“There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”
–Morpheus, The Matrix, 1999
I’m about as unlikely a Matrix fan as you’ll ever meet. I avoid violent movies and in general, I’m not a sci-fi fan. In 2006, I was working as a freelance writer/reporter for a branch of Tribune Communications and wrote an article about a young man who started a paintball ministry to reach teenagers for Christ.
His favorite movie was The Matrix and in preparation for the interview, I decided to watch it.
The Matrix is a series about the ongoing battle between freedom fighters and computers who seek to enslave humans through a complex, computer simulation called the matrix.
Created by artificial intelligence, the matrix hides the truth from humanity, allowing people to live a convincing, simulated life while machines grow and harvest people to use as ongoing energy sources.
Let me pause and say what I’m not saying – I’m not saying The Matrix is theologically correct. In doing research, I discovered movie makers blended Christianity, Buddhism and New Age beliefs. There is profanity and violence – this is not a Christian movie.
I am passionate about the movie because I think in many ways it shows the truth about the world we live in.
In the matrix, billions of people live their lives in oblivion, believing a false, simulated reality. The true world and battle are unseen – the Bible speaks of this:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil
in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 NIV
The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV
I believe two dimensions operate simultaneously – the physical world and the unseen, spiritual one. I believe once we’re in Heaven, this life will seem like a dream – the reality of Heaven is greater and stronger than what we experience now.
Morpheus puts it this way, “You are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.”
The character Neo is given a choice to wake-up. He is given the choice of accepting the truth (red pill) or continuing to live the lie in oblivion (blue pill). Neo chooses the red pill, wakes up, sees the truth and gets born again – his life is forever changed.
God always lets us choose.
“What is the matrix? Control. The Matrix is a computer generated dream world, built to keep us under control in order to change a human being.” –Morpheus
This is exactly how Satan, the god of this world works. He uses:
- false thinking
These things deceive and sedate – they keep us from the truth – as long as we listen to the lies and reject the truth of Christ, he is in control.
“The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy.
You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so injured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, they will fight to protect it.” –Morpheus
They fight to protect the lie, the false belief system, because they are blinded and unwilling to accept the truth.
Trinity chimes in, “The answer is out there, Neo, and it’s looking for you, and it will find you if you want it to.”
The Bible basically says the same thing:
But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29 NIV
What can be learned from The Matrix?
• There is but one truth
• Many are blinded to that truth
• There is a battle for your mind, your soul
• There is a Savior
• The choice is yours
In closing, I offer a last bit of Matrix dialogue:
“Remember….all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more. I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You’re the one who has to walk through it.” –Morpheus, The Matrix
The Bible’s version:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV
All I’m offering is the truth – I can only show you the door – you must walk through it.