Need wisdom on an issue of ethics

Thank you again for your response.

You have very strong opinions about this fellow's worth even though you seem to differ from the majority opinion of your church leadership.
The exact words of the church leadership (mind you...a bunch of farmers with no seminary training but who are all related to one another because it is a small town and small church family) "If he were a permanent pastor we would send him packing. Because he is an interim, we don't want to deal with this. Why let him go out in disgrace and then make some of us step up to preach until a new pastor is found?" The very thought of that bothers me. If it was a permanent pastor we would get rid of him and step up to preach. But because he is a temp (going on 9 months now) we will continue to allow him to teach. I think their very logic there speaks volumes. They believe he is 100% out of line but don't want to be inconvenienced while we pay him every week to preach, pay him to travel back and forth from Minneapolis and pay for the house he stays in the couple of nights each week he is here. Meanwhile we are worried about money because we have lost a good number of people over the last several months AND corn prices (farm territory) are very low.
Our youth pastor (seminary trained at the same seminary) completely disagrees with his sermons and wants him removed. As for the majority opinion, no...the majority do not know. Just a select few of the people at the top even know about this. It has not been taken to the majority.

Another thought on his worth: when he was confronted he point blank said he only plagiarized one time. As we have found it more than once, he is an outright liar. Sorry...but that is not something I would esteem in any pastor: temp or permanent.

I have had it said of at least one of my sermons that "that message needs to be preached again" Well then, if it was worth repeating, would that be plagiarism?

If it is worth repeating, repeat it. If it is your own, that is not plagiarism. If one finds a message from someone else that they want to relay, that's fine as well. But give credit. When one gives an entire sermon that was written by someone else and gives zero credit to the writer, offering it up as if it is their own, that is a problem. For one, ethically it is wrong. Two, it is equal to stealing. Three, as it is a published sermon, it risks the charge of copyright infringement which could hurt not just the pastor, but the entire church. Four, this pastor has his doctorate degree which would lead me to assume he has heard one or two things about plagiarism. You can't take a freshman writing course without being told about your automatic failure if you are caught plagiarism, not to mention the possibility of being kicked out of school. Seems like he would have enough knowledge to at least give credit for giving an entire sermon as written by someone else.



To my way of thinking, an added sentence here and there requires that the work was proof read first

My comment about this is simply that he tried to say he took an old sermon of HIS from HIS file because he did not have time to prepare a sermon. It turns out that the sermon HE relayed that was supposed to be HIS was someone else's. As I have found this sermon online in printable form, I see it clearly has the title and author at the top. I can only imagine HIS copy of this would have that. I would also only imagine that he would proofread and realize it isn't his own work since he tried to act like it was his to begin with. But, as it is someone else's sermon that he literally added a sentence here or there to, I would assume he knew what he was doing and that he did not accidentally pick somebody else's sermon. As I have already stated, there were two weeks in a row where he plagiarized the same persons work...and one of those weeks he took from two separate works of that same person. This is where it really bothers me because he said he only did it once...and it is two weeks straight from the same person. Kind of an issue there.

A preacher can not preach something different from mainstream thinking as defined be the majority of commentators.

I have no problem with something that lines up with scripture. I have no problem with a sermon where something seems ambiguous and the preacher says "it is my thought that..." or "it is my opinion" or "perhaps it means this." But I have an issue with this pastor's presentation here. Another issue I had with that sermon is he also talks about the older brother. He went on and on about how the older brother made up the "sins" that the younger brother committed. He literally spent about 5 minutes saying that the story doesn't tell us what the younger brother and that the older brother made it up to slander the younger brother in front of his father. Now...I'm no expert, but I kind of feel that if Jesus told the parable, then that is his way of telling us exactly what the younger brother did. Our youth pastor feels the same.

A few verses I would share:

1 Timothy 4:12 - Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity (As I said before, I researched what he taught to see if others were teaching that and if I was missing something...so I did not set out to go after my elders, but respected him. However, I do feel that my "youth" is why I am not being listened to).

1 Timothy 3:1-2 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, (one who lies when confronted is NOT above reproach)

I don't call for absolute perfection. None of us are such as that. However, I do believe the pastor of a church (permanent or temporary) is in a position of authority and should thus be held to a higher standard of conduct. If he wants to use the words of another pastor, give credit where it is due. That is called integrity and honesty. If he wishes to do it every week, then say so and let the church decide if they want to pay him or go on youtube to watch someone else preach.

Be blessed, my brother.
 
Good day to you again in_His_hands, I 'm just reading through your posts again.......
With this I tried again to bring the info forward and am being told to just wait because he is only temporary and we'll have a new pastor soon. I know two people on the search committee and my understanding is we aren't close yet...so when is soon? 2 months? A year?
Perhaps the the concern with your Church leadership is two fold.

One they do not wish to act in haste, and two, if there is no one in the congregation that can step up to the plate should this one go, then you would be without a pastor until a new one is called. Even a new interim pastor might be as hard to secure as a new full time one.
Should I follow through with and go public to the church as a whole? Or should I just wait?
This seems to be an option, what is the position of the selection committee on this matter? You could find yourself on the outer over this issue, but if you feel strongly enough about it, Pray about it first, long and often. Can you meet and pray with your youth pastor and possibly others?
The exact words of the church leadership (mind you...a bunch of farmers with no seminary training but who are all related to one another because it is a small town and small church family) "If he were a permanent pastor we would send him packing. Because he is an interim, we don't want to deal with this. Why let him go out in disgrace and then make some of us step up to preach until a new pastor is found?"
So this ties back to my earlier point. Are there people from within your fellowship both willing and capable of pastoring your church on an interim basis?
Letting him go does not necessarily mean that he will go in disgrace...not if it is handled in a Godly way.
But I have an issue with this pastor's presentation here. Another issue I had with that sermon is he also talks about the older brother. He went on and on about how the older brother made up the "sins" that the younger brother committed. He literally spent about 5 minutes saying that the story doesn't tell us what the younger brother and that the older brother made it up to slander the younger brother in front of his father.
What???!!!
A few verses I would share:

1 Timothy 4:12 - Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity (As I said before, I researched what he taught to see if others were teaching that and if I was missing something...so I did not set out to go after my elders, but respected him. However, I do feel that my "youth" is why I am not being listened to).
Now this is a whole new issue, one which concerns you directly.
Timothy was a youngish fellow who was anointed to pastor in Ephesus. Hence Paul's encouragement to stand his ground in the face of dismissivenes due of his youth. It would be best applied to others similarly anointed to pastor.
May I encourage you to study 1Kings 12. Unfortunately there was brought about bitter division in the family of God due to unwise counsel.
So pray with some others and wait on the Lord to move in your midst. Pray for a solution that will honour our Lord, pray that all parties can see the will of the Lord in this matter.
please keep us undated on how things are going.
Blessings,
calvin
 
I'm sure that some great preachers preach that the prodigal son did not repent. But let's first look at who was preaching here. And while it was an allegory where the Father was God and the son here was either apostate church, or the nation of Israel (or any person who leaves the church) ... but the Father (being God) would not likely have welcomed the son with open arms if it were not true repentance. It's not like anybody can fool God. It may speak to the fact that if we move a little, God will move mountains to restore the relationship ... but to suggest that the son did not repent implies that God was fooled. Anyone who feels it is possible to fool God is not someone I want to stand next to if I hear a storm coming.
 
I'm sure that some great preachers preach that the prodigal son did not repent. But let's first look at who was preaching here. And while it was an allegory where the Father was God and the son here was either apostate church, or the nation of Israel (or any person who leaves the church) ... but the Father (being God) would not likely have welcomed the son with open arms if it were not true repentance. It's not like anybody can fool God. It may speak to the fact that if we move a little, God will move mountains to restore the relationship ... but to suggest that the son did not repent implies that God was fooled. Anyone who feels it is possible to fool God is not someone I want to stand next to if I hear a storm coming.
G'day there Mike,
Jesus said that no one comes to the Father except by Him..Okay,
If the father in the parable is God the Father, where is Jesus, ie the Son of God in the parable? couldn't be the disgruntled son, so.....
 
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I forgot all about this thread. I guess I could offer an update. We had to deal with our interim pastor for a couple of months of which a few of us would leave each Sunday when he got up to preach and go down to our prayer room and pray for the church. At the end of June he left even though we did not have a pastor yet. He felt his time was done. We had various people fill the pulpit over the next few weeks (members, pastors from other churches that grew up in the area, etc). In September we found a new pastor. This guy is awesome! He dives deep into the Word and often leaves us with a faith challenge. Around the same time I started taking classes working on a bachelor degree in divinity. The research I did into his sermons really left me hungering for truth and a deeper call toward ministry than I had before. Thank you all who replied!
 
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