There are “bytes” of Christian truth found in the 1999 hit, “The Matrix”. Let’s break it down.
In March of 1999, I was treated to one of the most original Sci-Fi movies I’ve ever seen. Watching “bullet time” for the first time and seeing a philosopher’s paradise unfold in the movie theatres was a movie spectacle to behold, There was also something else there that I didn’t expect. I was amazed that Christian truth was told within this cyber-punk style of movie.
Let’s begin with Neo (aka, “The One”)
By day, “Mr. Anderson” is a programmer that works for a respected software company, but in his off hours, Mr. Anderson goes by the hacker Neo and is virtually guilty of every cyber-crime they have a law for (Agent Smith would be proud of me). Neo is searching for something that he can’t quite put his finger on and his dogmatic diligence leads him to Morpheus. Morpheus tells him about “the Matrix” and offers him an opportunity to find out the truth that has been eluding him and driving him mad, like a splinter in his mind. When Neo takes the red pill, his journey into the truth of the Matrix, as well as his escape has just begun.
Neo learns that if you are not one of the freed, you are a part of the system and a potential “agent”. In other words, everyone who is still connected to this particular world system, this Matrix, is a potential enemy.
Fast forward about six months and Neo, along with Morpheus and his team, are bringing people right and left to the truth of their lives, that they are a prisoner of the Matrix. In their quest to free everyone, they run across “The Architect”, the creator of the matrix. During this time, Neo and team find that an old nemesis thought defeated a while ago, Agent Smith, has corrupted the Matrix, basically fracturing The Architect’s creation and twisting it to his idea of perfection. This “former” agent of the Matrix has corrupted all those who are still connected to the system.
Of course, Neo defeats the all-powerful Agent Smith and changes things back to what they were supposed to be.
While there are a lot of man-made philosophical ideas flying around the flick like the characters fighting in bullet-time, there are some very profound Biblical truths to be had.
First of all, this world, this “real” world is a fractured creation, broken by Satan’s words of influence (Genesis 3:1-7, 17-19). Because man listened to him a long time ago, the world is totally screwed up from the perfect creation that “The Architect” (God) had in mind (Hebrews 11:3, Colossians 1:16, Romans 5:12-19).
Second, you have to be freed from this world and even yourself so you can truly be “outside” of the current “Matrix” we now live in (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Third, we can only be freed by Jesus (the red pill) and it can only be by our choice of taking that freedom (John 14:6).
Fourth, anyone who is not freed is a part of the world system, the Matrix, and is a potential threat (Luke 9:50).
Neo freed himself be becoming aware, and this is a big point that really diverges from the Truth of God’s Word, that freedom (salvation) can only be found in one Man, Jesus Christ (the red pill) and not by works that we can do (Ephesians 2:8-9). Only through Him can we be freed from the Matrix, this fractured system and help others to be freed.