Why saying “God is in control” is not helpful

People are hurting. People are mourning.

On Bethel’s campus, students of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ community are all expressing feelings of fear, because America has just elected President Donald Trump. If you feel unaffected by all of this, please acknowledge that other people are, and ask yourself why you are not.

Walking by people wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and “Trump/Pence” shirts makes me feel unsafe on my own campus. Men and boys now have a president that contributes to rape culture explicitly. As a woman who has experienced waking up on a bus to a man’s hand feeling me up, I FEEL UNSAFE because our president now perpetuates rape culture by saying things such as “grab ’em by the pussy.”

You know what doesn’t help people who feel unsafe right now, who are afraid? Telling them that God is in control.

Let me ask you something, fellow believers: was that the response Jesus gave to people who were mourning? Or did Jesus weep with those who were weeping, mourn with those who were mourning? Jesus never denied someone’s feelings or their experiences.

Let me clarify: this does not mean God is not all-powerful, I am not denying that. But saying “God is in control” or “Just trust in Jesus” is not helpful or comforting because it implies that God made this happen. It implies that God controlled people and made people vote for Trump because “God works in mysterious ways.” But this completely denies that God gave us the free will to choose, which is why evil exists in humans. And if you think you are not implying this when you say these simple statements, please choose to think about the implications of your words.

God did not cause this, humans caused this, just like humans allowed the rise of Nazism and elected Hitler as their chancellor in 1933. If you think that is extreme, I was recently at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. and was very disturbed at how eerily similar statements made by Trump were to statements made by Hitler.

For Hitler, the master speech maker, the long awaited opportunity to let loose his talents on the German people had arrived. He would find in this downtrodden people, an audience very willing to listen. In his speeches, Hitler offered the Germans what they needed most, encouragement. He gave them heaps of vague promises while avoiding the details. He used simple catchphrases, repeated over and over.

Hitler offered something to everyone: work to the unemployed; prosperity to failed business people; profits to industry; expansion to the Army; social harmony and an end of class distinctions to idealistic young students; and restoration of German glory to those in despair. He promised to bring order amid chaos; a feeling of unity to all and the chance to belong. He would make Germany strong again; end payment of war reparations to the Allies; tear up the treaty of Versailles; stamp out corruption; keep down Marxism; and deal harshly with the Jews.

(If you’re interested, read more here.)

People caused this, not God. This is a result of the fall of humans.

My feelings of worry and fear are valid, and I can invite God into that, but to tell me not to fell what I’m feeling is denial and not something Jesus would do.

When you say “God is in control,” that is not comforting. When you tell me to keep my eyes on God, I’ll tell you that if your eyes are on God, you’d see that God’s heart is breaking right now and mourning with those who are mourning.

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6 thoughts on “Why saying “God is in control” is not helpful

  1. I think that the entire generations wiped out by abortion would be super scared also if they were alive to experience this. We have a holocaust in our own country, and people like Hillary are leading the charge. Im not saying that I agree with Trump on many of his comments and actions. He has done and said some terrible things. At the same time, there are reasons such as abortion that can not be ignored in this election. This is coming from a voter who didn’t vote for Trump. I think that Gods heart is mourning for all of those who are murdered every year.

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    1. I also do mourn for people who are feeling affected by this and feel scared, but there is two sides to everything. Sanctity of life could be a bigger issue to some people than his comments. I think you have great compassion for people and appreciate your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Jake! Thank you for being civil in your comments, and I respect your viewpoints. I think buzz words and polarizing political language has contributed to people thinking that the pro-choice platform = pro-abortion, and that is simply not true. I hold pro-life sentiments, but I do not believe the best way to prevent abortions would be to make it illegal.

        “In the eight years since we’ve had a pro-choice president, the abortion rate in the U.S. has dropped to its lowest since 1973. I believe the best way to keep this trend going is not to simply make it harder for women to terminate unwanted pregnancies but to create a culture with fewer unwanted pregnancies to begin with. Data suggests progressive social policies that make healthcare and childcare more affordable, make contraception more accessible, alleviate poverty, and support a living wage do the most to create such a culture, while countries where abortion is simply illegal see no change in the abortion rate.”

        Thanks again for your comment!

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  2. You feel unsafe on a private Christian college campus, because someone exercised their right to vote & free speech? Obviously no one at Bethel is a perfect Christian, but for a school who’s goal is to worship and honor God, I think saying you feel unsafe on campus is a little extreme… I understand the points you’re trying to make, but that takes it a little far…

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    1. Just because a school’s goal is to worship and honor God doesn’t mean the students are actually doing that or treating each other well. But in a sense, you’re right – the people who REALLY feel unsafe on Bethel’s campus right now are the LGBTQ+ students and students of color. You know how I know that they feel unsafe? They’ve told me that. I don’t want to make assumptions, but I’m guessing you are not a student of color on this campus or part of the LGBTQ community, so you might not know what it feels like to feel unsafe. And also, I think I have the right to feel whatever I’m feeling. You are not allowed to tell me how I should feel or to not acknowledge my feelings. Again, Jesus never denied someone’s feelings or their experiences. If you wish to comment more I ask that you don’t do it anonymously.

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  3. You really gotta read the bible and examine your own faith. Do you research on the two candidates. Voting for Trump or wearing a make American great again hat around in no way endorses rape culture. That is a very large generalization that can’t be made. Perhaps they wanted their 2nd amendment rights, a small government, immigration reform, tax reform, and a health care reform. Our current health care “preposterous” is miserably failing as we all know. There are many reasons voters elected Trump. I can promise you less than 1 percent of that was to endorse rape culture. I encourage you to remember the stories in the Bible. God puts many leaders in charge that do not represent Christ in any way, yet God still reaches his people. To say God is mourning because Trump got elected is a little preposterous. Yes there is free will but in the end as Jesus says in the LORDS PRAYER, thy kingdom come, thy WILL be done, on earth as it is in heaven. I respect your political opinion and I do not endorse Trump. However I have many friends who do side with Trump and to generalize them as rape culture is very offensive to them. If you did research on Clinton you would know she has said and DONE many horrible things. Everyone will be fine. There is no need to panic. You can even also make comparisons of Hillary to Hitler. If looking to God doesn’t help you, then I would question your own faith. Not others who have a strong enough relationship with God that they can trust in him. This is exactly what Satan strives for. He wants there to be a divide. He wants Christians to hate each other. He wants us to want to trust a political leader and not God. So many Christians are falling in Satans trap and it is saddening. Why question God? God will work, don’t you worry.

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