A righteous law is a law that is consistent with nature, natural law, and the moral law of God. An unrighteous law is one that is inconsistent with nature, natural law, and the moral law of God. A righteous law is a just law; an unrighteous law is an unjust law.
Everyone has an obligation to obey righteous laws. However, no one has an obligation to obey unrighteous laws. This means everyone has an obligation to disobey a law if it violates natural law and God’s law. This is why the apostles said “We ought to obey God rather than men”. (Acts 5:29)
With respect to laws, religious liberty is only properly applicable to unrighteous laws. Religious liberty is not applicable to righteous laws. For example, a law that allows interracial marriage is a righteous law; a religious liberty claim cannot be properly brought as the basis for refusing to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple. On the other hand, a law that allows same sex marriages is an unrighteous law. In the latter case, a religious liberty claim can properly be brought.
Can we leave it up to the individual making the religious liberty claim to unilaterally determine which law is righteous and which law is unrighteous? No we cannot! This is where the Christian Churches must engage each other and engage society. Did not Jesus engage the religious authorities and society of his day? Did not the apostles engage the religious authorities and society of their day? How in the world do we think we can righteously abstain from engaging the religious leaders and society of our day? Will we be cowards or will we be courageous for the Lord?
Unfortunately, within society in general and within the Christian Church, there is a variety of viewpoints as to what comprises natural law, what constitutes the moral law of God, what constitutes righteous laws, and what constitutes unrighteous laws?
Therefore, the question arises as to who determines what is natural law, what is the moral law of God, what constitutes righteous laws, and what constitutes unrighteous laws?
Well, this is part of the spiritual and moral battle for the soul of a nation, for the soul of a society, for the soul of a people, for the soul of each person. This is part of the battle between good and evil. This is part of the battle between God and Satan.
So for those in the Army of the Lord, let us stand on what the Holy Bible says regarding the variety of guiding principles that it sets forth. These guiding principles always put God first and man second. So then every interpretation and application of the Holy Scriptures regarding any matter must start with that first principle: God first, man second. That is to say, give priority to love for God over love for man. This applies to interpretation and application of the scriptures in the home, church, government, business, everywhere.
To God Be the Glory!