Arminian Today

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Why I Will Not Do The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ALS ice bucket challenge is making the rounds.  Celebrities, politicians, sports stars, even pastors are making videos of them having ice water poured on them to support funding for ALS.  While Christians certainly should support those who are suffering from ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and pray for the a cure from this disease, the ALS donations are also helping to fund stem-cell research from aborted babies.  A disciple of Christ should never support any cause that advocates, promotes, or even is involved with abortion.

So what is the disciple to do?

Ironically, the ALS ice bucket challenge has become the baptism of “good doers.”  Atheists have begun using the challenge to say that this is their baptism without Christ.  They are pledging to do good for others despite their lack of understanding where the idea of good can come from nor how they determine what is good or bad.

Liberals are using the ALS challenge to promote their social gospel.  When a church denies the Bible as the inerrant and infallible Word, all that is left is to do good for other people rather than preaching the gospel to them.

I personally don’t  support any causes that don’t also preach the gospel.  Feeding the poor is good.  Helping people battle cancer is good.  Supporting those who are suffering in this life is good.  But unless you preach the gospel to the hurting, the suffering, the poor, the rich, etc., you are not giving them the cure for their greatest disease: sin.  Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death.  People with ALS can still be wicked sinners and still go to hell.  People with cancer die every single day and they don’t know Christ nor His gospel.  People living with HIV die each day but if they don’t know Christ, they will perish (John 3:18).  The gospel is the only solution to our fallen world.  The gospel prepares men and women for eternity unlike the temporary relief of suffering in this world.

I do think that it is good to do good (Matthew 5:13-18).  Galatians 6:10 tells us to do good toward all men and especially the household of faith.  Doing good is good.  But let us not make the mistake of thinking that doing good equals giving people the gospel.  Let us not make the mistake that doing good means that we earn God’s righteousness (Isaiah 64:6).  Disciples do good because of the Spirit at work in us (Ephesians 6:10) unlike the world who do good hoping that their good outweighs their bad.

My advice then is to take the money that would be used by the ALS and give it to true Christian charities who work with ALS victims or to missions.  The gospel going out is better by far.  Again, many with ALS (and other diseases) need to hear the gospel more than anything else.  The poor, the hurting, the suffering, the abused – all these need the gospel.  Do good but preach the gospel.

For more information on charities that support pro-life positions, see this page.



Written by The Seeking Disciple

08/20/2014 at 12:13 PM

7 Responses

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  1. I just did share this on Facebook. Will be interesting to see their reaction. One of our denominational leaders just did the ice bucket challenge and posted the video through our local district/network.

    Mike Bayer

    08/20/2014 at 12:40 PM

  2. Good insight into this. As you state, as a Christian does good deeds he/she needs to let those being helped know why they are doing the good. This is our commission; to share the gospel, make disciples, teach them, and so forth.
    1 Peter 3:15


    08/20/2014 at 6:04 PM

  3. Thank you, Roy for this insightful post. Its no question, that we should care about people with ALS. Seeing sombody with ALS dying slowly is a very heartbreaking experience. But like always, the question ist, how can we help those people the best way. I’m sure, the IBC is not the answer. It puts healthy people in the focus, the prominent and the stars. I wonder, if any of these people ever have seen a person with ALS? Most of this IBC looks like a big funthing, while ALS is a deadly desease and those, who are infected by it, are in deepl despair. So IBC is not a thing I can engage as a christian. And than there’s another important point: Some days ago, I read Russel Chapmanns post about it. He reminded his readers, what a rare good water is in other parts of the world ( an it reminded me, that as diciples we are stewards.


    08/24/2014 at 7:32 AM

    • Sadly, I wonder how much people really care about ALS in this case. I think its a “cool” fad for many people since Hollywood stars and sports stars are all doing the IBC and so why not us? As Christians we should pray for the end of ALS and know that Christ has defeated ALS by His resurrection from the dead. We wait only for the culmination of that work when all disciples who have had ALS will be healed for all time (and of course are now healed if they have passed away). The most important aspect for the disciple of Jesus is that anyone and everyone hears the gospel that saves (Romans 10:14-17). While I despise diseases that ravage people, I know that Christ is Lord and He has defeated them all and will one day usher in His eternal kingdom where they will be no sickness, no sorrow, no death.

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