An inspiring speech by David and Jason Benham, courageous twins are nationally recognized for their advocacy on critical family policy issues and dynamic communication style. The message was delivered at NC Family’s Major Speakers Series in Greenville, N.C., on March 13.
INTRODUCTION: This week, we bring you an inspiring speech by David and Jason Benham, courageous twins who are nationally recognized for their advocacy on critical family policy issues. This message was delivered at NC Family’s Major Speakers Series Dinner in Greenville, North Carolina on March 13.
DAVID BENHAM: In Matthew 5:11, Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men persecute you and falsely accuse you.” We can’t forget that. That’s in the Bible. Look it up yourself. “…when they falsely accuse you for My name’s sake,” he said, “rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great.” You know, we lost a multi-million dollar reality television show. We had endorsements coming in with multi commas and crooked numbers. For those of you that are in the financial world, when you start to getting into crooked numbers, you’re making some good money. But you know what, that matters nothing to us because our reward in heaven is far greater than any amount of money we can make here on this earth. If we were to take the values of Jesus Christ, the commands of God when it comes to marriage, when it comes to life—those were the two big issues—if we would have cowered back on those issues, we would not have been standing boldly for Jesus Christ. But I’ll say this, Martin Luther, the great reformer once said, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth except precisely that one point, which at that moment the world and the devil are attacking, I am not professing Christ, no matter how boldly I may be preaching Christianity. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all battlefields besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that one point.” And right now as the body of Christ, we are flinching at these flashpoints. That’s why I thank God for John Rustin and the Family Policy Council standing up in those flashpoints. In the Bible, we call those “exposed places in the wall.” And so here, Jason and I, we find ourselves thrust in the middle of all of this, having read the Bible for so many years and thinking, “Lord, here are some flashpoints where you are very clear in your Word.” And when we were called—were going to tell you a little bit about our story—but we were called and we were told, “Hey, some stuff’s coming down the pipe.” I can remember Jason and I thinking, “You know what, where are the voices in culture that are standing and speaking?” How many pastors, that have these multi-million dollar book deals and all this, are standing and speaking in the line of fire? How many Christian celebrities? Look, in North Carolina, every celebrity known to man is vilifying our state. But what about the Christian celebrities? How about standing up for our values here in North Carolina? So what we’ve got to do…
JASON BENHAM: I want to interrupt you one second. This is the greatest time ever to be alive. Do you think LeBron James wants to play in 82 mop-up games a year? That’s not what he wants. The greatest athletes want the game to come right down to the line and then they look at the coach and they say, “Give me the ball!” That’s the type of Christian that God is looking for today.
DAVID BENHAM: Jason and I, we are from Charlotte. In 2015, our dad was at the City Council dinner meeting and they brought up this whole transgender bathroom bill. They said, “Hey, what we’re going to do, we’re not going to try and take this public.” —My dad heard all this— “…We’re not going to try to take this public, but on Tuesday we’re going to pass the transgender bathroom bill and what we wanna do…” they had a whole list of things, “…we wanna add sexual orientation/gender identity to the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.” Which, by the way, for some tweetable points when you guys are engaging on social media, remember this: Law is to be based on an objective standard for people’s safety. Law is not supposed to be based on a subjective standard for people’s comfort. But what we got is when you take a law, now sexual orientation/gender identity—sexual orientation, how do you even define this stuff? Sexual orientation is who you go to bed with; gender identity is who you go to bed as. We are now putting sexual orientation/gender identity in law, encoding it in law, for people’s comfort and it’s based on a subjective standard that is fluid. It’s self-professed fluid. That doesn’t mean you hate homosexuals. That’s the most ridiculous thing on Earth! Because we have Jesus in our hearts, we love all people. We love them. But, we don’t want to encode a law that is going to be used as a weapon to target religious liberty.
JASON BENHAM: This is what this philosopher said during WWII times. Albert Camus is his name, he said, “There always comes a time in history when the person who dares to say that two plus two equals four is punished with prison or death. And the issue is not what reward or what punishment will be the outcome of such reasoning, the issue is simply whether or not two plus two equals four.” Isn’t it amazing that for a pastor today to stand up in his church, or even say it publically, to simply say: “Marriage is between one man and one woman.” And everybody’s like, “You are so bold!” How did we get to this point, right? I mean look it. You take the two ingredients, one man and one woman out of marriage, that’s like taking chocolate out of brownies: You’re left with blondies and real people don’t eat those suckers anyway, right? Especially not North Carolinians.
DAVID BENHAM: So, in 2015, my dad was at this dinner meeting and then he called us and said, “Boys, you’ll never believe what I just heard. They’re gonna push this bathroom bill on Tuesday. We’ve got to mobilize. You’ve got to call this number and sign up to speak.” So, Jason and I, we call in the number, we sign up to speak. So, we show up to speak and 170 spots were taken to speak and 150 of them were believers and 20 were some other folks. I mean, there had to have been almost 1,000 people there. It was just overwhelming. Twenty-some-thousand emails were delivered between that day and Tuesday, delivered to all the council members. Well, by God’s amazing grace, it was struck down. So we walk out of there thinking, this is amazing! And dad said, “You watch what happens this next election.” Well, November comes around, of the Evangelicals that were registered to vote in Mecklenburg County, 92 percent of them did not vote in November’s election. We got a new mayor in, got two new Council members in. The first agenda item was to push that bathroom bill right through and we watched it. We were there. We probably had 1,000 people there, and we were speaking and I knew this, it’s over. This thing’s gonna pass. And sure enough, it passed that night! And by God’s amazing grace, thank God for the North Carolina Family Policy Council and others that were pushing the Governor and the legislators to call a special session. And then or course, we understand, House Bill 2.
DAVID BENHAM: This is how the radical left works: frame, facilitate, and fracture. Frame the issues. You make it your issue, you take the moral high ground, then you facilitate your network. And where you facilitate your network is in culture. You don’t have to facilitate a political network or even a legal network. You have them in place incase you need them, but you facilitate a cultural network: movie stars, athletes, big business, you go get all of them. And then, when you get all of that in place and you start pushing your narrative, you fracture any dissent. You pick off anybody that would dare speak and you call them bigots and haters and homophobes and you hate this and you hate that. And so, when someone stands up to speak, they’re gonna absolutely vilify you. That’s why I started with Matthew 5:11, because Jesus said in his own words, when they falsely accuse you, what are you? You’re blessed because great is your reward in heaven. Now, they shouldn’t falsely accuse us because our attitude is bad. They shouldn’t falsely accuse us because we’re attacking individuals. No, we reach out with compassion to all individuals, but we resist agendas with courage. And that is the key! And the problem today in America is not the presence of darkness. The problem’s the absence of light. My little sister here goes to sleep at night. He does not turn the darkness on to go to sleep. Hey baby, turn the dark on! It’s time to go to bed. What’s he got to do? Turn the light off. The nature of darkness is that it does not prevail unless light is turned off. So, we have to understand, as you continue reading five verses later in Matthew chapter five, Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.” Now, light exposes our good works as believers, but guess what else light does? John chapter three: “And darkness hates the light” because it exposes that its deeds were evil. Light also exposes the world’s evil deeds. Jesus said in John chapter seven: “The world hates me because I expose that its deeds are evil.” So, when we shine our light and we shine the light of God’s truth, yes, we talk about marriage, yes, we talk about life, yes, we talk about religious liberty and all these wonderful, incredible things, but in doing that, it will expose evil agendas that want to destroy us.
JASON BENHAM: In the church we’ve got the wrong idea of light. You see, most of us grew up Baptist, singing “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.” Right? “Don’t let Satan blow it out.” Right? So, the image we have of light is of a candle because we’re supposed to carry our candle into the darkness, right? OK, well what happens when a wind comes along and blows on a candle? What happens to the candle? It goes out. Now what if you were to replace the image of a candle with the image of a coal, like a burning ember inside of a fire pit? The same wind, which extinguishes the candle’s light, actually ignites the coal’s light. What’s the difference between a candle and a coal? A candle is lit from the outside; A coal burns from the inside. Jeremiah says, “Your Word’s like a fire and it is shut up in my bones and I am weary of holding it in.” Do you know how God gets the light out of you into the world? He puts you in situations to where you will be falsely accused and the devil is trying to extinguish your light by blowing as hard as he can on you. And when you’ve got God’s Word buried deep down into your heart, buckle up, because the very act of the devil trying to extinguish your light is the thing that’s going to ignite it. What God does is he puts you in these situations because he wants you to shine your light. And you don’t have to try to do it. You know what you need to do, you need to spend time daily in God’s Word. You need to be on your knees all alone, early in the morning, down alone with the Lord, going deep with him. And then you get up and you be the best insurance broker you can be; you be the best banker you can be; you be the best stay-at-home mom that you can be; and then when God puts you into a situation to where you simply need to speak, speak and watch all Hell break loose around you. And then you can back right out and just watch the show. You know how you become more than a conqueror? You get out there and you kick butt and you enjoy doing it. And you are happy about it and you are not mad at the people whose idea butts you are kicking. Because God loves all people. He does not love all ideas and he does not love all behaviors, and we need godly men and women who are willing to say that, right? The same boiling water that hardens the egg softens the carrot. We don’t need to turn the temperature of the water down. What’s in the water needs to consider the substance that it’s of, right? So, God taught us this when we were kids. How many of you know that courage is contagious? Well, cowardice is contagious too. But growing up as kids, we discovered that the things that are caught are far greater than the things that are taught. Our dad taught us a lot of stuff but what we caught from him was courage. He was a pastor of a little church in Dallas, Texas, and yet God did something amazing in my dad’s heart about six or seven years into his pastorate. He really got a burden for Life. Specifically, to do something and to speak out about abortion and the holocaust that was taking place. And so, he said, guys I want to take my little church office that I’ve got here at the house and I want to actually put it next to the busiest abortion clinic in Dallas, Texas. And so that’s what he did. Well, he didn’t realize that the Jane Roe of the U.S. Supreme Court case worked at that abortion clinic. Two years later, she got radically saved! My dad baptized her in someone’s swimming pool and it was captured in Time magazine. And you know, Norma McCorvey, the beautiful thing is it was three weeks ago, four weeks ago, she went to be with the Lord, and right now she’s chilling. She knows what Jeremiah looks like; she knows what Jesus looks like. That is so cool. She’s chilling up there with these people because our dad decided to turn his theology into biography.
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