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Posts Tagged ‘theft’


Corporate greed is the new boogey man being blames for all society’s ills.  We have people occupying financial districts to protest corporate greed. Based on some of their own demands, they can’t see their own corporate greed.  Isn’t that what motivates people to demand free education, the forgiving in of all debts etc.?

We live in a world with very little self-awareness. One contributing factor is that we’ve tuned out the Scriptures, and therefore God.  The Bible has quite a bit to say about who we are, and if we are honest it is accurate.

6Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, 7for we brought nothing into the world, andwe cannot take anything out of the world. 8But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. 1 Timothy 6

Including those enslaved by greed

Each of us enters this life with nothing.  Our parents may have something, but we’ve got nothing.  We also can’t take anything with us.  At those 2 moments everyone is in the same boat.  What differs is all that comes in between.  This the part of life we are concerned with now.  It is the desire to be rich that  plunges us into a world of danger.  We are tempted to do any number of things.  This love of money is the root, as Paul says, of all kinds of evil (or every kind of evil).

“He that loves money is influence in his practices by that love, and kept by it in the continual pursuit of wealth.” Jonathan Edwards

So what ways do people continually seek wealth?

One is the idolatry of work.  Work is not part of the curse.  God works, and work is noble and good.  Christians serve God in their work, even as they provide legitimate goods and services to other people.  Illegitimate goods and services (prostitution, producing or distributing heroin, being a hit man…) are a corruption of work). That work is difficult and does not always produce the intended or desired results is related to the curse.  Due to our sinful nature, we make an idol of work.  We refuse to be content and work too much to enrich ourselves beyond our need. Many a rich person has made an idol of work.  But you don’t need to be rich to do this.  You don’t even have to do it for money, it could be significance.  But we are focused on money and wealth here.

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[Since Justin Taylor blogged about a new article on this subject, I thought I’d pull this out of the archives.  He connects buying papers in seminary with pulpit plagiarism and ghost writing, as does Jared Wilson.   Additionally, Collin Hansen and D.A. Carson have written about pulpit plagiarism. ]

Between Two Worlds brings this problem to our attention.  First he links to Oversight of Souls, which laments an article encouraging pastors to use the sermons of other, better preachers.  Second, he links back to an old post of his from April 2005.  At that time, E. Glenn Wagner had recently resigned from one of the larger churches in Charlotte, NC for doing this.  I’m sad, because I have benefited greatly from his books.  Maybe he was so focused on his writing ministry that he neglected his pulpit ministry.  I don’t know.

Read the comments in both links- they are telling.  This is a huge problem.  Sadly, one reported that many of the pastors of the faster growing churches do this.  If they credited the sources, and the people knew they weren’t putting in hours studying the text, fine.  But these guys typically don’t do that.

As a pastor, I believe I must spend time understanding the text, and my people.  If I utilized another’s sermon- I would rob myself, and my future ministry because I am not grappling with God and the text.  I may have a “better” sermon, but I won’t be a better Christian or better pastor.  I view this as a means of grace, not just a task to be completed.  I would also be tempted to not exegete my people, applying the text to their circumstances.

My sermons may not be as good as those used by pastors who plagiarize, but I sleep well at night (well, sometimes).  This is one thing I will not have to wish the Savior did not see when I stand before His white throne.  Unfortunately, there will be plenty of other things.

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