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A new study released by Barna in partnership with Gloo has revealed that most Christians are not very open to the idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI) being used in church. The study involved 1,500 US adults who were surveyed between July 28 to August 7. The study found that 30% of respondents strongly disagreed with the statement “AI is good for the Christian Church,” while another 21% said they somewhat disagreed. Only 6% strongly agreed that AI is good for the church. The results reflect a group that is already more suspicious of AI than the general public. According to Barna, only 28% of Christians believe AI can be used to do positive things in the world, 11 points lower than the 39% of non-Christians who think so. Christians were also less fascinated by AI than non-Christians (19% vs 24%). Pastors and leaders of other faiths have also expressed concerns over the use of AI in creating sermons. 

Kenny Jahng, founder of, does not believe the concerns are warranted. “Technology is here to serve us and not the other way around,” he said at a Barna cohort on technology and AI. “There’s all this fear that AI is going to be taking over the world, it’s going to be human versus machine. [But] if we step back and look at it, there are things that AI is really good for.” Jahng cited the use of AI for brainstorming and helping with learning something new. He also spoke out about the percentage of Christians who said they would be disappointed to find that their own church was using AI (26% strongly disappointed and 26% somewhat disappointed). “Don’t think of AI as a push-button vending machine, where you push one button, out pops a candy, you open the wrapper, and you just consume whatever’s given. The more constructive way is to think of AI as a super-intelligent student intern,” he said. Writing for Christianity Today, A. Trevor Sutton, co-author of Redeeming Technology: A Christian Approach to Healthy Digital Habits, acknowledged the concerns of churches but also cautioned against alarmism. “New technology has always been a source of fear, and sometimes more so by Christians,” he wrote. “In the 15th and 16th centuries, for example, the printing press was a culturally disruptive technology that many within the church initially feared and rejected—and yet it had an incredible impact on global Christianity. Some argue that Bible software apps of the digital age have had a similar influence on the way we read Scripture today.”

Scott Beck, founder of Gloo, told Fox News earlier this year that technology happens as part of God’s plan. “We don’t believe that God is surprised by AI,” he said. “Don’t think that He was surprised by the printing press. I don’t think He was surprised by television. Don’t think He was surprised by the internet.” He also noted that AI could lead someone struggling with mental health issues to the proper Christian ministries. “And if the message has got the keywords such as ‘suicide’ or, you know, ‘I want to end my life,’ or those types of things, within a moment, we’re able to go ahead and route those people into a suicide prevention ministry. Or we may also then route those people into a relationship ministry or into a local church.” David Curry, CEO of Global Christian Relief, however, noted how AI is designed to begin making its own algorithms. “The thing about artificial intelligence, though, [is that] it begins to take case studies and learn and make its own assumptions. So that’s where we don’t know where this is going to lead. It’s algorithms on steroids.” He cited how China uses AI to target religious minorities as another problem. Fox News ended the article with an interesting reminder about the reality of AI: “AI is morally neutral. But humans are not.”

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