The Real Point
It’s interesting how easy it is for some folks to miss the main point of the video “The Investigation”. Maybe that’s because of the title of it, maybe not.
The video is all about the truth found in God’s written word. It’s all about God’s righteous condemnation of us because of our sin and the freedom from that condemnation through praying to God to receive His forgiveness – God giving us the amnesty, without which God’s style of freedom could not be possible. And, it’s also about the reality of the unbelieving people of this world misunderstanding, being confused and/or believing a lie about what God is really up to. But obviously, if people don’t believe what the Bible says, then obviously they’re not going to understand why the church teaches what it teaches and does what it does.
Blow By Blow
The first 5 minutes of the video are devoted to teaching the truth claims of the Bible. Another 6 minutes is devoted to the interview/discussion about the ‘non-criminal’ nature of the police report that names Tom Smith. About 2 minutes are devoted to the cult accusations followed by another 1 ½ minutes of the truth from God’s word. The “angry relatives” who filed the police report and picketed the Xenos Bible study, occurs 12 ½ minutes into the video, where three people are shown who are apparently convinced Xenos Christian Fellowship is a cult. The picketers are shown for 40 seconds and then the consequences of the accusations are described. The question is asked, “Is it worth it?” The answer from the video producer comes back with the unexpected answer of, “No Doubt!” Yes it’s worth it, because many people were being saved and being baptized in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit! The remaining 30 seconds of the video shows the climax – people being baptized. In my opinion that is all this video does. It shows & tells the facts. Not all have the ears to hear what God is up to.
To sum up – As far as the video goes, about half of it was devoted to Biblical teaching, almost half to the police report discussion and seconds to the protestors. The live formal meeting probably ran as long as most do – about 1 hour. If my memory serves me correctly, the live Bible teaching lasted about 45 minutes. So, there is the context.
It’s Worth It!
From God’s perspective, “it” is so worth it that He even allowed His only begotten Son to endure the cross at the hands of sinful mankind, in order that salvation might be made available to anyone who sincerely asks for it.
Picking a Fight?
Some might wonder if this video is picking a fight. From my point of view, the church I’ve been involved with for almost 25 years is being accused of being something it’s never been. If any fight is being fought, it’s the “good fight”. Paul refers to this in both of his letters to, the non-apostle, Timothy. That “good fight” is the winning of people to Christ. It’s the fight the Biblical message in the video proclaims. What a privilege it is to serve the living God in this way. To be used by Him to save people from judgment and hell.
Those that understand the Bible hopefully understand, one thing, it’s a spiritual battle God wants us to fight. And yet, that spiritual battle will oftentimes ruffle the feathers of those who don’t believe. It always has, and Christ promised it would not be different for His followers who boldly reach out like He did.
…our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph 6:12 (NASB)
Personal & Public
The trouble is this “situation” has been made extremely personal and extremely public by the filing of a police report, by the phoning of public officials, by phoning the Akron Beacon Journal reporter and by launching an extremely vitriolic web page where spurious accusations abound. The video did little to advance what had already been done.
Investigations by all outside objective parties, found no evidence to convincingly conclude we are a cult practicing the negative things the public most generally associates with cultic behavior. In fact what has been revealed is we are a church practicing many of the positive things the public generally associates with church behavior.
Hope in Christ
It’s extremely unfortunate for the folks that launched these accusations. I’m not de-neighing the two families are hurting. But, it seems to me they’re hurting because of major misunderstandings. That’s extremely tragic. But, I do think there is hope. There is always hope with Christ.
I suppose NeoXenos could have just rolled over went back to sleep, but we weren’t asleep to begin with. We’re busy going about doing the work of God’s church as best we can – and the Lord has blessed us with much fruit. Lately, we’ve had to spend some time trying to explain some things. That’s ok – even if some can’t understand.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.29 Romans 8:28 (NASB)
Who do you say Jesus Christ is?