This document reflects commonly held beliefs based on scripture which have been endorsed by the church's Commission on Doctrinal Purity and the Executive Presbytery.
Does the church believe AIDS and/orHIV are God’s way of dealing with the rampant sexual immorality of our times?
Sickness and disease, including AIDS and HIV, are present in our world because of Adam and Eve’s sin. Satan, not God, desires to use AIDS as a means of destroying millions of youth and adults around the world. What Satan plans to use for man’s destruction, God can use to bring glory to himself.
It is true that most people have contracted HIV through immoral sexual activity or drug abuse. Certainly any form of sexual relations outside of marriage causes damage. AIDS, while deadly, is only one expression of that damage.
Since the majority of HIV/AIDS in the U.S. is contracted through immoral sexual activity or drug abuse, we must realize that these diseases are usually consequences of the choices individuals make (see Galatians 6:7,8; Deuteronomy 30:15-19). God has made man with a freedom of choice but with this freedom comes awesome responsibilities and consequences that can affect one for good or bad all of one’s life.
However, some have contracted HIV through no sin of their own. The common belief in Jesus’ day was similar to what many believe today–those who are sick have somehow sinned to bring this upon themselves. One day the disciples of Jesus asked about a blind man: "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" (John 9:2,3, NIV). Sadly, today, some in the church jump to the same conclusion by assuming a person has sinned if he/she contracts HIV/AIDS. We must remember this is not always the case.
Furthermore, those who are sick with this disease need our love and compassion as Christians. This is especially true for those who have not yet accepted Christ. For without our help and message how will they ever come to know Him? As a church we must see those with HIV/AIDS through spiritual eyes. We must realize that all who are sick need physical care extended through loving hearts and hands. And those who are lost as well as sick need to experience the message of forgiveness found in Jesus Christ.
The above statement is based upon our common understanding of scriptural teaching.
All Scripture quotations are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise specified.