INDIANAPOLIS – Many people say evangelicals are stuck on one issue – whether it's abortion or same-sex "marriage" – when speaking out to defend moral values. But to those defending, it's not just a single issue.
"Marriage is a single issue?" Dr. Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, posed to thousands of Southern Baptists Tuesday. "It's the building block of society."
Land believes there are four "modern horsemen of the apocalypse" that are "riding forth to wreak havoc and destruction in our society" – the denial of the sanctity of human life, the rise of hardcore Internet pornography, the radical homosexual agenda and its attempt to undermine marriage and radical Islamic jihadism.
"Make no mistake about it. Radical Islamic jihadism has declared war on America and American civilization and Christianity," Land emphatically said.
When former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft approached Land and two other prominent evangelical leaders about six years ago, asking what they believe is the most crucial issue facing Americans at the time, Land said Internet pornography has begun to destroy the lives of more men and women than abortion. While abortion would have been his answer if he was asked even a few years earlier, the growth of what he has labeled "the most grotesque perversions of human sexuality" on the Internet has overtaken that issue, he said.
With pornography readily available on the Internet and on wireless devices, Americans including many in the church have fallen victim to the activity. Many Christian groups call it a moral crisis, and reports indicate that as much as 50 percent of men in the pews and the pulpit view pornography, some of whom are addicted.
Still, Land believes abortion and the radical homosexual agenda – both of which evangelicals are widely known to oppose – are greatly devastating society.
"We're not going to exchange the [abortion] agenda," Land said Tuesday at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting while affirming that they will continue to be concerned about the sanctity of life.
What is a person is not just a single issue, Land stressed. "Every human being deserves protection from conception."
And what is a male and female is not a single issue, he added. Quoting Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, Land said, "If the family goes, everything goes," as he referred to the radical homosexual agenda.
While evangelicals face four major battles, Land called the Southern Baptists to first take a look at themselves. The rise of the born-again and evangelical Christian population has been staggering over the past few decades, Land pointed out. Yet the impact that evangelicals have had on society has been very little.
"We experienced growth of evangelicalism and yet our culture is worse off in almost every way except race and sexual discrimination," he said. Rather than being the salt and the light for the world, he said they have been "salted and lit" by the culture.
Calling evangelicals to fall on their knees in repentance, Land said the only answer to these problems is a revival – a revival that begins with them.