Monday, July 29, 2013

You shall not steal your neighbor's quotes, what is Plagiarism?

For most of my ministry I have given little thought to plagiarism.  I actually called a publishing house and asked if I could copy an outline from an Old Testament Commentary and they said; "sure no problem." It was not until Robyn and I wrote a couple of books and our material was used without crediting us that it really hit me.  Plagiarism has always been a problem in this world and also in the Christian world.  It has legal and ethical ramifications. Authors work hard and long on writing a book and editors do the same in making it fit for being published.  So please if you use the material credit the writer or preacher.

We have a study guide called CAMI (Christians Afflicted with Mental Illness).  It tells a person how to start a mental illness support group and also provides the curriculum that consists of a workbook and Leader's Guide. I know a number of persons or groups whom I suspect may be using the material and copying the pages of the curriculum to serve as their support group material

I was amazed that on Mr. Perman's article, online feedback page  that so many responses  did not agree with him about his subject.  They would have no qualms about preaching another man's sermon without giving him credit.  Many of them supported their view by saying that if a sermon is preached it is the Lord's sermon. Below is the best blog/article I have ever read on Plagiarism.  I will make sure I give credit to the man who wrote it.

We have Christian support groups on line. Would you be interested in joining? For more information please go to;!treatments/c23d3.
You can also use our contact us page and we will get back to you.!contact/cito

Overcoming Plagiarism in Preaching and Teaching

Matt Perman

Published 07/24/2013

Matt Perman from Desiring God sets the record straight on what flies and what doesn't in the area of studying other's sermons.
But second, the guidelines for giving proper credit to those we have learned from are not always clear. Hence, there is a danger that the good desire to share and spread truth will sometimes be carried out, unknowingly, through the untruthful means of plagiarism.

Defining Plagiarism

The essence of plagiarism is to give the impression that the ideas or words of another person are actually your own. This can be done intentionally (in which case it is outright theft) or unintentionally—but either way it is wrong.
The tenth edition of Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary formally defines the term "plagiarize" from three different angles:
1. "To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own"
2. "To use (a created production) without crediting the source"
3. "To commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source"
In a nutshell, you have committed plagiarism whenever you use another's ideas or words without crediting or acknowledging the source.

Committing Plagiarism

We can spell this definition out more concretely. There are basically three ways in which plagiarism can be committed:
1. Quoting someone else word for word but not crediting them as the source.
2. Paraphrasing another's words without acknowledging the author whose words you are restating. In other words, if you do not quote the person verbatim but instead just change a few words and do not give credit, you have committed plagiarism.
3. Using the ideas of another without acknowledging their source. Hence, even if you state another person's ideas entirely in your own words, you still must credit them as the source of the ideas. The only exception is when the idea is well known and has become common knowledge. For example, if I state that "it is 93 million miles to the sun," I do not need to cite a source. It is common knowledge.

The Problem With Plagiarism

The central problem with plagiarism is twofold: (1) it is stealing; and (2) it bears false witness. Obviously, both of these are unacceptable for Bible-believing Christians (see Exodus 20:15; Mark 10:19; Matthew 15:19, etc). Stealing and bearing false witness fail to love your neighbor as yourself (Romans 13:9). The words and ideas of another person are precisely that—their words or ideas.
To fail to acknowledge their source is to give the false impression that they have originated with you. Hence, plagiarism steals from another and gives a false impression to your audience. Both of these factors should be of utmost concern to the Christian, and especially pastors and teachers who should have the utmost respect for the sanctity of truth.

Overcoming Plagiarism in Preaching and Teaching

It is not hard to avoid plagiarism. All that you have to do is acknowledge the source whenever you quote, paraphrase or use the ideas expressed by another. But, of course, life almost always throws us complex situations where it is not clear how to apply a general principle such as this. Hence, it will be helpful to spell out some specific guidelines.
1. General acknowledgements do not suffice. It is not enough, for example, for a pastor simply to say to his congregation, "Once in a while I use the ideas or words of other theologians. I don't tell you every time I do it because I have reminded you from time to time not to think that everything I say originated with me." Instead, each instance of quoting, paraphrasing or using another's ideas must be accompanied by attribution to the source.
2. Detailed bibliographic data is not necessary. It is not necessary to give detailed information as to the page number, publisher of the book, date of publication and so forth when attributing a source in a sermon. It is helpful to do this in papers, but even then the absolutely necessary thing is to name the person from whom you got the idea or quote, and if possible the specific book or lecture or article.
3. Common knowledge does not need to have its source cited. "Common knowledge" does not necessarily mean that everyone in your audience knows the information. What is it then? The Purdue University English Department suggests helpful criteria. You have "common knowledge" when (1) "You find the same information undocumented in at least five other sources"; (2) "You think it is information that your readers will already know"; (3) "You think a person could easily find the information with general reference sources" (source). Hence, "Jonathan Edwards was born in 1703" is common knowledge. "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him" is not common knowledge.
4. If the original source simply cannot be found, it is acceptable to say "As someone has once said…" (Most sources, however, can be found. For online searches, is indispensable. You might also try the new "Search Inside the Book" feature at Amazon.)
5. Restatements, in your own words, of the positions of general movements do not necessarily require citation. For example, it is OK to say, "Calvinism holds X" without detailing the history of the movement or even discussing its historical origins in general. However, a restatement of the Calvinist position that follows the structure or outline or unique wording of someone else's prior work on the Calvinism would require citation.
6. The preaching of another's sermon is usually a bad idea, but is not plagiarism if the original author is clearly cited.
7. To base the structure of your sermon on someone else's sermon, but to use your own words, is plagiarism. The author on whose work you are basing the structure of your sermon would need to be cited.

Matt Perman
Matt Perman formerly served as the Director of Strategy at Desiring God. Previously, he was Director of Internet for Desiring God and led the design and launch of their website release in 2006. Matt graduated with an M.Div from Southern Theological Seminary in 2003. He has a strong background in theology, project management, general management, strategic planning and online strategy. He holds a Project Management Professional Certification and has been doing independent consulting on website strategy and workflow management for several years. Matt blogs on productivity, leadership, theology, and culture at What’s Best Next. He is currently writing a book titled What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Changes the Way You Get Things Done, which is set to be published in Fall 2014. Matt speaks in a variety of venues, including seminars at churches, conferences and workshops. Some of his previous engagements include Together for the Gospel, the Desiring God National Conference, The Gospel Coalition and the 2011 Christian Web Conference. He lives in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area with his wife and th
ree children.



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pakistani Christian sentenced to life for blasphemy

The prosecution failed to produce any evidence against Sajjad Masih. The alleged SIM and mobile were not recovered by the police, and no record of purchasing and selling in the Zong franchise was taken into the possession by the police. There was also no eye witness in this case produced in the trail court.

Javed Chaudhry Sahotra, Advocate High Court, was defense counsel on behalf of accused Sajjad Masih, who appeared before the trail court and argued the case with strong points.

The Defense council Javed Sahotra pointed out that that was the case of defected investigation according to under section 156 CrPC, Asif Nadeem , sub inspector and Aftab Saddique , inspector had no authority to investigate the case 295c. So investigation conducted by these police officers was fake and nullity in the eyes of law. But the said judge announced the life imprisonment sentence to Sajjad Masih.

ACCA TEAM and Seventh Day Adventist Church members at Pakpattan are with great hope from God that he will save His Child from the valley of death. We have been continuously praying for Sajjad Masih, his defense counsel, Javed Chaudhry Sahotra and his family. Now the door of acquittal for Sajjad Masih is going to be opened in High Court. Pastor Yaqoob Amanat, Evangelist Nadeem Hamid and other made their efforts a lot in this case.

Read original post here:
Pakistan: Christian sentenced to life in prison on accusation of blasphemy

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Saturday, July 20, 2013

We Ought To Distrust Our Moods
Tuesday, April 2, 2013 11:38 AM

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 11:38 AM
In the early 1900s, J. Gresham Machen faced intense spiritual struggles – he was asking some deep questions about Christianity. There were three people who helped him through it: Francis Patton, Bishop Blougram, and his own dear mother. Here’s what he said of his mother - how she helped him through his spiritual struggles.
“Another thing used to be said to me by my mother in those dark hours when the lamp burned dim, when I thought that faith was gone and shipwreck had been made of my soul. ‘Christ,’ she used to say, ‘keeps firmer hold on us than we keep on him.’”

“That means, at least, when translated into worldly terms, that we ought to distrust our moods. Many a man has fallen into despair because, losing the heavenly vision for a moment, passing through the dull lowlands of life, he takes such experience as though it were permanent, and deserts a well-grounded conviction which was the real foundation of his life. Faith is often diversified by doubt, but a man should not desert the conviction of his better moments because the dark moments come.”

“But my mother’s word meant something far deeper than all that. It meant rather that salvation by faith does not mean that we are saved because we keep ourselves at every moment in an ideally perfect attitude of confidence in Christ. No, we are saved because, having once been united to Christ by faith, we are his forever. Calvinism is a very comforting doctrine indeed. Without its comfort, I think I should have perished long ago in the castle of Giant Despair.”

Found on page 561 of Machen’s Selected Shorter Writings.

From:Steve Bloem
Have you read the book by my wife Robyn and I called, Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like
You're Losing.  For more about it,


Monday, July 15, 2013

Nigerian Christians suffer terribly, yet they remain faithful

Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego ; then these men were brought before the king.   Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up?   "Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire ; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands ?"   Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire ; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king"But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up."   Daniel 3:13-18. These  three young men who were far from their devastated home land (Judah) and were some of "the best of the land," did not hesitate to put there lives on the line by refusing to bow to the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar. It was prohibited by the second commandment of the Law given to the Israeli nation on Mount Sinai.

In like fashion, many believers in Christ across the world do not hesitate to choose Christ over man's affirmation and praise. Today we have a few words about Nigeria.

Your church probably doesn't have armed guards at the gate, checking each vehicle as it enters the parking lot.  In fact, your church probably doesn't have a gate at all.
In Jos, Nigeria, which sits on the fault line between mostly Muslim northern Nigeria and the predominantly Christian south, churches without guards or gates are easy targets for the Islamist Boko Haram terrorists.  Earlier this year,  Boko Haram warned all Christians to leave norther Nigeria.  They've backed up their threats with repeated attacks on churches, police stations and government buildings'

For Christians in Nigeria, Hebrews 12:1--- we are surronded by so great a cloud of witnesses"-- has deep significance.  The word witness in this verse is translated form the Greek "martys," or "martyr."
The Voice of Martys helps protect God's witnesses in Nigeria by providing tools for evanglesm, support for Christian workers and medical care for those injured in attacks
We know that guards and gates are not our ultimate protection and that we must often relinquish our earthly "safety" in order to be faithful witnesses.  Yet we also know that we are assured of God's supernatural protection.  His witnesses have the protection of angels and a legacy of victors in Christ who has gone before them.  And ultimately , we have the assurance of eternal protection in heaven.
As you drive your church parking lot this week, unhindered by guards or gates, please remember in pray for God's witnesses in Nigeria, our brotghers and sisters in Christ.
Voice of Martyrs, In God's Underground, Special issue 2013.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lindsay Bloem

This was an imaginary conversation I had with the Lord after a very difficult trial of my faith.
It was as if the Lord and I were sitting knee to knee looking deeply into each other’s eyes, holding hands and He said, “Robyn, I have something I want to ask you.”

“Oh, sure, LORD, anything!”
“No, this is serious and I want you to think about it before you answer.”

“Lord, You know me; I’ll do anything!”
“It is going to be very difficult for you.”
Well…Okay...But if I go through this--where will You be?
“I’ll be right there with you.”
“You’ll help me, right? Like you always have?”
“Yes. I love you and I will help you through it.”
“If I get afraid, can I come and talk to you?”
“Of course!”
“If I don’t understand something or if I need help, can I come find you and get advice from you?”
“You know you can always come to Me.”

“Well, what if I change my mind? Can I undo the thing I am agreeing to?”
“No, you won’t be able to do that.”
“But You will always be there, right? You will never leave me or forsake me. You said that in your Word.”


When“Well then, LORD, I will do it. I trust you.”
And He did. He took our precious daughter and granddaughter on Sept 11. 2001.
I wrote this and read it at their funeral on Sept. 17, 2001
“If tomorrow is my only hope, then my hope is in the wrong place. We need to learn God’s secret of life; joy in the wilderness, joy in the desert and joy in prison.” (Pastor Truman in last night’s sermon)
There seemed to be a connection to me in my own life and experience with Christ.
Thank you, Pastor, for your excellent preaching and teaching and your ministry to my heart! R.
By Robyn Bloem Coauthor of Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You
Feel Like You're Losing It.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Christian Social Ministry and Jesus Christ

Philosophy of Teaching by Rev. Steve Bloem

I like what Phillip Brooks said, preaching is the communication of God’s truth through the preacher’s personality. I believe the same thing could be said about teaching.  If I merely assent to the truth and have not been a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4), then my teaching will have little effect on those I teach.  I am responsible not only to know my subject but to have lived it. One thing I am sure of is that I know a great deal about the subject of Christian Social Ministry and I have spent my life putting  what I have learned it into practice.

Schooling and Training are Important.
My academic schooling has given me an excellent foundation and the tools to have a godly social ministry. These have  included a bachelor of arts, a master of ministry, social work classes at the graduate level and years of on-the-job training. When I went to school good Biblical preaching was abundant, and my Bible/Theology professors were the cream of the crop.

God's preparation for my ministry
I have had many opportunities in pursuing my vocation to learn from pastors, psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, nurses, parole officers and others. When the great pastor Charles Spurgeon was asked how long he had prepared for a specific sermon, he replied, “All my life.”   God began His work in me when I was sixteen years old.  I discovered that I had pastoral teaching gifts along with the gift of mercy. God never wastes time or training.

Present ministry is a result of previous training.
 My present ministry with Heartfelt Counseling Ministries and our book,  Broken Minds Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You’re Losing It  are a testimony to that above truth.I believe that the teacher should know more about a subject than the student. I am not saying that he cannot learn from a student. But the New Testament informs us that teachers will be held accountable for whom they teach and what they teach. (James 3:1-2). Our Lord Jesus said a pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher, (NASB, Luke 6:40.) The Greek word for trained is katartizo, which in its translation expresses the ideas of being complete, equipped, mended, fully trained prepared and restored.

Social work and Action flows from the Risen Christ
The stream of social action flows from the Risen Christ and His church to His world.  Jesus Christ is our model. and example. As the Scripture tells us: You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.  Social ministry begins with God and the perfect God/Man-Jesus Christ. This Savior  came into His creation to the market place of sin and slavery and shed His blood for them. He died for them and in their place.   Born again Christians are to love sinners and believers the way that our Lord Jesus did.

Jesus Christ is the foundation of Christian Education.

I believe that the Lord Jesus Christ should be the foundation of Christian Education.  Colossians 2:2-3 states, that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (NASB).
Pastors are to be equipping the saints in church for ministry;  Paul said to the Ephesian church; And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping(Katartismos) of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.(Ephesians 4:11-13. NASB)..  Galatians 6:10 tells us; Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
 To be continued

Link - Our website www.heartfeltmin.


 Robyn and I have written a book Broken Minds, Hope for Healing When You Feel Like You're Losing It. It is published by Kregel Publications. We tell our story. We also deal with biblical matters and mental illness and some technical points. You can get it on Kindle and other digital formats. If you would like to see what some are saying about it. Please go to