Benham brothers say religious liberty is under attack, but the church must engage humbly
CHARLOTTE, NC, May 20, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- On Saturday, just 24 hours after backlash from the American people convinced SunTrust bank to reopen its partnerships with Benham REO Group, David and Jason Benham thanked supporters on their YouTube channel.
"We just wanted to say thank you. We were overwhelmed yesterday with this SunTrust debacle, and SunTrust heard from America. It was unbelievable what took place," David said in the video.
On May 15, the Benhams reported on social media that SunTrust had ended its partnership with their company due to their support for the unborn and traditional marriage. The next day, a backlash forced SunTrust to re-establish its relationship with the Benhams' company. SunTrust has denied that it ended the relationship with the Benhams, blaming a third-party vendor. The vendor, however, said the blame lay with SunTrust.
The SunTrust decisions came after the Benhams saw their HGTV reality show canceled because of their traditional Christian values. The Benhams have joined their father, Rev. Flip Benham of Operation Save America, in fighting abortion, marriage redefinition, and the 9/11 mosque in New York City.
In addition to thanking their backers, the Benhams had a message for people on both sides of the marriage and abortion debates: Be kind, humble, and loving towards all, especially as the nation sees problems with religious liberty.
"There is a fracture in our nation and religious liberty, and freedom to think and freedom to express our beliefs is right now fractured and our nation needs us," David Benham said.
"It's so important right now," he said, citing St. Paul. He pointed to Paul's statement that people should "repent and return."
But the brothers believe repentance within the church is the prerequisite to engaging with the culture.
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Jason added, "So many folks have stood with us and we've seen a remnant of people that are saying, 'You know what? I'm gonna be bold. I'm not gonna back down.' But this is the one thing that we want to encourage you with — boldness apart from repentance makes a bully on both sides. That if you don't feel love and compassion for a fellow human being, then we would tell you just don't say anything. You stay seated.”
Jason said that repentance is key. "But when you start with repentance...that leads to humility. You see yourself through the lens of Who God is and who you are in relation to Him. Then that will lead to love for God and for people. And when that fills your heart, the boldness will be the natural outpouring."
Likewise, David criticized Christian churches for not effectively holding to Christ's teachings. "Our message really is to the church," he said. "We're just praying that there's a supernatural gift of repentance to the church – in our own lives, in our own homes, in our churches – which will transform our churches and ultimately transform this nation."