My quest in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
    September 8 2014 by Amber Lehman, Guest Column

    It was the latter part of the week when I started seeing the Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) Ice Bucket Challenge videos pop up in my Facebook newsfeed. Within 36 hours these posts were nearly all that I saw. It was a brilliant campaign that has raised more than $100 million!
     
    As a ministry leader, I anticipated being challenged so I had some homework to know more about the ALS Association (ALSA). Years ago I figured out that nearly all national organizations that do medical research for cures and treatments of diseases supported embryonic stem cell research (ESCR). Later I learned that many organizations give raised funds to Planned Parenthood. Since then, I’ve made it a practice to research every organization I support to see if any of my money supports that which destroys human life.
     
    When I researched ALSA, as I expected, they were in full support of ESCR. It was an easy decision to refrain from participating.
     
    I was shocked as I saw supporters of First Choice and Christian leaders who are prolife taking the Ice Bucket Challenge. It was then that my quest began. I assumed that they could not possibly know they were supporting ESCR.
     
    I immediately became the killjoy of Facebook as I began posting, private messaging, texting, and emailing friends, supporters, and pastors to inform people of the ESCR link as I saw them get challenged. I wrote my church leaders and said “You don’t want to do this, please don’t do this!”
     
    From my vantage point, it was equally plausible for them to dump ice water on their head and then donate to a local abortion clinic. Intentionally ending a life anytime from day one of conception to a 100-year-old’s last breath is all equally wrong – it is all murder whether it happens in a lab, an abortion clinic, a person’s home or a hospital bed.
     
    Human life matters. Period. I wasn’t willing to stand by quietly and watch the Bride of Christ whom I adore contribute to the culture of death.
     
    Christians need to hear the truth of an undeniable reality of a disregard for life; there seems to be a knowledge gap of life issues of today and a plethora of terrible ethical philosophies that serve as slippery slopes to the church. Those whose responses affirmed life were at a loss of how to defend their stance or explain how ESCR worked. While many commended me for diligently defending life, not many of them seemed to take on the fight themselves.
     
    How did the church get here on the critical issue of human life? I believe there are two main reasons:
    First, the church rarely talks about life issues or even the basic doctrine of imago Dei. If you just asked yourself “what is imago Dei?” then you are case in point. Your church may be lacking substantial discussion on what it means to be made in the image of God. A person has value because he or she is fashioned in the image of God. The church should be the place where saints are equipped to engage the culture consistently with God’s truth and biblical values.
     
    Engaging the culture well demands that we know what to believe and why, how to take action responsibly for the causes for which we care and how to engage people in productive discussions around sensitive cultural issues while sharing the message and the love of Christ.
     
    Second, we have somehow adopted a philosophy of ministry and giving that believes that all causes are of the same value and urgency. We have fallen prey to being driven to engage a cause simply by how passionate we feel about it and how engaging the cause makes us feel. This is a dangerous way to steward the resources God has given us.
     
    So how can we pick when there are so many causes and so many needs?
     
    First, we pick by seeking God’s Word to see what God cares about and what He commands us to do.
    Second, we look at what is going on in our age and determine (a) what is going on that only God’s people care about; and, (b) what is an urgent and present danger.
     
    Once the causal criteria are figured out, then these causes become top priorities. Stewardship demands that we look beyond our emotions and the fun trends of the day.
     
    The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge made me aware of a terrible disease and for that I am thankful.  My donation to help find a cure for ALS as well as other debilitating disease will go to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute (http://www.jp2mri.org/), where they are committed to ethical medical research for cures and treatments of multiple diseases. While I care about helping end the suffering of ALS, I also care about defending innocent LIFE even in its smallest form.
     
    (EDITOR’S NOTE – Amber Lehman holds a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies and will gain her master of arts in Christian ethics upon completion of her thesis from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She has been leading First Choice Pregnancy Solutions in Wake Forest since January 2006. To make a donation to First Choice please visit www.FirstChoiceNC.org. Also, be sure to sign up for First Choice’s charity golf tournament Sept. 15 at firstchoicenc.org/events/. Amber’s personal abortion story can be found at firstchoicepregnancysolutions.blogspot.com/2013/08/forgiven-much.html.) 

    9/8/2014 1:14:46 PM by Amber Lehman, Guest Column | with 0 comments
    Filed under: abortion, ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, embryonic stem cell research, ethics




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