Let me tell you a little bit about parasitic Cuckoo Birds.
- These cuckoo birds put their eggs in another birds nest and then leave it until it hatches. Often knocking out one the original birds eggs to fit theirs in.
- It is a parasite. It comes to take over the nest.
- It will not wait until the bird is not looking. It will barge in brazenly.
- It is extremely good at mimicking calls so that it blends in.
- The parasitic cuckoos lay coloured eggs which match those of their parasite hosts.
- The newly hatched cuckoo chicks will steal all the food for itself from the mother bird who thinks the cuckoo chick is really it’s own young.
- When the cuckoo bird is big enough, it pushes the original birds out and takes over the nest!
Their motive all along is to steal the nest and make it their own. They never intend to look after the original birds but they will use them to fulfil their purposes until they are no longer needed and are too weak to fight back.
Sadly, I have watched this happen to some people and churches that I know. You might ask why I didn’t warn them. I tried. They could not hear me. You see the people were mimicking them at the time and so seemed to be a genuine “son and daughter” of the house. They would not heed our warning and enjoyed the flattery of the others. These people came and used them to gain position and are now pushing out anyone who was originally a part of the “nest”. People who were founding members and love the Lord, but there was no room for them in this nest anymore.
It is not very popular to speak about these things. People think you are critical or jealous, or even perhaps a little delusional. But in this fake honour (and I do believe honour is important and due to our leaders) and ‘keep-it-positive’ times we sometimes don’t see the truth. A bulk of the letters in the New Testaments are warnings about false prophets and it’s not talking about people in the world but people in the church. I have seen enough to know it is time to speak up.
So how do you know if you are presented with cuckoo birds? And how do you root them out?
I believe the keys are found in Jude 1:16 “These people are grumblers (the KJV more aptly says murmurers) and complainers, living only to satisfy their desires. They brag loudly about themselves, and they flatter others to get what they want”. And also 2 Peter 2:3 “In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories”.
They appear harmless and often exciting. They will not outright complain about the ministry but will start discontent and promise more (things like ‘but surely the Holy Spirit has more to reveal’ or ‘I have the keys to usher in heaven to earth’). They will flatter people to their face, but talk down about them to their backs. They will pretend to be like you, have the same heart and vision but will only mimic what you want to hear.
They will embellish their stories. The people that I am talking about in this post were building their social media platform (this is a whole other post in itself) and so they were giving false testimonies with pictures of vulnerable people. They were using people to further their kingdom and people were lapping it up. And sending money their way. The ministers they have ended up usurping got excited by the signs and wonders and loved the flattery they were receiving and so would not heed warnings.
They will not want others to get the glory for their work. They will want all of the “food” for themselves. They will be quick to remove themselves if they see they can’t find a way to be in charge. They will also not put a large emphasis, if any, on the Bible. They will not encourage people to read the Word for themselves.
You can only root them out if you get to them early. If they see you will not bow to their flattery and will call them out on their embellished stories, they will talk ill of you, but they wont hang around your church. They will try to steal your flock (and this can be disheartening and sad as you see the people follow for a short while and then become displaced with no church home as they are too shamed to come back- though some have as we keep on loving them and show consistency 🙂 ).
The other way is to pray. Strategic prayer. Not nasty prayers, but honest God-have-your-way prayers. Pray for discernment to rise in your congregation. Pray for your pastors to be strong. Pray for the “cuckoo birds” that they will be repentant.
And finally, keep in the Word and fellowship with other believers. Take heed when you hear warnings, don’t write people off, but take it slowly and take time to find out the truth.
The ulterior motives of the “Cuckoo Bird” Christian can be devastating, but our Jesus sees it all and He will redeem. He will not let it continue indefinitely. But in the meantime be watchful and prayerful.