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Thoughts on Montanism and getting 'Revelations' about extrabiblical doctrines Forum Index -> Acts-Celerate Post new topic   Reply to topic
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Montanus claimed to be a prophet some time around 200 AD. I've read a bit about him, and some Pentecostals seem to think Montanism was a good thing. Cessationists sometimes accuse Pentecostals of being Montanists.

It could be that the Montanists were the first to use I Corinthians 13 to teach cessationism. Fourteen years after the deaths of Montanus, Maximilla, and Priscilla (his two female helpers deemed prophetesses), Eusebius records that Miltiades said the Montanists did not have prophets, but the apostle taught that prophesy would continue until the Lord returned. It may be that the Montanist's believed that Montanus, or what he brought, was 'that which is perfect' and that prophecy ceased after him, and this Miltiades took a more Pentecostal or Charismatic view of I Corinthians 1:7 or I Corinthians 13 that the gifts would remain until Jesus returned.

But what I've read is that, if Tertullian, who was pro-Montanism, was right, the Montanist believed that the Paraklete had revealed that widows and widowers cannot remarry. If we accept Montanism as legit, assuming Tertullian was right about this, must we also change our doctrine about married to something in addition to what the Bible teaches?

In Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, a book written in the fourth century, we see that church leaders and authors commenting on Montanism accepted the gift of prophecy as a legitimate gift of the church. But they did not accept Montanus' prophesying as legitimate. They considered it mad ravings. Some commented against prophesying in 'ecstasy'. Whether that is right or not, they did not accept Montanus as a true prophecy.

This also reminds me of some of the Charismatic types who think little or nothing of adding to Biblical doctrine based on a revelation. Maybe that's rare. There do seem to be a lot of Charismatic types who just pay little attention to the Bible in their meetings. It gets quoted a little, but so do other sayings that circulate in their meetings, and wise-sounding sayings that kind of sound spiritual, but have no basis in scripture.

I encountered a fellow on Facebook who spent time in the Philippines. He seemed to like some of the figures in the prophetic movement. On his videos on YouTube, I saw cuss words like the 'f word, and considered himself to be a missionary. Some of his videos spoke ill of western expats going to the Philippines to pick up women. He wrote that old men marrying young Filippinas was prostitution because they would financially support the girl's parents. I pointed out that there were bride prices in the Old Testament. I've got an Indonesian wife, and it's the custom to support parents. I consider it a good thing. We are close in age, so he probably doesn't think anything about it. He was trying to lobby their parliament to outlaw marriages with 20+ year age gaps. I pointed out there were some age gapes in marriages in scripture (Isaac and Rebecca, Ruth and Boaz) and that the Bible nowhere outlaws marriages with age gaps. He told about preaching on the topic when an old white man with a young Filippina wife got up and punched him. Then he bragged about besting the old man in a fist fight. He said he'd gotten 'the Father's heart' on the issue of old men going there to marry young Filippinas.

This reminded me of the issue of Montanism-- changing the doctrine of marriage based on someone's supposed revelation. This fellow did not call it 'revelation' but had his own doctrinal rules that condemned certain other people's marriages based on supposedly having 'the Father's heart.'

My general understanding about how Pentecostals approach prophecy is that, typically, they don't think of prophecy as something that fundamentally modifies Biblical doctrine. I'm not sure if that applies to Oneness since their movement started after people claimed to have certain 'revelation's about the name of Jesus, but they use their method of Biblical interpretation to argue their case, too, so it isn't detatched from the Bible in their minds.
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Posts: 11546
9/18/20 10:26 pm

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Post Quiet Wyatt
I think Montanism, like so many other similar later sects, may well have had a pure motive of restorationism, but got off track due to its lack of an objective immutable standard for doctrine. In its early place in church history, the canon of Scripture hadn’t been closed yet, but nevertheless there were standard views by that time amongst orthodox churches as to which writings were accepted as inspired Scripture and which were not. [Insert Acts Pun Here]
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9/19/20 10:35 am

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