Some years ago, I was asked to write on an idea for a script for a movie a Hollywood film guy I called friend was thinking of doing. The project never came to fruition because he was diagnosed with an untreated recurrence of melanoma and died within 3 months of the diagnosis. Sadly, it was his own decision to ignore the follow-up exams the oncologist prescribed.
I still think about the project that would have made an interesting movie; I think.
My friend, Michael, wanted my script outline based upon the Biblical prophecy found in the book of Joel.
My note to myself in lamenting the story’s fate is as follows:
This short story was written for a film that never came to production because of strange circumstances. It is a story of what might ultimately eventuate in the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It depicts—taking literary license—the description of a bizarre, horrendous military force prophesied by Joel, the Old Testament prophet to one day descend upon Jerusalem.
The story I wrote began:
Dr. Gershwin Beilah glanced at the large monitors whose images were fed by satellite-relayed cameras on the northern outskirts of Jerusalem. He directed his eyes again to the old Bible, the passages of his attention underlined in red ballpoint.
The scientist read in a quick whisper.
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
The story the script was to depict was God’s Judgment during the Tribulation era. A most horrendous force of beastly soldiers will, the prophecy foretells, overwhelm everything in its path.
The Scripture in God’s word telling of that future army says the following:
A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array. Before their face the people shall be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. (Joel 2: 3-9)
This future army seems to be of super-human capability. Of course, we must understand that it is most likely a force, at the very least, possessed by a demonic influence.
The prophecy refers to it as the Lord’s army, but I take it that it is God’s, only in the sense that He uses even evil for His ultimate good purposes. I.e., the Lord will use this evil military force to, when all is said and done, carry out His divine judgment against the rebels of that last few years before Christ returns in the Second Advent.
It is with my study on this army during the time I was working on the script that tripped my interest in a news article I came across.
The news item was in connection with a secretive military project to create a technologically enhanced army. The article addressed the U.S. military planners’ concerns that the American public would object to such an army.
–Thus, they said, because the public had been subjected to the horrors presented in the fictional moves such as Terminator and others.
The planners are afraid, so the news story goes, that the public would remember the dystopian effects –the death and destruction—of those movie technological hybrids upon the people in their path.
That news item was analyzed as follows in an opinion piece I found that encapsulates matters involved.
The demonization of cyborgs! Sounds like a satirical Futurama plot where Bender campaigns for robot rights or something.
From Frankenstein to the Terminator, the message is often that technology’s integration with the human body robs the human spirit of its compassion and leads to violence and grave, unintended consequences. However, fiction can also reflect imaginative applications of emerging technologies as well as real concerns with those technologies. For these reasons, fiction can be a powerful tool for engaging the public in discussions of bioethics. A better-informed public that creates and consumes media related to emerging technologies may thus help DOD and its partners forecast ELSI concerns to mitigate problems early int he development of enhancement-related capabilities.
But the Army doesn’t think that the public will find its own way to loving the robot soldiers of tomorrow.
The study group recommended that efforts should be undertaken to reverse the negative cultural narratives of enhancement technologies and leverage media as a means of engaging the public. Across popular social and open-source media, literature, and film, the use of machines to enhance the physical condition of the human species has received a distorted and dystopian narrative in the name of entertainment. More accurate depiction of technology and its applications in fiction and nonfiction media could lay the groundwork for a new generation that sees opportunity for societal benefits in cyborg technologies. [Source: U.S. Army Worries Humanity Is Biased Against Deadly Cyborg Soldiers Because Of Movies Like Terminator by Matt Novak, Gizmodo news, Dec 10, 2019]
Whether human or demonic, or a combination thereof, that future, tribulation era army seems at least on the drawing board and probably is much further advanced in its planning. Like in the case of Babel, God’s own declaration about the fallen minds of man comes starkly into view in regard to preparation for that future time of His wrath and judgment.
“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” (Gen. 11: 6)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is deeply a part of the scientific mind of man. The super-human army or at the very least, the AI force, is just a matter of time in development. It is a fearful thing to contemplate. But the Lord also has something to say to us about that kind of fear, and about the mind we can appropriate because He lives within the believer.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1: 7)