August 27, 2021•714 words
1 Point Preacher
The pastoral office is not as respected as other professions; it's not "really work." Unlike physical labor, the labor of study, prayer, sermon preparation is thought to not count.
Are you really worthy of compensation for this "work"?
1 Tim. 5:17–19, The elders who lead well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor at preaching the word and teaching.
For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while it is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.
Those elders who labor in preaching and teaching, and all the study and effort that is included—study of the language, application, crafting a sermon that is edible for the flock. It's hard work.
Who is deserving of respect plus honorarium.
It's talking about respect and money.
NET Bible note: Like the similar use of “honor” in v. 3, this phrase denotes both respect and remuneration: “honor plus honorarium.”
Do you even know if your pastor is working hard at preaching and teaching?
The plagiarizing pastor sounds like he's working hard, but he's lying to the congregation.
Not just on Sunday morning, but about his work-week.
What kind of congregation are you? You should be able to tell good preaching by knowing your Bible.
If you are the congregation that won't give honorarium, you probably wouldn't catch plagiarism.
Paying ministers is not only a New Testament teaching. Paul quotes from the Old Testament and Jesus. The priests made their living from the altar. Christians of a Jewish background would have immediately accepted this from Paul.
What does this have to do with plagiarism? The plagiarizing pastor is not doing the job for which he is paid.
If the pastor has been stealing sermons, not doing his own work but taking the labor of others, is he at all worthy of this double honor?
NO, obviously not.
He's not leading well as a shepherd, and he's not laboring at all in preaching and teaching.
He's not studying, crafting sermons for his sheep. Might as well play a recorded sermon every Sunday. At least that would be honest.
The plagiarizing paster is not just stealing sermons, he's also stealing compensation from his congregation—because he doesn't deserve it.
The people are paying their pastor believing that he works hard, studies hard, researches, thinks about it, prays about it, prays for them.
The plagiarizing pastor is not worthy of either honor.
First, he's disqualified himself as an elder. He should be disciplined, either by temporary or permanent removal from office.
And, he's not laboring in preaching and teaching. If found out, he will have sacrificed the respect that is due his office.
And, he's not doing the work for which he's paid.
A parallel is public, civl office. A civil magistrate that does not govern, punish the wicked, exercise the power of the sword righteously.
Not only does he undermine the ability of his subjects to respect his office, but they should wonder why they are paying him.
"With respect, what are we paying you for?"
What makes this worse is that plagiarism is encouraged in some denominations. Those being stolen from are flattered that another preacher would use their material.
The people expect their pastor to do the work, to feed them as he thinks best. It's his job, not another pastor's job.
And he's getting paid for it.
The point is not getting help from others. The point is stealing and lying, and taking pay anyway.
An easy example: ordering food, but telling your family you cooked it. And posting a video online saying you cooked that meal.
The plagiarizing pastor didn't cook the meal—it's actually catered. But he's pretending that he did. The sheep think this is prepared personally for them.
This calls into question his desire to care for his own sheep.
Does he not want to be a shepherd, at all?
Because he's not doing what shepherds do for the flock.
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Written by Bryan Teoh