Christians, take heart: There’s good news!

Posted in Leadership by Benham Brothers | September 29th, 2015


The fight for religious liberty in America is actually a fight for Christian liberty.

We made that statement from the stage last weekend at the Values Voter Summit in D.C. as we brought the following people onto the stage with us:

Kelvin Cochran, the Christian fire chief in Atlanta who was suspended without pay and then fired by the mayor for one sentence in his book (written on personal time) describing homosexuality as a sin.

Betty and Richard Odgaard, the Christian owners of a wedding chapel in Iowa who were sued by a gay couple seeking to get married. Interestingly, the couple had already been married six months prior in another county, yet the state still continued the lawsuit despite the targeting nature of the claim. The Odgaards had to sell the chapel, and next week they’ll be auctioning off the belongings that remain in the business.

Barronelle Stutzman, the Christian owner of Arlene’s Flowers in Washington who was sued by a gay couple for refusing to provide flowers for their wedding. We asked her if she had sold flowers to this couple before, and with tears welling up in her eyes she said, “Yes, for 10 years. And if they walked in here right now I’d give them a big hug.” But she refused to participate in their wedding, which she felt was an expressive event against her conscience.

There’s more …

Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk, a Christian man, was fired by his commanding officer (a lesbian) when asked about his views on homosexuality. He told her that she wouldn’t like his answer, yet she pressed him and he responded that his views were in line with the Bible. That was all she wrote – he was fired.

Aaron and Melissa Klein were the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon. As Christians, they too, like Barronelle, serviced everyone with no sexual litmus test. Yet when asked to provide a cake for a gay wedding, they refused. Again, this is an event that goes against their consciences, but that sacred freedom is longer alive in America today.

At least for Christians, that is. There were no Muslims on stage with us. And we know for a fact there are plenty who would refuse services for a gay wedding. Good for them – they’re dedicated to their religion. We stand by their right to refuse to participate.

Yet all the persecution is directed solely at Christians.

Nearly every presidential candidate in attendance at the summit talked about this from the stage. The Liberty Institute stated that, between 2013 and 2014, its religious liberty cases have more than doubled from 600 to 1,300. And since the Obergefell decision, its cases are skyrocketing.

This is a new American reality. And this is why we say that it’s not as much a religious liberty battle as it is a Christian liberty battle.

Watch the Benham brothers’ speech at the Values Voter Summit:

While we had these faithful folks on stage, we read from a book titled, “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinsky. The book helped provide context for what they experienced. (It’s important to note that Alinsky dedicated the book to Lucifer. It provides the attack plan that’s being carried out against Christians.)

Here are a few of Alinksy’s points on how to attack and force change:

1) Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. There’s no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating.

2) The threat is usually more terrifying than the actual thing itself.

3) If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through to become a positive.

4) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

You should’ve seen all their heads nodding as we read these. This is exactly what each of the faithful people on stage with us experienced, almost to a point.

The last point about isolating the target from sympathy was highlighted by Melissa Klein as she took the microphone. She said a woman came in to buy some cookies and told her how much she supported her stand. Yet as Melissa boxed the cookies and placed her label on the cover, the woman said, “Please don’t put your label on the box.”

Ha! That’s some support!

As you read the above list, just watch the pattern as the persecution begins to rise in America, but don’t lose hope! Jesus offers us tremendous encouragement from His Word:

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).

It’s time to take heart, get in the game and be faithful to your convictions. Stand strong and rejoice, for great is your reward in heaven.


Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at