Wednesday, January 16, 2008

WELS pastor continues to plagiarize Reformed sermons

1/19/08 Update -- the linked sermons below have been removed!!!

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It is sad that the WELS is allowing the Church and Change group to lead the way in the synod.

It is also sad that WELS pastors in Green Bay resort to plagiarized sermons and yet the WELS leadership does nothing.

Here is a comment that was recently left on BW...

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Check out this recent sermon (Dec. 23, 2007)from Parlow's church in Green Bay. It doesn't say who "wrote" the sermon, but as has been mentioned on this site and others, Parlow has plagiarized at least one sermon in the past.

Anyway, here is an excerpt from the sermon:

"'Joy' is clearly a Christmas
word. Those other activities can make us happy but don’t confuse happiness with joy. They are
not the same thing. Happiness is temporary; joy is lasting. Happiness is on the surface; joy is
deep down. It is not unusual to have joy without happiness and even have happiness without joy.

A few years ago there was a book published entitled, The Progress Paradox. It documented the enormous improvement in American lives over recent generations. Average life expectancy has doubled since 1900. Undernourishment was a major problem in our country and now we are “over nourished.” How many of us aren’t officially overweight according to the national BMI
scale? Central heating was unusual and air conditioning unknown. Medical care is much more
sophisticated and available."

Here is an excerpt from Lieth Anderson of "Faith Matters":

"'Joy' is clearly a Chirstmas word....We sometimes confuse joy and happiness althout they are not the same. Happiness is temporary; joy is lasting. Happiness is on the surface; joy is deep down inside. It is not unusual to have joy without happiness and it is not unusual for some who have happiness not to have joy.

The progress Paradox by Gregg Easterbrook documents enourmous improvement in the American way of life and standard of living over recent generations. Average life expectancy in the United States has doubled since 1900. Undernourishment was a major problem, but now we are 'over-nourished'. Central heating used to be unusual and few homes had central air conditioning. Today medical care is much more sophisticated and available."

The St. Mark's sermon is here:
http://stmarkpartners.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=110

The "Faith Matters" article is here:
www.oneplace.com/common/transcripts/fm/ADV-03.pdf

PP
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Ha! The Sermon from the week before is the same way. From "The Gif of Peace - Dec. 16":

"In the great depths of the oceans the pressure is enough to crush a submarine like a can of Coke. In order to explore down deep the oceanographers have built bathyspheres. They are like miniature submarines constructed out of steel plates that are several inches thick. They have thick "skins" to stop the crushing power of the pressure on the outside from getting to the scientists on the inside. When those bathyspheres finally settle on the ocean floor and turn on their lights for exploration, the scientists see fish—fish with very thin skins. Why don’t they implode? Those fish have pressure inside them equal and opposite to the pressure outside. They are able to swim freely and easily where we would be destroyed."

Type "In the great depths of the oceans the pressure is enough to crush a submarine like a can of Coke" into Google and you find this:

"In the great depths of the oceans the pressure is enough to crush a submarine like a can of Coke. In order to explore down deep the oceanographers have built bathyspheres. They are like miniature submarines constructed out of steel plates that are several inches thick. They have thick "skins" to stop the crushing power of the pressure on the outside from getting to the scientists on the inside.
When those bathyspheres finally settle on the ocean floor and turn on their lights for exploration, the scientists see fish—fish with very thin skins. Why don’t they implode? Those fish have pressure inside them equal and opposite to the pressure outside. They are able to swim freely and easily where we would be destroyed.
That is what peace is like. Peace on the inside is equal and opposite of all the stresses and pressures crushing us from the outside."

myflock2.com/orgs_pub/church838/caldb/sermons/Peace_for_Our_Hearts.doc

PP

67 comments:

Some Lutherans aren't very Lutheran said...

Why is a WELS pastor using Baptist source material in preparing his sermons? (The Faith Matters author is the pastor of a large Baptist Church in MN).

Anonymous said...

Look at the three "Shopping for a Savior" sermons from St. Mark's website, then look at the three sermons from this Babptist churches website dated 11/30/03, 12/7/03, and 12/14/03:

http://www.wooddalechurch.com/sermons/sermons2003.asp

Repent all ye who steal Baptist sermons, for ye are BUSTED!!!

Anonymous said...

You are all handeling this in a very Christian manner. Welcome to the new era of "if a brother sins against you write a blog about it."

Bespoke said...

Plagiarism is a crime, a public one at that. Preaching false doctrine is public. Both should be rebuked in public as public sins.

Mr. Sarcastic Anonymous is publicly rebuking what he considers a private sin. Hokey and self-righteous.

Anonymous said...

Should this be brought to the pastor's attention, tho? (different anonymous)

Anonymous said...

It already has in the past. No response from him.

California on my mind said...

Bespoke wrote: "Plagiarism is a crime, a public one at that. Preaching false doctrine is public. Both should be rebuked in public as public sins."

So, is the pastor in question reading this blog? If public sins are to be rebuked publicly, is he reading your rebuke? The self-righteous people who say this just use it as an excuse for slinging mud. If you're really concerned about admonishing him, rather than just throwing dirt, contact the man in question directly yourself.

John said...

"So, is the pastor in question reading this blog? If public sins are to be rebuked publicly, is he reading your rebuke?"

I'll contact him.

Plagpatrol said...

CA,

"The self-righteous people who say this just use it as an excuse for slinging mud. If you're really concerned about admonishing him, rather than just throwing dirt, contact the man in question directly yourself."

Self-righteously admonishing people for being self-righteous? Well, we all have our own style I guess.

But you're missing somehing. It isn't so much about admonishing the pastor that delivered these sermons as it is about alerting others that they need to be careful when listening to or reading his sermons. St. Mark is a very popular church. The people that attend that church need to know that one of their pastors is preaching Baptist sermons.

Rick said...

It seems that PP, the first poster, should be called to repent for despising preaching and God's Word. To go to a sermon website for the purpose of pulling out a paragraph or two and then googling the web to see if someone else spoke or wrote the same words is not reading a sermon for the proper reason.

Should the preacher have said, "As I heard another pastor say" or "As I recently read"? Possibly. Maybe even probably? But the mean-spirited approach of looking at a sermon for words found elsewhere on the net smacks to me of the teachers of the law trying to catch Jesus in his words.

By the way, the Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly had an article by Professor Schuetze a while back on this topic. I can't find it right now but I'm sure that another poster with time to look could. I believe that his opinion was that a sermon is not a research paper and doesn't need that kind of annotation.

Also, for the record, NPH is selling again this year a Lenten series with complete sermons. Should every Lenten service bulletin include a disclaimer that this sermon series was prepared by NPH and use of it does not constitute plagiarism?

John said...

I have communicated with Pr. Parlow today, and he is aware of my concern.

California on my mind said...

Rick said:

"Also, for the record, NPH is selling again this year a Lenten series with complete sermons. Should every Lenten service bulletin include a disclaimer that this sermon series was prepared by NPH and use of it does not constitute plagiarism?"

Good point. I think almost every WELS pastor uses these, although with some re-working to fit his own preaching style. I also know that pastors in other denominations like the CLC use these, too. It's amazing how the CLC can condemn the WELS over a variety of issues, but they still use our material.

Plagpatrol said...

"It seems that PP, the first poster, should be called to repent for despising preaching and God's Word."

I don't despise preaching and God's Word. Where do come up with this stuff? Pastors that steal Baptist sermons dispise preaching.

I expected someone to say this. It is the typical response by welsbots when one of their own gets egg on his face.

"To go to a sermon website for the purpose of pulling out a paragraph or two and then googling the web to see if someone else spoke or wrote the same words is not reading a sermon for the proper reason."

You have to be kidding. If pastors won't hold themselves accountable, who will? I read a sermon. It sounded "off." I investigated. that isn't the right way to rea a sermon? What would you do? If your pastor started inviting baptist preachers to share the pulput with him, would you just keep your mouth shut about it?

Anonymous said...

"Also, for the record, NPH is selling again this year a Lenten series with complete sermons. Should every Lenten service bulletin include a disclaimer that this sermon series was prepared by NPH and use of it does not constitute plagiarism?"

Why not? What is the harm? If it isn't a big deal, why not be transparent about it. Are you really defening sermon plagiarism? I think your missing anoher very important point. He didn't use a NPH sermon outline. He used a baptist sermon. So it is wrong to pray with baptists but okay to read their sermons in church?

Mr. Jerk said...

"But the mean-spirited approach of looking at a sermon for words found elsewhere on the net smacks to me of the teachers of the law trying to catch Jesus in his words."

Classic--"You're mean because you pointed out that a WELS pastor is lying to his congregation and feeding them rotten, fake, sermons."

Bespoke said...

There is only one sin in WELS - criticizing WELS. That is the sin against the Holy Spirit.

Plagpatrol said...

Bespoke,

Plagiarism is okay if a WELS pastor does it.

PP

Bespoke said...

It should be the joy of every pastor to study the Word and preach his own sermon each Sunday. That will benefit him if no one else. The study will benefit his family. If he saves only himself, that is good.

jen said...

Is it an expectation for pastors to post a works cited page or bibliography for each of their sermons? I didn't think anyone assumed that all sermons were original ideas and not a collaboration of numerous sources. It seems to make sense that one would search for appropriate material from many sources to enhance the message that corresponds with that week's scripture reference. Did Rev. Parlow deny that the words used were not his own? There are many tools used to enhance sermons including anecdotal encyclopedias to help illustrate the point. Are you saying it's wrong to use outside sources even when the message is in keeping with the doctrines of the church? I have on occasion attended worship services at St. Mark and often found that Parlow would state the source of part of the message. In fact, I purchased one of the books he quoted to find out more about the topic. This book along with many others that he uses are for sale in the church bookstore. It seems hard to believe that this pastor would make available sources that he was plagiarizing.

Connie said...

Jen,

"It seems hard to believe that this pastor would make available sources that he was plagiarizing."

Well, it isn't plagiarism if you cite your source--so I'm not sure what your point is.

But look at the second comment to this topic. The sermons at issue here aren't a collaboration of numerous sources. They are near duplicates of three sermons preached by a Baptist minister in 2003.

John said...

Here is my question on the sources used for a sermon (forgive me for being naive)as a reference or illustration:

If you look back to the post on the Wauwatosa Gospel it has been presented by some recent WELS papers that pastors should read Scripture horizontally to prepare for a sermon.

How does the use of a Baptist sermon as a source work with a Wauwatosa view of the Gospel?

WELS!

Note especially page 6 of this recent paper which says that WELS pastors are mandated to do original work.

jen said...

Connie,
I apologize and agree that my message was not clear. In my experiences attending St. Mark services, I believe that Rev. Parlow exhaustively gives credit where credit is due. In fact, more so than any other pastor in my opinion. Is it possible that when these sermons are posted on the Internet that citations are not included? I would imagine that could be true, but have not searched their website to find the answer to that question. If, in fact, there is no citation I do believe it would be appropriate to e-mail this pastor and express concern. I would assume that he would be more than willing to offer a list of sources to ensure that no one believes that he is "plagiarizing" even though those familiar with academic writing or public speaking of any kind understand that this is not plagiarism. If Rev. Parlow would deny that these materials were from such a source, it would clearly be an issue of concern.
I do believe that what is truly bothering the other bloggers is the source and not its right to be used. If it is a concern that this material has an original purpose of instructing a Baptist audience and that it is written by a Baptist pastor, I think we need to understand the source of our worship and Bible study material better. The KJV and NIV Bibles that we use to instruct are not uniquely WELS Lutheran documents. These translations were not compiled by only WELS theologians. However, they were checked by WELS Bible scholars just like Rev. Parlow, I'm sure, carefully chooses and checks material that is from non-WELS sources. Are we questioning the training of our seminaries? Should we only allow pastors to use Greek and Hebrew texts and dispose of English translations for fear that heterodox teachings may infiltrate our church merely by the transfer of who edited or prepared the material? This is not a concern for me in this situation, in that, I know God has put these pastors here as his His representatives and that they should be treated with Christian love and respect. Should pastors and their congregation members be on guard at these times? Yes, absolutely, great care should be taken to keep the focus on our Savior and God's Word in its truth and purity.
Connie, I fear that I have overstated and rambled a bit in making my point but I feel strongly that we need to understand the difference between what is doctrine and the tools we used to share the teachings of our faith. Connie, as I am sure you are a fellow Bible scholar, you would agree that our support of called workers should surpass the scrutiny of those called to serve in His name.

Bespoke said...

The assumption has always been that a minister is giving his own sermons based on his own work. It is lazy and dishonest to give another person's sermon. It is even worse to post another person's sermon as one's own. St. Mark's is making a false claim. Others have done the same thing, but that does not make it right.

Walther's sermons were used by laity in the absence of a preacher. It was understood that a layman was reading from the Walther sermon book. I used to have several. They were manufactured to last a century and opened flat, with heavy, clay paper.

2 cents said...

Baptists are not Reformed. There are "Reformed" Baptists...but the "Reformed" would truly scoff at including them in their circles.

I get so confused by the terminology...everything Protestant and "not" Luthearn is labeled Reformed which is highly inaccurate imo.

Most of my friends are PCA--they would be so annoyed in seeing "Reformed" used so inaccurately.

I think we need to define between Arminianism and the Reformed...there is a difference.

connie said...

Jen,

I'm not sure what your back ground is, but I think you are making a few inacurate assumptions here. To begin with, you always site your sources, especially when you quote them word for word. If you don't, it is plagiarism. It doesn't matter if you are speaking or writing. Maybe everyone doesn't do this, but they should. Every speach or talk I've ever given has been replete with references. If you don't cite your source, you are leading people to beleive that the words are your own, when in fact they are someone elses. That is plagiarism.

I'm glad Pr. Parlow usually cites his sources. In this instance he did not.

But the more important issue here is what he plagiarized. Yes, I know that Baptists probably use the same bilbe we do. However, they don't believe the same things we do.

2 cents said...

Wow.

That is pretty bad.

Plagarism is a serious crime. If I would have been caught plagarizing in college, they would have booted me out!! The interesting thing about plagarism is that intent doesn't matter. Even if you didn't realize you were plagarizing, that doesn't excuse you from the crime. This was stressed over and over again while I was in school.

Curious said...

It would seem that the December 23rd sermon is no longer available?
I could not find it.

If I am wrong, could someone please post a link?

Thanks

Bespoke said...

2 centers - we are glad you were not caught. Just kidding - that was the implication of your post.

Lutherans use Reformed to include all non-Lutheran Protestants. Even within a given denomination, like the Church of England, there are many variations.

Baptists think of Lutherans as Catholics. Catholics call us Catholic Lite. It don't matter to me, as Pa used to say.

John said...

Both sermons in question are no longer on the St. Mark's website.

Bespoke said...

Both sermons are gone? There is some sense of shame, perhaps. Walther calls it worldly contrition - sorry they got caught.

Pastor in Colorado said...

I am deeply concerned that our laity have so much time to concern themselves with false accusations and gossip at best. I believe that a few commandments have been broken and dare I say, "Let us repent of our sins here rather than excusing them as being concerned with our church body." The point seems to be that WELS pastors are not concerning themselves with the laity and serving their sinful flesh. My perspective is that many are faithful to this calling, but the laity would rather remain ignorant of God's Word so that they do not have to involve themselves in work of spreading the gospel and practicing church discipline within the confines of Matthew 18. I think this blog needs to take a rest and redefine itself as something that deals with issues and does not label them as one following Synod policy (WELSbot) or as someone who should leave the Synod (other Lutherans and the like). I certainly can see need to work on some areas, but to attack pastors of the WELS by saying most pastors of the WELS are doing this...then stop because that is nothing more than slander and generalizations. With do respect, this website has become a "gripe" blog for those who defend at times false doctrine or their only personal view of how things must be...or else. If you look back at your blog...it centers around WELS pastors and their inability to carry out the work in their congregation (that can only be done if the leaders desire to do it...the leaders can even vote to have the pastor do things that he otherwise would not do) as well some rather misguided thoughts about doctrine. As I feel this falls in line with Matthew 18, there is work to be done, but your approach tells me that your time would be better spent working within the confines of the Holy Word...witnessing your love for Christ and involving yourselves in the church government to improve on what you feel is needed...rather than airing your concerns and gossip here!

Bespoke said...

A new definition, if someone steals my car and hides the evidence, I am gossiping.

It's one thing to steal a Caddy, but to steal a pair of Yugos from the Baptists? Hmmm.

The Colorado pastor is just full of condemnation for those who do not want to read plagiarized sermons. Maybe he should serve as an example and repent of his false charges of gossiping, etc. Maybe he should repent of his efforts to shut down free speech. This is America, not China.

John said...

Pastor in Colorado said...

I am deeply concerned that our laity have so much time to concern themselves with false accusations and gossip at best..


With all due respect, I am deeply involved in witnessing my faith. I am involved in church governance. I was a delegate at the '03? convention when it took Gurgel several ballots to gain reelection.

I have aired some big issues and concerns that I have with doctrine and practice here and elsewhere. I have contacted, personally, each person that I have taken issue with.

I, strongly, believe that there is a need for the laity to take a watchdog stance in the synod. Do you prefer that the laity stand on the sideline and becoming cheerleaders for the clergy?

Do you think it is wrong to use a Baptist sermon as a sermon source and quote?

Do you agree with the practice (church growth) direction that Church and Change promotes?

You note that we need to work on some areas. But you don't like when specific examples are given.

For some reason this blog does have a following.

Pastor in Colorado said...

Bespoke-You have proved my point and it took only one blog to get there. You have directly accused me of being unfaithful to the Word. I am not able to comment on Pastor Parlow. I have not talked with him in person and so I will work through those lines of Matthew 18 and our Synod Constitution. My question is...have you or is your process to hear what others have said and jump on the bandwagon. I realize you have seen the sermons in question, but have you talked with Pastor Parlow? It would be good for anyone who is accusing Pastor Parlow of wrongdoing to speak with him personally (and am sure some have, but others have not based on what they have said).

John-You have chided me for a generalization that I placed on this blog...I did so with good reason as that is what you and many else have done by using terms like "synod" and "wels pastors" as I did by mixing you in wtih laity. Please forgive me for offending you. I am pleased you are taking an active role in the Synod and church. With that said, if I say that I conduct contemporary services or use powerpoint sermons do you then label me "church growth"? If I speak up for others who apparently are not even aware that their names are being mudslinged here..."welsbot" and the like.

John, here are some of my issues and some of them will be directed to our laity as I see it from the other end.

1) Church discipline-Our churches have become quite laxed in this progress. I can find a few reasons for this: a) Lack of training our elders and other spiritual leaders, b) Lack of understanding by the congregational as it is an act of love, c) pastor[s] laziness in his duties...
2) Use of blogs-This has become quite an avenue to vent our frustrations. I think (from what I could gather) is to discuss how to better serve the Lord and his church, but the goal has been lost. This should never replace talking to the individual or group in person. John, I know you have not, but I question others and I think you could encourage others to do this before allowing Pastor Parlow's name to be thrown around and then say...I will contact him....damage has already been done.
3) Roles of men and women-it appears that this needs to be relooked at so that we can see what passages are prescriptive and descriptive (from what I could tell in this blog-you might want to hang Paul in the town square for his use of women in the church). There seems to be much confusion at this time.
4) Church Growth vs Contemporary Worship-these are two completely separate things. I think again clarity needs to be shared and some understanding so that we don't label our pastors wrongly and in many cases this blog has.

Finally, John, this website is to discuss issues, but I see a lot of mudslinging. This site has become very political because of the terms thrown around like welsbot, church growth, and the like. I have no problem discussing these things as this blog has shared some things that need to be made clearer (as clear as we can place them within the confines of Scripture). I am not asking you to shut down this site...just keep the mudslinging out of it. I certainly find reason to present some of these things in discussion at our circuit and church meetings and will do so when such opportunities arise.

John said...

Pr from Colorado,

Thank you for taking the time to lay your thoughts our clearly without "emotionally" charged language. It tells me much about your honesty and Christian passion. I do agree that the mudslinging has been a problem. (Let's see if we can leave the name calling off the blog.) I also take note that I should first contact the person before posting or allowing the post to be put up.

I would like to post your 4 points for discussion.

Pastor from Colorado said...

John,

I welcome that and it will give me an opportunity to share those thoughts with my fellow "brothers". They need to here some of this too...

Bespoke said...

Pastor in Colorado - you are very touchy. I don't need to contact Parlow and Kelm about their publication of false doctrine, just as I do not need to visit with the pope to call him a false teacher and the very Antichrist. Public false doctrine may be rebuked in public. Read the Large Catechism. No one has the time or opportunity to have a chat with all the false teachers.

Biff said...

Wels pastors, such as "pastor in Colorado" do not understand the private v. public distinction and so rather than condemning the false doctrine in the sermons on St. Mark's Depere's website (let alone the plagiarizing) they condemn those who point this out. "Pastor in Colorado" needs to learn some Lutheran theology on this point.

"Pastor in Colorado" condemns generalizations by generalizing without proof ("Finally, John, this website is to discuss issues, but I see a lot of mudslinging. This site has become very political because of the terms thrown around like welsbot, church growth, and the like."). Ergo, "pastor in Colorado" stands self condemned.

Biff

RandomDan said...

But where the sin is quite public so that the judge and everybody know it you can without any sin avoid him and let him go, because he has brought himself into disgrace, and you may also publicly testify concerning him. For when a matter is public in the light of day, there can be no slandering or false judging or testifying; as, when we now reprove the Pope with his doctrine, which is publicly set forth in books and proclaimed in all the world. For where the sin is public, the reproof also must be public, that every one may learn to guard against it.-- from The Eighth Commandment, Luther's Large Catechism

What's in a name? said...

I think a lot of the laity feel helpless.

Basically false doctrine will be support and encouraged--at least that is how it translates to many.

The "brotherhood" has got to be dismantled. I hate that word in the way it has taken shape in the WELS. Basically it means we will defend those that we "like," have the "right name" or "right connections."

I don't think the WELS is totally horrible. However, we live in a sinful world. None of us are perfect--we all sin. If we cannot analyze ourselves honestly and openly Satan will have his way in the end with us.

I just find all the babbling about fellowship to be ridiculous because we aren't following what we are preaching overall in the Synod. Honestly, I really feel the WELS and the LCMS are on the same track. Maybe Synod-wide fellowship is a thing of the past.

I am beginning to lean towards the belief that it depends on the individual church and not the Synod membership the church holds.

I could not go to Parlow's church. I disagree with their vision statemnt and their practice. It would be against my conscience.

There are several LCMS churches here though that I think are great. I think we are headed in that direction.

Anonymous said...

"For where the sin is public, the reproof also must be public, that every one may learn to guard against it."
When you rebuke a public sin publicly shouldnt the accused be present?
It seems this is the slanderers loophole. What sin is not public? unless you are alone and sin, if someone else is there it is technicaly a "public" sin.

Anonymous said...

This blog has absolutly no moderation. So John, with all due respect, you are not trying very hard to keep the mudslinging off this blog.

Anonymous said...

this is also the internet, you may have never contacted Pastor Parlow, you may not be who you say you are. Thats the stupid thing about blogs. There is no proof of anything. yet day after day you write your little posts liek this is the best thing ever. like this blog is going to change anything, oooh the sermons are off the website!! we are changing the world with our blog. really why dont you do this on MySpace, it is way more trendy then blogspot.

Anonymous said...

i know we could have the next wels convention on this blog, it would save the synod alot of money.

Anonymous said...

how many people on this blog are actually WELS members? who knows its the internet!!!

Anonymous said...

I actually appreciate the posts on here. How about those that complain post their blog site so we can see how well they are doing.

I 2nd the motion that this blog host the next cyberspace wels convention.

RandomDan said...

When you rebuke a public sin publicly shouldnt the accused be present?
It seems this is the slanderers loophole. What sin is not public? unless you are alone and sin, if someone else is there it is technicaly a "public" sin.


Taking this reasoning to it's rightful conclusion, Luther should have either brought the Pope to Wittenberg or should have gone to Rome to confront him.

Bespoke said...

The advantage of blogs is that the minders can no longer supress the facts. Kelm/Parlow posted another person's sermons as their own. That was easily shown on the Internet. Open theirs (now gone) and open the Baptist's. Compare. Oooh. They are the same. But the Baptist sermons are posted earlier, much earlier, making it impossible for the Baptist to have plagiarized WELS. And who would?

If someone posted a YouTube video of his murder of his own spouse, would you say, "He has to sit down with that alleged murderer and talk to him about his private sin"?

The only WELS discipline now is to discipline those who do not venerate WELS. If anyone dares to address false doctrine, it is always discovered to have been done with the wrong procedure, so the orthodox person is prosecuted for using the wrong procedure. And believe me, it is always wrong. And since that person has sinned against the synod, Moses, Elijah, and the Seven Dwarves, anything done against him and his family is legal. Nay, it is owed him.

This blog is neat because it reveals the rotten underbelly of synodical politics. Thank you pastor in Colorado (or Green Bay).

Anonymous said...

"Taking this reasoning to it's rightful conclusion, Luther should have either brought the Pope to Wittenberg or should have gone to Rome to confront him."

Wasnt Luther in contact with the catholic church. Either through letters or talking with a representative of teh church, a Cardinal maby? since Luther was not just exposing the popes sin but the whole cathiolic church i think that it is a different situation.

Anonymous said...

1) Parlow knows what he did. He did it. Moreover, he has been contacted. What more do you say is required?

2) It isn't Slander or False Witness if it is proven to be true. It has been proven to be true.

3) Aren't we instructed to mark and avoid false teachers? How can we mark them if we can't tell people what they have done?

Jay said...

I read on another post that he sermon thta Pastor Parlow may have used was from a site that may offer seromsn to use, and that the baptist paster may have done the same thing with the same sermon, could this have happened and should we call off the lynch mob if it is true?

RandomDan said...

Jay,

So it,s OK for Lutheran Pastors to use Baptist sermons?!?

Anonymous at 6:40 from Yesterday (since you refuse to take a pseudonym), yes, it is possible for this passage to be abused. It's also possible for me to have drank all the beer in my house, but I didn't. I had one. Just because something might be abused does not suddenly mean that the principle is wrong. It means people are sinful.

Tico said...

Church and Change/ Church Growth enthusiasts like to liberally use Paul's words "I have become all things to all people" to mean any means to justify the ends. Or as Church Growth guru and well read by WELS clergy, C. Peter Wagoner would put it in his 1976 "Your Church Can Grow" book p. 137 He says..."We ought to see clearly that the end DOES justify the means. What else possible could justify the means? If the method I am using accomplishes the goal I am aiming at it is for that reason a good method...."
So, radnomdan, yeah I think it is justifed in the minds of some that a Lutheran minister could use a Baptist sermon with no problem at all. I of course completely disagree with that horrid thinking.

Also to all who are calling for personal confrontation over public sins etc....Rev. Parlow does not readily respond to personal letters asking questions from people that have voiced concern over some of his practices. I know, since I have been waiting for one well over 7 months in reply to a public issue/disgrace during a worship service. I would not have had to have pointed it out privately. I could post it since it was public. It is not likely that I will ever get a response. The things I pointed out in my letter are indefensible and thus his silence confirms my accuracy in rightly pointing out the error. It is unfortunate. I would have rather been shown that I was in error and be the one wrong in my judgement.

Tico

Sam said...

The WELS teaches the word in truth and purity.

Parlow and Kelm are WELS.

Parlow and Kelm teach the word in its truth and purity.

You cannot argue with this, it is a Synod rule.

Andre 2000 said...

Sam

But what if these fellows don't preach the Gospel in a sermon (as they have so done) isn't that the worst of false doctrines?

Kindly,
Andre 2000

Sam said...

Andre 2000,

They do not teach false doctrine. They are in good standing in the WELS and the WELS practices doctrinal discipline unlike the Missouri Synod, therefore they do not teach false doctrine. You must be confused.

Sam

WELSBOT said...

Sam,

That is the kind of dangerous rhetoric that makes WELSbots, like me, short circuit.

WELSblartfdd....

Anonymous said...

I encourage everyone here to go to the following link
www.erwm.com and look at some of these terribly frightening articles.
Here's a teaser from Sermons for sale on that link. You read the rest of the article.

"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.

It goes on.

Anonymous said...

I thought all WELS pastors were supposed to "do the Greek and Hebrew" for any scripture used in their sermon. Was that an urban legend of our pastors? I can't believe what is going on!!

PCK said...

"I thought all WELS pastors were supposed to "do the Greek and Hebrew" for any scripture used in their sermon. Was that an urban legend of our pastors? I can't believe what is going on!!"

So you allow the actions of a few color your opinion of all WELS Pastors? Way to paint all our synod's pastors with a wide brush and put the best construction many faithful men who you've likely never met.

No need to respond to me..I won't read it.. said...

PCK, right on!

With that said, I think the WELS has it all wrong.

We are so concerned about being right, we forgot that we have to reach the world. We are so hung up on worship practices and slick gimmicks (both for those who like them and those that don't)--that we lost our focus.

What about love? What about Grace? Do those thing not matter? Oh yeah, I forgot--if you say the word "love" you are a gnostic and/or a bleeding-heart liberal. My bad. I guess "Love thy neighbor" was just a liberal idea that should have been hacked out of the Scriptures.

Again, so sorry...my bad...

Anonymous said...

re: on January 23, 2008 9:07 PM

Sam said...
The WELS teaches the word in truth and purity.

Parlow and Kelm are WELS.

Parlow and Kelm teach the word in its truth and purity.

You cannot argue with this, it is a Synod rule.
****

You are joking, right?

Jen said...

So this morning I poured myself a cup of coffee and decided to read some of the new posts before I get ready for church. As I read, I start feeling some pangs of guilt. I quickly realized what they were. I felt bad for reading a list a gripes from a source(or at least some of its posters) that seems to find more joy in "the art of arguing" and finding fault with their Christian brothers or sisters than focusing on the real reason for why God has put us here. So I thought for awhile about who put me here (God), why he put me here (to glorify him and carry out the Great Commission in Matt. 28:19), and where I am going (heaven). So remembering now that I am heavenbound, and equipped by God with a job to do, it now seems kind of silly to sit here and try to think of ways to defend my fellow called workers. Not that they don't need encouragement, this blog bears proof of the scrutiny that called workers face. I decided this morning I would take advice from the Bible and focus on what matters. I remembered a Bible passage from a faculty Bible study this week that seems so appropriate for what I encounter here...so I suggest this morning that we all "dig around" at Biblegateway.com and look up Phillippians 4:8 instead of raking through church websites in the hope of finding error.

Jen said...

Some things to consider...As I was researching the Internet, I found that the possibility of plagiarism in sermons is a widely debated topic. Much of the debate centers around the major difference between a sermon and an academic paper, copyrighted material etc.....(a paper is an assignment in which you are required to put forth original thought along with a collection of cited references...is that what a sermon is...what is our definition of a sermon?..)obviously our pastors have been trained in writing sermons and to read a previously written sermon verbatim is, of course, not what they have been instructed to do...however, as far as plagiarism goes...is this such a case?...some of the sermon material in question is available online at various websites...a popular site for obtaining sermons is sermoncentral.com(when I say common...I mean common amongst those who use the sites...not necessarily common among WELS pastors)...here is what they say about use of their sermons:
Proper Use
The content and software on this Site is the property of SermonCentral.com and/or its contributors and is protected by international intellectual property laws. Accordingly, you agree that you will not copy, reproduce, alter, modify, create derivative works, or publicly display any content (except for your own non-commercial use in your church) from SermonCentral.com.

I don't believe any WELS pastor has received money for the use of borrowed sermon material and I don't believe any pastor has actively passed off or tried to convince others that the intellectual property in question was authored by them so I think it is obvious that this is not plagiarism....however, based on the reaction it has received it would be wise in the future to take extra measures to cite its source in some way.....whether or not another's sermon should be used in place of writing your own would be another debate entirely...personally, I believe it is at times appropriate and at others it would not be appropriate...no black and white answer...certainly to use only the sermons of others would not be appropriate...another thing to consider is the fact that it is God's Word that is being preached...the words of man are used to deliver the message, but the true power is in the Word of God....these are simply my opinions on the matter based on what I have researched...feel free to bring my attention ideas I have overlooked...

RandomDan said...

Jen,

Is it OK for a pastor in the WELS yo invite a Baptist into the pulpit to preach to his congregation? If not, then why do you think it's OK for Pr. Parlow to invite a Baptist's words into the pulpit with him? It is what a Baptist preacher confesses and teaches that should keep him out of the pulpit. Yet, by using a Baptist resource, he allowed a Baptist to teach and preach to the congregation. Would anybody like to tell me how this is a good thing?

As far as I'm concerned, what Pr. Parlow did is no better than what David Benke did at Yankee Stadium.

Anonymous said...

Jen said:

"however, as far as plagiarism goes...is this such a case?"

Jen,

Outlines of all three sermons are availabe on-line at a Baptist megachurch's website.

The Lutheran Pastor that preached from these outlines and posted "his" sermons on the St. Marks website did not say that he didn't write these sermons. As you said, pastors writing their own sermons is the norm. When they don't do that, they need to tell their congregation.

There are a few issues here, and I'm not sure everyone sees that.

First, there is the plagiarism issue. If you preach a sermon you didn't write without disclosing that you didn't write it, that is plagiarism. It isn't criminal, but many consider it to be intellectually dishonest. Now, if the pastor had said, "The sermon I am preaching today was originally writen by _____," there would be no plagiarism issues.

The second issue is copyright law (only the creator or original material has the "right" to "copy" it--the "copyright"). When you disclose your source, even if you copy it verbatum, no one can rightly accuse you of dishonesty. However, unless you have permission to copy someone elses original work, you may be infringing on their legal right to refuse or grant persmission to copy it. As you said, some debate whether or not sermons should really be considered copyrighted materials. I don't know the answer to this, but it is still a potential issue. Again, it is not criminal, but it can expose you to civil liability, evn if you don't profit off of it. The copyright law has statutotry penalties built into it to deter copyright infringement, irrespective of any ill gotten profits.

The third issue is the source. Even if the Lutheran pastor disclosed his source and got permission to "copy" that source, he has, in essence, invited a Baptist preacher into his pulpit. This is the point Dan makes.

A fourth issue is the quality of the copied material. Regardless of the source, these are not good sermons. Save the explanations of "hope" for bible class. The people in the pews need to hear the Law and Gospel. These sermons don't deliver either in adequate amounts.

A fifth issue is--why isn't this pastor writing his own sermons? What is going on in his life that has led him to preach someone else's sermon. The third and fourth issues are probably the most important, but this is important too. This could indicate that the pastor is either over extending himself or no longer has the desire or motivation to be the pastor of a congregation. Depending on the structure of his church, his primary goal is to feed his flock by preaching and adminstering the sacaments. Will knowing that their pastor doesn't write his own sermons or tell people when he isn't writing his own sermons give his congregation confidence that their pastor is fit to do this?

Anonymous said...

Leave Pastor Parlow Alone, he is a great preacher and does an excellent job. He knows his Bible and khows his God Too. He has done nothing wrong, his sermons have always been phenomonal and I know he takes careful time to write them on his own. When he does qoute something from somewhere, he states exactly where it came from and gives credit where credit is due. He never takes credit for someone else's work. He is not like that. He is a very caring and passionate man. He loves his God, his faith, and his congregation. his church is very important to him and always has been. So stop judging him, if you don't know him. come to one of his services, listen to his sermons, I trust you, you will be moved.