paved-with-good-intentions-a-study-on-the-recent-situation-on-rick-warrenworking-with-those-against-the-faith/

And so,  the inevitable question one must ask if labels/issues people have that you’re working do not matter is this: WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?

If it is permissable for one to work with someone who is PRO-ABORTION (as in not merely believing it’s okay but actively seeking to enable it to continue through legistlation), then why not decide to step it up to the next level and decide to work with those who are for pornagraphy, adultery, CHILD PORN, and various other issues that are just as HEINOUS IN THE LORD’S SIGHT as the MURDER OF AN INNOCENT CHILD? It may sound extreme, but that would seem to be the logical extent of the logic that common issues are all that matter for things…….

http://www.alittleleaven.com/2007/12/can-warren-top.html

For many of us, it seems that in the process of trying to deal with sin, we’ve taken a PRAGMATIC APPROACH TO IT, where “THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS”…and as long as something/someone works for us, that’s all that matters.

For good into on what Pragmatism is and why it’s dangerous, go here:

http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue30.htm

http://cicministry.org/commentary/issue31.htm

http://cicministry.org/radio_series.php?series=evangelicalism (specifically, the one entitled “Why America Lacks Discernment?”)

            That is just as dangerous to dealing with a problem as it is to not face it at all…..for one is being COUNTER-PRODUCTIVE by supporting the very things one is supposed to be against throughout the process of dealing with issues!!!!! If I’m aiming at stopping the  issues of AIDS, then how can I DO SO WHEN I am supporting the very things/behaviors of those who are helping it continue? That doesn’t seem logical…….

https://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/11/07/the-road-to-hell-is-paved-with-good-intentions-a-study-on-the-recent-situation-on-rick-warrenworking-with-those-against-the-faith/ 

http://www.christianworldviewnetwork.com/radio-show-episode.php?EpisodeID=3136 

https://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/religionpolitics-where-does-the-line-get-drawn-for-the-christians-involvement/ 

https://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/11/07/the-road-to-hell-is-paved-with-good-intentions-a-study-on-the-recent-situation-on-rick-warrenworking-with-those-against-the-faith/

For a better example of what I’m saying, consider what happened to Brother  & Christian Activist James Hartline on the issue (who happens to be a former homosexual and denounced what Rick Warren did at his church before being kicked out),

A nationally recognized Christian activist has learned firsthand that there is a steep price to pay for speaking out against the moral corruption of one of America’s most powerful Protestant ministers. Despite the high cost to himself personally, James Hartline has been willing to expose, what he says, is a disturbing trend of theological and moral compromise coming from the pulpit of Rick Warren, pastor of the 20,000-member Saddleback Church.

Included in Hartline’s laundry list of complaints against Pastor Warren is the recent speaking engagement of pro-gay and pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Saddleback Church. Hillary Clinton’s invitation from Warren to speak at his church followed a speech by Clinton before the radical gay activist group The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) where she told the HRC “she wants a partnership with gays if elected president.”

Hartline, who publishes a number of Christian news websites, says that he does not take any pleasure in speaking out against Warren. He simply does not want his fellow Christian believers to be taken advantage of by Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren’s unbiblical activism. It has been painful for Hartline to stand up to Rick Warren — In the process of reporting on Warren’s moral compromises in the pulpit, Hartline has had a number of well-known Christian friends turn on him and abandon support for his ministry.

Several months ago, the San Diego-based Christian activist could tell that something was just not right in his relationship with two close friends who work in the Christian media. Warm and welcoming conversations had abruptly turned into brief, cold and uncaring responses to his telephone calls and emails. For Hartline, he had a hard time understanding how close friends could so quickly become “spiritually schizophrenic.” Eventually, he began to see a pattern evolve. What James Hartline was about to learn in the midst of this trying time would cause him to understand how treacherous the religious waters in America have become in the 21st century: “Taking on Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren is the religious equivalent of taking on a mob boss in the Italian Mafia,” says Hartline.

James Hartline concluded that all of these newly-found troubles with his friends began when he signed a well-publicized ministry coalition letter in December of 2006. The ministry coalition letter that Hartline is referring to is a document he signed along with some of America’s top evangelical leaders. The letter was published in newspapers and websites throughout American on December 1, 2006. The document was titled: “Pro-Family Coalition Issues ‘World AIDS Day’ Appeal to Rick Warren to Address Homosexuality and ‘Gay’ Promiscuity in Effort to Stop Pandemic.”

Among the many things that the coalition saw happening with Pastor Warren’s AIDS Summit event that they had outlined in the document was his inviting of pro-abortion and pro-homosexual activists to speak at Saddleback Church. Peter LaBarbera, a leading figure in America’s evangelical pro-family movement, called on Warren to address the leading cause of HIV transmission in the United States: gay promiscuity in gay sex clubs. LaBarbera pointed out in the AIDS Truth Coalition press release that Pastor Warren had invited Mark Dybul, a practicing homosexual, to speak at Saddleback Church.

The evangelical document was a major embarrassment for Rick Warren. The document, issued as a press release, confronted Warren for allowing pro-abortion Democratic presidential candidate Barak Obama to speak at Saddleback Church during Warren’s AIDS Summit. The document pressed Pastor Warren to speak out against homosexual promiscuity, a leading cause of AIDS — something members of the AIDS Truth Coalition did not see Rick Warren mention during his AIDS Summit at Saddleback in 2006.

James Hartline was not the only prominent figure to speak out against Rick Warren for allowing Barak Obama to speak in his church. Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, called on Warren to rescind his invitation to Obama due to the liberal Democrat’s rabid support for the murderous practice of partial birth abortion. Partial birth abortion is a procedure that abortion doctors use to bring unborn babies out of the birth canal except for the infant’s head. The baby’s skull is then crushed while still lodged in the mother’s womb, thus executing the infant. Barak Obama has voted repeatedly to support this procedure. Pro-life activists like James Hartline and Troy Newman were especially outraged that Rick Warren booked Obama to speak at Saddleback Church during the 2006 AIDS Summit.

Because Hartline, a former homosexual, has been fighting AIDS for ten years, his statements in the coalition letter against Rick Warren brought extra attention to Warren’s immoral compromises during Saddleback’s AIDS Day Summit. Hartline’s highly publicized comments in the letter stated:

“While Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church is doing a noble service for the people of Africa by holding a global summit on AIDS, I must ponder in my mind where pastors like Rick Warren were those many years when I was struggling to get out of homosexuality. For thirty years, I struggled with homosexuality and it was not until I was finally infected with AIDS at a homosexual bathhouse in San Diego, California that the physical consequences of that sin finally began to lead me away from that destructive lifestyle.

“Like me, hundreds of thousands of young men have been infected in the death chambers of the gay bathhouses in California and across America. Sadly, most of them are now dead from the HIV that they caught in these establishments. … It is noble that Rick Warren cares so much for the Africans living 10,000 miles away from his church who are infected with AIDS. It is tragic, though, that he and others like him have not spoken out forcefully against the holocaust of homosexuality and the dozens of bathhouses in California where so many men are getting sick and dying. Not to mention the millions of families that are forced to pay for the financial costs of caring for all of those sick and dying from homosexuality and the gay bathhouses where they were infected with AIDS.”

According to published reports, Saddleback Church began to evict members from their congregation when these members confronted Rick Warren for his inviting pro-abortion advocate Barak Obama to speak from the pulpit of Saddleback Church. Shortly after these confrontations began to become public and after the AIDS Truth Coalition press release was issued, KBRT radio personality Paul McGuire invited Warren’s wife Kay onto his program. For an hour on that program, McGuire allowed Kay Warren to attack and degrade the many Christians who had questioned her husband’s ministry tactics and practices. McGuire’s program went from being a Christian talk show to a manipulative platform for Rick and Kay Warren’s emergent church propaganda. Paul McGuire’s website now prominently features a supportive photograph of Rick Warren. Additionally, McGuire has repeatedly featured sound bites by Kay Warren in his program’s advertisements.

http://jameshartlinereport.blogspot.com/2007/12/san-diego-christian-leader-pays-steep.html

            Some may decide to say in response “Well, how in the world are we going to tackle the issue of AIDS without getting some serious firepower???”…..and to that I’d say, there are MANY ORGANIZATIONS that have sought help on the issue in a VERY HONORABLE WAY and with INTEGRITY/NON-COMPROMISE. This is something that I think many of us too often forget. AGain, there ARE MANY GRASS-ROOTS ORGANIZATIONS, IF one honestly researches,  existing out there who desire to make a difference just as much as Saddle-Back and who seem to be doing so decently.

 For example, consider FOCUS ON THE FAMILY:

http://www.citizenlink.org/FOSI/abstinence/parents/A000002111.cfm

http://www.citizenlink.org/FOSI/abstinence/

http://find.family.org/search?q=AIDS&site=family_org&entqr=0&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&output=xml_no_dtd&client=family_org&ud=1&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&filter=0&numgm=4&proxystylesheet=family_org

 http://www.family.org/socialissues/A000001082.cfm

 The above organizations have EXCELLENT INFORMATION regarding the issue of ABSTINENCE POLICIES and how they can be more effective in dealing with the AIDS issue than the policies of many who are promoting “SAFE-SEX” education as a means to prevent it.

Also, here’s another group I just recently discovered entitled “The CoMission for Children at Risk, which exists to equip, resource and network Christian leaders, organizations, churches and individuals to minister more effectively to orphans and street children in Russia and Eastern Europe.

 http://www.comission.org/go/about

This site also has links to many other organizations that deal with the AIDS issue:

http://www.comission.org/resources/?filter=a,24#doctitle

They recently came out with an EXCELLENT ARTICLE ON THE AIDS issue that I’d like for everyone to investigate (which is a compellign argument on why the Church should be involved in the AIDS issue):

http://www.comission.org/resources/?id=1137

      As an excerpt to show what I mean,

To address HIV/AIDS, the Church needs to speak out prophetically against sinful behavior. HIV/AIDS is a terrible portrayal of the moral failure of humanity. Conservative and liberal authorities agree that the only way to stem the growth of AIDS today is to reduce the number of sexual partners that an individual has—Christians refer to it as faithfulness in marriage—and increase the age of first sexual activity—abstinence before marriage. The Church needs to call its people and the world to God’s standard of sexuality.

Yet, the Church does a disservice to its prophetic task when it reduces the task simply to “Just Say No.” It must confront underlying worldview and cultural attitudes that give rise to high-risk behavior. There remains, in parts of the world and Africa in particular, a lingering polygamous worldview that says that a man’s power is demonstrated in the number of women that he possesses. Even though formal polygamy may be illegal or socially unacceptable, men of power and prestige continue to flaunt their “women on the side.” This is further supported by a prevailing assumption that men of strength, power and virility have virtually unlimited sexual need and that no one woman can satisfy that need. Thus, multiple partners are a necessity.

The attitude of sexual entitlement for men is all too frequently accompanied by the attitude that the primary role of a woman is to satisfy the needs of a man. It is in the face of these attitudes that the Church must proclaim—first to its own and then to the wider circle—the Christian instruction that a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. This needs to be taught first to church leaders who must model this lifestyle. These leaders then need to teach it to other men and boys from elementary age up. They need to teach and show that a Christian man gives, he doesn’t take. A Christian man and husband can exercise discipline in sexual matters as well as in other areas of life. Followers of Jesus need to demonstrate that a husband puts the needs of his wife before his own—including his sexual needs or desires. (Ephesians 5:22-31)

Churches, thus, need to be at the forefront of proclaiming and demonstrating the dignity of women, that they too are created in the image of God. Women and girls—even very young girls—need to be taught that they have the right to protect themselves when they suspect that they are at risk. Women need also to have the right to protect their children, especially young girls, from predatory sexual practices. Finally, they need to be taught that they have rights in the face of unfaithful husbands. Matthew 19:8-10 () This needs to include the provision of spousal support and the means to earn a livelihood for themselves and their children. Christians, who have historically been the champion of the rights and dignity of women, must reclaim that role in the face of HIV/AIDS.

Another cultural matter that the Church needs to address is the issue of circumcision rites. There has been a great deal of appropriate focus in secular circles about the tragedy of female mutilation. The Church needs to lend its support to this cause teaching young girls—and their parents—that their bodies are a gift from God, that they are wondrously and gloriously created and that self control comes from within not from external measures. Male circumcision practices have too frequently been overlooked by the Church. This ceremony which traditionally marks the onset of adulthood by young men concludes by encouraging young men to go out and “prove their manhood.” I was recently told of a large church in Nairobi that gave an altogether new meaning to this rite. They took all their 13 year old boys out to a weekend “Adulthood Retreat.” There they frankly and openly taught these young men about their own sexuality from a Christian perspective. They were taught that a “strong” man doesn’t prove his strength in conquest, but rather in self control. They were also taught that young women were to be treated with dignity and respect. As part of this weekend, they were given instruction in the causes and risks of HIV/AIDS.

We in the western Church also need to speak up against the morality, or more explicitly the lack of morality, that is proclaimed throughout the world in the popular media. Young people, especially in the developing world are attracted to western ideas and culture. Here they continue to be presented with the image that immodest dress—yes immodest even by African standards—and immoral behavior is “cool” and chic. We need to help our African brothers and sisters by speaking up against this kind of material and by demonstrating a contrasting lifestyle. [It should be added that we need to watch our own practice as well.] Recently a team of young singles from our church visited a Muslim area. After spending a week with the people one of the local leaders commented, “You people are different. You are not immoral, your women dress modestly and your men do not pursue our women.” We must teach, in word and action that immoral lifestyle is not “normal” for Christians. Yes, the Church needs to speak out strongly against non-biblical sexual conduct, but it cannot do that while ignoring the underlying cultural values that encourage such conduct.

There are still more cultural issues for the Church to address. Stigmatization of those infected with HIV/AIDS is almost universal. In Africa, I witnessed case after case of women who, when they admitted that they were HIV positive, were cast out of their homes—though in all likelihood they got the disease from their husbands. They became homeless since they could not return to their family of origin due to assumed immorality and/or the requirement that their family pay back the “bride price” that had been received from the husband at the time of their marriage.

Churches, too, may not be free from stigmatization. In the Prescription for Hope Conference sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse in early 2002 a highly educated, professional woman told of confronting her husband for immoral behavior. When she asked for a clean HIV test from him as a precondition for reconciliation, he refused and brought the leaders of their church with him to instruct her to “submit to her husband.” She stood her ground to the point of eventual divorce—in the face of stern rebuke from her husband’s family, her family and her church. Within six months of their divorce, the former husband was dead from AIDS. Because of her stand, her three young children still have a mother to care for them.

In yet another tragic cultural practice, widows whose husbands have died from AIDS must often forfeit homes, land and property to the husband’s relatives leaving them with no means of providing for their children and often vulnerable to sexual exploitation. The Church needs to take a prophetic stand—speaking for proper sexual conduct and condemning predatory practices that make AIDS all the more painful. In Uganda, church leaders are speaking out prophetically and the number of new AIDS infections has dropped by over half in a seven year period. Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, Minnesota, working with the International Justice Mission, has opened an office in Uganda to provide legal aid for women who have had their property expropriated illegally by relatives of their deceased husbands. Secular media and government are now speaking strongly about the dangers of HIV and AIDS and this is good. Yet, the Church uniquely can speak from the perspective of obedience to God’s command. Where secular society can speak of safe sex and dangerous behavior, the Church can talk in terms of love of and obedience to God who created us and gave his son that we might have eternal life and the Spirit’s indwelling power to enable right behavior.

Our Part in North America
We’ve focused on Africa and other third world nations. North America is different. AIDS doesn’t affect 10-30 percent of those between 15 and 45. North Americans have access to medical care and social services. Besides, we aren’t physically in Africa; African Christians are. Yes, all this is correct. African churches need to take the lead in dealing with HIV/AIDS. I’m encouraged that they are doing that. I’ve witnessed God’s caring people in South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria and other countries. Yet, many, if not most, of them are tragically poor. The per capita income of two-thirds of those living in Africa is less than $2 per day. We need to walk beside them. To the parents who will welcome three foster children into their home and feed them, can we not provide the $5 per month per child for school fees? For the volunteers who will care for the sick, can we not provide aspirin and supplies? For those too ill to work, or who have no one to provide for them, can we not provide food? For those pastors and teachers who will teach morality and call for appropriate behavioral change, can we not provide teaching materials? HIV/AIDS isn’t just an African problem, it’s a global problem. We as North American Christians need to walk beside our brothers and sisters in Africa and other areas devastated by HIV/AIDS. We also need to encourage our government to provide aid for those countries most devastated by HIV/AIDS and to continue research into medical care.

Believing that HIV/AIDS presents a unique challenge to the Church both in Africa and in North America four churches—Mars Hill Bible Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Perimeter Church of Atlanta, Georgia, Mariners Church of Irvine, California, and Wooddale Church of Eden Prairie, Minnesota—have been led to convene what we are currently (08/03) calling the Africa Aids Initiative (AAI). The vision of AAI is A movement of churches working together for hope and wholeness in the face of AIDS. Its mission is Engaging North American churches to join with African churches in collaborative initiatives that transform communities devastated by AIDS. We recognize that it is important to mobilize the North American churches and we will be recruiting additional church partners. In the meantime, we are working to identify African structures and networks that are able to facilitate partnership from the African side. North American and African indigenous NGOs have a key role in this area as they understand best ministry practice and often have the experience to bridge the cultural differences. We are concerned that working partnerships be both culturally and missiologically sound. We do not want North American churches investing in ministries that are not valid or effective; nor do we want these partnerships to end up fostering dependence or economic imperialism.

A Unique Opportunity
Jesus encouraged his followers to be salt and light. HIV/AIDS presents a unique opportunity to be that. At the Prescription for Hope Conference, I spoke with a veteran church planter who had worked for 30 years in Thailand. Most recently he was teaching church leaders how to minister to those impacted by HIV/AIDS. He made the following comment. “As the Church in Thailand has begun to serve those suffering with AIDS it has learned compassion. As it has demonstrated compassion, people have started coming to Christ. Perhaps this [lack of compassion] is why we’ve been there for 150 years and have only one percent of the population.” Two hours later I had lunch with a woman representing a “mainline” medical ministry. She said, “HIV/AIDS has changed the very foundation of how we do ministry. Everyone we serve is going to die—within days or weeks. We cannot just give them medicine and a cup of water and tell them that we love them; we must offer them hope.” At this same conference apologist Ravi Zacharias made the following powerful statement, “If the Church of Jesus Christ rises to the challenge of HIV/AIDS it will be the greatest apologetic the world has ever seen.” If not the Church, then who?

Reproduced here by permission of the

 For other sources to consider, go here:

http://www.churchestogether.com/resources/Ministry%20Connection%20Tools.pdf

 

http://stemintl.org/publications/order/product/mr42

 

http://viva.org/en/tools/topical_initiatives/childrens_issues_tools/aids/chris_caba_vol5_issue1.doc

 

 

ENGAGING CHURCH LEADERS TO MEET HIV/AIDS CHALLENGES -Ratno, NEIDAC

Again, that’s what I’ve already discovered this far……and I’m quite certain that there are plenty of other organizations out there that are seeking your support in dealing with the AIDS issue in a way that will REMAIN FAITHFUL TO BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES…..

         On one last FINAL NOTE, consider this:

THE GOSPEL OF THE POWER OF CHRIST IS WHAT SHOULD BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF ALL WE DO AT ALL TIMES ( Titus 2:11-14)
(1 Corinthians 15:1-11 )…..AND WITHOUT THAT AT THE FOREFRONT, whatever we do means nothing. That is no more than a SOCIAL GOSPEL, where people’s physical needs are being met and yet their spiritual ones are ignored.

On the issue of Warren’s associating with high political figures in order to get support, I could be wrong……BUT I think that if if one wants to invite rich/powerful men to their churches for funding/resources, cool…..but as long as they are men of character, revrent, of God, and any money given is used for the things God made clear in His Word were of TOP PRIORITY— USING (“unrighteous”) wealth for eternal purposes, being wise with our resources & putting them toward what counts (Matthew 25:31-46

Luke 12:16-21

Luke 16:9-34

James 5:1-6

To clarify, what I’m advocating isn’t what Rick Warren is about….for he’s willing to invite someone in the church (who’s really USING THE CHURCH) and yet never speak out against the actions of those people which go against CHRIST/THE CHURCH. That’s not my M.O, Brah….and in a true godly church, many celebrities would probably NOT BE COMFORTABLE being there if they were planning to maintain the STATUS QUO:

Ephesians 5

 1Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children 2and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a] 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be partners with them.  8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9(for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10and find out what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible.

If the celebrity is decent, moral, &  acting JUSTLY, then cool. IMHO, Shouldn’t be a problem……

I’d be very interested to know what your take is on Luke 16:1-15.Luke 16:1-10

Luke 16The Parable of the Shrewd Manager  1Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’  3″The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— 4I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’  5″So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’  6” ‘Eight hundred gallons[a] of olive oil,’ he replied.
      “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.’  7″Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’
      ” ‘A thousand bushels[b] of wheat,’ he replied.

      “He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’  8″The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.  10″Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?  13″No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”  14The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

I still think that even those not knowing/alligned with Christ but who are yet reverent of God/generous in meeting the needs of others can be used of God to fund His work/need to be sought out (a good example, IMHO, being Cornelius…..Acts 10, though of course the GOSPEL was also preached to him, with his conversion being a MAJOR stepping stone  in spreading the Gospel to the empire’s capital city
http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=43&page=428#901
http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=43&page=587#310

Moreover, as Scripture makes clear (such as the Book of Ezra)  is sovereign, in spite of the failures and faithlessness of men. 

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord like channels of water;he turns it wherever he wants (Proverbs 21:1).

Just as God moved in the heart of Cyrus, so that his decree fulfilled the prophecies of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:8-12; Jeremiah 27:21-22; Jeremiah 29:10-14 )and Isaiah, with  Cyrus being God’s servant (Isaiah 44:28-45:9 ), as well as  Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 25:9),….or even with Joseph in Egypt/having the support of unbelieving pharoah,  so I believe the same’s possible today (and I’ve seen it happen, as well as many churches seeking to serve the Lord).

http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=125
http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=819
http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=256
http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=230

However, to a certain degree, THERE SHOULD BE CAUTION…..

As another wisely said (“Generous Giving.com):

Is it OK for ministries to accept funds from unethical sources generally?



No, unless the giving is a part of a repentant renunciation of such sinful activities. The principle involved in refusing lottery winnings applies to other similar cases as well. Especially relevant in this regard is the Old Testament law prohibiting the contribution of prostitution income to the tabernacle (Deuteronomy 23:18). Because the Lord detests the source, he says, the money is not a suitable gift. We take this view with regard to money gained via prostitution, gambling, pornography and other de facto sinful trades. In all these cases, sin is sin, no matter how many steps removed we are from it. Therefore, we would encourage Christian ministries not to accept gifts of ill-gotten funds in any case, unless the gift is intended as an act of repentance and transformation (Luke 19:1-10). Those repenting may need to direct their gifts toward those they have wronged, or give the money to churches and ministries which help those whom they have harmed (such as recovering drug addicts, former prostitutes, etc).
http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=43&page=585#112
http://www.generousgiving.org/page.asp?sec=43&page=301#503.6

This  is something I actually discussed with a friend, who argued that it doesn’t matter where money comes from since it has gone through the hands of virtually EVERYONE, including those who have used it wrongly…..& that if someone wished to use it for God, there’s no reason to reject it (i.e. a drug dealer deciding to give drug money in the offering since he felt led to fund the church).

I sharply disagreed since Not even the Pharisees themselves did that, as seen in the example of Judas offering back blood money but them refusing to use it since the law was against the means which it was gained (Matthew 27:3-10),….& the same being true of Christ,  INFURIATED over the WAY the temple was funded— Regardless of whatever benefits came about from it since the means/ATTITUDES by which it was gained were UNSCRIPTURAL (John 2:12-25, Matthew 21:12-14) ….& that we were no better today if we  recognized funding done in a wrong manner but remained silent ( Proverbs 28:9 )

     So, from the angle of heathens being IMMORAL/UNGODLY in their dealings,  I definately agree money shouldn’t be accepted from them. No one would consider it honoring God if a church received donated drug money, or money stolen in a bank robbery….. for the ENDS NEVER JUSTIFY THE MEANS ( Exodus 20:15  , Leviticus 19:13, Exodus 22:25Exodus 23:8Proverbs 20:17, Proverbs 22:16Proverbs 13:11, (Proverbs 12:11  Proverbs 23:4-5 Ecclesiastes 5:10 , (Malachi 3:5) (1 Timothy 6:6-10
  Hebrews 13:5  , etc.)

https://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/gambling-is-it-sin/

There’s still a case that can be made stating even what the wicked give may be used of God for His purposes if he pleases:

Proverbs 28:8
He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor.

Proverbs 16:4

  4 The LORD works out everything for his own ends—
         even the wicked for a day of disaster.

Even with the stance that those with influence should be associated with, I’m still cautious. As the Word says:

Proverbs 23

 1 When you sit to dine with a ruler,
       note well what [a] is before you,  2 and put a knife to your throat
       if you are given to gluttony.  3 Do not crave his delicacies,
       for that food is deceptive.

There’s the admonition to be careful when associating with an important or influential person since he or she may try to bribe you…and unwary meetings can lead to undermined convictions, as seen CONTINUALLY with those individuals/churches associating with the Rich & Famous & who eventually compromise biblical principles in order to gain POLITICAL FAVOR/GREATER INFLUENCE….Deuteronomy 10:17
Deuteronomy 16:19
1 Samuel 8:3
2 Chronicles 19:7
Job 36:18
Proverbs 15:27,
Proverbs 17:8,
Proverbs 17:23,
Proverbs 29:4,
Ecclesiastes 7:7
Acts 24:26
 

Moreover,Regarding funding/parternship from the unsaved, IMHO, I think it may be a matter of practicality. For example, Nehemiah took donations from the Persian king to build the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:8).  Zerubbabel, however, refused the help of the Samarians in rebuilding the temple (Ezra 4:1-3).  What seems to  make the difference is the idea of whether the influence would be corrupting. The same goes for King Cyrus, who was used by the Lord even though he was not a servant of Yahweh, to help in funding the Jew’s work of restoring Jerusalem. (Isaiah 44:28-45:6) In Nehemiah’s case there were no strings attached, BUT Zerubbabel’s case did….& therefore the question to ask at all times is whether the donation will hinder or aid our commitment to the Lord.     The same thing, IMO, goes for government funding. I can see no where where there’s biblical reason for Christian organizations to not receive support from the state.I think there’s a positive biblical precedent for God’s people receiving funds from governmental sources (ex. Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:8). If and when the state’s willing to fund the Kingdom (provided there are no compromises or  strings attached), PRAISE GOD.
 
Obviously, that’s not how it is 24/7 in the U.S. Many cases involve
government donations with compromises to the faith (ex. state monies not being ALLOWED for “proselytizing activities,”  including  preaching of the GOSPEL). It’d be better for ministries to not accept state funding in that case……..and seeing that how the church related to the state differs from country to country, Each ministry must again ask itself whether accepting secular funding will compromise the FAith.
Also, one must also remember the principle of FIRST LOOKING TO THE CHURHCES AND RALLYING BELIEVERS ON THE BASIS OF THE GOSPEL before going elsewhere:For example.

1 Corinthians 16

The Collection for God’s People  1Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. 4If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.

During his third missionary journey, Paul had collected money for the impoverished believers in Jerusalem. The churches in Macedonia–Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea–had given money even though they were poor, and had given more than expected…this was SACRIFICAL GIVING–THEY were poor themselves, but they wanted to help and did so in light of how Christ gave of Himself for us: loving God COMPLETELY WITH ALL HE HAD, &  loving neighbor as himself (Matthew 22:37-40; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 1 John 3:16-19)…..& this was reasonable since the standards for generosity were RADICALLY INCREASED IN THE NT (Luke 3:11 )(Luke 21:1-4
(Luke 19:1-10
(Acts 2:44-90)

From my study, SERIOUS food shortages occured during the reign og the Roman Emperor Claudius (A.D 41) BECAUSE of a drought extending across much of the Roman Empire for many years. It is significant that the church in Antioch assisted the church in Jerusalem, for the daughter church had grown enough to be able to help the established church when there was a NEED, just as it was for them (Acts 11:27-30)

When the Christians in Jerusalem were suffering from poverty and FAMINE, Paul was actively collecting money for them (Romans 15:25-31, II Corinthians 8:4, II Corinthians 9:1). He suggested that believers set aside a certain amount each week and give it to the church until he arrived to take it to Jerusalem. Paul had planned to go straight to Corinth from Ephesus, but he changed his mind (II Corinthians 1-2).
When he finally arrived, he took the gift and delievered it to the Jerusalem church (Acts 24:17).

The point of that was that throughout the entire process there was repeatedly a constant admonition for folks to give, and not simply giving but to do so radically because there was a NEED for that to happen…..&  due to the POWER OF THE GOSPEL TRANSFORMING THEIR LIVES, they DID NOT NEED TO COMPROMISE……They didn’t have to go to the money lenders of the temple who were doing corrupt practices in order to gain support, nor did they have to water down the Gospel in order to tackle the issue.

\GOD RAISED UP PEOPLE WHO WERE SO TRANSFORMED BY THE MERCY/SACRIFICE OF CHRIST THAT WHEN THE CALL FOR HELP ON A CRUCIAL ISSUE WAS RAISED, THEY ROSE TO THE CHALLENGE.

Regarding AIDS, is it ANY DIFFERENT TODAY? The issue is great…..and there are MANY SAINTS OUT THERE WHO ARE WILLING/READY TO RISE TO THE CAUSE OF DEALING WITH THE ISSUE AND YET WHO WILL NOT COMPROMISE FOR THE SAKE OF IT……

This, IMHO, is the crux of the entire issue regarding dealing with AIDS—–DOES THE CHURCH and we as believers truly believe in the ABILIITY OF THE LORD TO DO EXTRA-ORDINARY THINGS through what often seems to be ORDINARY MEANS? Or that HE is still capable of taking what seems to be INSUFFICIENT and making it MORE THAN ENOUGH?

Do we believe that GOD CAN/DOES DO THE MIRACALOUS, just as HE USED TO DO ON HIS DAYS ON EARTH on MULTIPLE OCCASIONS (such as when He Multiplied BRead and Fish)?

  1. Matthew 14:13
    [ Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand ] When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.
    Matthew 14:12-14 (in Context) Matthew 14 (Whole Chapter)
  2. Matthew 15:29
    [ Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand ] Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up on a mountainside and sat down.
    Matthew 15:28-30 (in Context) Matthew 15 (Whole Chapter)
  3. Mark 6:30
    [ Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand ] The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.
    Mark 6:29-31 (in Context) Mark 6 (Whole Chapter)
  4. Mark 8:1
    [ Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand ] During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said,
    Mark 8:1-3 (in Context) Mark 8 (Whole Chapter)
  5. Luke 9:10
    [ Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand ] When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida,
    Luke 9:9-11 (in Context) Luke 9 (Whole Chapter)
  6. John 6:1
    [ Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand ] Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias),
    John 6:1-3 (in Context) John 6 (Whole Chapter)

Personally, I believe that miraclous healings still happen as they did in the Bible…..as well as that those with gifts of healing are still around today (though partiicluarly in those areas where the Gospel is being preached on the cutting edge.and also in line with the WILL OF A SOVEREIGN GOD)…..Go here to see:

http://hermeneutics.kulikovskyonline.net/hermeneutics/hsmirac.htm

 https://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/healing-in-the-church-today-is-it-a-right-or-privelage/

 https://emissary7.wordpress.com/2007/11/15/miraculous-gifts-of-the-holy-spirit-differing-arguments-part-2/

Mark 16:16-24  Mark 16 (

16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

 19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

BUT SADLY, many within the churh don’t even believe that wild/radical healings are something to pray for today….nor do they believe that those who have experienced/seen them are 4 real (though as personal, I’ve seen the things for myself…an have even had friends who’ve done so, as someone who had AIDS was himself healed of it recently as my friends prayed for him to be healed!!)…Would it not be amazing if God were to raise up people with the faith to believe for it and who would go over to start a healing revival in Africa?

To end, a story I think is of relevance to the AIDS issue and HOW TO GO ABOUT DEALING WITH IT:

2 Chronicles 14

 1 And Abijah rested with his fathers and was buried in the City of David. Asa his son succeeded him as king, and in his days the country was at peace for ten years.

Asa King of Judah

 2 Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. [a] 4 He commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to obey his laws and commands. 5 He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. 6 He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the LORD gave him rest.

 7 “Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered.

 8 Asa had an army of three hundred thousand men from Judah, equipped with large shields and with spears, and two hundred and eighty thousand from Benjamin, armed with small shields and with bows. All these were brave fighting men.

 9 Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with a vast army [b] and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. 10 Asa went out to meet him, and they took up battle positions in the Valley of Zephathah near Mareshah.

 11 Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O LORD, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you.”

 12 The LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The Cushites fled, 13 and Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar. Such a great number of Cushites fell that they could not recover; they were crushed before the LORD and his forces. The men of Judah carried off a large amount of plunder. 14 They destroyed all the villages around Gerar, for the terror of the LORD had fallen upon them. They plundered all these villages, since there was much booty there. 15 They also attacked the camps of the herdsmen and carried off droves of sheep and goats and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 15

Asa’s Reform

 1 The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. 5 In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. 6 One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. 7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

 8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of [c] Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD’s temple.

 9 Then he assembled all Judah and Benjamin and the people from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who had settled among them, for large numbers had come over to him from Israel when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.

 10 They assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. 11 At that time they sacrificed to the LORD seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep and goats from the plunder they had brought back. 12 They entered into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul. 13 All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14 They took an oath to the LORD with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the LORD gave them rest on every side.

 16 King Asa also deposed his grandmother Maacah from her position as queen mother, because she had made a repulsive Asherah pole. Asa cut the pole down, broke it up and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17 Although he did not remove the high places from Israel, Asa’s heart was fully committed to the LORD all his life. 18 He brought into the temple of God the silver and gold and the articles that he and his father had dedicated.

 19 There was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.

2 Chronicles 16

Asa’s Last Years

 1 In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.

 2 Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. 3 “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”

 4 Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. They conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim [d] and all the store cities of Naphtali. 5 When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work. 6 Then King Asa brought all the men of Judah, and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using. With them he built up Geba and Mizpah.

 7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 8 Were not the Cushites [e] and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen [f] ? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

 10 Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.

 11 The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians. 13 Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his fathers. 14 They buried him in the tomb that he had cut out for himself in the City of David. They laid him on a bier covered with spices and various blended perfumes, and they made a huge fire in his honor.

God has never accepted the idea that “the ends justify the means.” As a King, Asa came very close to being good….and he traveled a long way before getting off track. His sin, however, was not deliberate disobediance as choosing the EASY Way rather than the RIGHT WAY.

When the odds seemed to be against him in the battle with the Cushsites, Asa recognized his need to depend on God. Following a victory, God’s promise of peace based on obediance spurred the king and people to many right years of living. However, when Baasha of Israel decided to create a huge fort that threatened the economy of Judah, Asa thought of a way out—–He BRIBED King BEN-HADAD of ARAM to break His Alliance with Baasha…..and the plan worked BRILLIANTLY, but it WASN’T GOD’S WAY

The ends do not JUSTIFY THE MEANS…..AND SUCH A BELIEF LEADS TO INEVITABLE FAILURE. How often like King Asa have we’ve done the same thing when it comes to dealing with some sort of social issue, regardless of any of the mighty ways the Lord revealed Himself to Us and aided us in doing MIGHTY THINGS when we sought to do it HIS WAY………and rather than humbling ourselves to see what the root of the problem was, how often have we instead chosen to continue on?!!!!

 Refusal to admit failure leads to sin and further FAILURE because of how one can end up spending time rationalizng rather than learning. How well a plan works nor how much approval it recieves is no measure of it’s rightness and approval with GOD…..AND LIKEWISE, dealing with AIDS means nothing if the way we’re going about it is not in line with BIBLICAL STANDARDS, whether in choosing to HIDE FROM IT or DEAL WITH IN ANY SORT OF MANNER…..and though much more difficult, doing it GOD’S WAY LEADS TO MUCH MORE AMAZING RESULTS!!!!!

           Again, those are simply my thoughts on the issue. If anyone has any other’s I’d greatly enjoy hearing them out.A

Advertisements

25 Responses to “AIDS: Is there any way to PRACTICALLY END THE DEFICIENCY in DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM?”

  1. Lance said

    Got your message. Let me read and digest, and I’ll be happy to comment soon.

    Devotional for Jan. 27 will be somewhat applicable to this situation, which seems to be one the Church cannot and should not ignore.

    Lance

  2. Looking foward to hearing sometime, Brah!!

  3. Hey bro, thanks for the invite… now for the hammer, jk. There was a great deal of information in this article and you make your point obvious. I would agree that the CHURCH needs to do what is necessary to 1. witness Christ to the lost, 2. help those in need (to include those with AIDS and its education). I appreciate the fact that you point out a lot of “unkown” (read: less name-power and money) ministries that specialize in helping those with AIDS. Warren’s ministry wasn’t the first and won’t be the last to minister to the AIDS community. And as far as his “unholy alliance” with the world in order to make an impact, it is distorted. Remember that old saying, “he who pays the piper calls the tunes.” We can’t take things from the world and expect the world to rely behind us- won’t work! The world is smart enough though, to use us when it needs our money or help. That was evidently displayed by Warren’s refusal to address certain issues- such as bath houses and prostitution.

    We really do need to start at home with all of this though. We must begin with our children and teach them the fear of the Lord and the consequences of unholy living. We must press it into them until they leave the house. After that, they have the information. The portion on the church in Africa with the adult retreat for the 13 yr olds is outstanding.

    Lastly, we do have an obligation to help the community. But at no time are we to give in to them and do things the way they want it. They will castigate us for it, but we must not forget our mission, Christ first, then helps. To do it otherwise causes us to forget Christ- and folks like Warren and jakes prove it.

  4. Very good information for us to delve into. There is a lot of information that American’s will just not see on the news. Part of the problem isjokers like me don’t watch tv much. So the only way I would come across this information is by reading. We have a lot to learn in Amercia. We should absolutely never complain about anything. Phil 2:14. I am not sure what to say about the whole political deal. I honestly don’t follow the latest candidates but I am trying to show more interest since some Godly counsel tells me I should. Great article bro-Keep doing what you do bro!!!

  5. Thanks for the invite Easy G! There is quite a bit of info here dude! Your points are well taken!

    I have to agree with JoG on this one. All of our actions comes with a consequence-whether good or bad. That’s why it’s so VERY important to discuss with the children the consequences of not living a holy life because by the time they get to the age of desiring to “hook-up” it’s too late for one time is enough to get a VERY short lifetime because AIDS is a killer.

    We also have to examine how we, as Christian leaders, are setting an example for the little ones. What do the kids at Jamaals den of heresy learn from him? Do they see holiness or his interpretation of holiness? Again, we need to get back to the foundational truths of the Scriptures and LIVE them so that we can be an example rather then adding to the problem.

    Just my opinion.

    Phil

  6. Thanks to all, thus far, who decided to come. Please keep it coming, as Sis Mav and Righter (along with a couple of others) may be coming along pretty soon Godwilling, lol)

  7. […] AIDS: An Invitation to Discuss…. Posted on January 25, 2008 by pjmiller Emissary Easy G, has issued an invitation to all/anyone to stop by his blog and enter into the discussion today on: AIDS: Is there any way to PRACTICALLY END THE DEFICIENCY in DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM? […]

  8. yeah, you know i’m coming with it! LOL. ok, gg, you know my stance , and i don’t apologize for it. as a matter of fact, dee and i were just talking to our teenagers about stds, aids, being un-wed fathers etc. last night. dee told them from most men’s and boys’ perspectives- when you’re in heat, you’re not thinking about a condom, so don’t go putting yourself in the position to be heated! he reminded them of how “fast” girls are and that they’re sometimes more eager to get their pants down then the other way around. i told them about their hearts and memories being saddled with emotions God never intended for them to have. i pointed out a lot of their peers who have become un-wed fathers who are now visiting their children instead of living in the home, married to the baby’s mom and helping her to raise them. we talked for a long time, and i reminded them that God judges whoremongers the same way He judges whores. we talked about self -respect, self- control and a host of other things that the talk about sexuality covers. we talked of it’s beauty and blessing when done in the confines of a holy marriage. as far as aids is concerned, of course we have compassion on those suffering from it, but no more so than people suffering from all kinds of diseases. if the disease is acquired through sinful practices, the message is go and sin no more-and yes, you still have compassion and offer treatment. i’m not with the “let’s give condoms and needles” stuff and won’t be. my responsibility is to train my children in the ways of righteousness. if they rebel, they will have to sleep in the bed they chose to make for themselves. my question is, why do some in the Church feel that it’s the Church’s responsibility to provide a solution for the world’s ailments outside of Jesus Christ? sure, if you’re hungry, i’ll feed you. if you’re naked, i’ll clothe you but if you want to continue to shoot-up, and be promiscuous, i’m going to speak the truth in love and will not support that.
    finally, i do not believe there will ever be and end to the various plagues that scourge humanity, on this side. we live in a world marred by sin and until we are reached by the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ-we will continue to practice behaviors that will lead to all kinds of suffering.

  9. Phil Naessens said

    Mrs. Mav,

    Excellent post! You and the “gladiator” are excellent examples of how Christian parents should raise up their children!!

    Phil

  10. to God be the glory phil. i’m just speaking from the heart (the new one given to me by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ) :o) thank you.

  11. If I may say,

    One, thanks for all of the people who’ve been involved thus far. It has been a real blessing…..

    Second, for the comments said thus far (and to make certain I’m hearing what you’re saying), the best way to deal with AIDs is to simply encourage individuals to say no?

    I guess I ask because over here in the WEST, it’s quite obvious that the majority of AIDS is due to people who are BLANTANTLY promoting wrong behaviors (i.e. sexual immorality), as well as other issues less discussed(i.e. blood transfusions, inherited, couples on the “downlow”…in which one partner basically sleeps with others outside of the knowledge of the other spouse and then after recieving AIDS sleeps with his or her spouse and they get AIDS as well)….but for the children in AFRICA, though sexual behavior is an issue, there’s still the point that those children over there are suffering as a result….a

    I guess I’m wondering what to do regarding funding treatment to those children….or how to practically minister to the children, encourage those who help them emotionally/spiritually in light of how they’ll have to square with the realization that their lives are drastically shortened due to the parent’s sins….or in light of how many of their family members are now dying around them.

    As said in one of the articles I posted earlier,

    “Conservative and liberal authorities agree that the only way to stem the growth of AIDS today is to reduce the number of sexual partners that an individual has—Christians refer to it as faithfulness in marriage—and increase the age of first sexual activity—abstinence before marriage. The Church needs to call its people and the world to God’s standard of sexuality .

    “Yet, the Church does a disservice to its prophetic task when it reduces the task simply to “Just Say No.” It must confront underlying worldview and cultural attitudes that give rise to high-risk behavior. There remains, in parts of the world and Africa in particular, a lingering polygamous worldview that says that a man’s power is demonstrated in the number of women that he possesses. Even though formal polygamy may be illegal or socially unacceptable, men of power and prestige continue to flaunt their “women on the side.” This is further supported by a prevailing assumption that men of strength, power and virility have virtually unlimited sexual need and that no one woman can satisfy that need. Thus, multiple partners are a necessity.”

    “The attitude of sexual entitlement for men is all too frequently accompanied by the attitude that the primary role of a woman is to satisfy the needs of a man. It is in the face of these attitudes that the Church must proclaim—first to its own and then to the wider circle—the Christian instruction that a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church. This needs to be taught first to church leaders who must model this lifestyle. These leaders then need to teach it to other men and boys from elementary age up. They need to teach and show that a Christian man gives, he doesn’t take. A Christian man and husband can exercise discipline in sexual matters as well as in other areas of life. Followers of Jesus need to demonstrate that a husband puts the needs of his wife before his own—including his sexual needs or desires. (Ephesians 5:22-31)”

    “Churches, thus, need to be at the forefront of proclaiming and demonstrating the dignity of women, that they too are created in the image of God. Women and girls—even very young girls—need to be taught that they have the right to protect themselves when they suspect that they are at risk. Women need also to have the right to protect their children, especially young girls, from predatory sexual practices. Finally, they need to be taught that they have rights in the face of unfaithful husbands. Matthew 19:8-10 () This needs to include the provision of spousal support and the means to earn a livelihood for themselves and their children. Christians, who have historically been the champion of the rights and dignity of women, must reclaim that role in the face of HIV/AIDS.”

    Hope that makes more sense…….

  12. Again, I guess what I’m asking is what to do for those in Africa who aquired AIDS through no fault of their own? I ask due to how many abroad have often given the situation a BROAD STROKE and acted as if EVERYONE OVER IN AFRICA has been actively seeking to sleep around and therefore support cannot be given……and yet no one acknowledges how often many have aquired it by no fault of their own, whether through being RAPPED, forced to peform sexually in a marriage due to cultural norms irregardless of how reckless the behavior of the spouse may be or whether he is sleeping around with others and has gotten infected but wants to sleep with his wife and the wife feels OBLIGATED to do as he sasy…..or inheriting the disease through one’s parents and various other issues.

    My concern, primarily, is for those who are INNOCENT in the matter….feel me?

  13. By the way, Sis MAV, LOVED YOUR POST….

    What you said here really intrigued me:

    “if the disease is acquired through sinful practices, the message is go and sin no more-and yes, you still have compassion and offer treatment.”

    The story that immdediately comes to my mind:

    John 8

    1But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

    But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

    9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

    11″No one, sir,” she said.
    “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

    Something else that you said which stuck out to me,

    “i do not believe there will ever be and end to the various plagues that scourge humanity, on this side. we live in a world marred by sin and until we are reached by the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ-we will continue to practice behaviors that will lead to all kinds of suffering.”

    If I may also say reagrding the situation,

    Luke 13

    Repent or Perish

    1Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

    6Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. 7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’

    8″ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”

    If I may say, Pilate may’ve killed the Galileans beacuse he thought they were rebelling against Rome…and those killed by the tower of Siolaom may’ve been workiing for the Romans on an aqueduct there. The Pharisees, who were opposed to using force to deal with Rome, would have said that the Galiliens killed by Pilate deserved to die for rebelling….AND THE ZEALOUTS, a group of anti-Roman terrorists, would have said that the aqueduct workers DESERVED TO DIE for cooperating.

    However, Jesus (IMHO) dismissed the idea that accidents or human cruelties were God’s judgement on especially BAD SINNERS. Neither the Galileans nor the workers should be blamed for their calamities.

    Whether someone is killed in a tragic accident or miraculously survives is not a measure of righteousness. Everyone has to die…and Jesus did not explain the reason why some live & others die tragically, but instead pointed to everyone’s need for repentance….

    Same thing with the AIDS issue, where people are assuming that EVERYONE DEALING WITH AIDS in AFRICA IS UNDER GOD’S JUDGEMENT due to being ESPECIALLY BAD.

    Some people are dealing with it due to the fact that we simply live in a sinful world where sin runs rampant…..AND THE SOLUTION IS FOUND ONLY IN CHRIST….
    For everyone’s consideration, please consider these articles on the issue:

    http://www.cicministry.org/commentary/issue55.htm

    http://www.cicministry.org/commentary/issue90.htm

  14. Lance said

    Seems to me that the AIDS issue, esp. in regard to innocent recipients, is a sanctity of life issue.

    And we are to protect the sanctity of life.

    Thanks for the info.

  15. Thanks, Brother Lance……the way you summarized it regarding “sanctity of life” was very much appreciated…

  16. hi gg, i saw a program on oprah once where she was visiting an african village where a lot of people were dying from aids and the government was NOT allowing anti-viral drugs into the country to be given to the people. i cannot remember the date of this program but i was horrified at the callou$ne$$ and $elfi$hne$$ of the people in gov. who denied access to the life saving drugs. did you happen to catch that episode?

  17. Hey sis,,

    Honestly, I never saw the program…..but I’d be very interested in seeing it if you’d happen to know where you can find it. I looked for it on youtube but have yet to find anything…(and for other curious, no I don’t approve of everything Oprah’s about…but I’m not gonna lie and say that there’s never anything informative she does since I’ve seen a couple of her shows and many things which she’s done have been real helpful. Perhaps I’m a bit too relaxed/casual about things….

  18. sos22 said

    I see the Aids crisis in Africa or elsewhere very separately from it’s causes. I see nothing of punishment for sexual sin in the disease of Aids. It is spread through blood as well as through sexual contact….to unborn children,to people receiving blood transfusions. It’s spread is indiscriminate and without morality. I think that anyone who makes the suggestion that it is a punishment of God is operating on the IQ of a geranium. The fact that lesbian couples are the least likely of all groups to get Aids rather makes the point.

    I love the phrase you use G2…I paraphrase……that we are exhorted by Christ to interact using love and compassion, not just from the position of piety and knowledge. Of course abstinence is the ideal, but try telling that to a woman who has been raped, or whose infected husband forces himself on her. Not only she, but her children will then be ill. The problem seems overwhelming but I think Christ’s way…of one heart at a time is the only way.

    Do you know the story of the starfish? A little boy and his grandfather take a walk down to the beach. A storm has blown in hundreds of starfish that now lie stranded on the sand. The grandfather picks up one of the starfish and throws it back into the life giving water. ‘Why bother’, says his grandson,’it won’t make any difference, they’re too many of them for us to be able to save then all’. ‘Well’, said the grandfather, ‘ it makes a huge difference to that starfish we saved. He is now living and free because of us.’ The grandson smiles and picks up the next starfish……

    ‘He who gives a cup of water to one of these little ones..I tell you he will not lose his reward.’

    ‘WHATEVER you do, for the least of these, you do it for Me.’

    Whatever way we are called to serve the sick or to fight for their rights our behaviour towards them should not be dependent on their ‘morality’. Let it be enough that we gave the cup of water, and the education on how to prevent infection, and spiritual counsel and encouragement. And let Christ blaze from our face and our spirit as we do so.

    Let’s leave the judgmental preaching to those who talk but do not do.

  19. hi gg, sos22, and others,

    what i am truly not understanding is how come aids is the BIG crisis? people die of all kinds of diseases every single day, and from what i’ve read- alcohol related deaths, nicotine related deaths, and various forms of cancer related deaths kill more people every year than aids. also, the number one killer of women is not aids, but heart disease. like i said earlier, we ought to care for the ill regardless of how they became ill but the fact is that the mode of transmission for MANY diseases is due to lack of morality and wrong choices. why brush aside the truth? can’t we give a cup of water in Jesus’ name AND tell them to abstain from behavior that often times directly contributes to acquiring the disease? i know that aids affects people indiscriminately and some people get it through blood transfusions but due to better blood screening techniques- the incidence of acquiring aids that way is remote. bytheway, the number one group of new aids related cases is african american women. why?
    Jesus healed all who had various kinds of sicknesses and diseases, but he wasn’t beyond telling people to go and sin no more. i’ll help the poor, down-trodden, afflicted, and ill out of my own resources- no doubt about it. but the Gospel is going to go forth as well. i’ll leave the “just hand them a condom and tell them to be safe” preaching to those who’d rather treat the symptoms and ignore the disease folk. maybe i’m missing something here. so if you would, please explain to me what you believe is the way to go about stemming the aids crises. and am i the only one who saw the oprah show where the gov’t was NOT allowing anti-viral medications into the country (don’t remember which african nation). what was THAT all about?!?

  20. Righter said

    I saw the same thing mrs mav and I cried…

  21. Double-G (G2) said

    Sis Righter,

    Have you been lurking on the site? Been wondering where you were at for awhile…..

  22. Righter said

    Hey G,

    I’ve been “around”–:-)

    Peace be with you–you are doing an excellent job all over the place!!

    I_C_U!!!

  23. sos22 said

    Hi Angela…good to meet you!

    I think such a big fuss is made about Aids because of the numbers involved. It is a global crisis, and that is what probably fuels the constant attention on it. Also it is a disease that affects the west and that is significant. Our media rarely comments on the devestation caused by malaria becaus we in the west don’t tend to suffer from it.

    I don’t disagree with any of your points. My response was made mostly to the reaction that I have seen in conservative churches in my own country, where talk of God’ punishment has been uppermost in their response to Aids. This upset me very much. Certainly for some people Aids has come as a consequence of sin but for many many people that is not so. The virus is morally indiscrimate in who it chooses to infect as I said.

    I am horrified to hear that anti-viral drugs were being kept out of Africa. Is this something that has been challenged and corrected, or is this still happening?

  24. […] AIDS: Is there any way to PRACTICALLY END THE DEFICIENCY in DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM? (#100 , #101 ) […]

  25. […] Comments) joyfulfreedom1 on What’s Calvary Chapel-Vi…“LOOK AFTER WI… on AIDS: Is there any way to PRAC…Don on PAGAN CHRISTIANITY: Has anyone…Gabriel (G²) on What’s Calvary […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: