Biblical grounds for resistance against evil political leaders                          by Jack Kettler

Many times in history the Church, Christians have faced persecution. Books have been written on the bravery of Christians facing all manner of persecution and martyrdom. Is it possible to biblically to resist those with evil intentions against you? Alternatively, is passive submission the only option? In this study, it will be explored to see what other kinds of actions are possible. This study will take into account the eschatological development in redemptive history.  

Introductory Scriptures:

“Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;” (Psalm 140:1)

“Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;” (Proverbs 2:11-12)

The main thrust of this study will be how do we know when resistance against the ungodly is justified?

Historically, there are steps as a rule that are required before resistance:

1.      Fleeing, Joseph and Mary fleeing to Egypt (Matthew 2:13–23).

2.      Suffering persecution, as in (Matthew 5:11) and Christian martyrdom, Stephen’s speech (Acts 7).

3.      Submission to civil authorities, as seen in Paul (Romans 13:1-7) and (1Peter 2:13-17).

Notable examples of the biblical precedent to resist unjust laws:

  •          Exodus 1:15-18 Midwives disobeyed
  •          Daniel 6: 7-9 Daniel disobeys
  •          Chapters Acts 5:29 the apostles disobeyed the Jewish rulers
  •          Revelation 13:13 believers told to resist the mark of the beast

As seen in the numbered and bullet list, there are tensions in Scripture. Eschatological development in redemptive history may provide a solution to these tensions.

Enter an eschatological dynamic:

The terms eschatological dynamic, advancement or development are used to explain the gradual submission of the nations to Christ’s rule in history. See Isaiah 9:7; Psalm 110:1-2; 1Corinthians 15:24-26; Colossians 2:15; and Daniel 2:44.

As to be seen, in this study and the unfolding of history there has been the emergence of Christendom or the nations that embraced biblical law into their legal systems, which recognized Christ as the King and Saviour. This embracing of biblical law by many nations adds an eschatological dynamic to the concept of resistance that is sanctioned by Holy Scripture.

In light of this eschatological dynamic, for example in America, the political rulers are restrained:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” - (First Amendment)

Amendment XIV Section 1:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

These amendments and others like it placed a limiting factor on governments in light of the idea that rights come from God and not from a King or politician.

In England for example:

The Magna Carta, which means “The Great Charter,” is one of the most important documents in history as it established the principle that everyone is subject to the law, even the king, and guarantees the rights of individuals, the right to justice and the right to a fair trial. Surely, this is what the Bible teaches.

What is the source of these restrictions placed upon governments? Was it a man’s law or God’s law that restricted rulers? The law of a man is fleeting, whereas God’s law stands eternal.

Greg Bahnsen explains why restrictions are placed upon Kings and governments:

“The civil magistrate cannot function without some ethical guidance, without some standard of good and evil. If that standard is not to be, the revealed law of God, if not, then what will it be? In some form or expression, it will have to be the law of man (or men) - the standard of self-law or autonomy. And when autonomous laws come to govern a commonwealth, the sword is certainly wielded in vain, for it represents simply the brute force of some men’s will against the will of other men.” - Greg L. Bahnsen

Principally, we must remember, God is sovereign. God is in control. We see this in the next passage:

“And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings...” (Daniel 2:21)

God sets up kings and removes them by His sovereign power. God will even raise up an evil king to bring judgment upon, and ultimately bringing repentance to His people. We should pray; “O Lord, help us to acknowledge our evil as a nation. Help us to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.”

What has God required His people to do?

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2Chronicles 7:14)

National repentance and true reformation are required for God to hear our collective prayers. God's people must humble themselves, pray earnestly for the removal of God's judgment, and seek him for deliverance.

Scriptural prayers for deliverance and the judgment against evildoers are sanctioned:

“Hear this, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness. Her leaders, judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field; Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.” (Micah 3:9-12)

“Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, for they have rebelled against you.” (Psalms 5:10)

“Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man...” (Psalm 140:1)

“When he is judged, let him be found guilty, and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few, and let another take his office.” (Psalms 109:7-8)

“Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled; let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.” (Psalms 6:10)

“His trouble shall return upon his own head, and his violent dealing shall come down on his own crown.” (Psalms 7:16)

“Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.” (Psalms 10:15)

“O God, break the teeth in their mouths; tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord! Let them vanish like water that runs away, when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted. Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime, like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.” (Psalms 58:6-8)

“Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more! Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!” (Psalms 104:35)

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil.” (Matthew 6:13)

From the above Scriptures, we can conclude as Christians; we have to right to pray privately and publically for the removal of ungodly leaders.

The doctrine of resistance at one level is justified in Scripture when a ruler demands the outright denial of God’s people to worship or follow God’s commandments:

“But Peter and John replied, Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to listen to you rather than God.” (Acts 4:19)

Later in Church history with significant doctrinal development and the advancement of Christ’s Kingdom among the nations whose law systems have been formulated upon biblical principles. In light of this, the option of resistance become a viable option. Christian influence has been so strong; many nations have national churches such and the Church of England. Today, the Russian Orthodox Church is the official Church of Russia.

King Alfred, 871 to 886 for example enacted a law code that had a translation of the Ten Commandments into English. God's law was to be the basis of the law for Alfred's Christian nation if it wished to have God’s blessings. After the Ten Commandments, Alfred incorporated the fuller Law of Moses Exodus 21:1-23:19, and the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12.

Other nations to one degree or another also incorporated biblical law into the law codes of their nations. Laws against murder, stealing, adultery, bearing false witness, etc., all are rooted in the Ten Commandments; they did not just spring out of nowhere.

Within a nation that had biblical law at the core, this created an entirely different situation than people had under the emperors of the old Roman Empire. The legal systems of Christendom and ancient Rome were entirely different. In a Christian nation, the Church and individual Christians can call a politician to repentance for committing the act of adultery. In ancient Rome and its legal system, calling Nero to repentance for fornication would have been unintelligible.

The thesis in this article is that a nation that has biblical law incorporated into its legal system opens up the option of various forms of resistance and appeal. If a King or ruler curses God, the Church of God can call the ruler to repent. In the infancy of the church, believers submitted to the ungodly to win them to Christ, the true King. Today, in the gospel era, unbelieving rulers are called to submit to Christ and His Word. The call for rulers to submit to Christ is a resurrection truth. There has been an eschatological advancement in history.

Thomas Aquinas notes this advance God’s law over man’s law in history:

“An unjust law is no law at all” - Thomas Aquinas (Rome’s leading theologian of the 2nd Millennium) in short, Aquinas said unbiblical law was not law. 

Political leaders are not immune to the following command:    

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7)

It would be informative to consider public oaths in the Christian era:

Oaths made before God using His name involve His divine honor. To swear falsely is to misuse God's name and in essence, call God a liar.

An oath of office is an affirmation or covenant that a person takes before assuming the duties of the office. Ordinarily, this is a position in government for legislators and civil servants or a church office holder. An oath that is made by calling God as a witness is a religious oath. The only effective way to certify that a candidate's affirmation is truthful was to put his words before God by way of an oath with his hand upon God's Word, the Bible.

By calling God as a witness, an oath is a solemn promise made in God's presence. Significantly when making an oath, the political candidate elect places his left hand on the Bible and raises his right hand toward heaven, and promises to uphold and carry out the duties required in the Constitution of the United States. It should be clear; God is the witness in this covenant! If a man does not believe in God or has no intention of keeping the oath, then he is committing sacrilege.

There are oaths, which call for God's intervention, such as; “I swear to tell the truth, so help me God.” It should be noted, to swear to tell the truth with God as a witness is a religious oath even if made in a civil setting. To perjure oneself, or go against God, would place the violator of the oath before God, awaiting His judgment.

In America, all members of Congress are required to take the following oath before assuming elected or appointed office. Five U.S.C. 3331:

“An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services shall take the following oath: ‘I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.’” (Emphasis mine)

Again, it should be noted that this oath references in context (hand on the Bible) the God who is revealed in the Bible as a witness to the oath.

What are the implications of this?

“From the day of the Declaration . . . they (the American people) were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of The Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct.” - John Quincy Adams (July 4, 1821)

“If the judge does not represent God’s Law order, he is ultimately a political hack and hatchet man whose job it is to keep the people in line, protect the establishment, and, in the process, to feather his own nest. Ungodly judges are to be feared and hated: they represent a particularly fearful and ugly form of evil, and their abuse of office is a deadly cancer to any society.”- R. J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, vol. 1, p. 613.

“The more a power departs from God’s Law, the more impotent it becomes in coping with real offenses, and the more severe it becomes with trifling offenses or with meaningless infractions of empty statutes which seek to govern without moral authority and with reason.”- R. J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, vol. 1, p. 620.

“While man has never seen, heard, touched, smelled, nor tasted God's invisible laws, he has observed their effects through the blessings resulting from man's obedience and the curses from disobedience. At the heart of the common law was a Biblical definition of law. One of its great expositors, Sir William Blackstone, noted that God, as the Creator of the heavens and the earth, created the rules of action that all creation was bound to obey.” - Herbert W. Titus, from Biblical Principles of Law

Against this background of public oaths, the resistance of Church leaders when dealing with political tyranny can be justified.

At an earlier time in history, this thinking was in kernel form and developing.

Consider Scottish Presbyterianism’s spiritual leader: 

“Although I never lack the presence and plain image of my own wretched infirmity, yet seeing sin so manifestly abounds in all estates, I am compelled to thunder out the threatenings of God against the obstinate rebels.” - John Knox

In Lex Rex, (the law is king) Samuel Rutherford another Presbyterian argued that the law is above the king because it is founded on the Law of God. If the king disobeyed God’s law then the king was to be disobeyed. Rutherford argued that the civil authorities are fiduciary figures, meaning that they hold authority in trust for the people. If they violate that trust, the people have a legitimate recourse to resistance.

Rutherford recommended increasing the levels of resistance as a remedy for individuals:

1.      by self-defense by protest or legal action;

2.      by a flight where possible; then only

3.      By use of force in self-defense.

Because God's law is above civil rulers, we have the right to say, “The emperor has no clothes.”

John Knox said, “Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.”

Consider The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women by John Knox. The First Blast published in 1558 was prompted by the murderous activities of Mary Tudor, a Roman Catholic who succeeded to the throne of England.

Mary Queen of Scots told him that God expected subjects to obey their ruler. Knox replied that subjects did not have to obey a ruler who was ‘ungodly.’

Knox was building on biblical law:

Knox was undoubtedly right that we do not have to obey an ungodly ruler. Today, would he have thundered out the threatenings of God today against our obstinate covenant lawbreakers? The answer would be yes! Is there a place for a Jeremiah like figure in modern history? Are Christians called to be Jeremiahs when it comes to public wickedness? 

Does submission to the governing authorities mean that believers and the church must keep silent in the face of public evil by these same governing authorities? Was John Knox in violation of what Paul is teaching in Romans 13:1-7 and 1Peter 2:13-17?

If so, this contradicts the centuries of redemptive history wherein the nations are brought progressively under the submission of the Lord Jesus Christ as seen in Psalm 2 and following:

“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:7)

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.” (Psalm 110:1-2)

“And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom, there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:33)

“Then comes the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1Corinthians 15:24-26)

“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44)

There is an eschatological advancement in history:

Now, the rulers of nations must submit to the Lord Jesus Christ and His law. Citizens must hold their rulers faithful to God’s law. The lawbreaking politician has no basis for his resistance to God’s law. The Christian citizen has every right to challenge and resist ungodly laws. Romans 13:1-7 and 1Peter 2:13-17 still command God’s people. Christians are to be model citizens and pray for civil rulers. However, with the law of God law built into the legal system of modern nations numerous options have opened up the rights of resistance and appeal, which are enshrined into modern law codes. Christians are not in violation of Peter or Paul’s instructions when forming legal associations to resist and fight public wickedness.

Can an ungodly ruler forfeit their power by an unrepentant violation of God’s Law?

What saith, the prince of exegetes?

“For earthly princes lay aside their power when they rise up against God and are unworthy to be reckoned among the number of mankind. We ought, rather, to spit upon their heads than to obey them.” - John Calvin (Commentary on Daniel, Lecture XXX Daniel 6:22)

“If they (government authorities) command anything against Him (God), let it go un-esteemed. And here let us not be concerned about all the dignity which the magistrates possess.” - John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion

What is interposition?

Interposition denotes to the right of the states to safeguard their liberties from fed gov violation that are believed to be treacherous or unconstitutional. This concept of interposition is rooted in biblical law. It is similar to nullification. The states created the fed gov, not the other way around, so they have the upper hand legally.

For example, the doctrine of interposition is taught throughout the book of Judges:

“For if there are now any magistrates of the people, appointed to restrain the willfulness of kings…I am so far from forbidding them to withstand, in accordance with their duty, the fierce licentiousness of kings, that, if they wink at kings who violently fall upon and assault the lowly common folk, I declare that their dissimulation involves nefarious perfidy, because they dishonestly betray the freedom of the people, of which they have been appointed protectors by God’s ordinance.” John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Chapter XX, par. 31, pp. 1518-1519.

Calvin here denounces the failure of leaders to implement interposition at the local level in the strongest terms. He is calling for the “magistrates of the people” to refuse obedience to the lawless king and not to “wink” at him as in the twentieth century where many of the German people blindly followed the orders of Hitler.

How this idea of interposition became a factor in the War for Independence:

“There is ever, and in all places, a mutual and reciprocal obligation between the people and the prince...If the prince fails in his promise, the people are exempt from obedience, the contract is made void, the rights of an obligation of no force.” -Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos written in 1579, author unknown

When politicians break God’s laws, they break their contract with the people, and the contract becomes canceled. 

For example, in modern law, a contract can become voidable under the following circumstances:

  •          The terms of the contract were breached
  •          The contract is fraudulent (omitting or falsifying facts or information, or the intention to not carry out the promise in the contract)
  •          Misrepresentation occurs (a false statement of fact)

A politician who promises to obey God and does not invalidates his contract with the people as an elected representative because of (a false statement of fact). Modern legal contracts are rooted in biblical law.

The passages in Romans 13:1-7 and 1Peter 2:13-17 must not be ignored, but there are considerations in the face of public wickedness considering that biblical law that is the cornerstone of the legal systems of many modern nations. This fact provides for the right of appeal and resistance. Remember the oath of Congressmen and government employees as see above. These oaths are contracts or covenants. Failure to keep the contract invalidates it, and the people are free from giving recognition and submission to the political leader.

Conventional thinking in the early American colonies:

“[W]e conceive that as the magistrate hath his power from God, so undoubtedly he is to improve it for the honor of God.” - Nathaniel Morton, Secretary of Plymouth Colony

Consider the thoughts of one New England pastor from a time when public office holders, seriously acknowledged the God of the Bible:

“It is blasphemy to call tyrants and oppressors, God's ministers. They are more properly the messengers of Satan to buffet us. No rulers are properly God's ministers, but such as are just, ruling in the fear of God. When once magistrates act contrary to their office, and the end of their institution; when they rob and ruin the public, instead of being guardians of its peace and welfare; they immediately cease to be the ordinance and ministers of God, and no more deserve that glorious character than common pirates and highwaymen. So that whenever that argument for submission, fails, which is grounded upon the usefulness of magistracy to civil society, (as it always does when magistrates do hurt to society instead of good) the other argument, which is taken from their being the ordinance of God, must necessarily fail also; to person of a civil character being God's minister, in the sense of the apostle, any farther than he performs God's will, by exercising a just and reasonable authority; and ruling for the good of the subject.…. When magistrates rob and ruin the people, instead of being guardians of its peace and welfare, they immediately cease to be the ordinance and ministers of God, and no more deserve that glorious character than common pirates and highwaymen.” - Jonathan Mayhew (1720 – 1766), Congregational minister at West Church in Boston

Civil disobedience is required when the government’s laws or commands are in direct violation of God’s laws and commands.

For example, a Christian will still attend worship services even in the face of direct commands of lawless politicians not to do so. A tyrannical decree for Christians not to meet for worship may mean meeting in secret, in houses, in the forest. God’s command outweighs the command of a man.

Submission to governing authorities cannot possibly mean the Church and individual Christians must remain silent in the face of public wickedness.

For instance, contemporary evangelical leader, James Dobson, calls the president to repent for his support of baby killing at the national prayer event.

Some of Dobson’s comments:

“I believe in the rule of law,” he said, but “I will not pay the surcharge for abortion services. … To pay one cent for the killing of babies is egregious to me, and I will do all I can to correct a government that lies to me about its intentions and then tries to coerce my acquiescence with extortion.” So, he concluded, “come and get me if you must, Mr. President. I will not bow before your wicked regulation.”

Dobson was in the right with the Bible in his hand figuratively speaking, called out public wickedness. Dobson was acting in the same biblical manner as John Knox and John Calvin.  

As mentioned, what about the passage in 1Peter where we are instructed to submit to every authority. Are there qualifications or limits in this passage?

Some have argued yes. For example:

The American colonists read 1Peter 2:13, “Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority,” and saw the phrase “for the Lord’s sake” as a condition for obedience.

The reasoning ran thus:

“If the authority was unrighteous and passed unrighteous laws, then following them could not be a righteous thing. In other words, one cannot obey a wicked law “for the Lord’s sake.” The Duty of Christian Subjects, TO EXECUTE JUDGEMENT, Upon Criminal Magistrates; As Maintained by the Presbyterian Reformer, John Knox, in a debate with Secretary Lethington.

Consider another recourse for citizens whose rulers who break God's laws or go beyond their jurisdiction:

“A civil ruler only operates legitimately in those things over which he has jurisdictional authority. He cannot claim that because he is a king that whatever he does is the result of his office. An elected official that lies, cheats, steals, and murders are not doing God’s will in his civil capacity. He can and should be called to account.” Is It Unbiblical to Protest Against Unrighteous Governments? By Gary DeMar

To understand this, who would think that the governor of New York could levy a tax upon citizens of another state? The point is that there are obvious limits to the jurisdiction of politicians. Likewise, in the American War for Independence, the English parliament had no jurisdiction to tax the colonies. Today it is common knowledge that the English parliament cannot tax Canada or Australia, nations that are historically under the crown.

Thoughts to provoke deeper thinking:

“So long as we consider finance, industry, trade, agriculture merely as competing interests to be reconciled from time to time as best they may, so long as we consider ‘education’ as a good in itself of which everyone has a right to the utmost, without any idea of the good life for society or for the individual, we shall move from one uneasy compromise to another. To the quick and simple organization of society for ends which, being only material and worldly, must be as ephemeral as a worldly success, there is only one alternative. As political philosophy derives its sanction from ethics and ethics from the truth of religion, it is only by returning to the eternal source of truth that we can hope for any social organization, which will not, to its ultimate destruction, ignore some essential aspect of reality. The term ‘democracy,’ as I have said, again and again, does not contain enough positive content to stand alone against the forces that you dislike––it can easily be transformed by them. If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God) you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin.” - T.S. Eliot

“If no divine law is recognized above the law of the State, then the law of man has become absolute in men's eyes--there is then no logical barrier to totalitarianism.” - Greg L. Bahnsen, By This Standard: The Authority of God's Law Today

“We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.” - Francis Schaeffer

“No totalitarian authority nor authoritarian state can tolerate those who have an absolute by which to judge that state and its actions. The Christians had that absolute in God's revelation.” - Francis Schaeffer

In closing, resistance to Tyrants against the backdrop of biblical law:

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“It must be recognized that in any culture the source of law is the god of that society.” - R. J.  Rushdoony

“If no divine law is recognized above the law of the State, then the law of man has become absolute in men's eyes--there is then no logical barrier to totalitarianism.” - Greg L. Bahnsen

“When the government engages in the involuntary transfer of wealth, that's nothing more than legalized plunder. There is nothing noble or laudatory about it. It is contemptible, evil and profoundly wrong.” - Frederic Bastiat

“If there is no final place for civil disobedience, then the government has been made autonomous, and as such, it has been put in the place of the living God.” - Francis A. Schaeffer, A Christian Manifesto

“Be not intimidated… nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.” - John Adams

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2Timothy 2:15)

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church.  He is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at:

For more study, contrarian books on unlimited submission to unrighteous rulers:

* Is It Unbiblical to Protest Against Unrighteous Governments? By Gary DeMar

Matthew J. Trewhella, The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates: A Proper Resistance to Tyranny and a Repudiation of Unlimited Obedience to Civil Government

Gordan E. Runyan, Resistance to Tyrants: Romans 13 and the Christian Duty to Oppose Wicked Rulers

Timothy Baldwin, Romans 13: The True Meaning of Submission, 2nd Ed.

By the Pastors of Magdeburg, The Magdeburg Confession: 13th of April 1550 AD. The Magdeburg Confession is the first known document in the history of man to formally set forth the Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates. The Lesser Magistrate Doctrine teaches that when a superior authority makes unjust laws or decrees, the lesser authority has a God-given right and duty to resist those unjust laws or decrees.

Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: