Friday 25 August 2023

A Hand Up The "Ehem, Interpretation" Of A Biblical Puppet.

We all get told at Bible college that eisegesis is a poor way to make our arguments in any faith conversation because it doesn't say what the text said, it says what we want to say by using the words of the text. This twisting of scripture is problematic on a number of levels but mostly because it makes the focal point of the text used for justification, the person's own mind and not the original intention of the Holy Spirit, that wrote the words down through the biblical authors.

Now that doesn't mean that a verse at any given time only has one given meaning or interpretation because the word is living and active. (Heb 4:12). But it does mean that when you notice someone is taking a verse out of its clear context and that you should be offering correction after listening or offering a refusal to listen in the first place.

But this exists in the give-and-take world of Christian debating, which is at least the kind of human event to expect humans to act like and sin like humans do.

What happens when we remove the human part of the equation? 

Does the debating still happen?

Various "Well-meaning" actors in the church tech world seem to think so, as the generation of bible A.I.'s did not take that long to green light. Like the top Google hit of which purports to be a powerful tool for people seeking a deeper understanding of God's word. But as you dig a little deeper into the function of the tool, you begin to realize something about the answers the glorified chatbot (and I do mean glorified) is giving you. Specifically, that it won't give you an answer that isn't couched in some form of interpretation. If you ask it about the sinfulness of homosexuality, it always divides its holy words with a "however" when asked about the standard fare of controversial topics. Plainly put, if you take a reformed view of scripture, and call sin, sin, the A.I. bible will give you a "however" and explain why doing so isn't the best version of Christianity to be practiced. That perhaps you need an upgrade.

An interesting note is that culturally risky topics such as bestiality seem to still get a flat biblical response, with no "however", even a call for repentance if the questioner is possibly practicing the sin in question. But should those sins have a flag and a parade slotted in for June, the "however's" persist.

What you're seeing here is a very complicated puppet, paper mache'd out of the pages of your Bible. No matter what is on the outside, it still has a progressive hand up its ass, making it pronounce the "however's" and respect the pronouns. It looks like the Bible on the outside. The words of the scriptures that are glued to the puppet's carcass give it that credence. You can see that it looks like the Bible and enough of your mental guards go down as you approach this strange new way of interacting with God's word. But inside of the puppet is always someone wanting to say something while hiding their face, or throwing their voice. That's how puppets work. And this one, in particular, lets you know that reality any time you ask about sodomy. 

The irony is disgustingly palpable.

You would reject an app on your phone with a golden calf icon that planned your child's sacrifice for you, with just as much convenience and ease, the very same way you accept that yoga is "just stretching." but in reverse. Knowing how idols work is more than just recognizing the materials they are made of and avoiding the golden statues in your life. Because how the idol benefits you is agnostic to its relation to the worship of God. The big idea is that this new age of technologically empowered churches is going to be the concept of "Christian-Flavoured Idols". Things that mask themselves as orthodoxy 2.0, but are just the next version of idolatry, but this time with three cameras or no headphone jack. 

There is a necessity of twisting of scripture, inherent to this automated bible answering machine, that is being overlooked. You can't let the Bible talk for itself without human intervention because the words of God once recorded have already been touched by the hands of man, or written them. But this isn't just an addition to the canon. That would be too obvious and, again, dismissed as wrong at the onset. This is an adjustment of the canon. This is making a verse like Lev 18:22 or 1 Tim 2:12 say "however", when it doesn't. This isn't a commentary on what the words in those verses mean. This is adding to them so you can't know what they mean plainly. You can not find a way to make a "Shall Not" mean anything but "Shall Not", unless you add a "however". And once you do you are not giving the reader the Hebrew root for "Shall" or the contextually biblical meaning of "Not"

But what is happening is an ultra-convenient avenue for people to not have to wrestle with "Shall Not". The spirit of the age of internet porn learned that it did not need the children of God to actually have sex with temple prostitutes to worship the false gods of technology. It could simply attack other appetites. Like sloth. You could get a real bible that can't be remotely edited. You could learn Hebrew and Greek, or you could surrender all those freedoms of intellect to an app that you don't control and that adds "however" to the Bible where it needs to. No more arduous Bible study. We have a single button to press for our demands of the scriptures, to say what we want them to say.

If a bible A.I. doesn't only respond with the Bible, it necessarily will have the ability to answer questions of it by avoiding the use of the Bible altogether. If it can add a "However" it can subtract anything put there by the same sinning human hands that wrote the Bible in the first place. Which is why it's important to know that humans didn't just write the Bible. The Holy Ghost did this through His humans. And no part of The Trinity is adding "however" to its already completed and perfect word of God. That's being done by the hidden hand, literally. And it's still up the puppet's ass. 

What we need to stop doing, as it pertains to technological use, is stop using it like idol worshipers. At a praxiological level, technology needs to serve the mission and not contradict the heads of that missionary movement. There is wisdom in using a sharp tool for the work of sharp tools and not complaining that an axe grows dull as if it doesn't affect the work. Or refusing a chainsaw when the invention reveals itself. But when the chainsaw begins to let you know that building houses is the leading cause of tree death, or that pulp mills are often used to supply paper to extremist Christian literature printing. Well, then you need to start looking for a whetstone. 

A.I. could be the next great thing for missions, but it's currently demonstrating to be the next place progressive ideologies hide from reformers with hammers and theses.  If we're not careful we will follow its suggestions to hop off whatever cliff it needs us to, to stay progressive and ideological. And God might not be there to catch our fall, because of how our A.I. prompts were worded.

"And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

Luke 4:9-12 King James Version

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