Will Computer-generated Church Sermons Threaten Your Soul? — Charisma News


There is no replacement for the relationship between God and His creation, humanity.

Humans, however, are continuously devising new methods of reducing their need to engage in a wide range of activities with the boom in robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Giving a look at one potential future of messages from the pulpit, a rabbi at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons in East Hampton, New York, gave a sermon written entirely by the ChatGPT AI.

As reported by the Times of Israel, Rabbi Joshua Franklin informed his congregation that the lesson on Genesis 44 was written entirely by a program.

“We’re going to do something new tonight, maybe something at first you’re going to say is unethical, but I’m going to do it anyway,” Franklin said.

It was not until after he had read the sermon that he revealed that the ChatGPT software was the author of the message.

“Artificial intelligence wrote that. It constructed it. Look, if I read that, I would know the various faux pas. There are distinctive markers that aren’t how many rabbis would speak,” he informed the congregation.

Rabbi Franklin then posed a question to his audience:

“How does spirituality function in a world that’s driven by data and driven by information?” he asked.

Theologians of all backgrounds have been taken aback by the explosion of AI programs and their popularity, especially among college students.

But how does this bode spiritually if a program does not have a soul and therefore cannot interact with the God that it is writing a message about?

Also, is the function of the program limited by who has programmed it leaving it with a bias based on that person’s belief system?

This and many more questions abound regarding the morality and spiritual impact of using a machine to write sermons about the spiritual Creator of all things.

Speaking to the Christian Post, author and theologian Wallace Henley discussed being “stunned” by Rabbi Franklin’s announcement.

“I’ve certainly used the computer to do research and develop outlines,” Henley said. “But when it comes to doing a full manuscript as the machine itself, putting together all of those elements, I’m stunned.

“The great question is, what are we going to allow the machines to do to and for us, and what are we going to govern ourselves? And so, it stuns me that an entire sermon can be developed, not just the research.”

Satan has used every new advancement in technology to advance his own agenda against God’s in some form or fashion.

Social media, television, electronic banking, art and much more all have been used to diminish God’s work as the Creator, and this new development in AI brings with it another potential detriment: the worship of the machine.

People already line up hours, or sometimes days, in advance for new releases of items such as video games, movies and iPhones. They worship these devices or events more than their Creator, if they even believe in Him.

Now, with the advancement of AI to a point that students are using it to write college essays, or that AI has been able to pass graduate-level exams in the law, business and medical fields, it is easy to see how people could begin to idolize this technology.

Hensley had previously warned Christians in another article he wrote regarding a crisis of faith that will accompany the use of AI tools in spiritual matters.

“We’ve got to understand the spiritual crisis that’s coming, and the spiritual crisis is going to be the ultimate idolatry, which is the worship of the machine. And already, we’ve seen many signs of that,” he wrote.

With accusations of bias already being thrown around regarding the programming of the AI chatbots, Christians must maintain vigilance for the improper use of Scripture within this new technology.

As 1 Peter 5:8 commands Christians: “Be sober and watchful, because your adversary the devil walks around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

Believers must be mindful of what is occurring in the world around them and lovingly confront anything that is being taught as Scripture, yet does not align with the Word of God.

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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.

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