Have you seen the “Ice Bucket Challenge?” If you’ve spent more than five minutes on Facebook you’ve probably already been tagged and challenged. The Ice Bucket Challenge is a short video challenging others to either donate $100 to the ALS Association or donate only $25 and make up the difference by dumping a bucket of ice water on your head. It’s pretty genius. Contributions to ALS research have quadrupled this quarter according to some sources. I think I might start a new campaign. You have to contribute $100 to The Well or donate only $25 and listen to “Han Solo Wouldn’t Say ‘I Love You'” (my worst sermon ever, deliver in 2007. Actually the debate on what’s my worst sermon is a weekly challenge. You never know when you’ll crown a new winner).
Not everyone agrees that the Ice Bucket Challenge is a good thing. Some disagree with the kind of research the ALS Association is doing. Others living in drought-striken areas are calling attention to the amount of water wasted in the videos. Still others call the campaign a shallow example of our narcissistic, selfie-obsessed culture.
Even though my uncle succumbed to ALS, and the disease sucks–every bit of it sucks (pardon my language, though this is the censored version); this article isn’t about ALS or the Ice Bucket Challenge or the wasted water or selfies.
Am I supposed to be “for” the Ice Bucket Challenge or am I supposed to be “against” it? Sound silly? Good! Having to “pick a side” is exhausting. In our Post-Post Modern culture the individual is the canon of truth and if something doesn’t measure up, it’s wrong. We can certainly talk about being Pro or Anti fill in the blank, but what I want you to think about today is this: A dualistic world is too simple for a Triune God.
There are never only two options, and if someone is telling you there are only two sides, you must meet their advice with swift and immediate suspicion. Because God exists in three persons there are at least three lenses through which we see truth. There is my experience, there is your experience, and there is that which is independent of both you and me. Shoot, I would go so far as to say there are four ways of understanding what truly is: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. When Caiaphas asks Jesus, “Are you the Messiah,” Jesus offers a different answer in each Gospel. That doesn’t mean scripture is wrong; rather truth is greater than what my two eyeballs can perceive.
A dualistic world is too simple for a Triune God. So, if you get tagged for the ALS challenge, get creative! If water is a concern then donate to the ALS Society and Advent Conspiracy. If you disagree with the means of ALS research, then donate to pension for ALS nurses and care givers. Consider yourself challenged! If you refuse, then I will hand-deliver “Han Solo Wouldn’t Say I Love You,” and you will regret every minute of it.