because JESUS OF NAZARETH said "You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect," various CHRISTIAN groups have claimed that perfection is an obligation and a real possibility in this life. Traditionally the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH held that perfection is perfect LOVE which is only for SAINTS. The PROTESTANT REFORMERS denied even this, arguing that perfection is a goal which can never be attained. John WESLEY, however, taught that in principle all Christians can become perfect. Critics of perfectionism argue that the doctrine inevitably leads to LEGALISM and a depressing preoccupation with self-improvement.

Concise dictionary of Religion. 2012.

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