Christian dogma doesn't sit as well as it used to in the hearts of the church today. Whether it's the inability to define what it is or considering it irrelevant for this day and age, there's not much said about dogmas in the lives of Christians.
Dogma is generally defined as a set of Christian teachings and principles that are considered to be authoritative to believers and unchangeable.
The term "dogma" comes from the Greek word "dogmatikos", which means "Teaching, doctrine, or principle".
While there is no single official dogma, there are a number of core Christian beliefs that are considered to be essential for salvation. These include the belief in the one true God, the divinity of Jesus Christ, the trinity, redemption through Jesus Christ, praying to God, and eternity in Heaven.
As an aside, other dogmas include the belief in original sin, predestination, faith and grace.
Christians believe that dogma is important because it provides a framework for understanding scripture and understanding their faith. Dogma can also help to provide guidance in living a successful life. While Christians are free to interpret scripture and dogma in their own way, they are also expected to accept certain teachings as infallible.
What does Christian dogma mean?
At its core, Christian dogma refers to the teachings of the Christian faith. These teachings are considered to be unchangeable and the foundation on which all else is built.
At the center of it all is the belief in one God who created the world and all that exists in it. Christians also believe in the Bible as a source of divine revelation, and of course they believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who died for the sins of all and rose again.
What are examples of dogmas found in the Bible?
One of the most important examples of Christian dogma is the belief in Sacred Scripture.
Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and that it contains all that is necessary for salvation and everything that is needed to live for God. They also believe in the authority of the Church and that it's up to the leaders to help the layman interpret scripture and teach it. It is then up to each individual person to determine what they believe.
Another key element of Christian dogma is the doctrine of the Trinity. Herein do we learn that there is only one God. He exists in three distinct persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Numerous scriptures confirm this truth.
Christianity also teaches about salvation and redemption, which refers to the process by which humans are saved from sin and brought into relationship with God. This teaching is again based on the Bible, and is accepted by believers around the world.
Eight major examples that separate Christianity from other religions:
1. Jesus Christ Is Divine
This dogma states that Jesus is both man and God. The Bible says that Jesus is the image of God Himself, therefore He too is God as the Trinity reveals.
2. Jesus Died and Rose Again For The World
This belief is founded upon believing that Jesus Christ lived, died, and rose again. He came to earth as a man to die and pay the price for the world's sin. The Bible says that all those who believe in Him shall have eternal life.
3. Salvation Is By Grace Through Faith
God's Word explains that man cannot earn salvation through their own works. It is a gift and can only be accepted by faith through Jesus. This is a core dogma within Christianity.
4. The Bible Is Divinely The Word Of God
The Bible was written by men as they were divinely moved by the Holy Spirit. It has been given to man to help them live a life of godliness before God.
All Christian dogmas and doctrines are found within its pages. Anything found outside the scriptures is considered false and erroneous.
5. The Eternity of God
6. The Immaculate Conception (Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit to His mother Mary)
7. God is holy and sinless
8. The Ten commandments
What is the difference between a dogma and doctrine?
The difference between dogma and doctrine is that dogma is a set of principles or teachings that are considered to be authoritative by a Christian (or a particular religious group).
On the other hand, a doctrine is a more general term that refers to the overall beliefs of a Christian.
Dogma usually includes detailed teachings about what a person believes and practices, while doctrine may be less specific.
What does this mean for Christians today?
Dogma is mentioned very little today in the world of Christianity. A number of believers are not sure what they believe, or even what the Bible says they should put their faith in.
Often the focus is getting people saved while neglecting discipleship, which is the process in which Christian dogmas would be shared and taught. With few being guided after giving their lives to Jesus, it's not hard to believe when we hear about so few continuing their walk with God for very long.
It is essential that correction be brought back around with a sharp focus on establishing core beliefs for both new and experienced Christians. There are simply things that should always be done, while avoiding doing a wide range of other things. The Bible is clear on what is and is not acceptable.
Christians must seek and know the truth, for therein will they be set free. There should be a continual seeking of godly wisdom and understanding so that strong foundational dogmas are established before the storms of life push them down.
As the Word of God says, prove all things and hold fast to what is good.
Bible Scripture Verses About Christian Dogma (KJV)
2 Timothy 3:16 - All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
1 John 4:1 - Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Titus 2:1 - But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
Titus 1:9 - Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Hebrews 13:9 - Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
2 Timothy 2:15 - Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Ephesians 4:14 - That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;