A constant attack on Judge Roy Moore, who is the Republican candidate for US Senator in Alabama, is that he violated his oath by not acquiescing to the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage. Like Martin Luther King, Moore was following a higher law and the rights afforded to the states in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution.
Douglas Wilson writes:
[W]hen your rulers acknowledge no God above them, then you are just ten minutes away from them claiming to be the only God above you.
Enter Roy Moore, and his disregard for the “rule of law.” He was told to take down the Ten Commandments, and he did not. He was told to kiss the Obergefellian ring, and he declined. Renegade or hero?…
The rule of law really is precious, and is essential to any stable society. But we need to identify who the real troublers of Israel might be. Was it really Elijah, for identifying the problem? Or was it Ahab, who had married the problem? When the law has been made a laughingstock by the lawless, what is the only appropriate response?
Christian apologist Francis A. Schaeffer wrote, “Let us not forget why the Christians were killed. They were not killed because they worshipped Jesus… Nobody cared who worshipped whom as long as the worshipper did not disrupt the unity of the state, centered in the formal worship of Caesar. The reason Christians were killed was because they were rebels”1 and placed the god of the Bible over the claim that the State and its Caesars were gods. The proof?: “they all act contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus” (Acts 17:7).
This is an old story that has a modern history. King James of the King James Bible wanted a translation that countered the notes in the 1559 Geneva Bible, the Bible of the Puritans and Pilgrims. “For example, the margin notes for Daniel 6:22 imply that the commands of kings are to be disobeyed if they conflict with the law of God: ‘For he [Daniel] disobeyed the king’s wicked commandment in order to obey God, and so he did no injury to the king, who ought to command nothing by which God would be dishonored.’”2
Alister McGrath wrote:
Notice also how the Genevan notes regularly use the word ‘tyrant’ to refer to kings; the King James Bible never uses this word—a fact noted with approval as much as relief by many royalists at this point.3
It’s no wonder that King James “authorized a fresh translation of the Bible to undermine the republican implications of the Geneva Bible.”4
Because of its no exception tone, Romans 13 is seen as prohibiting all resistance to the law of the State: “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. . . (v. 1). The apostle lists no exceptions. Peter makes a similar statement: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13-14). Again, no exceptions. This is the same Peter who declared, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29; cf. 4:19-20). How do we reconcile the apparent contradiction?