Plagiarism Among Preachers and Swapping Sermons?
Sermons For Sale and More Apostasy!!
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Jeremiah 23:21-22  I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not
spoken to them
, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel,
and had
caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned
from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

What a powerful verse! So many today who claim to be “called� of the
to preach
are not called. They run but God did not send them. They
preach but God did not call them. They run to and fro but they are
- false prophets. They do not hear from God-- they do not
hear the words of God.
They are too busy running around looking for
"purpose" and trying to "fill the empty space" of their existence! They sit in
their office chair and search for another man's sermon that will deliver a
powerful punch because
they have no sermon of their own. There is no
message from God.
They sit and pray a little prayer but God does not give
them any kind of message. Since they have no distinct message from the
Lord, they meet with other pastors in their city and trade sermons on the
latest "fad" in preaching. It is hard to believe but some preachers are actually
swapping sermons. Some preachers are actually BUYING sermons online
and deceiving their congregations.

In this article we will try,
with God's help, to bring to light a very pertinent
issue dealing with the subject of
plagiarism and sermon trading in the
"professing" church. Please understand that we are not saying that one
cannot refer to another man's writings or commentaries for encouragement.
Every Christian learns from the another:

Proverbs 27:17:
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

The Christian walk, itself, consists of sharing what the Lord has revealed to
us and giving Him glory in all things. But it becomes an evil thing when one
preacher steals another's writing and claims authorship and deceives his
listeners and/or readers.

An article posted on a Christian blog sent me to a link on It really
sent a chill down my spine. It is written by Steve Sjogren, entitled,
"Don't be
original -
-“ be effective!"

Let's just examine a few quotes from the article:

"First of all, stop all of this nonsense of spending 25 or 30 hours a week
preparing to speak on the weekend. The guys I draw encouragement from  
"the best communicators in the United States" confess they spend a total of
about 15 hours preparing for their message. As I have already said, they get
70 percent of their material from someone else. Remember, Solomon wrote
that "there is nothing new under the sun ..."

Since when does a pastor take another shepherd's staff and use it with
his own congregation?
Is it not the pastor's job to deliver GOD'S message
to himself and the people? And then we wonder why so many people have
become disinterested in attending church
. Could it be that their pastor was just
there mouthing the words of another man who preached in earnest for his own

Have some within the clergy become so lazy that they care not to hear from
God and care not to OPEN their bibles and read what the Lord would have
them to read concerning
their own flock? Every church is different and every
church is on a different plateau. The needs of the local congregation must be
met and a Billy Graham sermon is long past.
God is in the here and now
and will give His pastors the sermons He wants them to preach!
It is the
pastor's duty to be LED by God and to HEAR from God-
- so that he might
better SERVE the flock that God has given him. It's not just about reading
sermons, articles, blogs, and good books but it should be about getting into
THE BOOK and PRAYING and HEARING what the Lord would have
them to hear. The problem is what the Lord is addressing in Jeremiah 23:21
many of these so-called pastors are not called. Many are not even saved.

Another quote from the article:

"At a seminar, Dr. Cho, pastor of the world's largest church in Korea, was
asked during a question and answer time, "How do you put your weekly
messages together? They are so powerful!" He said, "Honestly, I have never
given an original message in all my years of ministry here at Yoido Church.
Each week, I preach
word-for-word messages from either Billy Graham or
W.A. Criswell from Dallas First Baptist Church. I can't afford to not have a
home run each weekend when we gather. I don't trust my own ability to give
completely original messages."

Notice the "I can't afford..." And then such language as "a home run"? Where
is the Holy Spirit's direction in the church? Folks might ask the question,
"Why even go to such a church?"
In all practicality, the congregation could
save A LOT of time and energy staying home and buying Billy Graham's
sermons and Dr. Criswell's as well. The sermons could be read in half the
time and they could always review what they just read with one another in a
church message forum. Why go and hear your pastor preach another man
sermon? Is that what the modern-day pastor is becoming? One who steals
another man's prayerful work and simply mouths the words on a Sunday
morning? Should cities have a "best preacher contest" on who can preach a
Billy Graham sermon better? Or better yet-
- should the modern church just
invest in a large plasma screen and feature Billy Graham videos on a Sunday
morning? Certainly Dr. Graham has a way in the pulpit.
..maybe even better
than "pastor so and so
." I am not trying to be humorous but rather using
extremes to show the reality of such nonsense.

Pastors are to preach God's Word-
- the bible-- not another preacher's words.
Since when do preachers look to fellow man for infallible wisdom that only
God can give? The only time a pastor should quote another is when it
coincides with the message God has already given to the pastor and even
then, it should be "Dr.__ once said, ___.
" Credit should be given to the
- be legitimate. Giving credit will keep one humble.

(Pastors should not be concerned about "results
." Preach God's Word
and let the Lord bring in the increase. Realize that it takes YEARS for fruit
to grow, once a tree is planted.)

Could it be that modern preachers do NOT hear from God and that is why it
is so hard for them to preach "originals?
" It really makes one wonder.  God
meets the pastor in the prayer room and lays the message upon his heart to
preach. Usually the sermon will not only address the congregation's spiritual
need but the pastor's as well.

Yet today, the modern pastor does not have to get into the prayer closet-
- he
has been "liberated"-
- ¦ the sermon is already provided online. The prayer
closet has been completely remodeled to accomodate the "computer
" Internet sermon selling is BIG business. Who needs to hear from
God when one can just go online and get a "proven" sermon that will
" Sounds like an infomercial for the latest diet pill. "Prayer-free
..yes, you too can get great results in just half the time. Try
us out-
- ¦you will be a popular preacher in no time."

Yet the heart of the pastor is what God is after. It is the heart of the humble
pastor that God can reach-
- the one who gets on his face before a mighty
God and prays from the fervency of his being, "Lord, please show me what
you want me to preach this week. Help me to deliver your Word so that
You may be glorified and You alone. May the Holy Spirit work in your
congregation to hear what You want them to hear and for me to preach the
words You want me to say.

Where is the Holy Spirit's role in the life of the pastor who steals and preaches
another's sermon? How can the Holy
Spirit work through a man by dishonest

E.M Bounds wrote,
"Preachers are God's leaders. They are divinely called
to their holy office and high purpose and,
primarily, are responsible for
the condition of the Church. Just as Moses was called of God to lead
Israel out of Egypt through the wilderness into the Promised Land, so,
also, does God call His ministers to lead His spiritual Israel through this
world unto the heavenly land. They are
divinely commissioned to leadership,
are by precept and example to teach God's people what God would
have them be. "

Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, "Of course the preacher is above all others
distinguished as a man of prayer. He prays as an ordinary Christian, else
he were a hypocrite. He prays more than ordinary Christians else he were
disqualified for the office he has undertaken.
If you as ministers are not
very prayerful you are to be pitied. If you become lax in sacred devotion,
not only will you need to be pitied but your people also, and the day
cometh in which you will be ashamed and confounded.
Our seasons of
fastings and prayer at the Tabernacle have been high days indeed; never
has heaven's gate stood wider; never have our hearts been nearer the
central glory."


One pastor said, "We're bombarded by ideas for sermons all week long."
And the question should be asked, "Why?" God has but one message at a
time and He gives His message to the servant who seeks His face!

Again, the problem is not with sermon ideas but with the "calling.
" Many
who "preach" are not called by God to do so.

One pastor, of Charlotte, N.C.
, admitted to plagiarism and said that he felt
"tired and discouraged,"and "devoid of any creative ability." When one is
truly in tune with God, creative ability is NOT needed.
Creative ability--
God cannot use. The Holy Spirit will LEAD the pastor to preach THE
message and preach it in HIS POWER. We are HIS Instruments.

Do you see the picture of the modern church? No oil in their lamps
(signifying the Holy Spirit) and they justify their thievery (making a mockery
out of God's Word) and are poor, blind, miserable and naked for THEY DO
'S POWER and they have yet to KNOW the Savior. In
weakness, HE is strong.

One person comes to mind concerning this topic. Many years ago, when I
was just a teenager, in the small church we used to attend, there was an
associate pastor that was never allowed to preach unless the pastor was
absent. Most of the congregation, sadly, never showed up for his preaching
because the man was quite meek and soft-spoken but yet those who did
show up received the greatest blessing. God would touch our hearts in the
audience and folks would cry and lives were changed.  The blessing was
from God-
-  because although this young man was not the greatest speaker
in the world, nor was his sermon the greatest ever heard, nor was he a man
of charisma, it was a heart-felt message that he believed the Lord gave to
him for the congregation. God would always meet the saints in that sanctuary
when he preached and it wasn't through glitz, showmanship, or creative ideas
but rather because he humbled himself before God, allowing the Lord to work
through him.
The Lord can ONLY use a willing, humble vessel. It should
never be about "creative ability" but rather
Throne-room accessibility.
Has your pastor been to God's throne room this week? Has he taken time to
spend with the Master?

While researching this article, we found one pastor's quote that sums up the
general consensus among those who use another preacher's sermons:

"Very few of us have the luxury of 25-40 hours a week to invest solely in
teaching preparation. Very few of us have multiple staff members,
secretaries, or "research interns" to find us clever ideas and illustrations
for use in our sermons."

After reading his statement one cannot help but think, "Where does the Holy
Spirit fit into the picture?" Clever ideas? Does one need clever ideas or Spirit-
led conviction? Here is the danger of the modern church. They have left God
out of the picture. It is no wonder that Jesus says to the church of Laodicea:

Rev 3:18  
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest
be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame
of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve,
thou mayest see.

The modern Apostate church is buying lots of things-- new stained glass
windows, new buildings and land, new carpets and new pews, new sermon
topic books, new commentaries, new "Christian anecdotes", and even the
sermons themselves
but they are not going to the LORD, Whom they
claim to serve!

Also many Christians look to their commentaries before the prayer closet. A
commentary should simply reinforce what the Lord has already shown you
in His Word. It does NOT take the place of the Holy Spirit in preparing the
sermon or Sunday School lesson. Bible opened, prayer, and then one may
refer to a commentary-
- ¦not the other way around.

Getting back to the subject of plagiarism, much of what is written by many
modern prophecy "experts" has all been written before — by expositors
who are now deceased. Sometimes, the words are identical to the books of
yesteryear. Is that what Christian authorship is becoming? The idea that,
"This book is out of print.
..let's just write the same book under a different
title and hope no one will notice.
" Just because a book is in public domain
does not give one the license to take it and claim authorship.

Check out the link:

Whether it is an article or book one is writing or a sermon one is preaching,
that work is the result of prayer and diligent bible study. To steal another
man's work and claim authorship for any reason is ap
pauling. It's not called
-- ¦it is called sin. It is up to each Christian to "Study to shew thyself
approved." We can all learn from one another and
we DO learn from one
another (that is why books and articles are written in the first place)
in the end, God should get the final say of what is preached by each individual.
Preach and write what God has laid upon your own heart to say-
GIVE YOU THE WORDS. Don't steal all the words that God has given to
another man for another congregation. Hear from God-
- learn His Word,
spend time in prayer.

Quit writing your new book and spend time in THE BOOK. Quit trying to
cram 48 hours into a 24-hour day. Rest in the Lord! Wait PATIENTLY for
Him! Let Him empower you! For a minister to take another preacher's
prayerful study and preach it as one's own without careful examination of
what the Lord would have him to do for his own particular congregation is a

E.M. Bounds wrote, "God's great works are to be done as Christ did them; are
to be done, indeed,
with increased power received from the ascended and
exalted Christ.
These works are to be done by prayer. Men must do God's
work in God's way, and to God's glory, and prayer is a necessity to its
successful accomplishment.
The thing far above all other things in the
equipment of the preacher is prayer. Before everything else, he must be a
man who makes a specially of prayer.
A prayerless preacher is a misnomer.
He has either missed his calling, or has grievously failed God who called
him into the ministry. God wants men who are not ignoramuses, who "study
to show themselves approved." Preaching the Word is essential; social
qualities are not to be underestimated, and education is good; but under
and above all else,
prayer must be the main plank in the platform of the
man who goes forth to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to a lost
and hungry world.
The one weak spot in our Church institutions lies just
here. Prayer is not regarded as being the primary factor in church life and
activity, and other things, good in their places, are made primary. First
things need to be put first, and the first thing in the equipment of a minister
is prayer."

Preachers of the present age excel those of the past in many, possibly in all,
human elements of success. They are well abreast of the age in learning,
research, and intellectual vigour. But these things neither insure "power
from on high" nor guarantee a live, thriving religious experience, or
righteous life.
These purely human gifts do not bring with them an insight
into the deep things of God, or strong faith in the Scriptures, or an intense
loyalty to God's divine revelation.
The presence of these earthly talents even
in the most commanding and impressive form, and richest measure do not in
the least abate the necessity for the added endowment of the Holy Spirit.
Herein lies the great danger menacing the pulpit of to-day. All around us
we see a tendency to substitute human gifts and worldly attainments for
that supernatural, inward power which comes from on high in answer to
earnest prayer.
In many instances modern preaching seems to fail in the
very thing which should create and distinguish true preaching, which is
essential to its being, and which alone can make of it a divine and
powerfully aggressive agency.
It lacks in short, "the power from on high"
which alone can make it a living thing. It fails to become the channel
through which God's saving power can be made to appeal to men's
consciences and hearts.
[See "The Weapon of Prayer" by E.M. Bounds]

Where Is The Modern Church Heading?

Plagiarism is truly out of hand. It is sin--  plain and simple. It is dishonest
and exemplary of pride among the ministers who steal from another and pass
it off as their own. It is equally sinful when a preacher is not lead by the Holy
Spirit in the pulpit and simply buys or swaps a sermon online. The words
one preaches from the pulpit should be the words that God has given him to
preach to his own flock. This only comes by prayer and diligent study of
God's Word.

"All ability to talk to men is measured by the ability with which a preacher
can talk to God for men. He "who ploughs not in his closet, will never
reap in his pulpit." The fact must ever be kept in the forefront and
emphasized that Jesus Christ trained His disciples to pray."
~ E.M. Bounds

In the end, the preacher has but one message-- the message the Lord has
laid on his heart to preach -
- God's words, not someone else's. To take a
man's sermon and preach it as your own and make your congregation think
it is your sermon especially delivered to them is dishonesty.

Politicians hire speech writers. Shall we one day open our newspaper to the
employment section to find the ad: "SERMON WRITERS NEEDED FOR A

Whatever your occup
ation, find time to spend with God and read His Word
and the rest will follow.

Rom 10:17
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Luke 18:8  Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith
on the earth?

Copyright © 2006  Cobblestone Road Ministries
All Rights Reserved.

Further Research on This Subject:

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We Are HIS Instruments
Cease Not To Teach And Preach Jesus Christ
Learning To Lean On Jesus
The Frightening Future Of "Christianity" -- Where Is The Gospel??
Four Important Things That Every Christian Should Know
The Heavy Burden of Being Purpose-Driven
False Preachers - Passing out candy on the way to destruction
Church Apostasy... Living in the Last Days
Advice For Ministers by CH Mackintosh
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