Pastor's Blog

Pastor's Note - April 20

A couple weeks ago, some interesting pictures were floating around Twitter/social media. One was actually a series of pictures, featuring Donald Trump running from armed police officers. Another picture featured Pope Francis in a white puffy coat that looked like something that would adorn a pop star. Neither picture was real. Both were AI generated. That is, they were pictures generated by computer processing. Someone gave the AI software key words, and that software produced the images. They were not “real” pictures of events or moments that actually happened. But without close examination or thought, they looked very real. There were other pictures and videos floating around that were obviously computer-generated. One series of photos featured celebrities in a concrete-eating contest. Another was a video of Will Smith eating spaghetti. This video was obviously fake, as it looked totally distorted and, frankly, horrifying. But give it a couple years. In short time, there will be AI-generated videos that look totally “real.” It seems we are on somewhat of a tipping point with AI-generated media becoming more and more believable. They will be indiscernible from “real” images and videos. I have no idea what the cultural consequence will be, now that AI-generated content is upon us. I don’t know if it will put artists out of business, as AI can produce art for comics or books or other media. I don’t know what the consequences will be in education, where AI programs like ChatGPT can produce poems, essays, etc. with just a few prompts. It’s too early to tell. But it does seem that we will have to continue to be careful in discerning what is truth and what is error. We live in a world where news outlets serve essentially as extensions of political parties and agendas, and will knowingly lie to their viewers in order to keep viewers, maintain ad revenue, and maintain standing and power. Telling the truth has fallen down the list of priorities. I guess what I’m saying is that we as Christians must seek to be people of truth. God detests lies, and lies go against His holy character as a God of what is true and right. If we are to be His people, we must be people of truth. Let us seek to be people of truth, even if the truth is unflattering, or doesn’t help our own cause or narrative. That’s a difficult thing to do. It doesn’t mean we are suspicious of everything, which only leads us into conspiracy theories, which generally take us further into lies… Rather, we want to be people who think with sober judgment and sound reasoning, praying that the Lord would help us seek and see truth. Ultimately, we of course know where truth is found, in God and His word. In a world of fabrications, distortions, and lies, God’s Word remains undoubtedly true.

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