How do we keep fighting the culture war?
Earlier this month, the Republican Party approved what many are calling its most conservative platform ever – including top priorities of social conservatives. Despite a socially moderate presidential candidate in Donald Trump, the GOP platform explicitly calls for the unborn to be legally considered human, demands greater liberty for pastors, and continues to oppose redefining marriage.
This is in direct contrast to the 2016 Democratic platform. While God was put back in after removal in 2012, the platform explicitly calls for repealing laws that limit taxpayer involvement in abortion. Additionally, the LGBT agenda is fully embraced, even when it violates the rights of private business owners.For conservative Christians, the platforms could not be more different. But according to Jason and David Benham, it’s going to take more than words on paper to move America in a direction where family, life, and liberty are respected.
Known colloquially as the Benham Brothers, Jason and David are real estate entrepreneurs and leaders in the evangelical Christian community. They held a prayer rally at the 2012 Democratic Convention, and have unreservedly spoken out to urge Americans to return to Christian values on sexuality, life, and other matters of spiritual and biblical importance.
Now, the Brothers have published their second book, Living Among Lions: How to Thrive Like Daniel in Today’s Babylon. Buttressing their 2015 book, Whatever the Cost, Living Among Lions examines the biblical Daniel, who along with his friends was pressured and persecuted – to the point of a death sentence – to give up his faith in God.
Famously, David survived his death sentence, with the lions who were supposed to feast upon him not harming a hair on his head. According to the Benhams, America is heading in the same direction, with government pressure being implemented against nuns, priests, bakers, pro-life advocates, and schools to implement the LGBT and abortion agendas.
In an e-mail interview, the brothers told me that the solution is to go back hundreds of years, to the Babylonian exile.
Dustin Siggins: Any comments on the RNC platform, which explicitly calls for defunding Planned Parenthood and protection of the unborn at the moment of conception?
Benham Brothers: It’s about time! Now, if we could elect leaders willing to stand on this platform, we’d see significant change in our nation. In the Evangelical community, there was a general fear the platform might capitulate in several key areas like life, marriage, and religious liberty. Thankfully, it was pushed through and now stands as one of the most conservative platforms in history.
DS: Conversely, the DNC platform draft indicates Democrats will call for elimination of federal measures that limit federal funding for abortion, including the Hyde Amendment. Any comment on this platform?
BB: It doesn’t surprise us. When the DNC held their conference in our hometown of Charlotte in 2012, they removed all references to “God” from their platform. After eight years of the most liberal president in American history, coupled with a rapidly declining moral culture, we’ll continue to see the Democratic platform be shaped by the sexual revolution.
DS: Across the country, pro-life groups and individuals are being targeted for their beliefs — whether pharmacy owners in Washington, nuns by the federal government, and pro-life pregnancy care centers in California. How would Daniel handle this kind of pressure?
BB: First, Daniel had conviction that transformed his heart. He knew God. His faith wasn’t a cultural trend to follow. Second, Daniel had commitment that transformed his lifestyle. He wasn’t a Sunday morning believer, but a committed man of faith all week that knew God’s word and submitted his life to it.
Third, Daniel had courage that transformed his world. Loaded with conviction and commitment, Daniel stood with courage when the cultural winds shifted and no longer favored his convictions. He didn’t just survive in the midst of this type of environment – he thrived! When a law was passed that targeted his faith he publicly targeted it back by praying with his windows open, in full defiance to the unjust law. We may find ourselves in a situation to do this very thing soon, so we must be people of conviction and commitment now – then, we’ll stand with courage.
DS: Democratic VP candidate Tim Kaine is a Catholic who says he personally opposes abortion, but he won’t tell women they cannot have abortions. Do you believe that one can be personally against, but publicly for, abortion, and be consistent with Christian ethics?
BB: This is a trap into which many Christians fall today. Unfortunately, we have many professing believers but functional atheists. In other words, they claim to have faith but refuse to make it a framework through which they live faithfully to God…in every area of life. We cannot divorce our faith from the decisions of life (marriage, finances, raising children, education, civic duty, etc.). In light of that, God’s word is clear that His people are to be a voice for the voiceless. So if Tim Kaine ignores this vital aspect of his faith, what other parts will he ignore as he seeks to lead this country?
DS: Any advice for pro-life groups and individuals inside the Democratic Party, like Democrats for Life, that really are Daniel surrounded by lions?
BB: Why are you a Democrat, with a platform clearly bent on killing babies? But if you’re gonna be one, then stand strong and speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves! Don’t fear. Don’t hold back. Don’t be silent. Be strong and speak – the babies deserve your voice.
DS: Finally: You organized prayer rallies and other events at the 2012 Democratic Convention. Any insights for pro-life groups like Created Equal that will aim to raise awareness about life at the 2016 Convention?
BB: Keep your message centered on the Gospel of life, not just the issue of abortion. In other words, it is God who created us equal, born and unborn. And it is He who will open the eyes of the most hardened sinner bent on ending the lives of unborn babies. The more you bring Him into the, the more power you have to see captives set free. Abortion is of Satan, and no amount of good strategy can replace the power of the Spirit.