I know that churches are legally classified as non-profit, but what church doesn't take a collection. We have one fundraiser after another. While we don't spend the money on ourselves, someone somewhere is financially benefitting.
I couldn't remember where The Bible said I was supposed to be above reproach. I am fairly sure however, that the Bible says: "Thou Shalt Not Steal." In fact it was my understanding that I would never be above reproach. That's why I need God to forgive me. I gathered from my reading that I was supposed to be a shining light, an example of what a man should be. How do I feel about people who use my things without permission? If I were perfect, then I would be above reproach. That, however, is not the case.
The question I had to ask myself was: "Do I own this?" If I don’t own it, then obliviously, someone else does. That much is not rocket science. As a result of that, I have begun an extensive campaign to produce all original material. I'm hoping some volunteers will step up to help. Video production is a really cool ministry. And, no more copyright issues!
"I dare anyone to sue a church for using...." What the *&^% is this. We're a church, so we're above the law. Is this the message we want to send, especially to our youth. Murder is OK, not legal, but OK if you can get away with it. I could get away with all kinds of stuff, and yes I have, but I personally want to be an example of how it should be done, not what I could do without retribution. We are deep in debt as a church, go ahead and sue… that doesn’t sit with me as being the right thing to do.
Have I ever used illegal video/audio/other things? Yes, but I don't pretend that it was right. I follow the pastor in what he wants to do. I also feel the need to be the voice of conscience. If we are engaging in illegal activity, that person should know about it. I have found it amazing that the response is usually "Oh no, we don't want to do that." “The triumph of evil is not that bad men do bad things, but that good men do nothing.” I should be crediting the author of that quote, but I can’t remember who it was. Everyone involved in the ministry should be doing “the best they can do” to respect the rights do others. I think that the book says something about “love thy neighbor,” which means getting permission to use their property. If I use my neighbors shovel, I ask him first. I think that the same should be true for all property rights.
Imagine this: You showed a video, you walk out of service and see the owner of that video driving away in what was your car. Fair is fair.