We've all done it. We've all heard a preacher say something catchy and repeated it or we've heard a great sermon and re-preached it. We've all done it. But it's not right, it is stealing and false representation. Whenever, we front like the work of another is ours we are stelaing!

Yes I know, we alll read commentaries or at least should, and we all listen to sermons or at least should, but there is a difference between being inspired through preperation and down right perpetrating but:

when and do we draw the line?
When is it no longer preaching but plagerism and piracy?
How can we hold ourselves accountable?

I mean it's a shame! To do this in the hallowed halls of academia will result in dismissal, the same holds true in any other field. It's fraud! Yet we tolerate it in the church and the pulpit of all places! How can we expect our parishoners to be just in their dealings when we ourselves are notorious in ours?

We need some integrity. It is wrong to steal. It is wrong to lie, and pretending as if you've wrote something you didn't is a huge lie! Especially when we consider the fact that we're getting paid, because the classic definition of pimping is getting paid from the toil of another, so not only are we stealing (plagerism/piracy) but we're also pimping! Especially in this multi-media world, where we can broadcast anothers ideas via internet, tv, cd, and dvd, and make money off of them! I've heard of preachers doing revivals and getting paid well all while preaching the sermons of other preachers. This is just down right wrong.

What can be done? What do you think?

P.S. to those of us who are reading this that specialize in Sat. night specials, you know surfing the net, or Libronix, and WordSearch, or other various software programs to cut and paste sermons, or those brothers and sisters who constantly re-incarnate what they've heard a televangelist say and do, I would be remissed if I didn't say in my most earnest voice stop it!

God will speak and in those moments when He is silent do as Juanita Weems suggests and live in the meantime, the span of time between the last time and the next time. Preach in the meantime, testify of God's goodness even in His seeming silence. Walk by faith. This silence is also a part of the journey. Take heart nobody hears the voice of God allways and at all times, if they did they wouldn't need to have faith! So take heart and be encouraged, but do not I mean do not, take the work of others and pretend that it is your own.

Secondly, consider settling in your own saddle. God gifts us all differently. Some of us just don't have the same outlooks, rather than stealing the fruits of anothers outlooks on the biblical text consider your own and hone them. For instance, I have a friend in New Haven, CT., nobody preaches like him! he shouted me in front of all the sisters I was trying to impress at the National Baptist Convention Summer Congress, while I was on stage, and in my convention suit (yall know how we are when we swear we clean and trying to be cool!)

I mean he KILLED me, killed me dead! I have two other friends who preached in the same convention at a late night service and another who preached there during the day. They can all rip a text apart and then put it back together again. They are masters, (They all appear on my post about who's the best preacher and why...check it out and voice your oppinion!) while I am a novice. Yet, I still will not steal their stuff, (even though we exchange information, and when I borrow I cite them), because I haven't lived life in their shoes. So I don't see things as they do! We come from different vantage points and it'd be a diservice to think that God would have us to see and say the same things. If this was the case He would've never called me! I have nothing on them guys, I ain't even as nice as them! Instead, I recognize that God has seen fit to navigate me through some tumultuous times and events all to shape my outlook on the biblical narrative. With this being said I have no need to steal, their expressions of God's navigational prowess, because I have my own!

And so do you, I implore and encourage yout to discover how GPS has benefited you in life, no not the GPS that accompanies Cadillacs and other fiine coupes, I mean the GPS that comes in the finest machinery known to man.... mankind itself. And this GPS is God's piloting system. Activate it through prayer, fasting, and meditation, ask God to open eyes, minds, and hearts. And then finally, just as you want pur good wine or champagne, or good gognac, or fresh water, or even cold Kool-Aide into a dirty contianer, neither will God speak to us when we sit cemented and centered in sinful activities, so I suggest that we try to live right, so that God will want to speak to us, through new and exciting means with new and exciting messages!

When inspired by a sermon, use it, but make it your own, and most importantly tell the truth if you got it from someone cite them, nothing makes you look smarter than citing some information!

Remember, knowing it all doesn't really make you smart because no one knows it all! But the truly smart are smart not because they know it all, but because they know where to go to get the answers!
As always your questions, comments, concerns, critiques, conversation and contension is much warrented and welcomed.

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I'm not a preacher, but my FORMER Church was invited to attend the Sunday Afternoon Anniversary of another pastor. I guess maybe 35 or 40 of us made the trip.

This was a small church and I worked in television production so generally, when we visit other churches, we usually sit in the broadcast booths and watch the service from there.

The sermon was preached by the Anniversary Pastors' father-in-law who was well in his 80's, but very spry and delivered a very timely word.

After service my pastor came up to me and asked if I got a copy of the tape, and I told him no, and he asked me to return to get one.

THE VERY NEXT SUNDAY, my FORMER pastor, preached almost VERBATIM the very same message from the previous Sunday afternoon and I was shocked! He didn't even bother to change the name of the message, and gave very little reference where the message originated. I glanced around the church from my position in the control booth and the same ones that attended the anniversary service were nodding their heads, and waving their hands and shouting glory and preach as if they'd never heard the sermon before. No one seemed to share my shock and dismay.

And as bad as that was, every Sunday, you had to listen to the pastor "beat the sheep" in reference to tithes & offerings and remark of how hard it is to pastor, on and on and on... A lot was revealed to me that day, either the saints aren't really listening when a message is preached and are just so accustomed to saying amen at the appropriate times, or they don't care about a fresh Word from the Lord to the Under Shepherd.

And as for the Pastor, well, It wasn't long after that I left the church.

praiZe
Well, I must say, you' re right many people really don't listen to what is actually being said. They do just say Amen at the appropriate junctions. However, this only underscores what your pastor said. It is hard to pastor! Preaching week in and week out is hard to do, especially ove the course of some years!
While I don't comend re-preaching someone elses sermon verbatim, perhaps that message was one that your congregation needed to hear. So I can understand the pastor re-preaching it.
Not to take up for him, but as a pastor he is probably really busy and was prevented from having time to adequately make any changes. Perhaps he may have even felt that he couldn't improve on the sermon? Who knows. I don't believe that experience constitutes an ample reason to leave a church though!
Lastly, at least he did it in his church, I really have a problem with folks who do it and record it and sell it and then take it out on the road in revival and preach it.
At any rate have you stated your dis- ease with what your pastor did directly to him? He may have a great reason, and he may even share it with you as long as you inquire in a respectable and humble manner.
He did the on the road thing too.... but Without giving too many details.... the church is no longer in existence!

Due to my position in the ministry, I on many occassions had opportunities to sit and discuss things directly and indirectly affecting the church. I humbly expressed my concern with regard to certain situations that I personally was "not comfortable" with as a Christian, and as a leader in the church.

So there were many pre-cursors to cause my leaving. This situation was only one of several things I'd witnessed and expressed concern over a 2 year period, .......circumstances which finally led to the demise of the ministry.

You should rightfully defend your fellow clergy, I absolutely agree, in fact, I left the church, but did not break fellowship or "fall out" with the pastor or the 1st lady. I just spoke with the both of them earlier this week. I guess you'd really have to know more of the behind the scenes goings on to get a clearer picture......
Please keep your Pastor and 1st Lady in prayer. Pastoring a church carries a lot of responsibility. I never really understood how much, until I had to fill in for my former Pastor who underwent heart surgery. Preparing sermons everyweek, handling problems that arose, tending to the church members and their needs, and working full time. I travelled for 2 1/2 hours one way to the church. Pastors and ministers are not perfect. We all fall short sometimes. They don't always make the right decisions all the time. Neither did Moses. He had an anger problem. It cost him a life in the promise land. Sitting down with your Pastor and discussing your concerns is a wonderful thing to do. Pray with them. If you still feel there is no change then seek God's will concerning the situations. I was in a similar situation. I disagreed with what I saw was going on. I took it to God. And he kept me there for another 4 months teaching me and showing me things that did not line up with his word. He even told me to stop saying amen to everything that was being said and listen to what was really being said. When God said it was tiime for me to go, I turned in my letter resignation and thank the Pastor for all that he taught me and for all the things I experienced there. You see--Life is learning. There are many lessons to be learn from good situations as well as bad situations. God sees all. There were times I could see others problems so well, only to find myself with the same problem(s). There is nothing wasted in experiences. God can and will use them all for His glory. Sometimes God will show you others' fault so that when your turn comes to Pastor a church or be in a ministry with others under you, you will remember what you went through and won't do the same to them. Forgive them and ask God to bless them and teach them how to minister, teach them how He wants them to feed his sheep. And never stop loving them. We are all ministers to the lost world. Someone is watching you and me and all God's children. Are we being the light shining in the darkness of a sinful world. Are we salty enough to season the world with the Fruit of the Spirit. We each must examine ourselves and ask God to show us what He sees in our hearts. And be willing to repent and turn away from our own ungodly ways. God bless you all. Please keep me in your prayers.
Evangelist Valdez
I guess I'm starting to get the picture. It's good to have good ministerial relations it helps us hold each other accountable.
So far Ihaven't re-heard any of my sermons preached from another preacher. One thing, I use a lot of scriptures sometimes back to back with a lot a references that will be too many to mention.
Bro. Harris,
I read your list of Pastors and I know why you can't help but use one of their phases every once in a while.

But let's not limit this posts to just sermons, how many of us have used the lyrics from a song without giving credit to the writer? lol been there too.......

Being as honest as I can, I am one of those Minister that studies great preachers, and I also try to give credit where it is due. However, I don't used their words or attempt to mimick their style, but I look at their approach to at topic. I look at the way they break-down a text and transform the verbal into visual. I look at how some Preachers transition into the shout. Some of the greatest Preachers on both of our lists are great imitators of those who they studied. Even if the words are different, people will still feel as if you sound just like your father, and in that case it is a compliment.

Sunday, my Pastor and I were discussing something I heard another Pastor say about gift giving. He stated an idea of going into your closet and pulling out clothes you will never wear again, and giving those things to others in need. My Pastor incorporated that statement into his message which inspire many to start a clothing drive. Now the statement passed from a Pastor, I saw on the internet, passed through me to my Pastor, which he used in a sermon, that inspired many to give. Yes, it was plagerism, but it spoke to the heart of God's people who otherwise would not have heard it unless it was repeated.

Here is the fine line. I have read in this post where others have used or preached sermons in which they were not the authors but I ask the question? Was there anyone who gave their life to Christ at the small church? Did anyone give their life to Christ the second time the message was preach? if so, does the act of sermon plagerism nullify the savation of the lost? God's message has been and will continueously be repeated. The messenger might change but message remains the same. I can't agree on the right or wrong of the issue because I get lost in the results from the issue.

Bro Harris, you are correct in the statement about acknowledgement of the author, which does add credability to the speaker. But what we are dealing with is a custom which is older than the two of us combined where stories/sermons/titles have been used/re-uesd. (Leroy Elliott was not te first to tell the story of the two little boys, but he tells it the best.) the problem is that this practice is acceptable to a point and not acceptable passed that point. I guess the same analogy applies in the justification of the small lie vs. a big lie.
I agree, much has been passed on/ down through the years from great preachers past. For instance the now famouse " I knoooow he's allllright" made popular by Dr. Tim Glynn and the also popular " Iiiiiis Theeeere Anybody here" are both lines from the 1800's that've been passed down. I ain't talking about that stuff, I mean stealing, if I hear a classmate preach a sermon in class and I take that sermon verbatim and then go an preach it in revival along with Leroy Elliot's sermon and a Maurice Watson sermon, I am a crook. I am getting paid and gaining noteriety from the brow of another.
This is all a bunch of crap. If you are not teaching the Word of God you are a false Prophet. You are talking about rehearsing, and that some of you have not rehearsed. What it is, is that none of you read the word of God. Because if you read the word of God, you would teach your congregations the law, and salvation is keeping the law. But that kind of teaching doesn't fill up the collection plates on Sunday, because if you were following the word of God, you would know to go to church on Saturday. So in conclusion, you are worshiping another God, even wood and stone. I am not trying to be mean. This the truth. Uncut. Look how the creator of this thread put his huge pic up, so everybody can see who he is, and I am sure he has the title of Senior Pastor, or Reverend, or Rev DR, something to that affect I am sure.
It is truly amazing how many times I read responses in blogs from people who respond without reading the question. They go on baseless rampages to prove they are holier than most like the Parisee in the temple. Everybody else is wrong and they are the only ones who are right. They are spineless in the body of Christ because they choose a forum where debate is not possible and critize without fear of re-approach because they carry some long hurt feeling from their past over a church hurt. Get over it. Whether it was someone who didn't let you preach or teach because they questioned your theology..........get over it.
To be totally honest......Everyday is the Lord's day and I worship him everyday....
Collection plates? When we feed the homeless.....where are you? When we pay rent for single mothers.....where are you? When we build homes in foriegn countries.....where are you? When we send kids to colloege......where are you?.....You are hanging around the other Parisee throwing stones and hiding in the bushes while the real work of ministry is being done by your so-called Rev.....
If you really want to debate then lets go for it but you have to wait until We finish doing the Lord's work which there is no rest.
The Lord said call no man Father, or Rabbi. Why do you have the title of Rev? Do you teach your congregation to keep the commandments? I can show you all over the Bible that we are to keep his commandments. I am doing the Lord's work, but bringing light into the darkness.
This how you should be taught. Told over and over and over until you understand what you are suppose to do. I am shutting down all threads without sound doctrine. If you don't bring sound doctrine, what is the point of your ministry?

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