immaculate infection

If Jesus Was HIV Positive, Then Is God Carrying The Virus Too?

South African Pastor Xola Skosana told his Sunday congregation recently their lord and savior — that Jesus guy — was HIV-positive. Why the hell not?

“Today I will start with a three-part sermon on: Jesus was HIV-positive,” South African Pastor Xola Skosana recently said in a Sunday church service. The words initially stunned his congregation in Cape Town’s Khayelitsha township into silence, and then set tongues wagging in churches across the country. Some Christians have been outraged, saying he is portraying Jesus as sexually promiscuous.

HIV is mainly transmitted through sex, but can also be spread through needle-sharing, contaminated blood, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

However, as Pastor Skosana told those gathered in the modest Luhlaza High School hall for his weekly services, in many parts of the Bible Jesus put himself in the position of the destitute, the sick and the marginalised. “Wherever you open the scriptures Jesus puts himself in the shoes of people who experience brokenness. Isaiah 53, for example, clearly paints a picture of Jesus who takes upon himself the infirmities and the brokenness of humanity,” he told the BBC.

So Jesus contracted the virus, which scientists do not believe was transmitted to humans until the late 1800s at the earliest, by hanging around the sick and downtrodden? Or did he get it from drinking the Virgin Mary’s breast milk? Or did God infect Mary, who passed it on during birth? Or maybe Jesus was sexually promiscuous and contracted it at a brothel, and thus we are dying for his sins! So many questions answered only by hyperbole — just like the Bible! [BBC]

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  • Timothy

    I like this pastor’s thinking. In Scripture, Christ was less concerned about the “how” of people’s problems and more about the “what now.”

    This is the defining difference between the two warring factions of Christianity. The liberal branches hear Jesus say, “neither do I condemn you” and look for ways to bring healing into lives. Conservatives hear only “go and sin no more” and look for ways to bring condemnation.

    This pastor is reminding his believers that it doesn’t matter “how” people became HIV positive, only that Jesus cared about the person where they are.

  • sokablamo

    I think the snark in this post was a little unwarranted for a guy making a much needed point that Jesus should always be associated with the social outcasts, the sick and abused.

  • Josh

    Gonna have to agree with Sokablamo on this one. I think the snark was completely unwarranted. Say what you want about religious fanatics being crazy, but this is one sermon I am 100% on board with. Jesus hung out with the lepers and the sick, who were outcasts.

    The leprosy of today is HIV. It carries the same tired rhetoric of being a curse from God on sinners, and the same unfounded fears of transmission, leading to folks feeling completely ostracized.

    Bravo to this pastor for “getting it”. Would that all pastors were like him; the world would be a much better place.

  • Aubrey Haltom

    An artist named Maxwell Lawton was invited to Cape Town, South Africa in 1993 (or 94) because of his painting “Man of Sorrows: Christ with AIDS”. In this painting, shown at a gallery in the DC area in 93, Jesus was covered with AIDS lesions.

    Archbishop Tutu asked Max to reproduce this painting in the St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town. Max traveled to Cape Town, painted “Christ with AIDS”, and endured criticism and threats of physical violence (people would come to the cathedral and spit on him as he painted.)

    Max was suffering from AIDS when he first got the vision of Jesus with AIDS during Advent season in 1993.

    This painting would be shown to millions around the world – being displayed throughout South Africa as well as the World Council of Churches. It is estimated that over 10 million people around the world have seen this painting.

    Maxwell Lawton died in 2006 from AIDS related malignant melanoma.

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