Monkeypox, STDs, Violating God’s Divine Order, and Receiving Mercy

Monkeypox, STDs, Violating God’s Divine Order, and Receiving Mercy by Michael L. Brown for Ask Dr Brown

The latest report on the transmission of monkeypox confirms that it is spread overwhelmingly by men who have sex with men. What should we conclude from this?

In the early days of AIDS, it was commonplace to hear preachers refer to this “homosexual disease” as a judgment from God.

As recounted by Michael Christensen on the Ministry Matters website, “When I was a pastor in San Francisco, many Christians viewed AIDS as a sign of the end of the world. I kept busy countering the predominant apocalyptic view in evangelical and fundamentalist churches that ‘AIDS was God’s judgment on the homosexual lifestyle’ or as ‘punishment for IV drug use.’ I remember trying to help people process (including those in my own congregation) why it was that those whose behavior put them at high risk got AIDS from a virus, not as a punishment from God for immorality.”

At that moment, though, AIDS being a judgment on homosexual men seemed like a perfectly logical conclusion, especially given the climate of the day, when homosexuality was denigrated rather than celebrated by our nation.

Sadly, as pointed out by ex-gay leader Joe Dallas, the church missed a great moment to reach out to gay men across the country at a time when they were terribly fearful of this mysterious and dreadful disease. It was decimating their communities. It was destroying their bodies. It was killing young men in their prime.

Yet the main message these men heard from the church was that God was judging them for their sins.

To repeat: at that moment, it seemed clear that this was the case, that the Lord was striking these transgressors with a modern-day plague. All too few Christian leaders seized the opportunity to reach out to the homosexual community, even if they felt that AIDS was a divine judgment. This should have been the time to visit the sick and dying and offer them mercy and repentance through the cross before it was too late.

Today, we are witnessing another “gay disease,” although one that, at present, is not a fraction as savage and deadly as was AIDS.

What are we to make of it?

Here are two major lessons.

First, when we live by our Creator’s rules and honor the proper functions of our body, on average, we will be healthier and live longer.

That’s why insurance companies ask if we smoke or drink.

That’s why people who were obese had a higher chance of dying of COVID, not to mention dying of a host of other conditions, including heart disease.

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