Friday, April 15, 2016

Election Sermon: The Duty of Lower Magistrates in the Face of Tyranny

The Lesser Magistrate Doctrine teaches that when the superior or higher ranking civil authority makes immoral/unjust laws or policies, the lower or lesser ranking civil authority has both a right and duty to refuse obedience to that superior authority. If necessary, the lesser authorities may even actively resist the higher authority.

God has established four realms of government to which He delegates authority. They are: (1) self-government; (2) family government; (3) church government; and (4) civil government. Each has its own role, function, and jurisdiction. The authority an individual possesses in any one of these four realms of government is delegated authority. In other words, they derive their authority from God. Their authority is not autonomous or unconditional. Their authority is God-given, and thus, they have a duty to govern in accordance with His rule. When someone in authority makes laws or decrees contrary to God’s law, they are in rebellion to God’s rule. Those under their authority are NOT to obey them when they do this. They may have to even actively resist them.

This sermon was preached in the capitol rotunda in Helena, Montana on January 4th, 2015. A crowd of about 200 gathered to hear this election sermon. There were about 40 state legislators present along with other government officials.

This sermon took the hearers by storm - rousing their hearts.

Election sermons were common in early America. In the past - during the first 100 years of our nation - many pastors preached every year what became known as “election” and “artillery” sermons. Clergymen understood and taught their congregations that God’s Word addressed all matters of life, including the matters of civil

The church pulpits were the historical means whereby the people were instructed - from a theological foundation - in the purpose, functions, and limitations of the State. When a citizenry’s view of the State is theologically-driven, the State can no longer get away with doing whatever just tickles its fancy. This is because an informed people, one which recognizes transcendent law, perceives tyranny and will not tolerate it.