There are no optional realities. There are imagined realities and of course there are those who attempt to create their own realities, but reality is indeed reality.
In his book, Intellectuals and Society, Thomas Sowell makes several interesting observations along these lines. He notes how far society is being pushed from reality, and objective truth by misinformation and lies. The public is often manipulated by those (mostly intellectuals, academia and media) whose own visions, they believe, are so important that they are justified to conspire, lie and scheme to create “optional” realities, false of course, submitted as true and unfortunately perceived as true. This is a process that America has seen played out in the “Affordable Care Act” debacle (Sowell’s book predates this matter).
Sowell sounds an alarming warning, “However dramatic or attractive a particular vision may be, ultimately everyone must live in the world of reality. To the extent that reality has been filtered to fit a vision, this filtered information is a misleading guide to making decisions in an unforgiving reality, to which we must all adjust, because it is not going to adjust to us.”
Establishing reality – the truth about where we are – is not a negative thing. As a matter of fact, it is essential to going forward. It is useless to offer solutions to problems or concerns without discovering the root of a problem (Amos 3:10). It is pointless to propose programs that ignore underlying realities. Such as, let’s say an offended brother, “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Proverbs 18:19). Now, there is reality. A wise man will not say, “I don’t care about my offended brother. Be done with him!” But rather, he will work toward a solution, however difficult, before he tries to go forward. A pastor or a CEO who accepts a church or business that is suffering deep hurts, offenses or betrayal will be wise to deal with that “reality” before launching complicated changes.
While trying to write a new script for revival, Apostolics cannot ignore the reality of sinfulness. Concerning the consequences of sin, there is no “optional” reality. Christ came to redeem sinners, sin is the cause of death, and separation from God. Sin is the core problem. There is no alternative truth to this reality. The church cannot back away from the sin issue. It will not, in Sowell’s definition, assume it will adjust to us. We must define it. We must deal with it. We must ask the questions, “What is sin?” “What is worldliness?” “Do we care if our people live in sin and incorporate worldliness into their lifestyles?” We cannot turn our backs and close our ears to the desperate cries of the lost. We cannot pretend that sinful lives are a non-issue with God. The cross speaks the eternal hope of liberation from the curse and power of sin. We instinctively know that God will never be happy with a carnal, worldly church. When we loosen our stance toward the world, when we forsake the assembling of ourselves together, when we gravitate toward worldly entertainment, when we substitute the pursuit of anointing for the pursuit of intellectualism — can we really call that progress?
In Psalms 64, the prayer is made to God that He would preserve the righteous, “from fear of the enemy.” That is a crucial matter. For the enemy lies in wait to press upon the saints fear that entices them to accept “false” reality and to make enemy of those who hold on to the truth or reality. “That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.” They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them?” (Psalm 64:4-5).
We are at a dangerous juncture. Elitists in politics, religion, education, communication and economics are attempting through human wisdom a secularist revolution of deconstruction. Apostolic preachers must stay strong, fearless, real and anointed. For the purveyors of this revolution to succeed, they must create an “optional” reality that turns God’s people away from His revelation. They appear to be making progress, but it is an arrogantly applied deception that ultimately will fail. “But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded” (Psalm 64:7).
However, we must guard our hearts that we are not deceived ourselves and become instruments of false doctrine, false hope and false reality.
The church must stand ready to preach Truth, and to be the beacon of God’s ultimate reality.
Thomas Sowell’s book from which I have drawn this article is a good read. I heavily underlined this book when it first was released in 2009. The chapter “Optional Reality in the Media and Academia” is worth the price of the book. I also highly recommend that readers add to their devotion the entirety of Psalms 64.