I want to start by saying that I believe the Wachowski brothers are brilliant people who created a beautiful piece of art, and as some have previously commented nicely, who are we to question an artist’s choices? Those who were not able to grasp the genius in these movies were not looking hard enough, but that is their prerogative. There are people who would never hang a painting by Dali in their home; that doesn’t make his work meaningless.
As for the discussion on the analogies that can be drawn from The Matrix, I’m very interested in exploring each and every one. Using elements of our culture, especially movies, as discussion starters that can be led by the Holy Spirit is a practice more of us should employ. However, be careful assuming you understand everything. I own Reloaded and have watched it 10 or 20 times, and every time, I understand more about the creators’ possible intentions. I’m not arrogant enough to make a grand claim that I am the authority capable of teaching all of you about the Matrix movies. I would only like to make a few observations. Watch the movies again, and see if you see something new in them.
Few have commented on where God fits into all of this. Everyone talks about Jesus (who is God, of course), but what about the beautiful messages about faith and predestination and free will? In Reloaded, Morphius stands as an example of the faith I want to walk every day with. His attitude is always confident assurance that whatever is supposed to be will be. Most Christians could learn amazing amounts from this.
Morphius places his faith firmly in Neo, even before Neo understands what he must do. Neo knows he has a purpose. Without using the words, “called by God,” this trilogy vividly paints the picture of what calling is. In Revolution, Neo admits how frustrating it can be to not know what the conclusion of that calling looks like.
Without alienating the entire Christian community, I would like to offer a possible explanation of this trilogy. What if we stop using our tidy little labels “Buddhist,” “New Age,” etc., and start looking at life in terms of Truth, a subject with which the Matrix seriously dealt. What if the Matrix contains the Wachowski brothers’ idea of what Truth is, explained beautifully in analogy (like those another incredible Teacher often employed)? Is their view 100 percent accurate? Are you arrogant enough to think your understanding of Truth is? My framework of reality and understanding of Truth is constantly changing. That’s what an active relationship with God does to me.
I feel like the Wachowskis have more of a handle on Truth than the Christian community gives them credit for. I’m still processing their views on prophecy, choice and freedom, but so far, with an open mind to what they might mean; I haven’t found any of their views to conflict with my framework of uncompromisable Truth.
All that said, I want to discuss Neo a bit further. What if Neo is an accurate representation of Jesus? He spends the first part of his life in normal society, working for a living, not standing out, but knowing there is something more that he must pursue. When the time is right, he leaves that reality for the bigger, truer reality, where he is able to see another dimension to human life, and he finds that he is no longer bound by the laws of the universe that once held him. He does what he needs to do in every situation. Every move is perfect in battle. He even flies when necessary. Isn’t that what walking in the Spirit (which Jesus did 24-7) looks like? Neo could spend endless hours obsessing about his role, or he can just trust that when the time comes, he will know what he needs to do. He faces Smith (representative of sin?), becomes Smith, but overcomes him, setting all those in bondage to Smith free.
Many people brought their assumptions into these movies. If we could all drop our conclusions about what the Matrix should mean and actually try to see what it does mean or could mean, possibly beyond its makers’ intentions (we do serve a big God that tends to orchestrate events whether we want to be used or not!), we might be able to walk away with something that helps mold us into the people God wants us to be. (I get goose bumps every time I hear Morphius’ line, “My beliefs don’t require them to.”)
I want to thank the Wachowskis for their work, even if my careful study of their films leads me at some point to regard them as flawed philosophically. The Matrix trilogy has been used by God and will continue to be, even if we have to offer a few disclaimers. God allowed the films to exist. Let’s see what good can come from them (Romans 8:28).[Stories on RELEVANTmagazine.com are user-submitted. The viewpoints expressed are the opinions of the author and do not necessary reflect the opinion of RELEVANT magazine. For exclusive in-depth stories, subscribe now to RELEVANT magazine. If you are interested in submitting an article, please check out our writers guidelines.]
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