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God, government, and Lex Rex

September 15, 2014

Grace to you! Last week we looked at what happens if we adopt an evolutionary philosophy of government: it becomes centralized, large, and makes the individual lose their ‘individuality.’ This week we will look at a vital principle of having good government based on the bible. In history this principle has been known as ‘Lex Rex.’ What does this mean? And how does it relate to good government and signs of bad government?

Lex Rex is a latin phrase meaning ‘law is king.’ Samuel Rutherford authored a book in 1644 by this name where he sought to refute the works of others who argued for Rex Lex or ‘the king is law.’ Rutherford was a Scottish Presbyterian minister who saw the abuse of kings with the power that they had. One king would rein, and then arbitrarily change law according to the king’s personal choice. Many kings claimed the divine right from God to rule over the people in any way they chose. They reasoned that since the king is in power and God has allowed them, yes even appointed them, to that position that they could rule however they wanted all the while they had God’s blessing for doing so. Rutherford saw that this was highly unbiblical and wrote a challenge to the then current system of thought.

Rutherford’s main point, which is a pillar of biblical thought on government, is that the law is above everyone including government officials! The king himself was to be subject to the just laws of the land. But it was more than that. The law was over and above the king because true law ultimately came from the true Lawgiver, God Himself. God has given His word for all people of all places of all times. Therefore, any person, regardless of their position, is bound to obey and follow God’s laws for humanity. This includes the state. Psalm 2 is a ringing indictment to rulers, kings, governors, presidents, congress, etc to obey the Son or perish in His way.

Our nation and its leaders are no different. They too are to be subject to the laws of God. But as biblical ideas of government are lost, you will see more and more laws for you and me to follow. You will also see more and more laws our governing officials consider themselves exempt from. To restore our liberties we must return to the biblical principle of Lex Rex. And the only way we can return to Lex Rex is to remind our temporal kings that we ultimately serve the Eternal King whose law we must obey rather than man’s, no matter how ‘kingly’ they may think they are! Acts 5:29, “But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.”

Looking for a church home? Come visit South Whitwell Baptist, 133 South Oak Street, Whitwell. Sunday Service: 10:45 AM. Visit our web page: www.southwhitwellbaptist.webs.com

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