Snake-Handling Celebrity Pastor Jamie Coots Dies… From Snake Bite

National Geographic had a reality show called Snake Salvation which followed the snake-handling adventures of Pastor Jamie Coots. Snake handling is an old Pentecostal Appalachian practice, drawn from a couple passages in the Gospels, that recommends holding venomous snakes as a test of faith. Well, this particular snake-handling Pastor, who had already lost a finger from snake bites, has now died… from a rattlesnake bite.

Aside from the obvious object lesson this provides in practical cause and effect (you know, like: “Sleep with dogs, rise with fleas.”), this will also, I’m sure, be used to discredit Christianity.

It’s always the outliers that are under scrutiny.  Let’s not make normal average churchgoers the source of our general perspective on Christianity. That would be too obvious. Instead, let’s take a really close look at duck-call millionaires, homeschoolers with three hundred children, or snake handlers. That’s a fair representative sample, right?

A classic example of this narrow selection was Bill Maher’s Religulous. By interviewing some of the most ignorant believers in the world (juxtaposed with carefully selected gaffes from the less ignorant), Maher hoped to make religion (and Christianity in particular) look stupid.

But a lot of these people would have been stupid no matter what. No matter how you are indoctrinated—into atheism or Christianity—chances are you will sound ignorant if you aren’t well-educated. I could probably collect a few hundred atheist morons to interview if I felt like making atheists look stupid (that is, if they didn’t do a good enough job of that on their own).

Who knows why National Geographic ran this TV series with Jamie Coots. Did they want to make Christians look stupid? I don’t know. Perhaps they just thought controversy makes for good ratings. One way or the other, Jamie Coots is dead now. Let the strawmen arguments commence.

333 responses

  1. 3When Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and put them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat and fastened on his hand. 4When the native people saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer. Though he has escaped from the sea, Justiceb has not allowed him to live.”5He, however, shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. 6They were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no misfortune come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

    And from this a group of people twist a religion to make their own version of Christianity. No where does it say, Paul wanted to pick up the snake to prove his faith. He did not want to handle it at all (as far we can tell). It’s the only snake biting story in the Bible (that I know of), if it was so important to handle snakes would there not be more stories of snake handle faith moments in the 1,000 plus page book?? The point was to show the power of God to keep a man alive after a life threatening attack if he wished it. I do not wish bad things to anyone, but this event was just a matter of when he was going to be bitten and die not if.

      • They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:18 KJV . You either believe what the bible says is true or you don’t!

        • You weak helpless f*ggoty boar’s crap ,commie islamist, p*ss drinker, LAC ( LAC means loud a** cracker ) Even Miley Cyrus who is a complete slut is a better person than you. I can see you as a bisexual who stabbs his wife to death ao he can go on and marry his faggot BF

          • Wow sheepie, you openly cheer lead for Bob & the liberals? Who is the real idiot?

            Rhetorical champ, rhetorical.

          • The closet homosexual that cannot get gay sex off his mind speaks! Go back to teabagging the boys in your neighborhood. & shut the F*CK UP

          • Look out dude my girlfriend has the same fire as i do for truth we together will resist lies of politicians till the end we will fight for the truth me and my girlfriend will be resistting The powers of hell ( obama is a demon i am convinced ) we will fight the fight so Bob, if ya wanna jump in the bandwaggon of Christianity and get svaed from hell me and my pretty girlfriend could tell ya how to get saved i am convinced that Jesus is coming back soon can’t wait till then will you be ready ??? If not you will burn in hell so save your soul, become saved and trust in christ, and teach your wife and kids ( if ya have any ) the roght way to live repent before it is too late.

          • Your girlfriend is a “fag hag”at best but most likely a dude in a dress that likes teabagging as much as you do.

          • She is not she is the sexyist think of earth and she would allegedly box the brains out of ya if she saw ya she is the kinda girl who will attract the crowds and choose the wild rebel boys who are disabled over the high coronation guys in her social class. I myself my dad is middle class we don’t make too much $ but she is like of like noble class her dad has a high paying job and she gets too go to all the facy high class dances she is rich . . She somehow chose me though it is a shock that a high profile rich girl likes me the way she does she loves me she does she does not like anyone else just me i will die for the girl and death don’t matter to me i will go to heaven and live in happiness. Bob, i am not a faggot my high class girlfriend would easily kick you up in seconds her brown hair could easily blind you and she could kick you face up in seconds bob you are a gay gangster .

          • You are the faggot !!! Not me !!! God Will forgive ya repent before it is too darn late!!! REPENT!!! God Bless ya.

          • Quit stalking me!!! It seems like ya always target my comments/posts!!!! I don’t like being stalked. Plus stalking is illegal you could be arrested for stalking me

          • Evan, you sound like a big baby begging Bob to stop stalking you. He gets great pleasure in upsetting people. Don’t focus on him; focus on the Lord Jesus Christ and stop begging people to believe in Christ. That is not what the Bible teaches us to do. We are to give the gospel and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
            Heb 12:2…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
            Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he:

          • You keep stalking me i don’t like being called gay cause i am NOT gay if i was gay i would not be offending gay people with comments about them being evil and neading a savior you make no sense!!!! So go away and stop bugging me i don’t like being called the f word i find it offensive i exploeded cause you kept stalking me and calling me the f word which i find kffensive of course you are a heartless monster who don’t realy care if someone asks u to shut up.

          • Evan did you forget your meds again? I must say your choice of words do not appear to be from a true child of God. Clean it up and preach the word if you truly want to do the will of God.

          • I feel bad about the language i used . I have a fairly short temper and when people start bullying me or making mean comments to me it makes my blood boil i have a hard time controlling what i say/type all Christians struggle in somecway and the way struggle is i have a hard time keeping myself from using profane language when i am being spammed

          • Your struggle is not with me nor did I start bullying you (you attacked me). You’re struggle is that fact that you’re a closet homosexual and a Christian & you may be able to fool you’re friends & family & may be even yourself (it’s called denial) but you can’t fool god & he knows you’re a fag & that you’ll burn in hell!!!!

          • QUIT CALLING ME GAY IF I WAS gaY i WOULD HAVE. N eVER SAID T hA t be i nG gAY IS. Evil CoMMEN Sense. TOU ARe bugging me shut up

          • There are many conservative Christians leading the anti-gay parade that are in fact closet homosexuals. You’re just another one to go along with Pastor Eddie Long, Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, Robert Allen & a host of others

          • Bob’s purpose is to bug; ignore him. Focus on Jesus Christ and get your life straightened out before trying to tell an athiest what they should say or do.
            Heb 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
            2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
            II Peter 3:8… 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 mallen 11 well said from God’s magnificent word. Unfortunately the bible says we must not give that which is Holy to the Dogs

          • Don’t bother trying to rationalize to Bob and his cheer-leading friends, you are on point.

            The idiots carrying Bob’s water should take the ¤ƩɯƌƉ’s out of their mouths and click on Bob’s profile to see the sub-human they are defending. Clowns and losers, nothing more. Destine for mediocre accomplishments and ultimate failure.

            You are far above these bums.

          • EVAN the BLACK HEARTED ONE!!!
            The venom you spew here is killing you. too.
            The snake should fear you more then we should fear the snake.
            In reality you are already disappearing…
            snake handling is foolish as walking across a street blind folded…
            Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy G-d…

          • I want to do what is right i don’t like cussing i have a hard time controling my temper and keeping myself from cussing when people bully/stalk me no person is perfect no Christian is sinless all men have fallen short of the Glory of God i don’t like cursing i struggle with keeping my mouth/cooments from using cuss words i first herdvin rock music . I am a sinner everyone is but inam a Christian and have asked God to help me keep from saying cuss words.

          • If you want to do what’s right according to the bible the 1st think you may want to consider doing is stop sucking c*ck!!!

          • Bob, My son came by for a visit. I had him read your posts. He was still laughing when he went out the door.
            You are one funny guy.
            These evangelicals don’t like me anymore than they do you because I’m a Catholic. So I’m condemned along with you to a fiery pit because I don’t buy their nonsense.

          • What I never understood about evangelicals is they hate Catholic’s yet EVERYTHING they believe in came directly from the catholic church.

          • They hate Catholics with a passion. You are right. The original Bible was Catholic. The protestant reformation cut out many parts of the original. I’ve asked them what is the first Christian prayer known to mankind. They don’t answer. Its the Apostles Creed written by the Apostles 10 days after Jesus death. In there it says, ” I believe in the holy Catholic Church. ” They hate that. LOL
            My best friend, an atheist, who is now living somewhere in the Canadian wilderness, said if he would join any church it would be the Catholic church. He didn’t say that to please me. You had to know him, you always knew where you stood with him.
            A quick story. My political campaign was short of funds in the last month. We had a meeting, my millionaire Christian friends loaned me a few thousand. My atheist friend who was middleclass, second mortgaged his house to get the rest on the needed funds. Sometimes we don’t know who our true friends are. So now you know one reason I say he is my best friend.

          • cussing is not really a sin. Using the Lord name in vein is… So if you stub your toe and say, “$&* that hurts” or tell someone the are an *ss or acting like and *ss (assuming the statement is correct), you are OK. You bring God into these statements then you are crossing that line. Cussing is just socially impolite and looked at as low class…. so it better to practice not cussing. Or cuss all you want, just do not say it out loud or post it on-line. 🙂

          • I guess I missed the spat between you and Evan. I had my own battle with their leader Raymond. I think he’s healing someone as we speak. LOL

        • Sorry, but you can’t pull that verse out of its proper context which is discussing those whom God sends out on missions, when they encounter, as Paul did, accidentally that which would normally harm them, harm will not come; but unless you can go lay hands on every single sick person and bring full healing, which I seriously doubt, then there’s not the meaning to that verse that you would apply to it. I believe FULLY that should God send me out and I encounter poison it will not kill me: been there, done that, in fact. Does that mean I should deliberately drink a bottle of strychnine or play with the local rattlers? NO!

        • Did Paul take up the snake on purpose? did he go around purposefully drinking poison to test God and his faith? There’s a lot of common sense involved in practicing one’s faith…True Faith that is.

        • Your stupid, don’t use the Word of ‘God to make up a new religion. Your like most pastors of this world today, take one verse and make it a whole sermon. That verse means that IF your among the enemies of the LORD, trust in Him that saves, Christ Jesus. Nothing to do with the animals of a snake. No wonder we have so many religions. UGH

        • We are also told to “not tempt the Lord (our) God.” We do not do stupid things just to see if God is God. God gave us common sense.

        • Bob why don’t you try the things mentioned in that verse without any medical treatment you would DIE.I believe every word of the Bible ,but you have to understand this was in Biblical times not modern times. God has given us enough knowledge to know what is right and wrong.At that time a lot of those people had never heard of God or Jesus.They were ignorant to the fact.They didn’t know any better. What about Daniel ? There were so many at that time. It also says, Trust in the LORD thy GOD,and I certainly do trust in GOD,but he also gave the knowledge to know not to be picking up poisonous snakes,and drinking things that will kill me. Praise the Lord.AMEN

          • God’s cure for leprosy: Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly away. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient’s right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally find another pair of birds. Kill one and dip the live bird in the dead bird’s blood. Wipe some blood on the patient’s right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle the house with blood 7 times. That’s all there is to it. (Leviticus 14)

            Why don’t people do this I wonder? If it doesn’t work, is the bible false?

          • You need to pass this information on to Raymond and Sandra.
            LOL They can use this at their next revival after they burn a young damsel at the stake for heresy.

          • People don’t do as Lev. 14 states today because this isn’t Biblical times.All the different types of offerings people offered up then aren’t done today .All of that was done away with when Jesus was born and started his ministry to the world.God has given us a cure for leprosy and common sense to know how to take care of ourselves .We live in the time of the New Testament and as it goes now we are nearing the end of this world age right now as we sit here on these computers.God is in control of ALL things and each and every word of the Bible is that of God.It don’t matter who wrote the books of the Bible it’s all God’s words there’s no changing it .The Bible is not FALSE in any way,shape or form It’s the Holy Bible. It is what God gave us to live by.

          • Let me get this straight…. Are you telling me that once upon a time (before Jesus) the biblical cure for leprosy did in fact work but somehow it changed when Jesus arrived on the scene?

          • In Vs. 2 it states that this was the LAW of the leper in the day of his cleansing.It says nothing of curing the leper.Also in Vs.31 it is talking of sin offerings and burnt offerings that is to be used for cleansing.Vs.54 states This is the law for all manner of plague of leprosy and scall, Vs.55 and for the leprosy of a garment and a house , Vs.56 And for a rising, and for a bright spot.Vs.57 To TEACH when it is UNCLEAN and when it is CLEAN: This is the LAW of leprosy. In reading the entire 14th chpt. no where does it say that God cured this man of leprosy. This chapter 14 of Leviticus has to do with laws and tokens whereby the priest is to be guided in discerning leprosy. And it doesn’t say it would cure leprosy.It says it is for a cleansing. I suppose it is according to how you interpret a word.Each of us have our own opinion. No need in arguing over it. Leprosy really had a lot to do with hygiene back then. It probable didn’t take that much to really get sick back then and being able to keep your body clean had a lot to do with getting leprosy.The saying goes Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

      • Or maybe just taking a sign and wonder or a miracle and turning it into an excuse to start an aberrant form of religion. It is very sad.

          • Can anyone here explain how Catholicism has been around for 2,000 years, and the world has hated It and attacked it by thousands of tactics (armies, communists, homosexuals, etc.), and survived despite what the world has thrown against Her? Further, can anyone explain why PROTESTantism has dissolved into over 59,000 sects and counting? Anyone? Hello? Anyone? Can you explain Catholicism’s survival?

          • I am writing this because you asked. Please give me the respect to read this in it’s entirety as I sacrificed this time to give you and answer you. But since obedience is BETTER than sacrifice, I was also led by the Holy Spirit to speak truth to you…so I obeyed God in this. I Samuel 15:22…And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

            pete, Catholicism has not been around for 2000 years but started in the third century with a Roman Emperor named Constantine. The RCC Roman Catholic Church. It is more of a political organization. They have their hands in politics all over the world. You want Catholicisms survival explained? Satan has been around since the beginning of time too…since Adam and Eve deceiving all whom he can and distorting Scripture..

            There are many different denominations yes, but it is those who twist the Word of God and don’t know how to rightly divide the Word. They take what they want out of the Word of God and only live according to what they WANT to apply. I call these people cafeteria Christians. Picking and choosing what they want to apply in their life. I am a FULL GOSPEL believer. I don;t have the smarts to twistize, analyze and rationalize. I take the Bible AS WRITTEN.

            Catholics call a priest father….Matthew 23:9…And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.

            Catholics ignore the first commandment continuously then try to rationalize it away.

            Exodus 20:3-4 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (In other words, we don’t pray to saints, Mary…NO ONE but the Lord God). 4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

            No statues of Jesus, Saints, Mary, Joseph etc…and definitely don’t bow to them. They cannot help you. They are dead…they were only human like we are. They cannot hear you. Only the Lord can hear you.

            1 Timothy 2:5
            5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

            Mary didn’t die for your sins, nor did any saint. Nor did the priest so he cannot forgive you of your sins, only Jesus can.

            1 Timothy 4
            4 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall
            depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of
            devils;
            2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
            3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created
            to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.( Nuns and priests take a vow of celibacy or they can’t serve God? Ridiculous “I” serve God and I have been married). (Who commanded to abstain from meats on Fridays?)
            4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
            5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

            Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (Explain the rosary) The Our Father was not necessarily telling us to repeat those exact words…but teaching us how to pray…getting God’s attention first by calling Him our heavenly Father, calling Him Holy, asking for His will on earth and to set up His Kingdom as it is set up in heaven…by asking Him to come and rule! Asking Him to forgive us if we can have mercy to also forgive others…asking Him to supply our daily needs, asking Him to deliver us out of temptation by His grace and power.

            Matthew 23:9…And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. (what do you call a Catholic priest?)

            John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. How does one become born again??? By believing in the crucifixion of Christ and repenting of all sin…and by believing His resurrection unto life again. The ONE PERFECT SACRIFICE. A baby cannot repent of their sins …so they cannot be born again. They are innocent so there is no need to get them baptized until they are old enough to accept Jesus for themselves and turn from sin on their own! In the meantime, Jesus holds them in His Hand. Their lives should be dedicated to the Lord as we raise them in the statutes OF the Lord and that is not done by twisting Scripture and justifying why we have twisted it. It is done by taking Scripture as it is…

            2 Timothy 2:15
            15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

            You cannot pray someone out of hell, you cannot BUY someone out of hell. Once they are judged and sent there, they are there for eternity. Many Catholics believe they can pray or donate someone’s way out of hell. IMPOSSIBLE!

            Many on here have said that Christians hate Catholics…that we down them. I constantly pray to love people as Jesus loves them…wanting NONE to perish! Because we try to lead you to the truth of Scripture does not mean we hate you. That is NOT hate. If you seen someone intending on going full speed ahead towards a cliff to their death, would you not warn them?

            Wycliffe and Tyndale made it their work to translate the Bible into English. Why don;t you research who it was that burned them at the stake. (Hint) It was the Catholics as they wanted a monopoly on the church to be able to rule. Research this with an open mind and I pray that the Spirit of the Lord with touch your heart, eyes and mind and lead/guide you into all truths.

            Last but not least, as I could go on and on but am not feeling well…but was led to answer you…I WAS a Catholic before the Holy Spirit got ahold of me and led me into the truth of Scripture. Most Catholics and for that matter MANY know who Jesus is, but have NO personal relationship with Him. There is a huge difference between knowing OF Him and KNOWING Him. People would not have the troubles they do if they would just take Scripture AS IS and APPLY it to their lives.

            God bless you!

          • NIce, all those words contrary to your native Church and hardly a mention of answer to my sole question, why has the Church survived. You say the Catholic Church started with Constantine. You err. You are no student of history, but yet another self-justifying sola scripturist heretic led into believing only what the ravenous wolves have injected into your ears, eyes and mind. The Catholic Encyclopedia states the following evidence from the testimony and writings of the Early Church Fathers concerning the origination of the phrase, “Catholic Church” dating from 110:

            The combination “the Catholic Church” (he katholike ekklesia) is found for the first time in the letter of St. Ignatius to theSmyrnaeans, written about the year 110. The words run: “Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, there is the universal [katholike]Church.” However, in view of the context, some difference of opinion prevails as to the precise connotation of the italicized word, and Kattenbusch, the Protestant professor of theology at Giessen, is prepared to interpret this earliest appearance of the phrase in the sense of mia mone, the “one and only”Church [Das apostolische Symbolum (1900), II, 922]. From this time forward the technical signification of the word Catholic meets us with increasing frequency both East and West, until by the beginning of the fourth century it seems to have almost entirely supplanted the primitive and more general meaning. The earlier examples have been collected by Caspari (Quellen zur Geschichte des Taufsymbols, etc., III, 149 sqq.). Many of them still admit the meaning “universal”. The reference (c. 155) to “the bishop of the catholic church inSmyrna” (Letter on the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, xvi), a phrase which necessarily presupposes a more technical use of the word, is due, some critics think, to interpolation. On the other hand this sense undoubtedly occurs more than once in the Muratorian Fragment (c. 180), where, for example, it is said of certain heretical writings that they “cannot be received in the Catholic Church”. A little later, Clement of Alexandriaspeaks very clearly. “We say”, he declares, “that both insubstance and in seeming, both in origin and in development, the primitive and Catholic Church is the only one, agreeing as it does in the unity of one faith” (Stromata, VII, xvii; P.G., IX, 552). From this and other passages which might be quoted, the technical use seems to have been clearly established by the beginning of the third century. In this sense of the word it implies sound doctrine as opposed to heresy, and unity of organization as opposed to schism (Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, Part II, vol. I, 414 sqq. and 621 sqq.; II, 310-312). In fact Catholic soon became in many cases a mere appellative–the proper name, in other words, of the true Church founded by Christ, just as we now frequently speak of the Orthodox Church, when referring to the established religion of the Russian Empire, without adverting to the etymology of the title so used. It was probably in this sense that the Spaniards Pacian (Ep. i ad Sempron.) writes, about 370: “Christianus mihi nonem est, catholicus cognomen”, and it is noteworthy that in various early Latin expositions of the Creed, notably that of Nicetas of Remesiana, which dates from about 375 (ed. Burn, 1905, p. lxx), the word Catholic in the Creed, though undoubtedly coupled at that date with the words Holy Church, suggests no special comment. Even in St. Cyprian (c. 252) it is difficult to determine how far he uses the word Catholic significantly, and how far as a mere name. The title, for instance, of his longest work is “On the Unity of the Catholic Church”, and we frequently meet in his writings such phrases as catholica fides (Ep. xxv; ed. Hartel, II, 538); catholica unitas (Ep. xxv, p. 600); catholica regula (Ep. lxx, p. 767), etc. The one clear idea underlying all is orthodox as opposed to heretical, and Kattenbusch does not hesitate to admit that in Cyprian we first see how Catholic and Roman came eventually to be regarded as interchangeable terms. (Cf. Harnack, Dogmengeschichte, II, 149-168.) Moreover it should be noted that the word Catholica was sometimes used substantively as the equivalent of ecclesia Catholica. An example is to be found in the Muratorian Fragment, another seemingly in Tertullian(De Praescrip, xxx), and many more appear at a later date, particularly among African Writers.

            If you contest St. Ignatius’s testimony, know that he was one who was taught by the Apostle John, Christ’s Beloved. Here’s what the Catholic Encycolpedia says about this:

            More than one of the earliest ecclesiastical writers have given credence, though apparently without good reason, to the legend that Ignatius was the child whom the Savior took up in His arms, as described in Mark 9:35. It is also believed, and with great probability, that, with his friend Polycarp, he was among the auditors of the Apostle St. John. If we include St. Peter, Ignatius was the third Bishop of Antioch and the immediate successor of Evodius (Eusebius, Church HistoryII.3.22). Theodoret (“Dial. Immutab.”, I, iv, 33a, Paris, 1642) is the authority for the statement that St. Peter appointed Ignatius to the See of Antioch.

            You say we err when we call priests “father.” Jesus was not speaking in the New Testament of the head of the family nor of priests, but of spiritual teachers. Nonetheless, St. Paul writes about fathers in this respect in the Bible itself. It is too long to post here, so improve your knowledge of history and read the explanation here: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06001a.htm

            God bless, and get some rest, you seem ill to me.

          • Just so you know…I didn’t read all your blabber and have no intention to. I will say this…the beauty of America and being an individual is that you are entitled to your beliefs and opinions…for now I just don;t have to read them or share them. Judgment day will tell the tale. I feel I am on the right path wit my beliefs…I have been living the same way for 32 years and get many prayers answered.

          • I’m not surprised in the least you characterize it as blabber. You asked me the following: “Please give me the respect to read this in it’s entirety as I sacrificed this time to give you and answer you” and now you refuse to accord me the same respect. Gorsh, whodathunk? A PROTEST-ant refuses to listen to the Lord’s words about “The path is narrow and few there are who find it.”

            Just so you know, God introduced me to my demon one night some 20+ years ago while praying the Holy Rosary in NYC one night. This was His Fatherly attempt to bring me to my senses, a spiritual “spanking” as it were. It was, to say the least, an unimaginable terror, words to describe it fundamentally short of the mark. Thermonuclear hot, liquid nitrogen cold simultaneously, hissing with reptilian murderous fury, “I WILL KILL YOU ALL!” Get back to the daily Rosary, I implore you, no matter the contempt you have for me or the Church which gave you the Bible which you trust more than the Church. Read 1st Timothy: “3:15. But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

            The pillar and ground of the truth…. Therefore the church of the living God can never uphold error, nor bring in corruptions, superstition, or idolatry.”

            Which came first, the Church or the Bible? And which has survived longer preaching the same message?

    • Exactly!! You explained that occasion with Paul, very well.

      We do not need to do dangerous things, to prove our faith, that is like daring GOD or tempting GOD. We all have doubts at times but we can ask for help with your doubts, in a much better way than doing something so outrageous.

      Mark 9:23-24
      23. JESUS said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
      24. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, LORD, I believe; help thou my unbelief.
      James 2:17,19-20
      17. Even so faith without works is dead, being alone.
      19. Thou believest that there is one GOD; thou doest well: the devils also believest and tremble.

      20. But wilt thou know, O vain man man, that faith without works is dead.

    • That’s not the only Bible passage, or even the main one that Snake Handlers use to justify their practices. Try Mark Chapter 16 verses 17-18. There is some debate among Bible Scholars and translators as to whether Mark 16 verses 17-20 are original to the Ancient Manuscripts or were added later. In any case taking them as a commandment to handle deadly snakes is a wrong and unwise interpretation.

      • He is also talking to his eleven Apostles about how their faith had been weak. So, he was referring to what they would be able to do when they starting to spread the word so that the people could see the signs that they were speaking the truth. This was not a gift that was giving to all Christians. Though from time to time you hear of a miracle happening here and there, usually in very large groups of people (which makes sense, as God would want many to witness what happened not just one or two people).

        I actually have a friend who watch a lady fall off a bleacher seat. Broke her leg 90 degree in the middle of the shin kind of break – I was not there so do not know exact spot, just it was no doubt a bad break. He saw her fall and everything. He said it was a very unpleasant thing. This was at a big revival event, several hundred people. Many saw her fall. The preacher came over, said a prayer over her in hope to help stop or easy the pain. He asked everyone to pray with him and they did. The next thing my friend said is he saw the preacher turn ghost white, stand up walk away and not say a word to anyone for a day or two. What was it that the preacher saw that put him in such a state? The ladies leg straighten out and fixed itself right in front of his eyes. The lady stood up and walked away. My friend was not a member of this church, he was working as the sound guy for all the electronics and such. He knew the preacher (of course as he paid him to work the job). He added the preacher almost stop being a preacher because of what he saw. Scared the crap out of him so much, he was fearful his teachings were not good enough.

        • I spent 13 years in a Pentecostal Christian Fellowship, where there was a great emphasis on outreach and evangelism. Healing Crusades were a standard method of outreach. I witnessed a few genuine healings and even experienced one personally. My Mother was healed of a nasty skin tumor at a regular Sunday Church service. Still in all, most of what I witnessed was fakery and hype. I believe God sometimes heals those who come to Him in faith and ask for His help. There is no formula or guarantee that God will heal everyone who asks for a miracle. Even Jesus Christ Himself did not perform many miracles in His own hometown of Nazareth, because the people there lacked faith. I really don’t have much use for Pentecostal showboat types who try to use God’s miracle working power to build up a big congregation so they can fleece them of their money. I must be a slow learner, because it took me 13 years to figure out that most of the people and the spirit that operated in that organization were not the genuine article. I really believe that they are following a seducing spirit. One that masquerades as the Holy Spirit. Many of them are sincere, but sincerity doesn’t count if you are sincerely wrong. You might wonder how God could use deceived people to perform miracles. I can’t deny what I saw personally, but I also am convinced that the beliefs of this group are contradictory to the Bible and almost constitute a Cult mentality. I think God doesn’t really have much concern about who He works miracles through. I think it’s more about the faith of the person asking to be healed. If you have the faith to believe that He can do a miracle, enough to step up and ask for one, I think He can give it to you regardless of the character of the person doing the praying and laying on of hands.

    • You mean like in Mark 16:18? They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

  2. I think the point of this article was not to show snake handling as improvable by scripture but to show the atheist use crazy stupid people to say all Christians stupid.

    • Atheist’s don’t need Christians killing themselves by playing with a poisonous snake & thinking jesus will protect them to realize Christians are stupid. We figured that out a long time ago by their rejection of basic scientific facts

      • Religious arrogant people like you don’t need to go around condemning other people; afterall you can’t prove everything science says is true either. Now that is stupidity. Your hate shows through loud and clear.

        • You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food
          falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that I cannot prove what’s true or not?

          • Yes you are and both of you are funny. I like a little humor. Too many of these posts are same rubbish and are boring.

          • “…people walking on water”? WHAT??? Jesus walked on water. But you should try it sometime to check your claim that it is ridiculous. After that and only then get back to us with your report (heh-heh).
            You atheists are unromantic fools, lack-loves and sour pusses. Why are you so stupid as to rejoice or celebrate a conclusion that says life is purposeless? NOTHING TO CELEBRATE IN THAT THOUGHT, PAL. It depresses most normal people. Why are you so eager to prove how worthless your life really is?

          • God is the…refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find no sanctuary in His arms, but…a kind of superiority,soothing to their…egos: He will set them above their betters When you finally break out of the suffocating box that is religion your mind is empowered and liberated to see through the myths, folk tales,lies,obscenities,absurdities and vulgarities that is the bible

          • I agree some of Bible sounds farfetched. But the way I heard it was, ” Stand back Eve, stand back, I don’t know how big this thing is going to get.” LOL

          • You believe that all creatures evolved from simple organisms into more complex ones? You believe in an unprovable theory that flies in the face of the laws of thermodynamics and that has no fossil record of transitional species? It takes a helluva leap of faith a a lot of pixie dust to believe in evolution.

          • Please take a high school science class before you speak of things you know NOTHING about (like the laws of thermodynamics, the fossil record & transitional species)

          • You are blasphemous but you are a funny guy. What many Christians fail to understand is, the Bible is allegorical.

          • You are blasphemous but you are a funny guy. What many Christians fail to understand is, the Bible is allegorical.

  3. Play with snakes you going to get bit. I won’t criticize these individuals religious beliefs but I do think they need to rethink their actions. It also says in the Bible don’t tempt the Lord. Just because he says he’ll take care of you does not mean that you do stupid things you’re not going to suffer the consequences.

  4. I don’t want to dis anybody’s walk with God, but stuff like this in my opinion, falls more under the heading of tempting the Lord your God. I’m sorry he died, because the way he died was stupid, and could have been avoided. The Bible also says we shall have power over serpents and scorpions, and all the power of the enemy, and I take that as true, but I’m not going out looking for serpents and scorpions to stomp on. They’ll come to us.

    • They are known as Politicians (PoliticialScumBags). Serpents & Scorpions which should indeed be ‘stomped-on’ or, better yet, Hanged.
      Pray for what’s left of OUR America. If you don’t believe in prayer, pray that you are right. Thanks

  5. Actually, they get snake handling from passages like Mark 16:

    14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

    15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands onsick people, and they will get well.”

    This was probably meant just for the age of the Apostles, as Jesus said this only to the 11 remaining Apostles. Paul’s experience may well have been a fulfillment of this prophecy by Jesus, as he became the 12th Apostle. (Judas was dead by that time.)

      • That’s a lie Malibu Bob. You know it’s a lie, but you just post these inane things with no experience. Bob, I tell you how you can meet God. Travel a few miles from where to live to East LA. Volunteer at the soup kitchen there and help the folks who are really hurting and those helping them. Within a week you will meet God.

        During that week of volunteering, you also will see there are some people who actually believe the Bible means what it says though taken in context, and application, and some do actually live by what they understand.

          • The crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves 😉

          • I was actually being funny bob. Another poster called you a blasphemer because you didn’t capitalize the word Bible. LOL

        • Actually my sister runs a family trust that helps homeless teens in Hollywood. Although I’m not personally involved in it technically it is done with 1/2 my money

      • You are such a liar. What makes you think people on this site believe your stupidity. The Bible speaks for itself; believers don’t have to prove anything to people like you who think you are smarter but in reality you behave like a thug; full of mockery and hate against that which is holy and good.
        2 Peter 1:20-21 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy (Biblical knowledge) was ever made by an act of human will (design, purpose), but men were carried along by the Holy Spirit who spoke from God.
        2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is God breathed, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

        • There is no book which tells of a more infamous monster than the Old Testament, with its Jehovah of murder and cruelty and revenge, unless it be the New Testament, which arms its God with hell, and extends his
          outrages throughout all eternity

          • Well, Bob, your lonely perspective on Christ and God’s Word has already captivated your mind to hell. I would hate to think with your brain. You are being punished already and don’t realize it.

          • You do realize that threating an atheist with hell is like threating an adult that santa won’t bring them xmas presents

      • Actually Archeologist our using the bible Israel and having great success in validating scripture even old testament scripture. It becoming apparent that previous atheist archeologist were either to lazy or were not interested in anything other than to invalidate the bible, and the same can be said with regard to the advancement and promotion of evolution, an ancient religion in various forms even embraced by Socrates , Plato , and Aristotle. Jesus Christ brought us out of the days of true ignorance,and dark ages of false theology.

        • BWAHAHA!!!!!! The Archaeological Evidence for the Bible is Non-Existent! In fact just recently Archaeologists from Israel’s top university have used radiocarbon dating to pinpoint the arrival of domestic camels in the Middle East — and they say the science directly contradicts the Bible’s version of events.Camels are mentioned as pack animals in the biblical stories of Abraham, Joseph and Jacob, Old Testament stories that historians peg to between 2000 and 1500 BC. But Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures say camels weren’t domesticated in Israel until centuries later, more like 900 BC!

          • You seem very reasonable to me. I mean you no disrespect but could you answer me a question that no Christian has been able to answer me? Why is it that religious people can detect fairy tales with complete certainty when those fairy tales come from other faiths, but they cannot detect the fairy tales that underpin their own faith? Why do they believe their chosen fairy tale with unrelenting passion and reject the others as nonsense?

          • I just wrote a post about that to one of your main adversaries.
            Is it any wonder why many young people have turned away from religion and become atheists.
            Many Born Again Zionist Christians wear their religion on their sleeves but spew out more hatred than a serial killer.

            They call abortion murder but suggest that the USA bomb and kill all gays, atheists, Muslims, Arabs and Iranians. I don’t recall Jesus condemning people and encouraging mass murder like the Jews and Zionist Christians do.

            They believe that only their religious sect and Zionist Jews are spared from their wrong doing and have a free pass to heaven, but those who don’t agree with them will be denied eternity in heaven. If they are right, heaven will be very sparsely populated with only their sect and Zionist Jews. The rest of us will be in a fiery pit for all eternity.

            This kind of unreasonable Christian analogy is why many young people turn to atheism. When they see Christian wackos condemning and slandering other people, that also believe in God, but don’t share their identical beliefs, they are condemned as evil non-believers.

            The same serpent worshipers and Zionist loons referenced the brutality of Catholics in the 15th century. Have they forgotten that Christians of their similar sect burned women at the stake for witchcraft and heresy hundreds of years later right here in the good old USA?

          • Well Bob, I think this video explains your sentiments and many educated predisposed to this notion the bible has no credibility. There has clearly been a concerted effort to discount and discredit the bible by an education system that is predisposed to reward atheism on every level. Christian’s are ridiculed and if possible eliminated culled out of our universities. I can attest to this myself from my own personal experience.

            Here is a video link that will clearly prove IMO that the bible is being used successfully to find Archeological evidence that with a doubt supports our Bible. I made this post yesterday but for some reason it was censored so here is a link to a video I think effectively disqualifies Bob’s assertion for anyone the cares.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ_P51kkNZI

      • The old Testament of the Bible is allegorical. But you can’t convince the extreme radical evangelical Zionist Christians of that.

          • I hate to keep repeating myself, but you are one funny guy. You are a classic. I can see why the pseudo, Christian whackos like Raymond and Sandra abhor you.
            Keep em coming bob. You are entertaining.
            My Pastor would laugh with me. He’s not a loon.

    • Do you possibly think the “snakes” being spoken of this passage and by context may have been “unclean spirits”, not literal snakes? That is not to say, that if you are literally bit accidentally, that the LORD would not be there to help you.

      I have been accidentally bitten by rattlesnakes before and with hours of drive to the nearest doctor, but the wound, sucked out as much poison as I could suck, put a tight tourniquet on the wound, and prayed all the way to the doctor. Arrived at the doctor when he was closing up, he asked “What kind of snake bit you?” and I pulled the dead snake out of my bag and said, “This one.” He looked at the wound and area around and it and sent me back home. He wanted to see me again the next day, but there was no problem so I never went back. Happened again in southeast Asia later and in the swamps of south Louisiana after that. Try to avoid them, dispatch them when necessary, don’t be bit by them if you can help it. If you are do what you can do and seek doctor’s attention. I’ve never seen prayer hurt and I’ve seen it help many times.

    • Yes, the Apostles were given special abilities from the Holy Spirit to get the Church Age started like a “calling card” that proved they were of God just like Jesus had the power to heal when He was on earth.

  6. Bill Maher is a Jew who lives to blaspheme Christ and ridicule Christians, but no one ever calls him out as a bigoted Jew. He never ridicules ignorant, radical Jews or even murderous, radical Muslims. Like other Jewish anti-Christians, such as Morris Dees (SPLC) and Mikey Weinstein (Military Religious Freedom Foundation), his energies are always engaged against those who have given him and multitudes of other non-Christians a refuge from persecution, even from their own kind.

        • I know a huge amount of people on the right that not only don’t handle snakes but shoot them and kill them, don’t tolerate them to be around, so what you are you talking about Malibu?

          • Christians see in their religion what they want to see, and deny or despise the rest. They look at
            the content of their religious tradition, its teachings, its creeds, its
            prophet’s proclamations and they basically pick and choose what suits their
            own secular outlook. They see in their faith what they want to see as they live
            their daily lives, and simultaneously ignore the rest

          • ONLY because they refuse to SERIOUSLY Study, taking as Fact what they hear or are told as Traditions of man. That’s the Sad part. Serious Study, what does Scripture actually tell us vs what they think or are told, Etc., etc.
            We are instructed to Study; praying for Wisdom, Understanding, and the Proper discernment of His Words. Since the Bible is Written To, For, & About His Chosen, The Israelite People, (who are not today’s Jews), ONLY, some are confused. He often spoke in parables / riddles before mixed crowds because His words were not intended for everyone’s understanding – but Only for His Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. He instructed His disciples where to go AND where Not to go. Etc., etc., etc.

          • Malibu Bob E– Atheists believe what they want to believe, usually in themselves and no higher power. That is convenient for a short season. You only have to serve others, volunteer to help the soup kitchen, the food pantry, and join together with other volunteers and see their dedication in helping others who are hurting and less fortunate and the LORD will meet you there during your volunteering days, even if it is as short as one week. Just head east and keep driving east until you reach East L.A. I assure you they will be thrilled to have you come and help. Before it is over, you will be thrilled also.

          • Good seeing you my friend. Its whackos like this that give the liberals ammo to condemn us.
            Many of the Born Again Zionist Christians wear their religion on their sleeves but spew out more hatred than a serial killer. They profess to be Christians and condemn abortion as murder but encourage our government to bomb and kill all Muslims and Arabs in the Middle East. I don’t recall Jesus suggesting that.

          • Hello friend,

            Your recall is accurate. Jesus came not to condemn the world, but to save it. Most Christians know John 3:16 but don’t quite remember John 3:17 as well.

            I conducted and preached a funeral back in the late summer of last year in the Washington, D.C. area. It was a last moment request and my wife and I had to drive the distance from south Louisiana to D.C. straight through with a vehicle that acted up along the way. We arrived after the service had begun because the LOCAL police brought us to the wrong funeral home after we told them 3 times the name…but we were not late. Announcements and preliminaries had been made and all were allowed a few minutes for a break, which most of the men took as an occasion for a smoke break outside.

            The funeral was for a young man who tragically and accidentally died and it affected the area very much. Over 500 people were there. Over 450 were Muslims. My subject for the funeral message? Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. What Jesus said, what Jesus did, what Jesus will do for you, etc. Several older Muslims told my wife they heard more about Jesus in that one message than they had heard all their lives. After the sermon that morning, the local Christian book stores sold out of Bibles and we received calls about what church we recommended in the D.C. area (and there are many). We are still hearing from (now former) Muslims in the D.C. area. Jesus did not come to kill them, he came to save them, and obviously He still does.

          • I feel very fortunate to have you as a friend. This is a very heartwarming story. God Bless you. I wish there were more posters on here like you.
            I conducted motivational and recruiting seminars to thousands and thousands of people for over thirty years. I met people of all races and religions. I found some good in nearly all of them. I talked about love, peace and tolerance of others, regardless of their political persuasion or religious beliefs. I had many lifelong friends.
            We have people posting on here from the radical extreme right. They are the born again Christians that believe if you are not of their faith you are condemned to a fiery hell.
            They wear their religion on their sleeves but harbor more hatred than a serial killer. They have condemned Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witness and all religions except their sect.
            They consider abortion a vile murder but want to bomb and kill all Arabs and Muslims.
            Raymond, Sandra, LenYol and few others on here believe that all Jews have a pass to heaven regardless of the crimes they commit and the rest of us will only be accepted in heaven if we conform to their religious beliefs.
            We must allow their preacher, the one with tobacco juice running out of the corner of his mouth, to drag us down to a river in our best Sunday suit and half drown us to be born again.
            If these radicals had their way we would be burning young damsels at the stake for witchcraft.
            I have many young college students visiting me. They go to college with my granddaughter. They read these posts and are aghast at the Christians condemning each other.
            Is it any wonder that many of our young become atheists?

          • I have had to deal with some of that. I pastored a church on a mountain some many decades ago surrounded by snake handling churches. I was a young pastor and minister and was very wet behind the ears. An older pastor and friend telephoned telling me that a nearby church asked if I would come and conduct a service for them. I had “preacheritis” at that time. It is a virus which affects many young preachers. They/we think any invitation to preach HAS to come from God, so we accept it. We don’t pray about it, we don’t ask others for advice, we just accept it, which is what I did. When I walked into the church, I was somewhat startled. I heard them singing, “That Wonderful Name of Jesus” and wearing choir like robes and I thought they could be similar to some Baptists I know.

            Suddenly, the music took a heavy beat and the leader opened a little door in the floor. I was watching intently, and I thought, “That sure is a small baptismal even if they baptize children!” It was not long before I realized it was not a baptismal but as he began to draw his hand out he took out a 6 foot rattle snake. All the church began to chant and sway in unison. One of the “ushers” told me not to become impatient, because the snake would be handed to me soon, and I exclaimed, “You better keep that snake away from me, or you will either have a dead snake or a new door!” Needless to say, they did not hand me the snake. I was so nervous, I think I read a few scriptures and then prayed for everyone and left as quickly as I could.

            Later, I received a telephone call that everyone enjoyed the service so much, they wanted me back the next week, and wondered if I would become their pastor! I was appalled and said I already was pastoring a church and could not pastor two and I was too busy to accept their invitation. As long as I pastored in that area, I kept my machete in my truck…ha!

            There are too many people who judge things they don’t understand and then judge others by their own experiences or what they believe. It is the wrong method of judgment. God’s Word states clearly some things are wrong, and judging others to damnation/hellfire is one thing not given unto us to do. God has had to temper me on various occasions (after being killed by Sikhs in Chandigarh, Punjab, India, shot by the Securitate and with an all-points bulletin for my death in the last days of Ceausescu in Romania and being saved by gypsies, and I laugh at that since my bride of many decades I thought was a gypsy when I first met her! ha., shot with shotguns by Jesuit and Dominican priests in Guatemala and numerous other things such as cancer, aortic rupture, dioxin, and other things God got through my hard head and taught me some things. It is not to my glory, it to His.

            Sometimes we among men, are most miserable. We make ourselves miserable by intolerance, judgmentalism, and our own ignorance. No doubt God in Christ Jesus loves us, but I don’t think he loves all we do and especially does not love all we do to one another. We bring more trouble to ourselves when we do this than any damage we do to others.

          • Excellent commentary my friend. You’ve had an interesting life. Your story is humorous with a happy ending. I would not have enjoyed the service with the snake. I would not have been as diplomatic as you were when they gave you an invitation to return. LOL

          • Friend,

            Thank you for your kindness, but I don’t take credit for that. I was so flabbergasted when they invited me to return and even beyond that to be their pastor, that I think God filled my mouth, while I was just overwhelmed for the moment. When I looked back at the incident a week or so later, I thought of getting my shotgun and doing that snake in, but I quickly realized they would get another rattlesnake and keep going.

            Most of the pastors of most snake handling churches eventually die of snake bites because they often become so jaded and somewhat arrogant about handling the snakes that no longer do they put the snakes to their arms or other parts of their bodies where if the snake bites them there, their accumulated defense/immunity will take over and protect them. Instead they hold the snake to their necks and it just takes one time the snake strikes the vein there and the venom goes immediately to their heart, not giving their accumulated immunity/defense to take over and they are dead. This happened to all pastors of that church before I was there and after I was there. All died by snake bites.

          • I’m sorry but I couldn’t handle the snakes. I have a neighbor that has a pet snake. I refuse to touch it.
            I’m a pretty rugged guy so I don’t really fear much, but I have no love for snakes.
            I guess it comes from my childhood catechism studies about the evil serpent’s and the harpies, etcetera. LOL

          • Here in south Louisiana, we usually “Choot ’em” as one of stars on Swamp People says. I am not a Texan in west Texas where they go one an Annual Rattlesnake Roundup and catch the snakes and eat them. I will eat alligator meat (fried or in sauce piquant), snapping turtle (stew, soup, etc.) but I don’t have a recipe for snake and don’t ever want one.

            A gentlemen wanted once to give me a pair of snakeskin boots and I asked him if I could exchange that for a nice pair of Texas cowhide boots because I just could not think of having snakes on my feet. He laughed and bought me a regular pair of Texas boots instead.

            It is not those literal snakes that bother me the most though. I think we have some two legged snakes in D.C. which need to be ousted as soon as possible.

          • Amen on the two legged snakes. Many years ago I was in Kanas City. The president of the company I was visiting found out I was from Montana so he took me to the largest country western store in the USA. He bought me a pair of the most expensive hand made boots they had. I don’t wear them, but I still have them.

          • That’s what YOU think not what the Bible teaches. Yes, there are many, many Christians who do not know what the Bible says because they don’t take the time to read it or hear it taught by men who have the gift of pastor teacher who know the original languages. I don’t believe in creeds or traditions or any man-made religion; I believe what the written Word of God says and I hope more people will understand that what you say means they better get turned around learn His word and apply it to their life. I am sorry you have met too many so called Christians who are not living by His Word.
            The Bible is God’s own complete and coherent message to man was recorded in perfect accuracy in the ORIGINAL languages of scripture: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. The very words carrying Divine Authorship.
            1 Corinthians 2:14….But the natural man (unbeliever? = you) receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
            2 Peter 1:20-21 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
            Gal 1:12 For I (Paul) neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

        • No, they represent “religion” and Christianity is NOT a religon but a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ through the written Word of God and it doesn’t say to take chances with dangerous creatures to prove a point.

          • It is a mistake to answer this troll, he writes posts only to get people riled. The more aggravated and upset he can get others the better he likes it. It is so obvious that he is one of the little ones of the liberals, he is trying to make it big, with his serpent like posts. They have trained him well with his “pencil” like his master.

    • The Israelites are the Elect or Chosen seedline… Hebrew of old, who are NOT Jews. (See Jewish Encyclopedia – 1925)

    • He was raised Catholic. He says: calling himself an “apatheist” because he thinks religion is so ridiculous that it’s not even worth thinking or caring about–even though his films, numerous comments and critiques, and his show “Real Time with Bill Maher” would indicate that he does, in fact, care quite a bit. This is certainly not the only case of hypocrisy in Maher’s mentality.

      morris dees and mikey weinstein are EXTREME progressive-commie-liberals ..which make them haters of every religion, even their own…except islam! Everyone of those commies bow to islam.

  7. Not sure where the author got his information from, but nowhere in the Gospels (or entire Bible) does it “recommend” holding snakes as a test of faith. Jesus mentioned In Matthew believers would take up serpents — meaning the serpent of antiquity. The corresponding reference in Luke is they will step on them. I am all for talking about the Bible and Jesus, but folks we need to get our facts straight. Fact: Christ died for your sins and rose three days later. All who believe in their heart and confess with their mouth shall be saved.

  8. This is just another reason why my pastor is an educator in the Word and Ways of GOD and not a feel good ear tickler as a number of others are. Get educated or have people like Maher make you look like fools. GOD, in my opinion, will have no fools spending eternity with HIM. Learn how to please HIM. Your future depends on it.

    • better yet TRUST NO MAN LEARN the scriptures as the bible tells us to by asking the Holy Spirit to revel ALL truth to you as you study for yourself. At least if you are going to listen to men then check the scriptures to see that they actually say what is being taught. Too many men teach whet they want to believe or what they have been taught, not what the Holy Spirit teaches.

      • Charlie; It is said that by Faith alone do you please GOD. It is also said that Faith commeth by “hearing” and “hearing” by the Word of the GOD.

        Scriptures say:

        Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some,
        prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

        He gave some, not all, some and my pastor is one of these. My pastor requires everyone, not asks or suggests, requires everyone to double check everything that is taught from that pulpit. Don’t take anything for granted.

        Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the
        work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

        Jesus said: “My sheep know my voice”. When the Word is taught right, the spirit will quicken you and you will ask yourself why you never saw that before because it is so obvious. That is the evidence of a GOD gifted minister dividing HIS Word aright.

      • Follow the example of the Berean Christians. They believed what they were taught but only after they searched the Scriptures to verify it.

      • I believe in reading and studying the Bible under the power of the Holy Spirit but I could never get the full benefit that I have received from my pastor who teaches word by word, verse by verse and explains from the original languages what it mean. If God wanted us to study His Word on our own He would not have given the gift of pastor-teacher to teach a congregation.

    • There will be a lot of “fools” in heaven if they believed in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation. If they went astray, they are disciplined and if they do not turn back to the Lord they will die the sin unto death, lose their rewards but get to heaven because there is nothing we can do to be saved or lose our salvation because Jesus did it all on the cross when our sins were imputed to Him the last three hours on the cross; then He said it is finished and then He died physically. His work was finished and all we have to do is to believe in what He did.
      Acts 16:31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…”
      Hear the gospel, understand the gospel (through the Holy Spirit) and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ.
      Faith alone in Christ alone.

      • I repeat, there will be no “fools” in Heaven. This is what happens to them. They will not get to Heaven. Even in the parable of the sower, Jesus said that there are those that are not meant to see and perceive, hear and understand because they are not intended to be saved. GOD gives the ability to hear and understand to those that HE chose and is augmented by the Holy Ghost. And even some of them will be deceived and become some of those mentioned in the verses below.

        2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of
        unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the
        truth, that they might be saved.

        2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong
        delusion, that they should believe a lie:

        2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed
        not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

        As for belief, that is only part of “Faith”. Faith is an action by grabbing a promise of GOD, believing that it is more true than everything you see around you with the confidence that GOD will bring it to pass. As it is said in Scriptures:

        (Hab 2:4) Behold,
        his soul which is lifted up is not
        upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

        (Rom 1:17) For
        therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is
        written, The just shall live by faith.

        (Gal 3:11) But that
        no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it
        is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

        (Heb 10:38) Now the just shall live by
        faith: but if any man draw back, my soul
        shall have no pleasure in him.

        And by “Faith” alone do you please GOD. The Holy Ghost does not give you “Faith”, He enhances it and helps strengthen it.

        Those who grab hold and don’t let go are those that will get to Heaven. These are not the fools. The closest any of the others will get is to the White Throne Judgement or the Judgement Seat of Christ. Where they will be turned away.

  9. Is this as stupid as jumping off a bridge with a slightly too long rubber band around your ankles? Or jumping out of a perfectly good airplane for a thrill?? Etc., the list is endless.

  10. We are to live by the whole word, not pick out select passages and try to build a religion out of them. There is a passage that also says you can drink poison and not die, I’ve seen some of these snake handlers do that. That is just stupidity. I thought our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. I’d rather take care of my body the best I know how and not temp God or the Holy Spirit.

  11. “A classic example of this narrow selection was Bill Maher’s Religulous. By interviewing some of the most ignorant believers in the world (juxtaposed with carefully selected gaffes from the less ignorant), Maher hoped to make religion (and Christianity in particular) look stupid.”

    Frankly, if you can believe in God in the first place, you can believe in anything. This may, or may not, be stupid, but if God is all powerful, then anything may then be true

  12. “Do not put The Lord your God to the test.” Maybe if he read, and actually understood the Word of God, he’d be alive today.

    • They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:18 KJV . It sounds pretty clear to me.

  13. Hey Mikey, did you actually watch the BG show? The NG could care less about making Christianity look stupid, they were showing “old-time” religion and the history behind it. It was actually a very interesting. The Washington Post ran a similar story and it just so happened the pastor they were writing about also got bit and died. It was to show life back in the Appalachia.

  14. I hope people realize this is not what the Bible teaches. It is False Doctrine and these people will stand before God in judgement. I think they base this belief on Paul being bitten by a snake – when he was shipwrecked – and he didn’t die – which was an accident. Paul picked up some wood for the fire and the snake was in the wood – Paul did not *tempt* God as these people are doing. In Matthew 4 Jesus said Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

  15. Smartgranny, indeed Matthias was chosen by the eleven remaining Apostles to be the 12th, replacing Judas. God, however, chose Paul. I can’t find one reference to Matthias after he was chosen by the 11. However, Paul wrote most of the New Testament, and Paul claimed to be an Apostle. He did fulfill both of the requirements: He encountered Jesus in a physical form (the audible voice on the road to Damascus) and he was especially chosen by Jesus. Annanias then prophesied to Paul, (in Acts 22:14) Then he (Annanias) said: The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One (Jesus) and to hear words *from his mouth.* As a result of these experiences, Paul claimed to be an Apostle. In Galatians 1:1
    Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;…) “not of men…but by Jesus”. Paul realized that the calling of Matthias to be an Apostle was “of men”, but his own Apostleship was “by Jesus”. Being chosen by especially and specifically by Jesus is one of the 2 requirements for Apostleship, anyway, so Matthias could never have really been an Apostle. Obviously, the 11 didn’t realize that, when they chose Matthias. They just felt that they had to replace Judas, so that there would again be 12 Apostles.

  16. The snake was having a bad day but then again I suppose Coots had an even worse day. On that “sleep with dogs, rise with fleas ” comment; my dog doesn’t have fleas but I suppose that’s beside the point.

  17. So, I imagine this maroon failed the test of faith… That was one big assed rattler he was handling in the video. Snakes do not have much of a brain and have no idea what is going on when handled. Usually the snakes are pre-conditioned to the handling. You bet if you grab one straight from the wild it’s going to bite. They won’t become friendly like a pet no matter how much conditioning they are subjected to, they may feel threatened or not, they may bite or not but sooner or later due their unpredictable nature they are going to bite you no matter what some apostle from long ago said. Did Jesus say we should run around handling snakes as a testament of faith? No, he did not…..

  18. it take a thing or two to do such stupid things. 1. basic stupid, 2. ignorance – contributing factors false teaching, believing what men say instead of checking it out yourself, inability to read , and more Paul below has explained where this false teaching comes from and the truth about the teaching so read his post. You will find if you check it out it is basically illiterate folks from the back woods that fall for this foolishness. But then it is not much different than many other false teachings in the main stream churches , the false rapture story, that satan is a fallen angel, give them money so God will give you a little and so on.
    now–Do you think he believes his faith was weak ? or maybe he mis interpreted scripture? where did he go?
    MAYBE THIS will cause some of those teaching false doctrines to look again to see if this be of God??

    • We have all three where I live. I would add alligator snapping turtles and a few other animals, but the most important I would add walk on two feet.

  19. The funniest part of this story is the passage in the bible where these idiots got the idea that they could play with snakes (mark 16) was ADDED by someone LONG after the original gospel was written!!!

        • I’m a Christian but I respect your opinions. The most honorable man I ever met was an atheist. I don’t condemn anyone for disagreeing with me or for having different beliefs.

          • You are much different then most Christians I meet. Personally I don’t have a problem with what anyone believes in. My problem with most religious people is they feel they have the right to deny American citizens equal rights based upon their beliefs.

          • I have a problem with many pseudo Christians. We don’t share the same beliefs. I respect everyone’s right to their opinion.
            We can still be friends regardless of whether someone is a Christian, a Muslim or an Atheist. I have friends of all faiths and most races.
            Many Born Again Zionist Christians wear their religion on their sleeves but spew out more hatred than a serial killer.
            They call abortion murder but suggest that the USA bomb and kill all, Muslims, Arabs and Iranians. I don’t recall Jesus condemning people and encouraging mass murder like the Jews and Zionist Christians do.

          • It is perhaps one of the strangest, most dumb-founding ironies in contemporary American culture.
            Evangelical Christians, who most fiercely proclaim to have a personal relationship with Christ, who most confidently declare their belief that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, who go to church on a regular basis, pray daily, listen to Christian music, and place God and His Only Begotten Son at the center of their lives, are simultaneously the very people most likely to reject his teachings and despise his radical message

          • These Evangelicals of whom you speak, are the same people like Raymond and Sandra. They condemn others of a different faith but go to church every Sunday and believe that absolves them of all the lies, gossip, and other loathsome things they’ve done all week.
            They really got upset with me when I commented that my atheist friend had more honor than they did. Its true, he did, but they will never forgive for that comment.

        • Actually you don’t or you would let the truth set you free. You only read the Bible to make a mockery of it and spew hatred towards those who believe the truth. There is only relativity in your life; no absolutes for living. Believers don’t hate you like you hate believers; we only pray for you since we know your life after death will be far worse because of your rejection of God’s truth.
          Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?”
          God made Him who had no sin to be sin as a substitute for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
          He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
          Whosoever believes in the Son has eternal life; but whosoever rejects the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him. (John 3:36)

    • You do err in not discerning the Word of God! Why do you give heed to the doctrine of demons who diligently work to deceive men? The Word of God is a living spiritual presence and is inerrant. For as the Holy Ghost moved upon holy men of God, the inspired Word of God was written down and He preserved His Word throughout the generations as a testament of Himself! Is it not written that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God? It is also written that the Word became flesh and dwelt among men! (John 1:1,14)

      • How does ANYONE even know what the word of god even is as the bible has been changed sooooo many times that there’s NO WAY of knowing what was originally written because (a) we don’t have an original copy & (b) all the oldest copies we have are different

  20. As my parents taught me never discuss Religion and Politics! They both are very personal and encourage individual thinking. Therefore in the end you will end up in an
    argument. The Preacher is dead and the dead shall rest!

    • If you refuse to discuss politics and religion, then how will you give witness to the Son of God to those who have never known Him? Jesus said that if we are ashamed of Him before men, then he will be ashamed of us (Mark 8:38, Luke 9:26). As to politics and the silence of the masses, allow me to say to you, look at the world in which you live! We have remained silent and the lawless reign with impunity. Many of our political leaders have come to power because the Church has been silenced by lawless rulers who desire not to serve, but to be served. Our present usurper president is a curse upon this nation and its’ people. Yet, many blind Christians voted for him in 2008! Where was their spiritual discernment? Where were their godly principles. Sleeping…obviously! The Lord of Hosts, as in the days of Solomon and thereafter, raised up willful kings and rulers who did evil in the sight of the Lord, because the people had backslidden and turned from Him and the prophets’! A Christian is a watchman on the wall, to give alarm to the City when threatened. If a watchman remains silent in the advent of approaching evil, then the City and its’ inhabitants shall surely perish!

    • I take issue with you concerning Darwinism vs Creationism, for as part and parcel of Darwins theory of evolution, he espoused that a species will evolve from an ape to a man (simplified example). A dog does not evolve into a horse or camel, A frog does not evolve into a chicken. Nor does a man evolve into a God! The true nature of man has NEVER changed! Of course he has transitioned from ignorance to the attainment of great knowledge in these last days of this age, Through this increased knowledge, man has developed more and more toys, modernized weaponry, advanced medical procedures, but the nature of man remains unchanged since his creation! It is written that in the last days (the end of this age) man’s knowledge would be greatly increased (Daniel 12:4). Just in the past 200 years, we find that man has moved from the horse drawn carriage to motorized forms of transportation, including flight into the heavens. The list of new technological advancements is amazing, just in the past few hundred years, and this obviously fulfills biblical prophesy! Barring the advent of our Holy Lord, if man continues on his present course, he will destroy every living thing on this planet, where no living thing will survive. No, the nature of man has not changed since his creation!

      • so Neanderthal man did not change, nor did Cro Magnon,nor will modern Homo Sapiens? absurd! i take it you also do not believe in mutation either?

  21. The untimely death of any man is a sad event and my sincere condolences go out to the family of this man. The Word of God does not espouse or endorse such practices. It is written; “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God”. As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I reject and condemn this ritualistic practice. It is not a practice which our Lord Jesus Christ taught. May God have mercy upon his sol!

  22. Any so called religion where death is tempted as part of the religious practice..is not a religion…but a death cult.

  23. The snake as I see it represents not the animal itself but the method of attack, usually from a hidden and sneaky avenue which I have to know is exactly how one opposed to our God would come from. To glorify a cultish belief such as this is but an idiotic confused confrontation, not at all in adherence with the tenets of God’s laws.

    • Amen to that my friend. A article like this really brings out the religious whackos. I’m a Christian but these radicals scare the bejesus out of me.
      I’m looking for the two worst, Raymond and Sandra, to show up. LOL

  24. Leave bob alone and he might get he heck outta here I will never forgive theat bob for calling me a faggot bob is likly a gay drug dealer. Bob is swine’s crap . He would likely if he had the chance lawless bob would allegedly try to stab my beloved girlfriend.

  25. When Jesus was tempted by the devil he quoted scripture this pastor should have read. ” Thou shall not tempt the Lord your God” Enough said on the subject.

  26. What happened to this man was a direct result of him not being able to discern the scriptures correctly. There’s a whole lot of false doctrine out there. You must study to keep from falling into religion.

  27. The Bible says that Satan took Jesus up on top of the temple in Jerusalem and said, if you are the son of God, throw yourself off and God will send his angles to catch you before you are hurt.

    Jesus’ reply was, “Thou shall not tempt the lord, thy God!”

    In my opinion, snake handling is REAlLLY tempting God.

    • I second that and have no sympathy for the religious whackos. I agree with Bill O’Reilly, ” The extreme right wing Zionist Christian loons are as dangerous as the left wing liberals loons.”

  28. Nice to see that you still can’t fix stupid.

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. Here’s hoping that many more of these morons follow…

  29. anything to discredit Christianity. They the media do not like rules, that is what GOD is to them, the media. An over barring parent that will not let them have any fun. So let the media pick up the snakes and show they are much better at it than the dead man.

    • Amen my friend. These kind of religious freaks are what gives Christianity a bad name and ammo for the liberals to condemn us.

    • I second that. So far your post is the only reasonable one I’ve read. All the fire and brimstone bible thumpers are not much better. The Zionist Christians wear their religion on their sleeves but spew out more hatred than a serial killer.

  30. Today i was reading Psalm 9 for Bible Study and it was saying How God would punish the wicked made me think of many americans

  31. Snake handling celebrity Pastor Jamie Coots didn’t really die of snake bites. He died of the ignorance promoted by his religion; because of his religious beliefs, he refused medical treatment that could have saved his life and died as a result. This is yet another example of the danger and stupidity of religious beliefs.

    • Many Born Again Zionist Christians wear their religion on their sleeves but spew out more hatred than a serial killer. They profess to be Christians and condemn abortion as murder but encourage our government to bomb and kill all Muslims and Arabs in the Middle East. I don’t recall Jesus suggesting that.

      • Jesus might not have said that (mainly because Jesus never existed) but God (who is also a myth) appears to have ordered those who worshipped other gods (such as the Muslims who worship Allah) killed:
        “If anyone, even someone from your own family, suggests worshiping another God, kill them.”
        Deuteronomy 13:6-1
        “If you find out a city worships a different God, destroy the city and kill all of its inhabitants…even the animals.”
        Deuteronomy 13:12-15
        And if we killed all the Muslims in the world, that would eliminate at least 99% of all terrorism.
        The Muslims believe that it is their religious duty to conquer the world………and for Muslims, the end justifies the means.

        • You are one funny guy. I had an atheist friend that was much like you. We disagree on this subject but we had fun debating. He was very intelligent so he was a formidable opponent. We continued to disagree over the years but we never had a cross word. We both had tolerance for each others opinion.

          • I’m a Catholic but I respect your honor. Most of my friends are not Catholics. I don’t choose friends because of their religious persuasion, nationality or politics. I have many friends that are non-believers. If Raymond, Sandra and Evan read this they will run from me as if I were a black cat. LOL
            They already harbor bitter hatred for me. But remember, we can’t hate, but its okay for them to hate, because they have been born again. LOL

          • Religious persuasion and politics are very important when considering who to chose as a friend.
            Islam is primarily a political system and lastly a religion; it is a religion only when it suits its purposes.
            Muslims befriend non-Muslims and allow non-Muslims to befriend them for the purpose of wining their trust so that the Muslims can betray the non-Muslims and take over their country.
            You say that you are a Catholic.
            Why not just be a man?
            A thinking man.
            I was raised in the Episcopal faith.
            But I stopped going to church when I was eight.
            And I eventually came to the inevitable conclusion that there is no God and that all that religious dogma is just a bunch of lies and myths.
            Now I’m just a man.

          • My best friend was somewhat like you. Just before he was ordained as a minister he lost the faith. He’s been through two bad marriages since. He is now an atheist. He took his girl friend, two children and his two dogs and is living somewhere in the north Canadian wilderness. I’m sure he is doing fine and having a great time.

          • “..he lost his faith..” is somewhat misleading. Sounds more like he regained his power of reason and saw religion for the dangerous farce that it is. Not only is your friend probably doing fine, but his wife and children are much more likely to be doing fine in their lives than if he had become a minister.
            I wish that you would have the same experience – although moving out into the wilderness is not necessary; that was a good wish for a good person.

          • If your friend is a great guy, even though he gave up religion, what makes you think that you need your religion to be a great guy? No offense intended, just thought that question would be worth your time to ponder…

          • I respect everyone’s opinion. I was raised a Catholic and still believe in God and Jesus. He respected my religious beliefs just as I respected his atheism. We had the kind of relationship where we even poked fun at each others beliefs without any animosity. Which is how it should be.

          • An opinion is a belief not based on positive knowledge.
            Positive knowledge is knowledge supported by verifiable facts.
            So why is it that you claim to respect anyone’s opinion?
            You were programed to believe in God and Jesus by your parents when you were a very young child and at an age at which we humans are hard-wired to accept anything and everything that our parents tell us without question or careful, critical, objective examination.
            Your parents were programmed to believe in God and Jesus by their parents and on and on.

          • I believe you wrote on here that you were raised as an atheist, a non-believer in God. So there’s very little difference between us. But when we become adults we make these decision’s ourselves. I chose to continue my faith in God, you continued what your parents taught you, not to believe.
            I trust you more than these whacko radical evangelicals. They would take us back centuries. If they had their way we would be burning young maidens at the stake for heresy all in the name of God. Jesus never taught his disciples any of this radical behavior. These people are the very reason many of our young don’t believe in God.
            I like you. You are competitive. LOL
            I’ve been through these same debates many times with my friend.

          • I never wrote on here that I was brought up (not “raised”; you raise animals; you bring up your children) as an atheists. I was brought up in the Episcopal religion but stopped attending church when I was eight.
            My parents were in no way responsible for me becoming an atheist; the steady growth of my ability to think and reason for myself was.
            As the saying goes, “I think, therefore I am an atheist”.
            Interesting that you seem to realize that these “whacko radical evangelicals” intend to “take us back centuries”; too bad that you haven’t realized that all religions hold us back and stand in the way of progress.
            All religions should be left in our distant past with the ignorance that spawned them.
            As for where you wrote that “Jesus never taught his disciples any of this radical behavior”, I strongly suggest that you read the Bible again and pay careful attention to everything it says; many believe that the Inquisition was a severe twisting of Christian beliefs when it was, in fact, an exact expression of Christian beliefs.
            That our young don’t believe in God is the result of the almost infinite power of the internet to spread the truth and facts of reality which have the inevitable effect of dispelling the lies and myths of religion.
            I don’t really see myself as all that “competitive”; I do, however, have a fierce determination to defend the truth against those who would deny it or distort it.
            I will leave you with this thought:
            “It is easy to understand a child’s fear of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light”.

  32. Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy G-d…

    Snake handling….

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Snake handling at Pentecostal Church of God, Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky
    September 15, 1946 (National Archives and Records Administration). Photo by Russell Lee.
    Snake handling or serpent handling is a religious ritual in a small number of Pentecostal
    churches in the U.S., usually characterized as rural and part of the Holiness movement.
    The practice began in the early 20th century in Appalachia, and plays only a small part
    in the church service. Practitioners believe serpent handling dates to antiquity and quote
    the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke to support the practice:

    “And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they
    cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up
    serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;
    they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. (Mark 16:17-18)”

    “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and
    over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt
    you. (Luke 10:19)”

    Another passage from the New Testament used to support snake handlers’ belief is
    Acts 28:1-6, which relates that Paul was bitten by a venomous viper and suffered no harm:

    “And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called
    Melita. And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they
    kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain,
    and because of the cold. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks,
    and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and
    fastened on his hand. And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast
    hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a
    murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth
    not to live. And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
    Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead
    suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come
    to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.”

  33. What’s the old saying? ” play with fire and you’ll get burnt “.
    Now if I was into this particular religious group, which I’m not, I would say if he got bit, he must have lost his faith? … right?
    Isn’t that what the holding of the poisonous snake was all about, a test of your faith?
    Well, I’m sorry the man is dead but look on the bright side, he died doing what he enjoyed. And he wasn’t a radical whack job Muslim/Islamic that wanted to hack your head off if you didn’t believe as he did.
    RIP Jamie Coots
    Just my 2 cents worth.

  34. This sect, as so many before them have done, took a few verses out of their proper context, built a doctrine around them, and because of it, MANY of their congregants have died. Worse, the families of those people who died were “saddled” with the burden of blame that the dead person’s “faith” was too weak, when in fact the problem was more likely that it wasn’t God’s intention for him or her to be playing with snakes in the first place, and such deliberate tempting of God’s providence is, in itself a sin! The verses intend only to tell us that when we are sent by God for His purposes, He will protect us from hazards.
    Mr Minkoff suggests that “regular” Christians should be the examples followed, but I suspect most that would be identified as “regular” wouldn’t be found to be followers of the Jesus of the Bible at all; but of a distorted social “gospel” that’s being preached in the majority of churches, devoid of the power of God and His Son entirely. In too many of them the Gospel of repentance of sin and of salvation by grace through faith has been entirely abandoned.

    • Many Born Again Zionist Christians wear their religion on their sleeves but spew out more hatred than a serial killer.
      They call abortion murder but suggest that the USA bomb and kill all, Muslims, Arabs and Iranians. I don’t recall Jesus condemning people and encouraging mass murder like the Jews and Zionist Christians do.
      Once again by your post, “Christians should be the examples followed, but I suspect most that would be identified as “regular” wouldn’t be found to be followers of the Jesus of the Bible at all; but of a distorted social “gospel” that’s being preached in the majority of churches, devoid of the power of God and His Son entirely. In too many of them the Gospel of repentance of sin and of salvation by grace through faith has been entirely abandoned.” You still preach that those of us that disagree with your sect and religious philosophy are condemned to a fiery pit for all eternity. LOL

      • Abortion IS murder; and I haven’t called for anyone to be bombed! If you want to complain about others’ statements do it to them. And it’s not “my” sect; it’s what the BIBLE says constitutes a follower of Jesus’ Way; not what the RCC priests or any other clergy claim that counts, whether you like that or not! Many don’t and that’s their personal problems. DO NOT put words into my mouth claiming I said them and don’t keep carping on your same old complaints. It’s really tiresome.

      • Why do you slander your fellow Christians, if you are one? Is it really your right to define the beliefs of others? Please stop trying to be better, and just be good.

        • You have that wrong sister. They have slandered me and all religions except their own cult. Read the other posts by them.

          • To be patriotic, hate all nations but your own; to be religious, all sects but your own; to be moral, all pretenses but your own…

          • These evangelicals stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel even if they commit heinous crimes, but want to kill all Arabs and Muslims who haven’t done a thing to them. I forgot they also want to kill all Catholics, Mormons and Jehovah Witness. LOL

  35. Don’t use snakes or any other animal to prove your faith in God .
    God want’s us to come directly to him with prayer and adoration ..That’s all …
    And don’t temp His patients with circus show . That’s ridiculous and insulting ..

  36. WOW !!! I seen Obama’s picture just below the snake man’s picture, and did I get excited. But then I

    got thinking ……… If a poisonous snake bit Obama, would not Obama’s blood be more toxic than that of the

    snake , which would certainly kill the snake. My logic is that Obama spews poisonous information to

    the citizenry of this great country ……………… am I misinformed ???

  37. I know… I think i lost my temper. I felt like Bob was specifically cyberstalking me i reacted in a bad way and lost my temper. I learned most of the words i said above from explicit rock/pop music i listen to. I am a Christian but none are perfect if all men were perfect Christ would have no needed to die on cross . Men are sinful though even after someone becomes a Christian even though they hate sun they still sin sometimes the sin i struggle with is profanity i can lose my stupid temper when mad and use bad words without thinking .

    • The more we grow spiritually through the study of His Word the less we subject ourselves to our weaknesses and overcome them through the power of the Holy Spirit.
      Psalm 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

    • good response and I can relate. As a Christian I fail miserably in my walk at times but always regret my shortcomings and ask God to give me the will to repent and refrain from unGodly actions. May God show us all mercy and grace now and at the end of our short and sinful lives.

      • We all fail miserably but Jesus has not failed and neither has He ever, nor will He ever fail any of His own. You have been made acceptable and have been reconciled to the Father by Christ and Christ alone,
        God Bless

        • amen and thanks what a joy to get a response that glorifies the Grace of God and not the wrath of the unsaved who as yet have not experienced being broken and enlightened to that glorious mercy and grace only our Lord and Savior can provide.

      • Bob is projecting again in an effort to make his own dysfunctional characteristics somehow ‘normal’.

        Amazingly Liberals will do the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, even when said behaviors are detrimental and ineffective.

      • Have you ever battled with Raymond and Sandra? They are also evangelical whackos.
        If they have their way we will be burning young damsels at the stake. LOL

          • Agreed they are radical. But the worst I’ve encountered in my life is the whacko Raymond. He’s on several sites. Go read his stuff. He’s so far out, he’s funny, if he wasn’t dangerous. These radical evangelicals scare me more than terrorists.
            You write good, humorous stuff. Keep it up, I enjoy it.

    • Although Larry is right, what you said about Bob is largely true, perhaps even a bit reserved.

      Many progressives are bigoted, obtuse, hatred filled, self loathing racists . . . . and Bob is their coffee boy and barrel man .

    • Jesus loves you evan but I believe that you know this. You have just handled the serpent my friend and he bit you and yet you still live. Draw very nigh unto Him in these last days. There are those who wish to take your faith by stomping you into the dust. The Lord will uphold you with the right Hand of His righteousness but be strong watchful and vigilant. Serpents come in all forms brother but you have not become sick by the poison they spew as I can see from your statement of faith above. Hold to that one very dear truth as never before gird up your loins because the battle will be fierce but you will have victory only in the cross,
      God Bless you and keep you above the things of this world.

  38. Many Born Again Zionist Christians wear their religion on their sleeves but spew out more hatred than a serial killer.
    They call abortion murder but suggest that the USA bomb and kill all, Muslims, Arabs and Iranians. I don’t recall Jesus condemning people and encouraging mass murder like the Jews and Zionist Christians do.
    They believe that only their religious sect and Zionist Jews are spared from their wrong doing and have a free pass to heaven, but those who don’t agree with them will be denied eternity in heaven. If they are right, heaven will be very sparsely populated with only their sect and Zionist Jews. The rest of us will be in a fiery pit for all eternity.
    This kind of unreasonable Christian analogy is why many young people turn to atheism. When they see Christian wackos condemning and slandering other people, that also believe in God, but don’t share their identical beliefs, they are condemned as evil non-believers.
    The same serpent worshipers and Zionist loons referenced the brutality of Catholics in the 15th century. Have they forgotten that Christians of their similar sect burned women at the stake for witchcraft and heresy hundreds of years later right here in the good old USA?

      • Who have I slandered? Read their posts. If these whacko born again Christians have their way they will be burning young damsels at the stake for witchcraft. If you’re a woman, you should be afraid of these cults, not defending them.

  39. I don’t know why they think they have to handle poisonous snakes to prove their allegiance to God. The Bible also says not to tempt the Lord.

  40. Jordan you may believe what you want -don’t twist my words-many apes remain apes and never evolve.if you knew anything about biology you would know that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,which tends to support the evolutionary theory.the idea you cannot believe in Christ or God if you believe in evolution is ludicrous

    • Anyone can believe anything, if they choose to. However, it is impossible to believe in the Biblical account of creation as well as evolution. The plain language of the Bible forbids it, even if apologists use sophistry to finesse their position. Also, if you are an adherent to the scientific method, there is no basis for “belief” in evolution. It is every bit as much a metaphysical belief system as any religion. One chooses to “believe” in one account or the other, but there is actually more evidence for Biblical creation.

  41. An old Thai adage: “Snake handle will die from snake bite.” and “If you beat snake you have to kill it, don’t ever beat snake just only to break its back.” Snake do have revange and ungrateful if you just broke its back, its always came back and kill you.

  42. “drawn from a couple passages in the Gospels, that recommends holding venomous snakes as a test of faith.”
    Nowhere in the Bible does it recommend that people handle snakes. God has the ability to protect from the effects of snake bite or other poisons, but doing something stupid to show off is not advocated by the Bible.

  43. It is possible to find uneducated atheists. But given that atheists are normally better educated than the general public, it would be more difficult to find an uneducated one. But not an uneducated theist. They are all over the place. Can’t swing a rattlesnake without hitting one.

    • Where on earth do you get the idea that atheists are better educated than ANYONE else? And how do the ignorant define “education”? Would they perhaps refer to the dumbed down indoctrination of the public school system as “edumacation”? It would seem that there are far too many people (and they aren’t all Christian) who unjustifiably consider themselves mentally or spiritually superior to others. Humility and love are the foundational values of Christianity. Nothing else matters, really.

      • A new survey of American religious knowledge, released by the Pew Forum, which demonstrate that atheists and agnostics know more about religion than the religious do. The only religious groups comparable to atheists in general religious knowledge are Jews and Mormons. Atheists even know more about Christianity than American Christians.

        Atheists and agnostics, like Jews, are much more highly educated than the general American public, and the survey found a strong correlation between level of education and religious knowledge (among the religious as well as the nonreligious).

        Now, this does not mean we are right on our views. However, it does show that we are basing our views on researched information, not simply dismissing faith out of hand.

        http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/spirited_atheist/2010/10/atheists_know_more_about_religion_than_the_religious.html

        • Leftists love to quote “research” as though it is scripture. I guess, in a way, to them it is. But this is nonetheless inconclusive and suspect as a grounds for making the sweeping statement that atheists are “well-educated”. All research must be interpreted to yield its purport. In this case, I would need to know the methodology used to reach the declared result. Also, I’d point out that the “educated” atheists are not generally well-educated, but specifically more familiar with the tenets of the Christian faith than professed Christians sampled. I just don’t think you have met the burden for the statement you again made, that atheists are well educated. Quoting an article which makes the unsupported claim “Atheists and agnostics, like Jews, are much more highly educated than the general American public…” does not qualify of proof of the truth of that statement.

          • The information came from the Pew group which is a Christian research center. Not a leftist, just not a believer

  44. Hmmm. Steve Irwin screwed with a sting ray, had a tail barb impale him through the heart.. he died…

    The ‘grizzly’ man who spent his life living with the grizzlies along with his girlfriend were both mauled and eaten (on camera no less).

    And here come’s this guy who thought he’d be immune to a poisonous snake bite from a rattler?

    Coincidences?

    There’s a fundamental lesson to be learned here. F@CK WITH NATURE AND YOU WILL DIE!

  45. Usually I agree with Mr. Minkoff, but I am quite disturbed by his characterization of the outliers of the Christian faith as being mentally disturbed. Of course,the snake handlers are, on my opinion, focusing on an obscure aspect of Bible scripture that distracts from the central message of Christ. However, like other folks who become obsessed with unimportant things (Superbowl Sunday comes to mind) it doesn’t make these people crazy. Far more offensive is denigrating large homeschooling families as though they are an embarrassment, or even the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame. Mr. Minkoff should stand with conservatives and Christians of ALL stripes, not hide his head in shame when the left mocks and ridicules our fellow patriots. When do liberals EVER abandon their own kind, no matter how outrageous the behavior? They defended the murderer Gosnell and never batted an eye when Robert Bird made horrendously racist remarks. Yet, they can always find something about decent people to hate. Why should we allow them to pick us off that way?
    Grow a pair, Michael Minkoff. Maybe the snake handlers are a little unfamiliar to the rest of us, but they are Christians and have done nothing to be ashamed of.

  46. Jesus’ response to the devil quoting a verse to try to get him to throw himself off the temple peak was, it is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord your God. That’s still true today!

  47. Some of the theology here is nuts. According to the bible you guys would interpret “THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL BE MADE FAT” to mean that weight watchers are evil and Budda is blessed.

  48. The great foolishness of both not reading in context, and misapplying such erroneous interpretations.

    Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

    From this (basically) they believe that they will “prove God” by handling poisonous creatures and not come to harm. Of course, they DO come to harm because it is a reality that these creatures are poisonous to humans, and Christian or not, they are still human.

    They could save themselves all sorts of misery if they would simply read the verse in its context, to understand what it means:

    Luke 10:19-20 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

    Were they to read it in context it would be clear that the “serpents” and “scorpions” are allegories of the demonic powers that continually seek to poison the hearts and minds of men. These powers of the enemy and the false doctrines that they teach are as deadly spiritually as scorpions and snakes are to the flesh.

    Trying to use the Apostle Paul’s episode of being bitten by a viper but not dying from the bite (having no ill effects at all) is not warranted. Paul did not seek out a viper in any way to prove anything. Nor did Paul use the event as a teaching moment – he does not refer to Christ’s words and claim anything like “you too can be bitten by vipers and live by the power of God”. In fact the people who witnessed Paul’s (obviously) miraculous escape from harm attributed it to his being a god – further evidence that “snake handling” is not remotely part of God’s plan as it does not bring glory to God.

    Scripture must be used to interpret Scripture – or we become the blind leading the blind. Be noble, as the Bereans, who “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so”

  49. Taking the Bible at its word:

    Mark 16:14:18 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    Using literal historical hermeneutics and context to determine application and relevance:

    – The 11 (remaining apostles, Judas having betrayed Jesus) were given the great commission to go and preach the gospel to every creature

    – Those that believed were to be baptized. Elsewhere in scripture we gain understanding of this baptism, that it is a visual sign of the association/immersion into our relationship with Christ, his sacrifice, and His glory. It is not a requirement of salvation but a command to obey as proclamation of the belief.

    – Those that the 11 preached to and who believed would do marvelous signs, including: casting out devils; speaking new languages (that they had not before been known to speak); taking up serpents (unlike in Luke 10, there is no reason here to think these are spiritual powers and demons, but real snakes, which would indeed be miraculous); and protection IF they drink a deadly thing (this is not a command to go drink a deadly thing, but since giving someone poison in a drink was a common way of surreptitiously dealing with enemies in those day, it was a promise of protection against the enemy, even when he warred against them in their human frailty); healing by laying on of hands — and ALL of these not by their own power, not with theatrics, but reverently in the Holy name of the eternal God-Man Messiah, Jesus.

    – It does not say, nor does it imply that all believers everywhere would do any or all of these things – just those that the 11 preached to and who believed – as a testimony to this one they had never heard of Jesus, the Christ of God, and the good news of salvation through his atoning death and resurrection

    It is pretty well established by empirical evidence that Coots and others who think that passage means to go out, and run a theatrical tent/barn meeting where they get people all pumped up as they handle snakes, enticing them to bite and purposely drink known poisons thinking that God will protect them as proof of their belief…are horribly mistaken. The number of people practicing this who are injured, maimed, and killed as a result of the practice are proof that they have misunderstood what God was doing, and that God is not doing that now. Could it be that this was meant for that time, before the Good News and tenets of the body of Christ, the church, were written down? Could it be, that today, in a world in which the claims of Jesus are already known and the name of Jesus is demoted to an epithet and curse, that the written Word of God serves as the recorded and verified proof, and that the signs and wonders do not any longer take place among an unbelieving generation as Matt 13:58 says “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”

  50. having a biology background, I was partial to nat. geo., even monetarily sponsoring their products, until the day I learned their main intent is to preach evolution to the unsuspecting higher rust. No wonder they’re such a big organization, since the enemy of our creation always wants too maximize his converts..

  51. shysters like these have been cashing in on hillbilly’s for decades. someone just forgot to extract the venom from the snake before he went on stage.

  52. Sorry Minkoff, but I was born and raised by the very same Christians you seem to think are stupid fringe cult followers, and you are wrong. They are warm, loving, intelligent people who happen to believe ridiculous things for emotional reasons. They are, more or less, mainstream Christians and there are many. What this guy had was conviction, misguided as it was, just like the Westboro Baptists.

  53. By handling a venomous, deadly snake in the manner that he did is like putting a loaded gun to your head and pulling the trigger. Suicide should be the reason for death on his death certificate. Stupid man.

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