Hey my fellow shepherds,
I wanted to share what happened recently in the tech world: ChatGPT.
What is ChatGPT? It is a chatbot launched by OpenAI in November 2022. It is built on top of OpenAI’s GPT-3 family of large language models, and is fine-tuned with both supervised and reinforcement learning techniques. To put it in a simple way, you can ask it any questions, and it will search on the internet and give you an AI-generated reply. It doesn’t only stop there, but you can have a conversation with it. Professionals say it would replace Google very soon.
Now, you may wonder why I post this kind of topic here in our super spiritual blog… come to our real topic. Since this bot can chat with people one on one, immediately it alerts me about our one-on-one bible study. Is this bot a threat to bible study? Will people just search spiritual answers just by talking to AI, instead of a real person? We see the trend now, people go to the internet, and search for biblical answers. Google becomes a place (Social media is another) that people trust and go to, even though the information they get might not be true or correct. Can ChatGPT be the next one?
Here are some questions I asked ChatGPT, and remember, it was a conversation.
Man, even the AI understands the way to the kingdom of God! Can AI preach a message of repentance?
I thought it would say, “Find a shepherd!”
In conclusion, people can chat with it to get generic answers, but in reality, they still need a shepherd who can help them live their life and face their challenges by faith in Jesus. Now with AI technology, it requires more struggle on our side to lead our sheep to Jesus our Lord.
Hahah, Shep. Michael and I were talking about this the other week. Crazy how far technology has come. Just shows me man’s thirst for knowledge and new discoveries. Like the Greeks looking for the logos.
It’s interesting that ChatGPT can come up with all the right answers. However, right answers only go so far. When I was going to church with a friend, I received all the right answers in church sermons. But only through my shepherd’s labor of love did God become so real and personal to me. I do hope that this ChatGPT can open people’s hearts to the idea of God, though! Maybe those who do not have enough spiritual desire to seek out a church or Bible study can at least get one foot in the door through this technology.
When people no longer talk to people but talk to a machine, it shows how lonely they are, harassed and helpless, sheep without a shepherd. ChatGPT won’t and can’t substitute any shepherd or harvest worker. AI will never know me personally but Jesus does.
There have definitely been some chilling predictions about AI, especially with concerns about it going rogue…like what happens if robots take over the whole earth? To me it’s bizarre that a robot, which has no soul, would chat with a human, who has a soul, and then advise them on how to take care of that soul…
Of course, there are so many cases where a person might have no one to tell them the truth. And maybe as they ask their questions to a mere robot, not expecting anything great, they might get a chance to hear from God through the answers they receive. There was one time when I was driving, not talking to anyone, not sharing my issues with a single person, but when a song automatically played from my phone through my car bluetooth connection, I was able to hear God’s voice and it completely broke my walls down. So yeah…technology is definitely a blessing! Maybe a double-edged sword that we should be cautious with, but something that God can use regardless.
Still your point is super true, that without help from a shepherd, we can’t receive the personalized care we need that will lead us to repentance. Generic answers aren’t going to really solve our deep anxieties or corrupt ways of thinking or wrong behaviors, but a shepherd who wrestles with us will always be needed!
Wow, thank for the long comment! Human designs technology to make our life easier, AI, robots the same thing. But the problem is that instead of making our life easier, it just makes us a lot lazier and it appeals to our sinful nature. At the end, we just become emptier and more fearful of our own survival.
Yeah I can see how it makes us lazier haha – I always think of Wall-E, the humans who were so reliant on technology that they didn’t even know how to open a book, and had forgotten how to use their legs. Yikes! Hope we don’t end up like that D:
That’s scary. I am going to be out of a job very soon. I think I will just carry my ipad around like Moses and stone tablets and have Siri ask students for bible study. And after they say yea I will leave them alone to study with Siri. 🥲 lol. In all reality it is scary to think how generic the answer to salvation has become. But despite how technology advances one thing will never change. Students need a shepherd to show them the real love and desire Jesus has for them. So I will keep doing it old school. “Excuse me are you interested in bible study. Beep beep”. Lol thank you for this post brother.
Hahaha “beep beep” LOL and then you’ll open up your laptop and they’ll be like “Who uses laptops now??? Everyone uses holographic displays!” as they fly off on hovering shoes or something…maybe in the future everyone will have some kind of flying transportation, so our fishing will then be done in the air 😛
Exactly! We still need a shepherd. But maybe this AI can help us answer some genetic questions for our students, and help us enrich our understanding, like “listing me every verse in the Bible about water of cleansing.” Fundamentally, it has nothing to do with our relationship with God which is personal and dynamic.
How funny 😆 . When you asked ChatGPT your question which was “ practically, what should I do?” One of the steps ChatGPT advised was to
“3. Find a community of believers to connect with, such as a church or Bible study group. Surrounding yourself with other believers will help you to grow in your faith and provide
support and accountability.”
Hopefully this step would encourage the students on our mission fields to come to our group Bible studies and even to our one on one Bible studies. May God use us to help them grow in their faith and to provide them support and accountability. Also through shepherding them may we also grow in our faith and in Jesus’ character.
that’s a great point, and perspective, maybe that can point people to shepherds church and to study the Bible
Maybe this AI can point many lost souls to the right direction, as the first step, like in the pilgrim progress. AI Evangelist?
Those answers are better than the answers of many Christians. AI seems to be a good disciple candidate. Haha!
Hahahahaha!!!! That’s so true!!
Haha it is! I was shocked when it said that Jesus said it was a narrow door… amazing!
Wow. Technology sure is improving at a fast pace. Well, now I know where I can go to find the answers to missionary John’s question sheet or impromptu questions.Jk. Maybe it would know in Numbers 20 if it was Moses’ staff or Aaron’s staff lol.
Anyway, it seems like a good tool to an extent. God can use anything, even a donkey to be his instrument in conveying his message.
Still I know without the work of the Holy Spirit nothing will happen. Perhaps teaching the Bible is something ChatGPT could do, but being a shepherd for lost, wounded and demon possessed sheep would still be far out of its scope. 🙂
See what ChatGPT says about the staff…
It’s so creepy how it really is chatting with you…”I apologize for any confusion, you are correct” yikes…
Haha amen. If God can use a donkey, God can use ChatGPT. Also makes me feel a little better about my own Bible studies. Even if I mess up or feel totally lacking, at least I might be better than a robot.
Oh man so I didn’t fully get what you meant about Aaron’s staff v Moses’s staff until we were discussing it in group Bible study, and then I was like “Ohh!!!” It really doesn’t say in that chapter for sure whose staff it was xD But I doubt that Moses would have taken the one that had almonds and beautiful blossoms on it – it’d be kind of hard to angrily strike a rock with a staff like that!
I was concerned that new students would use this technology for testimony writing! “ChatGPT, write me a 2,000 word message on Numbers 20.” I’m convinced the technology is not there yet, but maybe it will be soon. I actually know a man in Christ who tried this once. He tried to solicit ChatGPT’s writing skills for testimony ideas—whether it was in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows—and it was an epic fail. As to the man’s identity, I will not say.
Man, never thought that someone would do that with ChatGPT. There’s academic concern to which students can write papers using ChatGPT.
I think eventually they do this for whom, for God? For themselves? For their bible teacher? If they are serious and take responsibility of their study, their eternal destiny, they would treat these things differently.
I heard that it can write at a fourth grade level or something! Crazy D: Lolll at the idea of having it write our testimony…we did experiment with having AI write an instagram post for our club, and it was honestly spooky how much sense it made! @Nita
Yes I got curious, it sounded good, but I just did not feel right using it LOL. I wanted to use my own words, and I am always open to feedback and edits by a “human.”
Yeah…it could have been written by any one of us, and it would be so hard to tell. But I wouldn’t feel right using it either!
AI seems to know a lot of good answers; Perhaps we can recruit it to do most of our preaching! If anyone gets angry by what is said, that person can blame AI– No problem–JK. AI can be resourceful, but everyone needs a shepherd to deal with the one on one complicated aspects of life. Thank you for sharing the post!
If we use AI for preaching, maybe it’ll become sentient and then be upset with us for throwing it under the bus lol. Then again, I also know ChatGPT can definitely give wrong information. So how much would it twist the Bible’s teachings? It’s pretty scary!
Thats kinda cool. Scary, but cool
This is so interesting, I randomly joked to a sheep regarding one day, AI taking over a social worker or therapist’s job and when I looked it, up there was a AI CBT application for phones. Some people are fearful of this AI taking over artist’s jobs, writer’s jobs, etc… One day, due to a busy schedule I looked up a food spot, and that place was scary it was a place where there were many food restaurant places in one, there were no cashiers, but you just make your order either ahead of time or on the screen, wait about 12 minutes and then grab your food from the locker. So much happening with technology these days.
But though though technology can do amazing things, it is never the same being able to converse with a real shepherd face to face and ask questions and receive personalized answers in real time.
Yeah, I agree. Talking to a human shepherd is essential. I talked about in my other comment how human shepherds have experiences with God, testimonies they can share with other people, and that is something that can really speak to them. They are the ones who can really understand what people are going through. Actually, I just thought about something that Paul said in Philippians, when he was talking about loving in knowledge and depth of insight. I recall learning how human shepherds can see through people. Even when people may not know what is really bothering them or what’s hurting them, their human shepherd can already see it and help them.
Wow that’s really true! I’m thinking about how many things we don’t say out loud or can’t even articulate. Without clearly stating our inner issue, we can’t get help from a robot. Yet a human shepherd picks up on those cues, because they can understand our silent language. And if they don’t, we have God who knows best of all what’s going on in our hearts even better than we do.
It is so true, I agree we need a shepherds’ discernment to really lead us and their loved gospel to inspired us!
Whoaaa that food spot sounds so crazy…but very convenient too. Imagine a bunch of those automated food places all over campus, then we could just grab food on the go anywhere. A vending machine, but for full meals instead of just chips and snacks. Hmm! So many jobs are just going to disappear at this rate…but not shepherding! People are going to be more starved spiritually the more robotic everything becomes
This is the first time I’ve heard about this kind of technology, and it shocks me to see how much it has advanced. After I read your post, I thought about how indeed, people need a human shepherd to talk to because one thing human shepherds can do that this kind of technology I believe cannot do is personally understand each person’s problems and situations, and providing individualized guidance and help. Human shepherds can relate to their struggles (unlike technology), and from that, they can even share their testimony or their personal experiences about how God has helped them with some particular problem or situation, and that can really help that person, even building up their faith in God. And I also believe that it’s important for people to know that there is someone in their lives who thinks about them, prays for them, and is working hard to bring them close to God.