Published November 23, 2006
As a well-educated Christian of 31 years and a Georgia Baptist of 41 years, I was perplexed as to why you found it necessary to devote your November 9 edition to plagiarism. Your article, “Plagiarism: Whose message is it?” was not worth your time.
As one with two master’s degrees and an earned doctorate from research universities, I was disappointed that plagiarism would even be an issue for pastors. Why would one think he could use another’s work as their own with no citation thereof?
Perhaps one reason stems from having pastors in our pulpits that have weak educations themselves, and subsequently have no appreciation for original thought. Our Southern Baptist seminaries are mass-producing far too many D.Mins with extremely poor communication skills, including both verbal and written skills.
Even worse, most often we find that our pastors do not even have earned degrees, choosing rather to buy their so-called degrees through the mail or over the Internet only to then demand that everyone refer to them as “Doctor.” So, again, why would we expect them to appreciate original thought?
Perhaps another reason stems from the fact that churches expect everything for free. We have become far too accustomed to having everything given to us, with little accountability demanded in return. So, again, why would we expect them to appreciate original thought?
Plagiarism is stealing, plain and simple. It will never be anything more, nor anything less, than that. As such, I encourage pastors to spend more time studying and preaching directly from the Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to help them produce original thought, rather than trying to present the latest feel-good sermon of others.
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