why “God is still on the throne” doesn’t help me right now

Posted: November 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

I’ve written 3 blog entries today that were open letters to others who didn’t vote the same as me; one would think that’s enough writing for a day (or a week, or a month…)  But apparently I’m not done yet.  This is what happens when I can’t get to the blog page for many days in a row!

In the wake of the recent election, I’ve heard a lot of people reacting to those of us who are upset by pointing out that “God is still on the throne” or something of that nature.  It is extended as a comforting statement, I think, and not to out-shout or shut down people who are processing what looks like awful news to them.  The intention is very, very good.  The heart behind it is not hate or indifference.  People who are saying this are trying to help.

I actually do agree that God is “still on the throne.”  I believe in God, and I try to follow Jesus Christ as hard as I know how to do, even as I do it very imperfectly.  I believe God is only and utterly good, that He is love, and that He’s not capable of pettiness.  He is my hope and my purpose, and more important to me than anything else.  My understanding of God is that He is so safe that I CAN make Him most important, because He can be trusted with the people, ideas, and things that I love.

Nonetheless, “God is still on the throne” is not, to me, a final answer for alarm or upset when it looks like things are going wrong in a way that will endanger people’s safety and freedom.

I believe that God is, always was, and always will be “on the throne.”  This means He was “on the throne” during the Crusades, during the Holocaust, during every iteration of slavery, throughout every type of abuse and horror that human beings perpetrate against themselves, one another, and our planet.

When women are being routinely raped by soldiers in third world countries, so brutally that the barrier between their anus and vagina is permanently broken…God didn’t slip off the throne while that happens.

When children are being trafficked for slavery and/or sex…God didn’t suddenly lose His place there on the throne.

As Joseph Kony and his cohorts have stolen children from their villages and abused them and turned them into broken little soldiers, forcing them to commit atrocities, God didn’t lose His grip on the throne.

During all manner of war crimes and horrors happening in domestic violence situations across the planet, God wasn’t floundering away, trying to find His way back to the throne.

You see, God doesn’t move us around like little marionettes.  He’s got this whole “free will” thing going on, because real love requires free will, and real love is what He wants from us.  It’s one of the hardest details to work out about my Christian faith – that God is all powerful, all-knowing, all good, and still human beings are horrible beyond belief to one another.

If you’re reading this and about to shout to me that Donald Trump is not Joseph Kony or Hitler or whatever – yeah, I know.  We’re waiting to see what he’s going to be; I believe very few of us really know, since there are nearly endless iterations of who he has claimed to be.  This blog is not only pointed to the election results; it’s about all the many hard places where we use that “God is still on the throne” bit to say it’s all going to be okay.

God is still on the throne.  Absolutely.  But humans will still  do unspeakable things to one another on the regular.  Some lives will inevitably be valued more than others.  Some will enjoy great excess while others scrape and crawl and die in squalor, and God will still be on the throne.  Some will live apparently upright and wonderful lives, others will die in shocking ways due to choices that maybe they or maybe someone else has made.

So I don’t take great comfort in the fact that God is on the throne.  It’s great news for eternity, but while we’re here on planet earth, there’s an enormous pile of work that needs to be done, and bloody, awful battles to be fought.  It’s my own belief that we will answer to Him for whether we’ve stood up for what is right, or whether we’ve decided that we  have what we want, and that’s all that really matters.

I’m not gonna yell at you if you tell me God is still on the throne.  But the next time you’re tempted to say it to someone, please take a moment to pray for the human beings who are here on earth right now, suffering things your mind cannot even conceive of, because good people haven’t stood up and insisted that it stop.  God is still on the throne, and He expects us to be His “hands and feet” here on earth.  Maybe more people would know, love, and trust Him if fewer of us were resting in selfish ease and making that statement.

If this sounds like I’m yelling, don’t take it that way.  It’s just something I needed to get off my chest.  Agree or disagree – I’m very aware that I get life wrong about as often as I get it right.  For now, this is the best I’ve got to offer.


  1. Cindy Maynard says:

    I’ve heard it said that when people say “God is still on the throne”, we imply he stepped off the throne at some point. I agree wholeheartedly with you……..even as God is on the throne, we have great work to do. It is because He is on the throne that we must use decency and compassion for those around us, those we reside with on this earth. It is because He is on the throne that we must follow His unselfish example to lay down our lives for our brothers, sisters, friends, and family. Only then will be honor, glorify and give praise to Him who is on the throne.

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