As you can tell from reading my previous blog, I'm a big fan of the movie The Matrix.
Of course the special effects are record-breakingly incredible, and yes the plot is peerless in the world of sci-fi, but there's another reason I enjoy this movie so much, and that's because I think it's an excellent parallel of the Christian life.
For those of you unfortuante enough to be unfamiliar with the film, let me give you the basic outline. Basically, the world that we see around us is a computer-generated counterfeit designed to blind us from the truth...the truth that we are really locked in a mental prison by, as the movie box states, "all powerful machines of artificial intelligence that control us." The entire human race is unknowingly imprisoned in a world that looks and feels like reality, but truly isn't. This is the Matrix. Amongst these decieved are a remnant of those who have been "unplugged," who are constantly striving to free those decieved from the Matrix. Out of this remnant rises one (Neo) who is destined to free the entire human race from their predicament, and open their eyes to the reality of the state of the world around them.
As I said, there are many similarities between the movie and the Christian life. One of these is that many in the world are decieved into thinking that the observable universe is all there is; or that "seeing is believing." We Christians of course know differently; that beyond what we can see and smell and taste there is a war going on, a war for the souls of those enslaved to their sin.
"For we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities of the heavenly realms."
Like Neo, we have been charged with the responsibility of opening other's eyes to this deceit, in short "making disciples of all nations." While we aren't able to manipulate time and space while performing jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics, running up walls and using high-powered firearms (though that might be fun ;-)-, we do have weapons at our disposal.
One of the most powerful of these is prayer. We can intercede daily for those we're trying to influence, and God will help us.
Another is our witness. How we live our lives can be one of our most effective tools in communicating our faith to others.
However, our biggest advantage in this war is that, UNLIKE Neo, we don't have to be
"the one." The fate of the world does not rest in your hands or my hands (those of you who know me know that that is a very good thing ;-)- Jesus Christ paid for the world's sin on the cross once and for all. Our job is to lead our peers to a knowledge of the grace made available because of this act to all who would believe in Jesus.
Like Neo, we have a choice. We can either choose to refuse our responsibility and slip into conformity, letting the world blissfully continue on its downward spiral, or we can stand up and accept our job, helping to open the world's eyes to their predicament should they continue without Christ.
Unfortunately, this choice cannot be made by simply taking a pill. Ours is a choice which must consciously be made each day, as our "matrix," our American culture, seeks to pull us into a lifestyle of ease and conformity.
In closing, are you content to close this browser and live a life of mediocrity with this knowledge that you have tucked safely inside your head, hidden from others lest they reject your witness?
Are you content to "go to sleep and believe whatever you want to believe," or are you going to use the knowledge you now have for the edification of your peers, and see for yourself "how deep the rabbit hole goes?"
Shane (aka the Introvert)