The Lesser Magistrate & the Magdeburg Confession [interview]

When immoral laws and federal court orders abound, what can the righteous do to restore order?

In this interview with Vic Eliason and author/Pastor Matt Trewhella, you’ll learn about the historic doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate — as articulated in the Magdeburg Confession.

Pastor Matt explains the historic teaching of the church, that “when the State commands that which God forbids or forbids that which God commands, we have a duty to obey God rather than man.” But he also goes a step further in explaining how this applies to civil magistrates, like county sheriffs, mayors, governors and others. He explains a practical, biblical, historical way for Christians to peacefully restore order by rallying behind a lesser magistrate, in opposition to a higher magistrate — all while submitting to the highest authority: God Himself.

magdeburgbookIn the Magdeburg Confession, the authors wrote about the three separate, God-ordained spheres of government: Family government, Church government and Civil government. They gave the example of a father ordering his children to rob a store or commit a sin — and reasoned that just as no one would say a son has a duty to submit to his father in this order, likewise in the civil sphere, no one has a duty to submit when a ruler commands an unjust decree.

Tyranny is when those in authority abuse their God-given authority and go beyond what God has commanded. When we believe it is wrong to resist tyranny, we will be helpless. If we don’t wake up in time to be able to do something, fleeing the country may become our only option left – very soon! God’s judgment will come when a nation revolts against His Law to that extent. Similarly, after the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, genocide followed a few years later. Pastor Bonhoeffer in Germany, woke up a few years too late as well!

Listen to this interview of pastor Matt Trewhella, on the Magdeburg Confession and the doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate. To listen to the entire message, click on the link below:


*This interview was produced by VCY America, a radio station in Wisconsin.