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Religious Liberty and the Lesser Magistrate Doctrine
“Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; See now and know; And seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks the truth, and I will pardon her” (Jeremiah 5:1).
As America “slouches towards Sodom,” communism, and Islam, what can Americans do to change our slide towards perdition? Clearly, we are living in dangerous, tumultuous times that demand answers, if we long for a future and a hope. Blatant immorality amongst our citizens combined with the rise of governmental tyranny threaten our survival. Our national sins and abominations (abortion, homosexuality etc.) have reached heaven and those that hate us rule over us (Psalms 106:34-42).
Many times in Israel’s history when she went a whoring after other gods, committed abominable idolatries, and allowed injustice to run rampant, God called for someone to make up the hedge and stand in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30). In those desperate times, watchmen upon the wall, guardians at the gate, and those needed to stand in the gap to interpose were necessary to avert national calamity.
Every national indicator points to the fact that America is in need of this kind of interposition today. We are clearly going the way of every other empire that dared to shake their puny fist in the face of a Holy God. Our nation calls evil, good and good, evil (Isaiah 5:20). There are serious woes associated with that moral confusion. We are experiencing them almost on a daily basis.
Our government, tragically, has chosen to codify much of this evil into law. Under the color of law, lawlessness, immorality, injustice, and unconstitutional decrees spew from Washington, D.C., like an open sewer. The Federal government has become a beast. It exists now to impose tyranny, plunder our citizens wealth, corrupt our culture, and dismantle our freedoms to control every aspect of our fleeting lives.
The Obama administration is the culmination of America’s long march from freedom to bondage. He is the personification of the fourfold evil destroying America— abortion, homosexuality, communism, and Islam. When God views America, Obama is our representative. This is what we have become in God’s sight as a nation. We should shudder, cry out, and repent at the mere thought of it.
With the recent Obergefell vs. Hodges opinion, the Supreme Court strengthened Obama’s craving to further his “hope and change” perverted, tyrannical agenda against us. “Sexual liberation” has always been utilized to undermine, faith, family, and freedom by those who seek tyrannical control over the masses. A faithless, godless, and sexually immoral people are merely “useful idiots” tyrants manipulate to bring about the chaos that strengthens their tyrannical grip on men and nations.
True to form, the fascist elements of the Obama sodomite agenda is in full manifestation. This wicked agenda does not seek equality, it demands supremacy. It is not about so-called “Gay Marriage,” but the criminalization of Christianity in America.
As sodomites get their hands on the sword of civil government, our nation is being forced to make a conscious decision. It appears the “powers that be” are seeking to establish this wicked agenda at the expense of Christian’s freedom of religion, speech, and other liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. Several recent cases against Christian bakers, photographers, sports figures, and celebrities, who stand for Christ and the God-ordained covenant of marriage highlight the marginalization and persecution taking place under our watch.
We must remember, the sword of civil government is not neutral. If our government is going to uphold and defend that which God considers an abomination, it must of necessity punish the righteous. Proverbs 17:15 reveals this double abomination at work in our day, “He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.”
The plight of our nation seems to have awaken some of the church to these sobering realities. Some, in fact, are seeking to answer the question, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do” (Psalms 11:3)? For many Christians and conservatives, they have opted for the “religious liberty” defense. May I suggest, that is a losing proposition that will further our demise, rather than protect our liberties.
Although religious liberty should be a concern to Christians in our nation, we cannot defeat this monstrosity based upon that legal rebuttal. Those who advocate solely from the religious liberty perspective merely address a fruit of the problem. It is insufficient to remove the roots of our woe. It treats a symptom, but it is impotent to cure the disease. It prunes a branch, but refuses to bring God’s axe to America’s idolatrous, tyrannical tree.
Pastor Matt Trewhella, author of The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate and the Magdeburg Confession exposes the folly of this strategy. He states, “Religious liberty is the latest retreat of the GOP and the conservatives. First they stood against sodomy itself, but then they retreated to the new position of opposing homosexual marriage. Now they have retreated from that position to ‘defending religious liberty.’ The GOP has no fealty to Christ. They only know political expediency– an expediency for their own political ends.”
This hearkens to the warning issued by R. L. Dabney in the last century. He warned:
This [Northern conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything… American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always when about to enter a protest very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its “bark is worse than its bite,” and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent role of resistance.
In other words, conservatives merely maintain ground the progressives take. They point out what is wrong and then acquiesce to the liberal’s position. Why? They are not willing to sacrifice or as Dabney stated they have no desire to be “guilty of the folly of martyrdom” to see righteousness prevail. They are indeed “pretend salt” when they forfeit “sturdy principle” for “political expediency.” Pastor Trewhella documents well this travesty as it relates to the events that recently happened in Kentucky with Kim Davis, religious liberty, and the new governor elect, Matt Bevin. He wrote:
After the Obergefell opinion by the Supreme Court this past June, the Republican leadership in Kentucky, with the connivance of pro-family groups, decided that homosexual marriage and religious liberty provided a political opportunity to capture the governor’s seat from the Democrats.
They made the clerks, like Kim Davis and others, the poster-children for their campaign. “Protect their religious liberty!” was the rallying cry. But the GOP never intended to actually stop the evil of homosexual marriage in Kentucky, they only wanted to use it to seize the governor’s seat.
Now that they have it, their true motives are revealed in Bevin’s deceptive executive order. They will accommodate the evil of homosexual marriage. Those who are easily duped will think him some great hero and defender of freedom and marriage, but in reality, he will create the first state policy through executive order that acknowledges the legitimacy of homosexual marriage in Kentucky.
Laws or policies that protect Christians from being personally affected by evil laws, but which allow the evil to continue in the nation are themselves evil laws or policies. Such laws or policies further marginalize Christ and Christianity within the culture.
Bevin’s true duty is interposition. He has a duty to protect the people of Kentucky against a lawless federal judiciary that wants to give the force of law to depraved men. He has a duty to defy.
The issues that arose from County Clerk, Kim Davis, in Kentucky are not just religious in nature. At their core, they are Constitutional, rule of law, and oath of office issues. In God’s providence, a small team from Operation Save America had the opportunity to meet with Kim Davis during this highly publicized event in Kentucky. We encouraged her, prayed for her, and admonished her on these important issues. At one point, I shared, “Miss Kim, the same God who seeks to protect you from putting your hand to this evil is the same God that wants to protect the citizens under your jurisdiction from putting their hands to this evil. This is not just about your religious liberty or your conscience. It is about law, the Constitution, and your oath of office. Your duty is clear. You must interpose to stop the lawlessness, injustice, and the unconstitutional attacks from Washington DC to protect the life, liberty, and property of the citizens you swore before God to serve.”
I hope, by now, that you are beginning to grasp the idea that approaching this issue from solely a religious liberty perspective will not righteously resolve this deplorable situation. It will only serve to further privatize the Christian faith and marginalize Christians as second-class citizens in America. Our nation has pushed in this direction for years with the cooperation of most Christians in America. It is this pathetic condition, the lack of the Church of Jesus Christ being salt and light in our decaying culture that has helped to pave the way for the tyranny that we struggle against today.
What is desperately needed in defense of our lives, liberty, and property is a return to an understanding of the Lesser Magistrate Doctrine. Before I share on this important teaching, a foundation must be first established. The dirty little secret that is coming to light through this debacle is COURTS CANNOT MAKE LAW!!!
Under our Constitution that authority is reserved for the United States Congress. Article One, Section One of the Constitution says, “All legislative power herein granted is vested in a Congress…” How much legislative power is granted to the Congress? All means all, which means there is none left over for the judicial branch in America. Court opinions do not constitute law.
This was the battle cry in Kentucky, “Show us the law or set Kim Davis free!” Michael Peroutka, from American View, powerfully made this point at the rally outside the jail where Kim Davis was incarcerated. It changed the entire narrative that overthrew the failed “religious liberty” arguments. Kim Davis broke no law. In fact, she was the law keeper. It was the Supreme Court that was lawless. There is not one law on the books that came out of Congress that was signed by the President that grants permission for homosexual marriage to be recognized by the states. Yet, the states continue to bow before their Federal masters and comply with their wicked, unjust, immoral and unconstitutional decrees.
Besides this, any so-called “law” of men that violates the Holy Commandment of God is no law at all. Sir William Blackstone and Martin Luther King Jr. would both agree with this premise. In fact, for over 1500 years of Western civilization, men upheld this presupposition. Blackstone, who wrote Commentaries on the Laws of England, was one of the main sources our Founding Fathers looked to form our nation. He stated, “Upon these two foundations, the law of nature (the eternal laws of good and evil) and the law of revelation (found only in the Scriptures), depend all human laws. That is to say, no human laws should be allowed to contradict these.”
More recently, Martin Luther King Jr. affirmed this truth. He gave this apologetic on law:
There are two types of law: just and unjust. I would be the first advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that ‘an unjust law is no law at all.’ Now what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.
Throughout history, men had to deal with this controversy. There are reasons why in times past they declared:
“The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” -Plato
“The hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis.” -Edmond Burke
“The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” -Edmond Burke
“Men must be governed by God, or they will be ruled by tyrants.”
“Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.” -Thomas Jefferson
These men are all dead who understood these truths. They ran their lap of the race and whether we like it or not, it is our turn now. How shall we then live? How shall we respond in the current crisis? I highly recommend two books to study to help answer these critical questions. These books contain the Biblical principles and historical lessons that have the potential to end this night of wrong and bring forth a new dawn of freedom in our nation. It can provide a future and hope for our children and grandchildren.
As stated prior, they are The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate and the Magdeburg Confession written by Pastor Matt Trewhella. The doctrine simply states:
When a superior civil authority, such as our federal government, makes unjust/immoral decrees, the lesser authority, such as a governor of a state or a sheriff on a county level, has the duty to refuse all unlawful orders. If pushed by the higher authority, the lesser magistrate has the duty to actively resist tyranny in order to protect the life, liberty, and property of those they swore an oath to serve.
To find out more on this important doctrine and what you can do to join the “Gentle Revolution” go to www.lessermagistrate.com or www.defytyrants.com. It is time to stop cursing the darkness and muster the courage to light a candle by rallying the Lesser Magistrates to stand against Federal tyranny in Jesus’ mighty and holy name! Amen!