Friday, February 13, 2015

Pastor Matthew Trewhella: "Tyrannicide - To Kill A Tyrant"

Posted by Christine Pack


Justin Edwards of airō website has just recently published an excellent article entitled Christian Submission vs Belligerent Discontentment Before Civil Authorities. The article is about Theonomist Matthew Trewhella, and his views on how Christians should live under tyranny. As a side note, Theonomy as a movement within Christendom continues to gather steam and roll along, so I'm glad we have a few Christian men today who are aware of it, and are willing to publicly oppose their views. Here is an excerpt from Justin's article:
"(From Matthew Trewhella's) message titled, Tyranicide – To Kill a Tyrant, Trewhella states around minute 24:  
'Everyone innately knows that it’s an honest and just thing to depose a tyrant…everyone knows it’s a just and noble thing to do, except of course the effeminate, the culture in which we have in this nation now after much conditioning by the media in our country, and the government schools. And also it doesn’t make no [sic] sense to your average butt-faced Christian who’s been raised in American 20th century Christianity, now 21st century Christianity, because they have no idea '[sarcasm] how could killing, how can anything other than love, have anything to do with God?” Right? Am I right? Of course I’m right. It’s the state of Christianity we live in. But anyone who hasn’t been ruined by those two things – rotten American Christianity or American culture…knows perfectly well it’s honorable and just to kill a tyrant.''"
Contrast Trewhella's view that it is "biblical" and "dutiful" for citizens to assassinate tyrannical kings with:
▪ Daniel, who faithfully served under tyrannical king Nebuchadnezzar, who so valued Daniel that he sought his counsel and honored him (Daniel 2:46-49, Daniel 4:18), and
▪ Mordecai, who faithfully served under tyrannical king Ahasuerus, to the point of warning Ahasuerus about an assassination attempt that Mordecai overheard being plotted against the king (Esther 2:21-23), rather than joining in on the assassination plotting/attempt (as Trewhella counsels)
Wouldn't this be the equivalent of a Christian today serving under our own "tyrannical king" in the form of President Obama? Can we even imagine a Christian of today serving under Obama with such respect and kindness toward him that President Obama knew that this person genuinely cared for him, and knew that he (Obama) could seek him out for wise counsel?

After one of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, which he went to Daniel for interpretation for, Daniel said to wicked king, whom he obviously cared for, that he wished this dream would happen to those opposed to the king, rather than to the king. He genuinely cared for King Nebuchadnezzar......and King Nebuchadnezzar knew it.
Daniel 4:19 - "Daniel, whose name is Belteshazzar, was appalled for a while (after the king told him his dream) as his thoughts alarmed him. The king responded and said, ‘Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its interpretation alarm you.’ Belteshazzar replied, ‘My lord, if only the dream applied to those who hate you and its interpretation to your adversaries!"
I hear a lot of disdain from politically involved Christians today toward President Obama. Don't get me wrong: I'm a Republican and very conservative and I oppose basically everything that Obama does. But he IS the king/president who has been ordained by God to rule over us, and aren't we commanded to show him respect as our ruler? And above and beyond that, aren't we biblically bound to care for him as a human being who is made in the image of God?

I'm saying all this to express what I am coming to understand about how it is that Christians should live with respect to others. Should we disdain and hate them and talk unkindly about them, like so many do about President Obama? and about Muslims? Or should we live so kindly and peaceably with them and among them that they really do see something in us that is different from the self-seeking and self-gratification that they see in so many others? and they know they can seek us out for truth, integrity and wise counsel (as Nebuchadnezzar did with Daniel, and Ahasuerus did with Mordecai)?

I'll close with one last thought: how do Theonomists reconcile their views with Romans 13, which the Apostle Paul penned while living under the reign of wicked King Nero? a king so wicked and so malevolent toward Christians that he would impale them on stakes, and then line the roads into Rome with them, and set them on fire. This was to show the world what he thought of Christians and how he intended to treat them. But did the Apostle Paul advocate the assassination of King Nero? No. Consider instead that he wrote Romans 13:
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed." (Romans 13:1-7)
Here is a recent Facebook discussion on this topic (2-10-15)

Note that in the Facebook discussion above, Pastor Trewhella claimed that his sermon did not "properly convey" what he wanted to say, and that he would never "go around encouraging people to kill government officials."

In response to this statement by Pastor Trewhella, Pastor Phil Johnson of GTY responded thusly:
"Mr. Trewhella's statement 'It’s time for men in this nation to raise up and start killing some tyrants. Plain and simple--' is hardly an insignificant slip of the tongue. It's nice that he's sorry he said it, but it raises a fair question about his fitness for public ministry. And putting a short disclaimer in a 50-comment thread on someone else's FaceBook page hardly fixes the problem. Back in the 1990s......a theonomic Presbyterian (PCA and OPC ordained) minister named Paul Hill was using similar arguments and spouting similar rhetoric specifically with regard to government protection of abortion providers. His life story would be an instructive read for anyone inclined to give credence to Mr. Trewhella's grandiloquence. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Jennings_Hill
I'm also curious about Pastor Trewhella's claim that his statement was misconstrued, and that he would never advocate for tyrannical rulers to be assassinated. If this is the case, what then, did he mean? Consider the following:
If Matricide means to kill your mother, and
If Patricide means to kill your father, and
If Infanticide means to kill your infant,
What does Tyrannicide mean?


An upcoming debate between Pastor Jordan Hall and Theonomist Joel McDurmon will hopefully reveal some of the serious theological problems with Theonomy.


 Additional Resources 

The Fault Lines of Christian Reconstructionism/Theonomy (Sola Sisters)

The Law of God, Theonomy, and Pacifism
 (Justin Edwards, airō website)

Brother's Keeper.....Some of the Problems With Theonomists (Fred Butler, Hip and Thigh)

Judicial Warfare: The Christian Reconstruction Movement and its Blueprints for Dominion (critique by former Christian Reconstructionist Greg Loren Durand)

Theonomy: A Reformed Baptist Assessment (Sam Waldron)

What Is Dominionism? (Derek Gilbert interviews Sarah Leslie of Herescope, beginning at 1:08:00 mark)

Moses' Law for Modern Government: The Intellectual and Sociological Origins of the Christian Reconstructionist Movement (Ligon Duncan)

Christian Reconstructionist Leader Doug Phillips of Vision Forum Resigns, Cites Moral Failure [UPDATED]

Doug Phillips, Repentance and Justice (Sola Sisters)

Hall of Shame: Doug Phillips and Vision Forum (Mennoknight)

Rethinking Vision Forum (website)

How God Saves Us In Christ (And Why Legalism Can't Help Us) (Pastor Jeff Crippen)

Why The Law Cannot Sanctify (Romans 7:5-6) (Pastor Kevin Williams)


 Secular Articles About Patriarchy/Quiverfull 

When Having Kids Is A Religious Experience (ABC News)

Quiverfull: More Children For God's Army (Newsweek writer Kathryn Joyce)

Inside the Duggar Family's Conservative Ideology (Newsweek, Kathryn Joyce)


 Miscellaneous Resources 

What Is The New Apostolic Reformation? (And Why Should We Be Concerned About It?)

Signs and Wonders Training Camp for Kids? (Stand Up For The Truth)

A Tale of Two Kingdoms (Stand Up For The Truth)

Pastor Carl Trueman: Concerns With Quiverfull/Patriarchy (Sola Sisters)

In-Depth Discussions of Patriarchy with Author and Christian Researcher Karen Campbell:
⁃ Quiverfull/Patriarchy, Part I (9 radio programs) 
⁃ Quiverfull Patriarchy, Part II (14 radio programs) 
⁃ Militant Fecundity (Aggressively Raising Up A "Christian Army") vs. Seeing Children As A Blessing (4 radio programs) 
What Are The Quiverfull and Patriarchy Movements? (Got Questions?)