Downloading and Posting Sermons on the Web
A letter from Brother James
June 1, 2007
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Once again we find ourselves in a position of wanting to explain something to gracious friends and having to defend ourselves against charges borne out of misunderstanding by those who accuse before they pray or ponder. Perhaps it would be best to just ignore these matters, but that has never been our course of action.
Some years ago a brother in Christ at the BBC took charge of our web site and has done a remarkable job of developing that site into a great source of edification for many within the body of Christ. On that site are posted all the sermons preached in our church, by myself and others. Often these sermons are up and ready for use the very day they are preached. They are free to all.
About two years ago, a man asked if he could archive the materials we posted on our site after we removed them. We told him he was free to do so. (This is a rare thing, most people do not ask and we appreciated his doing so.) We do not know this man and I do not know what is on his web site.
Last month while I was preaching in South Carolina, a dear Christian brother said that he was going to or had already posted our Zechariah study on the aforementioned archive site and asked if that was a problem. I did not know. On my return we had yet another discussion with the men of the BBC and determined — for a multitude of reasons too numerous to detail here — that we were not yet ready to go in that direction and asked that only the materials we had previously posted on our site be archived.
Apparently, there was a good deal of material on the archive site that was removed by the honorable brother who operates that site.
In response we have received not a few sincere and fair questions about the matter and a goodly number of harsh and hateful charges that we are all about money, etc.
1. There may come a day when all of our labor is posted on the web. We want to choose that day.
2. We have sent 1.9 MILLION tapes to people around the world free of charge.
- We have sent 260,000 books to people around the world free of charge.
- We have sent countless thousands of Bibles to people around the world free of charge.
- Anyone who has ever written to us for a book, tape or Bible and could not afford to pay for it has been sent what they desired.
- We have bought duplicators and printing presses for missionaries and given them our masters and they reproduce our materials all day long.
3. The price set for our materials for those who do pay for them is set so as to cover our costs. You pay for duplicating and recording equipment, printing presses, postage mailing machines (our volume is such that the Post Office will not accept our mail, we must do it ourselves), the buildings to house the operation, the staff to do the work and then tell us how much something should cost. Trust me, it is very expensive.
4. Already on the internet are:
- Books we GAVE to people being auctioned on ebay
- Tape sets being sold for double what we ask.
- Our music CDs going for as high as $65. (Even those who love the music think that’s too high.)
If we relinquish the rights to our materials there will be no way to reign in these unscrupulous individuals.
5. Of all that we send out 90% goes to people who live in abject poverty. They do not have computers, MP3 players, iPods, cars, plumbing, air conditioning, etc. Any money we do make because wealthy Americans (if you are reading this in your own home on your own computer, then that is you) send us funds to pay for their materials enables us to keep sending tons of stuff free of charge to people who could never pay for it.
We are genuinely sorry if our decision or lack of one regarding internet posting has hindered any of you in your walk with the Lord. We thank you for the gracious way in which you have asked about the changes to the archive site.
On the other hand, to those of you have responded with harsh words which can be summarized as — “You are supposed to give me all your labor free of charge because I want it and if you don’t it is because you love money and you are evil if you ask me to pay anything for what you produced.” — it was not our intention to offend you and your accusations are false. If, as you falsely charge, we took these things down because of money, would it not be fair to ask why you are angry they were taken down? Would it not be for the reason you condemn us?
We do not love money. We have proven that to any honest-minded individual who knows of our work. We are just trying to protect our material. We do not want to move forward until we see a clear course of proper action. At this time, we do not see that course.
We are praying for God’s direction and thank you very much for joining us in those prayers.
June 1, 2007
NOTE: Beginning January 2012, we grant permission to post up to a maximum of seven sermon audio files as long as you also include a link to this web site (jameswknox.org) with those files.