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Student life corner: A word on the 'Boyce Manifesto'
December 08, 2003
By Chip Collins, Associate Dean of Boyce Students
“If not me, then who?”
Heard this before? Hopefully, if you have been here at Boyce College any time at all, you have heard this along with six other queries of like nature, all summarized as the “Boyce Manifesto.” These questions were introduced here on campus almost two years ago -- well before many of you arrived.
The Boyce Manifesto is by no means the Word of God. Yet, I would say that the truths its questions elicit are quite biblical.
The gist of this first question involves a willingness to take the initiative to do whatever needs to be done as the Lord leads. At the question’s core is the dynamic of personal responsibility, which is the flip side of the sovereignty of God.
It means taking responsibility for your own life and actions instead of letting life just happen to you and making excuses for your failures. It means standing alone if need be for what is right. It means recognizing the fact that if you do not do the right thing in a particular situation, then who will?
And, moreover, why should you expect others to be responsible, if you yourself are not willing to be?
Not all rumors are bad. In fact, some are actually rather godly. The Apostle Paul, for instance, actually heard some pretty edifying rumors concerning folks to whom he penned his epistles (1 Thessalonians 1:7-9). With that in mind, there are several rumors I have heard concerning Boyce students.
Several students, for instance, took a part of their Thanksgiving day to work in a homeless shelter here in town to feed some folks who were really in need. Many others are preaching and teaching on a regular basis in places outside the regular local church setting, confronting life at its harshest.
Hearing of such initiative in service to the community gives me great joy. Yet, I would say along with Paul in his letter to those same Thessalonians he had heard so much about, “Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus ... that you excel still more. (1 Thessa-lonians 4:1).”
Webster defines manifesto as “a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives or views of its issuer.” Well, you have probably noticed that we have no such written form inscribed on banners or posters or flyers and plastered on doors and windows throughout the buildings here. This may indeed occur, but we really would prefer simply to see the Manifesto written on all of our hearts.
After all, that is where such words do the most good.
It is plain that there are many Boyce students who on a regular basis are indeed asking themselves the question, “If not me, then who?” May their tribe increase!