Dr. Richard Land, outgoing president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and incoming president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES), received the 2013 Watchmen Award by the Family Research Council (FRC) last week.
"I am humbled and honored that the Family Research Council has presented me with the esteemed 2013 Watchmen Award," Land began his acceptance speech upon receiving the award on May 23.
"The Church must stand strong against our own immorality in America. That immorality is a greater threat to our survival than we ever faced from the Japanese navy or the German air force or the Soviet missile command or the al-Qaeda terrorist network. We have an enemy that never sleeps but we have God on our side and He is always at work and more powerful than our greatest enemy or fears," Land, who is also the executive editor of The Christian Post, said.
FRC, which is primarily focused on shaping public policy and informed civic activism, presented Land the award for his "uncompromising commitment" to applying biblical principles on the moral issues facing America, as well as for his dedication in training Christians in public policy decisions "that advance the value of human life, biblical marriage, and religious liberty."
The Washington, D.C., based non-profit group also praised SES' incoming president for his "reasoned and eloquent defense of biblical values in the public arena, which is an example and inspiration to pastors and Christian leaders across the nation."
For all the challenges and difficulties facing the church today, Land reminded the audience that the early church faced even greater odds, and yet managed to overcome them.
"We can win but not with a slumbering church ... not with Christian leaders who are thermometers and not thermostats. This is what we will be conveying in all we do at the Southern Evangelical Seminary where I take the helm come July 1 of this year," he added.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, praised Land as a model of "a man that others can follow," and called him a "brilliant spokesman for faith, family and freedom."
SES announced that Land would take over as its new president in mid April, noting his 25-year history and reputation as an influential Christian voice for cultural apologetics in the U.S.
"It has been the honor, privilege, and blessing of a lifetime to serve the Lord, the wonderful people of God called Southern Baptists, and other brothers and sisters in the faith through the ERLC for virtually half of my entire ministry," Land said about leaving ERLC. "Now, I believe that God has led me to the place where He is releasing me to other places of service in His Kingdom."
Perkins explains that Watchmen on the Wall is a "ministry to pastors," encouraging Christian leaders to pray for America, preach without apology, and partner with other pastors "to become the salt and light Jesus spoke about and make a positive difference in their communities, state, and our nation."
The full event, including Land's acceptance speech, can be watched online.