For the past couple of weeks I have watched the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge move through my circle of Facebook friends, and like many people, I wondered when the day would come for me to be nominated. When your Facebook newsfeed is filled each day with Ice Bucket Challenge videos, and each video nominates 3 more people -it is really just a matter of time…
So I began to wonder how I would respond, if nominated.
At first, I thought to myself: it seems strange that people are challenged to either make a donation OR pour a bucket of ice water over their head. Why wouldn’t people just write a check for $100 to support a great cause (finding a cure for ALS would definitely be a great thing!)
In my mind, giving $100 is a way better option on all fronts. So why bother to get cold and wet?
Then I realized that there is no shortage of donations being made. To date there have been an estimated $41 million dollars in donations as a result of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It appears that many people are getting wet AND donating.
That led me to researching the ALS Foundation, and like many others, I was less than excited about what I found. The research shows that the ALS Foundation is using embryonic stem cells in their search for a cure. In short, that means that supporting the ALS Foundation is also supporting abortion and the use of embryonic stem cells.
Suddenly pouring ice water on my head INSTEAD of donating seemed like a better response to the challenge… Well, either ice water or ashes.
And now I have officially received the challenge. I have been officially nominated and am currently within the 24 hour period. How then shall I respond?
On one hand, if George W. Bush, Michael Jordan, Mitt Romney, LeBron James, and Kermit the Frog have done it -how bad could it be?! Many of my friends have participated… Shouldn’t I join in on the fun? It is obviously for a good cause, namely, to find a cure for a terrible disease for which there is currently no known cure.
On the other hand, there is a clear moral dilemma at stake. The ends (in my mind, at least) certainly do not justify the means. And to be completely honest, ALS is pretty far down the list on the things that I am personally passionate about. (That may sound really heartless, but honestly how many of the millions of Ice Bucket Challenge partakers ever even though about ALS one month before this social media phenomenon took place? And how many will think about it one month after this fad goes away? My guess is less than 10%.)
So do I really want to get swept up in a good cause that pales in comparison to the greatest cause?!
In other words, for me, I am wondering if I really want to get involved with a trendy good cause that aims to save the body when the passion of my heart is to simply join Jesus in the greatest cause of saving souls?
That is a worthy question.
Where is the Ice Bucket Challenge for helping the persecuted Christians in Iraq or the Ice Bucket Challenge for helping to end human trafficking around the world? Where is the Ice Bucket Challenge for getting clean water and food to the millions who are currently starving or suffering from lack of clean water? I’m sure any of those causes could use $41 million dollars and celebrity endorsements…
In the end, this is where I have landed:
I am not afraid of a little water… No matter how cold it is.
I enjoy a good challenge.
I am thankful that ALS is getting attention and I would love to see a cure, but not by unbiblical and unethical means.
I am not going to donate to the ALS Foundation because of the moral dilemma, and I am not going to nominate any others to take on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge because I don’t want to put anyone else in a moral dilemma (and I would actually kind of like to see the Ice Bucket Challenge just go away).
But I accept the challenge and am thankful for having been issued the challenge so that I could have the opportunity to work out my thoughts on the subject and know for sure where I stand.
In lieu of an ALS donation, I will be making a donation to a Christian Missions agency working in Iraq, and I’ll be praying that the cure for this world’s worst disease will be received by the millions who are suffering and dying on a daily basis as a result.
This terrible disease: sin, and we are all infected.
The cure: Jesus, the only source of true and abundant life.
Who wants to join me in that cause? No ice buckets required.