About the Ice Bucket Challenge by Julie Arduini

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last week, chances are you’ve seen the Ice Bucket Challenge gone viral to raise awareness and donations for ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Along with the videos, you’ve probably read the comments.

  • How does pouring water over your head help a cause?
  • Why would I participate in something just because someone tagged me?
  • Why not just give the money?
  • Wait, are people donating, or just getting wet?
  • I’m pro-life and have heard organizations use embroyonic stem cells to fight ALS. I don’t want to donate if that’s the case.
  • I’m uncomfortable jumping on a bandwagon that’s so massive, just because.
  • How can we dump water on ourselves when Africans don’t even have wells drilled?

I admit, when I saw it start, I hoped I wouldn’t get tagged. I don’t look great on video, and less so wet. There’s a vulnerability to put myself out there and share.

I also was fairly sure I heard about the embryonic stem cells, and that’s a deal breaker for me. I would want to give to an organization that uses adult stem cells.

I also interacted with people affected by ALS and their response to the videos was incredible. If the world could respond with as much passion to the issues I personally live with and around as they have ALS, I too would be choked up and overwhelmed. It is a terrible disease and I understand the need for awareness. I also know a cure can’t be found without donations.

My step son, Matt, in his ice bucket video.

My step son, Matt, in his ice bucket video.

So, what do you do with all the opinions out there about a video that challenges people to learn about ALS and send money?

My answer is to prayerfully remember your God-given convictions.

When I got tagged by my nephew, my own kids were so excited to respond that they didn’t even wait for me to move ahead. They researched ALS and created the video. They did wait on me to learn about donating.

When I was tagged by one of the girls I minister to Wednesday nights, I knew it was time to make the video. All the girls in the class were tagged and I thought it was a great opportunity to be foolish for Jesus, if you will. They saw me take the time to buy ice and put a call out on when and where we’d do it. They were so giddy to watch and participate, they couldn’t contain themselves, and the parents gave money.

My turn came and it was important for me to say in the spiel that although I was taping on behalf of ALS awareness, I wanted people to respond to a charity they felt comfortable with. For me, I planned to take the monies and donate them to a charity close to these girls and me that I knew where and how the monies were spent. (M’Pact Girls Ministries.) I tagged people who I felt made an eternal impact in the lives of children. I challenged viewers to do the same.

My convictions are different than yours and I think too often and too easily we trip over ourselves about it. I’m not about to participate in anything demonic, but I’m not going to go after anyone that throws water over themselves. I know that it’s a first world excess and I’m aware of third world issues. But my conviction is to be relational with kids and this challenge was a way for me to share the gospel and be with kids. That might work for you, it might not. But it was my conviction.

I might not agree with where all the funds are going, but my answer has been that I am uncomfortable sending to a place that uses embryonic stem cells. I follow with my interest in using adult stem cells, and that I understand the world doesn’t agree with me. That’s my conviction.

I’ve seen arguments rise up over music choices, movies, several things that we end up fighting over and missing the bigger picture. God’s done amazing things using movies like Spiderman to help me share a nugget He revealed to me about unforgiveness. If all I did was watch Biblical movies, I’d miss that. But I understand some people have that conviction. I don’t watch R movies, but I know some very strong Christians who do. It’s their conviction. Alcohol? I know denominations struggle with it because Christians can be all over the map about it. Alcohol is a stumbling block for me and many people I know. That’s my conviction. I’m not afraid to walk into a bar, nor do I look for one. 

Anyway, I thought I’d share my observations. If nothing else, the person/people who created the ice bucket idea are marketing geniuses. As someone who studied marketing, they thought out of the box and it cost them nothing to come up with the idea as far as I can see. Pure genius.

I’m not interested in being a wet blanket. I am passionate about showing people Jesus. 

And I had fun getting wet.

What are your thoughts?


About juliearduini

Julie Arduini loves to encourage readers to surrender the good, the bad, and ---maybe one day---the chocolate. She’s the author of ENTRUSTED: Surrendering the Present, as well as ENTANGLED: Surrendering the Past. The last book in the series, ENGAGED: Surrendering the Future, is coming soon. Her devotional, FINDING FREEDOM THROUGH SURRENDER, features the surrender themes and characters from the series. She also shares her story in the infertility devotional, A WALK IN THE VALLEY. She blogs every other Wednesday for Christians Read, and starting April 2017, will be part of the Inspy Romance blog. She resides in Ohio with her husband, two children, and secret chocolate stash. Learn more by visiting her at http://juliearduini.com, where she invites readers to subscribe to her monthly newsletter full of resources and giveaway opportunities.
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4 Responses to About the Ice Bucket Challenge by Julie Arduini

  1. Michelle says:

    Well said, Julie. I understand people’s convictions about the embryonic stem-cell research….I hold the same convictions. But I’ve seen so many articles criticizing this “challenge” without offering any alternatives, or a way to participate and hold to their convictions. I think what you did was spot on.


    • juliearduini says:

      Thanks, Michelle! I understand what people are saying, but like I said, I think there is a way to keep your values in check and not be a wet blanket, something Christians are accused of being. I have no regrets.


  2. H Glick says:

    As someone whose father died from ALS, the videos were touching. The best way to describe this awful disease is as slow, total body paralysis (lose the ability to eat, walk, talk, breathe). As for the donations, I’ve read that one can give to the ALS foundation and specify where their donation goes (research is just one area–maybe specify that the money goes to help buy assistive type living devices/equipment for ALS patients–such as devices that allow them to communicate with their eyes). Also, one can donate to other ALS research organizations besides the ALS foundation (for example, the John Paul II Medical Research Institute). Additionally, one can volunteer their TIME to an ALS charity or even to a family with ALS. ALS patients often need around the clock care that isn’t covered by insurance or even Medicare.


  3. juliearduini says:

    Thank you, Heidi. That is very helpful. It was you and your dad’s memory that really reminded me that this disease needs awareness,


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