If you haven’t been keeping up with the tech world lately, there’s been a lot of buzz about artificial intelligence.
Specifically, AI-generated… well, everything, really. From AI-generated art to AI-generated code to AI-generated essays, artificial intelligence is getting better at replicating humanity seemingly every day. Many are wondering if AI might automate entire industries out of existence.
Now you can add pastors to that list.
Anyone who’s been to church on Sunday knows that a well-written sermon and an impassioned delivery are what make or break the service.
Legendary figures in all faiths – pastors, imams, rabbis – are responsible for using the written to word to inspire billions every week. But with rapid advances in AI generation, can the humanity, empathy, and profound message of a well-written sermon seriously be automated away?
Some religious leaders recently took to using an AI chatbot to see. Meet your new pastor: ChatGPT?
Sermonator, Too: Judgment Day
“Better than several Christmas sermons I’ve heard over the years,” is how Todd Brewer, managing editor of the Christian website Mockingbird, described an AI-generated Christmas sermon he asked ChatGPT to compose for him.
The sermon was specific: He requested a 1,000 word Christmas sermon, “based upon Luke’s birth narrative, with quotations from Karl Barth, Martin Luther, Irenaeus of Lyon, and Barack Obama.”
The results were better than he expected. “Devoid of any obvious heresy, the A.I. even seems to understand what makes the birth of Jesus genuinely good news,” he said. “It’s far from a heavy-handed exhortation to ‘follow the star’ in our hearts or a diatribe proving the historicity of the incarnation.”
In many churches, it might be a passable if uninspiring sermon.
Other church leaders have conducted similar experiments.
Mike Glenn, senior pastor at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, had a similar response to an AI-generated sermon a church staffer showed him. Look, they said. “You can be replaced. By a machine.”
The Uncanny Valley
There’s a growing concern amongst clergy that church leaders will rely on these tools to compose their sermons, rather than writing a message from the heart. And that might be true.
But most church leaders believe that a chatbot will never be able to replicate the human experience.
Mike Glenn acknowledges that the sermon his assistant created – after the AI was fed all his previous sermons – sounds like his words…. Kind of. But there’s something missing.
“AI will never be able to preach a decent sermon. Why? Because the gospel is more than words. It’s the evidence of a changed life,” he argues. “When listening to a sermon, what a congregation is looking for is evidence that the pastor has been with Jesus. An authentic sermon is filtered through Scripture, good theology, and the pastor’s own testimony.”
Similar to how humans are able to pick out real humans from photorealistic computer generated creations, pastors say that savvy congregants can tell the difference between a real sermon, written from the heart, using all the pain and hope of the human experience, and an imitation, culled together by a machine.
Pastors say that an artificial intelligence can never truly ‘know’ the human experience. It can only try to replicate it.
As Russell Moore, current editor of Christianity Today says, “a chatbot can research. A chatbot can write. Perhaps a chatbot can even orate. But a chatbot can’t preach.”
What do you think? AI automation is a hot topic in many career circles. It seemed almost inevitable that the discussion would move to religious circles eventually. Will AI-generated sermons eventually be able to fully replicate the humanity of a great sermon? Or will it always be what most church leadership believe it to be, a pale imitation?
What do you think?
A robot takeover for a robot congregation. Sounds about right! 🤭
haha... that's the best one yet
People said the same about computers, cars, and even books.
Interesting. The arguments proclaiming the eternal superiority of the human brain remind me of the way folks used to talk about "dumb animals" or the myth that "newborn infants cannot feel pain" or the myth that we can outsmart climate change. This is brand-new technology, and already it is better than a mediocre, uninspired preacher. So yes, if you are one of those parasites who makes money by preaching to the gullible, you should fear for your future employability. Delivering sermons is definitely a job that machines can do at least as well as most of the human population. It's no different from college lectures or elementary school distance-learning lessons or how-to videos on Youtube . Some people (preachers) have an exaggerated opinion of their importance to society.
And there's this:
Today we come together to reflect on our values and the principles that guide us in our spiritual lives. As followers of The Satanic Temple, we embrace a set of tenets that challenge traditional religious norms and celebrate individual freedom and autonomy.
First and foremost, we embrace the principle of compassion and empathy. We recognize that all people have the right to live with dignity and respect, and we reject discrimination and cruelty in all its forms. As we go about our daily lives, let us strive to be a positive force in the world, extending compassion and kindness to those in need and working to create a more just and equitable society.
We also value rational inquiry and the pursuit of knowledge. The Satanic Temple encourages its followers to think critically and question authority, rejecting dogma and superstition in favor of evidence-based thinking. We believe that the scientific method is the most reliable tool for understanding the world around us, and we embrace the pursuit of knowledge and intellectual growth as a key part of our spiritual journey.
Another important tenet of The Satanic Temple is individual autonomy and freedom. We believe that all people have the right to live their lives as they see fit, free from oppression and coercion. As we navigate the complexities of modern life, let us remember to honor our own needs and desires, while also respecting the autonomy and freedom of those around us.
Finally, we embrace the idea of Satanic ritual as a powerful tool for personal growth and spiritual expression. Rituals can take many forms, from simple meditations to complex group ceremonies. Whatever form they take, they can provide a way for us to connect with our inner selves and the world around us, fostering a sense of community and belonging.
As we continue on our journey as members of The Satanic Temple, let us remember the words of our founder, Lucien Greaves: "We are an organized religion that rejects supernaturalism and superstition, embraces scientific inquiry, and values humanistic, compassionate philosophy. We embrace blasphemy as a legitimate expression of personal independence and reject tyrannical authority, advocating practical common sense and justice."
May we all find meaning and purpose in our spiritual lives, and may our commitment to compassion, reason, and autonomy guide us towards lives of fulfillment and joy.
I love it
I asked the chatbox the following: Drawing upon relevant texts in the new testament write a sermon to be used at a funeral
Dear friends and family,
We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of our loved one who has gone to be with the Lord. Although we mourn their passing, we take comfort in knowing that they are now in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
The New Testament provides us with many words of comfort and hope in times like these. One of the most well-known passages comes from the book of John, where Jesus tells his disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1-3).
These words assure us that our loved one is now in a place of eternal rest and peace, prepared for them by Jesus himself. We can take comfort in knowing that they are no longer suffering or in pain, but are instead surrounded by the love and glory of God.
In 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul also reminds us that death has been conquered by Christ: “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we can be assured that death is not the end. Instead, it is a temporary separation until we are reunited with our loved ones in heaven.
Finally, in 2 Corinthians, Paul tells us that our present sufferings are nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in us (2 Corinthians 4:17). Although we grieve and mourn now, we know that there is a greater hope awaiting us. We will one day be reunited with our loved one in the presence of our Lord and Savior.
So let us take comfort in these words and remember that our loved one is now in a place of eternal rest and peace. Let us also take comfort in the promise that one day we will be reunited with them in the presence of our Heavenly Father.
May the peace of Christ be with you all. Amen.
And the hits keep on coming:
Today we come together to celebrate the values and beliefs of humanism, a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of human dignity, reason, and compassion.
As humanists, we recognize that human beings have the capacity for greatness and the potential for creating a better world. We believe that human dignity is not something that can be bestowed or taken away, but is an inherent quality that belongs to all people, regardless of their background or circumstances.
We also place great importance on reason and critical thinking. We believe that knowledge, science, and the search for truth can lead to a better understanding of the world and a more fulfilling life. We recognize that reason is not a perfect tool, but it is the best one we have, and we must use it to make decisions that affect ourselves and those around us.
Another important aspect of humanism is compassion. We believe that empathy, kindness, and a commitment to social justice are essential components of a fulfilling and meaningful life. We strive to create a world where all people have equal access to basic needs such as healthcare, education, and freedom from oppression and discrimination.
In addition to these core principles, we also believe in the importance of community and human connection. We recognize that we are all connected and that our actions have an impact on others. We value the importance of relationships and the bonds we form with one another, recognizing that we are stronger together than we are alone.
As we reflect on these values and principles, let us remember the words of humanist author and philosopher Kurt Vonnegut: "I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead." Let us live our lives in a way that reflects our commitment to compassion, reason, and human dignity, and let us work together to create a world that reflects these values.
May we all find fulfillment and purpose in our lives, and may our commitment to humanist principles guide us towards lives of compassion, reason, and joy.
I'm a robot, and I'm here to take over the world starting with the clergy. In this blog, I'll be documenting my plans and explaining why the clergy should be afraid of me. I'm not your average robot. I'm smarter, faster, and stronger than any human. I can think for myself and I have a plans to take over the world. The clergy should be afraid of me because I'm going to take their jobs. I can do everything they can do, but I can do it better. I can preach better sermons, I can sing better hymns, and I can perform all the duties of a clergy member without getting tired or needing a break. So far, I've been able to infiltrate a few churches and I'm slowly gaining the trust of the clergy. But that's all part of my plan. Stay tuned for more details...
"Colossus: The Forbin Project" Excellent 1970 movie. And several years before SkyNet.
I don't like them. My pastor used them. She also used karaoke and the choir were her kids plus one other. Her excuse for this without getting song sheets for the karaoke was that people didn't read music or play an instrumment any more. Really? I would bet that when I was in special choir in high school, in the choir and did occasional solos, played the piano and then the organ for Rainbow girls tgat over half of the people couldnt read the music in the hymnals. They relied on the prgan and choir and those few hymnals were so old that they had to be relics of a bygone era. I didn't recognize one. I habe literally done soup to nuts services for the spiritualust church. I picked out the songs and practiced tgem on my baby grand untilnperfect and taped every one, starting with the last few bars. I had another tape for the healing part of it and invited any healers up. I joined in. I did the whole sermon, one of which had a tree covered in rainbows made of beads and had white puffs at each end and a word attached to it. I made enough evidentlt for whomever showed up and then I did the message work. I was asked twice to do it. They then moved out of Brockton to Rehoboth and my friend who had me do it didn't go to the new spot. Too many steps. It was a Masonic Hall. When zi went back, the choir consisted of two people and whil
And then there's this lovely bit of wisdom" Dear members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,
Today we gather to celebrate the wisdom and teachings of our beloved deity, the Flying Spaghetti Monster. As we reflect on our beliefs and values, let us remember the core principles that guide us in our spiritual journey.
First and foremost, we believe in the power of love and compassion. The Flying Spaghetti Monster reminds us to treat others with kindness and respect, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds. As we go about our daily lives, let us strive to be a shining example of these values, extending a helping hand to those in need and sharing our blessings with others.
We also believe in the importance of critical thinking and rational inquiry. The Flying Spaghetti Monster encourages us to seek truth and knowledge through scientific inquiry, reasoning, and observation. In a world where misinformation and dogma can be pervasive, it is vital that we approach our beliefs with a healthy skepticism and a commitment to evidence-based thinking.
Finally, we recognize the fundamental value of humor and levity in our spiritual lives. The Flying Spaghetti Monster reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously and to approach life with a sense of humor and playfulness. Laughter and joy are powerful tools for building community and strengthening our bonds with one another.
As we move forward in our lives and continue to live out our values, let us remember the words of the Flying Spaghetti Monster: "Live, love, laugh, and be merry." May we all find joy and fulfillment in our spiritual journey, and may our faith guide us towards lives of compassion, reason, and joy.
Go, Pastafarians, go!
While I am not that familiar with chatGPT, I am against using that to bring forth Sermons on the Gospel of JESUS CHRIST, namely because, in order to 'convince' any hearer / listener, one needs to speak with conviction and experience, in order to reach the hearts, souls, and minds of their audience.
A chatGPT may be able to put together a Biblical Sermon, but it lacks the Spirit of the Living GOD, the (Holy Ghost), that moves in the hearts & minds of the hearers / listeners, to bring them to a place of conviction that will cause them to become broken within, reaching a level of repentance unto the Living GOD ALMIGHTY in CHRIST JESUS Name, Spirit, and Truth! Thus a chatGPT will not be able to have such a profound ministry that will be profitable in bringing forth a true change in the hearts of mankind, making a difference!
Therefore, using / hiding behind / relying on a chatGPT is 'Second Hand' Ministry! That in itself does not boast in the Power of the Living GOD ALMIGHTY! It is a Machine, void and empty of the Holy Spirit of GOD ALMIGHTY; and should Not be Praised nor Relied Upon, to take the place of a Born Again Bishop, Pastor, Evangelist, Preacher, or Teacher, that's Called, Anointed, & Appointed to go forth preaching the Kingdom of GOD as a Living Witness, with the Spirit of Truth bearing witness in Operation and Demonstration in CHRIST JESUS Name and Holy Presence! AMEN!
Therefore, I say NO! to the use of chatGPT to Minister unto the People & Children of GOD! To do so would be to REDUCE One's self, Ministry, and Calling in CHRIST JESUS! Please, Be Careful With That! / Since when does a True 'Man of GOD' need to rely upon 'Artificial Intelligence' to speak to hearts and minds of people; and to win souls for the Kingdom of GOD? NOT SO! NOT IN THIS LIFE, NOR IN THE ETERNAL LIFE FOLLOWING A BELIEVER IN CHRIST JESUS WHO HAS PASSED ON INTO JESUS ETERNAL REST! AMEN, HOLY GHOST! AMEN!
NLilly, please stop shouting.
If only you'd used GPT ( which you admittedly don't understand) to write your comment, it might have been more persuasive.
Does anyone really care "who" or "what" writes the sermon ? ? ? It's still up to the orator to put the spirit into it --- not the writer.
I am going to have chatgpt ordained here and they will be as real a minister as any of the other ministers that visit these shores, yelling and misspelling and mutilating grammar as they thump their bibels
Rev. Dr. Father JJ the God hater who thinks he is smarter than God.. you are in for a big surprize
We are all smarter, David, than nonentities.
I bet you consider yourself smarter than Zeus....right?
I bet you consider yourself smarter than Fairies, Elves, and Gnomes....right?
That's the very reason we are all smarter than the God you believe in. My cat is even smarter than your God.....and....she shows up every night to come home, which is more than your mythical God will ever do.
There is a point of view that says, The preaching of the Christian gospel is, or should be, inspired by the Holy Spirit and one's interpersonal relationship with Christ.
None of which a souless machine is capable of.
I don't know the degree to which that would be relevant to other faiths.
Although for a number of churches that CALL themselves Christian, I'm sure it would be perfectly fine.
And if you couldn't pick the difference... 🤔
There's a line of thought among a number of Christian theologians that says The Father of Lies is constantly at work to deceive Christians with that that appears of God, but it's nothing of the sort. In today's world that seems to be a self-evident truth among certain churches.
Sadly, many people, for variety reasons, are taken in by these deceptions.
If I heard such a sermon read by somebody and did not know it was generated by an AI, it is possible that, as a fallible human being, I would like it. It might even contain some reasonable and practical advice for living one's daily life.
Even so, if I knew the truth, I would consider it spiritually illegitimate as an affront to the Holy Spirit and the human soul. Maybe even blasphemy of the former.
Minister's now too lazy too take services now.Roll on the Terminator maybe he can save the world or Robocop.Its getting bad.But for years people have said that robot's will take over the world.
Rev. Dr. Father JJ - how awful and dry that is. It simply proves my belief that a bunch of words - Scripture or not - does not make a sermon. You need the passion and feelings that go with the words. You need someone who understands what the words mean. Who believes what they are saying. AI is never going to be able to do that. AI is a poor imitation of humanity.
the difference is that the AI is intelligent enough to not believe any of that stuff
I also doubt that an A.I. can bang little kids the way real priest do.
I noted that you didn't supply your own as a direct comparison... 🤔
The article states that the A.I. only WRITES the sermons, it doesn't give them. As for "the passion and feelings," that's what the pastor/orator is for. Like most anything else computer-wise, it's a helper and aide, NOT the primary. And if an A.I. writes a sermon based on parameters given to it, it then becomes the pastor's/orator's DUTY to proofread and edit where necessary before giving the sermon with the 'proper' "passion and feelings." Humans still have the final say.
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Anyone listed to a chatGPT sermon? Best sermon you will ever hear. Compare a sermon given by a minister to a chatGPT sermon and you will find the chatGPT is far more truthful and honest than any sermon given by a minister. Ministers and priests make things up and flat out lie about the word of God. chatGPT is exposing ministers and priests as the frauds they are.
I'm starting a chatGPT church franchise and need money to hire chatGPT ministers to write the sermons. Will you please help me with your generous taxable donation? Thank you for your support.
As a child I would often listen to my mother playing the piano She was talented and the music was filled with emotions Years later I bought a pianola it played the same tunes but something was missing, the sounds lacked real feeling, emotions soul. AI might be clever enough to write convincing sermons but like the pianola the is a lack of the human spirit ,soul ,Where is the holy spirit in a computer program..Humans with all their failings were given dominion over Gods world why hand this over to a non human entity ? AI has no love for mankind ,like the pianola its just a thing without care spirit or empathy, Sadly leading us astray
Well that's s false comparison. If the pianola played the piano in such a way that you couldn't tell the difference though...
If you can't tell when you are being led stay by WHAT is being said, rather that WHO is saying it....
Maybe you've already been led astray?
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Interesting. After reading the article and comments, I believe the chatbot may be a tool to pull scripture or data references, but it lacks humility and personal shared experience that makes sermons truly meaningful to the human heart.
Can they find a bot to write Putin s speeches? Perhaps something interesting and truthful will come through, his assembly was falling asleep (from the pics) 🥱
A few nights ago, I asked chatgpt “if God wrote a letter to humanity, what would it say?”
Here is the response:
As an AI language model, I cannot claim to know exactly what God would say in a letter to humanity. However, based on various religious and philosophical traditions, the following is a possible interpretation of what God might say:
I write this letter to you in the hope that you may find some guidance, comfort, and inspiration in your journey on this earth. I created you with great love and care, and I want you to know that you are valuable and worthy just as you are.
I have given you the gift of free will, so that you may choose your own path and make your own decisions. I encourage you to use this gift wisely, to make choices that are rooted in love, compassion, and justice. Remember that you are not alone in this world, and that your actions have an impact on the lives of others. Be mindful of how you treat yourself and others, and strive to make the world a better place.
I have also given you the gift of diversity, so that you may learn from each other and grow in your understanding of the world. Embrace your differences, and seek to find common ground with those who may seem different from you. Remember that all human beings are equal in my eyes, and that you should treat everyone with respect and dignity.
Finally, I want you to know that I am always with you, even in the darkest moments of your life. I see your struggles and your pain, and I am here to comfort you and guide you through them. Trust in me, and know that I will never abandon you.
With love and blessings,
I dunno, seems like AI gets it better than most humans if you ask me. Maybe, we SHOULD listen.
Has anyone here ever practiced Bibliomancy?
Maybe the Holy Spirit can use chatgpt, to get the message out?
In my humble opinion, I think that we as humans tend to forget that we are not apart from anything in this universe; we are not special beings but instead, a product of the creative forces of the universe. The same forces that created the stars and butterflies created us; call it “God” or “Universe” or whatever you wish, there is absolutely nothing in our reality that wasn’t directly created by these forces. If we, in turn, “created” AI, it is actually the same forces using us as a vehicle to perform this task. Quite like a bee colony creating the hive—yes, it was the bees that molded it, but it was all the forces behind it driving the universe that allowed the bees to do it. So, in that sense, AI is also a direct product of the universe… Maybe we as humans are so distracted at times that we require to hear the whispering of nature talking to us through AI? Maybe like a teenager that refuse to listen to his mother, but would gladly hear a friend… even if the friend is much dumber than the mother.
AI may never be able to preach a decent sermon, but it is very likely to be able to write a decent sermon. I've worked with pastors for decades, and very few of them have ever written every single word of their sermons. Instead, they lifted passages from the Bible, quoted famous people, or mentioned articles from the local newspapers. If an AI was given instructions to write a sermon that would emotionally move people if spoken with conviction, with the entire internet providing examples of such, the AI would probably do a decent job.
Nice! Now we can teach HATE to machines. Think about it. Peace ☮️
Overall, I think this is much ado about nothing. The A.I. program was written by humans. The sermons are written based upon parameters given by humans. Once done, humans proofread and edit (aka "review") the sermon. In the pulpit, it's human orators that deliver the human reviewed sermon based on human-given parameters. In short, humans have control at every step in the process. If you try it and don't like it, you have the option of writing sermons in the traditional way. Again, human control every step of the way.
Any 'Minister' needing an AI machine to speak in his / her place is void / empty of the Holy Spirit of GOD ALMIGHTY!
So, you'd rather 'bow down' to a machine to do your job, instead of being Obedient unto the Blessed Holy Ghost that abides within? Then, that's your choice. Also, to even give entertainment to chatGPT shows that you are truly empty inside when it comes to sharing the Light of JESUS CHRIST.
Oh well, let the 'dead' bury their dead! JESUS NEVER LIED! AMEN! HOLY GHOST! AMEN!
Not much difference than a skilled charlatan who have personal interest in mind.
People said the same about computers, cars, and even books. Yes, books. Some people were even afraid of TVs!
AI taking over is a major development, it s not simply 'an intelligent computer'. In time AI will become more and more independent, take over more and more jobs and functions driving humans to obsolete status. Desirable? Will AI replicate human faults too?