Dr. Richard Land

One Year Later: How Has the SCOTUS Decision Impacted Marriage in America?

June 14, 2016

Southern Evangelical Seminary President and Evangelical Leader Dr. Richard Land Says Christians Must Remain Committed to Biblical Definition of Marriage In Spite of Cultural Shift

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—One year ago, everything changed.

The biblical definition of marriage that had stood for thousands of years was suddenly swept under the rug. The view of how one man and one woman come together in a holy union that held true for millennia was, in an instant, shifted in the eyes of the law.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015, which legalized same-sex marriage in every state in the nation, may have changed the law but will never alter the word of God, said Southern Evangelical Seminary(SESwww.ses.eduPresident and Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land.

Following the announcement of the decision a year ago, Land quoted Winston Churchill, who said after the fall of France in 1940 that the Battle of France was over and the Battle of Britain was about to begin. Just so, Land had said, unless there was a great spiritual awakening in America, the battle for traditional marriage was over and the battle for religious freedom had begun.

“One year ago, the battlefield shifted to religious freedom,” Land said. “Many expected that the progressive, totalitarian and intolerant left would attempt to force or compel people to affirm same-sex marriage. In some ways, these expectations were realized. Once the high Court seized the historic role of defining marriage from the individual states and stripped it away from voters, everything changed, including God’s most basic definition of how He designed man and woman and intended for them to live as one.”

Now, a year after the SCOTUS decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the nation continues to have a government not of the Constitution, Land said, but a government of capricious and arbitrary men. Last June, 100 Christian leaders, including Land, responded to the Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage.

“We reminded the Court that the Bible clearly teaches the enduring truth that marriage consists of one man and one woman,” Land said. “This could not be more true one year later, and Evangelical churches must remain faithful to the biblical witness on marriage regardless of the cultural shift. As Evangelicals animated by the Good News that God offers reconciliation through the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus, we must commit to respect and pray for our governing authorities, even as we work through the democratic process to rebuild a culture of marriage and teach the truth about biblical marriage in a way that brings healing to a sexually broken culture.”

Several speakers will discuss God’s design for marriage and the cultural response to that biblical definition at SES’s 23rd annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics, hosted by Calvary Church in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 13-15. 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 explores ethical issues through its “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program; for more information, visitwww.ethics.ses.eduSouthern Evangelical Seminary also recently unveiled a new apologetics blog atwww.WhyDoYouBelieve.org, where Land and other SES voices address the most pressing issues of the day.

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

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For information on SES or to set up an interview, contact Beth Harrison, 610-584-1096, ext. 104,Media@HamiltonStrategies.comor Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or 

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.