What does it mean to 'please' or 'offend' God?


If God is totally perfect, then nothing could ever detract from his perfect self-contented happiness, and nothing could ever add to it.

So what does it really mean when we say we do something good to ‘please’ God, as if we were somehow effecting a greater degree of pleasure for Him?
Or what does it mean to say that we ‘offend’ God when we sin? That would seem to imply that He is capable of some displeasure, or pain, which is contrary to His perfection.


Is happiness in an of itself a necessary part of perfection?

If it is not necessary to perfection, your argument falls because of false premise.



Is happiness good? If it is, then it’s necessary to a state of perfection (not a ‘part’ of it).


Where does this idea that God is ‘perfect’ come from?


Isn’t that inherent in the very idea of ‘God’? It is to me. God, the Divine, is that which is perfect, that of which nothing can be ‘more good.’ Summum Bonum.


Doesn’t seem to be a very biblical idea, though.


Same for Muslims. The Qur’an says “There is nothing like Him.” Since everything in the universe is flawed or imperfect, then God has to be perfect.

As far as “offending” God, I don’t see how this takes away from His perfection?


Why not?


Well if God is always perfectly happy, how could he possibly ever be offended, since that seems to mean he isn’t happy about something.


Where in the Bible does it say that God, being perfect, is unchanging?


Make God smile, do His will.

When we let God have control over our lives, we make Him smile.

When we believe in love, then He will actually work through, in and by us.

As the parables clearly teach, it starts out as a seed, but grows slowly. The oak tree was made to show just how we grow, slowly.


How about Malachi 3:6

“I am the Lord, and I change not”



Aside from that, perfection requires stasis; if one changes state, it is from a greater to a lesser or vice versa, which is not possible for what is commonly considered deity.


It’s unclear what God means when He said: “I am the Lord, and I change not”. I mean, even to speak, requires change in the mouth and vocal chords. (I’m not saying God literally has a human mouth, but you get the idea). And if God appeared to Moses, then that involved change, too: God not being present, then God being present to Moses, and then God not being present once again.

If by “not change”, one means that God’s love for mankind doesn’t change, I can agree with that. But God would have to ‘change’ in other ways, simply in order to interact with human beings. So, in the absolute, ultimate sense, I don’t see how God can be completely unchanging.


Change is a function of time. Something exists in state 00, moves to state 01. A deity, existing outside time, has already done everything it will inside that realm and already did it before time started (excuse the clumsiness; there are no tenses that get across what I’m trying to say).


The amount of happiness that God has is good (eternal happiness). Short range happiness may not be good (eg getting drunk, taking drugs).

Jesus suffered on the Cross. Is suffering Good?

The answer is the amount that God considers good is Good.

Perfection may not reside in quantity, but quality.



OK, but God, as depicted in the Bible, is certainly within Time. There might be an aspect of God that is outside of Time (as I believe there is), but that aspect is not the biblical aspect.


There’s also Matthew 5:48, “Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Douay-Rheims)

I suppose it comes down to how we define perfection because that is a tall order for human beings, unless we have God’s grace of course. But even then we would have to allow for a changing perfection. In our case, an ever growing perfecion, but in God would be the fullness of, and complete perfection.



mundus vult decipi, decipiatur!
(Saying on a magician’s coin I found once 42 years ago.)


‘As depicted’, yes. From the human perspective he changes with time; from his, he’s gone and done everything already.

To steal a page from Edwin Abbott, imagine a dot approaching a line segment. Like this (imagine the backslash is the vector of the dot’s motion, the periods are just to preserve spacing):


The dot is approaching at an angle. However, suddenly the line changes! It becomes almost parallel to the motion of the dot!


The poor confused dot now sees a new line, or a bend in the old, where before it saw only the one. It’s mystified, taken aback by this sudden change of what it thought could not.

We three-dimensioners know it’s just approaching a polygon, not a line.

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