I’ve been watching a series of u-tube videos as of late, through which a general theme has been observed with frequency. That theme, the willingness to sacrifice what one knows is right or best for selfish gain, was seen as all to common, even as it is with every one of us as human beings. Like it or not, we all have and continue to make compromises, and even though I consider myself to be a faithful Christian, I also was convicted on some fronts.
Within the content of the videos the word “puppet” was often used to describe the people whom the videos addressed. That’s because even though these individuals appeared to be and actually were “sell outs,” (from what they knew was in their and others’ best interests) they chose that path anyway- to their own and other people’s destruction. They may not have known that the path they originally chose would lead there, nonetheless the seeds of their initial choices eventually bloomed into something they could no longer control. By then it was too late to turn back. One illustration should suffice to set up the direction of this post.
Consider the average young and gifted singer in a local congregation. Everyone soon discovers the little girl can sing and this soon ushers in some decisions that propel her in a specific direction. This may start somewhat innocently as a choir participant, then as a “special music performance” and then morph into a traveling music ministry. The exposure may then lead to a formal “Christian band” being formed through which more recognition is gained. Eventually some well meaning person or contact will connect the dots and this individual will now get the opportunity to become the next big “Christian celebrity” or if that fails, mainstream into the secular music industry. Sound kind of far fetched? That’s the exact experience of former church girls such as Beyoncé, Katy Perry & Whitney Houston and a hundred more like them, although most not as popular as they are. Would any reasonable thinking Christian in the pursuit of holiness for one second consider the aforementioned women’s careers to be a success? A success in the eyes of Almighty God? The obvious answer is of course not. They have long ago abandoned anything even remotely Christian, and it could be rightly ascertained that these gals never really knew Jesus to begin with. Without repentance, they will reside indefinitely in the lake of fire like the rest who continue to suppress the truth of God with all manner of unrighteousness. This may sound cold you say, but that’s the truth as God speaks it, and sadly no one seemed to care enough to tell the women above before they sold out for everything this world and the people in it offered them.
This post is not about music or a wholesale condemnation of music ministry as we find it these days. I’ll save that for another day. It is about specific choices we make, choices that have far reaching consequences for ourselves, our families and those with whom we have contact. It’s about the seeds we plant, the people with whom we associate and the direction those seeds and people will and do lead us in.
WHAT IS A PUPPET?
1. A doll that is moved by putting your hand inside it or by pulling strings or wires that are attached to it.
A doll, though it may have the appearance of an individual, does not have life in itself. It’s very strength has to derive outside of itself for it is not able to act on its own. It’s primary characteristic is total dependence upon something outside of itself.
2. A person or an organization that is controlled by another person or organization.
A person that is controlled by another person or entity has relinquished their right or responsibility to think and act for themselves, for they are mastered by something outside of themselves they have no control over.
As a young boy or girl, the ability to think reasonably and properly has yet to be fully developed. During this time one’s parents or other mentors are responsible to steer these children and safeguard them from the poor choices that all young people make- one’s they think are in their best interest. What child doesn’t think staying up late, eating whatever they want or neglecting responsibilities is a good thing? Exactly. They need the guidance of the more seasoned saints to keep them from making harmful choices that will affect them adversely.
WHEN A CHILD IS LEFT TO THEMSELVES
We all know what happens when children are left to themselves or without supervision. They get in all kinds of mischief and often cause themselves and the others around them suffering. Every parent knows this is true. But might I ask, “Is that trouble any different than the trouble caused by a neglectful, undisciplined or unwise parent?” Could not what a parent thinks is in the best interest of their child actually be harmful to them?
THE REAL DEFINITION OF FAMILY
How we view family in our American culture is far different than in some other cultures. We value independence, independent accomplishment and crave individual attention and recognition. But are any of these encouraged by God and indicative of an individual who is living and serving Jesus Christ? Are not the traits above more likened to a self serving individual who’s priority in life is themselves and their own interests?
In a spiritual family of believers in a specific locale, children, adolescents, mothers, fathers and elders are all present. They each have roles and responsibilities that are exercised within that family- not just their own immediate family but within the greater context of their local spiritual family. There are many reasons for this, the collective wisdom of the saints being a primary factor about how both individuals should act and how the corporate assembly should address various concerns. For example, despite the casual attitude Christians take toward employment these days, “Are any and all forms of employment acceptable and proper for a believer in Christ?” Who makes these decisions considering they ultimately affect the entire local body of believers? Should a believer work as a:
- Bartender (considering the patrons one will be serving, the environment, the abuse and the affects of the alcohol upon those being served)
- Banker (considering the fact that God is opposed to, or at least frowns upon people loaning or borrowing money)
- Model (Does God want His children posing under the direction of superiors in order to sell anything or themselves) Like it or not, both Beyoncé and Katy Perry are modern day prostitutes who not only sell themselves but regularly entice men to lust after them and even worship them. They both actively and regularly promote what is evil.
- Actress (Being an actress necessitates following the rules of Hollywood. To think one can live like a faithful Christian and be promoted by Hollywood is to remain in fantasy land)
- Psychologist (Psychology is opposed to Biblical Christianity. It is not from God and should be outright rejected. Therefore being in this field of study cannot coincide with remaining a faithful believer)
- Military soldier (Considering the fact that all branches of service demand absolute loyalty which includes killing other people at times)
- Religious professional (God doesn’t have professionals, but chooses the weak, foolish and dependent upon Him. Pursuing ANY career in “Christianity” is not consistent with the real meaning of this term)
Webster’s defines “puppetries” (plural) as follows:
1. The production or creation of puppets or puppet shows
2. The art of manipulating puppets
HOW A PUPPET IS CREATED
A puppet is created by simply offering individual persons what their sinful flesh actually desires and convincing them that this is in their best interest. The desires of one’s flesh know no bounds, therefore, the puppet is given more and more of what they desire provided they forego their own rationale decision making and judgments. Remember: A puppet has no control over themselves as they are directed by something or someone else outside of them.
Let’s consider some “Christian” organizations and their founders that create and continually manipulate the puppets they have created.
1. Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Churches
From start to finish, becoming a purpose driven church means following the direction and dictates of Rick Warren himself. Nothing is left to chance, even the sermons shared are already made up and ready to purchase online. To think for yourself or act contrary to Rick’s plan is to become an enemy of what he says God is doing in your life and in the world today. Take your pick: Either Rick or his appointed change agents direct God’s will for your life.
Not only does Rick’s resources save the day and solve your problems, the use of every possible translation of God’s written Word (paraphrase or not) will have you so confused you won’t want to think for yourself anymore.
2. Joel Osteen’s best life (can be yours too)
Like Rick above, Joel’s philosophies and ministry decisions about life just don’t add up. Joel makes the masses feel right at home here on earth, with faith in themselves being the primary tool toward one’s happiness and success. Out are words such as “sin” and “judgment” and in are self esteem and self confidence. God forbid Joel ever offends even a single person. It’s all about feeling good and trusting God to do for you whatever you ask in faith regardless of how ridiculous or unscriptural. This all amounts to trusting in one’s own thinking and methods more than a sovereign and Almighty God to save people.
One again, Joel’s books, combined with his translation of the scriptures are your keys to happiness here on earth. Just do as your told and repeat after me (Joel) and all will be well. That goes for you homosexuals as well.
3. The New Apostolic Reformation
- Peter Wagner and his associates seem to think that the majority of professing Christians are so naïve that they don’t realize that religious hierarchy doesn’t exist among the people of God- and he’s right, they don’t. That’s why among the adherents to this “new reformation” their is a continual competitiveness for prestige and religious position in the various groups of people who cling to this sect. Not only are
falseprophesies quite regular and an interpretation of tongues non-existent, the religious titles are more common than any time in history past. Hundreds of falseapostles and prophets all have a place among the special elect or so they say. Believe it or not, these are your end time leaders, those who will deceptively usher in the wrong messiah for all to behold- after they have prepared his way by bringing forth their own judgments upon the s0-calledwicked (actually the real saints) and preparing the way of their lord. You might want to gather up some of that gold dust they claim is falling among them and use it to barter when you can no longer buy or sell if you really believe their claims.
Again, who needs proper doctrine or testing the spirits when obviously everyone among them are already on the same
Personally, I would be just a little concerned about anyone trying to convince me of anything “new” concerning the faith once delivered some 1800 years ago.
4. Any “professional” Christian on any level and within any church or organization.
Despite what Jesus says is mandatory for his children in carrying a personal cross and denying oneself, that isn’t possible when these professionals refuse to relinquish what they claim they have earned through their own efforts. The very lives and practice of these “Christians” within their self-made ministries thwart any real denial of self, equality with the brethren and real Spirit led service in the will of God. Say what you will, not a single religious professionals life lines up with the mandates of the scriptural record, and in fact make of no effect the very commands Jesus Himself instituted about His people and ekklesia.
You have two choices: Continue to follow the one you
sinfully call your Pastor, Priest or Father or reject their example as being less than desired and follow Jesus instead. Doesn’t He deserve your complete and total allegiance?
THE RESULTS OF BECOMING A PUPPET
If it were only a matter of one here and there becoming self-deceived, well that would be sad enough. The truth is, millions upon millions of people have traded in their own reasoning skills for the opportunity to get involved in what the men above all claim is a special move of God among His people. They hold out the promise that “something new” is on the horizon and you don’t dare miss out. They use all manner of threats and manipulation to intimidate the masses- to keep people from leaving their “ministry” and instruction, that somehow you just won’t make it without their divine help or mediation. Such are the lies of the enemy.
Consider these additional consequences of puppetry:
- Having abandoned the “faith once delivered” and the scriptural record, adherents are seeking out “new revelations” in addition to scripture. We are not talking about momentary Spirit led direction, but additional doctrine that is claimed is on par with scripture.
- No one tests the spirits in people, or they subjectively claim to know the spirits without the aid of scripture.
- No one studies to show themselves approved and they no longer have to. The qualifications for elders have now become qualifications for leadership. These amount to simply having a desire to do what one is told to do or promote among the “ministries” above. The more you follow the leader (guru), the more responsibility each person is given along ministry lines.
- Success is determined by the numbers of people involved worldwide. It doesn’t take much effort to invite people to a church or get them involved in worldly estatic and sensual pursuits. Is it any wonder the worldlings fit right in and are never encouraged to repent of their sins. All that matters is that they too “follow the prescribed plan” like the “Christians” do.
- Sin is optional- it has to be. As long as the individuals keep pushing the agenda they feel God loves them and accepts them as they are. This is compounded by the oft preached “decisional regeneration” which makes people think they are saved without really have to change their behaviors.
- The message of the real gospel is exchanged for something entirely different that tends toward universalism and ecumenism. The goal of preaching the gospel is exchanged for making this world a better place. That’s an odd goal for people who seem to have forgotten a Christian’s citizenship is in heaven-now.
- The world and its people are no longer threatened by the ekklesia (what people wrongly call church) or its message of Christ Crucified as so few people preach or live it out.
REMEDIES AGAINST PUPETTRY
1. Follow Jesus, not any other person, ministry, church or religious organization.
2. Stand and be counted. The best defense is an offense- speak the truth in love regularly to people everywhere.
3. Carry a daily cross and learn to deny yourself as Jesus commands. Remind yourself often that this life isn’t yours anymore- its His will and His good pleasure from now on.
4. Accept all professing Christians in love, yet cultivate only friendships that revolve around preaching the word, establishing the saints and co-laboring with Jesus in what He is building spiritually in your locale.
5. Seek God daily through either reading, study, prayer and some form of fellowship. Truly learn to place the interests of your brothers and sisters above even your own desires.
6. Be content with what you have, where He has placed you and who He has made you.
7. Under no circumstances ever attempt to “start a ministry” or any formal institution but wait upon God and be willing to be subject to other believers for wisdom, counsel and accountability for your actions.
“For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.”
Our fathers were not literally under the cloud as Israel was, nor did they pass through the sea, nonetheless God said to those He initially spared previously;
“Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.” (These people did not take what God said seriously. Their lives revolved around the “good times” and what they found pleasing to themselves. Those pleasures were considered idolatrous by God as are many of those of professing Christians. Idolatry can also include anything that competes with Jesus such as your church, your pastor or even your ministry or movement as above)
“Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty three thousand fell in one day.” (Modern day churches are filled with all forms of immorality and rarely if ever are these professing Christians sins condemned and rightly judged…..though they will be by God Himself)
“Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.” (Professing Christians are regularly testing the limits of God’s grace by willfully continuing to sin in all manner of overt ways. Continuing to sin by allowing and promoting Old Covenant practices superseded and fulfilled in Christ is just one way)
“Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer” (Professing Christians are rarely if ever content with what God has done or is doing with them presently, whether that be in the natural or spiritual realms. Hardly anyone blinks an eye when “Christians” openly lust after more money, more power and more praise just like those in this world do. Add to this the incessant and insatiable lust for more spiritual power and more dynamic spiritual experience which the worldly pastors are so prone to promise to all of their own followers.
“Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the end of the ages have come. Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” [1 Corinthians 10:1-12]