The new, woke, President of the Southern Baptist Convention is having a rough start to his term. It started out with the discovery of partialism on his church’s faith statement. From there, his previous egalitarian tendencies of having his wife copreach with him were became more well-known. And then a sermon in which he minimized homosexuality was exposed, in which he claims that the Bible whispers about sexual sin.
However, the sermon which he gave drew even more scrutiny when a viral video cut back and forth between JD Greear’s infamous sermon and Ed Litton’s sermon given one year later. The video makes it clear that Ed Litton copied JD Greear’s sermon.
Ed Litton’s response to increased scrutiny has been to hide his archive of sermons. At least 143 sermons on YouTube were made private and unavailable, especially the aforementioned sermon on Romans 1. Yet in an ironic pairing of actions, Ed Litton posted a press release on Redemption Church’s website claiming that he had permission to use Greear’s sermon:
Yesterday, some questions arose about a sermon I delivered in January 2020 on Romans 1, addressing the sin of homosexuality. Specifically, there were concerns about similarities with a sermon delivered by J.D. Greear a year earlier.
Like thousands of other Southern Baptist pastors, I labor every week, preparing to stand in front of the congregation God has called me to serve. In preparation for our series on Romans, I used several resources to help me think through how to structure the series and how best to communicate the profound truths we encounter in these passages.
We employ a preaching team approach at Redemption Church that is comprised of eight men from our staff/congregation who meet weekly to discuss study insights, outlines, and approaches to the text. This sermon prep process includes working in the languages, consulting commentaries and books, and listening to strong communicators. In that process, I learned about my friend J.D. Greear’s messages on Romans and discovered what he had recently preached resonated with the direction God was leading me and our preaching team. We often consulted his manuscripts along with other resources as we prepared.
I found that J.D. Greear’s message on Romans 1 was insightful, particularly his three points of application. With his permission, I borrowed some of his insights and those three closing points. The story of Paul David Tripp was from his devotional New Morning Mercies on January 22nd. His story took place in India.
Our team also, with his permission, used The Summit Church’s chapter and verse breakdown of Romans as we mapped out our entire series. Out of a commitment to full transparency, I have gone back through all the 46 sermons in this series. I have located in some places similar illustrations, quotes or points of application. One shares the same title, and one has a similar outline.
I hold to the same study process on each sermon. As any pastor who preaches regularly knows, we often rely on scholars and fellow pastors to help us think and communicate more clearly with the goal of faithfully preaching the truths of Scripture to our congregations. But I am sorry for not mentioning J.D.’s generosity and ownership of these points. I should have given him credit as I shared these insights.
I felt it important to address this in order to provide the truth and to take responsibility for places where I should have been more careful.
I am committed to being a man of integrity and humility. I will not waver from that as I lead Redemption Church to be Christ followers and the SBC to unite around her mission.
Because Litton did not give credit, he still plagiarized even if he had permission. Ed Litton was forced to address his issue but he is covering up before other discrepancies are discovered or more instances of Woke Preacher Clips contain his preaching. It also is not normal to have a sermon collaboration team.
This is an odd scandal. Quite honestly, Ed Litton is coming off like a Southern Baptist Joe Biden with his clumsiness. He basically got caught doing a Disney live action remake on JD Greear’s infamous sermon on Romans 1. And then after admitting to using Greear’s material, he scrubbed his YouTube. This invites further questions. Why did he privatize his Romans 1 sermon? He already admitted to the plagiarism. I would argue it’s because he knows that this sermon will torpedo his legitimacy among the uninformed Southern Baptist who didn’t know Litton is a liberal. Furthermore, what is in the massive archive that he does not want expose? This goes far beyond the Romans series he did. It seems as though Ed Litton is a habitually lazy pastor who uses other people’s sermons, which is a niche industry.
Let’s not get too overly dramatic here regarding plagerism. If anyone is going to talk plagerism, everyone has plagerized the Apostle Paul.
How can anyone plagerise the WORD OF GOD? Its whole purpose is to be plagerized. Quote it, pass it on, and the only credit goes to God, not J D Greer, or anyone else.
What is the ROLE of a pastor? What’s the ROLE of an ELDER?
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
The food is knowledge and understanding.
Nehemiah chapter 8 is a great source of information pertaining to the role of a pastor, and ELDERS.
Please define “plagiarized”.
Would it not have a component of deception?
Around 1976, three speakers came to speak at Biola’s Torrey Conference. All 3 told the same story of giving a man CPR in the airport on the way there. The first sounded heroic, the second and third sounded like lies. I have never trusted a pastor’s or speaker’s ” first-hand” stories since then.
That is what “plagiarism” dies to Christianity.
You can’t plagiarize the word of God.
Now, the CPR story is IRRELEVANT to the Bible, so WHY are those “speakers” discussing CPR in the first place? I don’t recall any CPR lessons in the bible.
In my opinion on that, NO ONE should be speaking of CPR. But since they did, I’d call all of them liars, even the first speaker. Because, where did that first speaker get it from?
OR—-Were they just using the CPR as an EXAMPLE STORY, not a real life situation.
My point, WHO is speaking the WORD OF GOD here? Which speaker? ALL OF THEM? None of them? Only the first one? Only the 2nd one? Only the 3rd one?
However, you were speaking of Romans 1, not CPR. So WHAT was plagiarized from Romans 1? A CPR story?
Too bad you at too high up on your high horse to answer a simple question.
What did I ask? Simply for YOU to define “plagiarism”.
Instead you give me a sermon about what? Nothing relevant to this discussion.
You may not be able to plagiarize the Bible, but you most certainly can plagiarize someone’s INTERPRETATION and exposition of a passage.
The CPR story IS relevant to the Bible. “Thou shalt not lie.” At least two of those speakers were lying or LAX was a death trap for travelers that week. I personally doubt any those men performed CPR on anyone, possibly ever.
An “Example Story”? No, they dramatically presented it as THEIR personal, recent, first-hand experience. They gave no indication that it was an “Example Story.”
In fact, I don’t even believe you or Antonio. Why should I? I don’t know anything about either of you.
So enough of your “holier than thou” attitude.
The specific words from the Bible can not be “plagiarized” but using the words of someone else without attribution certainly is.
If you want to know about me, click my name, it brings you to my blog.
Plagiarism only has merit in a court of law, where one makes money off of someone else’s words, such as a book, or lyrics to a song; or in college when grading a school paper. In the outside world, it means NOTHING.
By the way, how do you know that the FIRST guy told the truth? You say that the other two were lying.
Why do you not question the FIRST ONE?
My whole point is that you are critiquing PRESENTATION. I don’t care who plagiarized who here. You are making an issue where there isn’t one.
And since I am holier than thou, and as Antonio said, I PROVIDE scripture for my debates. Antonio is right about that I have an agenda. My agenda is to find out WHY people believe what they believe.
Start presenting SCRIPTURE in your argument, and you might convince people something that they didn’t know before.
Like COMMUNION doesn’t exist. A Church Banquet with ethics on how to conduct yourself at the dinner table does.
The whole communion thing is a lie. But you believe it. Why? Because someone over 600 years ago decided FOR YOU, that is why.
People in the Christian RELIGION business has been LYING to you for a very long time regarding MUCH doctrines.
You are only SURFACE because you don’t like their personality, or which side of the aisle they come from.
I’ve noticed that you call people false this and false that, and that is kinda getting old.
Present a topic. Then detail what they preach, and then, with scripture, counter their claims by quoting scripture that would refute it.
I really don’t care who you are. You obviously gave a reading comprehension problem.
You seem to have all the answers. Tell them to someone else.
You are just a kid, still wet behind the ears. Yet, you know it all!? You recently revealed that you are in the process of reading thru the whole bible, meaning that you haven’t done that yet, to date. So what do you REALLY KNOW?
Can a divorced woman remarry? If so, why? If not, why? How do you know? Is adultery the only reason to divorce? If not, what other reasons might there be?
Is birth control allowed? Why?
When were YOU “created”? How do you know?
Can you answer those questions with scripture?
You are making this whole issue about PERSONALITY, as if he is a celebrity pastor, instead of the bible subjects and doctrines. It’s as if you want a preacher that is put up on a pedestal, that you can admire, and cherish, and worship. And you are disappointed that your guy didn’t win.
And now, you are calling this guy all sorts of names, including LIAR. Well, confront him face to face if he lied to you. Isn’t that what Matthew 18 tells you to do?
Heh, try replying to the right comment. Your arrogance makes you a fool. Take your holier than thou attitude elsewhere. Here’s a quarter call someone who cares.
You speak of my arrogance. That’s better than SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS, which the Bible discusses. But I’ll speak of your ignorance.
You are out of touch. Quarters don’t do much these days. Pay Phones are all but extinct. However, regarding my arrogance, at least I present scripture with my arguments.
I’m not going to call a fellow Christian a FALSE this and a FALSE that.
What you are doing is telling people that Mr. Litton is NOT A CHRISTIAN.
Who are you to make such a charge?
You got out of the Southern Baptists
That’s GREAT, AND FANTASTIC!
…but WHY? I don’t really care why, but if you left due to PERSONALITY conflicts, that’s a personal choice, not a biblical one.
You are participating in STRIFE in the church, instead of trying to avoid, or prevent strife.
Consentrate on the doctrines, and stay away from the personality issues.
Have you ever questioned a church’s “WE BELEIVE” statements? Who is WE and did WE consent to that list and what was the BASIS of that consent?
Your IGNORANCE makes you a fool, because you are trying to teach the teachers, yet you can’t teach yourself.
Just go away. You are bothersome and self-righteous. You have nothing to contribute. Go preach you hate and evil elsewhere. You are a false prophet.
You see, you falsely accuse. What is a prophet? I don’t claim to be a prophet. You don’t even know what SELF RIGHTEOUS means. My questions for you are legit. Not for you to answer me. O could care less. But you are not teaching anyone anything but how to cause strife. I’ll be gone, tho. Let the ignorant be ignorant. The bible states that!
Just go away.
I’m shaking the dust off my sandals.
Something I’ve noticed in evangelical Protestantism, the reducing God down to one’s fishing buddy, or fraternity brother. Then the Bible is a “field manual”, and becomes book worship. Look at Ed Chapman’s quoting scripture verse after scripture verse to support a personal agenda. You seem like a reasonable man, but evangelicalism is imploding and holds little credence with me.
Archives are forever. They will be reposted as those that saved them have time. And the best part is the most damning ones will go up first and be highlighted.
And it’s the DOCTRINES that matter. I’ll be honest here. I do NOT subscribe to a lot of Baptist doctrines, so even if you give me your BEST preacher, and post his BEST preaching, I’m gonna pick it apart, and show you where he is wrong is some point. And of course, your opinion will be different than mine.
Take “communion” for example.
Sounds like a lazy or unimaginative pastor got caught trying to sound better than he really is. It’s plagerism if you don’t ascribe it to wence it came, plane and simple.
And I’ve noticed the trend of wives as co-pastors has really caught on. I’d say almost all the big names are doing it as I flip through the channels.