One of my favorite movies of all time is the 1999 film The Matrix. It is your typical, yet sophisticated thriller that takes an unknowing hero and enlightens him to the importance of his role in saving the universe. Much like Luke Skywalker in the 1977 film Star Wars. Now many people have tried to connect both of these films to Christianity and draw connections between Skywalker or Neo to Christ, and even though there are similarities, neither of them die in the end and sacrifice their own lives for the sins of this world. None of them happen to be the son of God either. My purpose here is not to draw a connection to the trinity with these films, but rather show the connection between the matrix and western Christianity.
We are all stuck in the matrix, a system that bogs us down with everyday useless interactions with a system. We all fill our days with meaningless business. We wake up, we go to work, we come home watch some TV, and then we go to bed and do it all over again the next day - never making significant connections or even allowing God to make connections for us. We get so overwhelmed with paying our bills and working enough overtime to put food on the table and live the comfortable consumptive lifestyle that is the Western world that we never are able to unplug from the cycle that is the matrix. And to tell you the truth, some people are so busy that they have developed a pattern of complacency and are so used to the matrix that they don't want to unplug from it. As Morpheus says in the film:
"You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it."
Tearing the Church away from it's complacency will not happen easily. Most are so used to it, so comfortable with it, that changing and seeing things differently is impossible, or at least terribly painful.
I did a lesson on the Miniature Earth statistics where the class and I calculated how much I spend each day. This included my mortgage, student loans, gas money, food bill, utilities, an average of how much I spend on clothes in a year, etc., etc. We figured out (and this was a conservative estimate) that I live on no less than $150.00 per day. Read that again. And I think that I am a relatively controlled spender. Comfortable and consumptive when compared to the fact that nearly 3 billion people in this world (half of the world's population) lives on $2.00 or less a day. And I feel like I'm unplugged from the matrix, once again, to quote Morpheus, "There's a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path." To be the Church, with a capital "C" that God intended, we must shed our complacency, we must unplug from the matrix, we must begin to "walk the path". Neo didn't fully become who he was to be until he unplugged, until he saw that the "world had been pulled over his eyes." We don't need one Neo, we need an army of Western Christians who see this as a reality and unplug from the matrix in order to be who Christ has called us to be.
Morpheus: “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”
As Americans, we are so busy, we are so consumed with ourselves, that we are happy and content to stay plugged in. And many of us want to take the blue pill.
I think the red letters of the Bible, the words of Jesus, have asked us to take the red pill, and I think the rabbit hole goes deeper than we could ever imagine.