Issues with Preaching AI Generated Sermons
Should I Preach an AI Generated Sermon
The answer to whether you should preach an AI generated sermon is it depends and whether you are truly “called” or not. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been transforming various aspects of our lives, including communicating religious concepts. The use of AI-generated text has become increasingly popular in a variety of industries.
However, when it comes to creating Holy Ghost sermons, AI cannot be the choice of the “truly called”. Human generated sermon content is from the Throne of God while AI content is a creation of humankind. More simply – those both “called” (to preach) and with the Spirit of God are superior to a “soulless” uncalled machine.
As an Anointed Preacher, I make no apologies for the above distinctions. Scripture teaches: “try those spirits whether they be of God or not because many false prophets have gone out into the world”. Unfortunately, I know too many “not truly sent” who are “acting” as if they were. The Greek word for actor is “hypocrite” which is quite fitting. God will never send someone and not equip them for that specific mission.
The equipping to preach comes from the Throne of God, and reliance on AI, for anything other than research, should be avoided. The Bible askes the question: “how can they preach unless they be sent”? That statement is multi-faceted, but if they are not sent, they are not preaching (at least on behalf of the Lord). If they claim He sent them, and He did not, they are lying and that is not of God.
Here is the process for true called Preachers:
1. The Call: you either received “it “or not. In a spiritual sense, the phone rang or remained silent. If your motive is: “I am really passionate about helping people and making a difference”, find another outlet. True called will understand Paul’s statement: “although I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of because I was compelled to do so. Sorrow will rule my life if I do not preach the gospel”. In a spiritual sense, “compelled = called”.
2. Equipping: Luke’s gospel teaches that the Lord provides us a “mouth of wisdom our enemies cannot contradict”. Another text indicates: “power from on high equips us to be His witnesses to the entire world”. Let me be clear, we all have “dry seasons” and this website, and our human written sermon content, is for those times. However, this is a long way from never being equipped at all, and reliance on a “machine” to reveal what only God can.
3. Following through on mission: after the call, and time of equipping, it is time to, as Jesus taught: “go into all the world and preach the gospel”.
In summary, it is the anointing to Preach which provides the power. It further offers protections such as discerning whether what AI writes is true (more on that later). AI provides “facts” without context and a “clinical” presentation without power. If you do not possess God’s approval to Preach, you are also incapable of providing that power. Such people blow trumpets without ever creating life changing music.
AI Cannot Experience Holy Ghost Revelation
AI cannot experience Holy Ghost revelation because it is strictly “clinical” in function. However, it is not a “new thing” as has been suggested recently. Its first publicly available iteration was Google’s launch circa 1998. There are levels to artificial intelligence. Essentially, artificial intelligence is technology which performs cognitive tasks for humans.
Google, for instance, is the greatest “research assistant” ever conceived. Humans use Google to lighten the “cognitive” load from all forms of basic tasks. Those of us who grew up in public libraries understand just how much Google shifted the landscape!
This is crucial because lower levels of AI, such as Google, are typically for research purposes only. The advent of modern “chat bots” (AI) is something different altogether.
At a basic level, you are not asking Google to provide you material which requires no effort to form into a cogent thought. Chat bots not only perform research, but they also summarize, and form a cognitive position absent human effort.
This is an issue and here is why:
1. Studying the Bible develops conviction: reading scripture personally is much different than having it read for you and the reader interpreting meaning. It is true that Christianity often seems at odds with itself because of varying interpretations. Nothing could be further from true! One (1) of the greatest examples is Jesus’ example of becoming what each person needs to guide them to faith. This is the reason why, for example, seven (7) real preachers can read the same text yet preach different sermons. “Shapeshifting” is a ministry imperative.
2. AI preaches unbiblical positions: recently I asked an AI language model questions concerning why more people don’t attend church. It responded that the church should become more “inclusive”. On its face, this seems logical. However, although the church welcomes anyone, it should not change spirit filled teaching.
3. True called Preachers defend Bible truth: those who are only “acting” as the anointed of God cannot defend biblical truth. Such people cannot defend the truth while simultaneously living a lie. There is nothing more important, absent salvation, and then being filled with the Holy Ghost than one’s lifestyle. The Bible teaches: “no lie is of the truth”. If that be so, how can one (1) who lies about personal identity stand on truth with integrity?
In summary, artificial intelligence cannot experience Holy Ghost revelation. It is technology designed to be both “clinical” and “uninspired”. In Jesus’s day, Pharisees and other religious leaders presented a clinical view of the Law of Moses. Jesus came along, fulfilling that law, and inspired people with a message of hope.
AI cannot Teach Wisdom
One of the largest issues with AI generated sermons is the inability to provide what matters most: wisdom. To be more plain - the most intelligent preacher I know is not the same as the wisest. Sermons must reflect your call to preach and not some clinical fact pattern. This requires explanation because we have all been cognitively influenced by others in ministry. This influence began with the gift of salvation and then sanctification.
Having pastored for some years now, I still share lessons learned from my Pastors. Their leadership possessed three (3) things artificial intelligence cannot: wisdom, inspirational communication, and the call to preach.
For instance, wisdom teaches: “it is better to please God than men. For if we please man, we cannot be the servants of Christ”. The Bible further offers that the very definition of “church” is “separated and called away from (or out of)”. This is the opposite of world based diversity and inclusion!
Here is a response from AI on this very topic:
There are too many biblical issues with this to address here. Nevertheless, those who God did not “call” will see nothing wrong. They would accept this as a good thing because it brings everybody together. Yet, Jesus never taught creation of an inclusive environment.
Here are biblical principles, although just a sample, that contradict AI’s view on church building:
1. Jesus’s own Words (Luke 12:51-53) - this passage indicates the Lord did not come to be inclusive at all. Rather, Jesus came to “divide even relatives against one another”. This is not to suggest He came to create chaos, however. What the Master was teaching is those who follow Him must make a choice. The choice to truly follow Him would not be popular and cost family relationships. This does suggest that anyone cannot be “included” in the Kingdom of God. However, the price is rejecting almost everything the world teaches about what is good and what is evil.
2. Avoid modernizing theology (Galatians 1:8-9) – the Apostle Paul told the Galatian church: “if any un-doctrinal message was preached, whoever does so is cursed and the church should avoid the message”. In the above statement, AI suggests “re-examination of our biases and worship practices”. Although this seems benign, it is indicative of AI’s undiscerning view that Bible teachings are “out of date”. I guess when God said: “I am the same yesterday, today, and forever”, He really did not mean it.
3. Holy Ghost inclusiveness is taught in scripture (Ephesians 4:11-12, Romans 12:4-8) - both written by the Apostle Paul, these indicate that, indeed, a strong and holy church is diverse! God’s definition is much different than AI's view, nevertheless. The church focuses on “diversity and inclusion of all gifts” given by God. To suggest that the church is non-inclusive is just flat-out error.
In summary, while AI gets the mechanics of the Word correct, wisdom remains elusive. Mechanics of scripture is not what changes a life – it is the wisdom communicated by Jesus sent Preachers. Preaching neophytes readily adopt AI sermons, preach them, yet have no idea they are teaching error.
This error isn’t limited to those who were never “called” either. Many who were once “anointed” to preach have lost their ability to analyze as well. They chased after false doctrine, money, and other distractions and became blinded to truth. If those who once were enlightened produce error, how much more a machine never so gifted?
Header Image Courtesy of Gerd Altmann @ Pixabay