Benham Brothers on Being ‘Lightning Bolts’ for Christ
September 19, 2015
“It is a fun thing to follow Jesus—until you find out where He’s going. He’s going to the cross.”
David Benham and his twin brother, Jason, stood before 200-plus men Saturday morning with a candid but powerful message: Be bold, no matter what.
The 39-year-old baseball players-turned-entrepreneurs were guest speakers at the Billy Graham Library’s annual men’s breakfast, held at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters.
As one man after another filled his stomach, the Benhams aimed to fill their hearts with encouragement to stand strong in their faith and to lead by example as husbands, fathers and followers of Christ.
It’s a message that’s been passed down in their family for generations.
With their father, Flip Benham, sitting up front to support his sons, Jason reminisced about their childhood. Every morning, he said, they would see their dad either reading his Bible or in prayer. When the boys turned their lives over to Christ at age 12, their father warned them that they were entering a battle.
But he also prepared them for it.
“Our dad created an appetite in us to devour the Word of God,” Jason said.
And from the many Scripture verses the brothers quoted from the podium, it has clearly served them well.
That battle their father warned them about hasn’t ended, either.
The brothers talked about the present-day battle to stand up for what they believe in—something they’re all too familiar with—and how that fight also brings opportunity.
The brothers borrowed from their experience last year when their new show on HGTV was pulled in light of their stance on issues like marriage and abortion. A firestorm ensued, but the men stayed calm and collected, affirming their beliefs.
But it wasn’t that way from the beginning.
The audience listened as the Benhams shared the back story of last year’s controversy—how HGTV fought for the brothers’ show but ultimately decided to cancel it due to outside pressure.
The decision came after a two-week period of hearing nothing from the network. During that time, the brothers shared that they lost their focus on Christ and put all attention on this show they might lose. They called themselves “cowards” and said they had to ask God to forgive them for putting their faith aside.
Once the decision was made, Jason said, God prepared them for the chaos that followed, giving them the words to say during media interviews.
“There’s stuff coming out of us that I didn’t know was in there,” Jason said.
That encouraged the duo to be bolder in their faith and led them to write their book, Whatever the Cost.
“The problem today is not the presence of darkness,” David said. “The problem is the absence of light. It is time to stop being lightning bugs and start being lightning bolts. We generate power from the most high, Jesus Christ. Wherever our foot steps, the authority of Jesus Christ comes.”
Out in the audience, Duncan Bryant sat with some of the men in his family. The group came from Morganton, North Carolina, about an hour and a half away.
It was worth the early drive for Duncan, who called the message “enlightening.”
He was encouraged to “stand for what’s right, whatever the consequences,” and while that’s not always easy, added that he was inspired by the Benhams’ courage.
Randy Down brought his father-in-law—who came all the way from New York—and his three sons, ages 9, 10 and 12.
“I really wanted my sons to be here,” Randy said. “A lot of things can be taught but some things can only be caught.”
Randy knows the Benhams through a local ministry and said they’re good role models for his boys.
“Changed lives change lives,” he said. “I want them to live for Jesus, no matter what the cost is.”
As the brothers put it just moments earlier, when you aim to please God, He fights for you. And we need to fight for Him.
“Now is the time to speak the Word of God with great boldness,” David said.