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.