Christian ministers who plagiarize sermons are “lazy, incompetent and unsanctified,” Pastor John MacArthur said in response to reports that two pastors had plagiarized their sermons.
“Why does a pastor plagiarize? Why is he using someone else’s sermon? Why is this happening? MacArthur was interviewed at a conference attended by students from the Master’s Seminary, where he is Chancellor Emeritus.
“Because he is lazy and incompetent”, the pastor responded. “Furthermore?” MacArthur was then questioned. “And, I have a third point, unsanctified,” he said.
“I think you are becoming a showman; you are an actor, you play a part, you play a part, ”continued MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church. “You know, the only thing explanatory preaching does outside the congregation is that it sanctifies the pastor… the relentless study of the Word of God is how God sanctifies and protects the pastor. When you just open your iPad and read someone else’s sermon, you’ve never been exposed to the sanctifying work of the Word.
In June, a video posted on YouTube pointed out the similarities between the separate sermons delivered by Southern Baptist Convention president Ed Litton and his predecessor, JD Greear, both of which suggest that God seems to be “whispering” about sexual sin in the Bible. Litton then apologized for not giving Greear credit.
While claiming that homosexuality is a sin, Greear and Litton made almost identical comments about the behavior.
“Homosexuality doesn’t send you to hell,” Greear noted in the clip. “Do you know how I know that?” Because heterosexuality doesn’t send you to heaven.
In his sermon, Litton noted, “Homosexuality does not send people to hell. How can I find out? Because heterosexuality doesn’t send people to heaven.
Litton also used the same anecdotes as Greear in this sermon.
Likewise, in March, Pastor Zachary Stewart of Twin Oaks Christian Church turned out to have plagiarized hundreds of sermons, many of which were written by Pastor Mark Driscoll.
“When a pastor steals or borrows too much money from someone else’s work, that pastor is not just playing an acting role, but is not a true messenger from the Lord,” MacArthur continued. “That doesn’t mean you can’t preach the same doctrine. There is only one precise interpretation of the text… It is when the sentences of one pastor are “exactly word for word” of another pastor that they circumvent the spiritual impact of the Word of God , and what divine work the Lord would do in their hearts because the truth was not studied as it should have been.
MacArthur added that probably around 80% of what he preaches does not come from his grades. “Because you are an exponent of the scriptures, it does not mean that you are preaching in a vacuum. You always have to connect with the world around you, ”he explained. “You may be dealing with the same passage, but the circumstances, the people you talk to may change, so the emphasis of the passage changes in a different direction.”