The Vows of Cohabitation by Danny Murphy in The Door, January 2000
“I, John, take you Mary, to be my cohabitant, to have sex with and to share the bills with. I’ll be around while things are good, but I probably won’t be if things get tough. As the saying goes, when the grass gets greener, seek other pastures. After all, the grass frequently is greener on the other side of the fence. If you should get a cold, I’ll run to the drugstore – but if you get sick to the point where you take more than a day or two off work, don’t count on me. And, forsaking many others, I will be more or less faithful to you as long as it feels good to me. If you should ever catch me screwing around on you, remember it doesn’t necessarily mean that I no longer care for you. I will still probably want to share bed and bills with you. So help me, me.”
The Vows of Cohabitation by Craig Groeschel in Going All the Way, 2007
“I, Rick, take you Monica, to be my cohabitant, to have sex with you and to hold you responsible for half the bills. To love and take advantage of you, from this day forward, or as long as our arrangement works out. I will be, more or less, faithful to you, as long as my needs are met and if nothing better comes along. If I should break up with you, it doesn’t mean this wasn’t special to me. Because I love you almost as much as I love myself, I commit to live with you for a while. So help me, me.”
Groeschel version minus identical phrases and similar phrases.
“… To love and take advantage of you, from this day forward… Because I love you almost as much as I love myself, I commit to live with you for a while…”
plagiarism: the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person. Merriam-Webster Dictionary
“Giving credit does several valuable things. It honors the pastor or church who came up with the idea. It demonstrates humility and security. It exposes a church to other great leaders and teachers. It removes any doubt of copying.” From Plagiarizing Pastors, a Swerve blog post by Craig Groeschel, July 21, 2008.
“There was no copying of your work and our content is very different than your article. We believe that our earliest content actually predates the article you forwarded.” LifeChurch lawyer’s response to my polite complaint about Groeschel’s plagiarism, February 2014
“I feel strongly about giving credit and have done so over and over again in sermons and books. We first used this idea in a sermon illustration video, which I sincerely thought was an original concept developed before the author’s article.” Craig Groeschel as quoted in a statement in the Sarah Pulliam Bailey article for Religion News Service, June 2014.
The LifeChurch videos based on The Vows got over 100,000 views. Catholics liked it a lot. There were comments describing it as “Awesome” and “Brilliant.” In a blog post of 4/20/2011, Dr. Laura wrote, “I don’t know who created this, but it’s right on!”
Many other churches produced The Vows as skits and recorded and posted them on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. One of the more popular versions got over 13,000 views and included this attribution. “Idea completely borrowed from LifeChurch.TV. Thanks.”