The truth is not to be taken lightly, says popular comedian Ben Price
Ever wanted to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger, Owen Wilson or even Homer Simpson? Well chances are, if you spend enough time with Ben Price, you'll be holding a conversation with them before long.
Ben is a gifted comic originally from Ringwood, Melbourne who has turned his schoolboy voice-bending antics into sell-out comedy shows, doing send-ups of famous personalities from a repertoire of over 100 character voices.
Since competing in the Grand Final of the 2011 season of Australia's Got Talent, Ben's recent one man show "Celebrities Got Talent" sold out every performance, just like his several appearances at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 2000 to 2011.
Along with TV commercials for Just Jeans, Toyota and Holden, he has this year made several appearances on GO TV show Kids WB.
Among thousands of Aussie comedians, this impressionism artist stands out because of his squeaky clean original material and his dead-ringer voices like Dr Phil that have earned him the deserved tag of 'Australia's Best Impersonator'.
But his most unusual quality, especially for a popular comedian, is his desire to honour God.
"As a comedian I take many things lightly and I don't even take myself too seriously, but when people blatantly say 'there is no God', something stirs in me to take a stand," Ben comments.
"I know God exists. It's like someone saying that my wife doesn't exist. I know she does."
Responding to the objection that we cannot see God, Ben explains, "We can't see electricity, yet we know that it exists because we see the result of it, or the light that comes from it.
"We see what God does in people's lives, and the light they then bring to a dark world. Lives that were a mess and without hope are continually turned around for good as God enters into their life."
Ben says he was very blessed with a Christian upbringing with a mother who has "a strong faith in the Lord".
He does not recall a specific day when he gave his life to Jesus. "I just grew up believing in Him", he says.
Five years ago, however, he admits he had "a cruise control' Christianity" until a period of deep anxiety caused him to re-examine his commitment to God.
"I was going to church, loving God, occasionally reading the Word, and pursuing what I wanted to do, before I experienced a couple of horrible months of anxiety – it was a continual nightmare," Ben explains.
Ben felt God saying to him, "This is the time to get real, don't hide your light, and be unashamed of the gospel". He remembered Jesus's opposition to lukewarm commitment: "I would rather spit you of my mouth" (Revelation 3).
Ben is not upset with God about this suffering, as he instead says, "I thank God that He allowed me to go through it." After praying "God let it happen your way, I'm willing to let go of my pursuits" he recalls the anxiety went away.
Besides stand-up gigs in comedy clubs and frequent corporate appearances, Ben is also father to three kids and runs a men's group in his church.
"I'm really passionate about seeing young men be men of God that we're supposed to be. In the Old Testament, God is described as a jealous God. It sounds strange, but He just wants our time."
Referring to Jesus's story of a father and his wayward, unfaithful son, Ben continues, "God is our Father and He's patiently waiting for us. He wants our whole lives, just as Jesus gave His whole life for us. He died for us, so in a sense we have to spiritually die to everything. The Bible says, 'If we hold onto this life, we will lose it, but if we lose this life for Christ's sake and the gospel we will save it.'"
By being in submission to Jesus, Ben says, "out of that comes a whole new way of life. Just as Jesus had resurrection life when He rose again, when we die to our old way of life we get Jesus' power and resurrection life.
"It's a tough call to surrender, where it's less of us and more of God. Yet when we do submit to God there is a peace that can't be explained. There is a joy, a love, a hope that we have, that we never knew when we were trying to do it on our own."
When he realised these principles, Ben asked himself, "Why would I want to be lukewarm again?"
Reading the Bible is now Ben's daily habit, as he explains, "God's Word is Jesus in text, so it speaks to us. One period of 15 minutes out of 96 every day is the very least I can give to God."
God's offer of new life is available to everyone, "The old, young, every race, everyone!" Ben says.
"When we read His Word everything comes alive and our lives become new.
"God has been an irreplaceable part of my whole life. I can't repress what is true or be ashamed of the truth."
Connect with Ben at benpricecomedy.com.
In 2015, Ben will feature in the film Audacity, produced by Kiwi evangelist Ray Comfort. Ray’s previous films can be seen at EvolutionVsGod.com and 180movie.com.