When Did We Lose “Sexy”?

Orginally published on Thursday, February 26, 2009 at 9:18 AM
by Todd Rhoades

Your thoughts? When did we lose sexy? Where did he/she go? And how did the church find him/her?

This post has been viewed 1158 times so far.

  There are 39 Comments:

  • Posted by

    Not my idea of a great ad.  Looks like they are trying to reach Justin Timberlake:)

  • Posted by

    Sexy hasn’t really been gone, I just been on vacation.

    I don’t know, this looks like an idea that blends Austin Powers and Justin Timberlake.

  • Posted by

    Just another diversion and amusement by trying to use sex as a hook to draw people in.  Nothing out of the ordinary here.

    Although, this church in question has been having a bad run recently of plagiarizing other sermons and content outright.  Just google, “Pine Ridge Church plagiarism,” and see what comes up.  Even this sermon series appears to have been borrowed from Gary Lamb’s church.


  • Posted by carl thomas

    I think that throwing the word sex in every series title to attract attention is silly. 

    btw, I am no fanboy but the pastor of this ad actually works with Gary Lamb on sermons.  He has said so on his blog.

    I would not want an accusation like that floating around about me and you might want to moderate the comment that brings the charge.

  • Posted by

    “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed...” When the church reflects the world to win the world, there is no need for anyone to get out of bed on Sunday morning, because we don’t appear to be any different from the rest of the world that they are already living in. 

    If Jesus is our model, I just don’t find any teaching where He begins with the “blessed are the sexy...” Or, “go into the world and be sexy to win the lost...” In my opinion, this is the problem, not the solution: the church is being transformed by the world, and it’s not vise versa.

  • Posted by

    carl thomas:

    “I would not want an accusation like that floating around about me and you might want to moderate the comment that brings the charge.”

    Unless, of course, the charge has merit.  And since Tadd Grandstaff of Pine Ridge Church gave a partial apology last week in front of the congregation, I would say that my accusation was totally backed up by evidence.


  • Posted by

    This sermon series originally started with Steven Furtick’s Elevation church. Not only did Tadd Grandstaff plagiarize the sermon he outrighted lied in the sermon and used a personal illustration from another pastor and claimed it as his own. So, Tadd told a story in first person that NEVER happened to him. This is outright lying. Worse, it is a deliberate rehearsed lie. He only apologized AFTER he was caught. Apparently he didnt feel the conviction to come clean for lying in the first place.

    more examples of pragmatic, the ends justify the means, drawing a crowd mentality that plagues the church today.

  • Posted by Todd Rhoades

    OK guys… got it.

  • Posted by Pastor Dan

    Nothing wrong with using other’s ideas in your own creative process but when you use someone else’s personal illustration word for word down to the kind of snack you had it is simply unfathomable.  However it happens, and those that choose to do are responsible to God and their congregations.  Doesn’t really matter what I think or say - I have enough to focus on with what God wants to do in my own life.

  • Posted by

    So, what do they do to “bring sexy back” ?

    Dancing Girls?  It’s a big claim, inquiring minds want to know.

  • Posted by

    I’ve seen it said by a number of pastors that it’s perfectly fine for others to COPY their material. In fact a number of churches have staff members promoting their material for reuse. So that has to make it right.


    If you are called by God to shepherd people and don’t have it in you to devote your time to preparing a sermon/ message .... then it’s time to step down. I repeat, if you have to “BORROW” a sermon or an entire series then STEP DOWN !!!

    Somehow pastors make time to attend umpteen conferences a year (I couldn’t imagine requesting time off for more than one in my secular job!!!) line up extra curricular speaking engagements, write books (or more like recycle the last 15 books you’ve read), twitter& blog (yeah, call it ministry but is it really self promotion? IDK?), chase after and entertain local celebrities/ powerful people in the community.

    I don’t know how a pastor can devote the time to do all those things and still be a pastor, not to mention Husband and Father which come before being a pastor.

    Is it any wonder most of the human race see Christianity as just another “racket”?

  • Posted by

    One more thing.

    When I visit a church and the worship songs are all focused on myself rather than Jesus Christ. Then that is followed by a message in which the Pastor spends the first 15 of his 25 minutes talking about himself and the last 10 talking about how I can have a better Sex life.....

    I’m in the WRONG place.

    When the Body of Christ meets we should be standing in AWE of who Jesus Christ is. Ourselves and our “improvement” in any area of our lives should be the last things on our minds.

  • Posted by Andy Wood

    My back isn’t very sexy.  But I do use my own material.  (Well, it’s really the Lord’s, but you know what I mean.)

    The local relevant church here did a spoof on the lingerie store (probably “borrowed") titled, “Victorious Secret.” I was underwhelmed.

    Some churches that try to bring sexy back may just make you believe that miracles still happen today!

    Meanwhile, there’s Jesus, asking, “I died for that?”

  • Posted by

    Jud, copying another sermon is not wrong, however lying about it is.  Your post makes some wrong assumptions. 

    First you assume pastors go to so many conferences.  I happen to know a ton of pastors and most I know never get to go to a conference.  You beat this dead horse too much and it shows an ignorant bias.

    Secondly, you wrongly assume it takes no work to use another persons sermon.  Using another sermon is actually more work for me.  I spend about 25 hours a week per sermon but when I have used someone elses it usually takes me another 4-8 hours checking context, defining words, making sure that the style fits me as a preacher.  Your assumption again come from an ignorant bias.

    You write so totally out of touch with the modern day pastor that it shows how incredibly ignorant your bias is. 

    As a pastor you are offensive and rude.  I am glad you work a secular job because your understanding of the church, pastors and what pastors do, you are to ignorant of pastoral leadership to do it well.

  • Posted by

    Condescending much?

    Plagiarism is the norm for modern day preaching? Really? Come on. Where has the integrity gone? Remember being beyond reproach. Once upon a time, pastors took that biblical qualification seriously.

    Here is an article on sermon plagiarism:


    AND, i see you totally left out the part where Tadd Grandstaff intentionally and willfully lied to his congregation. Makes one wonder how many times Tadd has stood before his congregation and lied when delivering his sermon. You see that is the problem with copying others work. It speaks to credibility, integrity, and general effectiveness when a pulpit “hireling” is caught lying.

    Reading another person’s sermon verbatim is wrong. People like Leonard are giving people like Tadd license to continue this shameful practice.

    Again, it comes down to the pragmatic, ends justify the means culture within the church growth culture and it ultimately shows that they do not believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and they think that God needs their cleverness and gimmicktry to regenerate souls.

    Leonard, I think you doth protest too much.....

  • Posted by Scott Hobbs

    Wow.  Touchy subject.  Certainly there is something for discussion here, but it does make me want to shout, “same team, same team!”

    Seriously though, I think we do press so hard sometimes as preachers to give a “fresh” word that it becomes more of a process of “one upping” the last one we did, than simply delivering what the community of believers simply need to hear.  No matter what the package is wrapped in, at the end of the day it is the content of that package that is most important.

    Am I a fan of crass or suggestive branding?  Nope.  Do I believe that our creative packages can mislead or mis-communicate the message? Yup.  However, taking the message we have and presenting it in an engaging way that speaks the language of a culture (local, regional, or international) is not only wise but can be very effective.  The truth is, making disciples (prime directive here - see Matt. 28) dosen’t happen from the pulpit anyhow.  It is a daily intentional process of walking out faith in the context of Christian community.  The pulpit gives us an encounter/starting point with people.

    I have heard it said, “All good preaching is plagiarism, God wrote the book.” smile

  • Posted by carl thomas

    Really appreciate your comments Scott. 

    I am not for the crass or suggestive branding either.  People pick on them because they are easier to point out than the uninspired, nonanointed, and completely useless “3 points and a poem” sermons that are preached week in and week out the world over.

    And no doubt, some of those sermons are plagiarized!

    and Todd, are your comments normally this acrimonious?  The waters are pretty bitter here.

  • Posted by Scott Hobbs

    Just further food for thought . . .

    Philippians 1:15-18 (New International Version) (Cut and pasted from http://www.biblegateway.com wink )

    15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.[a] 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    Here is a link to a good article from the Stewart Avenue Church of Christ related to this passage:


  • Posted by

    Sorry Todd, I am not helping discuss bringing sexy back, But…

    My use of the word ignorant simply means without information.  It is not an insult, it is a simple way of saying the statements Jud made about pastors and the use of others sermons are coming from a bias that lacks information. 

    Sam, please do not twist my words...I did not say plagiarizing is okay, I said nothing about Tadd.  I did however say that to copy was okay but lying about it is wrong. 

    So if you want to respond to what I said, at least have the integrity to respond to something I did actually say.  Thanks. 

    To use another persons sermon has no biblical restriction whatsoever.  The apostles used Jesus sermons, they simply spoke what they saw and HEARD. 

    You guys simply come from an uninformed (ignorant) bias.  You make huge assumptions based upon your disgust with pastors and churches that are uninformed.  Your history of interaction here has gotten both of you blocked before, yet instead of learning a more civil way, you just keep coming back to attack. 

    This article is not about plagiarism, CS brought that into it.  This article is about a series that I think all so far have said in one way or another “I don’t think so...”

    Jud, you use the actions of one pastor (Tadd) to attack many pastors.  That should stop or go away. to another site where you can all attack and pat each others backs. 

    Sam, I don’t have the power to give Tadd a license to do anything.  I think he was wrong, apparently so did he because he went back and said so.  His apology was probably good enough for his church and I am certain it was good enough for Christ, why isn’t it good enough for you Sam?  Two words Sam, IGNORANT BIAS. 

    Scott and Carl, I apologize if my interaction with Sam and Jud seems harsh.  These two tend to seize every opportunity to attack pastors, large churches, leaders and to twist the words of others.  If you were to read through the posts where they have interacted you would see this as a fact of their interactions.  You would also know that each has been blocked in the past for that.  To get blocked from this site takes a lot as Todd has a pretty gracious approach to letting people interact and respond.

  • Posted by


    “His apology was probably good enough for his church and I am certain it was good enough for Christ, why isnít it good enough for you Sam?  Two words Sam, IGNORANT BIAS.”

    I listened to the apology.  It sounded more like Grandstaff was saying, “I’m sorry for not citing my sources,” instead of saying, “I’m sorry I took this guy’s story of what happened to him as a kid, and said it as though I had lived his life directly.” It was tangential and not direct, and I could see why some people would still call it into question.

    It was like a man who committed adultery saying, “Honey, I’m sorry I haven’t been sleeping with you,” instead of saying, “Honey, I’m sorry that I cheated on you and committed adultery.” And that isn’t a complete apology at all.

    “Jud, copying another sermon is not wrong, however lying about it is. “

    I disagree with this statement.  If you did not have permission to use the content of another person’s sermon, that’s theft.  In academia, doing something like that would get you kicked out of school and banned.  If you use the content and do not attribute it to the person who came up with it, that is bearing false witness.  It’s tantamount to saying that you innovated something when you really didn’t.  Both are morally wrong actions, and I hope this is not present in your sermons.

    I would rather that pastors do much more study on their own than using these off-the-shelf, sermon-in-a-box kits that are so widespread nowadays.  It helps prevent plagiarism, and forces them to get into the Word to see what the Holy Spirit would have them to say.  And, it also stops these stupid sermon series like, “Bringing Sexy Back,” from circulating around so much.


  • Posted by

    Leonard, using another person’s sermon does have a biblical restriction. it is called “bearing false witness” and it speaks to the biblical requirement of a pastor of being above reproach. Maybe you are just “ignorant” about these biblical requirements about delivering a sermon.

    If a pastor chooses to use another person’s sermon then he should tell the congregation that he is doing so. This removes any reproach that may come his way and keeps his integrity intact. There is nothing wrong with using resources but just cite your sources. The expectation of the normal congregation of a pastor is not someone that comes in and downloads a sermon and reads it to them. Most expect the pastor to be in the Word preparing what God has in store for that particular local church.

    My “assumptions” on plagiarism come from an informed point of view because i was a member of a church where it was found out that the pastor for 3 YEARS was downloading Rick Warren sermons and then passing them off as his own as well as using personal illustrations in first person that NEVER happened to him. This means he was lying on a regular basis. Preparing rehearsed lies and delivering them twice on Sundays. When this pastor was caught, he said he did nothing wrong and continued in a pattern of lies, deceit, and manipulation that led to his resigning after 3 months. So, Leonard, please stop patronizing me.

    Tadd, only apologized AFTER he was caught. It wasnt borne of conviction. Like a child caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He had little choice BUT to apologize. How many times has he lied to his congregation in the past? He has biblically disqualified himself from the role of pastor. But yet, it is his congregation that is “ignorant” of the biblical qualifications of a pastor. Shame on his staff as well. But they dare not say a word or they will disturb the gravy train. AND you dont know if it was sincere repentance on his part and therefore you have no idea what his standing before Christ on this issue is. Neither do I. So lets not make “ignorant” statements about Tadd and his apology.

    Leonard, I was never blocked. Again, your “ignorance”. I willingly disengaged in some discussion per others requests but i was never unable to post on here.

    I guess it is your “ignorant bias” on display that causes you to think otherwise

  • Posted by carl thomas

    Here is my last comment on this thread. 

    Leonard, I was not referring to you.

    Sam - Did you really make a judgment about whether or not Pastor Tadd Grandstaff was under the conviction of the Holy Ghost?  Has he submitted to you or is this a position you have exalted yourself to?  I hope this was a slip on your part and not really the uncovering of your true heart.  If it is, public repentance is in order beginning with a letter to the one you slandered.

  • Posted by Andy Wood

    Hey Todd!  Somebody hijacked your post!  grin

    Original material, I’m sure.

  • Posted by Peter Hamm

    Back on point.

    I think the billboard is a bad idea. And my back isn’t very sexy either.

    I’m forcing myself to avoid all the other stuff said here, for the benefit of all.

  • Posted by

    I didnt slander anyone. Just stated what happened.

    1. Tadd prepared a sermon by using a lie. He rehearsed this lie and then delivered it to his congregation
    2. Another blogger discovered Tadd’s lie and exposed it.
    3. Tadd apologized but like CS said he was not totally forthcoming with his apology. Tadd, in his apology never said that he lied just that he didnt cite his source.

    In conclusion, Tadd lied but only confessed to said lie AFTER he was caught up in it AND he did not totally confess and acknowledge his lie to his congregation. This kind of behavior is not consistent with true repentance borne out of conviction

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