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Snake handlers give some
Christians the creeps

Los Angeles Times, by Michael McGough

Original Article

Posted By:StormCnter, 2/18/2014 5:57:17 AM

There’s a fair amount of snark online Monday about Jamie Coots, the Pentecostal pastor and reality-TV star who was fatally bitten by a snake he was handling in over-literal adherence to 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.”) An atheist website offered this tasteless observation: “Pentecostal preachers are among the most poisonous creatures on Earth, but every once in while they bump into things even more venomous.” But even fellow Christians are finding fault with Coot for misinterpreting Scripture

      


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: Not your typical New Yorker, 2/18/2014 6:38:08 AM     (No. 9736629)

Oh puleeeze! What does the LA-Times know of..."Christians"?

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Lawsy0, 2/18/2014 6:54:48 AM     (No. 9736645)

Like rational people everywhere, most Christians know that handling ´on purpose´ any deadly snake is foolish, especially if for exhibition. But, scorn all Christians at your peril.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Periwinkel, 2/18/2014 7:04:56 AM     (No. 9736657)

I remember a sermon not long ago with the message that Christians should not try to judge the faith of another Christian. Judging the faith is God´s job. That is a fairly good rule of thumb.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: philsner, 2/18/2014 7:09:54 AM     (No. 9736661)

You can have faith in God´s Word, or faith in liberalism.

That isn´t a difficult choice.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: MamaD, 2/18/2014 7:24:24 AM     (No. 9736679)

There may be about 500 of these "snake handlers" in total, but the media likes to make it seem they´re a significant part of the stream of American Christianity.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: M2, 2/18/2014 7:27:31 AM     (No. 9736684)

Where to begin?

...Jesus links Satan and serpents, proclaiming: “In my name shall they cast out devils;...they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.”

"In my name" is the operative phrase: Because God sees into the heart of every man, He knows if that snake handling preacher was puffing himself up (cough) or trying to glorify God. You don´t work "in God´s name" or glorify Him by deliberately messing with poisonous snakes and testing God on man´s schedule.

Yet the eyebrows of plenty of sophisticated Christians were raised when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia affirmed in an interview last year that he believed in the devil.

Satan and his followers are real. That the writer of this piece implied that a "sophisticated" Christian wouldn´t believe Satan exists is revelatory: "Satan´s greatest victory is convincing people he doesn´t exist." -- (attributed to Beaudelaire)

Where to begin?

...Jesus links Satan and serpents, proclaiming: “In my name shall they cast out devils;...they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.”

"In my name" is the operative phrase: Because God sees into the heart of every man, He knows if that snake handling preacher was puffing himself up (cough) or trying to glorify God. You don´t work "in God´s name" or glorify Him by deliberately messing with poisonous snakes and testing God on man´s schedule.

Yet the eyebrows of plenty of sophisticated Christians were raised when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia affirmed in an interview last year that he believed in the devil.

Satan and his followers are real. That the writer of this piece implied that a "sophisticated" Christian wouldn´t believe Satan exists is revelatory: "Satan´s greatest victory is convincing people he doesn´t exist." -- (attributed to Beaudelaire)

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Reply 7 - Posted by: M2, 2/18/2014 7:27:48 AM     (No. 9736685)

...continued

The writer gives the reader two choices: Miracles and supernatural events in Biblical times rarely happen today. Or, there is no such thing as the supernatural. It´s a false choice: Miracles happen on a regular basis today, as any praying Christian knows. We see them. Non-Christians see coincidences.

More to the point about Satan, or "the devil", is that he is wildly successful (for now) for two reasons: One, evil rarely comes in ugly packages. It is usually packaged as attractive, seductive and harmless. Two, God, through common grace, restrains the amount of evil on earth that man is actually capable of, although when one looks at Washington, it´s hard to believe that.

Finally, there are Christians like this Pentecostal snake-handler who are determined to not just misinterpret the Scriptures, but to make themselves the beneficiaries of adulation (and money) by naive personality-cult congregants.

Christianity is full of these preachers. They run TV shows, small churches and mega-churches. Some sell a lot of cynical books and make millions of dollars annually off ignorant Christians, much as liberals are taken in by smooth-talking slicksters in politics.

Being a Christian does not give one the right to be stupid.

...continued

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Reply 8 - Posted by: RosietheObserver, 2/18/2014 7:35:00 AM     (No. 9736695)

If Jesus said there are demons, then I believe there are demons. I believe every word He said.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Grace Veritas, 2/18/2014 7:56:45 AM     (No. 9736710)

Want to see how other-worldly Christians of all stripes seem to a worldling? Then this is the article for you.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: skedaddle, 2/18/2014 8:39:51 AM     (No. 9736767)

The article does show the difference between Christians and non-believers. A man dies from what many consider a foolish act and the atheists reaction is to spew hate.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: donnaclaire, 2/18/2014 9:03:18 AM     (No. 9736798)

I´m a Christian and, yes, these bizarre groups definitely give me the creeps. I don´t think I´m part of a tiny minority though. Think most are creeped out by the snake handlers, etc. Can´t stand the ´theatrical´, screaming, bawling, jumping, running, dancing preachers out there. They have a lot of ´followers´, but it´s beyond me as to why. But….call me crazy if you want.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: grace1798, 2/18/2014 9:28:40 AM     (No. 9736837)


IF The Lord specifically tells you to do that, and then it works for saving souls for Christ 95% if the time, then it may be from the LORD but if you are just doing it to prove God chose you or loves you or whatever, you will get Bitten. How dumb and how offense to The Lord. It´s a stumbling stone and Paul warned that we not be that way in his letters to us. I am not sure if he was just dumb or if he was a tare...and you know what tares are. We have to be wise and realize that Satan comes as an angel of light as well as the fact that many Christians weak in the faith can be and have been stumbling stones because they are led by their emotions over and above The Lord´s leading and Scripture.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: jt26, 2/18/2014 9:57:59 AM     (No. 9736877)

Some?

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Reply 14 - Posted by: KingBubo, 2/18/2014 10:05:05 AM     (No. 9736886)

Don´t test God.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: tennman, 2/18/2014 10:15:11 AM     (No. 9736900)

I´ve known about this sect (cult if you wish) for over 35 years - used to work in a film lab and we had some documentary films come through on them. These peope are nuts. They base their faith on a couple of verses saying faith is tested by handling serpents and drinking poison.

People of faith know better. You can´t base your faith on a couple of passages.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: bighambone, 2/18/2014 10:31:02 AM     (No. 9736932)

The headline should read that they give 99.999% of Christians the creeps and not just some Christians!

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Bazi, 2/18/2014 10:32:44 AM     (No. 9736935)

IMO,two equally stupid and misguided people: Jamie Coots and Steve Irwin. Steve Irwin "the beloved naturalist" gets accolades for his daring and Jamie Coots gets derision. Both had TV shows and people were entertained by the circus act without a net.

Meanwhile, Coptic Christians are being slaughtered by Muslims in Egypt...and there is no show.

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Reply 18 - Posted by: Not your typical New Yorker, 2/18/2014 10:35:28 AM     (No. 9736942)

You´re crazy.......and wrong.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Calvinesq, 2/18/2014 10:39:10 AM     (No. 9736950)

#14 has it:

Deuteronomy 6:16-17 "You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah. You should diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and His testimonies and His statutes which He has commanded you.."

Matthew 4:7: "Jesus answered him [Satan], "It is also written: ´Do not put the Lord your God to the test.´"



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At a petite 5’3’’, Sage Santangelo may not look like a combat fighter at first glance. But the female second lieutenant has never let that hold her back from pursuing her dream of becoming an infantry officer in the Marine Corps. Growing up, Santangelo found she was always able to keep up with the guys and enjoyed playing hockey on all boys’ teams. But when she joined the Marines, Santangelo found the playing field changed; she was segregated into female-only training units and as a woman, was relegated to less strenuous physical training than her male counterparts. And that’s why,

   

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