preacherman

Friday, October 20, 2006

Bono, AIDS, & The Church

If you check my profile you will see that I am a huge U2 fan. I think they are the best rock group of all time. Bono as you know is out spoken on political and social issues. He has strived to make a difference in the world like no other rock star has before. He worked to bring peace in Ireland, helped to cancel the debt of 3rd world countries, has helped the poor, and has worked to find a cure for AIDS just to name a few.

I recently saw Bono on Larry King talking about his one campaign and trying to solve poverty and AIDS. He mentioned that 5,000 die every day of AIDS (That is over two world trade centers a day). It is the children who are suffering the worst. Children being left as orphans. Children being born with the disease. Children.

His one campaign is making news across the world and in American. You can find more information at:
http://www.one.org

The questions I want us to think about and discuss are: Should we be concerned about the poor? Should we try to make a difference in the lives of the poor? How can we do that as a church, or even personally?
Should we be concerned about social issues as a church? Why or why not? And how has our view of AIDS been in the church? Has AIDS become the new leporsy? Have we tried to ignore the problem? What can the church do to help in informing people of AIDS, curing AIDS. If somone came to your church with AIDS how would they be treated by the leadership, ministers, congregation? Have we shown the compassion we should have? How can we make a differnce with those who have AIDS?

I believe the church has been called to make a difference in the culture in which we live. Are we doing that? Can we do that by ignoring social issues and ignoring the problems in this world?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

32 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

I believe that the church should be at the front of the line when it comes to helping the world with it's problems, AIDS, poverty, whatever.

We had a gentleman here about a year and a half ago now. He got messed up in a lifestyle that he gave up... but while involved contracted HIV. He died.

He was accepted, he was a great man... however until his death no one knew of his struggle or where it derived from.

Had they known prior to his death I'm not sure he would have been cared for, but shunned instead.

I'm sad that many of us keep the different and unclean at arms length. It's a pretty easy choice until you find someone in your family, a close friend or acquaintance struggling, at that point your perspective on the issue changes... maybe not your beliefs on the issue, but it's not as black and white as it once was.

For me, I struggle everyday to live as Christ, loving the unlovable, different than me, people. Everyday I try to be better about that.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Velcro said...

I think the big question isn't should we, but how do we?

I think the church should come together in a united front to attack the problem. How will we even attempt to attack a problem as huge as AIDS if we can't even get along with our brothers and sisters in Christ...

And oh, how huge of a contrast is there between the like of Bono and Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson.

Good post.

5:13 PM  
Blogger L.E.Meredith said...

I don't even want to talk about it, but I will. When a church any church takes up collections to send well to do children and of course adults on a trip to raise their conscience of what God wants. while kids are dying of aids across the world I can't help but think that could be a sin. The church could do a lot better. like I said I don't even want to talk about it, but I did.

8:51 PM  
Blogger ANON the comments said...

If the church would direct all of it's efforts to the AIDS problem, we could reduce the death toll of AIDS by 50%. That would be 2,500 more beings on this earth. And if we did this for one year we would have saved 912,500 more souls in just one year. And in 100 years those almost one million souls would die lost in their sins because we directed all of our efforts toward social reorientation rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

But since Bono has already brought peace to Ireland [someone needs to tell Belfast] and has reduced the number of 3rd world countries by at least one, and has almost cured AIDS...maybe we should stick to the Gospel and let Bono handle the rest. In ten years he should have brought peace to the Mid-East, moved all 3rd world countries to second world status and completely cured AIDS.

-ANON-

12:59 AM  
Blogger Darin L. Hamm said...

What does justice say?

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post. Thought provoking. I think if we put a lot of effort in ending poverty, in 10 years, we will still have poverty. If we put most of our effort into ending AIDS, in 10 years, we will still have many people with AIDS and additional new diseases. (Mark 14:1-9)

Why? Because it is the nature of a fallen world, and a fallen mankind.

This may sound like I disagree that the church can play a vital role in these social issues. Quite the contrary. It is great when the church responses to natural disasters, disease epidemics, poverty, and injustice. The problem is that we are to do so as a normal course of action, not as promotional exploitation.

The other problem is that the world would rather report what the church isn't doing, rather than what is really going on. Many Christians do these acts of justice, kindness, and compassion as a normal part of life. These people are quiet, peaceful, and faithful. But they get no fanfare, they are not loud advocates, they are not angry people, and they don't get much press. These people are part of the church.

But they do what they do because of their relationship with God, not public opinion.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Poverty is one of the hot bed topics that churches really don't want to discuss in my opinion. Reason, because they promote the gospel of prosperity rather then the gospel of Christ. Big churches need big cash rolling on or their big buildings will not exsist.

Please understand that what I mentioned is not all churches but to me it comes down to this.

As members of the body of Christ, are we followers of Christ or are we admirers. I see alot of people who admire Christ but I don't see alot of people following him. Following Christ is laying down your personal ambitions and living a life like his.

I am 25 and alot of people ask me the same question I am sure you all got asked. "What do you want to do with your life?"
I wonder how Christ would have answered that..

"Well, I am going to hang out with the poor, the prostitutes and the tax collectors till they kill me.'

Not sure that would have went over to well with his family. Fact is, we are to be proactive in fighting for the meek, they after all will inherit the earth. We are not called to live according to feeling, but according to his willing amen?

3:37 PM  
Blogger Darin L. Hamm said...

Keith,

I really like what you had to say.

7:01 PM  
Blogger ANON the comments said...

"For God so loved the world He sent His one and only Son to HANG OUT with real people and not those Temple goers." Keith 3:16

Hey, that's one way to describe the Cross.

BTW- The church are the meek and we have already inherited :)

-ANON-

12:12 AM  
Anonymous David said...

I believe the world can't ignore social issues. We must do what we can. I think the church has had the mindset of AIDS is God's judgement on immorality so why should we care? People are poor because they are lazy. So it's their own fault. Is that the attiutde tha Christ had?
No. We must be a church that strives stand up and make a differnce on social issues and problems facing this world if we are to survive in the new millenium. Preaching Jesus Christ is essential. Anon, imagine what we could accomplish if Christians joined Bono in the cause. Imagine the differnce and impact the church could make.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Benjamin Potter said...

"The poor you will always have with you . . ."(Matthew 26:11)

Jesus did not excuse His disciples from helping the poor. We are to address the problems of poverty as well as all other problems developing from our society such as it is. However, we are to put all of our activity in perspective.

We are not called to cure disease, or irradicate poverty, or even remove sin completely from the world. As believers in Christ, we are to called to bring the message of Christ to the world, allowing Him to do His saving work in the lives of some.

Social issues such as poverty and AIDS are the gate through which we sometimes can enter into the world to complete this task. By addressing AIDS in a loving manner, not judging or running in fear, we earn a hearing with those affected. By turning our backs, we show to the world that we not only do not care for the hurting, but also that we'd rather they just spent their eternity as far away from us as possible.

Should we as the church address these issues? Of course!

Is addressing them our focus? Never!

Our focus is on Christ. As He moves the needy into our path, we are to be Christ to the world.

Keep us thinking, preacherman. Perhaps we should leave our blogs for awhile and look for ways to serve?

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Benjamin. Why can't we do what Jesus did? He used the hurt and pain in this world to reveal his identity, and give glory to God. So that when he was lifted up (died) all men would look to him.

He didn't come to cure all disease, sickness and pain. Otherwise he surely could have done it. Rather, these things are the vehicle to reveal the way to salvation, and ultimately to the real eradication of these things by the hand of God (not man). (Hebrews 11:13-14)

In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus could have tried to prove himself to Satan — Satan's way. But didn't. He could have taken Satan's offer to head the world and make it all better. But Jesus knew that it was not God's way either. He knew he was here to die for the salvation of the world. Not give it a temporary patch.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

Enjoy your blog. Thanks for visiting mine.

1:07 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Great comments everyone and great discussion.
I believe we should preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. In doing so maybe we will cut down on the number of AIDS cases. I do think we should be compassionate and sympothetic to the poor and the with AIDS. We should show them who God is by our actions and message of grace and hope through Jesus Christ. The church should be in the world changing the culture from within. We must understand that we are not to be isolated from the world but to make a differnce. We can't do that by ignoring social issues and the problems that go on in the world.
Again, great thoughts everyone.
Another question I have is how has the churches attitude been to those who have AIDS. Have we been as compassionate as we should have. It is easy for us to judge people and say it is God's judgment on you for your sinful life. Do we do that with other sins? Do we tell people with cancer...It is because you smoked that you have this disease. It's God's judgement on you...Why do we do that with AIDS? Have we been compassionate as we should be? What can we do to be more compassionate for those with the disease?
What do you think?

2:12 PM  
Blogger Benjamin Potter said...

Your follow-up question is a simple answer. Have we been as compassionate as we should have? No, of course not. Until we stop living like the people we are and start living like Jesus, that will never happen. I do hope and pray though that we become more like Him each day. My daily prayer is that I will be more like Jesus todday than I was yesterday. More like Him now, than one second ago.

My prayer for the church goes along the same lines. May we learn to put away our prejudices to minister to one another and the world around us in a more compassionate way each moment.

I also believe that, just as we learned to be more compassionate to the cancer victim over the years, we will eventually learn to operate compassionately toward the AIDS-ridden patient. Sadly, unless we learn to address all the sadness in the world with compassion, a new epidemic will arise to be viewed as God's vengeance on this people or that because they are sinners.

God's vengeance on sinners is eternity without Him. His grace to sinners who accept it is eternity with Him.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

Great book - For God So Loved the Third World by none other than Tom Hanks

Very thought provoking.

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