Nation Takes a Depressing Turn, Christians Should Be the Spiritual Calm

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Dr. Richard Land: The Faithful May Become Discouraged, But Christians Must Instead Be a Light in a Dark World

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Companies pulling millions of dollars in business from North Carolina because of a bathroom bill. Threats to shun Georgia and Mississippi over religious freedom laws. Political candidates sparring with personal attacks.

It can be easy for Christians to look at the headlines and become discouraged, but Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), says the faithful must instead be a light in a dark world.

“Given the many depressing trends and events both foreign and domestic that have bombarded us as Americans during the first quarter of 2016,” Land wrote in a recent column for The Christian Post, “I have found myself often calling to mind the admonition of the late, great Chuck Colson that it is a sin for Christians to be pessimistic. And, of course, he was, and is, right.”

“Consequently,” Land added, “as Christians we should always be hopeful and confident about the future. After all, we have read the last chapter, and we know how it ends—in victory.”

Peter, for example, took his eyes off Jesus in the rough waters and sunk, Land added. Therefore, it’s important that Christians keep their focus on the Savior, knowing that He is in control and knows the outcome of every news story—both good and bad.

Land also pointed to a new survey from LifeWay Research, which found that a “growing number of Americans believe religious liberty is on the decline and that the nation’s Christians face growing intolerance.” Land also addressed this research in the Christian Post. Read more here.

LifeWay surveyed 1,000 Americans in September 2013 and 1,000 in September 2015, then compared the results. Two-thirds (63 percent) say Christians face increasing intolerance, up from half (50 percent) in 2013. Another (60 percent) say religious liberty is on the decline, up from just over half (54 percent) in 2013.

“More Americans worry the U.S. has a hostile environment for religious liberty,” said Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research. “As this perception grows, some approve of it while others speak up against it.”

Today, Land is speaking at—and SES is hosting—the daylong “U-Turn” conference for pastors, ministry leaders and engaged believers, which will equip and empower churches to be a catalyst for change in an uncertain culture.

Speakers for “U-Turn: A Roadmap for Renewal—A Conversation with Pastors on Society, Culture and Leadership,” presented by the American Pastors Network and the North Carolina Pastors Network, will share their inspiring stories and words of wisdom on April 14 to help motivate pastors and others in attendance.

Set for 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 14 at SES, 3000 Tilley Morris Road in Matthews, N.C., “U-Turn” will also feature social science researcher George Barna, President of Reclaiming America for Christ Paul Blair, biblical writer Gary Frazier and Sammy Tippit of Sammy Tippit Ministries, among others.

SES is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. Many courses focus on societal issues from a Christian worldview, delve into scientific apologetics or contemplate creation research.

Land is featured in his nationally syndicated daily radio commentary, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on almost 400 stations nationwide, including nearly 200 on the American Family Radio Network and 100 on the Bott Radio Network. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” is also podcast daily on the free SES mobile app and airs locally in the Charlotte, N.C., area every weekday. The “Bringing Every Thought Captive” television program, hosted by Land, airs on the NRB Network Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and midnight EST. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” also reaches nearly 2 million households in the Chicago area on the Total Living Network. For details about stations, times, downloads and more, click here.

Land has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England and his bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Land also earned a Master of Theology (Honors Program) degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the Outstanding Graduating Student. Dr. Land was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council for his leadership on moral and cultural issues. He also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. Land served previously (1988-2013) as president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC’s Research Institute, and in 2015, he was named in the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”

Southern Evangelical Seminary invites visitors to its web site to join the more than 20,000 people who have already downloaded the SES Apologetics App for Windows mobile devices and Android and Apple phones and tablets. Those with the app can get the very best news and information in Christian apologetics, including articles, audio, video, blogs and more from today’s most able defenders of the Christian faith—William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, William Dembski, Frank Turek, Hugh Ross, Gary Habermas and other well-known speakers, authors and teachers.

Southern Evangelical Seminary has been ranked as one of the top graduate programs for General Christian Apologetics by TheBestSchools.org’s “Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.”

For more information on SES, visit its web site at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH. For more information about SES’ “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program, visit www.ethics.ses.edu.


For information on SES or to set up an interview, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison, 610-584-1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com.

Southern Evangelical Seminary is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. The accredited Christian college and seminary offers a wide variety of bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. Programs can be completed through residence in the Charlotte area or online. The award-winning education at SES is distinctively Christian and focused on evangelism and world-engaging defense of the Christian faith—Christian Apologetics.

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