Don't Use A.I. to Trick People

This is about AI's that change the form of the presenter. Often called "deep fakes," they make people like chameleons who can become anyone the author chooses. I once heard a proposal to make Westerners sharing the Gospel look more like locals they're sharing with.

Why? Their goal was to make the audience more receptive in hopes that more believed the Gospel. The risk is, if detected, that they will be seen as fake along with Jesus Christ who sent them. I heard at least one group decided that getting caught in that deception was worth the potential gains. If this tech existed back then, would Jesus use it?

In God's Word, they do the opposite of this. They are themselves wherever they go with God using that in some cases (eg them being Jews or Paul a Roman). They rely on the Holy Spirit to prompt strangers to listen. In Luke 10 and in Acts, they plainly present the truth, people make a decision, and they move on if rejected. All Gospel presentations in Acts show the same Gospel with only a cultural tie-in in Acts 17. Paul is also clear in Romans 6:1 that we're never to try to sin to increase righteousness. Yahweh, Jesus, and the Apostles told us to be holy and righteous in all our conduct.

Objection: What about being all things to all people, such as 1 Cor. 9:19-23? Or Timothy getting circumcised? Wouldn't blending in with the locals be the same thing?

In God's Word, the missionaries adopt non-critical customs of locals. They also make sure they understand what the Word says. We do that with Bible translations. We don't see anyone lying about their identities, though.

We do see Christ's enemies accusing them of lying. Paul repeatedly counters them to protect the churches' reputation. He emphasizes how they shared the plain truth, were honest, and had blameless conduct. We see those things are major factors in how people perceive us. They must know we're trustworthy.

If we're to imitate Christ and Apostles, that already tells us we should never develop shape-shifting A.I.'s. We should instead do what we see in the NT. If people want, they could use presenters who are believers in (or similar to) that community. They can use animated stories with fictional characters. They can get close to the cultural context without lying to them. Like other software, we can use A.I.'s whenever they support legitimate actions in a way that nobody would question.

We should never lie to share Christ. We should never make people think we're something we're not. We should never use fake believers unless we've made it clear it's a work of fiction. If any of you are doing otherwise, please cancel that A.I. program immediately in obedience to God's will and to protect the Church's reputation overseas.

What Does God's Word Say?

"When I came to you brothers, I didn't come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith wouldn't stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (1 Cor. 2:1-5)

"But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by the manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. Even if our Good News is veiled, it is veiled in those who are dying, in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that the light of the Good News of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not dawn on them. For we don't preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake." (2 Cor. 4:2)

They didn't come with clever tricks. They were humble, honest, and even trembling. They spoke the plain truth in a way where people would only believe if God moved in their hearts. Paul says they are also against hidden things, craftiness, or handling God's Word deceitfully. The devil is the one that puts a veil on to blind people's minds about the truth. In contrast, they are all about the truth delivered in good conscience. They also write like the audience knows them personally. Trusts them.

"For our exhortation is not of error, nor of uncleanness, nor in deception. But even as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News, so we speak - not as pleasing men, but God, who tests our hearts." (1 Thes. 2:3-4)

We see they used no deception when sharing God's Word. They also don't do things to please people. Like Wesley or Moody or MacArthur, they just show up and speak the truth.

"that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error" (Eph. 4:14)

Notice the recurring pattern that tricks and craftiness come from the devil. Those false teachers are certainly pushing lies with it. Yet, they deliver their lies with deceitful methods because both reflect the devil's work.

"For false christs and false prophets will arise, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones." (Matt. 24:24)

We (and new converts) are supposed to be looking for false prophets. Many have speculated that those mentioned in Matthew and Revelation will rely on technology to create false impressions in viewers. They'll think they have power they don't. Health and wealth churches already do that partly with video editing. The last thing real churches need to do is get caught using technology to trick people like false churches do.

"You are of your father the devil... [he] doesn't stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him... for he is a liar, and the father of lies." (John 8:44)

"...who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator..." (Rom. 1:25)

"The Word became flesh and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the only born Son of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

"However, when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he wil guide you into all truth, for he will not speak from himself; but whatever he hears, he will speak. He will declare to you things that are coming." (John 16:13)

"Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth." (John 17:17)

"Give diligence to present yourself approved by God, a workman who doesn't need to be ashamed, properly handling the Word of Truth." (2 Tim. 2:15)

"Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are members of one another." (Eph. 4:25)

In these verses, we see the character of human sin, the devil, Christ, the indwelling Spirit, and sanctified Christians. Sin is deceptive in both situations, ours and the devils, with ours trading what God wants for something pleasing people (often us). Christ was full of truth. Later, he sends the Spirit of Truth who repeats what Christ taught them. We're told to likewise speak truth in love in a way that invites no shame.

Secular Reactions

Due to cultural differences, I have no idea how the audience will react. I know many cultures don't like being deceived. I will add that some cultures really hate people trying to look like them. At best, we're as fake as Hollywood or OpenAI. At worst, it will be compared to the blackface events with the same shock and horror. We definitely can't act like them.

Would there be anybody wanting this tech? I could see some demand among Youtube channels that mock Christianity. They'll laugh at us for what we were caught doing. Then, use similar tech to mock Christ and His followers.

Interesting enough, the first example I found was a popular, Christian channel faking an Olsteen video. Secular people will probably wonder how many other things the author faked. Speaking the truth in love means we shouldn't use A.I.'s to mock non-believers either.


So, there's some Bible passages that I believe support my claim that we should share the Gospel with no trickery or craftiness. Just have real people share the truth. If it's automated, just tell them it's the truth and let them decide for themselves. If people in or like that group convert, maybe get them involved in the work. That will help with more than just appearances. People need to never doubt Christ and what He's doing is real, though.

(Read the Gospel, learn to share it, read other essays, or back to home.)