With the advent of the “mega-church” and those who ape it, an entertainment focused relationship with God was, and is, being promoted. The fuel for this is lively music, motivational preaching, and a classy ambiance—leading to a great experience or pumped-up feelings. The Sunday experience of 90 minutes is all that this kind of faith requires. Many crooners do not even mean what they sing; and some songs are downright unbiblical. It is rightly said that “Christians do not say lies; they merely sing them”.
In the metaverse, imagine soul-less singing—worse than it currently is. For example, imaging a bot singing “I will sing of my redeemer”—when the bot does not have any idea of what temptation, sin, and even redemption are. Christian singing is about expressing feelings “from my heart”, but these “‘non-existent-voices” don’t have hearts—they are just products of Artificial Intelligence programmes. It is very likely that we will soon have bots preaching that will speak eloquently about living the Christian life, but that don’t have a clue what “living” is all about. And the metaverse will give us a fabulous mix of fantastic music, compelling motivational talks, and an unbelievable ambiance. Those who live propelled by these experiences will be completely misled into an empty and false religion.
Some Christians are wont to embrace any technology without considering how it relates to the Christian world view. How convenient would it have been for Christ to be made flesh in the metaverse? He could have even lived, been condemned, and crucified in the metaverse. We could even have been a part of that episode as it played out. Only, it would not be a real salvation, because it would not be a real saviour, going through real pain and suffering, while yet remaining sinless. There would be no real bloodshed, no actual death on a cross, and therefore no resurrection. It, at best, would only save those on the metaverse (if they needed saving) and would not matter to you and me. BUT, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. No wonder Galatians reminds us that “in the fullness of time God sent his Son” for us! That was the perfect time and our wise, omniscient God knows it. The Son should never be confused for a bot in the metaverse.
As for us who do not use technology wisely—it will be very safe for us to be witnesses to Christ in the comfortable, secure confines of our homes with our computers and VR headsets. No threats to us physically or otherwise, safe in the arms of the metaverse. But, let us continue to incarnate life and truth to the world around us. We will then be vulnerable as jars of clay, but possessing the treasure of Jesus Christ Himself.
We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always consigned to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our mortal body.
2 Corinthians 4:10, 11
(Originally published at https://bit.ly/CyrilBlog6)