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Recap: 2023 Annual Lincoln Day Dinner

By Michelle Hazekamp

May 16, 2023

In Honor of Our First Republican President

On Thursday, May 11, the Muskegon County GOP held their Annual Lincoln Day Dinner Fundraiser at the Trillium Event Center in Spring Lake, to honor our first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln. The highlight of the evening was guest speaker, Matt Trewhella, author of "The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates," and whose message did not disappoint. The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate is a decree that coincides with President Lincolns integral stance to obey God above men.

In typical fashion, the hall was decorated in a eloquent patriotic theme and an array of guests including from Muskegon and surrounding counties, packed the room. State Senator, Jon Bumstead and Representatives Luke Meerman, Curt VanderWall, Muskegon County Commissioners, Zach Lahring, Kim Cyr & Michelle Hazekamp as well as the MIGOP's Co-Chair Malinda Pego & Youth Vice Chair, Rylee Linting, were among the list of guests, along with many others. The night began with casual socializing as people wandered the room in anticipation to greet familiar acquaintances and meet new ones, along with silent auction items to scan through and place bids on. The dinner itself was worth the ticket price, and as usual, a top notch buffet of gourmet delicacy.

Let the Festivities Begin!

Prior to dinner being served, we were presented with a warm welcome from our Events Committee Chair, Deb Null followed with an invocation given by Pastor Jerry DePoy from Family Bible Church, the National Anthem sung by Benj Spencer and the Republican Party Platform read by the MIGOP Co-Chair, Malinda Pego.

Once dinner was completed, the festivities began with a live auction followed by our special guest speaker, Matt Trewhella. Matt is the pastor at Mercy Seat Christian Church in Wisconsin and the author of several books, most notably "The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrate," that teaches 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. Examples of unjust decrees in recent times are the mask mandates during Covid, the closing of churches and denying us the right to gather or assemble. Lesser Magistrates consist of County Commissioners, City Counsel members, etc., but also citizens and especially Christan's.

Our Forefather's Sacrifices

Our Constitution was written to protect "We the People" from our government, not give our government the authority to rule over us. Our Founding Fathers intention was to prevent the tyranny they themselves were under by England and unjust laws by trusting "We the People" to "self govern" ourselves under Gods just laws. It was for this reason that our Constitution was written to coincide with Biblical law, and not "mans law," which has proven over the centuries to not only impede the liberties and freedoms granted to us by God, but ultimately result in the downfall of every great empire in history. Our Forefathers set an example of the sacrifices it would take to win the war over an overreaching government as they declared this pledge in our Declaration of Independence:

"We pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

The First Confession of Resistance

The original magistrate doctrine, "The Magdeburg Confession," was written by monks in Germany in 1550 A.D. in resistance to an attempt by King Charles V to smash the Protestant Reformation. While all of Protestant Germany conformed to his decree, the city of Magdeburg took a stance to resist his authority and issued their "Confession and Defense of the Pastors and Other Ministers of the Church" This began the siege of Magdeburg.

Does God Command Unlimited Obedience to State in Romans 13?

When Pastor Trewhella first discovered this document, it had not yet been translated to English, and for over 460 years existed only in Latin and German. With the help of a colleague, he was able to have it translated into English.

The Magdeburg Confession is the first document in the history of man to set forth the Lesser Magistrate Doctrine, thereby giving authority to invoke our God-given right to resist unjust laws. However, there has been much Biblical confusion and controversy over submission to authority, particularly in regards to Romans 13 where God says we are to "obey" those in authority. But Romans 13 does not teach teach unlimited obedience to the state. Rather it teaches us to obey righteous authority, and to defy authority that goes against the commands of God. Pastor Trewhella gives 3 convincing proofs that Romans 13 does not promote unlimited authority to the government:

  1. Nowhere does Romans 13 state that we are to give unlimited obedience to the civil government, rather men impose such thoughts upon the text.

  2. Proper hermeneutics forbids such a conclusion – that we are to have unlimited obedience to the civil government – because there are many passages of Scripture where the people of God disobey the State, and are commended by God for doing it.

  3. Romans 13 contains limitation clauses that make it clear the civil government’s authority is not unlimited, nor therefore, is our obedience to the civil government to be unlimited.

The Consequence of Choice

Does God not tell us to live righteous lives? So therefore, why would we consider it righteous when conforming to unrighteousness? In the Bible, God does say He places all those in positions of power, however, as we all are born of sin, yet have been given the choice to serve either Him or satan, so too have our leaders. Our ultimate authority is God, whom we will answer to for eternity.

Matt Trewhella has travelled the nation speaking on his book, "The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates", and the role of lesser magistrates. Along with his other published books, "The Magdeburg Confession," and "The Christian and the Magistrate," his message and books have become very well known in the Christian community and popular among many elected officials over the last several years. You can learn more about Pastor Matt Trewhella and purchase his books by clicking here.

Truth & Encouragement in a Time of Need

Pastor Trewhella's message brings forth truth to stand on and encouragement in a time when so much is at stake as we face a clever evil that has manipulated us to the brink of destruction, yet hope in that the righteousness of God's just laws will prevail. The evening came to a close with Cassandra Brandenburg beautifully singing "God Bless America." This years Lincoln Day Dinner was a grand success and left us with a new found enthusiasm going forward in our political battle to come for 2024.

We thank all who attended and especially our GOP Events Committee for making this another successful Lincoln Day Dinner and fundraiser!

"Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side, my greatest concern is to be on God's side,

for God is always right."

Abraham Lincoln


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