According to King James I, who ruled England and Ireland from 1603 and 1625 (and Scotland from even earlier), God held monarchs in very high esteem. So high, in fact, that monarchs are basically "gods."
In his famous (or infamous) Works (published 1609), King James I wrote:
"The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth; for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth, and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself are called gods. There be three principal similitudes that illustrate the state of monarchy: one taken out of the word of God; and the two other out of the grounds of policy and philosophy. In the Scriptures kings are called gods, and so their power after a certain relation compared to the divine power. Kings are also compared to fathers of families: for a king is truly Parens patriae, the politique father of his people. And lastly, kings are compared to the head of this microcosm of the body of man.
Kings are justly called gods, for that they exercise a manner or resemblance of divine power upon earth: for if you will consider the attributes to God, you shall see how they agree in the person of a king. God hath power to create or destrov make or unmake at his pleasure, to give life or send death, to judge all and to be judged nor accountable to none; to raise low things and to make high things low at his pleasure, and to God are both souls and body due. And the like power have kings: they make and unmake their subjects, thev have power of raising and casting down, of life and of death, judges over all their subjects and in all causes and yet accountable to none but God only. . . . "
Here's my question...
Where exactly in the Bible does God call kings 'gods'? I'm a pastor and I can't find it. Perhaps someone here can point it out.
Addendum: Tom Van Dyke, in the discussions, pointed out that James I was probably referring to Psalm 82 and John 10. So....
New Question(s) for the Discussion Area:
1. Is God deliberately referring to kings as "gods," or is Asaph mocking these kings for viewing themselves as "gods"? **For those who don't accept divine inspiration of the Bible, feel free to modify the question as follows: "Does Asaph believe God sees kings as lesser gods or is Asaph mocking kings that see themselves that way?"
2. Is Jesus endorsing the "Divine Right of Kings" (albeit as part of a larger discussion) in John 10?
FYI - I just published an article titled "Can Christians Rebel Against Government?" over at Suite101, where I'm the editor for the Protestantism section.