And when it shall come to pass that thy church shall be blessed with a photocopy machine such as is meet to replace the old mimeograph that is held together with duct tape then shall thy heart greatly rejoice and be glad. For in that day thou shalt not cease to make as many copies as is pleasing to thee of whatever happens to be lying around. Spare not to copy sheet music and Sunday school materials and Christian school curriculum and whatsoever thy hand findest to do. For thou art a ministry and this is not thievery but merely good stewardship.
Of thy software also feel free to make many copies, one for every computer in thy office and in thy home and in thy missionary’s travel trailer parked out back of the church lo these six weeks. For in the day that thou shalt actually pay money to Microsoft for its office then verily thou might start paying for everything else. For thus saith the scriptures: “Be fruitful and multiply” and we’re sure that applies somehow or other if you think about it long enough.
But of the enforcement of copyright we do have this sure word: it is really useful for taking down websites that share two minutes and thirty seconds of publicly available video of what your pastor was up to in chapel this week. So shalt thou smite thy enemies on the hip and thigh and show them that you are a force to be reckoned with.
Today we’re featuring a guest post by Kind of Bored. He’s a man who needs no introduction so I’m giving him none.
Romans 13: â€œLet every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of Godâ€¦â€Â Â If you read the KJB extra-carefully, youâ€™ll see that thereâ€™s a loophole for photocopying something that will really, really enhance the ministry. (Itâ€™s right there next to ignoring speed limits, the list of English common-law precepts that weâ€™d really like to see recognized today and the invalidity of the 16th amendment.)
You see, the Great Commission involves ministry, and ministry requiresÂ Â materials. We ought to obey God rather than men, amen? It doesnâ€™t matter if the â€œDO NOT COPY THIS, YOU DIRTBAG!â€ watermark on the sheet music (and thereâ€™s something wrong about a publishing house understanding the need to bother with those on â€œChristianâ€ materials) was made by a web press or a Xerox copier; itâ€™s how many souls are saved and spirits are uplifted. Itâ€™s a fascinating mix of sanctified pragmatism at best and downright Boss Hogg thievery at its most blatant.
Granted, there are many churches that obey the law and procure their materials the ethical way; there are also current and former choir members who have ministered while singing from a sheet of purloined music and lyrics. (What would happen if a choir member or Sunday school teacher would refuse to sing/teach using ill-gotten materials? Hmm.)
Illegally downloading U2? A peck of sin. Getting a sample from a music publishing house or Regular Baptist Press and making 60 copies? Fiscally responsible ministering, brother! Oh, and bonus points are awarded if the song/lesson centers on holiness, honesty or integrity.