Summary: An examination of the spiritual message of the Matrix, with comparisons and contrasts (actual message used clips as described)
God in the Movies
What is Real?
Warning – for any children in the audience, some of the clips might be disturbing
Premise of the movie for any that haven’t seen it. The main character is a computer hacker called Neo. He suspects that something is wrong with the world, but he doesn’t know what it is. He is put in touch with a resistance group led by a character called Morpheus. Morpheus reveals to Neo that everything he thinks of as reality is in fact a complex computer program – and that in fact, every human is contained in a container and is nothing more than a battery, producing heat and electrical energy for the Artificial Intelligence machines that have taken over the world. Neo is presented with the opportunity to break out of the program, give up his version of reality and become part of the resistance.
1. It’s the Question that drives us…
- there must be something more
As Trinity, one of the resistance fighters, reveals to Neo – it is the question that drives us. The question of, is this all there is. We tend to ask ourselves that question when life is tough. Is this all there is to life? Is this all that it’s about. Is this really as good as it gets. And philosophers throughout the ages have asked the same question. The Greek philosopher Gorgias compared us to leaky jars – we are never satisfied, and always looking to be filled up again, to have our jar full so that we can feel okay. The British philosopher Mick Jagger, put it this way “I can’t get no satisfaction”. And most of us can identify with this sense of unease. If this really is as good as it gets, then I’m not filled with hope. And we try and fill up our jars with different things – with a relationship, with success, with an important career, with material possessions or toys, or entertainment, or distractions – but it doesn’t satisfy. As Augustine said “Our souls are restless” and if we are honest we have experienced that, this restlessness, this lack of satisfaction…and we know this cannot be all that there is. And there are crises in life that serve to bring us to this point – maybe divorce, maybe the end of a painful relationship, maybe the death of a loved one – we stand on the other side of those things and say to ourselves – if this is the final word, if this really is all there is, then it just doesn’t make sense – and we can be filled with hopelessness.
2. Something is wrong with the world…
- it was never meant to be this way
Neo had senses that something was wrong with the world
- in his case, something was wrong because it was an illusion that he was living.
But we too have probably experienced this sense of something being wrong with the world. As I sat in front of my TV on Sep 11 last year watching the second plane crash into the world trade center, something inside me was saying “Something is wrong with this world.”
Recently watching the news about all the kidnappings of young girls, who are later found dead and often sexually molested, something in me cries out that it was never meant to be this way. What kind of world do we live in where an innocent young girl can’t go out to play, where parents have to fear for the safety of their children.
It’s just so wrong – and it was never part of the original plan. When God created this earth, and put humankind on it – it wasn’t in his design that we should do these things to each other, that we should do what we have done to this planet. God created us to love him and to love one another, to cherish the beautiful world that he had given us. And what have we done? The blood is on our hands.
Because each one of us is infected with a disease. The Bible calls this disease sin. And just like the West Nile virus which is creeping steadily westward, so sin, which started in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, has crept its way and contaminated the whole of humanity. And not one of us is free from its effects. It corrupts our minds, our desires. We know how we struggle. We know the darkness that is in each of our souls. We know there is stuff we think about that we’re glad no one else ever gets to know.
The Bible puts it this way:
…for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,