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Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, Apr 10, 2011.
Does the Bible teach us (as written in Mark 16) that we should handle snakes to prove our faith?
No it does not. Faith is proven by keeping the commandments.
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him
The only snake handling I intend to do is shoot them.
I'm a farmer, so snakes are very useful to us. Because they eat the bad insects and pests that destroy our crops, I was brought up to appreciate them from an early age. I was also taught to eat them in the Army.
A few years ago, before my mother built a home on our farm and moved here full time, I was visiting her and doing some chores for her at her house in town. She was sick and so I offered to come and help her around the house.
I took her dog for a walk along the beautiful creek that runs through her neighborhood when I heard a scream. I ran to see if someone had been hurt and needed help, when I saw a woman screaming and poking a shovel under her porch at a six foot black snake.
I asked her not to kill it, to let me catch it and let it go, instead.
So I crawled under her porch and got it and when I came out, there were four or five children standing there and they were all backing away and making the faces children do when they see something they think is "gross".
I asked the children if any of them wanted to pet him and, naturally, they didn't want any part of it. I explained to them that this was a good snake and wouldn't hurt them, how he helps us by eating bugs and mice and rats that would otherwise come into our homes and eat our food and make us sick.
Eventually and very tentatively, they did pet him and the first thing each child said was "I though he'd be slimy". That's a very common misconception people have about snakes.
I showed them how he "smells" the air with his tongue, how he moves by lateral undulation and what we call concertina locomotion, and how he unhinges his jaw to swallow very large prey.
We then took him to the creek and let him go. The good news is that I don't think they'll be afraid next time.
If it's a poisonous snake and you're in immediate danger, then by all means, kill it if you have to.
But if it's not, then chances are it's very beneficial. Snakes are our friends.
I'm with JDF.
Snakes are useful creatures. I have a nice little corn snake in my house and handle him all the time (though corn snakes aren't in the least poisoness). when he gets loose the first place he heads is the fireplace because swallows nest in the chimney every summer. He's headed for lunch!
He's not slimy in the least, but more of a velvety feel only cool instead of warm. The gross part is feeding him the mice. Mice are NASTY!
As far as the OP, no, its not an act of faith when I pick up my snake and NO I wouldn't prove my faith by picking up a poisoness snake. I believe the passage in Mark applied to the time of the apostles (remembering Paul and viper) and wasn't a proof of faith as much as a sign of God's blessing.
Same here. I have a king snake that travels about my property and certain times of the year he (or one of his relatives) can be found on my carport or close to my house. I still get the willies, but I leave him (or her) be. They eat the poisonous snakes and vermin around here such as rats.
I found this on another thread, what are your thoughts...
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.
Doesent that sound like a command?
faith is a work.
1Thess 1:3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;
2Thess 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power:
We are to obey the Scriptures....
No it is not a command. It is a statement of fact. If you notice the verse prior speaks about speaking in new tongues and Paul makes it clear not all speak in tongues. So like said it is not a command.
I'll shoot them because last September a 36 in. copperhead bit my 15 lb. dog literally right outside my front door. My dog almost died and it took him weeks to recuperate. His leg is permanently scarred.
If my dog hadn't been in front of me, the snake would have bitten me.
But the next one I see, I'll shoot it and send it to you for dinner! :laugh:
As my departed Dad used to say;
"Only two kinds of snakes I'm afraid of - a BIG 'un and a LITTLE 'un."
I'm not quite this extreme, but I sure don't invite any of 'em in for coffee!!
I don't like snakes. When I was 14 years old I was bitten on the second toe of my right foot by a water moccasin as my friends and I were playing soccer barefoot in my neighbors yard. I must have stepped on him as I was running and he snapped at me, as he only got me with one fang on the bottom of my toe. I have heard some say you can be bitten by a snake and not know it, but I sure knew. It was extremely painful and made my whole leg burn like fire.
This bite made my foot turn black, my toes looked like charcoal. Go to Google Images and search water moccasin bite to see how serious these bites are. My treatment was a tetanus shot and I had to take penicillin for over a month. I couldn't wear a shoe for several weeks, just a sock, and all my friends would purposely step on my foot at school. They got a big kick out of that.
Anyway, there is no way you are going to get me to handle a poisonous snake, and I don't especially like the non poisonous ones either. I stay away from them all!
You go girl! :thumbs:
So for the sake of arugment, we will assume it is not a command - is it wrong to handle snakes to prove your faith?
I think that it alludes to faithful living without fear. The fear of snakes is a strong one and our faith should be service without fear. As to holding them to prove our fearlessness it does nothing but show ones own foolishness or edifies ones own work. It does nothing to show Christ or Christ's edification. You'll note also that the verse in Mark alludes to drinking poison. I don't see any church promoting the drinking of arsenic or strychnine for the proof of faith without fear.
It also is a prediction of Paul's experience on Melita;
1And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. 2And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. 3And 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. 4And 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. 5And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. 6Howbeit 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. 7In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously. 8And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. 9So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: 10Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.
Pal - I will give you my answer at PS! :smilewinkgrin:
Why always the emphasis on snakes?
Why don't we see people drinking HCL or other poisonous substances?
Is that part of the verse left out intentionally?
My first thought is that a church that does practice snake handling (and they also do drink poison) - the snakes could bite anyone - not just the individual holding it - but the poison will not harm someone else unless they actually partake of it.
You should do some googling. In the south, they do drink poison, usually strychnine.
Someone once told me the only good snake is a dead snake. I agree!