Loving the World (matrix)
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:15-17
In the above Scripture, the apostle John tells Christians that they are not to love the world or anything in the world. The question is, what does he mean by the word world? In the Scriptures, the word world is used in a number of different ways. It is used to refer to the earth, that is, the planet on which we live. It is used to refer to the people that live on the earth as in “God so loved the world that he gave his only son.”
However, in the above passage, the apostle is not talking about the physical earth or the people that live on it. He is talking about a system of thought that controls the people of the earth. There is nothing strange in this language, for we ourselves use a similar metaphor for the way people think. We often talk about the spirit of the age. We understand when we use this expression that we are talking about a worldview that controls people’s thinking during a certain period of time. It is a system of thought or way of looking at things which is controlled by a force that is a larger than the individual and even the group. It is like a corporate consciousness that controls the thinking of the majority of men. It is the matrix. The outward form of this system or matrix changes from time to time, but at its root it is the same.
The system of the world takes its outward form in belief systems that men create–systems like ideologies, religions, economic systems, and political systems. These systems blind men to the truth of God. When a man puts his faith in Jesus, God then open his eyes so he can see the system of the matrix that controls the thinking of the world. At the same time, his eyes are opened so he can see the kingdom of God.
What has this to do with political parties? Jesus told His disciples that there were many things that they were not ready to hear because they could not bear it. What I’m about to say, many of you may not be able to bear. Political parties are a part of the system of this world, which are part of the matrix. The apostle Paul in the book of Galatians 5:19-20 tells Christians that parties or factions are the work of the flesh (matrix) and those who participate in that spirit will not inherit the kingdom of God. What is so wrong with a party spirit? Do you remember the movie “The Matrix”? It is a story of small groups of people who are able to see the reality of the world while the majority of men are blinded by a force called the matrix. Let’s look at a little of the story line.
Morpheus talking to Neo: “Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know, you can’t explain. But you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life; that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is. But it’s there–like a splinter in your mind–driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me.”
Neo: “The matrix?”
Morpheus: “Do you want to know what it is? The matrix is everywhere. It is all around us–even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window, or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, or when you go to church, or when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”
Neo: “What truth?”
Morpheus: “That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else, you were born into bondage–born inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. (In his left hand, Morpheus shows a blue pill.) You take the blue pill and the story ends. You awake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. (A red pill is shown in his other hand.) You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. (Neo reaches for the pill). Remember, all I am offering is the truth–nothing more.”
Neo takes the red pill and swallows it with a glass of water.
The knowledge that I spoke about above which you might not be able to bear, is that your political party is a part of the matrix. If you cannot see this, it is a good clue that you are in the matrix and don’t know it. If you put it in the words of Jesus, “You have eyes that don’t see and you have ears that don’t hear.” The good news of the Gospel is that you still have time to take the red pill. You still have time to wake up and receive the kingdom of God as a little child. “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15). How does a child receive the kingdom? First of all, he receives without presuppositions that blind him to the truth. Secondly, he receives it in humility, for it is pride that keeps a person from seeing the matrix and the kingdom of God. How do you become a little child? An old sage told me that the only way to find truth is to drop all your beliefs. I guess that is just another way of saying that you must become like a little child.
In the story of the matrix, Morpheus told Neo that he, Morpheus, had nothing to offer but the truth. Jesus told His disciples that all they would have is trouble: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). You will find that to preach that people ought to wake up, tends to make them angry. They would rather stay asleep, even if they’re living a nightmare. Pride does funny things to people.
In conclusion, let me give you some ideas that may help you to wake up. First of all, get rid of all parties that you belong to. This means all political parties, religious parties, and ideological parties. Stop thinking of yourself as a conservative or liberal, but rather as an independent thinker. Begin thinking of yourself as a Christian only, but not the only Christian. Become an independent, politically and religiously. All of this will help you to change your thinking and allow you to see clearly “for as a man thinks in his heart so is he.” If you are independent you will begin to think like an independent and if God gives you the grace, you may get outside the matrix and see the kingdom of God. By the way, it will take a miracle (see John 3:5,6).