Sermon Plagiarism | Watch This Episode on YouTube


Related Messages

To learn more about the responsibility of preachers and preaching, consider listening to the following sermons prepared and delivered by Dr. Caldwell to the congregation he shepherds at Founders Baptist Church. Several will expand on the passages shared in the podcast today; others are included to offer further guidance, instruction, and encouragement for approaching God’s Word.

The Model for The Ministry of The Word

Confidence & Conscience

God's Word in a World of Chaos

The Two Answers for Discouragement

A Great Divide - Our Profession vs. Our Living

The Faith Necessary for Faithfulness

A Mindset for Faithful Ministry

Preparing for Spiritual Difficulty

A Time for Itching Ears & Accommodating Preachers

Clear Thinking About the Ministry

How To Remain Faithful in Ministry

Selecting and Training Men for Ministry



Sermon Plagiarism | Watch this episode on Vimeo

Sermon Plagiarism

This week on the Straight Truth Podcast host, Dr. Josh Philpot says that a big topic nowadays, specifically within Baptist circles, but more broadly within the Evangelical world, is plagiarism among pastors. He shares that in the past, pastors have been fired from their congregations for plagiarizing. Yet today, it almost seems like this is a more acceptable thing to do. We are hearing of pastors agreeing with another pastor to share their sermons without telling their church.

There is this borrowing, taking, and replicating, of the work and ideas of another pastor, then presenting it and representing it as their own. Is this appropriate? Is it ever a good idea to preach someone else's sermons? Have the men who are doing this or have done this disqualified themselves? Dr. Philpot tells us that Dr. Richard Caldwell has pastored for over 30 years now, working hard to prepare and deliver sermons from the Word of God. He asks Dr. Caldwell to share what he has to say about this, and what is his perspective on the borrowing of sermons, in part or whole?

Dr. Caldwell says he sees all sorts of concerns wrapped up in this and several problems with what has come to light recently regarding the plagiarizing of sermons. The first and primary issue that he sees is a fundamental misunderstanding of the task of a pastor. Many pastors see themselves as managers of an organization instead of shepherds. Therefore, they become a mouthpiece and communicator of a message, but not a New Testament shepherd that feeds the people of God with the Word of God.

Dr. Caldwell desires us to see and hear what he speaks of and gives voice to as he shares on this matter. He opens the Word of God and turns to passages in 2 Corinthians and 2 Timothy. He reads and comments on some of the aspects that he has in mind as he goes along. Following are highlights he shares from each passage of Scripture:

2 Corinthians 1:12:
Sincerity, simplicity, straightforwardness, and divine wisdom should characterize the ministry of pastors.

2 Corinthians 4: 1-2:
Preaching is meant to be the open statement of the truth as it is found in God’s Word.
Pastors are not looking to superficially, artificially influence people.
Pastors are not seeking to affect people emotionally or to bring about some sort of response.
Pastors are not putting together a package that will have an intended outcome or influence that they mean to bring about.
Pastors ought to want to study the Word of God, know what it teaches, and want to communicate it to their flock the best way they know how to.
The process of being a pastor means that they first wrestle as a student before being a teacher.

2 Corinthians 4:13-14:
Pastors are to be men who genuinely sincerely believe; therefore, they speak.
The pastors preaching process ought to reflect a conviction that comes from studying God's Word for themselves.
Pastors ought to be men who have studied well and believe what they have learned so that what they preach and share with their congregation comes from their own hearts and mind.

2 Timothy 2: 14-15:
Pastors have the charge to present themselves to God as approved, as workmen unashamed, those who rightly handle the word of truth.
The process of being a preacher involves proving oneself to be a good student.
Pastors have to study the Word of God rightly to communicate it rightly.
Pastors have to have a reverence for God and His Word, understanding what the Scriptures are.
No one has the right to trifle with the Word of God, doing whatever they want with it.

2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Timothy 4:1-2:
Pastors must have these truths on their hearts and mind.
Pastors must recognize the weighty reality of standing before Jesus one day and having to give account for everything they have said in His name.
Pastors are not CEOs. They are shepherds.
What a pastor delivers to their congregation should be the overflow of God’s work on their own heart.
Pastors can benefit from the work of others, and they should.
Wherever a pastor benefits from the work of others and wants to communicate what they have learned from someone else, it needs to be attributed.

Dr. Caldwell says that plagiarism does not reflect what ought to be in the process that a pastor undertakes. He sees plagiarizing as a matter of qualification for ministry. For those men who are guilty of plagiarizing the sermons of others, they need to not only acknowledge it but repent of it. If they are not willing to walk through the process that requires them to work hard and make sure they rightly handle the Word of God, they need to step out of the office. To do otherwise is irresponsible.

About The Straight Truth Podcast

The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at

The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo.  The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.

The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.

The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.

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Season 16 Credits

Produced by
Juan Carlos Claveria

Executive Producers
Joshua Philpot
David Anders

Hosted by
Joshua Philpot

Social Media Descriptions by
Michele Watson

Graphic Design
David Navejas


Special Thanks to
El Centro Network

Music by

Motion Graphics
Szymon Masiak

Set Decorator
Molly Atchison

Walking In Grace Produces The Straight Truth Podcast - The Best Christian Podcast On The Web

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