Ministry To The Magistrate DEFINED

Throughout the Scriptures, God raised up Godly men to instruct the magistrates of their day in God’s law and righteousness. God raised up Moses to confront Pharaoh to let his people go. God raised up Elijah to confront King Ahab over Baal worship. God raised up the Nathan to confront King David when he sinned grievously. In the New Testament, we see John the Baptist confronting King Herod over his “unlawful marriage.” The Apostle Paul, when he stands trial before King Felix he spoke with him about “righteousness, self-control and the coming judgment,” as he instructed the Gentile King in God’s righteous standard.

For thousands of years, Christians have been the consciences of nations. Throughout the ages, God has raised up Godly men to confront the idols of their culture and to speak prophetically to their elected officials and magistrates. Look at how John Knox dealt with Mary Queen of Scots, regarding her Catholic religion. Knox said, let it be known that “one mass is more fearful to me than if ten thousand armed enemies were landed.” He rebuked Mary over her Catholic idolatry, which he thought would bring judgment upon Ireland. This had a profound effect upon Mary as she said of Knox, “I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the assembled armies of Europe.” Another example is John Newton. Newton an Anglican Minister and abolitionist of slavery, instructed William Wilberforce in righteousness and was the main reason Wilberforce remained in politics and through his political efforts he abolished the slave trade in England.

At the founding of America, it was normal for pastors to preach political sermons, at the end of each election cycle, instructing their magistrates on what God’s moral law required. Here’s a political sermon from 1747 from Charles Chauncy titles “Civil Magistrates Must be Just, Ruling in the Fear of God”. The election sermon was preached to Governor William Shirley, the council, and the house of representatives of Massachusetts on May 27, 1747. At the end of his sermon he wrote, “let me call upon you to “render unto all their dues.” Abhor the little arts of fraud and deceit that are become so common, in this day of growing dishonesty. Make use of conscience in your dealings with your neighbour; and be fair and equitable, wherein you may have to do with him in a way of commerce. In conformity to the righteous God, love righteousness, and discover that you do so, by constantly living in the practice of it: Always bearing it in mind, that he, “whose eyes behold, and whose eyelids try the children of men,” will hereafter descend from heaven, “to give to every man according as his work shall be.” These sermons were the norm in America for decades before and after her founding.

Magistrates, or what we commonly refer to these individuals as “elected officials” must govern righteously and in the fear of God, as scripture require. Sadly, our elected officials for the most part, have forsaken their calling from the Lord, and instead of legislating God’s morality, they have legislated man’s immorality. In light of this, Christians must arise and call their magistrates to repentance for allowing evil to invade our land though abortion, gay marriage, no fault divorce and other immoral laws they’ve passed. It is the duty of Christian men, to “instruct the magistrates in righteousness” and to “rebuke them when they govern outside of their appointed God’s ordained authority.” 

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