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Opinion

The Separation of Church and State – aka The Wall or The Establishment Clause

By Tim Parker

One great problem we have as we try to understand this complicated subject is the confluence of many topics like God-ordained Institutions; Liberty and Freedom; historical backdrop and its backlash; different worldviews; technical versus pejorative or pragmatic definitions; our founder’s desires and intentions; what they individually or collectively wrote; what they practiced, overlooked, and guarded against; Charters and Covenants; who is in perceived versus ultimate control; interposition; rules; prerogatives versus law; God-given inalienable rights and responsibilities; divisions of authority; Romans 13:1-7 understandings or misunderstandings – and the protection of We The People. Throughout history, this was often forgotten, and tyranny and despotism reigned instead. Our founders wanted to correct this flaw.  

Consider some details that are often debated: 9 of 13 original States had State-Churches – it was never stated as a problem. Congress had 3-4 hour Bible-n-Prayer sessions BEFORE meeting; this wasn’t a problem, it was regarded as necessary. God’s Law was considered the Law of the Land; this was never questioned. The first order of business for Congress was to print and distribute Bibles as the principle text book in schools – as standard fare. States and We The People had greater authority than the Federal government; in fact, many patriots were staunch anti-Federalists – some wouldn’t sign our Constitution for noble reasons. God was boldly acknowledged to be OVER the State, Church and culture. Christianity was regarded as the necessary foundation for civility; for many years, you couldn’t apply for or hold office without being a Christian. Further, the Gospel of Christ was explicitly understood as the Source and Worldview of our God-Founded nation. Government was seen as a limited duty of Covenant rather than a career with lifetime benefits.  

Sadly, many today think God and His Law should be separated from Government, education and culture; our founders knew this to be suicide. Many think Christianity shouldn’t be allowed into the public square but think nothing of allowing Secular Humanism – our Federal Religion – to destroy the fabric of a godly society. Our Founders created a Republic, never imagining we’d devolve into Marxism, Socialism, Communism, or political factions. With reformed Christianity in the spiritual veins of many, they understood Federalism (1st and 2nd Adam) to be the root of our Republic. Many think freedom is free and without need to fight for it – anathema to our Founder’s thinking and practice. Wrong teaching causes many to think we’re supposed to accept tyranny under God’s hand; this is never taught in Scripture!  

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God’s Institutions of Church, State (government), Marriage between a male and female, Family and culture were designed by God to run on God’s Track of godliness in Christ-reflection (Civility). Under God’s Design, there is inalienable freedom; under grace there is liberty. Things run well when Institutions (trains) run on God’s godly Track; if they run off of God’s godly Track or the two rails get skewed, derailment is inevitable – the message of 1 Samuel 12:14-15.

In the Old World, the State referred to a Federal government ruled by a King, Emperor or other magistrate. In the “transfer” of language, we might think our Founder’s use of State means the Federal government. Proceed cautiously. A wrong understanding of Romans 13:1-7 leads to Statism (Divine “Right” of Kings). King is Law (Rex Lex) enables church, State or Federal government to be tyrannical, already derailed from God’s track. In our Republic where God’s Law is King (Lex Rex), The People thrive in freedom of religion, speech, assembly, personal defense and personal liberty.  

Interposition under the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates is crucial. Its void is glaring today. People ask, “Who will bring justice to my predicament? Who will stand in the gap for me? Who will intervene on my behalf?” They basically ask, “Who will interpose for me?” Lesser Magistrates have a duty to interpose between the “authority” and The People for aggrievement. When no one interposes against tyranny, the outcome is never good – as tyranny always squashes freedom of religion, speech, assembly and the right to bears arms against tyranny.  

Our founders had such a deep history of war between either the State (King) or Church against We The People that their experiment of a bottoms-up Republic under God was hugely successful. As designed and implemented, freedom under God’s Law and Christ’s Gospel led to a very prosperous country. Separation of Church and State actually keeps things in a liberating order to protect and maintain our God-given rights within practiced responsibility. I pray and hope we can correct the glaring flaws that prevent this from occurring today. Until it is reversed, the tyranny of Statism will continue to eat away our freedoms, justice, and Law-and-Order. Collectively, our nation cries “Who will Interpose for us?” 

I know that many choose to accept tyranny as a nasty detail of life – rather than fight against it in obedience to God because of Christ’s Gospel, so we struggle to relate to historical wars where King, State, or Church run roughshod over We The People, especially Christ-proclaimers. We can watch movies and read things but many won’t connect with real history that prompted our forebears to write, live, and fight as they did. When freedom and liberty are the heartbeat of your soul, it’s inconceivable that we won’t fight to the death to represent the Freedoms of Christ. Paul told us to “Take up the armor of God to fight against the rulers, powers, and world rulers of darkness [that hovers over our land], spiritual forces of evil in the heavens – to stand our ground in the evil day . . . to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one . . . pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert with all perseverance” (Eph 6:10-20). Be open to see and learn new and precious things!  

By Scripture, Faith, Grace and Christ Alone, and to the Glory of God Alone! Amen.  

* * * * * *

If God, His Law or Christianity comes up in the public square or – God forbid, in a public school, what might be the next statement we hear? “You’ve got to maintain Separation between church and State!” Or the stand-by, “You know, you can’t mix or talk about religion or politics!” Is that what the Wall of Separation means or is that a distortion from what our founders believed, wrote, and lived? I hope to show you it’s the second – a gross distortion.      

Many talk about the Wall of Separation between Church and State when the topic of Christian religion comes up in public schools, government, Church-rights to function as a Christian Institution, or Christians having the right to live and talk their faith in public. But, “In what context is this understood?” Many misunderstand this phrase in nefarious terms with a hugely negative emphasis. Great value is gained when we especially understand these terms within their original intent – going further back to their forebears. Context helps us to ponder history and learn how our founders understood these issues. Often, people don’t have true sources to accomplish this search as implications flow into practical, biblical, Constitutional, legal and divine Covenant teachings. It’s crucial to properly understand nuances to accurately parse the designed intent. 

Our God-designed experiment by godly men was hugely successful but hugely obscured today. The first order of business for our founders was to publish and distribute Bibles as textbooks. The godly establishment of our country was by those who represented God. Today, government “leaders claim belief in our Constitution and founding documents,” then enrich themselves. Our founders regularly started sessions with 3-4-hour Bible Study and prayer times. Dark money flows through corrupt veins of today’s self-proclaimed leaders beholden to foreign entities. Our founders were Statesmen with truth-integrity before the God of Creation and Re-Creation. Today’s “leaders” destroy God’s Law and belief in His Sovereignty, and promote evil actions. *Did they buy into teachings that obscure our Founding Principles to embrace an improper view of Separation of Church & State? Many separate belief in God from the “governmental practice” of seeking lifetime security for themselves apart from inalienable rights in Gospel liberty.“The accomplishments of America and the Bible are unmatched but not unrelated, for the Bible was the key factor in America’s success – a fact largely unknown today, but widely acknowledged by national leaders throughout American history” (p. IX, Founder’s Bible); listen to a few.    

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “The directing influence the Bible exercised upon the Fathers of the Nation is conspicuously evident. . . .This book continues to hold its unchallenged place as the most loved, quoted, universally read and pondered of all the volumes which our libraries contain. . . . We can’t read the history of our development as a Nation without reckoning with the place the Bible occupied in shaping the advances of the Republic. I suggest a Nationwide reading of the Holy Scriptures. . . for a renewed and strengthening contact with those eternal truths and majestic principles which have inspired true greatness” (p. IX, FB). That’s a clear Presidential endorsement – no Separation violation! 

President Teddy Roosevelt: “The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our civic and social life that it would be literally impossible to figure to ourselves what life would be if these teachings were removed. We’d lose almost all standards by which we now judge public and private morals, and strive to raise ourselves. Almost every man who has by his life-work added to the sum of human achievement of which the race is proud – of which our people are proud – almost every such man has based his life-work largely upon the teachings of the Bible” (p. X; FB).   

President Woodrow Wilson: “America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scripture” (p. X; FB). I say, “Amen!” to that!

President Zachary Taylor: “The Bible is the best of books; It’s indispensable to the safety and permanence of our Institutions; a free government can’t exist without religion and morals. There can’t be morals without religion, nor religion without the Bible; it should especially be placed in young hands [not taken out of schools]. It’s the best school book in the world. I wish all were brought up under the influence of that Holy Book” (p. XI; FB). Again I say, “Amen!”        

To examine history shows the backdrop of our founder’s intent and meaning. *A prominent idea of the Separation Clause is to separate God and/or religion from government under the Establishment or Free Exercise Clause that forbids governmental establishment or preference of a specific religion. This doesn’t mean religion generally, as that leads to national suicide. Many early settlers came from Europe where religious wars between organized religion and reformed Christianity were common. Most nations are formed from a religious-worldview. Our Founder’s response to State-Church wars were “Not here!” and “No more!” *Some say government can’t honor one religion over another but founders inherently intended to reject specific sects within Christianity. Yet to “abide by the E.C,” Secular Humanism replaced Christianity to clearly violate the Establishment Clause!     

To begin to understand the Separation subject, let’s do a quick overview of three important subjects per the New Geneva Study Bible: Bringing the Light of the Reformation to Scripture (NKJV); General Editor, R.C. Sproul:

The Law of God: Human beings were not created autonomous (free to be a law unto themselves) but theonomous – subject to the law of God. . . God created man in such a way that grateful obedience would bring him the highest happiness. Duty and delight would coincide as they did in Jesus (John 4:34; cf. Ps. 112:1; 119:14,16,47-8,97-113,127-8,163-7). The fallen human heart hates God’s law, both because it is a law and because it comes from God. Those who know Christ, however, find not only that they love the law and want to keep it, both to please God and out of gratitude for grace (Rom. 7:18-22; 12:1-2), but also that the Holy Spirit leads them into a degree of obedience that was never theirs before (Rom. 7:6; 8:4-6; Heb. 10:16). . . God requires the total obedience of each person to all the implications of the law. As Westminster Larger Catechism, Q. 99 says, the law binds “the whole man . . . unto obedience forever; it is spiritual, and so reaches the will, understanding, affections, and all other powers of the soul as well as the words, works, and gestures.” In other words, Jesus condemns the hypocrisy that tries to hide inner corruption with an outward show (Matt. 15:7-8; 23:25-8). Furthermore, the corollaries of the law are part of its content: “where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden, and where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded” (p. 122). 

The Three Purposes of the Law: God intends for His law to function in three ways; Calvin crystallized this for our benefit as the law’s threefold use. Its first function is to be a mirror reflecting to us both the perfect righteousness of God and our own sinfulness and shortcomings. . . The law is meant to give knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20; 4:15; 5:13; 7:7-11) and, by showing us our need of pardon and danger of damnation to lead us in repentance  and faith to Christ (Gal. 3:19-24). A second function, the “civil use,” is to restrain evil. Though the law can’t change the heart, it can inhibit lawlessness by threats of judgment, especially when backed by a civil code that administers punishment for proven offenses (Deut. 13:6-11; 19:16-21; Rom. 13:3-4). Thus it secures civil order, and serves to protect the righteous from the unjust. Its third function is to guide the regenerate into the good works that God has planned for them (Eph. 2:10). The law . . . could be called their family code, . . what Jesus referred to (Mt. 28:20). The Christian is free from law as a system of salvation (Rom. 6:14; 7:4-6; 1 Cor. 9:20; Gal. 2:15-19; 3:25), but is “under law toward Christ” as a rule of life (1 Cor. 9:21; Gal. 6:2) (p. 259).

Christians and Civil Government: Civil government is a God-ordained means for ruling and maintaining order in communities. Each such means has its own sphere of authority under Christ, and the limits of each sphere are set by reference to the others. In our fallen world these authorities are Institutions of God’s “common grace,” standing as a bulwark against anarchy and the dissolution of ordered society. In reference to Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-17, the Westminster  Confession says, “God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, has ordained civil magistrates to be under Him, over the people, for His own glory and the public good; and, to this end, has armed them with the power of the sword for the defense and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil doers . . . Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the Kingdom of heaven.” . . . If civil government forbids what God requires or requires what God forbids, Christians cannot submit, and some form of civil disobedience becomes inescapable (Acts 4:18-31; 5:17-29) (p. 1790). 

The Church: The Church’s sphere of authority relates to civil government at the morality level, with responsibility to comment on their morality and policies on the basis of God’s Word, but they should not appropriate to itself the power to set such policies. Whereas these assessments may foster political action among Christians, they should act as citizens rather than representatives of the church. In this way the Gospel works through moral persuasion and God’s Grace working among citizens. Christians should urge governments to fulfill their proper role, reminding them that God ordained them to rule, protect, and keep order (p.1790). The church exists in and through Jesus Christ as a distinctive New Testament reality yet it is continuous with Israel, the seed of Abraham and God’s covenant people. . . The church fulfills Old Testament hopes and patterns, brought about by Jesus Christ. The church is God’s family and flock, His Israel, the body and bride of Christ, and the temple of the Holy Spirit. . . The church is one; the worshiping community is the church militant – those still on  earth – and the church triumphant – those who died and entered glory. . . The church on earth is one in Christ. It’s holy because it’s consecrated to God corporately. It’s catholic (meaning “universal”) as it’s worldwide. It’s apostolic as it’s founded on Apostolic teaching. Christians who refuse to join other believers disobey God and spiritually impoverish themselves (p. 1864).            

Our journey looks at historical markers to realize our founder’s angst against corrupt and tyrannical Institutions. *The corresponding terms in Separation of Church and State are often misapplied to erect a wall between God (Law) and State; our founders never dreamed this! State/Government is confused when a church or governmental branch assumes superiority. When diabolical or erroneous “applications” usurp original intent, tyrannical abuses of God-given inalienable rights to worship the God of Creation and Providence in Jesus Christ the Redeemer are evident. Let’s attempt to get close to a viable, historical and ancestral vision. 

We struggle to know where we’ve been, where we’re going, or why without healthy knowledge of our past. As youngsters we often ask, “Who am I?” or “Where did I come from?” Deeper understanding comes when we seek philosophical and spiritual-heritage answers. An information-void explains why we either don’t know, forgot or reject our past. The Result? Today we try demonic anti-Christian answers that won’t work! 

Against anti-Christian answers that won’t work toward righteous government, consider what Samuel said when the people rejected God for a king “like their neighbors; If you fear the LORD, serve and obey Him and don’t rebel against what He says, and if both you and the king who rules over you follow the LORD your God, all will be well. But if you don’t obey the LORD and rebel against what the LORD says, the hand of the LORD will be against both you and your king (1 Sam.12:14-15).” This great passage deals with the church, rulers, politics and culture to point to the way that America must pursue. They once did; are we following?       

I used several sources. I’ve used many of Dave Barton’s teachings for years. Notes in his Founder’s Bible: The Origin of the Dream of Freedom gave great insight. Two recommended books by Matt Trewhella – Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates: A Proper Resistance To Tyranny and Repudiation of Unlimited Obedience to Civil Government (2013); The Magdeburg Confession (2012) helped. Matt participated in a DVD – The True Christian History of America (TtChoA); this was hugely helpful. Michigan Judge Michael Warren’s book, America’s Survival Guide: How to Stop America’s Impending Suicide by Reclaiming Our First Principles and History (2007). Snippets were gained with on-line searches. 

  We’re often caught in the snare of presuppositionalism (supposing-a-position-beforehand) when we discuss paradigms – like “Don’t confuse me with facts; I’ve already got my mind made up!” God’s Grace, Word and Truth in new birth can shatter paradigm paralysis as we “wake up as God makes us come alive” (Eph. 2:4-5; John 3:8). Then we can evaluate Truth to gain a defensible position to firmly and equitably stand upon. We want our Life paradigms to withstand the fury of storms – where a trained Christian worldview is paramount. 

Accurate understanding helps explain America’s Christian uniqueness and exceptionalism. The Christian veins that created America were deeply entrenched. Yet tyrants work overtime to tear down godly foundations to prove their point that we’re neither Christian or exceptional. Let’s look deeper to see what true history teaches.   

Our founding documents provide instructive details. Many assume a freedom that “comes” cheaply, yet we’re better informed when we unpack implicit details from enumerated duties and inalienable God-given rights. I’m convinced these are firmly sourced in Christ’s Gospel-freedom from John 8:31-32; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 and Galatians 5:1 so we will protect and maintain these empowering, precious and liberating entities.

The Creation of America was a confluence of many factors with religious liberty in self-governance as a common thread. I think and teach that America was created by God no less than Israel was; Israel was Jacob’s redeemed name. Here are some snippets from Escape from Tyranny: Pilgrims, Puritans, and Persecution and How Then Shall We Live: The Mayflower voyage and compact (Founder’s Bible): 

“Persecution is nothing new. In the 16th century, kings of Europe were in full attack mode, systematically annihilating those who dared challenge their right to tyrannize and plunder, in the Name of God. A titanic struggle waged between forces of tyranny and those seeking liberty. Millions died in the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) in Germany [religious genocide]. King Philip II killed and tortured thousands under the Spanish Inquisition, forcing Protestants to convert to Catholicism. The Dutch refused to give up religious liberty and led a Protestant revolt. . . French Huguenots were butchered by thousands (p.95). . . After years of the Bible being banned in England, under threat of being burned at the stake for owning a smuggled copy, the Bible was printed in English. . . Inspired and inflamed by the Reformation, men preached directly from the Bible. . . to expose sin and ignorance by God’s Word. . . The Bible was available so people could read it for themselves. It was more precious than life – God was speaking to them. A grassroots freedom movement was born with the newly published Geneva Bible (1560).  . . The State created the Church of England [a sect]. The State-established Church, headed by a king or queen, existed by permission of civil government. . . the only church – period. The government controlled the Church, the Church controlled the people – leading to cruel tyranny and oppression. . . With personal access to study Scripture, people discovered God Instituted the true Church that existed by a covenant among God’s people. . . To the monarchy, the notion that biblical covenants formed churches separate and distinct from the State was sedition and wouldn’t be tolerated. Queen Elizabeth had Parliament pass a law (1582) making it treason to worship in any way other than by forced attendance at her government Church. Scotland, hoping for better, arranged for James Stuart (future King James I) to be tutored by a Reformer (p.97) to rule Scotland according to the Bible. . . Instead of ruling as God intended, James thought he actually led the nation . . . The Black Acts of 1584 declared the king head of the church in Scotland; he and his civil government had total authority over all church matters. Anyone who denied this was considered a traitor (p.98). . . Unchecked, tyranny spreads; power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. . . King James published his Bible (1611) to keep people from reading the “infernal” Geneva Bible. . . James helped put into motion a people who’d plant America’s spiritual heart (p.99) . . . William Bradford came from underground worshipers, later known as Pilgrims (precursor to the Mayflower Compact). . . This covenantal concept is critical to understand. . . Part of America’s spiritual birth certificate was formed here! (p.100). . . the fires of liberty stirred in Pilgrims to spread the Gospel. The Reformation battle cry of five solasSola Scriptura (by Scripture alone), Sola Fide (through faith alone), Sola Gratia (by grace alone), Sola Christus (in Christ alone), and Soli Deo Gloria (for the glory of God alone) – was a drumbeat they couldn’t ignore (p.104). They set up a printing press in William Brewster’s Holland home; they printed, published and smuggled books into England and Scotland in kegs. In 1619, Brewster’s printing press was seized and his house was sealed. [Many were imprisoned]. . .Their pastor, John Robinson, reconsidered relocating to America (p.180). . . He inspired congregants to touch God’s heart, trained them to think God’s thoughts (a Christian worldview) and helped them practice God’s government in homes, churches and civil compacts. . . They believed Christ’s government began in individual hearts. Robinson (p.181) taught them to think for themselves, test everything, and continually search Scripture. The Bible was always their primary source for wisdom. . . Truth was to be practiced, lived out everyday, and applied to society around them, especially the biblical role of civil government. The enduring legacy of Christian self-government would become the distinguishing mark of the Pilgrim church. They carried the seeds of religious liberty with them. Robinson’s lasting influence makes him “the Founding Shepherd of America” (p.182). . . The Pilgrims came to the New World as families and as a church (p.183). . . With need for a new charter, they asked: How then shall we live? . .   They set out to establish a proper foundation upon which the rights of liberty could be enjoyed by all – saint and stranger. No one was excluded on the basis of faith nor was anyone coerced into adopting Christianity. . . Everything they did started with God. Rather than God, king, then the people – the new power flow was God, the people, and then the State. Our liberty and rights are God-given and thus inalienable! With the Mayflower Compact as a start, this pillar for Christian self-government was restated in the Declaration of Independence as “We the people …” The purpose and mission was undeniably Christian: “Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith and Honor of our King and Country . . .” The cornerstone of civil government’s mission is to advance the Christian faith and honor the role of the civil magistrate according to God’s Word. . . They trusted a document in relationship, a commitment to fulfill a common purpose. . . Christianity would be the basis of law in their civil society as revealed by God’s Word. No other religion provided these freedoms (p.187). . . Before stepping foot onto the New World on November 11,1620 they penned and signed what would become the premiere document of freedom for early America (p.188). What they did was unique in world history [exceptionalism basis]. They founded a government on a covenant rather than by hereditary title. They created a limited, representative government accountable to the Rule of Law and the people. . . They understood that God always used a small group of totally committed and all-in people. They knew if they kept covenant with God and one another, God would be faithful. This was the great experiment (p.189). . . Such is the strength of those who’ve gone before us – passionate followers of Jesus Christ. They brought the torch of liberty – having sacrificed all they had. They were like Abraham in Hebrews 11:8-16. These were our forefathers, people of faith, Pilgrims” (p.190; Founder’s Bible).                               

Our Pilgrim Founders (1620) influenced our 1776 forefathers to interpose on behalf of people who refused to live under the British Parliament that tyrannically served King George III. *Interposition is a key element in the Separation of Church and State doctrine. After many Charter violations, patriots petitioned George to interpose against Parliament. He refused, so restraint turned to revolt. A Magna Carta statement appears on Paul Revere’s Massachusetts’ State seal, “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty” (TtChoA). Things might change if many knew our founding history and what it was planted in.   

God created Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden with marching orders. He postulated a serious command – with spiritual death as the consequence for violation. Lucifer assumed the form of a serpent, a literal wolf in sheep’s (serpent’s) clothing. Satan tempted Eve to trade security in God’s Law for spiritual death. Listen to Christ’s Gospel as you’ve likely never heard before. People caught in Satan’s kingdom-clutches don’t have free-will-ability to jump into Christ’s Kingdom. Christ is the Only One who can set us free! 

The Apostle Paul cries out in Romans 7:24, “Who shall deliver me from this body of (spiritual) death?” Jesus taught that, short of new birth, we can’t see our spiritual-death bondage or acknowledge our need for a Redeemer and Liberty to gracefully obey God’s Law. ONLY by new birth can someone SEE to ENTER Christ’s Kingdom (John 3:1-8). Only a new birthed soul wants out of Satan’s tyranny (Rom 7:14-24a). Paul “came to” Christ on the Damascus road in Acts 9. Scripture shows that in new birth God actually comes to us to lead us into His Kingdom (Colossians 1:13). That’s highest-magistrate interposition! Let that sink into your soul and mind.  

After The Fall, Christ “clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins” (Genesis 3:21) to signify the Spirit’s application of Christ’s Righteousness in new birth Grace (John 3:1-8). In the Garden, Jesus interposed on behalf of Adam and Eve (aggrieved humans) against The Tyrant Satan to bring release from demonic tyranny (John 8). Jesus “appeals” to the Father to interpose against Satan on their behalf to give them Eternal Life, effectuate their Kingdom Rights and Grace them with Gospel liberty in Freedom to obey His Will (John 17:1-19; Matthew 5-7). Seek His Kingdom, and Jesus will find you (Matthew 6:33); that’s His promise! More than we realize, Jesus is the Ultimate Interposer! 

*God’s magistrates (Prophets, Judges, Priests and godly kings) essentially interpose for God’s aggrieved people against tyrants. Consider these interposers: midwives interposed for Hebrew babies (Exodus 1:15-22). Mordecai and Esther (with great trepidation) interpose for Jews against tyrant Haman (Esther 4-6). Three Hebrew boys and Daniel (Babylonian magistrates) interpose for fellow-Hebrews (Daniel 3&6). Hebrews 1:1 calls every Interposer a prophet, set in contrast to The Son (Heb 1:2). Jesus interposes on behalf of God’s sheep (Ephesians 1:3-14). As Interposer-Redeemer, Jesus won the greatest victory on the cross to essentially CREATE-and-EFFECT His Gospel in Grace-Applied Ones. The Great Interposer, the Holy Spirit, takes sinners from Satan’s kingdom and puts saints into Christ’s Kingdom (Col 1:9-14). Every saint (set-apart-by-God-unto-holiness) seeks to emulate Jesus – to interpose and fulfill the Great Commission. 

God’s Church consists of Old and New Covenant saints, as Paul unpacks the New Covenant Church Mystery in Ephesians 3:1-12. This majestic teaching particularly resounds to Christ’s Glory (3:13-21). Ephesians is a powerful book in God’s Canon (Rule or Standard)! God’s Institution of the New Covenant Church is in Ephesians 3; Institution of marriage (Genesis 2:22-25); Institution of government in Covenant (Gen 9:1-17); Institution of Gospel (Gen 3,15,22; Isaiah 53; Ezekiel 36 & 37; John 3). We can surmise from God’s Institutions that no God-ordained Institution should be in competition with another Institution. In a later train track analogy, God’s trains never run on twisted, evil, compromised or contradicted rails. Parallel rails are essential to make things work in a godly way. 

The Church may hold God’s highest recognition, according to Paul. *A misunderstood Separation Clause “thinks” government holds sway over the Church, to prevent the church/Christians from holding godly sway over culture. The opposite insinuation says Church rules Government. Our founder’s viewed government as the consequence – in a framework of God’s Kingdom-Covenant with man, not over man. The Church should hold government-toes to a godly fire per Romans 13:1-7. When Covenant-with-God is removed from government, tyranny occurs. When the church fails as guardians, despotism and tyranny seem inevitable, seen in the tragedy of “democracy” that robs Liberty/Freedom and Justice from God’s Federalist-Republic, self-government plan! My Federalist reference isn’t directly related to American Federalism (although it applies) but to Federalism relative to the first Adam and Second Adam (Christ) as federal heads in creation then Re-Creation (Rom. 5:12-21), as Covenant works through and because of federal heads.   

We get close to the heart-matter of Genesis 1:26-27 when we understand God-Instituted government is God-designed Covenant. God covenants with Christ’s Re-Created Image-bearers. God is Eternal Creator, Righteous Law-Giver and Righteous Judge who brings Truth, Justice and Grace through Christ’s Cross-sacrifice into His sheep. As people reflect God in Justification-then-Sanctification (new birth Grace unto obedience), Kingdom citizenship is realized – taught by Jesus in The Beatitudes (Matt. 5-7). His sermon closes with two world realities – those who build their life upon the sand versus those who build on the Rock (Jesus and His Life-view). Rock-ones love a Christian worldview; sand-ones hate the above sentiments. This dichotomy explains much of the dis-junction we witness in Separation of Church and State confusion. Those who build on the sand are unable to pursue Life’s True meanings. Those who build on the Rock are graced to pursue God’s meaning.                      

*The church, as God’s minister of Grace has the “keys to the Kingdom” (Mt. 16:19). The government, as God’s minister of justice wields the sword righteousness (Romans 13:1-7). The wrong use of the sword was seen in tyranny-distortion: Covid-19 lock-downs, a stolen 2020 election, and “right-less” imprisoned J-6ers. The Church and State have limited and answerable authority under God. The Church shouldn’t rule over the State; the State shouldn’t rule over the Church – the pragmatic essence of the Separation Doctrine. Tensions occur in tyrannical coercion rather than in godly practice, appreciated when both stay on their God-rails. 

The true Gospel is pushed down by tyrants in governmental overreach, as freedom of speech and religion are obscured. Scripture shows that distortion, coercion and attempts to destroy God’s Word starts in Genesis 3. Tyrants persecute when we boldly preach God’s Gospel – the undisputed course of godless human history. If godless people could’ve reached Noah after God locked him in the Ark; they would’ve killed him (Gen 5:1-9:29; 1 Peter 3:15-22; 2 Pe 2:1-5). “Every inclination of their minds was only evil all the time. . . . But Noah found favor in the Lord’s sight. . . . And Noah did all that God commanded him – he did indeed” (Gen 6:5, 8, 22). God Covenants with humanity through Noah (Ge 9), then redeemed-humanity through Abraham. 

Christ’s Gospel reality is framed in Abraham’s Faith-line (Gen. 12,15,17,22). Abraham interposed to save Lot from 4 kings; afterward, he met Melchizedek, King of Salem (Jerusalem before it was!). I think this was a Christophany – showing again that God stands with His people when they fight His cause against tyranny (Ge 14). Joseph interposed to save the whole clan of Israel. When Moses demanded “Let God’s people go into the wilderness to worship on His terms,” all hell broke loose. After the 10th judgment-plague Instituted Passover (Exodus 12), Pharaoh said “Go!” He later changed his mind and pursued them into the Red Sea to destroy the whole Egyptian army! Scripture shows that God destroys tyrants when God’s people obey. Are we listening? 

A 40-year debacle occurred when 10 of 12 spies said, ‘We can’t win if we go in!’ (a tyrannical democracy of numbers-over-Truth). God eventually took His people into Canaan and commanded them to fight to remove tyranny. In Jericho, God dropped the walls; His people did mop-up duty. His people suffer judgment when they sin. God commanded a complete purge of evil tyrants. When they wanted a king like those around them (1 Sam 12:12-15), real tyranny came. With sins in our Nation, we shouldn’t wonder why we are judged today! When people look to evil leaders (kings) rather than God, it’s no wonder why we reap tyrannical whirlwinds!  

Sin always destroys goodness that God designs! Israel had a genuine theocracy with God as King; His Word was Law under implicit Gospel, and they didn’t want this! Under Samuel, God’s people rejected Him as King. This occurred in the Garden as Adam and Eve walked and talked with God. A tyrant talked them “into a better deal” to steal their freedom and spiritual souls. Tyranny and anarchy reign where Satan is in control. Satan’s kingdom of darkness is total tyranny. When God’s Gospel reigns through Graceful Law, tyranny is expelled and people live in blessing to the degree of obedience – under the Graceful Rule of Law! 

How did God’s Church fare in the divided kingdom after King Solomon? 75% of their kings were evil. Captivity came to the Northern (Israel) and Southern (Judah) kingdoms. Many prophets were martyred for their faith. Jesus received the same; all His Apostles but John were killed for their faith; they tried-n-failed 3 times! What happened to Christ’s people after the Apostles died? Many were martyred for their faith. Stories abound about Christians being thrown to lions in amphitheaters by ruthless tyrants. Martyrdom still occurs today!      

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs was originally called The Acts and Monuments of these Latter and Perilous days: Touching Matters of the Church. This polemic of Protestant history and martyrdom under the Roman Catholic church, especially in England and Scotland, was first published in 1563. The persecution was great. Original copies were large; today it’s in condensed versions. God’s Word, Law, Truth and Christ-reflecting lives are trampled by tyrants – what Jesus taught in Matthew 10:16-42; 12:25-45; 13:47-50; and 21:33-44.      

Any time coercion is behind a compromise, the result is faulty. God’s Written Word was essentially buried for over 1000 years; His people weren’t able to read it in their vernacular. The Middle Ages were called Dark Ages as God’s Word was lost. Corrections came with Wycliffe, Hus (Hoos), Lollards, Luther, Calvin, Knox,  Puritans and Pilgrims. *Forebears came out of this cauldron of Church-State confusion; this explains why they pushed so hard for proper separation of Church and State that rises above tyrannizing the people.      

Emperor Constantine perverted the church. As governmental leader, he “gave away” Kingdom keys; he opened the church to whosoever will. The True Church is a field office for Christ’s Army. A true shepherd only lets sheep in and guards the sheep-door. Constantine did the opposite. *Laying aside that non-new-birthed ones were let into the church, governmental overreach wrongly controlled the church. The Separation clause intended to prevent overreach. Peace was declared at the cost of religious Liberty – a tyrannical trade off. 

Alfred the Great, conquered England in 886 and ruled as King of Wessex from 871-899. He guarded against invasion, requiring all men to be in the militia. His rule presumed the right to bear arms and form a militia  (TtchoA). Our 2nd Amendment-rights and Castle Doctrine come from his teaching. Alfred blended O.T. biblical realities with Christ’s Sermon on the Mount and Golden Rule as England was founded as a Christian nation.  

John of Salisbury taught in Policraticus (1159) that *State authority is delegated authority, “All power [authority] is from the Lord. The power of the prince is from God, for God’s power is never lost or severed from Him; He exercises it through a subordinate hand.” The State’s authority isn’t autonomous or unlimited. Rulers should never contravene (violate, oppose or contradict) God’s law. Citizens aren’t bound to give unlimited obedience to civil government; “The king is king precisely because he rules in the fear of the Lord, according to His law.” *When the king/State makes law contrary to God’s law, he becomes a tyrant, “For tyranny is abuse of power entrusted by God to man” (Trewhella; Tdotlm, pp.12-13). God’s law was the objective standard for Western Civilization. Governments are accountable to God’s Law. English jurist, William Blackstone (1723-1780), “higher law is God’s law. Upon the law of nature and law of revelation [God’s Written Law] depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these two” (TtChoA; p.21).

Statism thinks that rights and law originate with the State. The United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1958) contrasts our founding documents that recognize rights are God-given. Statism is on our immediate horizon; the U.N and W.H.O. plan to subject the sovereignty of 191 countries under full-blown medical tyranny. Their mandates will be Law if no lesser magistrates interpose for us! Calvin: “Earthly princes lay aside their power when they rise up against God, and are unworthy to be reckoned among mankind. We ought, rather, to spit upon their heads than to obey them” (Trewhella; Tdotlm, p.13).      

The Magna Carta (1215; Great Charter) was provoked by battles at RunnyMead when tyranny provoked a war so commoners could worship God as He commanded. Lesser magistrates rebelled against King John’s tyranny; “Government was taught” restraint under God’s Law. No one, not even the king, is above God’s Law! Judge Denning (1899-1999): “The Magna Carta is the greatest Constitutional document ever!” The Lesser Magistrates Doctrine was formulated-and-well-taught in the Magdeburg Confession (TrChoA). This key doctrine states, “When a higher ranking authority acts unjustly and immorally, we’re not to obey everything they say; rather, we’re to reign in wrong actions. On a personal level, we obey Christ instead of man” (Trewhella). 

John Wycliffe translated the Bible into common vernacular to “unbury” God’s Word. Without ability to read God’s Written Word, people won’t know God’s meaning for proper protocol in Church-State relationship and how to respond to tyranny. Wycliffe spoke of a government of, by and for the people. He taught the necessity of godly government committed to God’s Law; he knew a godly people is equally necessary. Some called him The Morning Star of the Reformation. J.A. Wylie said, “Under Wycliffe, English liberty had its beginnings. He taught men to cast off blind submission to mere human authority which is bondage, and submit understanding and conscience to God as He speaks in His Word, which alone is liberty.” He taught Romans 13:1-7 rightly (TrChoA). 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s anti-tyrant Interpositional-view pushed him to be involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler – a paradigm shift for me. With a wrong view of Romans 13:1-7, I couldn’t rightly process his decision. He didn’t implicate a weak Lutheran church but did what was pleasing to God. His book, The Cost of Discipleship is in my Top 5 All-time (highly recommended). To gain extensive understanding of systematic theology takes many years; I’m still learning. Calvin was an exception; he first wrote his Institutes at age 26. Bonhoeffer possessed wisdom beyond his years but sadly (to me), he was hung 8 days before Allied forces liberated Germany at 39.  

Lollards formulated and presented The 12 Conclusions to the English Parliament, then nailed them to the Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral doors in 1395 to push for reformation in the Church of England. They were inspired by John Wycliffe’s teachings (Wikipedia). Did Martin Luther follow suit or was his posting just the news of the day? It’s a noble thing when laypeople encourage church leaders to reform but often this desire turns into top-down tyranny like the Pharisees. Most of Jesus’ ministry was interposing for aggrieved ones.  

Jan Huss, pronounced Yon Hoos (like goose), touted Freedom of speech and religion. He was a thorn in the Catholic Church’s side. He wanted to reform clergy and papacy; preach in common vernacular rather than Latin; test Catholic teachings by God’s Word rather than tradition; administer the Eucharist, bread and wine to laypeople; have priests embrace a vow of poverty and obey Christ; fairly judge Wycliffe’s and his writings; and  reform methods by which indulgences were promoted. He was burned at the stake as a heretic by the Catholic Church on July, 1415. A recent pope offered a sincere apology (noble gesture) to followers known as Hussites. 

The pope called to exterminate Wycliffe, Hussites and other “similar ilk” in 1420. Two crusades were waged against Hussites. Under Jan Zizka’s leadership, the one-eyed leader led Hussite warriors in 16 battles plus smaller skirmishes, and never lost: “Everyone should make war on the anti-Christ who desires to destroy you and your religion. Prepare yourselves and provide yourselves with good arms. The Hand of God hasn’t been shortened. Have courage and be ready!” America’s Founding principles are heard in his speech. Czech Bohemians are historic examples of Christ’s liberty protected by defensively warring against tyrants (TtChoA).

Martin Luther followed his forebears Wycliffe and Huss – who said, “If you silence the Goose, in 100 years a swan will arise that you won’t be able to silence.” Luther was commissioned on the spot where Huss stood when he was condemned. In God’s time, Luther was that swan! Commissioned a priest in 1507, his 95 Theses were nailed (1517). He spoke at the Diet of Worms (1521), “forced” to recant. He refused, “Unless I’m convinced by Scripture and plain reason, I don’t accept the authority of popes and councils for they’ve contradicted one another. My conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot, and will not recant anything; to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.” 

Prince Frederick III of Saxony, in a famous Interpostion, ran cover for Luther who was condemned to arrest and death. Frederick hid Luther; this was pivotal to later development of the Lesser Magistrates Doctrine by pastors in Magdeburg. After the Diet of Augsburg (1530), Luther was concerned that Charles V would use military force. Protestant leaders formed the Schmalkaldic League, a defensive religious alliance with members pledging military support. This brought peace for years. After a traitor exposed a preemptive strike, League-warriors were defeated and brutalized. The demand was, “Rejoin the Catholic Church, or else!” Many Lutherans rejected the coercive mandate; they were imprisoned, exiled or executed (TtChoA). 

Luther taught people they weren’t required to obey corrupt government, “When murderers and bloodhounds wish to wage war and murder, it’s truthfully no insurrection to rise against them to defend oneself.” The elliptical meaning of God’s 6th Commandment is “Avoid murder, and interpose to prevent the murder of innocent lives.” “All the saints wielded the sword from the beginning of the world . . . God is the ONE unchangeable Mighty One. God never changes!” “Open violence annuls all duty between subjects and superiors according to Natural Law” (1 Timothy 5:8). “Protect your family – Christian men are required to be armed and fit” (TtChoA; Nehemiah 4:18). *The right to worship as God requires is one tenet behind the Separation Clause. 

Many events occurred almost simultaneously across European lands – culminating in the Reformation. God’s Law – the higher Law – was the objective standard for nearly 1400 years to realize right from wrong, or good from evil. After Martin Luther hung his 95 Thesis on the Wittenburg church door, the tyrannical German Catholic Church/State turned ugly against Reformers. Many besides Luther were condemned for the 1521 Diet of Worms (TtChoA). “The Tyrant State abhors an objective standard to which it’s accountable; rather, it flourishes in a subjective environment.” William Blackstone’s Commentaries (1723-1780), the most cited legal scholar for America’s Founding Fathers, was the bedrock of American jurisprudence (TdotlM; p.21).  

Magdeburg, the only German city to refuse to bow to this religious/political tyranny was under siege in 1551. Charles intended to re-Romanize the whole empire. During the tenuous stand, the Magdeburg Confession put their relationship with Christ and Liberty on record for all to witness (TrChoA). America’s founders stood in that legacy; I agree with this sentiment. About 4,000 of Charles’ troops were killed; 468 Magdeburg people died. Maurice changed sides – rightly – to interpose and help drive Charles V into Italy (Trewhella; Tdotlm, p. 37). Believers in Christ who are magistrates should always look to interpose for aggrieved souls!

Awful massacres were attached to Church/State fights against people that both Institutions are commissioned by God to protect. The Lesser Magistrate Doctrine was fashioned by Magdeburg pastors. John Knox, the Scottish Reformer, was greatly challenged by the work of the Magdeburg pastors. Wikipedia posits another Magdeburg siege in 1631, when over 20,000 Magdeburg people died (TtChoA).          

Huguenots (silent “t”) were French reformed protestants in a land that was 90% Catholic. They grew quickly despite persecution. As Huguenots attended a large wedding in Paris on August 24, 1572, Catholic soldiers killed thousands in the St. Bartholemew’s Day Massacre. Civil war ensued. Huguenots won the upper hand in the late 1590’s; that stopped tyranny! [Pay attention!] Henry IV issued the Edict of Nantes in April 1598 to “grant” toleration – liberty to worship as they pleased. Louis XIV revoked this edict in 1685, so “practicing this heretical religion was forbidden again.” They were “forced” to renounce their faith and rejoin the Catholic Church. They couldn’t leave France. 300,000 troops were hired to hunt them down and confiscate property (Trewhella; TtChoA).  When we stand for our faith and liberty in our world, we might get shot at and struck down too.

John Knox expanded on what Magdeburg pastors wrote. He exegeted 70 biblical texts for emphasis against the “devil’s invention” (the wrong view of Romans 13). Knox wrote his Appellation (Appeal; 1558), writing after the Roman Catholic Church condemned him and burned him in effigy. The chief duty of nobles “is to vindicate and deliver your subjects and brethren from all violence and oppression, and defend them from persecution and tyranny, be it against princes or emperors, to the utmost of your power.” (TdotlM; p.39). Some passages Knox taught were Jeremiah 26:10-16, 36:9-31, 38:7-13; Daniel 3 & 6; and 2 Kings 11. In mocking rebuke of those who reject the lesser-magistrate doctrine, “For now the common song of all men is, “We must obey our kings, be they good or bad; for God has commanded” (pp. 39-45). Not!  God shows pleasure when His people disobey tyrants in obedience to Him. William Wallace of Braveheart spoke sentimental words to compel his men to gather courage – even die – to protect freedom for God. 

Tom Saprime of Liberty Works spoke on Sam Adam’s (1764) – a “disciple” of John Knox, “The fact and reality is: Christians in the United States are to be full participants, active in governing. Sam Adams said our Colonial Charters set up participatory self-rule for the citizenry. Not only is it necessary to participate in self-governance but a community, county, State and Nation can legislate morality. If they don’t, the citizenry allows immorality to become law to the detriment of the general community. Adam’s Instruction addressed despotism and required responses via ‘Lesser Magistrates,’ elected by the people, most of whom were in fact Christians to address these issues. As Sam Adams studied John Knox and others, he knew the redress-process through elected magistrates is proper, even mandatory in a ‘Representative’ form of governance. Adams addressed ‘English Constitutionality’ of people as sovereigns and Reformation Principles of ‘Appealing to Lesser Magistrates’ to further the public’s Liberty and happiness. It’s an absolute misrepresentation of biblical reformation and Colonial Principles for pastors, priests and rabbis to tell congregants they ‘shouldn’t be involved,’ ‘fully submit to government authority’ or ‘pay taxes without complaint.’ When tyranny and despotism are obvious and those elected aren’t acting as agents of the Moral Sovereign of the Universe, the absolute right and responsibility to call for redress and actively act against tyranny and despotism is in our Constitutional Republic. We have so much more to learn from our Founders and their original intent for good governance” (YouTube search). 

Many early Americans were of Huguenot descent. America gained doctors, craftsmen, and artisans. Paul Revere’s father was a Huguenot; George Washington’s grandmother one. In 1787, after America gained its independence from Britain, Marquis de Lafeyette persuaded Louis XVI and the French Council to adopt an Edict of Toleration to guarantee religious freedom to everyone in France (The Huguenots Society of America). 

*It’s no wonder our founders required a wall between Church and Stateto protect We The People! Helen Silving (1906-1993): “Undoubtedly, the Magna Carta stands for the idea . . . of subjection of the king . . . not to man, but to God and the Law . . an idea rooted in the Bible, which has dominated Anglo-American thought.” *Apparently she thought it okay for a King to be subject to God. William Penn said of the Magna Carta (1697), “If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God; and to do that, thou must be ruled my Him!” Amen! God, His Law and godly government were at the soul of our founders (TtChoA). 

Stuart R. Hays, in a 1960 article The Right To Bear Arms: A study in judicial misinterpretation (William and Mary Law Review, Vol. 2): “If King John didn’t follow the provisions of the Magna Carta Charter, the barons should have a right to correct the king by force until the king begins to follow the articles of the Charter. Thus the right of lawful revolution was born into the Constitutional laws of England. It stands to reason that the right to bear arms rests on three solid English rights – 1) The right of revolution; 2) the right of group self-preservation; and 3) the right of self-defense. These basic rights are a portion of the English Common Law evolved before settlers came to America” (Trewhella; TtChoA). We can appreciate the good things that did come out of England.

Contrary to misinformed, erroneous teaching our founding was lawful resistance rather than unlawful rebellion as many wrongly think. The difference is seen in Scripture. King Henry III said of Magna Carta, Article 61 “It shall be lawful for everyone in our realm to rise against us and use all the ways and means they can to hinder us, that they shall do everything that aims at our injury until that in which we have transgressed and offenced shall have been by a fitting satisfaction brought again in due state.” This king had true knowledge of the Lesser Magistrate Doctrine with godly Separation-clause practice and protection (Trewhella; TtChoA). We need more of this today!    

Some leaders ask constituents, “What can we do when the Democrat President, or other tyrannical heads – even Supreme Court Justices deny justice?” They want us to think their cowardice is sufficient claim against doing the right thing – as if, “What can we do against this tyranny?” or “You certainly don’t expect us to stand in the gap for you – do you?” Yes, we do! Lesser magistrates who won’t do their God-ordained duty to interpose for their aggrieved constituents need to get out of the way; find courage, or resign and go home!

Ambrose, a 4th century churchman interposed when he blocked the doors of the church to refuse entry by the Emperor Theodosius who had unjustly killed 7,000 people in Thessalonica as reprisal against some men who killed some Roman officers. Ambrose stood in the doorway and refused the emperer access until he publicly repented and made restitution for his actions. That took guts! Theodosius did repent and made restitution. One man interposed on behalf of aggrieved citizens and an Emperer changed course (Trewhella; TdotLM, pp.6-7). 

In the Romanian revolution of 1989, a reformed pastor was to be arrested by the secret police; arrested people were often never heard from again. People from his church heard about his pending arrest and blockaded the doors to interpose for their pastor. Eventually more than 1,000 parishioners blockaded the door to interpose on behalf of their pastor. Two weeks later, Ceausescu and his wife lay dead on the palace steps. Their two-decade reign of terror was brought to an end (Trewhella; TdotLM; p.7). Stories like this demonstrate why and  how interposition works. We can’t guarantee success but God smiles and works through situations like this! 

It’s plausible that Interposition can work in many aggrieved situations! When “the People” don’t know about this, and “leaders” don’t know about this, lesser magistrates cannot perform this essential duty – and people cannot seek this from lesser magistrates. Consider buying and distributing copies of Matthew J. Trewhella’s The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate book to leaders who are in a lesser-magistrate capacity. Rather than wring our hands, it’s time we get intricately involved at this specific point. Who knows what God will do when we Covenant together to make a difference for righteousness against tyranny and despotism?        

When we speak of Covenant-minded people, there were none better than Puritans (my biased opinion), even as Pilgrims exhibited similar fervor for Covenant-living. My personal religious roots go deep into Puritan and Reformed soil. Puritans knew how to live in Covenant with God, government and man; how to resist tyranny, and protect themselves. Since Constantine, wars between Catholics and Protestants were common. More times than not, Protestants fled Catholic or Church of England persecution/genocide. Emotions can bulldoze doctrine but God’s Truth is supreme. Courteous discussions can be attempted but, at root, when dealing with worldview realities, cemented paradigms may never change. One such time was when the next man stepped to the plate to interpose on behalf of fellow countrymen to perform the lesser magistrate duty in the face of full-blown tyranny.

Oliver Cromwell, a Puritan/reformed man, put his faith front-and-center to interpose militarily on behalf of his persecuted people. In a Protestant land, Charles l married a Catholic woman and things went downhill. Decisions quickly circled back to Catholic rules. Civil War broke out when draconian, brutalizing measures were enacted; dissenters were imprisoned (1641). Rather than go to America, Cromwell stayed and fought. With no   formal military training, Cromwell never lost a battle. He issued pocket Bibles to troops. It was reprinted often in the last 400 years – even for American troops. In 1651, Cromwell and Puritans brought an end to the English Civil War. Cromwell and Puritans brought charges against Charles. Parliament tried, condemned and executed King Charles I for treason – to highlight the Lesser Magistrate Doctrine in practical action (TtChoA).

Christ, not man, is King!” is on the wall of the Cromwell museum. In a speech when he rejected the offer to be king, Cromwell said God’s Judgment allowed the monarchy to be destroyed. “Who am I to go against his judgment?” God didn’t intend for human kings to rule His people – He IS our King; God told Samuel, “They haven’t rejected you; they’ve rejected Me!” Kings were given as a judgment against evil actions. In the divided kingdom, after Solomon, every king in Israel (Northern kingdom – 10 tribes) was evil and half of Judah’s (Southern kingdom – 2 tribes) kings were evil. Cromwell could be applauded for “correcting” a 2700-year distortion; his part was huge but we need more. He did take the role of Protector, Projector and Proclaimer of the Christian Faith until his death. Brilliant names were attached to Cromwell – John Bunyan (Pilgrim’s Progress), his secretary John Milton, and Chaplain John Owen (Paradise Lost & Paradise Restored; TrChoA); that’s historical context. Owen is a great Christian mind – one of my top five to digest!     

Samuel Rutherford, a Scottish Presbyterian, wrote Lex Rex that means “The Law is King!” This corrected the misguided Contract/tyrant view Rex Lex – meaning “The King is Law!” Practically, Rex Lex is the epitome of the misguided, common view of Romans 13:1-7. “If our king is not subject to the King of Kings, we dare not be party to his crimes.” Today’s Church really needs to wake up to this one biblical truth! 

John Knox wrote in The Appelation, “True it is, God has commanded kings to be obeyed but likewise true it is that, in things which they commit against His glory, He commanded no obedience” (TrChoA). How I wish pastors were committed to this! Instead they betray their duty as Christ’s under-shepherds to protect their flocks against being taken to the slaughter. My training suggests this prerequisite for duty is similar in scope to the requirement of a father, “If someone doesn’t provide for his own, especially his own family (protection, food, shelter, training), he has (practically and effectively) denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). The same is true of under-shepherds (John 10:11-15); kick the dogs and shoot the wolves.           

The Divine Right of Kings was known to be false by European Christians of Puritan/Reformed descent.  How I wish that today we thought like our forebears! The same is true of the Church, State or Government. No one has a divine right to do as they please. Rather, the Divine Right is in godly, righteous government, the true textual point of Romans 13:1-7. Common, absolute, unquestioned, unchecked and tyrannical power should never be tolerated. Godly pastors should be out-front of people to require godly living from politicians, educators, and protectors of health to God’s glory in Christ’s new-birth Gospel. Sadly, that’s not often the case! 

Laws of Nature, Law of God, and Nature’s God – Henri DeBrackton, “The king himself should be under no man but under God and the Law; for there’s no king where will, and not law, wields dominion.” Trewhella: “Magistrates aren’t to be servants of the divine State [Statism]; they’re to be servants to God Himself.” James Otis (1764), “There must be in every instance a higher authority – God. *If an act of Parliament is against any of His Natural Laws, which are immutably true, their declaration would be contrary to Eternal Truth – and consequently void.” Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780), “Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the law of his Creator, and consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for everything, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker’s Will. His Maker’s Will is called the Law of Nature. This law of Nature is binding over all the globe at all times. No human laws have validity if contrary to this. Doctrines thus delivered are called revealed or divine law; they’re to be found only in Holy Scripture. Upon these two foundations, the Law of Nature and the Law of Revelation, depend all human laws. No human laws should be suffered to contradict these” (TtChoA). We have many things messed up today! 

Our struggle in the 1770’s was with Parliament and King George. Today the tyrants are courts, as judges act like British Parliament despots. The Supreme Court pridefully posited God-like authority to themselves in the Cooper vs Aaron case language (1958). “They believe everyone must bow to them” (Trewhella). “They basically said, ‘Our opinion is law!’” (Titus). Wrong! Our founders knew that sinful man needed God’s Law – that’s why it was hung everywhere as foundational. Today’s tyrants have birthed civic babies that are more ferocious.

Upcoming UN/WHO legislation “grants” ultimate power (May 23-27, 2022). This arrogant usurpation of God, with collective Executive-Judicial-Legislative-King-State-Church “authority” explains to world citizens, “You must bow to our medical/government-related dictates!” with no backside limitations. My under-shepherd-mind hears egregious tyranny – something only Satan does! Strangely our leaders support this treason. Did their “open-pocket policy” steamroll integrity, or do we now see their true colors? They sell us out to the highest bidder – vaccine money (where’d that come from?)! Many “leaders” reject imposition for money. No thanks! Oakland County just approved $millions to the World Economic Forum. Follow the money! Coffers are filled with dirty-money; now they’re spending as they’re told! Imagine that! It’s no mystery.       

Herbert Schlossberg speaks directly in Idols for Destruction; Christian faith and Its Confrontation with American Society (pp. 212-214), “*The framers of the American Constitution were conscious of excesses to which centralized political systems were prone [they passionately hated them]. Their solution was to devise multiple levels of authority. The existence of which . . . saved us from some assaults on our freedom that others have suffered. . . these “intermediate institutions, which formerly served to check the central power, have largely atrophied.” He concludes, “After three-quarters of a century, the new nationalism has borne bitter fruit. People who despise the right of localities to govern themselves delivered them into the hands of federal masters [beholden to foreign dark money – treasonous betrayal]. Local politicians acquiesce in the mugging of provinces because, in return for giving up political authority, they receive monetary benefits.” I don’t know about you but I’m tired of rampant corruption destroying our Republic! 

“In other words, with the shekels come the shackles. The Federal master bought lesser magistrates off so they more readily do its bidding, rather than the peoples’ [bidding]. *The lesser authorities become mere implementation-centers of Federal policy” (Trewhella; pp.16-17; TdotLM). Matt’s book was written in 2013 before COVID-19 medical tyranny with murder in vaccines; political/religious tyranny with discriminate shutdowns; trillions of Covid relief $’s, Infrastructure Bills, and money-for-death from Vaccine producers with designed hands in political coffers to pay off “leaders” of every stripe; the stolen election of 2020; installation of a Marxist regime; more trillions of $’s for Infrastructure to “up the ante” of more corrupt leaders. If ONLY we could “follow ALL the money.” I think we’d be shocked. When many apparently honest leaders go rogue all at once; shut their mouth against tyranny; commend corruption; endorse stolen, failed and treasonous elections; and don’t listen to constituents anymore – something is very wrong! It’s like we must stop a runaway train!                

Our founders knew man’s depravity – without Grace; therefore, they needed a Savior (Matt. 19:17; Jer. 17:5, 9; Ps. 119:165, 146:3; Rom. 3:10, 23). Jefferson: “In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” A Kentucky Resolution draft (1798), “The depravity of man is behind the clause “all men are created equal.” Calvin (1558): “And this is the point wherein I say all men are created equal, that, as all are descended from Adam, by whose sin and disobedience death entered the world (Rom. 5:12), so it behooves all that shall obtain life to be engrafted into One, that is, the Lord Jesus to wit, all that unfeignedly believe in (Into) him” (Rom. 6:23) (TtChoA). 

“Here is the amazing truth of our spiritual re-creation. Just as God breathed into lifeless dust to give life to Adam (Gen. 2:7), the Lord gives spiritual life to those who were spiritually dead. This, God alone can do!” (Chapell, Ephesians, p. 83). “Doubtless it is no outward bodily alteration, but undoubtedly it is an entire alteration of the inner man. It adds no new faculties to a man’s mind, but it certainly gives an entirely new bent and bias to all his old ones. His will is so new; his tastes so new; his opinions so new; his view of sin, the world, the Bible, and Christ so new, that he is to all intents and purposes a new man. The change seems to bring a new being into existence” (Ryle, Regeneration, p.14). “Lazarus responded, because Jesus gave him ears to hear, strength to move, breath to live, and will to obey. Lazarus responded but Jesus was responsible for new life, because Lazarus was dead [John 11]. Since we’re spiritually dead prior to God giving us new life, the spiritual life we have is his doing and to his glory alone” (Chapell, Ephesians, p. 81). God, the Bible, and our founders agree.        

Covenant with God is at the heart of godly government; anything less is never respectful of humanity. Socialists, Communists, Marxists, One Worlders, Luciferians, Statists and many politicians believe government IS God and can make laws per sinful emotional whims. This violently stands against biblical notions, founding documents, and Christian roots. Biblical faith is always in and under Covenant with God whereas evil people live in violation of God’s Covenant in Christ. Consider how different teachings of marriage, sex, gender, church, representatives, education, medicine and government would be if our nation lived in Covenant with God. Many problems would be solved if Covenant, rather than contract was at the heart of God-ordained Institutions – another key tenet of the Separation Clause. Keep these tenets in mind. 

It’s evident from European history that tyranny in Church or State violates God’s Institutions and power-balance God put in place through Covenant – in marriage, Government, Law and Gospel. 75% of the divided-Israel kings failed in anti-God evil yet God taught godly government as a pretext for kings. We see this in the King of Salem, Melchizedek (Gen. 14:18-20; Ps. 110:4; Heb. 5:6,10, 6:20, 7:1-21). God allowed earthly kings as judgment but kings were purposed to epitomize God’s design of government. David often points specifically to God’s Greater King Jesus in Cross-Victory, Ascension and Coronation (Ps.2; 110), “Modern” folks (even Christians) shy away from notions of theocracy. Many founders lived a practical theocracy with a keen view to a “city on a hill” and “a new Israel.” *We never go wrong when we stay under God and His Law! Ponder that! 

John Hancock,Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. Continue steadfast; with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend these rights which heaven gave and no man ought to take from us. Resistance to tyrants is sufficient to God, submission to God is resistance to tyranny and tyrants.” Clear enough? President Teddy Roosevelt, with Rough Rider fame, spoke highly of Cromwell who refused to take the offer of king after the power of the kings was terminated. George Washington did a similar thing (TtChoA). It takes a real man – a man of God – to do that!

*Rather than see Separation of Church and State in a skewed light whereby they are cut off from one another, realize that our founders understood this phrase to speak of an effective and Holy Church that mutually practices godly truth with a government that seeks to glorify Christ in Gospel manifestations. In contrast, history reveals great upheavals between Church and State, great conflations between Church and State, significant competition where each tries to take ultimate tyrannical control – to the end of denying God’s design to brutalize the people. In this, the people never come out “on top;” rather, The People are often the tennis ball in a heated match. Our founders wanted and designed better, because God designed and Re-Created better! 

*The “Stay in your lane” analogy is good; my revised assessment of the Separation of Church and State  issue examines a created railroad track with trains designed for specific purposes. A railroad track is two rails in parallel fashion for trains to properly function. Two rails and two trains must always stay the right distance apart! The Church and State are analogously two trains that run on the same tracks. The State is God-commissioned to civil-military created-life under God’s Law #2. The Church is God-commissioned to re-created-spiritual life under Christ’s Gospel (Law #3). If trains and rails maintain proper distance, things work as God designed. Derailment is inevitable when trains run off the rails or in a cross-purpose – why our founders spoke of Separation of Church and State as they did. Trains are designed to get safely to the next station with people-cargo in godly shape. It seems simple but sin, tyranny and conflation leads to derailment of either train or both. I trust this better “pictures” the “separation or wall” language our founders designed and used.       

*When the Separation Clause was penned, 9 of 13 States had State-religions without cause for concern. The Founders never considered the Christian religion an insult or violation of any founding document. They protected against Federally-dictated religious sects, like a National Baptist, Presbyterian or Methodist Church. The Federal Government had no business sticking their nose into doctrine, conscience or freedom of religion; they were designed to guard that right. Our founders seemed unconcerned with State Religions, even as the Church had no authority to usurp or control State-powers designed to protect godly practice and judge evil conduct. President Jefferson ruled that our Federal Government could not dictate days of fasting, prayer or thanksgiving to “guard” the Separation element. He felt the Federal-State was performing Church duties. He wasn’t against the Church performing religious duties within the State or culture – often negated today. With respect for Jefferson, in essence I quibble with his Separation judgment. His Danbury Church letter seems to contradict his discontinuation protocol. With State Churches when our founding documents were signed, with no real concerns, his discontinuation-protocol seems strange, but I empathize with his specific concern.   

The Separation subject came up in a letter from Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Church in Connecticut during his Presidency. *He ensured their rights to freedom of religion and speech as the Federal Legislature infringed upon their rights. Congress did things that appeared to establish or prejudice a religion in the Danbury case. As a Virginia House of Delegates-member in 1776-1779 he drafted Virginia’s Statute for Religious Freedom to prohibit the Federal government from establishing a religion yet required the protection of its free exercise – one of three things he wanted recorded on his gravestone! While claiming neutrality, more than not, Jefferson empathized with Anti-Federalist positions. He strongly advocated for State’s rights and was always biased against too strong of a Federal government. Can we fairly say he was a “closet Anti-Federalist?” He spent most of his later years trying to get Constitutional omissions corrected – anti-Federalist concerns! I think he’d throw a fit over what’s done in his name today, as he fully supported freedom of religion!     

*The “protective attempt” (by atheistic, agnostic, pagan, secular, liberal, humanist or Luciferian people) to “guard against violations” led to the very thing our founders guarded against! In the last 100 years, attempts to wrongly guard against the practice of Christian religion actually brought the establishment and practice of a Secular Humanism Religion into full practical reality. With a produce analogy, my observation is that one bad secular humanist apple put into our nation’s bushel basket years ago completely spoiled the whole basket of formerly good apples. Now, secular humanism and godlessness is so deeply established into our schools, business, culture and government today that it’s rare to see a fresh apple appear on the horizon. Sadly, few seem willing to clean the bushel basket and return to our original design!  

I’ve asked one crucial implicit question many times since the early 1960’s (born in 1953) – “WHY didn’t our founders specifically engrave Christianity into Founding-Document language?” It would’ve been so simple! As noble as that idea was and is (I’m sure heated debates ensued; it’s plastered all through founding language and practice), I imagine enough thought it’d violate their design-language intent or they thought it was clear enough (like a wrong assumption). I don’t think it violated the spirit of their intent, but they restricted language, choked their design, or both. Officially in many places, before our founding and for many years to follow, one was required to be a Christian to hold office. Labels don’t ensure reality but, as RINOs (Republican in name only) give credence to CINOs (Christian in name only), our practiced founding-dogma greatly betrays what we see today. No matter how you view this dilemma, existence of sand-dwellers and Rock-dwellers should give great pause before electing someone to office, as many betray Constitutional claims!

Consider some bad apples of the last 100 years – Planned Parenthood (1st bad apple? Started in 1917;  1st called PP; 1942); United Nations (1945); CDC (1946); CIA (1947); WHO (1948); NATO (1949); Korean War; UN Supreme-Court-is-King statement (1958); Vietnam; Cuban missile crisis; JFK’s assassination (not sure we ever recovered); Judicial Activism; Feminism (demasculate men to destroy two-parent homes); Bible, prayer, 10 Commandments, and God taken out of schools; the Sexual Revolution; Creationism voided; Patriotism denied and judged wrongly; Civil Rights ‘wars;’ Bobby Kennedy and MLK, Jr assassinations; Roe v. Wade (1973); Iraq war; 911 (2001); WOKEness in vogue; CRT, BLM, 1619 Project and godlessness touted as Truth; history and science corrupted; 2020 riots; The Great Anarchy, Great Steal, Great Covid Deception/tyranny (2020); etc. We could add many more! It’s no wonder we seem derailed! Can we get a godly train back on safe tracks? As maintainers of our Republic, that should be our intentional approach.   

Proverbially, our founders “would turn over in their graves” if they knew we established the Secular Humanism Religion, allowed Muslim tenets to be honored/taught in schools, have a Marxist/Socialist/Communist propaganda machine called news media, and “voted for” Marxist/Socialism over a Christian Law-and-Order Republic two years ago. We should be indignant of ungodly narratives when we’re told how and what to think. In hindsight, would our Founders specifically push the intent of their spirit into concrete language? I think so. Did they believe Christians and patriots would forever fight to maintain freedom? I think so but sadly, we didn’t. With all they gave, they’d be extremely disappointed that we let tyranny and anarchy overrun or bulldoze us. We’ve fallen so far, so our vision is “Repent and Return!” 

A May 3, 2022 American Family Association email by Tim Wildmon said: “I was astonished at a news story photo of a statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed demon that often represents Satan. Baphomet is seated on a throne. Two children stand beside the image and stare up in admiration at the prince of darkness! The statue was created by a group called the Satanic Temple, displayed at the Illinois Capitol building in Springfield beside a Christmas nativity in 2021. *The Satanic Temple demanded the display to honor the group’s religious freedom. In another Illinois city, the same group was allowed to post fliers inviting elementary school students to attend an after-school “Satan Club,” to compete with and mock Good News Clubs, a well-known after-school Christian program. I don’t suggest Satanism as a religion is spreading throughout our nation’s schools or legislatures but to promote Satan worship stretches the First Amendment beyond its legal limits and harms families and society.” This makes me incredulous in light of push-back against Christian mores and godliness. 

In an Epoch Times article from February 2022, a Plainwell, Michigan high school junior is fighting in federal court to share his Christian religion. *David Stout was suspended for sharing his beliefs and opinions in a private conversation with a like-minded student on school property and in text messages outside of school with friends. Stout put forward the biblical teaching of the love of God through Christ for sinners and expressed his own love for his peers. He shared the Judeo-Christian doctrine that homosexual conduct was a sin, and that God created only two biological genders – male and female. Stout alleges he was told that talking about religious or political beliefs was not allowed anywhere on campus for fear of hurting someone’s feelings. What a contrast to the above story. So much for freedom of speech and freedom of religion! Tyranny seems to have free rein when Separation of Church and State is wrongly in view.  

*Our founding documents gave us the Right to stop tyranny in its tracks – to derail the train if we couldn’t maintain godly distance between two rails, or create a new set of tracks for a different train. Will we wake up to our rights and duties? Will we maintain a godly approach to life in the face of anarchy and despotism? Will we learn, teach and push for the practice of the Lesser Magistrate Doctrine? Will we realize that Christ gave us authority, battle gear and weaponry to wage war with Him against evil rulers in our day? Will we boldly interpose when tyranny and injustice raises its head? Will we live in the Power of His Might and Freedom of Christ in His Covenant Gospel? Patriots have awakened. I hope Christians wake up to Christ’s Gospel and Magistrate Doctrine. When we look at odds stacked against us – we almost seem “past the point of no return” – but let’s pray we’re not there, then act accordingly! Be involved in corrections.  

In summary, I think we were ill-prepared and caught by surprise to prod three Institutions to clean house in the State/Government, Church, and Culture – as they have collectively crushed Marriage and Family as God designed. God designed His Institutions so that Culture follows the godliness of the first two. With the extent of evil in the two, today’s Culture is like the third Institution in the evil pod. As we wage war on all Institutional fronts, we should act in righteous indignation like Jesus as He cleaned the Temple a couple times. Entities seem to collapse on themselves, imploding like the Twin Towers in the last 4-6 years – the Church in 2018 (Social Justice gospel and WOKEness), culture in 2020 (The Great deception; societal disintegration over Trump; 2016), the State/Government in November 2020 (greatest steal since Satan stole spiritual life from our Federal Heads; J-6er event, 2021: Communist regime installed). Our land is not what it was designed to be. Tragically, Christianity is berated, dismissed, mocked and persecuted – against the Separation Clause – but everything else is allowed free rein today. That’s an imploded Separation Clause! Our country needs a good scrubbing! 

We’re in a war. A few positive signs appear but not enough to think recovery is in play. From the political reaction of May 19, 2022, if any Christian, conservative or patriot raises their head in disagreement, this will be regarded as a hate crime subject to prosecution. What do you think? Is it time for We The People to assume Lesser Magistrate roles? When magistrates vacate their duty, we can stand in the gap for aggrieved people. Much of the populace is against us; many leaders are against us, even in the church. There’s nothing easy about this war. Fight the tyrannical encroachment of the UN and WHO – this week (May 23-27, 2022). They’re ready to subject the whole world under their demonic “medical” control – pandemics, guns, vaccines, government, food, abortion, church, global warming, etc. will all be in play.  

Here’s a potpourri of snippet-suggestions. Be alert; watch your back. Watch your fellow-soldier’s back. Refuse to be a coward; pull an oar, and speak up. Drag noble souls with you. Be locked and loaded. Gird your loins. Live in Christ’s Freedom. Always resist and defy tyranny; your life, soul, family and fellow-patriots depend on it. Stand in the Power of Christ and Fight (Eph 6:10-18). Link arms and stand! Shoot straight and use both hands – a trowel in one, and a sword in the others per Nehemiah – as we rebuild our walls; it means more than our southern-border wall. Obey and follow Christ. If tyranny wins, we’re done as a Republic nation. We’re close, but savor the threads of truth and hope. God will give the boldness and justice to make godly material with the threads we have! Have courage! Hope in the LORD! God may yet bring Justice and Revival in our land – that is my prayer from Matthew 6:10 & 13, “May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, and deliver us from the evil one(s).” Amen! (May it be LORD!)

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