Today's guest post comes to us from Dr. Doug Lee. Doug is the worship leader at our church, a great coworker and a wonderful friend. He is incredibly passionate about helping people worship God more fully. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his blog: Whole Life Worship.
I’m an old-school nerd. I’m caught in a time warp that left me in somewhere between the 70’s and 80’s. I grew up with the original Star Trek (Kirk, Spock, McCoy), the first Star Wars (Luke, Han, Leia), and the great trilogy: Back to the Future. Scott calls me “Yoda,” but I wonder if that’s a compliment about my wisdom or because I’m a decrepit fossil!
So forgive me for referring to a movie that is now 15 years old, but as an old-school Christian nerd I think it is one of the best spiritual movies ever made. This movie is the best in uncovering Jesus’ Kingdom perspective.
No, it’s not Left Behind. (gag me!)
I’m talking about The Matrix.
There are a lot of cool things about The Matrix (like being able to defy gravity, learning Jiu-Jitsu from a download to your brain, and having an unlimited supply of weapons), but I think the most profound part of the movie was when Morpheus tells Neo: “The Matrix is the world wrapped around your eyes.”
The world Neo thinks he lives in is actually a fake world. He believes that he is living in 1999. The reality is that his body is hibernating and being used for thermal energy for a machine-driven world in the 22nd century. He is plugged into the Matrix that keeps him and the other human energy units placated and comfortable.
The “world” that Christ describes in the Gospels is similar to the Matrix. Our world is also a “false reality” where we believe that we are in control of everything we do –we eat, drink, sleep, fall in love, have families, work jobs, go to church – but in reality we are being “played” by the deceiver, and every decision we make (good, bad or otherwise) serves to perpetuate the illusion. However, Jesus offers a new reality, the true reality he calls the “Kingdom of God.” In this reality we find Truth, Freedom and Love.
But Jesus does not candy-coat the process. He does not promise comfort, ease, and safety for our “status quo.” Rather, in order to follow Jesus, it requires “denying self and taking up our cross” (His version of “taking the red pill”). It means we are no longer in control, but submit to Jesus’ Lordship. It means totally relying on God. It means letting go of things dear to us all for the sake of living real lives.
The more we follow Jesus in this way, the more we see and understand how what the world offers to us is so false. And the more we see that Jesus is the real deal.
In what ways do you see “fakeness” in the things of this world?
How does Jesus instruct us to go against the grain of the Matrix?