Dr. Richard Land

How Will Candidates Address Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness at Debate Tonight?

September 26, 2016

Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land Among a Group of 60 Faith Leaders Who Signed ‘Summit Declaration’ on Election’s Most Important Issues

CHARLOTTE, N.C.Southern Evangelical Seminary (SESwww.ses.eduPresident Dr. Richard Land recently joined 59 other faith leaders to come together to alert voters of the most important matters of this historic election.

The 60 leaders gathered in the studios of LIFE Today in Texas to pray and share their concern for the future of the nation. The event was hosted by The Stream’s publisher James Robison, and the gathering saw men and women of different denominations and ethnic groups united for the preservation of human life, religious freedom, family and marriage, and the importance of engaging in the nation’s electoral process.

In advance of tonight’s presidential debate, Land said it’s important for viewers—and voters—to keep in mind the important issues that will not only shape their votes, but the country as well. And additionally, it’s a travesty, Land says, to divide the Gospel into a social Gospel and a spiritual Gospel.

“The whole Gospel meets the people’s spiritual and physical needs,” Land added. “And we must combine the spiritual and the social when we fulfill our duty to vote. It is blasphemous, for example, to seek to feed the hungry and not tell them about the Bread of Life, or to house the homeless and not tell them that in our Father’s house are many mansions, or to clothe the naked and not tell them about the whole Armor of God, or to give water to the thirsty and not tell them about the rivers of Living Water. But it is a denial to our Savior to share the Gospel witness and ignore the fact that people are hungry, homeless, naked and thirsty.”

Land, who is also a member of Donald Trump’s executive, non-endorsing board to provide advisory support on moral issues, recently penned a post for the SES blog “Why Do You Believe?,” which outlines the stances of both parties that came out of this summer’s conventions.

“As Americans prepare to cast their votes in November,” Land said, “they can see for themselves what the two parties say they believe about the various issues in their own words.”

The covered issues on “Why Do You Believe?” include abortion; pornography (DNC did not release information on this topic); religious liberties; LGBT issues; marriage, family and society; Israel; federal debt; immigration and rule of law; independent conscience in health care (DNC did not release information on this topic); gun rights and the 2nd Amendment; and human trafficking.

The faith leaders who joined Land for The Stream’s Summit Declaration wrote that “in a critical national election where the two leading candidates are far from perfect, we have come to a stark conclusion: we must set aside non-essentials that are repeated in the media, such as the candidates’ personalities, their off-hand comments, short-term political strategies, and the ups and downs of the news cycles or the polls. Instead, we feel the gentle but firm hand of Providence guiding us to pray and focus on the issues at stake, which could not be more crucial to the common good of our country and the lives of our fellow citizens.

“More than two thousand years ago,” the declaration continued, “the Old Testament prophet Micah laid out the criteria we must follow in 2016: ‘He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?’ (Micah 6:8). The following is our best attempt to apply Micah’s test to the vital issues of today. We ask all people of faith not to be distracted by the political antics in the media, but to compare the party platforms and their candidates in light of the following principles.” Among the other leaders who signed on to the declaration were Michele Bachmann, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives; Ken Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries; Zach Dasher, senior adviser for Faith Engagement, Donald Trump Campaign; Ken Eldred, founder and chairman of United in Purpose; Tim Head, executive director of the Faith & Freedom Coalition; E.W. Jackson, founder and president of S.T.A.N.D.; Marcus Lamb, co-founder, president and CEO of Daystar Television Network; Paul Milligan, CEO of Andrew Wommack Ministries; Jay Richards, executive editor of The Stream; Alan Robertson of “Duck Dynasty;” and Rick Scarborough, founder and president of Vision America; along with others.

  • Life—It is a scandalous injustice for our government to allow and enable the killing of the innocent.
  • Liberty—The Bill of Rights is not a list of helpful suggestions, but the fundamental law of our land, without which the Constitution would never have been ratified.
  • The Pursuit of Happiness—There are many issues critical to our national well-being that demand of us wisdom and prudent stewardship—qualities that have often been lacking in both political parties. Here are just a few of urgent concern: debt, immigration, racial division, the right and duty to vote, the role of the church and our prophetic burden.

Some of these same platform issues will be a central focus of SES’s 23rd annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics, hosted by Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 13-15, approximately three weeks before the presidential election. The seminary will welcome such top-name speakers as Norman Geisler, Richard Howe, Richard Land, Josh and Sean McDowell, Hugh Ross, Jay Sekulow, Lee Strobel, Frank Turek and J. Warner Wallace, along with many others. The theme of the 2016 conference, “The Defense Never Rests,” focuses on the ongoing charge to Christians to defend their beliefs rationally, intelligently and lovingly. For registration information, visit conference.ses.edu.

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 Facebook page, follow theSES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH. For more information about SES’“Ethics in Emerging Technology” program, visit www.ethics.ses.edu and read the SES blog atwww.WhyDoYouBelieve.org.  


For information on SES or to set up an interview, contact Jen Retallick, 610-584-1096, ext. 100Media@HamiltonStrategies.comor Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102

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 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.