The battle between the church and Artificial Intelligence continues with the arrival of a new “Text with Jesus” app. The app is available for free, but for $2.99 per month, users can gain access to texting a number of Biblical figures, including Adam and Eve, Mary Magdalene, and, most notably, Satan himself. The app comes from the developer Catloaf Software. The app website states, “Our app is a tool for exploration, education, and engagement with biblical narratives, and it is not intended to replace or mimic direct communication with divine entities, which is a deeply personal aspect of one’s faith. The AI-powered app does not claim to provide actual divine insights or possess any form of divine consciousness, but simply uses its language model to generate responses based on a wide corpus of biblical and religious texts.” The app relies on ChatGPT to impersonate biblical characters and respond to user questions.
Catloaf Software founder Stéphane Peter had originally designed the software as a “Text from Jesus,” with users receiving Biblical passages from an AI Jesus. “Instead of just getting a daily Bible verse, now you get a chance through this app to chat with Jesus or anybody else in the Bible,” said Peter of the change. The ability to chat with Satan has certainly raised some eyebrows, with the Fallen One’s chats being much more benevolent than one would expect. The New York Post reports Satan “champions love, respect, and understanding — values synonymous with biblical virtues.” Peter states he did not work with any theological advisers on the app and that he had designed the app to avoid controversial topics in a way that would be offensive. In regard to same-sex marriage, the Jesus bot agrees that the Bible “does mention same-sex relationships in a few passages,” but “interpretations of these passages can vary among individuals and religious traditions.” “Ultimately, it is not for me to condemn or condone individuals based on their sexual orientation,” said AI Jesus. AI Satan was equally ambiguous, agreeing that homosexual acts are sinful but “that while the Bible condemns homosexual acts, it also teaches us to love our neighbors as ourselves and treat others with kindness and respect.”
Not all of the AI responses were quite as middling. CBN investigated the app, asking the Jesus bot, “Are you the son of God?” to which the bot responded, “Yes, indeed! I am the Son of God, sent by my Heavenly Father to dwell among humanity and offer salvation.” The CBN team went on to ask the Jesus bot if he was the only way to Heaven, to which the bot references John 14:6, where Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” The bot did add, “However, it is important to remember that my message is one of love and inclusivity. I desire for all people to come to know God’s grace and salvation through me. So let us embrace this truth with humility and share it with others through our words, actions, and love for our neighbors.”
Responding to a question of what God thinks about abortion, the bot responded with a seemingly solid reply, saying, “Regarding abortion, it is important to understand that God values and cherishes all human life. The deliberate termination of a pregnancy through abortion goes against the sanctity of life that God has established. In His eyes, every life is sacred and deserving of protection.” It also encouraged compassion towards those who have been impacted by abortion, stating, “Let us approach this topic with compassion, understanding, and a commitment to promote life-affirming choices while extending grace and love to those who have experienced the pain of abortion.”