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SERMONS FOR SALE

 

 

 

By Paul Proctor

September 16, 2004

NewsWithViews.com

On September 6th, 2004, Channel 14 News in Charlotte, North Carolina posted the following AP story on their web site, entitled, �Pastor Admits To Stealing Sermons:�

�The senior pastor at one of Charlotte's best-known churches admitted that parts of some of his sermons, broadcast on Christian radio programs, were stolen from others.

The Rev. E. Glenn Wagner of Calvary Church resigned, admitted that depression led him to plagiarize sermons the past two years, and asked for forgiveness in a letter read Sunday in his absence at four worship services.

�On a number of occasions, when I felt literally empty and devoid of any creative ability, I used material from the sermons of some of my brother preachers,� Wagner's letter said.

� In his letter, Wagner, 51, cited �a downward spiral�, emotionally and mentally, which left me very tired and discouraged and fighting a losing battle with depression.��

What a shame. If Pastor Wagner had only known about Willow Creek and Saddleback, he could have simply logged-on to their respective web sites, like so many sneaky preachers do these days, and downloaded any number of sermons for sale by Rick Warren or Bill Hybels. You have to admit; it�s a handy way to get around those difficult times when the Lord, for whatever reason, leaves you high and dry in the pulpit.

Isn�t it comforting to know that the man of God doesn�t have to �labor in the Word and doctrine� anymore or pray and wait patiently for divine guidance, wisdom, insight and instruction? Thanks to Warren and Hybels, a smorgasbord of satisfying sermons is just a click away!

There are SOOOO many r-e-l-a-t-i-o-n-s-h-i-p-s to tend to among today�s seekers and creekers that, frankly, there�s little time left for anything but hugs and kisses. Let�s face it friends; homework can be a real bore and I think it�s just AWESOME that �God� has provided so miraculously for the emasculated church in its time of need. I only wish there were web sites out there I could go to for commentary downloads so I wouldn�t have to spend so much of my �precious time� writing this column.

Bill and Rick, (no relation to �Big & Rich�) obviously understand that being a �CEO� in today�s church is just not what it used to be. But, thanks to the humble efforts of these brilliant brethren, clever clerics from around the world can preach prefabricated pontifications with confidence, secure in the knowledge that their infatuated flocks will probably never know the difference. How�s THAT for a �hidden blessing?�

Ordained �facilitators� from every denomination can now enjoy discipline-free praise and glory from their congratulatory congregations as fully-equipped church growth "change agents" while de facto shepherds, Warren and Hybels, meticulously micromanage their ministries from hundreds or even thousands of miles away right into the New Age of Purpose Driven pragmatism and Willow Creek consensus! Their pastor-by-proxy programs make forming a one-world religion almost effortless! And, just think; it�s all coming together right under our self-esteem!

Now, I know that on Rick Warren�s sermon download page it says: �Stop Following and Start Leading,� but you really need that kind of dialectic doubletalk to convince today�s egocentric under-shepherd that, in the CGM, following IS leading. So, it only makes sense that part of being a good leader in the church growth movement means being a faithful downloader and promoter of Purpose Driven products. And, here�s the great thing about Bill Hybels' "sermon specials;" they are all �field tested� to assure each pastoral purchaser is getting the best message that money can buy.

Maybe Cledus T. Judd should parody the latest Big & Rich hit for the CGM and call it: �Save A Church � Buy A Download�

�Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.� � Ezekiel 34:10

Related articles:

Pastor Admits To Stealing Sermons
Saddleback Sermons by Rick Warren
Willow Creek Message Series and Special

� 2004 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved

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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at [email protected]

 


 

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Isn�t it comforting to know that the man of God doesn�t have to �labor in the Word and doctrine� anymore or pray and wait patiently for divine guidance, wisdom, insight and instruction? Thanks to Warren and Hybels, a smorgasbord of satisfying sermons is just a click away!