SBC Pastors Should Preach My Sermons – So Says James Merritt

** Update: You can see the video on this website – SBC Voices

James Merritt preached tonight at the Southern Baptist Pastor’s Conference. He began his sermon by mentioning his website PastorsEdge. He encouraged his listeners to download his free Father’s Day sermon – illustrations and PowerPoint included – and use it this Sunday with his blessings. He assured them it was not plagiarism and they had his full permission.

The prices at Pastor’s Edge are very reasonable. For $30 you get a complete sermon series with all of the following:

The complete sermon manuscript in Word ® and as a PDF. A complete PowerPoint® presentation that highlights each main point. A beautifully illustrated listening sheet that can be easily duplicated for your congregation. The only thing left for the pastor to do is prepare the message. All of the supporting files are ready to go!

If you are on a tighter budget, you can get the single sermons for $8 with artwork or without for only $5.50.

There has been some talk lately about using borrowed sermons.

After 102 Comments this conversation has been transfered to SBC Voices.

If you want to continue the conversation please do it there.

Posted By Tony Kummer

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103 Responses to SBC Pastors Should Preach My Sermons – So Says James Merritt

  1. To All Who Have Ears To Hear,

    Mr. Park’s comments are thoughtful and passionate, however, no matter how he attempts to redirect the focus (i.e., from the sin of theft, lying, and possibly covetousness to self-glorification in demanding proper citation and a call for collaborative preaching), the issue with plagiarism is literary theft. Disappointingly, his position seems to be that literary theft is permissible so long as the ends justifies the means, namely, that souls are being saved by and through plagiarized sermons. For example, he seemingly condones theft in the name of evangelism when he states (post #100), “Gentleman, we’ve got a world going to hell in a hand basket and we’re arguing over who should get credit for what in our sermons!”

    The attempt to frame the argument in terms of who gets credit for sermons is futile. Clearly, the argument remains fixed on the sin of literary theft in the pulpit. Quite simply, it is intellectually dishonest to steal words, ideas, thoughts, etc. from other men (or women) no matter what mode of communication and no matter how successful that theft appears in evangelistic measurements.

    Furthermore, Mr. Park never addressed one of my gravest concerns. He surprisingly established different criteria regarding plagiarism for written communication as opposed to spoken communication. In the former he appears to agree that plagiarism is theft; in the latter he becomes more liberal in his practice. Again, he clearly states (post #91), “Citing your sources is great if you are communicating in print (via footnotes or endnotes)—but that is not always appropriate for oral communication.” And again (post #92), “Occassionally, I’ll give someone credit if I think of it–but it’s not important to me in the oral nature of communication.”

    On what basis is literary theft recognized in the one instance while ignored in the other?

    If the Bible is to be taken seriously, we must hold that plagiarism is a violation of two, and possibly three, of the 10 Commandments, and to retain any intellectual credibilty we must implore men of God to refrain from stealing for the sake of evangelism.

    Good Tidings of Great Joy,

    Chipley McQueen Thornton

    For instance, after establishing that he had over 21 footnoted citations in his sermon manuscript, he comments (post #91), “Citing your sources is great if you are communicating in print (via footnotes or endnotes)—but that is not always appropriate for oral communication.” He continues (post #91), “If I were to attribute all of my sources in a single sermon, who knows how much of the people’s time I would waste in giving people credit. My people don’t care where I get my information from—they want to hear a word from God and know how to apply it to their daily lives.” In a later post, he concludes (post #92), “Occassionally, I’ll give someone credit if I think of it–but it’s not important to me in the oral nature of communication.” Mr. Park notes that he does offer proper credit if someone approaches him after his message.

  2. A. E. Ray says:

    For the record, I have been a pastor solidly since I was 19. I know those who are in seminary both as educators and students have preaching responsibilities. Some, however, probably do not preach between 1 and 3 new sermons a week. I also want to assure each of you that I almost always try to be as original as possible to a fault. Also, Rogers is famous for saying, “If my bullets fit your gun, shoot.” Praise God for this type attitude. Praise God for you all’s reaction to laziness in the pulpit and true plagarism. I simply don’t think Merritt’s advertisement warranted this entire discussion. May God bless you all! Shame on anyone who looks at brothers inorder to find fault in them.

    A. E. Ray

  3. Tony Kummer says:

    After 102 Comments this conversation has been transfered to SBC Voices.

    If you want to continue the conversation please do it there.

    http://sbcvoices.blogspot.com/2007/06/you-can-preach-my-sermon-james-merritt.html

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