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Copyrighting God away

copyright the bibleI was reasonably upset when I ran into a very abrasive christian threatening to sue, trying to manipulate me for trying to make some christian resources available for free.

Another person I asked if I can place his testimony online, he immediately asked for a big amount of money.

This is something that sticks like a shoe in my throat.
How can you claim to do God's work, but then restrict people from copying, reproducing your testimony and or spiritual lessons (if as you claim it is from God, why keep it for yourself?)

The copyright we want is just restrictive copyright, copyright that says - please use my stuff, just quote it in context.

Ministries like (Frontline Fellowship, Andrew Wommack, Keith Green (when he was alive), and others who freely make their information available grow more and more everyday as God promotes them.

How would the world be today, if for example when Paul run out of money, instead of going to mend nets (and tents), if he started charging for his letters, enforcing copyright? Mixing in 'sowing and reaping' little message into every little message he preach just so that he could take up a nice big offering?

If Paul formed all the New Testiment churches into a organisation so that they have to pay a levy to the leadership to help their head office getting nice new buldings, and paying the salary of the leadership?

I send Dr Peter Hammond from FRONT LINE FELLOWSHIP a letter with me complaining about all of this, this is his response:

Dear Gabriel 

Greetings in the precious Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Thank you for your letter by email 20/11.

Thank you for the link to your Prophetic Voice website. You really have put together a lot of great materials. Those are great links and downloads.

I fully agree with you, it is quite strange and counterproductive the way so many ministries today forbid anyone to copy, or forward their materials! Yes, imagine if the Apostle Paul had charged the congregations for his Epistles and told all of them not to copy them!

As a brand new Christian, 35 years ago, I was delighted to see an envelope from the Bible Society of South Africa. I opened it up with much expectation, only to be astounded that it was a legal threat to sue me for having quoted from the Bible, without their permission, in my first Gospel tract! It had never crossed my mind that I could be infringing copyright by quoting from the Bible!!

Since then, due to pressure, most Bible Societies have now relented and allowed quoting of up to 100 verses per tract, or article, without prior permission needed!

But the very concept of copyrighting, or restricting the Word of God is bizarre.

Even the wording in front of many Bibles is quite ridiculous, where it even claims that it is forbidden to store any of this publication in a retrieval system (does that forbid Bible memorisation?) or to disseminate them in any way (so is preaching now forbidden?)!

The whole idea that God gave me this song and I will sue you if you use it, is bizarre.

From the beginning of our Mission, over 30 years ago, we have determined to be a Faith Mission, we have never taken up an offering, nor have we charged for speaking engagements. I have ministered in over 35 countries, on 4 continents, well over 14,000 meetings, without ever taking up an offering, or charging anyone. Freely you have received, freely, freely give

That is why we encourage duplication of all of our resources, including books, DVDs and audio CDs and MP3.

Why place restrictions on the Word of God, or anything based on God's Word. The only copyright we ever place, is that it must be quoted in context, but to copy it as is, there is no restriction at all.

Our inspiration is the Father of Faith Missions, Hudson Taylor. He said: “God's work done God's way will not lack God's supply.”

“God's servant is God's responsibility.”

“Duty is ours, the results are God's.”

May the Lord continue to bless, guide and strengthen you.

Yours for the fulfilment of the Great Commission

 

Dr. Peter Hammond

Director

copyright gabriel

By: Gabriel Kolbe

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