What is the difference between doctrine and dogma? Doctrine, by its literal definition, never changes. Doctrine means “The Master’s Teaching. However, our understanding of the Master’s teaching does change. So actually what really changes is called “dogma,” which is belief.
There are 5 points to Calvinism, which is “dogma.” (1) Total depravity – some believe that we are so depraved with the sin nature that we can’t ever choose Christ for ourselves. God just “zap’s us and we get saved one day. However, what it really means is yes, we have a sin nature, but God gives us an ability to choose Christ. Whatever we believe, has to be consistent with the nature and character of God.
(2) Calvinist believe in unconditional election – this is the belief that God chose some people to go to heaven and some people to go to hell. But according to Scripture, “God wants everyone to come to Him – whosoever will! God is not willing that any should perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (Matthew 24:14; Mark 16:15; John 1:21; John 3:17; 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20.) Everyone of these Scriptures says the sins of the world have been paid for through Christ Jesus and it’s up to us to choose or reject what God has already done.
People don’t go to hell because of sin! John 3:36 says, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe in the Son shall not see life.”
(3) Limited Atonement – Again, I don’t believe this; it means Jesus died only for the elect. There are too many Scriptures that prove Jesus died for the whole world. Hebrews 7:27 says that, “who does not need daily, as the high priests to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins and then for the people’s, for this He died once for all when He offered up Himself.” All means all!
The thinking with Calvinism is so narrow that people are already chosen, so why should a Christian even witness to the lost? There has to be a driving force in every Christian to win people to Christ! Whosoever will.
(4) Irresistible Grace – What this means in the Calvinism teaching is that, those who are chosen, cannot resist the grace of God. However, I believe you can resist the grace of God. People do it all the time. God gave us a free will. If we didn’t have a will of our own, then God created “robots.” But we do have a will to believe or not and what we believe will determine where we spend eternity.
Matthew 7:24 says, “Therefore, whosoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken to him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:26 – ” But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.”
(5) Perseverance of the Saints – Calvinist believe that if you are one of the chosen, you will be preserved to the end, no matter what. This takes personal responsibility out of the equation. Look at Psalm 31:23, which says, “Oh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful.” The Christian is preserved that is committed and faithful to Him.
There is one requirement – John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”