Red Skelton Was a Funny Guy

Some folks were commenting on Facebook about this ‘Red’ video and I felt inspired to write.

The timing of the creation of this old video is interesting – the year before the Kent State shootings of 1970.

Red Skelton was a funny guy. I remember him (I was 12 and didn’t know Christ from Satan, although I think I had some vague belief in a god). At the time of this video, there were a lot of people (mostly young and sort of hippie types 😉 who were bucking the establishment – and not all of their reasons were bad. They lost faith in the status quo, world system. But, their solution was a bit misguided and they looked in so many wrong places for the love and justice they desired (sounds a bit familiar doesn’t it?).

I think I understand where most of you are coming from… and most of you may actually know Christ – praise God. However, please allow me to very respectfully share a little different spin on this.

Even if the government gives us its blessing on praying prayers and mentioning God in song at your local public school, it does not automatically follow that spiritual revival will come to the hearts and minds of people in this country – or any other country for that matter. God’s priority is clear…

…God our Savior,4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.1 Tim 2:3-4 (NASB)

It’s because of my relationship with Christ, through forgiveness of my sins, that I am able to tell others about the love of God through Christ. So it’s me speaking the truth in love to fellow believers (for personal growth) and speaking the truth in love to those who don’t know the good news while working in tandem with the Holy Spirit, is what will really have impact in a dark and dying cosmos. When I exercise faith in Christ I can go anywhere I want to pray, or preach, the gospel. That’s my freedom in Christ. And – that is a very God given power. So, I don’t need to have the government tell me I can do that – God has already given me all the encouragement and support I need.

16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always , even to the end of the age.” Matt 28:16-20 (NASB)

Let us not be misguided and weak (believe me, I can relate to how easy that is because I’ve been there and done it). But, take courage and speak it forth in love! There is a way to be respectfully bold and know where the power lies.

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16 (NASB)

Will the Real Point Please Stand Up?

dangerousfreedom
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?