American Patriots:

Our beloved America is at a stage where we will continue to encounter more and more egregious demands / laws / regulations / over-reach / tyranny from government. We have a severe tyranny problem across America, with the source focused, mostly, in Washington D.C. and a few States.

It may be too late for us to keep doing the same thing...trying to find and elect conservative politicians who are faithful to the U.S. and State Constitutions. The pot is boiling across America. We need to implement a solution that will both stop the oppressive tyranny and avoid a possible blood bath. And we need to do it NOW.

Below, I am including a link to a video that will take about 45 minutes to view. This video holds a VERY key answer to how we can and should respond to unconstitutional tyranny.

If the real life historical situation, mentioned in this video, had gone the other way...there might be no Protestant churches today.  The Reformation could have become a forgotten footnote to history. More importantly, we, today, would not have this instructive example of how to resist tyranny without violence.

One single small city, Magdeburg Saxony, environs of Martin Luther, fought Emperor Charles the Fifth (i.e. the entire Holy Roman Empire) and won. Their guiding document has existed only in Latin since the 1550's, and was translated into English, for the first time last August, 2012.  The speaker (in the video link, below) sent a Latin/Greek professor to the Bavarian State Library, to translate the original into English. Your history books probably do not mention it in the context that America needs to understand, if at all.

We, today, are almost in the same situation. Instead of Charles V, our problem is an over-reaching Federal Government. HOWEVER, the legal solution is the same:

 

The "Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate."

In the American context, the "Lesser Magistrates" are the State Governors, Lt. Governors, State Legislatures and Senates, State Judges, County Sheriffs, County and local Judges, County Commissioners, City Mayors, City Council Members, Justices of the Peace, etc.

The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates is a legal doctrine—a legal cousin to "nullification"—

If I were wealthy, I would purchase thousands of the referenced publication and send a copy to every governor, senator, congressman, mayor, police chief, sheriff, pastor, and conservative organizations in America. Seriously, I would!

Had this legal doctrine been known by the German people—while not yet in English it was available in German—WW2 might not have occurred. In fact, the Nuremburg trials could not have sentenced those guilty German officers, had America's representative to the trials—Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson—not provided the legal basis for trying them. They had not broken any German law. According to their defense lawyers, they were "just following legal orders."  [If you want more on that story, email me.] 

Meanwhile, here is the link. The meat of it is 45 minutes long, followed by less-interesting Q&A. Wait until you have time to listen and to reflect on the message.

                  http://vimeo.com/52616214

The speaker is Matt Trewhella (a Pastor in Wisconsin).

Enjoy / Learn / Pass it along ...

But, most important, discuss how your organization can make this information available to America.

We have the power and the legal precedent in our hands that can avoid a really bloody alternative. It will not be easy. It will take our educating our people, and as many other like-minded organizations and Lesser Magistrates as possible.

____________________

As you listen to the video, here are some notes that will make your listening much easier:

____________________

 

Brief History of

the "Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate"

 The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate is a different approach from waiting for some great conservative leader to appear on the scene in America.

● 1517, October 31—Reformation Day—Martin Luther pounded the 95 theses onto the door of the All Saints' Church ("Castle Church") in Wittenberg.

● 1521, January 28 to May 25—Martin Luther was taken captive and faced the Diet of Worms, with Emperor Charles V presiding, most memorable for the Edict of Worms which declared Martin Luther a notorious heretic, and Luther to be arrested and delivered to Charles V.

● 1521—Frederick the Wise (Frederick III, Elector of Saxony and a Lesser Magistrate under Charles V) protected Martin Luther from the Pope's enforcement of the Edict of Worms, by faking a highway attack on Luther's way back to Wittenberg, and hid him at Wartburg Castle. This was the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate in practice: no violence against the higher magistrate, but only actions to contravene the unjust edict.

● There are 4 levels of resistance in "the Doctrine" (of the Lesser Magistrate).

● 1546—Martin Luther died.

● May 15, 1548—Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, decided to smash the reformation movement, once and for all. He issued the Augsburg Interim:

      Outlawed Protestantism

       Would bring all religious practice back under Roman Catholicism .

  • Ministers were executed, exiled, imprisoned, ...
  • Out of all of the cities in the Holy Roman Empire, only the city of Magdeburg took a stand against Charles V's army.
  • Charles V placed Magdeburg under siege.

● 1550— Nicolaus von Amsdorf, a friend of Luther, had witnessed Frederick the Wise' application of the Doctrine to save Luther's life by contravening Charles V's order.  Now, thirty years afterwards, von Amsdorf and eight other pastors in Magdeburg, decided to follow the Lesser Magistrate doctrine, and wrote the "Magdeburg Confession:"

● Matthew Colvin, PhD. (Latin and Greek Literature) translated the original 1550 Latin manuscript into English at the Bavarian State Library, and published it in English in August, 2012.

  • Using Scripture, history, law, and reason, the nine pastors formalized the "Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate:"

"When a higher or superior authority makes an unjust or immoral law or decree, the lower (lesser) authority in government has the right—even the duty in the sight of God—to interpose against that immoral law or decree, refuse obedience to the immoral law or decree, and, if need be, to openly resist the unjust or immoral law or decree made by the higher authority."

  • The city of Magdeburg was under siege for 13 months.
  • Maurice, Elector of Saxony, turned against Charles V
  • At the end of the siege, over 4000 of Charles V's men and 468 Magdeburgers were dead.

● Around the world, John Knox, Christopher Goodman, Theodore Beza, and others adopted the Doctrine.

● 1574—Calvin's heir apparent, Theodore Beza, wrote of the Magdeburgers, titling his book: The Right of Magistrates, and furthering the Lesser Magistrates' Doctrine.

● Had the nine pastors of Magdeburg not taken a stand against unlawful, unjust, un-Godly tyranny, the entire Reformation might be no more than a footnote of history.  

● The Emperor Trajan is known for having given a horse keeper his first sword and for saying, "Use this sword against my enemies, if I give righteous commands, but if I give unrighteous commands, use it against me."

● In the Magdeburg Confession, the nine pastors said that "the idea of unlimited obedience to the state is an invention of the Devil."  They also wrote to Charles V that Divine laws necessarily trump human laws: "When the state makes laws commanding us to do that which God forbids, or makes law forbidding us to do that which God commands, we obey God, rather than the state."

● The Magdeburgers wrote to Charles V that their Fealty to Christ was their only reason for taking their stand. In the Magdeburg Confession, the pastors laid out four levels of tyranny, explaining what they were, and defined what the response should be by the lesser magistrate.

● On page 64 of the Magdeburg Confession is an illustration from family life, written by the nine pastors:

"Let us take an example concerning the father of a family.  If hshould come to his wife or grown daughters in his house with some scoundrels in an obvious attempt to prostitute them, then they, his wife and daughters, not only would not render their husband and father the obedience which they otherwise owe him, but when they are not able to preserve their chastity in any other way, they would drive him off with stones."   

● Scripture speaks to the qualifications of civic leaders:

  • Exodus 18:21  (NKJV) Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
  • 2 Samuel 23:3  The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, Ruling in the fear of God.'
  • Romans 13:3-4 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
  • Exodus 18:21 establishes a hierarchy of rulers (magistrates), "rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens."
  • It describes them as "ruling in the fear of God;" of only doing that which is good, mirroring the rule of God, and only feared by those who are practicing evil.

● George Washington met the qualifications laid out in Exodus 18 and 2 Samuel 23. He swore to uphold the Constitution with his hand on the Bible, not divorcing the Word of God from politics.

● Today, the Federal Government is not the solution to, but, rather, the cause of much tyranny.

       Tom Wright

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Thanks Twana, you are always on the ball, I will study this and spread it where it counts.

Thank you Twana.

This was a good read- it compliments three sermons published in Political  Sermons of the American Founding Era,1730-1805 Volume 1 ,Ellis Sandoz Editor,Liberty fund,1998 --Civil Magistrates Must be Just,ruling in fear of god (1747) Charles Chauncy pp.137-177;Scriptural Instructions to Civil Rulers (1774 Samuel Sherwood pp.373-(One of the most famous of all Revolutionary War sermons(see p.374) In my estimation most closely reflects what Tom Wright has so respectfully posted. and If I might add that sermon I believe was directly reflected as fundamental Law --Article III Northwest Ordinance--The Principles of Civil Union and Happiness Considered and Recommended(1787) Elizur Goodrich pp.909- 940 (see p.915 and compare to Article III of the twice passed Northwest Ordinance.I would that every Patriot read these and consider how they reflect our Government-and our Founding Era. And it would be very good to reflect upon how these sermons related to the people --and understand how they spring from that Confession discussed above.

As Romans 13:3-4 is also mentioned The first sermon I recall reading from the Revolutionary period 1776 by Samuel West 

On the Right to Rebel The Patriots Handbook by George Grant Cumberland House publishers pp.119-152 does a great job discussing the right and even duty to God for the Christian to resist tyranny.It certainly is a worthy read. I must thank Tom Wright  for writing this--and Twana as well for posting it. For they have produced in me hours of attempting read more of this confession.

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