(Photo: The Christian Post/Stoyan Zaimov)
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Dr. Richard Land, the new president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, called on evangelicals on Friday to stand up and reclaim culture from a world "wracked by demonic activity," and act like winners in Christ against the powers of the devil.
"We do not live in a neutral world. We live in a world that is wracked with demonic activity, and evil and malign satanic intent," Land declared on Friday night at SES's 20th annual Christian Apologetics conference. "We need to understand that. We are engaged in spiritual warfare. And once we become believers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we begin to march in the opposite direction of the devil."
The session began with a video presentation honoring the life of evangelist Chuck Colson, a born-again Christian who started Prison Fellowship Ministry, reaching out to prisoners and advocating for their spiritual transformation.
Colson, who died in April 2012 at age 80, was referred to in the video as an inspirational figure for many Christian evangelicals.
Land, who is also the executive editor of The Christian Post, presented Colson's daughter, Emily, with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Christian Apologetics in place of her father.
Emily Colson expressed her gratitude for the honor bestowed upon her father, and reminded the audience that he came to speak at this conference on four separate occasions.
"The night before my dad passed, I sat beside him in the hospital room, realizing he truly was just a man, and it has always been God, and God is still upon His throne. I stood in awe of the remarkable change that came over my father when he gave his life to Christ. He became, as Scripture tells us, a new creation," she continued.
"And when my dad changed, our family changed. I am so thankful that my dad and I changed and grew in our relationship. I did not have that sweet and tender relationship with my dad when he was in politics, but when he became a Christian, everything changed."
Emily Colson, who has a 22-year-old autistic son named Max, talked about how her father and her son bonded and enjoyed a tender relationship. "They were the most unlikely pair, and the most perfect pair. They each had a gift the other needed," she said.
After Emily's acceptance of the award, Dr. Land was then reintroduced as the new SES president, following his official inauguration on Thursday, and told the audience that a humanistic worldview now dominates culture, one that proclaims man as God.
"We have seen a culture emerge where man [rather than] God defines truth and goodness, and we have seen perhaps the greatest overturn of ideas and ideals in the history of human thought," he added.
The SES president argued that the Christian mind has cease to exist in a meaningful way in the influential sectors of society, and that while Christian piety and practice have survived, they are isolated from the mainstream and have been pushed to the peripheries of culture.
He reminded evangelicals, however, that Colson once called despair a sin for Christians, "because we know that Jesus is victor. We are born into the city of God, but still live in the city of man.
Land called upon evangelicals to hold on to a never changing Gospel in an ever changing world, to be salt and light, and to start a revival "that ripens into an awakening and culminates into a reformation."
What followed was a video presentation focused on reclaiming "the seven mountains of culture," which were described as seven points where the church has lost influence, leaving behind a void of darkness.
The culture mountains were identified as government, education, media, arts and entertainment, religion, family, and business, which was described by the narrator as the "mountain that they all depend on, the mountain that fuels all other mountains, where resources are concentrated for the kingdom of God, or cashed in for the powers of darkness."
Land followed up on the presentation by stating that evangelicals "need to understand that and bring God's truth back to every area of culture."
The SES President then talked about the importance of apologetics and creating apologetic websites so that people can go online "and get an answer for why Darwin is wrong, an answer for why the Bible is right, an answer for what you have been taught in high school and college that is just pure wrong."
Land concluded the session by reminding evangelicals that the Bible reveals that at the end, God triumphs over Satan, and encouraged them to act like winners empowered by that truth.