On Positive Laws

One of the most important ethical distinctions, extensively relevant to the Christian life and on which there is very little teaching in the Church today, is the difference between (1) Natural Law & (2) Positive Laws.

(1) Natural Law includes the inherent designs that God created into Creation, natural human inclinations and fundamental natural principles of obliging force.

(2) Positive Laws are all specific commands and laws of humans in society, which ought to be based on natural laws, though they inherently contain some amount of arbitrariness to them.

In necessity, Natural laws override Positive Laws.

A great familiarity with this distinction and its extensive relevance all around us is most needed during our societal response to COVID (some of which response is good and some of which is not adequately based on Natural Law), during riots and even in the very mundane issues of work and family life.

It also very much applies to the government of the Church and defending oneself under unjust Church discipline.

Further, the issue is theological:  God makes ethically binding positive laws, and He abrogates them.  Delve into the rich things of the Lord’s revelation and greatly expand your understanding.

Lastly, how far do positive laws bind the conscience?  In contrast to the fuzziness and lack of clarity on this point in the modern Church, there was a large puritan consensus on the matter which is both clear, precise and dead-on right.

Read the Introduction on the page and grow in your walking before the Lord and men:

On Positive Laws & Ordinances, & the Law of Nations