This Post is Part of Series of Post called Dissecting the Anatomy of God.
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The bible says we should judge a tree by the fruit that it bears, so for the sake of being biblically sound we will hold the biblical God to that same standard. To determine if the God of the Bible is Perfect? And if the God of the Bible is consistent to his own biblical and scriptural standards of perfection?
First, we must start with defining what perfect means as according to the bible.
What does it mean to say God is perfect.
To say God is Perfect, is to say he is without flaw, without error, without mistake. This is my definition of perfect. However this post topic is NOT going to be based upon MY definition of perfect, but the biblical standard and definition of Perfect; and the bible does have its own standard of perfect. Nonetheless, the one that is most applicable to this topic is the following scriptures which describe both the aspect of Perfection and Non-Perfect.
Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check. (James 3:2)
A definition of Not Perfect and Unstable:
The bible calls a double minded man unstable in all his ways. (James 1:8) Therefore a double-minded man or unstable man lacks the capacity for perfection.
POSITION #1: NO, God is not Perfect he fails by his own Biblical standards.
To say God is not perfect by the definition of not perfect, one would have to indeed persuade that the God of the bible is unstable and can be found with fault. Then the question would also be is God double-minded and if he is, what is double-minded about?
In Genesis 6:6, after God had created Adam and Eve God admitted to making a mistake in creating Adam and Eve. His exact words were that he was “…sorry that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.” If this is not an indicator of God having a change of heart about man and being double-minded. I don’t know what is.
Secondly it says it blatantly in Exodus 21:14-“The Lord changed his mind(repented) and did not bring on his people the disaster he threatened.” How can all perfect God change his mind? Isn’t he supposed to immutable?
Now there are many cases of God changing his mind, and showing he grieved, relented, and repented. Just click on the Skeptics Annoted link here to learn more about it. However, there is no need to go through all of them, just the two most blatant and obvious ones.
It even lacks on the practical and historical scene:
In regards to the East Valley Tribune headline from Friday, Aug. 31, 2012: ‘Rights come from God’: I’m happy that God changed his mind in 1920 and gave women the right to vote. I am certainly going to use my God-given right this year! I encourage all women to vote. Congress is wanting to take our rights away. If that happens, it could be another century plus before God changes his mind again.
POSITION #2: YES, God is still Perfect
The apologetic answer for this question and topic is simple for the majority of Christians The bible says God is perfect, so if the bible says it I believe it.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”- Hebrews 13:8
He is perfect in all of his attributes, actions, and characteristics. As obvious of an answer this is, it not entirely sufficient for those who are seeking a respectful answer to their reasonable faith and additionally this does not answer the skepticism of position #1.
Well to dig a little deeper, the Bible says God is the same today, tomorrow and forever. So the only reasonable answer I could personally think of to be objective and to stay consistent in my skepticism; is the Calvinist answer. That God never ever really changed his mind or acted in manner that would be considered a double standard. He is sovereign and knew of the future outcome in every circumstance. God is Perfectly Immutable and unchanging.
Did God know Israel was going to do this?–Yes Did God know Moses was going to intercede when He told him what He could do?–Yes Why did God seemingly change His mind?– Testimony…To show Israel who God’s man was and to encourage Moses in his faith. The Moses of Ex 32:11-13 has alot more courage and faith then did the Moses of Ex 4:1-13
*The Christian Apologetic sight Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry (C.A.R.M.) has their own response to this.
As A.W. Pink put it, God is immutable is essence, attributes, and counsel. He cannot change nor lie, so any misunderstanding of God immutable perfect actions is a product of our human capacity to fully grasp or see God’s true nature. As the Prophet Malachi puts it in Chapter 3 Verse 6:
“I the Lord do Not Change.”