Klepto – Pirate – Plunderer. I confess. I am guilty. The new coach of the Dallas Cowboys confesses in his first press conference that he lied during his interview with owner Jerry, so I want to come clean too.
I take other people’s stuff all the time. I often don’t think about it. I am not talking about physical things like merchandise or burgling. Though I have snuck some of my wife’s desert when she wasn’t looking. I am really talking more of intellectual property.
I read a tweet thread that accused a Christian Online Influencer of taking quotes and thoughts from other people and posting them on his various platforms. The very audacity. Really? In truth, I’m not so upset. First I didn’t realize that was even a job. Where does one apply? Second, most theology, ideology, and Christian principles have been around for, well, two thousand years. Even before this, someone said there is nothing new under the sun.
When I was in seminary, one of my professors said there are really only three new things every year. Everything else is creatively commandeered, adapted, borrowed, or stolen.
WA Criswell once (kind of) said that if you use his material for preaching – do it this way. The first time say “Dr Criswell says …”. The second time say “I have heard it say …”. And the third time you use the material say “I am telling you …”. Basically, if you use it repeatedly, it’s yours too.
Note: I’m not approving of plagiarism. That’s serious stuff. I’ve done the graduate and post-grad studies and know the rules. But when do ideas and concepts cross the line to intellectual property?
Where am I headed here? What does this have to do with starting 2020 off right? That is the theme of this week. Well, I’m glad you asked.
We need to live in such a way that people would want to copy us, imitate us, and be convinced of the Biblical World View I desire to have and to put forth. Not everybody will read Scripture or Godly authors, but many people will read you.
Todd Wagner says …
For every 100 people, one will read the Bible, and 99 will read the Christian. Christians observe doctrine but the world observes Christians. If the world does not see love when they look at us, we are nothing.
That’s my challenge in 2020. Live in such a way they see the love of God . Grace, mercy, hope, humility, faith, joy, perseverance, the Gospel in action, and more. Let them copy that – no charge.
And I will strive to have integrity in using other people’s material.
What about you? If people stole the way you lived for themselves, would the world be a better place?