Monday, January 09, 2017

Pastors Fear Rise of Robot Elders

Technology has always been one of the great drivers of the U.S. economy, constantly creating jobs and eliminating some in the process.  But now technological advances, especially in the field of robotics, are threatening to put America’s pastors on the unemployment line.

Touchbionics, a Silicon Valley robotics firm, recently announced the creation of a prototype "Pastorbot.”  “The Pastorbot will perform the typical functions of a pastor, only more quickly and efficiently” said Hyman Goldberg, CEO of Touchbionics.  “Need to dig into a passage that requires specialized knowledge of Hebrew?  We can upload a limitless number of lexicons and commentaries.  The Pastorbot can write a sermon, plan the church pastor’s conference and still have time for home visits.  When was the last time you saw a pastor doing that,” added Goldberg.  

The potential conseqences of robot elders have many pastors worried.  "Technology was great when it removed the burden of carrying bibles to church, helped us eliminate hymnals, or allowed for the collection of tithes from kiosks instead of passing the collection plate," said Clatyon Johnson, pastor of Greater Second Baptist Church of Denver.  "I even used an I-Pad to play music at a funeral, but this is getting out of hand," added Johnson.  

Johnson worries that after six years of study and toil, his services will no longer be necessary.  "I attended seminary for six years and accumulated seventy-five thousand dollars of student loan debt even though my wife worked full time all through school while I stayed home with the kids.  But now these Pastorbots are walking around quoting John Piper and Wayne Grudem.  They seem to know more about racial reconciliation than Russ Moore and even have 'Robert's Rules of Order' memorized.  How can I compete?" 


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