Is it possible to receive personal revelations from God about scripture or whatnot?
The reason I ask is because this is heavily stressed in the tradition I come from (Pentecostal), to the point where receiving advice from a priest is viewed as having a "dead relationship with God".
I began a debate with one of my fellow church-goers today about personal "revelations" and interpretations of scripture vs. traditional interpretations/priestly advice. How would I explain how receiving advice from a priest is not a "dead relationship" with God? Does a relationship with God have to include personal revelations on scripture? Can it?
yes. But the Fathers warn, if you see a vision, ignore it. Only an evil and perverse generation seek a sign.
When I became Orthodox, I prayed that I would NOT see a miracle until my Faith was strong. Years later, looking at my first weeping icon (I've seen another since then), I said "OK, now what?"
As for having a "dead relationship with God":
John 4:25 The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ); when he comes, he will show us all things." 26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he." 27 Just then his disciples came. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but none said, "What do you wish?" or, "Why are you talking with her?" 28 So the woman left her water jar, and went away into the city, and said to the people, 29 "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" 30 They went out of the city and were coming to him. 31 Meanwhile the disciples besought him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." 32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." 33 So the disciples said to one another, "Has any one brought him food?" 34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest. 36 He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor." 39 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me all that I ever did." 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."
Maybe, but they wouldn't have believed enough to receive His words, unless they first heard her words.
The priest, for instance, chrismates with the Promises of Christ of a personal Pentecost. Pentecostals, without such promise and authority, have no ability to call upon the descent of the Holy Spirit. In this they are worse than Simon the Magician. At least he tried to buy the right to chrismate. The Pentecostals just claim to approprite it to themselves.
As St. Paul said "For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. As in all the churches of the saints" The Church, through the episcopate, is to keep order. If you interpretation is against all what the Church has taught for 2,000 years, your interpretation is wrong. That's not new.
I Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ...5:1 So I exhort the priest among you, as a fellow priest and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker in the glory that is to be revealed. 2 Tend the flock of God that is your charge, not by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, 3 not as domineering over those in your charge but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd is manifested you will obtain the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise you that are younger be subject to the priests...II Peter 1:3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellenceby which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall;...16 For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 19 And we have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God....2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their licentiousness, and because of them the way of truth will be reviled. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words; from of old their condemnation has not been idle, and their destruction has not been asleep...9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trial, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority...19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved. 20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire...3:2 you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles. 3 First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions...16are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
it is through receiving the Holy Mysteries from the hands of the episcopate, who received them in the laying on of hands from the Apostles, that one confirms his call and election. The interpretation of scripture must be within the Church, even private interpretation, as the Spirit did inspire scripture as a private impulse, but a public one, in the forum of the Church. Bowing to her wisdom which the priest imparts is nothing more than sound advice. That is a dead relationship only to the brain dead.