Fifteeen Refusals for 2007
1. I refuse to waste time on trivia: that means 95% of popular culture. Instead, I will center on study, teaching, preaching, writing, and mentoring.
2. I refuse to accept the anti-intellectualism (and even misology) of American evangelicalism. Instead I will teach, preach, and write in ways that demand concentration; I will write what ignites the intellect; I will preach as deeply as I can and dare you to come with me.
3. I refuse to dumb down anything, anywhere, any time. Instead I will inspire people to rise to the occasion intellectually.
4. I refuse to join those Christians who seldom read or reflect on the Bible. Instead I will read it, reread it, study it, memorize it, and meditate on it. I will try to incorporate it increasingly into my thoughts and words.
5. I refuse to seek no more than "personal peace and affluence" (as Francis Schaeffer put it thirty years ago) for my life. Instead, I will contribute to Kingdom endeavors here and abroad.
6. I refuse to tolerate bad preaching, superficial books, or kitschy Christian culture (Precious Moments, Thomas Kinkaide, etc., ad nauseum). Instead I will seek out the best, praise it, and challenge underachievers to climb higher.
7. I refuse to ever play a video game. Instead, I will look for Kingdom opportunities in the land of the living.
8. I refuse to waste time on small talk. Instead, I will endeavor to make all my words count for eternity.
9. I refuse to speak in cliches or outworn adjectives ("awesome," "cool," etc.). Instead I will try to find the right word for the right thought. Or say nothing.
10. I refuse to pose. Instead, I will live.
11. I refuse to accept the de facto deism of so many evangelicals who do not seek God for supernatural manifestations of Christ's Kingdom (healing, signs and wonders). Instead, I will seek (but never presume upon) God's miraculous, supernatural presence in this dark world.
12. I refuse to confine the Kingdom of God to America. Instead, I will keep an eagle eye for ways I can bless, encourage, and edify Christ-followers around the world.
13. I refuse to consign Christian women to second-class status in the church, the home, or the world. Instead, I will support and encourage gifted women to serve God in accord with their gifts and opportunities.
14. I refuse to preach only to the choir, to limit my ministry to the church, Christian school, parachurch, and so on. Instead, I will in every way possible seek to inject Christian truth creatively into culture through my writing and teaching, to colonize alien lands with truths not normally found there.
15. I refuse to follow any trend simply because it is a trend. Instead, I will seek to discern the hand of God in the world.
None of this can be achieved in my own power: "Yet not I but Christ who lives in me."