We were driving home when Jamie told me the news: a man who had influenced our lives for over 30 years had gone to be with Jesus. Just the day before, our Facebook timeline was filled with posts that another man we’d admired since our teenage years had also passed away. It was strange how we could feel loss for two men we never met personally. Still, we were sad.
The first man was Rush Limbaugh. Yes, we were “ditto heads”. Since he first came on the radio when I was young, his words have filled our car on many trips. Rush did what no one else had done before—he gave a voice to conservative beliefs. He explained the conservative platform—what it stood for and why these beliefs were important. Probably most importantly, he encouraged his listeners to speak out for their beliefs. Even in his dying days, he used his voice to fight valiantly for the country and beliefs he loved.
The second man was Carman. Again, Jamie and I were fans for years. Ironically, his concert was one of the first I ever went to and the last I attended. Like many in my age group, his music inspired and encouraged me to be “Radically Saved”, to have “A Little Bit More Conviction”, and be “Addicted to Jesus”. Of course, his anthem, “The Champion” was the basis for many human videos in the 1990s. Even today, during difficult times, the lyrics from his songs will run through my mind. At a time when many attempted to alter their lyrics so they would have double meanings and appeal to a broader audience, Carman stood firm on this commitment to sharing the unadulterated Gospel of Christ. His legacy is more than music; it’s a message of passionate commitment to Jesus.
Taking some time to look back at the lives of these two men, I realize they had one thing in common. They were both committed to speaking and sharing truth. Rush spoke truth about politics and Carmen shared an unashamed presentation of the Gospel of Jesus. Neither of them pulled punches even when their truth was unpopular.
Their messages were honest, clear, and driven by passion. They loved people and wanted what was best for them. So they used their voices to share truth without apology. While they each had their own unique humor and flair, it was just a method to share their message.
Today, both of these men are with Jesus in Heaven. I find myself asking, “Who will carry on their legacy? Who will speak truth without apology?”
In a world that believes more and more that there is no absolute truth, there is no right and wrong, who will use their voice to speak truth?
I’ll be honest and say that I do not feel called to be political like Rush, but more and more I believe the Holy Spirit is calling Christians to follow Carman’s example and live unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Too many people are dying and going to Hell to remain quiet. Our country and many progressive churches are headed down a dangerous path--how can we not share Biblical truth?
Today is the day to use our voice to share the gospel, to use our voice to speak truth, and to use our voice to call both the unsaved and wayward Christians back to Jesus.
God has given each of us a voice. One day when we stand before Jesus we will be accountable for how we use it.
Like Rush and Carman when I stand before Jesus I want to be able to say I did my best.
I left it all on the field. I gave it all that I had. I spoke truth and tried to lead as many people as possible to Jesus.
Whether we can say that depends on what we do today.
Will you speak truth?
Will you be a light?
Will you rise and shine and be a light in a dark world?
Will you agree with the words of this Carman song and say:
I have made my decision
I have stated my claim
I have drawn a line in the sand and I won’t be ashamed
With the world behind me and the cross before
By the grace of God I will serve the Lord
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry.