Snake Handling Service/ Church: Ever been to one?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Vasco, May 10, 2006.

  1. Vasco

    Vasco
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    I was just curious as to what it was like? I've seen it on TV, news shows, but it will be presented with a slant, one way or another, was curious to know if anyone here had been to one and what it was like.
     
  2. SpiritualMadMan

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    No!

    And, I never intend to, either!

    When Paul handled the snake it was accidental and he recieved no ill effect...

    Acts 28:3 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.


    I have no doubt that the possibility exists that if I am doing what God has called me to do and stumble upon a poisonous snake, despite my best effort to the contrary, that God could protect me from the effects of snakebite...

    However, we are also told not to put our God to the test...

    Matthew 4:7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

    Luke 4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

    As a Pentecostal, myself, I find these exhibitions dangerous and not scriptural...

    SMM
     
  3. Chemnitz

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    The only good snake is a dead snake. You wouldn't catch me anywhere near one of those churches.
     
  4. Dustin

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    I agree with Chemmy and SMM, no snakes.
     
  5. rbell

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    OK, brief hijack.

    This spring break, our students and I did some ministry work locally. At the day's end, we were putting the rakes, gloves, etc. back in the shed behind our church. One of my older guys were helping me.

    Right as we stepped out of the shed, we heard some rakes fall down. It made us look back.

    There had been a FIVE-FOOT MOCCASIN DIRECTLY ABOVE OUR HEADS IN THE RAFTERS OF THE SHED.

    It fell down RIGHT WHERE WE HAD BEEN STANDING and took off for the back of the shed.

    My wonderful, godly high-schooler jumped back and said, "EDITED FOR CONTENT!"

    OK, not really THAT phrase. But I bet you know what he said.

    I turned and looked at him...and he realized what he said. He went completely white.

    I looked at him for a second, and responded (shoot me if you wish):

    "No thank you. Already did."

    I then told him that...God does want us to watch our language, but if a five-foot poisonous snake falls on the spot you were standing three seconds earlier, then if He ever gave a "free pass," it was then.

    Tried to catch the snake to kill it (I don't kill non-poisonous ones; but this was, and it was at church!) but it got in a corner away from us...and then found its way out. (but we got a good enough look to know it was a moccasin. A large one at that).

    Found the skin last week in that shed. The skin's over four feet long!
     
  6. Claudia_T

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    I lived in Texas most of my life and one day came home to find a water moccasin sitting there on my front porch.

    Then one night we went for a walk down our drive at another house out in the country and there was this very small shed we walked by. Something sounded just like in those trees where you hear those locusts things making the whirling noises... but when we looked and this huge rattlesnake was coiled up in that little shed ready to strike. We got a gun and shot it.

    But snakes were a regular occurrence there, like you'd be driving along on a country road and they'd come slithering across the road right in front of you.

    I hate snakes.

    We used to have a saying out there with I guess it was coral snakes... "Red on yellow, kill a fellow" "red on black, good for Jack."

    That way you could remember if you got bit by one, if you needed to hurry on up to the doctor's or not.

    Thats why just about everybody in Texas has a gun.

    Snakes. Scorpions and Horny Toads.
     
  7. Claudia_T

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    but anyway when Jesus said you would be able to pick up snakes and scorpions and they wouldnt hurt you, He didnt intend on you going out and finding them..

    just like when Satan told Jesus to go jump off the building and he quoted scripture saying the angels would catch Him ... Jesus replied thou shalt not tempt the Lord your God..

    Meaning we should not go around purposely getting ourselves into a dangerous situation and expect God's going to save us.

    These snake handling churches, people die from getting bit then they say its because they didnt have enough faith,,, when in reality, its just because they were stupid.

    Claudia
     
  8. D28guy

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    I've never been in a snake handling meeting but the banjo player in my band has.

    A couple of things he told me is that nobody has to have anything to do with the snakes if they dont want to. And also, the only people who have anything to do with the snakes are ones who feel very very certain that God has anointed them to handle them.

    He tells me he has seen people who were clearly bit by snakes (that he observed close enough to know that they were poisionous) and they were not harmed in any way.

    Personally, I believe it is tempting God and I want nothing to do with it. Paul was accidently bit in the book of Acts.

    I will say however, I have met some of these people, not during the service mind you :D , and I can say that generally they are not a bunch of lunatics and weirdos. They are sincere godly people who have a rock solid faith in their God, and His trustworthiness.

    Again, I dont think its proper to do what they are doing at all. All I'm doing is trying paint an accurate picture of these brothers and sisters, in contrast to the looniness that many times they are portrayed as being.

    Mike
     
  9. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    An ignorant Limey writes: sorry, but what is a snake-handling service? Is it some kind of mixture of paganism and Christianity? We don't seem to have that kind of thing over here :confused:
     
  10. D28guy

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    Matt Black,

    in some parts of the USA, particularly in the southeast, appalachians, southwest, and the deep south there are some fundamentalists groups who take this scripture very literally...

    "And these signs will follow those who believe: In my name the will cast out demons, they will speak in other tongues, they will take up serpents, if they drink anything deadly it will not hurt them, and they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.

    Of course those things do in fact mean just what they say, they should be taken literally, and things of that nature have been going on for 2000 years now for Gods people.

    But these folks, in their very sincere faith in Gods trustworthiness, have developed the semi-regular practice of deliberatly picking up poisionous snakes and handling them, even allowing themselves to be bitten if the snake so desires.

    As my friend has shared, he has seen people receive very substantial bites by poisionous snakes and have no negative reaction at all.

    However, there have also been times when these folks have been bitten and unfortunetly died.

    These are isolated fringe groups of fundamentalists, and there arent many of them. The vast majority of fundamentalist groups in these parts of the US, although sometimes very legalistic in their theology, understand that we are not to tempt God in this way.

    These ones who do deliberatly pick up serpents have many wonderful qualities both personally and as fellowships, but the snake handling is one area where most believe they are in great error.

    Here is an excerpt from a National Geographic article, with a link to the entire article...

    Link

    God bless,

    Mike
     
  11. Matt Black

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    Ah. I see. So they actually practise Mark 16 as part of some kind of liturgy or ritual, then?

    We definitely don't have such groups over here...it may of course because we have only one poisonous species, the adder (viper), and they tend to be pretty dopey most of the time.
     
  12. D28guy

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    Matt,

    I dont know if I would go quite that far. These are *pentecostal* meetings, after all. Pentecostal meetings tend to be quite free and open, with testifying, prophesying, and laying on of hands, extended singing as God leads.

    Other than the time for music...however long that might go, its never pre-arranged regarding how long it goes...and the time fro preaching and teaching, everything else is very "open ended".

    Singing goes on however long it goes on(short or long), preaching goes on however long it goes on(short or long), testifying can be 2 or 3 folks, or 20 or 30...however the Spirit leads.

    Very very little is pre-ordained as a liturugy or ritual usually is. The non-denominational fellwship I attend is pentecostal, and they are my favorite type of meetings. I find them exceedingly uplifiting and profitable from a spiritual point of view.(my fellowship does not handle snakes, by the way) ;)

    But I guess you could say that the snake handling in those fellowships is ritualised, in that they pick a certain day for it to occur, so the folks will know.

    Mike
     
  13. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    I attended a Pentecostal church for 6 years, but never experienced any hint of that kind of thing!
     
  14. Vasco

    Vasco
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    interesting replies, thanks..
     
  15. SpiritualMadMan

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    Matt,

    Just so you know...

    It's only a small sub-sect that does this, IMHO, nonesense...

    Most Pentecostal and Charismatic churches think it's a 'bad' practice.

    SMM
     
  16. EdSutton

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    No doubt, you are somehow related to "the Fat Broad" in the "B.C." comic strip! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Ed
     
  17. EdSutton

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    I once heard a joke about a Baptist preacher who was invited by a friend to a church meeting, and was invited to sit on the podium with him, which he did. As the 'service' progressed, at some point into the meeting, boxes were brought out from under the seats, and the snakes were in them, and were taken out of the boxes.

    The Baptist announced to this friend, "I'm leaving! Where is the back door?"

    The friend said, "They don't have one."

    The Baptist said, "Well uh, where do they want one?"

    :eek: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Ed
     
  18. TheWinDork

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] I almost fell outta the chair laughing, when I read this. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Poor kid! You're lucky he didn't pee his pants, I know I would have! :eek: :eek:

    I ain't much a fan of snakes!

    [​IMG]
     
  19. EdSutton

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    I ain't much a fan of snakes!

    [​IMG]
    </font>[/QUOTE]I believe the late former President of the USA, Richard Nixon was reported on transcribed tapes to have said "Expletive Deleted!"

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Ed
     
  20. Brother Bob

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    Sure glad God at least gave us that choice!!!! Wonder why the Baptist preacher chose to run and the others didn't? :D :D [​IMG]
     

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