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date: 10 August 2020


The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
F. L. CrossF. L. Cross, E. A. LivingstoneE. A. Livingstone

The moral virtue which inclines a person to carry out the will of his lawful superior. Its exercise is necessary for the upholding of the order established in the world by both natural and positive law. Absolute obedience is due only to God, whereas obedience to men is limited by the bounds of authority and by the claims of conscience. Spiritual writers distinguish three degrees of lawful obedience: mere external obedience; willing submission to an order though its wisdom may be doubted; and blind obedience, i.e. submission of the personal judgement to that of the superior, except, of course, in cases of obviously sinful commands. Obedience is enjoined by Christ (... ...

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