There has been a lot said about plagiarism in the church lately. The leader of a major Christian denomination has been under fire for this, as this individual should most definitely be. According to Dictionary.com, plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. It happens in every sector. Yet, it is a popular concept in some Christian denominations. So prevalent that some leaders continue to use the work of others without giving credit to the persons or groups who have painstakingly worked to produce their original materials.
Plagiarism does not represent integrity in any aspect of God’s teachings. It is just the opposite. On integrity, the Bible says this:
“He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.” – Proverbs 10:9
God’s words are sacred. And the deliverance of His words must be likewise as holy. Holy in the sense that they are exposited in the right context through the original but correct perceptions of their deliverers. God’s words must always be handled responsively. Instead, the idea that some leaders would take from someone else to shorten their biblical study and preparation is dangerous. Honestly, it is frightening! The study of God’s words should never be rushed. Using appropriate methods and time to preach the gospel should benefit the pastor. It makes the delivery a place to build on what is already known, not only for the pastor but also for the congregation. Studying God’s words is a tremendous honor!
If you believe there are people in your world who seem to reproduce your suggestions, ideas, or words, please be aware that in no way are these approaches complementary. For instead, these behaviors should be areas of significant concern. And, if you have voiced uneasiness with no changes in sight, here are a few suggestions:
- Remove yourself from being in the company of those who are unwilling to admit their wrongs or who do apologize but continue along with the same behavioral patterns.
- Consider finding a church led by pastors who are original in their approach and exposition of God’s words. Watch for citations in their verbal and written communications. These considerations are crucial! Albert Einstein worked to produce everything he accomplished. It would be unfair not to give him credit.
- Always be aware that you give credit where it is due. Remember, even the ideas or thoughts of a personal conversation should have been given permission for use when used in speech or writing.
Plagiarism is everywhere. Let’s walk upright in our approaches when it comes to the representation of the work of others. Conversely, always protect yourself when you believe your work is consistently being pilfered.
God prefers integrity. Not laziness! (Proverbs 13:4)