Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the fastest innovations on the earth, comprising of complex algorithms to help us humans make better decisions. AI can be found in many digital platforms such as; mobile phone applications, media entertainment (Netflix) and speech recognition devices which help disabled individuals communicate. But what about AI in a religious context?
Does AI have a place within the church? Could robotic AI innovation be the future to Christian ceremonies to enable communicating Gods Word in multiple languages? A town called Wittenberg in Germany have welcomed BlessU2 to their church. BlessU2 is a robot with artificial intelligence, it has taken the post as a priest to perform ceremonial blessings in 8 different languages. While this is an excellent way to involve international visitors to the church, could this technological approach also distract peoples spiritual perception and experience in the church?
Furthermore, when we go to church we expect to talk to person... human interaction. To engage with another fellow Christian who can experience the Holy Spirit with you. Can we experience the same with BlessU2? Technology is the future and as mentioned before it does benefit humans in more ways than one. But when it sits next to humanity and moral judgement can it participate in respect to its own perception? For God told us not to follow/ worship idols of what man has made for themselves (Leviticus 26:1).
And why should we be trying to replace ourselves with robots when church is all about meeting, sharing and discussing Holy scripture with one another (Mark 16:15). When sharing an emotional experience we humans require another persons’ emotion to communicate. Artificial intelligence cannot provide this emotional content required to preach and discuss the teachings of Jesus Christ.
BlessU2 is a funny and novel idea which could definitely support and benefit other organisations and businesses but on a genuine, intimate and religious level, it does not have a place in preaching the Good News from the Bible.
Peace be with you all.
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Well that was an energetic weekend for the youth team at EMC. We spent Saturday night setting up ten "crystal maze" style games to challenge and exhaust our young people. Sunday morning began with a Parade service. That's when the youth organisations (Scouts etc) join us in full uniform to parade their colours. Paul Courtney (from Ivybridge) led a lively service. Paul's theme was authority. He told us how he thought he had been well behaved at school, although his mum found that funny, for some reason.
We joined in with some new songs led by Paul on his guitar, and did a little dancing too!! Not something you want to see me do !
After a snack lunch we cracked on with the final setup for the Sportif at 13:45 welcomed the young people. The event began with a warm up in the hall followed by relay races and a "Who can cycle 0.1 of a mile the fastest!". After a briefing from John W we set off in teams to complete the 10 challenges! These included
- Air Hockey, Cross the river, Fix the track, Table Tennis, Hockey Goals, Move the Junk, Pool, Shoot the Duck and Quoits. We changed games as the whistle blew. It was a very fun afternoon and we had entrants from ages 3 to 70!
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Today children have space to express themselves and availability to pursue their hopes and dreams. Parents strive to guide and provide children with the knowledge, abilities and resources to aid their children in achieving their goals. Children are the future and without guidance they are lost. Society has a silent grip on us all teaching us money, status are important to succeed in this world, while turning heads away from family and public unity. Jesus encouraged children to hear the Words of God (Luke 18:16), for Jesus' words are words to live by and to share with others. We can encourage our children to walk in the light with Jesus Christ by filling their hearts with the Holy Spirit everyday by simply praying before school time and finishing the day with a prayer at the dinner table.
Children learn how to behave and act by; watching parents when they drive the car, talking to friends in the street. They watch, listen and learn from how we live our lives. By studying the Bible with our children and meditating on Gods Words we can enjoy the Holy Spirit as a family which is an added bonus. Children are our closest disciples in the family home, they will not know of the great wisdom and knowledge in the Bible of how to live a pure life if we do not teach, share and apply Jesus' teachings everyday, in everything we do. Some might say "I will let my children choose whether they want to be Christian when they are older", this approach comes with risk of the Kingdom of God being washed away by the tides of societies vanities and slavery.
We have a unique opportunity to fill our children's hearts with the Holy Spirit, to live a Christian life which gives our children great qualities to live by, such as; love, joy, patience, humbleness, inner peace and self -control and kindness (Galatians 5:22). All children should at least be told of the almighty Kingdom of God and its infinite power, which is up for grabs to anyone willing to take that first step into faith (Romans 8:14).
Peace be with you all.
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5 resources you need to help you explore the Bible.
The Bible is a beautiful and important guide to life. It's poetry, history, prophecy, inspiration and love all mixed in. The problem is navigating it means we need a guide to. In this article I have collated 5 tools that may help you do just that.
If you are reading this in early 2018 then you could come along and join our Bible course, Thursday evenings at 730 at EMCC.
Ok, let's get started with number 1 !
1 Bible Gateway
Bible Gateway is a fabulous website for reading and studying the Bible. It's quick and easy search feature lets you find Bible passages in a huge range of translations. The parallels button allows you to compare the same passage in two different versions. This means you can easily compare literal and relative translations. Footnotes are made available to you and there is access to cross references, so you can trace the source of material from other Books.
2 The Bible society
No surprise that these guys appear on the list. The Bible society not only offer you the ability to read and explore the Bible they also have themes to help you review the material in different ways. For example searching for Matthew 1 shows cross referenced material and the core themes in this passage. Its all simply presented as the result of one easy search.
3 Bible study tools .com
Just like the resources above you can jump to a bible reference and use compare and parallel features to look at other passages. One nice feature of this site is the daily reading feature right on the homepage. They also offer other study tools such as a daily devotional and content to make you think.
4 Bible Tools
I really like the interface on this last of the on-line resources. When you look at a passage there are nicely compartmentalised boxes giving different content on that passage. Boxes include commentaries, maps and references.
Much of the content in the above items is similar. Which resource you use really depends on your preference for the layout, and ease of use of the service. They are all really good.
5 User's Guide to the Bible by Chris Wright
Personally I am happiest with a nice physical book. Here I would like to suggest to you. This great little primer is a really good introduction to the Bible. It inspired me to read several Old Testament books I would probably have steered clear of. It takes a well ordered trip through the Bible and puts so much of it into context! If you are local the Christian Resources book have it available very cheaply!
There are so many resources out there and so many ways to explore the Bible and consider your faith and life. To help you along the way we have lots of groups meeting throughout the week at EMC. Please checkout the website and come join us to learn and explore together.
Don't be afraid to ask. Please call text email message or write to us and we will find the best group or class for you:-)
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