Your responses to Trapped in the Matrix
New on November 20
From Alistair MacDonald: I'm 22 years of age and I work for a Christian video ministry in the uk. I've just read what you have to say regarding the Matrix and the Matrix 2 (RELOADED). And the one thing that struck a major chord (as I had just watched the 3rd Matrix movie (I've not seen the second)) was the BLENDING of religions.
Let me assure you Matrix 3 uses LOTS of images of a cross. Neo turns into a cross of light as he sacrifices himself for MatrixKind. A woman in Zion bears the cross upon her arm in the form of a scar from the battle. But not all crosses used in the Matrix are Christ shaped crosses.
In Matrix 3, PEACE is made with the enemy! BEWARE! BLENDING OF RELIGIONS!! PEACE WITH THE ENEMY FROM THE OTHER DIMENSION!!!
This is definitely out! It is impossible to have peace with God's enemies in the heavenly realms.
Around the time I saw the first Matrix, I was using hallucinogenic drugs; Acid, Cannabis, Ecstacy etc. I opened myself up to some things that were not funny. I've had out of body experiences galore and seen things through mirrors, had demonic dreams, started and stopped fire with my mind, seeing though peoples skin, zooming out above buildings whilst walking, my vision turning white accompanied with a feeling of bewilderment, watching my 'life force' or energy, (I'm not sure what) leap across a road as I stood smack bang in the middle with a car coming at me, and various other occultic goings on.
And let me tell you that films like the Matrix offer humans the one thing they do not have... POWER OVER SUPER NATURE. The Matrix is all about power in the supernatural realm. Now there are definetely truths within the Matrix films but they are as you said in your article, just an allure.
That's where we get snatched into the occult..... YOU CAN HAVE THE POWER!
I'm convinced that if, shall we say for now, an 'alien' race were to 'come down' here and intervene within the mainstream political/ecconomic sphere, the major thing that will be offered is POWER.
Of course reality is a construct like the matrix, but the ability to change the code is either demonic or miraculous. Unfortunatly for matrix fans who recognise the existence of another realm and who find various ways of short circuiting their minds, we are not dealing with a reasonable race of machines but with an unimaginably violent hive of self made monsters waiting for ANY oppertunity to have THEIR way--even if that means giving you your way while it suits them.
So my opinion, as someone who believes that Christ shed His blood for our sins, who also has expreienced various ocultic experiences is that THE MATRIX IS OCCULTIC! Without a doubt.
And finaly my brothers and sister in the Lord...
Beware the trick of the Matrix: "The power is within you!"
Rev 1:8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." Rev 11:16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Rev 11:17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
Thank you, Alistair. I really appreciate your insights.
From Fabienne: David Ringer's letter on the "Comments - The Matrix" page (the next comment below) were very well thought out. He certainly makes a good case for Christians who are well-grounded in the Scriptures and prayer (and I assume he means **well-grounded** -- who spend a great deal of time with the Lord and His Word) making a point of seeing movies and reading books that are being acclaimed by the world in order to be able to understand where non-believers are coming from when trying to share the gospel with them.
[Of course, we are referring to adults here, not children.] Paul the apostle was obviously knowledgeable about some of the pagan literature of his day (although that may have been due to his education prior to his conversion, of course). You read books like the HP series and watch movies such as The Matrix so you can point out how dangerous they are to those who are young and not on their guard spiritually.
I think that, like another recent correspondent, David misses the point of your efforts. Your warnings and advice are aimed at parents bringing up children and at young people. He says that what he's "driving at is the difference between building walls and wearing armor." I can see what he means, but there is a difference depending on whether you're talking about adult believers *well-grounded* in God's Word or young children who have to be "trained in the way they should go" and protected from evil. For parents of these children, it is wonderful to have someone who can help them see the dangers in the books and movies that are aimed at children these days.
He also writes, "Is it not, then, more important to help our brothers and sisters learn God's Word for themselves than to fight distracting battles against SOME of the things we see in the culture around us?" Does he mean that we are not to warn each other of the dangers around us? Actually, you do a great deal of helping people to read the Bible for themselves, by constantly pointing to God's Word (has he seen the Bible studies and other Bible articles on your website?).
The fact is that most Christians in the English-speaking West (with well over 100 versions of the Bible in English to choose from!!) are far from being grounded, let alone *well-grounded*, in the Scriptures. Knowing God's Word simply isn't a priority in the Western church. Even in the Bible study group we belong to some people are very quick to ask for a break from Bible study whenever an excuse is available (not everyone turns up, school holidays are on, etc)!
I would like to ask David, in his years at LeTourneau, how many young Christians has he met who are truly well-grounded in God's Word and who wear God's armour consistently? LeTourneau does have certain requirements for its students (my eldest son wanted to study there but we had no way of paying for it), so the percentage of young people whose first priority is Jesus Christ may well be higher there than in the average local church.
Most of the young people (teenagers and under-30s) I've met who say they are Christians spend most of their spare time (that is, time when they're not in class or at work) having fun -- playing sports, going to movies, reading books (such as sci-fi, HP, Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, or "Christian" romances), playing computer or virtual reality games, or simply "hanging out". In other words, they live much the same way as their non-Christian peers (most of them also dress the same way). Very few of them make Bible reading and prayer a priority (not so surprising, since very few of their parents do either). They cannot see what harm the world's amusements can do to them. Jesus Christ is seldom, if ever, a topic of conversation among them.
Every minute spent filling one's mind with the world's rubbish is a minute NOT spent with the Lord. Every minute spent walking the world's way is a minute spent walking away from God. Minutes have a way of going past very, very quickly, and before we know it we have been spending hours, days, weeks, walking away from God.
If we read books or watch movies we must ask ourselves honestly WHY we are doing it. Is it really so that we will have a tool to help us explain the Gospel to non-believers, or is it because we are curious, we want to fit in with our peer-group, we "feel" like it ("I just want to relax a bit"), etc.? If the reason really is that we want to help others and share the gospel, then we'd better (like you do, Berit) pray a great deal beforehand, ask for prayer from others, and go wearing God's armour and wielding the Sword of the Spirit. We then may well find ourselves walking out halfway through the movie or throwing the book away long before finishing it!
In the last several weeks I have been reading a fair bit about believers in the suffering church as well as about Christian pioneers such as George Mueller, Amy Carmichael, and others. Having lived in Asia for many years I personally know many believers who have suffered a great deal because of their love for Jesus Christ. What strikes me most in every case is that their whole life was/is lived for the Lord. Everything they did was consciously and consistently backed by a great deal of prayer and a thorough knowledge of God's Word. One man my husband and I spoke to, exiled from his own country because of his faith, told us he found it hard to cope with the Western churches, where he found very, very few people who spoke of the Lord as Someone real in their lives. Mostly they spoke about movies, books, amusements, the weather, sports, and sometimes about world events [I remember the shock I felt as a new Christian when I found that after the service people were discussing the relative merits of different brands of fod and drink...]. Every time he spoke to a church group it made him want to weep -- "The church here is asleep," he said, "It is too comfortable."
How comfortable? One church youth group I know of has a weekly Bible study -- followed by a Tolkien movie, game or discussion (most of them are Tolkien fans). I am not sure how many times they have seen the two movies now, but I know they can quote far more of Tolkien than they can of the Bible...
What David says about encouraging others to read and study the Scriptures for themselves is always timely. However, I do not agree that we need to be so knowledgeable about the world's writings and entertainments. If we knew God's Word as thoroughly as we should and if we spent as much time with the Lord in prayer as we could, we would always be ready to tell others about Him and to answer their questions or challenges, because we would not be depending on ourselves but on the Holy Spirit and His Word. It is God, after all, who draws people to Himself -- we are only His instruments. In Jesus' love,
Thank you, Fabienne. Your letter is an answer to my prayer. [Thank You, Lord] He is so faithful! I had not had time to write an answer yet, but He provided through you. So thank You, faithful Lord and King!
From David Ringer: I am a college junior at LeTourneau University (a private Christian university) and am a chaplain intern on my floor. I am an English major with interests in writing and worldview.
I too have been concerned by widespread, indifferent ignorance and worldliness among the evangelical Christian community. I once heard a high school aged boy, who had been in church all his life, ask "What's a martyr?" I was to appalled to speak. Anyway, after reading some of your articles on contemporary cultural issues, I really wanted to email you.
Our local paper recently ran an article addressing "spirituality" in The Matrix. It was absolute rubbish, filled with heretical and impossibly ignorant statements by college professors, young fathers, and self- proclaimed ministers.
The college professor (a Catholic priest!) stated that the Apostle Paul would tell us to watch The Matrix, instead of
reading Romans. Obviously, nothing replaces the inspired Word of God, and The Matrix is hardly a treatise on Christian salvation. Many pagan and ungodly ideas and images are presented in the films. Neo is a bewildered jock, not a divine Savior. However, the movies do have some parallels to Reality. Chief among these is that humanity is enslaved and duped from birth by a powerfully evil force. Humanity needs a savior.
Ok, hang with me while I jump to another topic. I promise I'll make sense at the end.
I'm a fan of Tolkien's works and (to a lesser extent) the new movies (and the old cartoons from the 70s). As you explained, Tolkien did not intend his stories of Middle Earth to be a Christian allegory. They were, however, clearly influenced by his knowledge of Christian doctrine as well as many pagan beliefs. As you also stated, he sees Gandalf as an angel; thus, his powers are given to him by God--albeit indirectly--and are not "magic." Similarly, Sauron can be compared to a demon (with his master Melkor as Satan), so his power is "magic," that is to say, power derived from the fallen enemy of God. God does not work directly in Middle Earth, but his power is exercised by Gandalf and, in a way, the elves. This does not align with Christian doctrine, at all.
You clearly and thoughtfully pointed out in your articles on both The Matrix and Tolkein that these works contain an element of Truth but also many messages that conflict with Scripture. They are hardly unique in that respect. Now we come to my main point.
What would you have us do, given these "mixed signals?" As I read your articles, I got the impression that you do not encourage Christians to read/see these particular works, or by implication, any other work that is not 100% True. That leaves only the Bible.
Don't get me wrong. I am well aware that there is a lot of garbage Christians shouldn't even touch, because it is completely perverted and ungodly (Will & Grace and The Drew Carey Show come to mind).
I guess what I'm driving at is the difference between building walls and wearing armor. As Christians we MUST know God's Word and be able to give an answer for the hope that we have, as the Scripture says. Too often, though, Christians are too busy, too lazy, or too apathetic to do so.
When we really know God's Word and have the Holy Spirit illuminating it for us, are we not able to discern truth from falsehood, light from darkness? Again, this could be taken to dangerous extremes. But if we completely exclude ourselves from "the world," we never have reason to think through and really understand why we believe what we say we believe. If, somehow, the walls of protection we have built are breached, we are vulnerable, naive, and defenseless, if we are not grounded in God's Word.
Is it not, then, more important to help our brothers and sisters learn God's Word for themselves than to fight distracting battles against SOME of the things we see in the culture around us? Paul wrote about Greek games and Roman armor to illustrate God's truth. He used the Unknown god of the Greeks to tell them about Jesus Christ. At the same time, he was not afraid to harshly condemn sin when he saw it, like drunkenness, homosexuality, and gossip. This whole concept of being in the world but not of it is a difficult one indeed!
Seeing the Matrix and comparing it with Scripture has given me a deeper understanding of what the saving work of Jesus Christ really means. And just because Tolkein blends Christianity and paganism does not mean I accept a pantheon of demi-gods. I am more aware of our direct and intimate connection to a God who loves us and died to have personal relationship with us. Also, I have tools to use when talk to non- Christians, perhaps, or new Christians. I can discuss the flawed human Neo and then tell them of the sinless Son of God; I can tell them of a God who is not distant and impersonal but longs to fellowship with THEM.
David, you have asked some excellent questions and I am sure many others are wrestling with the same issues. Some of the answer are neither simple nor specific, for God doesn't ask the same of each person. But I am praying that He show me some basic guidelines from His Word.
Meanwhile, would you please read our section on the Armor of God, especially the parts on the Breastplate of Righteousness and a discussion with one of our sons many years ago. They might help answer one of your questions.
From Rich Yeh: You guys missed the blasphemous name of Merovingian, rumored to be the descendants of Christ, rumored to not have died at all by the Gnostics.
Here's more stuff for you guys to cipher:
Thank you, Rich. While the author seems to write from a different perspective than mine, I appreciate the link. The long, complex article (observations and speculations by someone obviously familiar with occult philosophies) validates my understanding of the parallels between the Matrix and Gnosticism and other occult connections. All the more, we urge Christians to guard against its subtle suggestions and deceptive notions. Col 2:8
From Jeff Wallace: In the scene near the end of the movie when Neo goes into this room at the top of the building that he had so much difficulty getting into and meets with this older gray haired man…..the man tells Neo that he is the Architect of all of this ….. In the occult world when that word is used, it is often used to falsely represent that it is God, but in reality it is Satan. The Masons in particular speak of their god as the Great Architect of the Universe. I believe it goes without saying that the Masonic god is Satan, not the God of the Bible. I don’t think that it was a random coincidence that the writers put that in.
My take on this is that all these figures represent all the Biblical counterfeits of scripture. In this movie what we have is the anti Christ (Neo) Satan (the Architect), and maybe the false prophet in either Trinity or Morpheus. Ironically, it was condemning the kind of carnal indulgence that Morphesus presided over, that got John the Baptist beheaded. I don’t think John the Baptist could ever be identified with the Morphesus character. Also, one could say that the deception of people within the movie’s portrayal of the matrix and virtual vs. reality, is very much like the deception in real life that Satan creates as we all succumb to our carnal natures and chase one false and misleading pursuit of temporal pleasure after another.
First letter from Scott Zielsdorf (Senior Technical Support Consultant): I came across your review and deconstruction of Matrix Reloaded while looking for a quote - which, thankfully, I found in your review.
You are correct that some would not agree with some of your views - as I don't, but I do appreciate the thought and the commentary. Few people are aware of the Gnostic Heresies.
The reason I am writing is to ask if you have considered the "other camp" involved in the Gnostic Heresies? I want to ask, seriously and not at all malaciously, if, in your defense of the Gospel and the rejection of any apparent value of sensuality, you do not see your sincere beliefs as close the aesthetic gnostic camp?
I ask for a couple of reasons:
1) You mention in your deconstruction of "Reloaded" the Gnostics - but only (unless I missed it) the camp that held that all flesh was evil, ergo, eat, drink and be merry, etc. You did not mention the opposing camp that said all flesh is evil therefore deny it everything.
2) You mentioned closing or covering your eyes during the cave orgy scene and you said it reminded you of the Israelites who fell about and played when they tired of waiting for Moses to descend from the Holy Mount. If the brothers who wrote and directed the movie were true to their story telling, likely you *were* supposed to be reminded of that scene from the Scriptures. Following this, somewhere farther down in the deconstruction, you mentioned that just as rendered porn has the same arousing effect as real porn, this movie makes impressions. I do not disagree with your statement but following this line of thought, you should then avoid reading the sensual parts of Scripture - and I doubt that you do because we hold a higher value of the text than other form of media. Still, it is inconsistent - except with Gnostic principles.
I too am troubled by the echo of the Gnostic Heresies in this present age. But I am troubled more by the apparent lack of Evangelicals to recognize the heresy in their own practice of the Faith while trying to "remove the spec of dust from their brother's eye."
One correction to the comparison table: "Reloaded" seemed to me to present the full Biblical hierarchy for the first time. So whereas you have Trinity as the Holy Spirit and Morpheus the God figure, the current thought still has Neo as the Messianic figure, Morpheus as John the Baptist, Trinity does not figure in, the Architect is God and the Oracle is the Holy Spirit - oh, and Agent Smith as Satan.
I'd welcome a dialogue with you via email about gnosticism. If you'd rather not, I would sincerely appreciate an answer regarding my original question. It is quite important to me. As a brother in Christ I am hoping you would honor my request. Thank you. God bless you.
Thank you, Scott, for your thoughtful letter. I would like to discuss this topic with you, and I appreciate your help in clarifying misleading parts of my article.
In that article I made a brief distinction between the asceticism that, especially in the past, characterized the better known Gnostic sects -- and the more licentious philosophies that replaced asceticism in more recent times.
I did not want to imply that sex is wrong. It's great -- in privacy and within marriage. But the kind of promiscuity modeled in the movie violates God's wise guidelines and corrupts nations as well as individuals and families.
I appreciate your explanation of the trinity in the Matrix. May I post that as an alternative view in a footnote to the chart?
Could you explain and illustrate your point in the section that I changed to bold letters? I am not sure I understand the problem you see.
Second letter from Scott: Thank you for your reply. Wow... I understand your time constraints!
I come from a conservative background - the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, aka, Campbellites. I am an ordained minister in the fellowship though I am not currently in a pulpit ministry. I am currently concentrating on getting a web site up and I have a small (70+ members) email list that I try to put out once a week or so called "The Late Night Pastoral Letter." ...
I do not dilute the message for the sake of the non-believers nor do I whack them over the head with their state of sin. I focus on the Life of Christ and how it works in my life. Some letters are a bit "whacky" as I give travelogues of where I have been and what has happened to me and others, like the one I am working on now, will be quite serious. I and a handful of others are the "victims" of a church takeover by a Saddleback modeled congregation. We lost the vote.... Anyway, that is a bit about me.
Yes, you may use my comments on your site about the Matrix. I am afraid I am one who sees teaching value in the Matrix movies - both positively and negatively. The positive comes from the simple elegance of Morpheus' comment in "Matrix" that "there is a difference in knowing the path and walking the path" and the parable or - clear showing (?) - of a dual world. In the "Matrix," during the agent training program Morpheus states that anyone plugged in is a potential agent. That some are so dependent on the Matrix that they would fight to stay - and Cypher, the Judas character, certainly proved that. His monologue is so illustrative of today's world with those still "plugged in" as those outside the Church and very willing to stay out.
The negative - which in a sense is really a positive - comes from being able to show the subtle shades of worldly philosophy and how they operate.
It has been quite a mental and spiritual exercise in watching and analyzing.
Regarding my comment:
I too am troubled by the echo of the Gnostic Heresies in this present age. But I am troubled more by the apparent lack of Evangelicals to recognize the heresy in their own practice of the Faith while trying to "remove the spec of dust from their brother's eye."
I do not want to make to grand a generalization about Evangelicals but I am alarmed by the ones I know personally who, in their "fight" against sensual influences in the society at large have lost sight of Christ and have fallen into the ascetics' camp. Having no mercy nor compassion, no love but a Pharisee's zealousy for telling others their faults.
We tend to forget the warnings about false teachers and "secret heresies" being valid today as they were at the time the Apostles penned their letters. In attempting to control the culture or make people aware of Satan's "power" on earth some have gotten caught up in their own righteousness and have lost connection with "the head." I was a small town politician for a bit with aspirations for statewide office. I know the power of politics. To me, there is no greater "high" - not drugs or sex that can compare with the possession of power.
I am glad you pointed that out. In occult orders such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the absolute goal is power. That's all that count -- and one may use any means, no matter how brutal, to gain it.
And yet...so many Christians feel that they must become engaged in a process that *can* be as volatile as smoking in a room full of natural gas. I am no longer a politician, having come a little to close to the "dark side." I don't think Christians shouldn't be involved in politics but I believe they must have an awareness of the process they are stepping into and realize their soul could be in jeopardy at any moment because of their own lusts to "do good."
From Sam Fisher: I'm a devout Christian and i love the Lord. But its fanatical people like you that find fault with what you want to find fault with.
Evrer since i was a small child everything was blown out of proportion by fanatical Christians. To fanatical Christians like yourself, everything is satanic or evil, only because its new and trendy. Also just because something is new and trendy, that doesn't mean that its a cult or a devilish new religion.
I personally don't see any relationship between the Matrix and the Bible.. Morphius was the commander of the ship, and thats all i got from it.. I believe the only reason that you put that in there is because you've nothing else to do with your time.
Have you even seen the first movie? I doubt it. Most fanatical Christians rely on what they've heard, never seeing for themselves. Secondly most of you fanatical Christians are old and too traditional, not wanting to see anything new come along that might interrupt you're boring "Leave it to Beaver" sitcom lives.
Finally, This is not 1960. A lot of things have changed. If you want to sit around and compare the new to the old and pick out what you think is satanic, blasphemous, and is a cult, don't bother doing editorials like this. They just show how old and boring you really are..
Actually, I did see the first movie, Sam. And as I mentioned in my review, I didn't expect everyone to agree with me. But God does call His people to examine all things carefully in light of His Word.
Yes, this is the 21st Century. But our God and His Word hasn't changed. There's a is still a big difference between the world's popular "wide road" and the "narrow road" God has prepared for those who love Him. "
Today, as back in the days of Joshua, each of us must decide which to follow. "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve," said Joshua. "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
From Katie: First of all, let me apologize in advance if I insult your beliefs or sound rude. We are all entitled to our opinions and faiths.
Second of all, I am not Christian. I don't believe in religion for my own reasons, but mostly because they never gave me straight answers.
I think your page is well-organized, visually pleasing, but wildly inaccurate. I haven't read all your articles because I haven't had the time, but I can point out several things that I disagree with.
1. In your Matrix review/analyzation, you stated that several deaths had been linked to the Matrix, suggesting that despite it's Christan-like message, it's still violent and alters viewer's minds. I agree totally with that, but for different reasons. For example, if sone teenage kid who was a devoted Christian killed his parents claiming he was freeing their souls, would you praise him?
No Katie. But your premise is misleading. A teenager who is a "devoted Christian" will know God, love His Word, trust His promises and -- by the Holy Spirit within the believer -- follow His way. Therefore, he wouldn't have done such a thing. See Biblical versus Cultural Christianity
If a kid would kill his parents, he was not sane to begin with. The Matrix, or violent games, movies, etc. are simply something for him to latch onto, to give him an excuse to kill his parents or whomever, when the real reason is he was mentally disturbed to begin with. Had the Matrix never been made, chances are, he still would've killed his parents.
You may be right. But sanity is a subjective term. Today's global education system has discarded the truths, certainties, moral and spiritual values that built foundations for mental stability and a sound mind in the past. The result is a mental instability that -- given the right (or wrong) stimulus -- could trigger violent reactions in lots of people.
And yes, I also thought the dancing in Matrix 2 was unnecessary. But, humans do need to procreate to survive as a species. And with that many people gathered in a place, it's difficult to ballroom dance.
Yes, but public sex is a poor model for procreation.
2. Role playing games are not "evil" or "occult" or anything like that. I play Magic: the Gathering. In fact, I love it. ...
3. Occult is a religion, too. Just because it's not yours doesn't mean it doesn't have merit. You could easily say Jesus was a pagan and into occult. After all, he did use "magic" to change water into wine, heal people, and even bring someone back from the dead. If anyone else had claimed to do
things like that, he would be branded a witch.
Your question is important in these times, Katie. Many others have also equated God's miracles with occult magic. The key difference has to do with the source of the power that produces physical changes. I have already tried to explain that difference in the chart on this page: The Nature and Tactics of Satan
As for evil, "If God doesn't stop evil, he is not all powerful. If he allows it to exist, he is not all good."
From JC: I thought your article about this movie (the second Matrix, I believe) was incredibly valuable... I did not see either of these movies, but I know some people who saw the first one and one of these people became permanently angry with the other one for saying something mildly negative about the movie. I am very disturbed by the growing 'sacredness' of many movies in peoples' minds. Sometimes I have been told "Don't analyze this, I just want to enjoy my memory of the movie!" This really frightens me.
I believe a long time ago I tried to figure out what "Gnosticism" was. This took me some time, and I promptly forgot it in a few years. I think this movie, and Gnosticism, and some other systems of thought and ideas, as well as some PEOPLE also, believe it or not, are so difficult to figure out that it looks as if this has been planned to create confusion and waste time (confusion not being from the Lord, states the Bible).
It would be possible for someone to waste their entire life trying to wander about in these mental mazes, or dealing with these confusing people (who might seem extremely "dynamic" or "fascinating" on the surface), and I think that might be one of the major points in creating these effects to begin with....
Question: Does this review pertain also to the first movie?
Yes, JC, it does. Thank you for sharing our concerns as well as the wonderful hope we have in Jesus Christ.
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