WHO IS DOGMATIC?
Sometimes people are inclined to be critical of members of the body of Christ as being too dogmatic. It is the general idea in the denominational world that when we "earnestly contend for the faith" (Jude 3) that we are intolerant and dogmatic. But let us see.
The definition of the term "dogmatic" is POSITIVE IN MANNER OR UTTERANCE. However, modern usage implies that one who is "dogmatic" is what people call "narrow minded and beligerant." This is not the meaning of "dogmatic." But are members of the church of Christ "too dogmatic?" Well, God wants His people to be dogmatic, and the Bible is a dogmatic book. Please observe the following.
GOD IS DOGMATIC.
God is dogmatic in every statement of fact, every precept, and every promise that He has ever uttered. He demands absolute submission to His will, and will not tolerate nor respect any other way than His own. Note some examples. When Moses built the tabernacle he was commanded to build "according to the pattern" God had given him in the mount. (Exo. 25:40). Moses had his instructions and god was "dogmatic" enough to hold him to exact pattern that He had given him. Every instance where God has commanded man, He has been dogmatic in that He would admit of no deviation whatsoever. God means for His commands to be carried out just as He has given them, in the way He has ordained.
JESUS CHRIST WAS DOGMATIC.
Many of the plain, dogmatic, cutting statements of Jesus would be shocking to some religionists of today who will not take a definite stand for fear of hurting some, or being classed as dogmatic. Read the 23rd chapter of Matthew. There you will find some plain and positive denunciations, of the hypocrisy adn sham religion of the Pharisees by our Lord. These were religious people, and in all probability they thought Jesus was "too dogmatic." They later crucified Him because He stood opposed to their religion. Jesus was also dogmatic about how one is to enter the kingdom of God. As God gave Moses a pattern by which to build the tabernacle, so Jesus gave us a pattern by which we may enter into the kingdom of God. Is one too dogmatic in teaching exactly what Jesus taught concerning this: contending that the way of the Lord is the ONLY way? If it is true that one may enter the kingdom of God by sincerely following his conscience in the matter, and doing what seems right to him, why did our Lord lay down a pattern by which men were to do this?
THE APOSTLES WERE DOGMATIC.
The apostles dogmatically taught one plan of salvation. They did not give several, one being "just as good as another." They also dogmatically taught that there is one body, and that the body is the church. (Eph. 4:;4; 1:22,23). They dogmatically taught that the sinner is reconciled to God "in the body", (Eph. 2:16), which is "in the church." They taught that "all spiritual blessings are IN CHRIST", (Eph. 1:3) and that one is BAPTIZED "INTO CHRIST." (Gal. 3:26,27). Is one being "too dogmatic" when he teaches just what the apostles taught?
THE APOSTLES TAUGHT OTHERS TO BE DOGMATIC.
Peter said, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God." (1 Pet. 4:11).
John said, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God." (2 Jno. 9).
Paul charged Timothy to "preach the word,...reprove, exhort...for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine." (2 Tim. 4:1-4).
Paul knew God's power to save and was dogmatic about it. (Rom. 1:16).
Jude said to be dogmatic. "Contend earnestly for the faith." (Jd. 3).
Are you dogmatic? Really, when people say "too dogmatic" they mean, "be sweet, tolerate error."
By: Jesse M. Kelly in THE APOSTOLIC VOICE.
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