In the movie, “The Matrix”, Neo (One) had to choose between the blue pill or the red pill denoting whether he wanted to learn the “real” truth or remain in his delusion. This struck me as somewhat similar to these verses, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.(1 Co 2:14-15 NASB)
This idea of the Matrix is not very far from Plato’s, “The Cave”. People are held captive to their illusion of reality and must be “pulled” away toward the light. Those who have found the fire light return to free others while a special few go on to discover the sunlight outside of the cave. These rare few (The One) return to teach others of the true reality. Hmm, is there any parallels in the Bible? Yes, there is.
This cube represents earthly wisdom. These three dimensions represent the axes of how every single person categorizes information. There is nothing wrong with these axes except that they are diametrically opposed to the mind of God. This cube is the mind-set or worldview boundaries of the natural man. I was born with this natural mind and I find myself still thinking along these lines whenever I move from following God to following Satan or self. This natural mind has sent men to the moon, developed vaccines and built tremendously tall buildings. However, the one thing this mind-set cannot accomplish is understand spiritual things. Oh, this mind develops “spiritual” concepts but these concepts have nothing to do with truth, only deception. The entire purpose of philosophy is to discover absolute truth so that man can be set free from the tyranny of death and destruction. To date man has failed and will continue to fail because the truth he seeks to discover is before him but beyond him.
This is the mind-set or worldview of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It is also the mind of Christ that He is developing in each Christian who has been truly born again and indwell with God’s Spirit. Notice the difference; worldly wisdom has no moral compass while heavenly wisdom has a moral component that drives the other axes. With worldly wisdom, deviation from the “norm” (the tails of the Bell Curve) is labeled as wrong. This makes all Christians wrong since they deviate from the average. However, heavenly wisdom has no place for worldly wisdom. With heavenly wisdom that which is not of God is corrupt or sinful and therefore is in the wrong. Deviation is not in the definition since worldly wisdom is not even on the map so to speak. Thus, when the Bible says that Christians are “new creations” is means that they have been remade with the mind of God and will not fit into the realm of worldly wisdom ever again. This change is instantaneous but the process of developing or maturing in the mind of Christ takes time just as an infant must grow and learn to use its worldly wisdom mind (2Co 5:17).
Now we come to the “Matrix” part of our discussion. There is no way to superimpose worldly wisdom over heavenly wisdom. While they may appear similar, they are not the same. Think of them as mirror images of each other. While similar, one cannot be superimposed over the other, though that is frequently tried and this effort is what I call, religion (salvation by works). The best example is your hands. The left and right hands are mirror images of each other but if you try to place the left over the right, or vice versa, you find that they are not the same and cannot be substituted for each other. They are different just as worldly wisdom and heavenly wisdom are different and cannot be substituted one for the other.
Thus, when the Bible says that the “natural man” (lost person) cannot understand the things of the Spirit, it is speaking the truth. The truth of God cannot fit into the mind-set of the natural man so those things are foolishness to him; that is, they do not compute. The response of the natural man is to snuff out the “truth of God” which he views as non-knowledge. The heavenly mind-set understands the natural man because God knows all things and each Christian began life as a natural or sinful person and retains elements of the natural mind-set. Unlike the natural man though, the Christian seeks to free the natural man though the truth of the Gospel.
The Christian makes his way back into the cave, moving to the back, in order to set free those who remain chained in their natural mind-set. We do not condemn those who are trapped, for we remember the days when we were trapped, but we seek to share with them the grace, truth and long suffering of the Lord which He showed toward us. We do not excuse their error, for we suffer under it even at times to death, but we do understand it. Demonstration of the love of God toward the lost is not excusing or ignoring their sin but in recognizing their sin and giving them the gospel even as it was given to us. This means confronting them in their sin by holding up a mirror so that they can see what their sin has done to them, both now and in the eternity to come. God does not love the sinner but hate the sin for it is the sinner who does the sin, the two are inseparable; however, God does love the sinner whom He separates from the sin because He loves the Son who died for the saved sinner. We who are saved can only stand in awe accepting the grace given to us and share that with those around us. To this we say, Amen!