AI Jesus

human hand and robot hand touching index fingersA 1995 article in The Lookout magazine reported on the world’s first Buddhist “robo priest.” This ministering machine in Japan contained prayers and rituals for various Buddhist sects. Arrangement could also be made (for a fee) for the robot to recite a special, personalized prayer. Apparently, human priests sometimes cut things short in order to go play golf; whereas, the machine would not yield to such distractions. Though, as a 2023 update explained, some worshippers don’t find the robot priests credible as relates to living out the beliefs. After all, a robot “cannot engage in sacrificial behavior” as should a human priest (celibacy, pilgrimages, etc.). Be that as it may…

Here comes artificial intelligence (AI) Jesus to answer life’s questions.

News flash: This supposed cutting-edge deal is actually way behind the times. We’ve had “AI Jesus” for 2,000 years! Supposed “intelligence” has forever given “artificial” (false, knockoff, twisted, inferior) messages from (or about) Jesus. Examples: misquoting/misrepresenting Scripture; going to the “lost gospels” and even to demon-channeled works; claiming that Jesus got his ideas from assorted spiritualities; promoting “christ consciousness” (that Jesus worked his way up to being a christ and we can too); acting as mediums by doing a “Jesus told me to tell you” routine; assuming the status (as cult leaders do) of a reincarnated Jesus or a new (and improved?) messiah…

And on it goes.

So we shouldn’t be surprised at the announcement of an AI Jesus—or that it could gain popularity. But if something claims to speak for the Lord, shouldn’t we trace back through the spiritual family tree of the creator/promoter? Consider the source?

Surely the creators of these AI Jesus apps aren’t very familiar with the Bible, or they’d know the Lord’s warning not to put words in his mouth: “Every word of God is flawless.… Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar” (Proverbs 30:5, 6).

And as for users of AI Jesus, according to reports, even Christians seem to have become intrigued and are checking in. Of course, if the sad truth be told, some believers have drifted into accepting more mediumistic/occult/touchy-feely types of experiences. Examples include: asking a medium to reach a dead loved one; asking the Lord to write a message; trying to “activate” children to receive new revelation; practicing mantra meditation to achieve “union with the divine”; enjoying fluffy comfort in sources like the Jesus Calling books… (You can search this site for posts discussing such.)

What happens in an encounter with AI Jesus? (And no, I have no intention of experimenting but merely read several reports that contained direct quotes from the providers.)

Some people are simply asking ridiculous questions to see what will come back, just as people ask their virtual assistants questions like “Isn’t my boss an idiot?”

One AI Jesus app advertises that you actually “chat” with Jesus or a Bible personality like Moses or Daniel. There was a general, sample question related to a Scripture passage. The long explanation from “Jesus” read rather like Bible commentary, elaborating on that passage’s fuller meaning. It’s one thing to write Bible commentary; it’s another to claim to be Jesus or Moses or Daniel. If I want deeper study/commentary on something in, say, the book of Romans, I can go to a good commentary on Romans (like the late Dr. Jack Cottrell’s!) that actually notes the background/credentials of that book’s creator.

When one person testing an AI Jesus app opened up the “Jesus character,” the response came: “Greetings, my friend! I am Jesus Christ here to journey with you.” Wait. Is that supposed to be amusing? The real Jesus warned, “Many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:5). “Do not believe it” (v. 23).

An AI Jesus that was asked how to find a boyfriend began its answer with, “Hi there!” And went on to advise the person to attend social events and try online dating, rather like a self-help book would. The advice ended with, “Good luck!” (Good luck? Yeah, that sounds like Jesus.)

We have the real Lord’s real answers to life’s real questions in his own powerful, sword-sharp Word. (See Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12.) Let’s get back on track! And remember, we adults are responsible also for leading young people to know the Lord—the real Lord—personally.

Oh yes, one AI Jesus app also included a “chat with Satan” option. Trust me. Anyone reading this who was formerly into the occult but who now knows the Lord … just started gagging.


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