Saturday, August 23, 2014


It seems like every time we open up Facebook these days we are seeing another video of someone doing the Ice Bucket Challenge to help fund research for a cure against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It's kind of fun seeing people dump ice water all over themselves, getting totally soaked, and frozen, for a good cause. And everyone is doing it. I've seen quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning, Larry the Cable Guy, David Beckham, and former president George W. Bush. Even my own son has done it. These videos want to make us join in on the fight. And it's all for a good cause, right? Right?

We humans are so easily amused. As Pink's Floyd's Roger Waters once wrote, "We have amused ourselves to death." We love following the latest trends. We like to be "hip" and "cool" as my generation called it. We will follow anything as long as everyone else is doing it and it's fun. We seldom stop to think things through and that is the case with people and the Ice Bucket Challenge.

On the surface this cause is a noble one. We SHOULD show support for those willing to fight terrible diseases such as ALS and cancer and Alzheimer's. But should we abandon our faith and beliefs in doing so?

Amidst all the videos I see scrolling by and amongst all of my friends who are supporting and participating in the phenomenon, accepting and giving Ice Bucket challenges to each other on Facebook, I have seen only a handful of people expressing their concerns about what goes on in the actual ALS research these challenges are supporting. I applaud them. They are actually thinking. They have done their research, They have counted the cost.

In the Book of Luke Jesus tells us this about "counting the cost" FIRST before we undertake anything in our lives. Jesus is The King of doing what is right and giving good advice for us to follow. If we'd only listen. Read His words and see if they are not true.

"28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ 31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?" - Luke 14:28-31

While we think about what Jesus just said concerning counting the cost BEFORE we get involved in anything, I'd like you to read something from the ALS Association. We will are beginning to count . . .

“Adult stem cell research is important and should be done alongside embryonic stem cell research as both will provide valuable insights. Only through exploration of all types of stem cell research will scientists find the most efficient and effective ways to treat diseases.”

Anything jump out at you from that quote? How about EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH?

What is embryonic stem cell research? Well, it's where scientists "create, harvest, then destroy human embryos" in the name of research. Gee, I wonder what God thinks about that?

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;" - Jeremiah 1:5

The article I am getting my information from is from a Catholic website. A friend of mine provided a link to it on Facebook (you may read the entire article by clicking on the link at the end of my blog). There are several theological disagreements I have with the Catholic Church but standing against embryonic stem cell research is not one of them.

When we blindly write out a check to ALSA, or support these Ice Bucket Challenges, a portion of our money goes straight to embryonic stem cell research, where human embryos are being terminated in the name of research. Where did someone come up with this horrific idea? It smacks of Nazi Germany and Josef Mengele's "human research" at the expense of the Jews.

It's okay to support ALS research. But there are ways to funnel donations to areas of the ASLA's research where human embryos are NOT being used. But people . . . we MUST look into thin ANYTHING before we simply join in.

Just as a side thought, do you think people in areas of our world effected by drought enjoy see people dumping water all over the place? Or people in countries where they HAVE no clean water . . . how much they might desire the very thing we Americans are dumping on ourselves. Be we don't think. That's the whole problem with so many of the world's situations today. We simply don't take the time to think.

The Bible is full of Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Our problem is three-fold - we do not read it, we do not understand it and most of us don't even think about applying it to our lives.

For example, the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Was HE thinking when he robbed a convenience store and then walked down the middle of a road at two in the morning, blocking traffic. Didn't he think that might draw some attention from the police? I'm thinking Mr. Brown hasn't read his Bible, therefore, he didn't learn anything or have the opportunity to apply it's wisdom to his all-too-short life.

The same with the ALS researchers. They spent so much time hoping that they COULD find a cure for ALS by killing human embryos, they didn't stop to think whether or not they actually SHOULD.

May God have mercy on us. He has provided us with His Word. He has provided us with His unconditional love, despite our unworthiness and continual sin. He has provided us with everything we could have ever needed. Yet we chose to follow our own selfish desires. We chose to "do things because they are cool" or "because everyone else is doing it."

So many people want to be "popular" and "to fit in" with our friends and with society. But we are called to "be holy as I am holy" (Leviticus 20:26, 1 Peter 1:16). Do you know what the word "holy" means? According to Strong's Greek Dictionary it means to be "set apart." How can we be set apart from the world if our desires are to fit in?

Please, donate to the ALSA. Let's fight a good fight and find a cure, but direct your funds appropriately. Don't partake in the Ice Bucket Challenge and don't support the challenge by challenging others. Support God. We need to read His Word so we can better understand where and how He wants us to direct HIS energies and HIS resources that He entrusts to us in ways that are God honoring. Thank you for letting me vent.That way HE gets the praise, not us.

What’s wrong with the ALS bucket challenge? - Greg Kandra (a deacon in the Catholic Church)

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