An August 16 headline on the gay flagship website the Advocate announced, “ChatGPT Writes Trans-Affirming Bible Verse.” Yes, we are told, someone identifying as Psychological_Dog527 and posting on the /Trans subreddit wrote, “I was feeling sad today, so I asked chat gpt to write a fake biblical passage about Jesus accepting trans people.” And what, pray tell, was the response?
According to the story, the computer generated this passage, beginning with these words: “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?’”
How did the AI “Jesus” respond?
He “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.’”
And then, “‘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.’”
To be sure, some critics have dismissed this new “Bible passage” on the basis of technology alone, saying that they received no such response when they asked a similar question. In their eyes, the person just made this up.
But whether generated by ChatGPT or no, it is beyond preposterous to imagine that AI, using information found in the Bible, would then generate a comment that contradicted the Bible. That’s not how AI would function, anymore than a computer programmed to beat the world’s top chess player would lose my checkmate in the first 10 moves.
That being said, does the passage really violate the spirit and substance of the Bible? Does it put unimaginable words on the lips of Jesus?
Let’s put aside the claim that “those who strive for unity within themselves . . . shall know the deepest truths of my Father’s creation,” a claim that neither makes logical sense nor has any biblical foundation.
Instead, let’s focus on the substance of the rest of the manufactured words of Jesus. And then let’s ask a deeper, real-life question. What would Jesus say to a trans-identified person?
We are told that He looked upon this person with kindness. Does this sound like Jesus? Absolutely. That is who He is.
And there is truth to the claim in that in God’s kingdom there is neither male nor female. But this 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.
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.
What about the last 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.”
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. 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”?
And did AI perhaps miss these words of the Lord? “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13–14)
As for the last words, “God looks not upon the body, but the heart,” there is some biblical truth to this. As the Lord famously said to Samuel, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
So, in the case of a trans-identified person, as followers of Jesus, we should not reject them because they have tried to alter their bodies to conform to their internal struggles. Instead, we should focus on their internal struggles. We should look at their hearts first and their bodies second.
But it is here that the whole AI “Bible passage” breaks down in terms of a trans-positive application.
That’s because 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. 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.
Of course that’s what He would do – unless you believe that He would miraculously remove the limb of someone struggling with BIID (Body Integrity Identity Disorder) rather than make them whole from the inside out. Or unless you believe that He would turn a “furry” into the animal they identify with rather than heal them of their confusion. Perish the thought.
That’s why, as followers of Jesus, we too should look on trans-identified people with kindness and, without condemning or driving them away, help them to find wholeness from the inside out. It’s the Jesus way – the real Jesus.