Greetings, fellow Coppertops. The Matrix is Caesar! (Not that I’m obsessed about it or anything…ok, maybe a little.)
The plot was far more “Brave New World” than it was Christian. The Matrix itself was a representation of government creating a tightly controlled world for its citizens, most of whom had no idea they were slaves. That the Matrix was mechanical was a parallel to the cold, impersonal bureaucracy of gubmint. The agents were amusing parodies of faceless bureaucrats, officiously lording their power over us–I immediately thought of IRS Special Collections agents. To complete the analogy, the movie even depicted the parasitic nature of government, literally sucking the life out of people, while giving them a sense of security and comfort to keep them docile and enslaved.
The world of the Matrix was not simply an illusion. It was very much reality to the citizens–if you died in the Matrix, you died for real. It was real, but not a full Reality; it was just a very narrow segment of frequencies on the infinite spectrum of created Reality.
Some citizens had the nagging desire to know the true nature of the Matrix–a metaphor for yearning for Liberty (some would say a yearning for Truth–both quests lead to the same place). They still had the power to make choices, even the choice to leave the Matrix. The red pill that Neo took was, after all, just a mental construct within the Matrix but represented his declaration that he is a free man.
And then there’s the question of what freedom Neo and the others actually gained. The freedom depicted in the movie was grimy, looked like a jail, and had boring food. The movie presents a Hobson’s choice: be a comfortable slave for Big Bro or be “free” sucking gruel in a tin prison and smelling really bad. Is this the Liberty that Christ offers us? I gotta say, if I didn’t know better and was given the false choice as presented in the movie, I’d keep my job as an Energizer bunny for Big Brother.
Neo could be considered messianic only in the Jewish understanding: God’s chosen mighty warrior coming to free His people by waging war against Caesar using the power of his own strength and intellect. Of course, as Christians, we recognize this as an image of antichrist. Compare this with the real Christ: after He made it clear that He would not lead an army against Caesar, the Jews quickly went from shouting “Hosanna!” to “Crucify Him!” The antichrist messiah leads his people to a phony liberty which turns out to be just another prison. The real Messiah leads His people to true Liberty, revealing the full spectrum of the Reality continuum (mental, physical, and spiritual). Neo is an antichrist.
Live Free or Die!