"Be perfect, the way your Father in heaven is perfect" is one of those lines in Scripture that makes Lutherans brux the enamel off their teeth. And I suspect that it's sent countless Christians over the centuries on futile quests toward self-perfection, then frustration, then despair.
The theology geeks I hang out with point out that perfect in this context is better translated as whole. That makes more sense to me.
This past weekend, though, I heard yet another suggestion for an alternate translation, from the pastor and professor who taught our ethics class. He favors the adjective mature. Jesus tells his friends, and by extension the rest of us, to be mature...to grow up.
What would a grown-up Christian look like? What would a grown-up faith community look like?