The Disconnecting of America
Southern Evangelical Seminary President Dr. Richard Land Says Terrible Tragedies Are Symptoms—a Sign That Something Has Gone Dreadfully Wrong in Our Society
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The young gunman in the tragic Parkland, Florida, massacre on Valentine’s Day was officially charged last week with 17 counts of murder. Questions still loom: “What went wrong?” “Why didn’t someone listen to or heed the warning signs?” “What could have been done to prevent it?”
While there is no one answer, Southern Evangelical Seminary’s (SES, www.ses.edu) President and Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land says the increasingly scary headlines point to a deep-seated problem in the culture.
“The Parkland, Florida, shooting and the seemingly endless cycle of violence that we have witnessed over the past few years is truly frightening,” Land said. “These terrible tragedies are symptoms—a sign that something has gone terribly wrong in our society. We have disconnected from one another. Long before the economic crash of 2008, we experienced a ‘social crash.’ Millions of Americans are alone and lonely, more than they have ever been before.”
According to Johann Hari, author of “Lost Connections,” Land added, our sense of community has evaporated.
“Social scientists and researchers have been asking the question for many years: ‘How many confidants do you have?’” Land continued. “They wanted to know how many people you could turn to in a crisis or when something really good happened to you. When they started doing the studies several decades ago, the average number of close friends an American had was three. By 2004, the most common answer was none. It is worth noting that there are now more Americans who say they have no close friends rather than any other option.
“We have disconnected from our communities; we have disbanded our tribes,” Land added. “We are trying to see if Americans or any human beings can truly live healthy and vibrant when alone, and the answer is no. They can’t because God created us for fellowship with Him as well as with each other. Human beings malfunction when they are alone, and more and more Americans are alone even when they are gathered in the same place.”
This disconnection, Land said, contrary to what the Creator intended, may be a result of technology, an increasingly secular society or a host of other reasons.
“One thing is clear,” he concluded. “God created the world full of people for a reason and a purpose. Man was not intended to be alone. And our culture is increasingly displaying the detrimental effects of people living outside of meaningful community.”
SES has announced that classes in the new “Philosophy, Politics and Economics” program will begin today and continue through May 4. Additionally, the 2018 National Conference on Christian Apologetics, which will focus on the theme of “The God Who Is,” is set for Oct. 12-13. The seminary will welcome top thinkers, scholars, authors, apologists and scientific minds, including Ravi Zacharias, to its 25th annual conference, which will be held at Calvary Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.