My husband came home the other day and shared with me a comment one of his professors made on a research paper he had written. The seminary professor stated, “This is too dogmatic.” My first reaction was, “What’s wrong with being dogmatic?” After all, the definition of dogmatic is simply holding to strong beliefs and opinions especially regarding to religious, political, philosophical or moral. So again I ask, “Is it wrong to have narrow thoughts especially concerning your faith and doctrinal beliefs?”
Why is it so offensive when someone knows what they believe, knows why they believe it, and stands firm upon that belief? Why do even Christian people struggle with absolutes? I often hear people referring to “gray areas” in scripture. Unfortunately, most times it’s in reference to some area of sin in their own life. John MacArthur in his book, The Truth War, says,
“In truth, far more issues are black and white than most people realize. Most of the truths of God’s Word are explicitly contrasted with opposing ideas. Jay Adams calls this the principle of antithesis, and he point out that it is fundamental to genuine discernment: ‘From the Garden of Eden with its two trees (one allowed, one forbidden) to the eternal destiny of the human being in heaven or in hell, the Bible sets forth two, and only two, ways: God’s way, and all others. Accordingly, people are said to be saved or lost. They belong to God’s people or the world. There was Gerizim, the mount of blessing, and Ebal, the mount of cursing. There is the narrow way and the wide way, leading either to eternal life or to destruction. There are those who are against and those who are with us, those within and those without. There is life and death, truth and falsehood, good and bad, light and darkness, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan, love and hatred, spiritual wisdom and the wisdom of the world. Christ is said to be the way, the truth and the life, and no one may come to the Father but by Him. His is the only name under the sky by which one may be saved.’ Adams points out that such antithetical teaching is found ‘on nearly every page of the Bible.’ All truth sets itself against error. Where Scripture speaks, it speaks with authority. It speaks definitively. It speaks decisively. It calls for absolute conviction.”
So back to my original question, “What’s wrong with being dogmatic?” I have been proven wrong on many occasions. I’ve had opinions that are wrong. I’m smart enough to know that I’m not smart enough. But, there is a vast difference between ones opinions and the Truth of God found in His Word. I cannot think of anyone who was more dogmatic than Jesus himself. What other adjectives, besides narrow, unbending, or fixed, would we use to describe Jesus and His statements about Himself? Therefore, if my beliefs are fixed upon the Word of God and Christ Himself then call me dogmatic, call me narrow, call me rigid, call me unbending, call me inflexible. I’ll consider it a compliment.