Lutheran Definition of Natural Law Extended to Blasphemy and Idolatry

“In their agreement with Calvin and Beza about both elements of this call to the use of magisterial force against heretics, many other ‘magisterial Reformation’ Protestant leaders, as Brad Gregory has recently stressed in Salvation at Stake, cited the precedent of the Mosaic Commonwealth, especially Deuteronomy 13:6 and Leviticus 24:14, which specified the punishment of ‘false prophets’. In many of these arguments, the Mosaic Theocracy served as divine positive law commanding punishment. Lutherans further cited these and other passages in 1557 as part of ‘natural law’ which bound all authorities in their rule:

“For civil government should not only preserve the bodies of subjects as a shepherd preserves cattle or sheep, but should also uphold outward discipline and regulate government to God’s honour, should remove and punish public idolatry and blasphemy.” Gregory, Salvation at Stake, 82-3”

John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture, John Marshall pg. 233


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