Wednesday, March 6, 2013



It is interesting how over time the meaning of a word can change so much as to be totally opposite from its original meaning. “Dogma” is just such a word. It is a Greek word which translated into English is “That which seems good.” Then it took on religious meanings such as teachings that the church has deemed good and true. In some Christian churches it refers to a religious truth established by divine revelation as defined by the church.

Today the term dogma is taken as an unchangeable set of beliefs, which is a far cry from the original meaning of the word. It is often used and abused by both clergy and secular to be that unshakable truth. To be dogmatic is to be unshakable in your opinion. To be so locked into an opinion that that you can not make a change for the better, even in the light of new information is folly.

Dogma was a perfectly good word in the church until the reformation and different church groups disagreed about which positions “seemed good” and true. The meaning of the term dogma began to change from what is good and true to the other sides unshakeable opinion that is by the way dead wrong. Wars were fought over the smallest valued opinion such as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. People can be so fussy.

All of us, myself included, believe that our opinions are correct or we would not hold them as true. Opinions can change as facts change if we are willing to seek the truth. It was once thought that the earth was flat and had four corners. That opinion was dogma until proven other wise. At one point the church had a dogma that said that Jerusalem was the center of the universe and the sun went around the earth. Information has changed and so has the dogma. Let us open our minds to search for truth and that which seems good.

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