The Natural Moral Law 2

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.”  (Prov. 16:9)

From The Christian Church in the Last Days

Without knowing it, this secular movie classic comes very close to touching upon an aspect of the high standards of God for all eternity.  C.S. Lewis called it the natural law.  Others have called it the moral law.  It is the independent standard by which all behavior is judged.

According to C.S. Lewis it goes something like this.  If you have written me a letter a month ago, and you unexpectedly run into me at the supermarket, and ask me why I have not written you back yet, I will respond with any number of quick excuses like “I hurt my wrist and can’t write” or “I ran out of my favorite stationery’ or “My wife has kept me incredibly busy lately painting the exterior of the house.”  But I will not say “why do you ask me that?” or “who says I have to write you back?”  We both know and agree, because you are my friend, that I owe you a return letter.  That is why I come up with a quickly fabricated explanation that will plausibly excuse my lack of good social conduct in this matter.

Unconsciously, we are both appealing to the same code of fair mindedness and expectations of right behavior.  My quickly fabricated fallback excuse is my way of getting around my poor performance, instead of just coming out and admitting to my friend that I “dropped the ball”, that I am sorry, and that I will return his letter shortly.  But if I come out and flatly say: “I am not going to write a return letter to you because I don’t want to” and thus discard the mutual expectations contained within the natural moral law regarding valued relationships, then I am in peril of losing a friend.  What neither of us is willing or capable of removing (consciously or unconsciously) is the natural moral law that forms the basis for our relationship as friends.

This right code of conduct, the natural moral law, is separate and distinct from us.  Like gravity, it just exists.  It is not a person like God, but it is at the upper limits of perfection like God.  The common everyday phrase “hey, nobody’s perfect” is a response to this natural moral law, because all of us fall short of it.  It is one of the strong proofs for the existence of God.  There is no philosophical explanation for its existence without acknowledging that there must be a higher being who either created it or is in perfect harmony with it.  Otherwise, how did it get here?

Author: Barton Jahn

I work in building construction as a field superintendent and project manager. I have four books published by McGraw-Hill on housing construction (1995-98) under Bart Jahn, and have six Christian books self-published through Create Space KDP. I have a bachelor of science degree in construction management from California State University Long Beach. I grew up in Southern California, was an avid surfer, and am fortunate enough to have always lived within one mile of the ocean. I discovered writing at the age of 30, and it is now one of my favorite activities. I am currently working on two more books on building construction.

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