Is God perfect? Or, phrased another way, does God make mistakes? What do you think? You might be surprised by what Americans believe. Disappointed might be more like it though. The results of a Lifeway research project appear to make the answer fairly reasonable. That is, until we look at the chart with the details.
This is a country where 70+ percent of people claim to be Christian. So how is it that significantly less than 70% believe that God is perfect and can’t make a mistake?
In the research summary, it says:
69% of Americans agree “God is a perfect being and cannot make a mistake.”
That number is actually pretty close to what’s expected. Except, it’s not 100% accurate. The real breakdown is different. Very different.
Lifeway Survey - Does God Make Mistakes?
|Response Category||Percentage of Americans|
Does God make mistakes?
Well, someone seems to have made a mistake. Or maybe it’s just a misunderstanding?
To me, 69% is not the same as 55%. How about you?
We’re talking about a basic tenet of Christianity here – does God make mistakes? I’m sorry, but while the survey may allow for people to strongly or only somewhat disagree, that just doesn’t seem right. A Christian should strongly agree that God doesn’t make mistakes. That’s 55%.
The implication from saying 69% of Americans agree “God is a perfect being and cannot make a mistake” is that 69% of Americans have a correct view of God, as He describes Himself in the Bible. That’s just not the case in this survey.
We’re stuck assuming that the 55% really believe God is perfect. But there’s no way the 14% who only “somewhat agree” can be said to have the correct Biblical view of God. They just don’t. And that leaves us with almost half the country not really believing God is perfect!
It’s not like we can hedge our bets with God. We either believe or we don’t.
The first reference we see to God being perfect (searching for the English word perfect) is in Deuteronomy, during the Exodus. It’s actually quite long, so I’m only including the first portion of it. Feel free to look up the entire passage using the links in the excerpt below.
Dt 31:30 And Moses recited the words of this song from beginning to end in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel:
Dt 32:1 Listen, O heavens, and I will speak;
hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
Dt 32:2 Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.
Dt 32:3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD.
Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
Dt 32:4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect,
and all his ways are just.
A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.
We don’t have to only read what others have written about God though. Fast forward to the New Testament, and we can see what Jesus said.
Mt 5:43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
For us to be perfect, we have to wait until the next life. But for God – it’s now.
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Conclusion – Does God make mistakes?
No – God does not make mistakes. To that end, at least 70+ percent of the people should have answered strongly agree. As I said – the 69% looks pretty good. But when we look at the true number, 55%, it comes up short. Very short.
That means at least 15% of those who claim to be Christian don’t believe God is perfect.
I have lots of questions, but I’ll ask only one.
If you claim to be Christian, but don’t believe God is perfect – why don’t you believe the God you are relying on to save you and that you supposedly want to spend eternity with? It seems like an odd stance to take. Especially when “believing in Jesus” means believe in, believe, and act on those beliefs. I invite you to check out a couple other articles, with the intent of strengthening your belief in God to be able to say that you strongly believe God is perfect.
Ask God questions. If we honestly want to know and ask with even a little faith – He will answer.