The Matrix is Upon Us! (Part 1 – Introduction)

Remember the Matrix? I love that movie!

The main character, Neo, wakes up to the reality that “reality” is a farce, and that, in truth, everyone is plugged into a huge computer run by robots using us as battery power. Everything we experience in life is fake. “The matrix” is constructed by the computer to keep us imprisoned and ignorant of the truth. Upon waking from this false reality, Neo begins a journey to battle against this computer and free those who are imprisoned.

Since its release, this movie has been a great metaphor for the Christian life. It encapsulates the tension Christians feel between the reality of living for God’s kingdom and the lure of worldly priorities that run counter to God’s purposes.

I’ve been reading a lot about the development of technology recently and some of the thoughts I’ve read about, where our society is headed, are alarming. Never have the themes represented in the Matrix been so relevant as today.

In case you haven’t heard, we’re in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution. Experts speculate that our lives are going to change dramatically in the next 5-10 years. Advances in new technology will be making their presence felt more and more in our daily lives. Along with these developments will come great moral, ethical, and spiritual dilemmas.

Like the proverbial frog sitting in boiling water, if we aren’t aware of what is going on we may soon wake up to a new reality that we are ill-equipped to respond to. We may find ourselves under the influence of a matrix of sorts, living a false reality constructed by technology that aims to control and manipulate us.

It’s important for us to think about the impact of technology on our lives from a Christian worldview.

When Jesus sent out His disciples to preach the kingdom of God to the “lost sheep of Israel” he told them, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

We live in a broken and sometime hostile world, and Jesus instructs us to be vigilant. Just like sheep, we are easily manipulated and prone to wander, like the great hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” laments. This is why Proverbs 4:23 instructs us,

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

In a series of three posts over the next few weeks, I’d like us to consider together the impact of technology on our culture and faith. We’ll look at three areas that are being redefined by technology that will have significant repercussions on the church today – God’s sovereignty, trust, and identity. Stay tuned to the Orchard Hill Blog as we consider how we understand these important topics in light of the Gospel.

How about you?

Do you have any thoughts about how technology will impact the church and our faith? I would love to hear what you have to say about this. So please share!