Many people have seen the 1999 movie The Matrix, starring Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne. It’s a really cool movie with all this action and cool special effects that most guys really love. One of the great things about the movie is the theme of the “chosen one” or “messiah” coming to save the race—a theme common to lots of literature and movies because of it’s universal appeal to the human soul.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, or in case you have forgotten, the basic gist of the movie is that these humans think they are alive and carrying on their normal lives, but in reality, they are not actually living. They exist in cocoons where their bodies are used to generate energy to run the giant computer program that simulates their lives—the matrix. All they are doing is living a virtual life in their heads and the movie is about trying to break out of the matrix so they will live a real life, rather than the one generated in their minds by the computer.
So thinking about this movie, it dawned on me that we have men today that are living in the matrix where they are not living real lives; rather they are living a virtual life that is only pretend or imagined. Understand that there are two major things a man desires: first, is to be a hero and succeed in life and second, to be sexually fulfilled. I dare say that both these things are increasingly being lived out and experience by men only at a “virtual” level via video games and pornography on screens.
So rather than a guy being a real man, in essence we have created the matrix where instead of going out and creating a real life, succeeding and being a hero to his wife, children, family church and community, the man lives in a false reality. In his matrix he is a hero on a screen and for 3, 4, 5, 6, hours or more a day he plays video games and shoots people and blows things up. He becomes a hero in a virtual sense. And make no mistake about it, he gets an endorphin rush from this because he is acting out on the desire to succeed in life. Mind you, he doesn’t really do it but because he’s living in the matrix, it feels as if he is.
Then sexually, the guy looks at porn, fantasizes, and makes love to himself. He is living in a virtual world of sexual fulfillment where women, who would never give him the time of day in the real world, meet every urge and desire he feels. He lives superficially and vicariously through the images on the screen where in his mind he has created the ultimate sex life. And just like with video games, he gets the physical sensations, hormonal release and buzz from his actions. He isn’t really being a lover, but again, because he’s living in the matrix, it feels as if he is.
This is, in fact what is happening in the male culture today. Men play hours of video games and satisfy themselves sexually via a screen then crawl into bed thinking they are heroes when they actually have been ignoring their wives and kids, and are performing on the job at a subpar level due to lack of sleep because they stayed up half the night playing Call of Duty. They don’t really succeed but are living with a false sense of validation that is actually destroying the male culture.
Now, in the movie you could take the “red pill” and it would show you reality. It woke you up and allowed you to break out of the matrix so you could truly live, not just preside in the fantasy of your mind. That is exactly what I—and other pastors like me want to try to do. We want men to see the truth, snap out of it and become real men instead of living like virtual men. We want them to be real heroes and real lovers rather than only being one in their own minds.
Sadly, the greatest loser in this matrix world we have created is the woman, because the man isn’t living like a real man, he’s only acting like one in his fantasy world. He won’t sacrifice for her or protect her; he won’t fight for her or truly be a lover to her. And just like in the movie, this matrix is incredibly effective because even when shown the truth, even when men know they can chose to have a real life or live the virtual one, many prefer to stay locked in the fantasy world.
To all you guys who are having a stroke because you think you have to sell your X-Box and PS3 gaming consoles, I am not against a guy playing video games here and there, but hours and hours of it where men replace the normal buzz of succeeding in life with the rush of conquering the next level or destroying the enemy on the screen is robbing them of their true manhood. Just be sure you are not fulfilling your desire to succeed through the games. You have a wife and family who are depending on you to be the hero off the screen.
Also let me stress that porn is never okay, anyone who has heard me speak knows that I am adamantly opposed to masturbation and pornography use in any way shape or form. If you are using it at all, you need to stop. You need to be a real lover to your wife and stop trading the real woman in for the false, fantasy versions. Do both take work and effort? You better believe it. Reality is never as easy as pushing a button or living it on a screen, that’s why it takes a true man to live a true life, instead of the fictitious one he creates for himself.
We live in the virtual world that we have created in our society today and it’s time to get out. We need the Neo and Morpheus (the heroes of the movie) type men of God to get this message out to guys so they can see the truth, break out and break free. We need real men who will become real heroes. It’s time to stop living in the fantasy world that porn and video games create. It’s time to escape the matrix.