Perfectionism Defined

 John Humphrey Noyes created a Utopian society based on his communal understanding of perfectionism.

John Wesley proclaimed that one could live a “perfect” life without sin.  Once one made a personal profession of faith in Christ the person would be saved and then try to live a good life.  In Wesley’s  thoughts he saw that the state of perfection was accomplished by religious experience, followed by a revelation of personal salvation.  During the conversion a person is freed from outward sins that they had committed in the past.  Salvation allows the believer to transcend the inner limitations of original  sin.  He exhorted his followers that salvation from sin is not the end of their spiritual search, but the beginning.  Once saved a person still has to strive daily to live a good life.

John Humphrey Noyes subscribed to Wesley’s beliefs.

The community believed that Jesus had already returned in the year 70 AD, making it possible for them to bring about Jesus’s millennial kingdom themselves, and be free of sin and perfect in this world.  Perfectionism held that grace substituted for law and ordinances.  Through the eyes of grace people were regarded as equals.


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