Father Hollywood preaches at Messiah Lutheran Church, Keokuk, IA

This is really funny, actually. I preached at my first service this morning, and somehow the sermon I used got lost between services. Oops! I didn’t realize this until just before we were getting ready to go (my family came with me over to the other congregation) and I was almost running late. So, a little quick thinking (and a printer) and whammo, I had a sermon to preach at the next parish. Thanks Fr. Beane, for that fantastic exposition of the Word of God and application to the Church’s life.


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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13 Responses to Father Hollywood preaches at Messiah Lutheran Church, Keokuk, IA

  1. Pastor Beisel says:

    By the way, if anyone wants to call me a lazy pastor or rip on me for “stealing” a sermon I have this to say to you: Don’t even bother. I value the ears of Christ’s sheep too much to put them through a choppy rendition of the sermon I had prepared, and would rather preach a well-written sermon of someone else’s than deny them the wholesome loaves of God’s Word. There. Deal with it. 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    You have an uncanny knack for putting the arrow right in the bull’s-eye…

  3. Pastor Beisel says:

    You have just paid me the highest compliment of quoting me. Okay Mr. Anonymous/Winsome. I was pretty easy-going the last time. But if this hostililty keeps up, be advised, I will delete your comments.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am not the winsome you speak of nor have I ever posted a hostile comment to you.

    I apologize if you think my comment was a personal attack.

    My comment was a corrective suggestion and has multiple meanings only one of which is a ‘high compliment’. The other meanings may or may not have relevance to you. The attribute of wisdom allows you to accept that possibility or reject it.

    It is obvious you are gifted. That does not mean you are polished. May God bless the mantle of leadership He has given you.


  5. Pastor Beisel says:

    Sorry. I thought that you were someone else in the above statement, since that was a line I had used in another conversation. Forgive me for assuming that you were someone else. And thanks for your suggestions.

  6. Father Hollywood says:


    Glad to help. I think this is the first time I’ve ever been to Iowa. 😉

    BTW, I did make a slight change – it’s Trinity “5”, not Trinity “3” – which explains why your link doesn’t work. Sorry about that! My Trinity “5” sermon is there on my site – please feel free to link to it if you wish.

    Anyway, thank you for your very kind words, and maybe you can preach in the Big Easy some day. 🙂



  7. OSC says:

    I posted earlier on the dangers of plagiarism in the pulpit, but clearly this does not seem to be that. I don’t see room for the laziness argument either. If anything, it is convicting for me, because I am heavily dependent on my notes/manuscript when I preach, and would have been similarly sunk given such a situation.

    And I imagine it also proved to illustrate to your flock that pastors are also sinners, capable of mistakes. That’s a teachable moment.


  8. Pastor Beisel says:

    I’m still unclear as to how such a thing illustrates to the Church that pastors are sinners. What does borrowing a sermon have to do with sin?

    I wrote about this not because I wanted to brag about using someone else’s sermon but because I thought it was rather funny that a pastor would lose his sermon. Could I have gotten up in the pulpit and proclaimed faithfully the Word of God? Absolutely. But I particularly liked the way Father Hollywood had worded his preachment.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sermons are the Word of God, His Gospel, not the original witticisms of the pastor. Sure, you adjust the sermon to fit your style and make a comfortable delivery, but in the end it is not all about the pastor and his personality. In this way, there is absolutely no harm in borrowing sermons since the Gospel comes from God, not from the individual pastor.

    It’s a humorous thought to think of you downloading a sermon and whisking away to the service. This is not about sinful pastors, this is about a funny event.

  10. OSC says:

    Excuse me. I was not saying that its use was a sin, but rather that it points to the fact that, as sinful human beings, we are capable of mistakes that lead to, for example, the loss of a sermon in the shuffle somewhere. If the lack of clarity of my comment caused offense, I ask your forgiveness.


    Yes. This was about a funny event, not about a sinful pastor. Unfortunately the church is full of “lazy bellies” and “preachers for their stomachs’ sakes” who do not take seriously the charge to preach the Word of God, and instead make it their regular practice to simply point their browsers toward “sermonsthatpreachthemselves.com” and call it good. I’ve seen it first hand, and it’s appalling. And it’s likely happening somewhere near you. And why? Because there is this idea that there is no harm because the Gospel comes from God, so why not just save myself the hours of work and do it that way.

    So what kind of preacher is this? I’d argue a terribly poor one (this is not about the episode that Rev. Beisel related!). It belies one or more of the following:

    * A crisis of personal faith, whereby the pastor does not know the Law or Gospel of God and thusly cannot preach it.

    * Rank laziness.

    * An attitude that sees the preaching of the Word of God as nothing more than an institution that we do because we’ve always done it rather than an event that God does among His Church.

    * A pharisaical notion that plagiarism is only such regarding the written word.

    * A utilitarian approach to the Office of the Holy Ministry whereby it does not matter how it gets done but only that it gets done. Sin is ok when in service of the Gospel.

    Again, to be clear, and as I said above in my original comment, this kind of thing is not evident in Rev. Beisel’s post (I posted earlier on the dangers of plagiarism in the pulpit, but clearly this does not seem to be that. I don’t see room for the laziness argument either.). Yet there are some pretty casual attitudes about the pastoral task of preaching, and these stem from any number of reasons. I’d argue that this issue is an elephant in the living room that no one wants to talk about in Synod these days, but is happening right and left.

    Rev. Beisel,

    I do hope this extensive answer clears up my original comment.

  11. Pastor Beisel says:

    Gotcha. I misundertood. Thanks for the clarification.

  12. Arfies says:

    I know the problem you faced. In the olden days, when I had dual parishes, there were times when my sermon didn’t make the trip with me from the first parish to the second. But it wasn’t quite so difficult for me as it seems to have been for you; having worked hard on the sermon and then having preached it once, I found myself able to preach it again without the manuscript and with little qualitative difference.

  13. Pastor Beisel says:

    As I said, I could certainly have “winged it.” I have done that before for minor services such as Midweek Vespers, when there are not as many folks present.

    I found my sermon, by the way, sitting on the altar where I had laid it before I left when I was removing the Sacramental vessels from the altar to the Sacristy.

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