Saturday, March 18, 2006

Jeremiah on Pastoral Plagiarism

I apologize again for the long time between posts.  It has been a busy few weeks.  But fortunately for me, I ran across this passage in Jeremiah this afternoon.

I have posted before on the problem of pastoral plagiarism, and how pervasive it has become.  With the volume of readily available sermons through tapes, radio and the internet, it is abundantly easy for a minister to copy sermons, if not point for point and joke for joke, take enough of the substance to actually plagiarize.  This passage from Jeremiah 23:30-31 makes my point clear.  I quote from The Message:

30"I've had it with the "prophets' who get all their sermons secondhand from each other. 31Yes, I've had it with them. They make up stuff and then pretend it's a real sermon.

In the larger context, God complains the false teachers/prophets are claiming to speak for Him when they haven’t even spent time with Him or in His Word (v. 18).  So the reason the “prophets” were not giving “original material” is because they failed to pay attention to God.

Do too many of our pastors today commit the same mistake for maybe the same reason?  Are some of them too busy being corporate executives and marketers to be listeners of God?

I know the issue of plagiarizing material on a book that has been spoken on billions of times is tricky, but surely we can call a spade a spade.  If a pastor, on a regular basis, does not do the work of trying to connect their congregation to God for this week, then something may be amiss.

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