Plagiarism From the Pulpit

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Plagiarism From the Pulpit

A front-page article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal (subscription req'd) revealed a surprising source for the Rev. Brian Moon's inspiring sermons:
"People are drowning, drowning in their marriages, drowning in their careers, drowning in hurtful habits," Mr. Moon told his congregation at Church of the Seacoast, in Land o' Lakes, Fla. "They need someone to rescue them and bring them on the raft. They need people driven by God's addition."

Those words, it turns out, were first uttered three years ago by the Rev. Ed Young, pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas. His Web site,, sells transcripts of this and other sermons for $10 each. Mr. Moon says he delivered about 75% of Mr. Young's sermon, "just because it was really good."
If this is what qualifies as a "really good" sermon, then I guess I'm not missing much on Sunday morning.
... [Mr. Moon] makes no apologies for using a recycled sermon. "Truth is truth, there's no sense reinventing the wheel," Mr. Moon says.
But some clergy disagree:
... "Every minister owes his congregation a fresh act of interpretation," says Thomas C. Long, a preaching professor at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University ... "To play easy with the truth, to be deceptive about where the ideas come from, is a lie."

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