Top 10 Ethics Posts for 2012

In July 2010, I started the Wednesday series called “What Would You Do Wednesday!” In those Wednesday posts I try to come up with real life situations faced by Christians in order to help us think through how we might react and apply biblically based ethics. Sometimes the situations are based on actual events as people started contacting me with situations in which they have been involved. Of course, I would never reveal who is submitting these situations.

Often those who submit a situation are curiously seeking advice with a wider audience than they might have otherwise. The goal is not to definitively answer each person’s questions, but to hopefully work through biblical answers to build one another up. Hopefully, people ultimately seek advice from their pastor(s) and within their local church which is not always the easiest thing to do – I get that. Sometimes people have problem with their pastor(s) or their local church – I get that, too.

I pray that the Wednesday ethics posts are helpful and provide more than just blog fodder and more than a place to express an opinion in order to argue with others that you are right.

Below are the top 10 ethics posts for 2012 in order of popularity. The popularity of the number one post tripled that of number two which seems odd because Freemasons are not as popular as they once were.

  1. Ethics: the Deacons are Freemasons!
  2. Ethics: Baptist Professor Drinking Beer in Public
  3. Ethics: Anti-Calvinism Resolution at the Southern Baptist Convention
  4. Ethics: Prominent Pastor Plagiarizes?
  5. Ethics: Beth Moore Unexpectedly Guest Preaches Sunday Morning
  6. Ethics: Church Discipline Contract Issued
  7. Ethics: Leaving a Gospel Tract for a Tip
  8. Ethics: Seminary Student Preaches Someone Else’s Sermons
  9. Ethics: Deacons Call for Pastor to Resign
  10. Ethics: Church Member Tries to Get Rid of Calvinist Pastor

If you have been helped by any of these ethics posts here please share below. Or, if you have some how been hindered please share below.

If you would like to share an issue to be addressed for a Wednesday ethics post please contact me with the topic. I can’t promise that every single topic will be used, but I’m willing to listen in confidence.

Thanks for reading!

Let's connect!

tagged as , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Even If Ministries December 27, 2012 at 8:01 am


I was reading your email about the top 10 ethics post for 2012. I don’t know how I missed the one about Pastor plagerism but I am very passionate about it. I served under a dearly loved senior pastor that started preaching sermons that he got from sermon central, life church etc . . . I would see what he was going to preach on, find the sermon, download it: the bumpers would be the same, the words would be the same, even the personal anecdotes. Word for word, except, he would add a phrase here and there like “last night when i was studying the text, I came up with” and then he would go back to the word for word.

Integrity is important for a pastor – maybe one of the most important qualifications because without it, he can hurt the gospel message. If he is caught lacking integrity, his sin could cause the uninformed or unsaved to question God’s integrity. This is totally unacceptable!

One particular sermon he preached by Craig Groeschel as his own lead me to do some research on plagerism of sermons. The following broke my heart:

Here are my thoughts:
•It isn’t plagiarizing if you’re given permission.

I responded this this post. I did it in the most loving way i could because there were some very misguided comments on it already. The gist of my post was like this:

If you hired a NASA scientist to write a research paper for you with a signed contract saying you owned the the rights to the paper and research and tried to pass it off as your own in college and got caught, you would be guilty of plagerism – because you were taking credit for work you did not actually do!!!

I reminded him in my post that in Corintians about the point paul makes: 1 Corinthians 5:1 (CJB)
1 It is actually being reported that there is sexual sin among you, and it is sexual sin of a kind that is condemned even by pagans—a man is living with his stepmother!

A sin even condemned by the pagans . . . when believers commit sins the even pagans consider wrong . . . well, big issue and most of you understand the damage done in history to the gospel by people doing things “even the pagans even consider bad . . . ”

I then asked him a simple question . . . I said imagine you are about to hire a senior pastor. It is down to 2 candidates from their 3-4 sermons the submitted and their interviews. They are both good and likeable – equal in almost every way – a very tough choice. You find out on the day you are to make the choice that the one you want didn’t write the sermons he sent you – they were somebody else’s and he was taking credit for them as his own . . . Does he still get the job?

Craig declined my post. you can read the post here:

I have NO problem with someone sharing one or even several sermons by someone else – what I have a problem with is them taking credit for it as their own!

This story prompted me to do a spoof/parody magazine which i do sometimes when I need to deal with some of the craziness out there:

Be blessed Mark!


2 Mark December 27, 2012 at 9:38 am


It is incredible that someone would use, not only a sermon as their own, but personal stories too. Thanks for your comment.


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