During the 2021 TMS Day for the Master’s Seminary, Chancellor John MacArthur did a Q&A with Austin Duncan, answering questions about the seminary, how they are preparing grads to preach, about the Legacy Standard Bible, MacArthur’s history of translation usage, the convictions that need to be in place before someone goes to seminary, Covid and resisting the government, and other such things. Among these was a question from the audience about Ed Litton’s plagiarism scandal.
Duncan: The intersection of pastoral integrity and a confidence in the Bible leads to expository preaching. But what we’re seeing now in a failure of pastoral integrity and a misfire in preaching is the issue of plagiarism. High-level pastors are being accused of plagiarism and using someone else’s sermons. The question is, John MacArthur, where are you getting your sermons from?
MacArthur: Well, that’s why you want to come to The Master’s Seminary because we’ll teach you how to get your own sermon.
Duncan: Talk about getting your own sermons, what did you think when you heard all that stuff about plagiarism by these pastors? Why does a pastor plagiarize, why does he use someone else’s sermon? Why does that happen? And how does it?
MacArthur: He’s lazy and incompetent.
Duncan: Well, besides that.
MacArthur: I’m gonna go third point, and unsanctified. I think you become a showman at that point. You’re an actor. You’re playing a part. You’re playing a role. And the one thing that expository preaching does, that is apart from the congregation, is it sanctifies the pastor. The relentless study of the Word of God is how God sanctifies and protects the pastor.
So when you’re just opening your iPad and reading somebody else’s sermon, you’ve never been exposed to the sanctifying work of the word, to say nothing about the fact that you’re playing a role and you’re an actor. You’re not a true messenger from the Lord.
I think for many men in ministry, there’s an unwillingness to be disciplined at that point. Because being an expositor is work, and it’s relentless work, because you got to keep doing it week after week after week after week. But it’s the most rewarding thing. There’s no honesty in a man who does that. There’s no honesty. That’s fraud, ministerial fraud.
h/t to Reformation Charlotte for the video
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