Are You Guided by Fact or by Fancy?
FOR some, self-delusion may be more pleasant than facing reality, but it does not provide a living, feed loved ones, or enable one to cope with the many other requirements of life. A person who imagines things are the way he would like them to be, instead of facing them the way they really are, is not reasoning on the facts, but is building on fancy. His powers of discernment are clouded.
Those who ignore the facts and delude themselves with fancy are like the proverbial ostrich that hides his head in the sand when danger nears. However, the realist recognizes that such ostrich exists in fables only, not in fact! The ostrich of reality does not ignore the fact of danger. He does not hide his head in the sand. To the contrary, he moves away from the source of potential harm so rapidly that few animals can keep up with him when he is in full flight.
Dreamers are like that proverbial ostrich. They hide their heads in the sands of self-deception and fancy when situations arise that demand a realistic facing of the facts, and actions based on those facts. Such fancy is as profitless as believing the earth to be square in spite of the overwhelming proof against such a conclusion; or like believing two plus two equals five, when the facts of mathematics show this is not the case.
Today no more flagrant ignoring of the facts can be found than that dealing with God and his purposes. Many people conceive God to be what they want him to be, not what he really is. They ascribe qualities to him that he does not have, or take away qualities that he does have. They try to fashion God to an image that suits their fancy, while ignoring the facts that show what he actually is.
For instance, some, under instruction from their church, tell Jehovah’s witnesses who call at their homes this: “You preach a cruel and unreasonable God who is going to sweep most of his children away in a horrible battle of Armageddon. You make out that God is not good and kind. I want nothing to do with such a God. You Witnesses consider this world hopeless and so you leave it to perish.”
This is a complete ignoring of the facts. It is another instance of behaving like the proverbial ostrich. For throughout God’s communication to humanity, the Bible, the theme is emphasized over and over again that one day God’s kingdom will rule this world, taking over the direction of earth’s affairs from the present governments that are ruling by divine permission only. How great an illusion it is for any who profess Christianity to be offended when mention is made of God’s taking his great power to rule in the way he has made clear in his Word!—Rev. 11:17, 18.
It is not Jehovah’s witnesses who have originated the thought that the present system of things is beyond reform. It is the Almighty God Jehovah himself who says such a thing. To say otherwise is not facing the facts. It is self-deception, a fancy, an illusion. Under God’s own guiding spirit, the Christian apostle John wrote: “Do not be loving either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him . . . Furthermore, the world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever.”—1 John 2:15-17.
When the disciples of Jesus asked him when the end of this system of things was coming, did Jesus say, ‘Why, how can you think such a cruel thing?’ No, he did not. Jesus proceeded to answer his disciples realistically, giving them the many facts that would mark the end of this world. It would have been a cruel deception to do otherwise.
It is a fact that God considers this world hopeless. He has decreed that he will replace its confusion, crime, war, hate, sorrow and death with a paradise new world of righteousness, where humans can live in peace and happiness forever with one another. So in this time of great world distress, it will not do to say that God’s destruction of wickedness is cruelty. God would prefer that all the wicked repent from their bad ways (2 Pet. 3:9), but when they do not, then he has the right to destroy them for his own name’s sake and also for the sake of those who do love what is right and who do want to lead a life that is in harmony with God’s requirements. “Jehovah is guarding all those loving him, but all the wicked ones he will annihilate.” (Ps. 145:20) That is not fancy. That is a fact. Those who say such is cruelty ignore the fact of untold cruelty and misery that wicked people bring upon humankind. They also ignore God’s cleaning away of wickedness in the Flood and in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Ignored too is the guarantee that he will bring a similar destruction at the battle of Armageddon. At that time those who choose to ignore the facts will not survive—no more so than those who ignored the facts survived at the time of the Flood and at the time of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction.—Jude 7; 2 Pet. 3:5-7; Rev. 16:14-16.
You may have many ideas about God and his ways, but do not take for granted that those are God’s ideas and ways. God is love, true, but he balances this perfectly with his other attributes of wisdom, justice and power. Realistically investigate God’s Word, the Bible, to determine what the will and purpose of God are. Then do that will to the best of your ability, asking God for strength to compensate for your weaknesses.
Ignoring God, his purposes and his will is not going to change the reality of them, any more than believing the earth to be square would make it so, or believing two plus two is five would make it five. God will accomplish his purpose toward earth regardless of the fancies or illusions of men. “Many are the plans in the heart of a man, but the counsel of Jehovah is what will stand.” (Prov. 19:21) That is a fact, not a fancy. Lovers of life in a righteous new order will realistically consider that counsel and follow it, to their eternal benefit.