AIDS: A Bellwether for Christian Compassion

Case studies in missing the point… that is how the non-Christian world often views those who call themselves followers of Christ. Often we have chosen to isolate the contributing behavior associated with the contraction of AIDS instead of also demonstrating compassion for those affected regardless of how they were infected.

Imagine with me that you are driving on the interstate and happen upon a horrible crash. Of course your first decision is whether to stop or keep driving. Once you’ve decided to stop you should find out who was at fault. Especially if the crash victim was negligent, you should remind them what they could have done differently to avoid this horrific condition in which they find themselves.

Of course the above scenario is ludicrous. Yet we as Christians have dealt similarly with issues like the AIDS pandemic. Instead of arriving on the scene with reflexes of compassion, we have come with first-responding moral judgements and sermons of correction. Does it matter how people drive? Of course it does… but not at the crash site. When there is injury and harm the only Christian thing to do is to offer assistance.

It seems I remember Jesus telling a story about that very thing. We even have laws protecting people from liability who offer such assistance. How do you see tragedies like AIDS? Be a good Samaritan. Hurt with people. Help in whatever ways you can. Demonstrate what it means to extend the love of Jesus to one in need.

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