Rejecting lesser magistrate doctrine, a governor betrays state, citizens, sovereign

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This book is an eye-opener to any citizen or public official keen to maintain constitutiona — even godly — government.

This book is an eye-opener to any citizen or public official keen to maintain constitutiona — even godly — government.

[Here’s proof you already believe in the doctrine of interposition. You interpose yourself between your wife and danger by getting her car door. You protect your daughter from shady suitors by friendly conservation and later warning. You carry a firearm in your car or on your hip. You lock doors at night to stand by way of deadbolt against an intruder. You are willing to throw yourself in front of an assault against a family member. In the back of your mind, your gym membership bears a vaguely military or defensive purpose, not just a worry about arteries. You defend against the day of evil by interposing hard assets against the vagaries of paper money and meddlers. You divest national and invest local because you stand between your family and estate on one side and the malice of democratic welfarism on the other. Should a governor act on similar motives to defend his people from foreign siege? Might he on principle defy lawlessness and vice ordered from an alien authority? The Rev. Matt Trewhella has done Christendom a favor in exploring the Reformation doctrine that gives courage to the weak and defends hearth and home.  Against the doctrine of the lesser magistrate, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s concern for “our jobs plan” is laughable. — DJT]

By Rev. Matthew Trewhella

When the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Wisconsin’s appeal regarding homosexual marriage being imposed on the state by a federal appellate court, Gov. Scott Walker responded by saying, “For us, it’s over in Wisconsin. The federal courts have ruled that this decision by this court of appeals decision is the law of the land and we will be upholding it. *** I’d rather be talking in the future now more about our jobs plan and our plan for the future of the state. I think that’s what matters to the kids. It’s not this issue.” 

Walker is so enthralled by money that he actually views it as more important than marriage. Consider that, by making homosex marriage “the law of the land,” every child that attends government schools in Wisconsin will be taught that homosex marriage is good, legitimate, and normal. The process has already begun in Wisconsin to standardize it in the schools.

Sorry, Gov. Walker, but I think “what matters to the kids” is that those in positions of authority wield their power properly. Marriage and family is the core foundation upon which societies are built. If you pervert that — any plan you have for the future of the state is pointless and meaningless.

Walker has proffered this deranged justification because he wants this issue to just go away. He is blind. He fails to see something that is so germane to human existence – the created order of God regarding marriage and family. He has become one of the countless zombies now roaming this land who goes along to get along; who are incapable of independent thought and are herded like scared cattle into conforming to such baneful evil. He is willing to join hands — as governor — with wicked men who are giving the force of law to the most base amongst us.

Phony resistance when real fight required

Gov. Walker trotted state attorney general J.B. Van Hollen out to feign a fight against the federal judge who trampled Wisconsin’s constitution and speedily complied when a subsequent federal court ruled (surprise, surprise) against the attorney general.

In reality, Gov. Walker has a duty to interpose. He should simply refuse to implement the federal court ruling. In fact, only he can implement homosexual marriage in Wisconsin. Constitutional attorney Mat Staver responded to Walker’s blithe obedience to the federal court’s immoral ruling by stating:

I think Scott Walker is wrong. The court’s decisions do not have any independent power. The only power that they have is if the executive [Gov. Walker] chooses to enforce them. He is the head enforcer for all of Wisconsin. If he ultimately disagreed with the constitutional interpretation of this [what the federal judge ruled], which obviously it is erroneous to strike down the marriage laws, then he has an independent obligation to make sure the [state] constitution is being complied with.

Again, only Gov. Walker can implement homosexual marriage in Wisconsin. He is lying when he says there is nothing else he can do but obey the federal court.

The men of Christendom — silent?

The people have a duty in this matter also. First, they have a duty to prod the governor and other lower magistrates to interpose and defy the federal judiciary. Second, they have the duty to rally to them when they do defy and assure them that they will have their backs; that they will give of their substance and very lives – both publicly and privately – to support them.

Sadly, what I have seen while this process has been playing out is that most Christians have more fealty for the GOP and Scott Walker than they do for Christ. And sit silent.

The interposition I describe here is what is known as the doctrine of the lesser magistrates. The doctrine is a tool employed by men for thousands of years with a proven track record to rein in tyrannical actions by higher ranking civil authority.

Lesser magistrate concept

The doctrine succinctly stated is: When the higher ranking civil authority makes unjust or immoral laws, polices, or court rulings – the lower or lesser ranking civil authority has both the right and the duty not to obey the higher authority; and if necessary to actively resist the higher authority.

Well known churchman of the Reformation — John Knox – wrote on this doctrine and cited over 70 passages of Scripture to define and support it. Roman emperor Trajan encapsulated the doctrine when he was giving a sword to a subordinate and he told him: “Use this sword against my enemies if I give righteous commands, but if I give unrighteous commands – use it against me.”

Two governors and a chief justice in the states of Alabama and Texas are talking interposition and defiance of federal tyranny. They are doing right and refusing to implement homosexual marriage in their states.

Gov. Walker on the other hand has joined wicked men in their rebellion against God. He should not be given a pass for his destructive, politically expedient actions, rather all Christians in Wisconsin should call him to account and demand he do what is right and needed – defend our state constitution and the created order of God.

“But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife” (Mark 10:6-7).

“When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing respect for the law.” (Frederic Bastiat, The Law, 1847)

Matthew Trewhella is the pastor of Mercy Seat Christian Church (MercySeat.net). He and his wife, Clara, have 11 children and reside in the Milwaukee, Wisc., area. He is the author of the book The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates: A Proper Response to Tyranny and A Repudiation of Unlimited Obedience to Civil Government which can be obtained at Amazon.com or LesserMagistrate.com.

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