Southern Evangelical Seminary responds to humanitarian crisis in Ukraine

SES to host 28th annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics to equip Christians, especially in times of global distress, with solid biblical truth and doctrine

March 7, 2022

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The International Organization for Migration said Friday that 1.2 million refugees have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian occupation. The U.N. children’s agency said that a half-million children comprised the evacuees during the first week alone. Calling the mass migration the “biggest refugee crisis this century,” the U.N. estimates that as many as 4 million people could ultimately flee the war-torn country.

Yet even as millions escape the dangerous region, many refugees are grappling with their good fortune compared to those who remain. One evacuee shared this sentiment saying, “It’s a sense of security, of relief, but at the same time, we have mixed feelings. And we even feel a bit guilty that we are OK when we know that our relatives are in a bunker right now.”

Judge Phil Ginn, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), commented on the charged mix of emotions surrounding this crisis.

Ginn stated, “The Russian war of aggression against their neighboring country of Ukraine has created a tremendous number of vicarious personal responses of sympathy all over the world and certainly in the hearts of Christians here in America. However, the concept of empathy, of actually feeling what the Ukrainians are feeling, is much more difficult for most of us. Aside from isolated natural disasters, here in America we have little background in being torn from our homes, our family, and our culture as is the case now in Ukraine. Yet, in one sense there is one thing we do have in common with those who have at least temporarily escaped the battles by fleeing to the safety of a neighboring country. Apparently, despite being torn apart from their lives and sometimes even families, some of these folks are feeling both a sense of security, of relief, but at the same time even feel a bit guilty that we are OK.  

Strangely enough, that’s how many of us feel as well. We have, for now, a sense of security here in America, but at the same time there are pangs of guilt for not having to experience what atrocities others must endure. Quite frankly, I don’t have the answer for this dilemma. However, what I can say is this: the feelings we define as guilt on our part may just be God tugging at our hearts to be more concerned about our fellow man, not only in the physical realm, but in their spiritual security as well.  

Ginn noted that Christians are called to not only recognize tragedy but respond.

Ginn continued, “The evil in this world is calling out to the hearts of Christians in America to be about the business of meeting not only the physical needs, but also the spiritual needs of those in harm’s way. Prayer is definitely the one essential element, and meeting the needs of people in distress in the real world is certainly useful and necessary. But until the church in America once again begins to agonize over the spiritual lostness rampant in our own country and around the globe, we cannot become the force for good that Christ envisioned for His church. God forgive us for our obvious lack of vision and courage. 

Ginn concluded, “At SES, we desire not only to be steadfast in the truth, but we also seek to penetrate our culture for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God help all of us to be faithful, and God help all of those caught up in the evil of mankind. 

In order to better equip Christians with biblical truth in light of such uncertain times, SES will soon be holding their 28th annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA) titled “Remaining Steadfast in an Upside Down World.” The event will take place on April 8-9, 2022, at FBC Rock Hill in Rock Hill, SC just outside of Charlotte. Speaker and ticket details available here.

Judge Phil Ginn was appointed president of SES in April 2021 after a distinguished career as both a lawyer and a judge. He holds a B.A. from Appalachian State University, a J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Doctor of Ministry from Southern Evangelical Seminary. Prior to his appointment as SES president, Judge Ginn served as SES Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

The mission of SES is to train men and women, based on the inerrant and infallible written Word of God, for the evangelization of the world and the defense of the historic Christian faith. SES offers a range of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees (along with several for-credit certificates) that uniquely integrate theology, philosophy, and apologetics to build a complete and systematic Christian worldview.

For more information on SES, visit its website at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (704) 847-5600.

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