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Your God is Too Small (Absolute Perfection)

In a previous post I introduced the book by British pastor J.B. Phillips “Your God Is Too Small.” For the next several weeks on Tuesdays I will highlight one of the false views of God explained in Phillips’ book. This week’s category is Meek-And-Mild:

Of all the false gods there is probably no greater nuisance in the spiritual world than the “god of one hundred per cent.” For he is plausible. It can so easily be argued that since God is Perfection, and since He asks the complete loyalty of His creatures, then the best way of serving, pleasing, and worshipping Him is to set up absolute one-hundred-per-cent standards and see to it that we obey them. After all, did not Christ say, “Be ye perfect”?

This one-hundred-per-cent standard is a real menace to Christians of various schools of thought, and has led quite a number of sensitive, conscientious people to what is popularly called a “nervous breakdown.” And it has taken the joy and spontaneity out of the Christian lives of many more who dimly realize that what was meant to be a life of “perfect freedom” has become an anxious slavery…

Christians may truthfully say that it is God’s “ambition” to possess the wholehearted love and loyalty of His children, but to imagine that He will have no dealings with them until they are prepared to give Him perfect devotion is just another manifestation of the ‘god of one hundred per cent.” After all, who, apart from the very smug and complacent, would claim that they were wholly “surrendered” or “converted” to love? And who would deny the father’s interest in the prodigal son when his Spiritual Index was at a very low figure indeed?

God is truly Perfection, but He is no Perfectionist, and one hundred per cent is not God.