The other day I was talking to a friend of mine who was wondering about the whole issue of perfection. The subject is not talked about as much as it has been talked about in the past, but it still comes up from time to time. Members can get ruffled over whether perfection is possible or not. We fight over definitions of perfection. We struggle with the very real truth of human limitation. Often the argument disintegrates into one side accusing the other of thinking that they have reached “perfection.”
Because the term “perfection” brings up so much mess, I like to use another term “obedience.” I think that we need to discuss perfection. In addition, we need to stop distorting the position of those on the other side of where we come down on the subject.
However, whatever our position on perfection, it does not give us an out where we don’t have to obey. I think it is interesting that some of the most unloving words can come from those who are defending perfection.
Be that as it may, let us go head on and do right, by God’s grace. Whether we are grace filled believers in what some might call the “new theology” or we are the red books (or whatever color they are now) reading traditionalist, there is a place in all of our understandings of theology for obedience.
Whether we believe that we attempt and fail or we attempt and one day will succeed, we all are seeking to become a more clear reflection of our Lord Jesus Christ. From the most evangelical among us to the most traditional among us, we all want to be more Christ–like. What about Christian growth? From the most liberal to the most evangelical to the most traditional we all agree that Christians should be growing in grace and truth as time goes on.
Go ahead and Argue, But Live Out
I think it interesting that some of the greatest arguments against perfection comes from how those who believe in it act towards those who do not. No doubt, our discussion of perfection is important theologically, but if we just allowed the Grace of God to help us live into what we already believe then perhaps the evangelical among us will see where he has not fully appropriated the grace of God which will, once taking residence in him, lead him to further growth. Perhaps the liberal will find the power to do the work of God and be a witness to the coming Baselia in this world, and perhaps the traditionalist would see God create that generation that will fully deserve the approbation of “keep the commandments of God and the Faith of Jesus.”
In short, go ahead and argue over perfection, but wouldn’t that discussion be a lot better if we all simply lived what we say we believe on all sides? If we allowed the grace of God to do its work in us and let that grace do what it will. I find it is much easier to have a discussion with a Grace filled loving Christian with whom I disagree, than the one who has not had the Grace of God touch their lives and argumentation with whom I agree.