How The Devil Dresses Up Old Heresies In New Clothes

Image by Alexandr Ivanov from Pixabay

I’ve got in trouble for talking about it before. I’m always getting in trouble. I love trouble, keeps me on my toes. And the people who became irate with me were surprisingly Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christians.

Why? Because I drew similarities between the new Pentecostal and Catholic charismatic groups who claim to speak in tongues with a 2nd century heresy called Montanism.

I always had my doubts about these groups who suddenly raised their heads in recent decades and claim to speak in tongues. As a Catholic one could argue that the Charismatic order was originally started by the Lord but somehow it got hijacked (as these groups often are) by individuals claiming one thing or another. I can’t tell you the amount of small minded people I meet whose lives resemble that of a hooker on cocaine but claim to have seen the uncreated light yet continue to lead sinful lives.

Most Charismatics who claim to speak in tongues literally lead lives in compromise to the Orthodox faith. They believe women can be priests, contraception is an acceptable practice and are very modernist in their interpretation of scripture. I’m comfortable with the idea of an alleged seer or prophet commiting even grave sins, but if his life has not changed in the sense he is attending Divine Liturgy and confession and struggles with his sins then I cast doubt on his gift.

If he criticizes the person of his Bishop or the Patriarch in any way or is disobedient? I doubt there’s something going on there unless he’s mentally unwell which could explain the reason. All these things need to be taken into consideration and much more when examining a person claiming some gift.

That’s just the Orthodox and Catholics, but the protestants claiming to have this gift of tongues are completely and utterly having us all on. The movement in the Catholic Church was inspired by the protestants can you believe it? This gives me more reason to cast doubt on what these individuals are claiming.

Montanism is very similar and had started out as a group that for many decades had been tolerated. Eventually through time it’s viewed as a dangerous and heretical sect. Even the great Orthodox theologian Tertullian fell head over heels for them. Attracted by their ascetical practices and fierce piety he joined them and left the Church. They were also popularly known as “The New Prophecy” and labelled “Montantists”. This name was given them after the fact they’d been routed out as heretics.

Take a guess at what the Pentecostal movement is called? “The New Pentecostals”. What is the Charismatic one called? “The Neo-Charistmatics”. In the “New Prophecy” sect of the 2nd century, they claimed to speak in tongues and would speak “Babble” that nobody understood nor could decipher. Surprise surprise nobody there to “interpret” their tongues. The same happens today at Catholic charismatic groups where they claim to talk in tongues and the Protestants too.

The New Prophecy (Montanists) claimed that women should be presbyters and lo and behold many Catholic and Protestant Catholics claim the same. Any Charismatic meeting I was at they’d all be talking in the congregation about women being priests and not a word out of any of the priests present to defend and offer an answer. Even the owner of one Charismatic group in my town who is a theologian that met with the Pope and enjoys high status in the diocese told me to my face that women can be priests.

Therefore, before you “unfriend” me at least discuss it with me and show respect for my differing point of view. Having had first hand experience with these groups it’s impossible for me to look at it any other way. My mind is certainly not closed on the issue and always remains open to new information or correction. However, as it stands, a group suddenly appearing in the 1970s at the height of drug culture and new age religious experimentations claiming to speak in tongues is something you expect me to accept without question? First the protestants and then the Catholics adopt it from them? You can’t be serious?

Yes, the devil is clever but boring in the sense that he rarely comes up with anything new. He always dresses up old heresies into new more modern clothes. He cherry picks from one heresy to to the other. Then he sends his little heresy out into the world and makes her do a little twirl in her new heretical dress. The small minded souls finding her irresistibly good, like Adam and Eve, they bite into that tasty looking fruit and their souls die a serious death.

All I’m inviting you to do is to take a step back, let whatever biases you have towards the group go and be objective about this. Remember that Tertullian was a great scholarly mind who had attained great spiritual heights yet fell for this “New Prophecy” sect. What makes you any different?

God bless

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