What is the Lesser Magistrate Doctrine?
The Lesser Magistrate Doctrine teaches that when the superior or higher ranking civil authority makes immoral/unjust laws or policies, the lower or lesser ranking civil authority has both a right and duty to refuse obedience to that superior authority. If necessary, the lesser authorities may even actively resist the higher authority.
God has established four realms of government to which He delegates authority. They are: (1) self-government; (2) family government; (3) church government; and (4) civil government. Each has its own role, function, and jurisdiction.
The authority an individual possesses in any one of these four realms of government is delegated authority. In other words, they derive their authority from God. Their authority is not autonomous or unconditional. Their authority is God-given, and thus, they have a duty to govern in accordance with His rule.
When someone in authority makes laws or decrees contrary to God’s law, they are in rebellion to God’s rule. Those under their authority are NOT to obey them when they do this. They may have to even actively resist them.
Click HERE to link to source article. Be sure to pick up Matthew’s book The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates: A Proper Resistance to Tyranny and a Repudiation of Unlimited Obedience to Civil Government.