Recientemente en Christianity Today se publico un articulo que tiene que ver con nuestra etica pastoral en el pulpito. Me parecio edificante y lo comparto con ustedes. Se trata de la seriedad y los peligros del plagio (el uso de lenguaje y pensamientos de otro autor representandolos como originalmemnte nuestros) de sermones. Como todos sabemos hay muchos websites que ofrecen recursos homileticos y sermones cuya intencion es ayudar en la preparacion sermonica proveyendo ideas, ejemplos y material para predicar. Sin embargo, estos websites se han convertido en una gran tentacion en el ministerio pastoral, donde sencillamemnte el “copiar” y “entregar” es habito para muchos. No hay que negar la necesidad de exponerse, nutrirse y usar la obra de otros, pero a la misma vez hay que cuidar nuestra integridad reconociendo la influencia de estos sobre nuestro trabajo. Para beneficio de todos, cito aquí una seccion del articulo y el enlace. He puesto en bold algunos principios que nos pueden ayudar.
Tools of the Trade
by Lee Dean
Preachers should turn to these resources to supplement the research they’ve already done themselves, says Brian Larson, managing editor of PreachingToday.com. “You know the text, you have your ideas, and you know what you want to convey,” he says. “Now you look for illustrations or for what other people have said to see what you may be missing. Use these resources the same way you use a commentary—to validate your thinking.”
Larson cautions that inexperienced preachers should limit their use of preaching resources because they need to learn their craft by failing, succeeding, and finding their own voice, rather than relying too much on the work of others. All preachers must avoid using the words of other preachers as if they were their own without giving proper credit.
One reason preachers look to use another person’s sermon, says Larson, is because they are inspired by the words, theology, and application of the other preacher. A second reason is that a lack of self-confidence leads some pastors to use the sermons of others so their congregations get the very best messages. A third motivation is that preachers are simply looking for a short cut.
You can preach the exact sermon of another preacher, provided you give credit. Announce it from the pulpit, print a note in the bulletin, and inform the board to avoid even a suggestion of plagiarism. If you borrow heavily from the sermon of another, adding a few of your own embellishments and illustrations, then you should also give credit. The key thing to remember, says Larson, is to never act in a way that violates the trust the congregation has in you (emphasis mine).
“Every year, we hear several stories of preachers caught in plagiarism,” says Larsen. “And without exception, their people feel as if they have been lied to, like the preacher has been dishonest and betrayed a trust. How do you keep this from happening? You give credit. There must be complete, up-front honesty.”
Another reason to avoid plagiarism is that your sermon should be a unique word for your congregation on that day. People will feel short-changed if they do not receive a message tailored for them, born out of prayer and seeking God’s direction for a word suitable for that group at that time (emphasis mine).
Can you use the sermon outline of another preacher without credit? Larson suggests that credit be given if you use an outline word-for-word. The guiding principle is the amount of your own time you put into the “borrowed” sermon. “If you do 12 hours of work yourself [on an original sermon], you should put in at least 12 hours on a sermon if you have gained inspiration from someone else,” he says. “You still need to pray through the text, adapt it, and add your own illustrations.