The numbers boggle the mind as much as they terrify it. As of November of 1986, 24,011 cases of AIDS had been reported in this country, claiming 13,272 lives (the remainder are almost certain to meet the same fate). The U.S. Public Health Service believes the number of people with AIDS will increase to 270,000 by 1991. And Surgeon General C. Everett Koop projects the number of people worldwide who will die from AIDS could reach 100 million by the end of the century unless a cure is found.

But as incomprehensible as these figures are, they also invite speculation, especially among Christians. In fact, the urge to speculate has been almost irresistible. Why? The main way to get AIDS is to commit a certain kind of sin. In the U.S., about 73 percent of the people diagnosed with AIDS are homosexual and bisexual males. Hence, the speculation: Is the deadly disease God’s judgment on homosexuals?

The Judgment Theory

Already, a number of articles have appeared in conservative Christian publications suggesting AIDS is God’s punishment for homosexual behavior. We may cringe at this notion, but we cannot dispute it. The Bible condemns homosexual acts as sin, and the wages of sin is always death. God’s holy anger is set against all sin. He will not be trifled with and he will not be mocked. What we sow we will reap—if not now, certainly in eternity.

God may indeed be using AIDS to confront homosexuals with their sin. And since the disease is spreading to the heterosexual population, God may also be confronting all forms of promiscuity. There is literally no such thing anymore as “safe sex” outside the boundaries of marriage as God intended it. AIDS could be one dramatic method God is using to wake up a ...

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