A fake Bible passage reportedly generated by ChatGPT about how Jesus accepts trans-identified individuals has generated responses from Christian scholars as some media outlets have touted the passage as an example of “much needed” tolerance.
In July, one Reddit poster who was “feeling sad” shared a “fake biblical passage” that he asked ChatGPT to generate about “Jesus accepting trans people.”
The quote posted in the “r/trans” channel by user Psychological_Dog527 sounded eerily like a legitimate Bible verse, even going so far as to echo the cadence of the Gospel writers.
“And a woman, whose heart was divided between spirit and body, came before him. In quiet despair, she asked, ‘Lord, I come to you estranged, for my spirit and body are not one. How shall I hope to enter the kingdom of God?'” the fake passage states.
“Jesus looked upon her with kindness, replying, ‘my child, blessed are those who strive for unity within themselves, for they shall know the deepest truths of my Father’s creation. Be not afraid, for in the kingdom of God, there is no man nor woman, as all are one in spirit. The gates of my Father’s kingdom will open for those who love and are loved, for God looks not upon the body, but the heart.”
While the passage is nowhere in Scripture, the poster said, “I know it’s not real but it gave me some comfort.”
Pro-LGBT outlet The Advocate was among those outlets to hail the fabricated verse with a headline reading “ChatGPT Writes Trans-Affirming Bible Verse,” calling it “an affirming example of tolerance.”
Astrology columnist John Sundholm of YourTango went a step further, writing the AI-generated verse “is likely much needed given the all-out attacks being launched against transgender people by America’s right-wing, nearly all of it in God’s name.”
He added, “This verse has special resonance in 2023 because of the virulent transphobia and anti-[LGBT] sentiment and legislation that continues to sweep the country — much of it supported and funded by Christians.”
While it’s not the first time a chatbot has generated theological controversy, the post raises questions about the role AI will play in offering interpretations of the Bible that may not conform to the authors’ original intent.
Although the chatbot’s response may have the “ring of truth” to it, Messianic Jewish author and radio host Michael Brown urged Christians to use discernment when considering the words of a chatbot in place of the Scriptures in a recent op-ed published by The Christian Post.
While conceding that Jesus would “absolutely” look upon a trans-identified person with kindness, Brown said the truth that “there is neither male nor female” in Christ Jesus “doesn’t mean that gender distinctions should be blurred or transgressed.”
“Instead, as expressed by Paul (see Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11), there is neither caste nor class in God’s kingdom — not Jew or Gentile, male or female, slave or free. We are all equal in Jesus,” Brown wrote.
“But that hardly means that there are no gender distinctions in terms of reality and in terms of implication. To the contrary, the whole Bible, including the New Testament, makes gender distinctions, giving specific instructions to husbands and wives, and recognizing only two sexes.”
As for the line, “The gates of my Father’s kingdom will open for those who love and are loved, for God looks not upon the body, but the heart,” Brown said the choice of language is no mere coincidence.
“Obviously, the ‘love and are loved’ words are straight out of the ‘love is love’ and ‘love wins’ playbook, really telling us nothing at all,” he said. “Or should we believe that ‘Jesus’ was saying, ‘Hey, if you’re in a polyamorous relationship, loving multiple partners at the same time, you are on the right track?'”
The phrase “God looks not upon the body, but the heart” does contain some “biblical truth,” Brown added, namely found in 1 Samuel 16:7 when the Lord tells Samuel, “Yahweh does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but Yahweh looks at the heart.”
But, Brown said, rather than merely “affirming” a trans-identified person who is struggling with their identity, Jesus would bring healing and restoration.
“Jesus would not say to a woman who felt like she was a man, ‘Be made whole, and then, miraculously and instantaneously, her healthy breasts would disappear, leaving her only with scars, after which He would then give her a lifetime subscription to hormone pills, free of charge,” he said. “God forbid! That is monstrous rather than Messianic.”
“Instead, He would say to her, ‘Be made whole,’ and, miraculously and instantaneously, she would be at home in the body she was created with. No surgeries. No pills. Just peace.”
Creationist Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis, responded to the ChatGPT passage by stating in a blog post that just because God accepts anyone who comes to repentance in the faith doesn’t mean that He “accepts us in the way that our culture (and the way this individual) accepts trans-identifying individuals.”
“When someone today says ‘accept,’ they mean celebrate an identity that runs contrary to God’s design,” Ham wrote. “When God says you are ‘accepted in the beloved’ (Ephesians 1:6 KJV), it means that Christ has paid the penalty for your sin so you now have right standing before the Creator of the universe.”
“And salvation means that God will not leave you in your sin and your false identity,” he added. “If you are his child, he will sanctify you and call you to leave your life of sin (John 8:11), deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow him (Luke 9:23).”
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