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Is God in Control?

GOD ALLOWS GUY TO BLOW HIS HEAD OFF WITH A SHOTGUN TO HUMBLE THE GUY’S FAMILY SO THEY WILL TURN TO GOD?????

Steve Harmon

Now obviously, I don’t believe that garbage for one second, but that’s the filth that comes from the mouths of church leaders in the pulpit and at funerals. I think we’ve all had to hear this reprehensible and incompetent logic, but the reason why Christians say stuff like this that is so irrational is not that it’s true, but because they are trying to protect a theology. Protecting a theology will make you say stupid things at times. When we believe God is in control of everything by allowing bad things to happen to bring about a good purpose, we literally sacrifice the true nature of the word “Love.” I don’t care what you say, when you imply that God allows atrocities to happen like 20 children being murdered in cold blood when God was able to prevent it, you can say “God is Good” all day. But nobody, deep down, will truly believe that. Even the person saying it, because the label of ‘good’ doesn’t fit the action. That is as foolish as saying “The friend of Ted Bundy watched him kill and rap over 40 women. But Ted's friend is still good.” That’s stupid and illogical. That’s why it’s hard for many unbelievers to take us Christians serious, because many of us choose not to think. We want to be told what to believe. We don’t want to know why we believe what we believe, because that takes effort.


The story of the guy shooting himself in the head is true story that hits close to home. I used to teach a house church. I was really wanting to talk on the whole “God is in control” issue, but I was hesitant because of the repercussions. During the meeting my friend shares that his cousin committed suicide. Of course He was extremely bothered by it. When he said all that, I felt it was time to discuss this issue rather than just sweep it under the rug like we always do when we can’t explain something. I asked this question, “Could that have been prevented?” Silence hit the room. You could have heard a pin drop. Then somebody said, “I don’t think we should talk about that issue.” I said, “Why? It’s a legitimate question that should be answered.” The reality is that most, by default, believes that God is in control, so if this topic is not brought up, most will stay in the mindset believing that God is in control, which is why that person didn’t want us to discuss it.

I’ve heard this phrase countless times in Christian churches. “God allowed the little girl to get hit by the car and killed because her parents were running from God. The purpose of God allowing the death was to sober them up for them to see they need God.” Honestly, if there were times that I wanted to do the unchristian thing of punching a Christian, it’s mainly when vomit like that gets stated. That stuff right there is “Atheist starter kit” material. That’s how you get people angry at God and make them want to have nothing to do with Him.

When you take this guy who shot himself in the head and say that God allowed him to kill himself so His family would turn to God, there is one major problem with that idea. His mom and dad were already dead. Both from suicides. His mother hung herself from the garage rafters. Need I say more? I could almost hear the pastor say at the Mother’s funeral, “God allowed this horrible tragedy to get her husband and son to see the value of life so they will turn to God. Something good will come from this.” Well, her husband kills himself and so does her son. The whole family is destroyed and the blood line is now over. Nothing good came of it. Satan kills, steals, and destroys a family, entirely, and God gets the blame for it because our theology says He could have prevented it, but chose not to. When we say that God is in control by allowing these things to happen, it’s the same foolishness of a lifeguard who is on duty that sits back, watches, and allows a 3 year old to drown in a pool for some mysterious purpose. Nobody in their right mind would approve of that behavior from a lifeguard because it’s sick and irresponsible with the power and mandate that the lifeguard is given. But when you hold to the idea that God is in control, you have to approve of that type of behavior.

God cannot stop certain tragedies, not because He’s not powerful enough. He definitely is powerful enough. He cannot stop them because He set up rules in this system that He created. The laws of free will. He will not break those rules. Why? Because of His faithfulness to His word. He cannot break His covenants and promises. When He gave up the dominion and rulership of the earth to Adam, it was a Grant Covenant. What makes God different than humans is that He is always faithful to His word. He cannot break His word. Humans break their promises and covenants all the time. When something goes wrong, we want to scrap everything up and start over. That’s not the way God works. Because of His faithfulness, He stays committed even when everything goes wrong. If a human was in God’s position and Adam and Eve sinned, the human would have just started over and broken their commitment because Faithfulness and staying committed is one thing humans are horrible at. That’s why it’s inconceivable for believers to think that God would simply not use His supreme power all the time, even though He could.

Many think God is God and He can break His rules anytime He wants. They apparently don’t know God that well then. He’s not like them where they would break their own rules likes it's nothing. God does want to change this world, but He designed it to be changed when His children give Him the opportunity to do it through their prayer. I’m not just talking about intercession, but also healing the sick, casting out demons and ministering the good news. It’s through God’s children exercising dominion and authority. God was at one time in total dominate control until He granted Adam dominion over the earth and restrained Himself from that control. When we carry God into the dark places in the world, we release Him to take control to make the wrong situation right. So what does this all mean? It means that you determine how the world will look like based on what you do and don't do with what you got. You have God living in you. God told me something a couple years ago. "My gift to humanity was giving them their autonomy (will to choose). There gift to me was them giving it back to me by choosing to walk in my ways, by abiding in my heart, and doing my will."

"SOVEREIGN" DOES NOT MEAN "TOTAL CONTROL" WHICH IS WHY CHRISTIANS GET CONFUSED

Steve Harmon

Well, what first needs to be defined is what the word ‘Sovereign’ means. We’ve always been taught that the word means ‘to have total control over.’ It’s so far from the actual dictionary definition. It is this definition that has caused the chaos over this issue in the church for awhile. The word sovereign means, “One that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere.” Basically, it means 'to have authority to rule and make decisions.' The definition of sovereign or authority says nothing about having ‘total control’ over something. The word ‘Authority’ means, “The power to determine, adjudicate, or otherwise settle issues or disputes.” A king is sovereign over a nation, but they don’t have total control over it. The king has the right or authority to enforce laws, but can the people break those laws? Yes, because the King is only sovereign over the people. The King doesn’t have total control over the minds of the people so they cannot be controlled. The thing is, God can have ‘total control’ over humanity, but He chose not to. He chose to only be sovereign (have authority) over humanity. I've heard someone say this.. "There's a riot in the streets. The police officer has all authority, but he doesn't have all control."

God is the rule maker of the planet, who by His own words, restrained Himself from being in total control and chose to delegate control of the planet to Adam. If there is a free-will scripture, Genesis 1:26;28 would be it, besides the hundreds of 'If-Then' statements God made throughout the bible. How does God take control over the planet? Adam gives God control back through the method of Prayer. Humanity prays and uses the authority that God gives them and it releases God to work His supernatural power on earth, healings, miracles, signs and wonders, etc.. This system of releasing God to control was not created by Adam or any human, but by God Himself. It’s amazing that the all powerful, all knowing, all mighty God would even devise this system of Rule. Why would He let His creation rule? Because He loves His creation and wants them to have the ability to choose for the purpose of relationship. Apparently He’s not into robots. We see what happens when human beings get total power over everything, they want to have total control. God is the opposite. He has total power over everything, but doesn't want to have total control. We humans are power hungry, so we think that if we were God, we would control everything. God's not like that. He's not like us because He's a totally different breed altogether. 

GOD CANNOT BE LOVE AND BE IN TOTAL CONTROL AT THE SAME TIME: IT’S IMPOSSIBLE

Steve Harmon

The reason why Christians get stumped when talking to an intelligent Atheist on the subject of God’s character is because of this issue. The believer maintains the position that God is love and is in total control at the same time. It only takes a pragmatic thinking Atheist 2.5 seconds to figure out the absurdity to that concept. The Atheist is thinking of children who have been brutally murdered and tortured, wondering, where was this Loving God when this happened? If He was in total control then a loving God would not permit such behavior. The Atheist is right. A loving God would not permit such behavior if He was in total control. I already talked about this before. God could be in total control but He has chosen not to because He wants humanity to have to ability to choose. 

Where do Christians get such twisting thinking? It comes from something called Reformed Theology or Calvinism. Many seminaries are full of Reformed theology teachers. People go to the seminary, get their brain filled with this teaching and then become the Pastor at one of your local churches. It is my belief that this teaching is the most damaging of all teachings because it’s root is in so much of what we believe about God. When something goes wrong we instantly blame God for not protecting us. We blame God for getting us sick or allowing us to get sick. We get angry at God when somebody dies because we think God let them die. So basically, the major problem with this theology is that we will attribute the all bad things that happen in life to God. That’s a recipe for disaster. The last thing you want to do is be angry and hate God. Not because it’s going to earn you lighting strike but because you will cut off relationship with God. You do that, you will sink hard and Satan knows it. 

Years ago I came to the point where I became furious with God. I had believed He was in total control and had made my life difficult. I was so ready to walk away from Him. I took a drive out to Malibu and back. When I drove back I called my mother. She had a vision of me. She saw me, and then in front of me was this demon. Instead of feet, this demon had wheels. God told her the reason why it had wheels was because, “This one leads to destruction swiftly.” I knew exactly what it meant. It meant that I was about to do something that would cause great damage to my life that may not be reparable. I knew demons were tormenting me, but I didn’t care. If God is in total control then demons are just pawns of God. I had a choice to make. I chose not to go off the deep end and outright rebel against God. 

The point of the story is that because of me believing that God was in total control, I was thinking God was purposely making my life hard. When a person believes that, rebellion is almost a sure thing. When you rebel against God you become the destroyer of your own world. Satan sits back and laughs because He was actually the one making your life hard, while getting you to think it was God. Remember, it is Satan who is the one that kills, steals, and destroys. God is the one who binds up the broken hearts, proclaims liberty to those who are in prison, gives sight to the blind, and tells you that His favor is all over you. God is not in total control because He chose not to be, even though He could have been. He takes control when His church releases Him through their words and hands because that’s how He designed it. One thing we do know for sure.. GOD IS LOVE..