If Wrong To Persecute Christians, What About Oppressing Deficient Theologies?
The doctrine of the lesser magistrate is often invoked as a legitimate way to resist tyranny.
According to this concept, when the higher level civil authority imposes a policy, ruling, or law that undermines freedom and liberty, it is the duty of the lower level magistrate to oppose such a constitutional infringement.
On the surface, such a theory sounds like a practical check and balance against unbridled state power.
But who will protect the citizens when local authorities rise to the level of a tyrant?
One theologian in particular promoting this viewpoint through his opus “The Doctrine Of The Lesser Magistrate: A Proper Resistance To Tyranny & A Repudiation Of Unlimited Obedience To Civil Government” is Pastor Matthew Trewhella of the Mercy Seat Christian Church in Wisconsin.
In my column titled “Pastor Suggests The Suppression Of Witches”, I referenced a sermon by Rev. Trewhella where he analyzed the Salem With Trials.
The pastor's criticisms were not so much that the Salem Witch Trials went too far but rather that these judicial proceedings probably did not go far enough.
From Trewhella's homily, the listener takes away the impression that practitioners of deviant forms of spirituality and belief such as witchcraft are to be denied permission to meet and congregate under he First Amendment in an America sufficiently Christianized to his liking.
So just how far do these proposed deprivations of liberty extend?
What about Jews?
How about Catholics?
Will any penalties be imposed upon fellow Protestants that adhere to differing interpretations of soteriology or eschatology?
Now that a number of Christian radio programs such as Standing For The Truth hosted by Mike Lemay have more than sufficiently applauded Pastor Matthew Trewhella on the point of his sociopolitical theology that is correct, how about an examination of those aspects where he might be in profoundly dangerous error?
After all, these ministries certainly don't mind tossing aside any of the good accomplished by the likes of Joel Osteen or even a few of the Emergent Church pastors because of where these religious figures have deviated from sound doctrine.
Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. He holds a BS in Political Science/History. Frederick earned a MA in Apologetics & Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary. Frederick holds a Doctor of Practical Theology through the Master's Graduate School Of Divinity in Evansville, Indiana. Dr. Meekins is pursuing a Ph.D. in Apologetics through Newburgh Theological Seminary. His books are available in print and electronic formats through Amazon.com. His ministry site, Issachar Bible Church & Apologetics Research Institute, can be found at http://issacharbiblechurch.blogspot.com/. The Twitter page of Dr. Meekins can be found at