November 23, 2015
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—After Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land has discussed over the past week how the assaults have shaken not only a nation, but the world. In his daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” heard on nearly 400 stations across the country, Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES,www.ses.edu), offered the following commentary:
“Over the past several days we have been overwhelmed by the grisly scenes and heartbreaking stories from Paris,” Land said. “The radical Islamist jihadists have struck again, with devastating impact—nearly 130 dead and scores critically injured. These people are the latest victims of this death cult that has sprung up within Islam, which is determined to murder and slaughter its way to power—absolute power—both in Europe and the Middle East.
“Now we find there is evidence of at least some of the terrorists having made their way through France, masquerading as refugees from the Syrian civil war. As literally millions of Mid-Eastern refugees engulf Europe, security specialists tell us that ISIS terrorists have infiltrated their ranks and are using a refugee cover to reach their destinations in Western Europe and the U.S. ISIS has issued a warning to America, that we are next. Make no mistake about it; they are deadly serious. Since they have been at war with us since 9-11-2001, we ought to be at war with them.
“The French Prime Minister declared that the attacks amount to an act of war. He is right, whether President Obama understands it or not. Now, our government is lying to us by telling us that any Syrian refugees that we take in will be well and thoroughly vetted and checked out. How? Syria is a failed state; it has no records to check. Unless we want to welcome terrorists and murderers into the homeland, then we need to take drastic measures. Anyone seeking to enter the country from that area of the world ought to be given, at the very least, a polygraph test or a lie detector test to see if they are jihadists. Even that might not work, since lie detector tests are notorious for being inaccurate when dealing with psychopaths—and these people are psychopaths, people without a conscience. My view is that we should provide aid and assistance to the Syrian refugees, but because the potential terrorist risk is much too great to bring them into America, a ‘safe zone’ should be created in Syria in which to provide assistance, and assist neighboring countries that are aiding refugees as well.
“Romans 13 tell us God ordained government to punish evil and to reward those who do that which is right. We must insist that our government protect first and foremost and always the people of the United States from those who would do them harm.”
“How do you balance Christian compassion with a divinely ordained mandate of the government to punish evildoers and reward those who do that which is right? For instance, if someone murders my wife, as a Christian, I do not have the right to kill that person or to take any kind of personal revenge. In fact, I am commanded to pray for that person and to love them as someone for whom Jesus died. However, I do have the right to expect the civil magistrate to punish them to the fullest extent of the law, once they have been found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of their peers.
“Just so, as Christians, we need to have compassion for Syrian refugees who are fleeing the horrible violence of their civil war. Does that compassion compel us to grant them access to our country as refugees? I think not. Especially when ISIS has declared they are going to use the refugee flood as a Trojan horse to infiltrate terrorists into the U.S., duplicating the dastardly deeds they perpetrated in Paris.
“Being passionate does not compel us to expose our jugular veins to our enemies,” Land concluded. “As a nation, we can provide these refugees a safe zone in their own country, guaranteed with American air and military power. We can offer to feed, clothe and house them in refugee camps or help them relocate to adjacent countries, like Egypt, Jordan and Turkey. However, since we cannot properly vet them, I believe our government has a responsibility to say that no one enters the U.S. as a refugee from Syria until ISIS is defeated. Our government’s first priority must be the protection of the American people.”
Land also authored an op-ed for the Christian Post on these issues.
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. Many courses focus on societal issues from a Christian worldview, delve into scientific apologetics or contemplate creation research.
“Bringing Every Thought Captive” airs on 235 stations on the American Family Radio Network and 100 stations 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 on 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 more information 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, visitwww.ethics.ses.edu.
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.