Snake handling

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Salty, May 15, 2010.

  1. Salty

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  2. tinytim

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    1) Leave immediately...
    2) No, they should not be illegal, as people have the freedom to not only worship, but make stupid choices...

    While I say this, I am also concerned about children in these services.. I think only 18 yr old and above should be legal, as they are adults... submitting children to venomous snakes should be child abuse.

    I think WV is the only state where snake handling is still legal. That's because we are more freedom conscious than others... :)
     
  3. menageriekeeper

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    Well, the Bible does say something about picking up snakes and not being bitten and I think there is an example of an apostle or disciple who did (can't look things up right now) BUT:

    I believe that ability/protection was proffered only during specific times and under certain circumstances. Off the top of my head I believe this was a protection given to the Early Church during the beginnings of the Great Comission for the protection of those who were certainly going to have enough to worry about without wildlife attacks.

    My two cents without the benefit of coffee!
     
  4. HankD

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    Acts 28:1 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.
    2 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.
    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.
    4 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.
    5 And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.
    6 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.​

    Strange.

    But to answer the O/P : Run, don't walk out the door.

    Yes, I agree with previous poster(s), let it be legal except for children.

    HankD
     
    #4 HankD, May 15, 2010
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  5. Deacon

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    "And these signs will accompany those who believe:
    in my name they will cast out demons;
    they will speak in new tongues;
    they will pick up serpents with their hands;
    and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them;
    they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

    Mark 16:17–18 (ESV)
     
  6. saturneptune

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    No, it should not be illegal as that would be an open door for the government to control other aspects of freedom of religion. That having been said, I agree with Tim, in this country, we have the freedom to make stupid choices. Common sense has to prevail somewhere. There is no spiritual merit to such a ceremony. If they feel that strongly about doing ignorant things and being protected, why not put out one of your eyes like the Bible says to those who lust.

    If I was at a church that brought out the snakes, I would be leaving with haste. I have seen video clips of such services, and as far as I am concerned, those who do such things deserve to get bit.
     
  7. Dr. Walter

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    And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. - Mk. 16:20

    Heb. 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
    4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?


    Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. - 2 Cor. 12:12

    17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
    18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
    19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost
    . - Acts 8



    The first two texts above speak of these things in the FULFILLED sense of prophecy. Mark says "they went" and these things happened. Hebrews says such were confirmed by these things. Paul says that such things were marks of the apostles. Luke says that the apostles communicated such sign gifts to the common laymen through the laying on of their hands and there is plenty of other scriptures to demonstrate this is how such sign gifts were communicated to the Corinthians and to others (Acts 19:6; Rom. 1:11; 2 Tim. 1:6).

    In the first 6 chapters of Acts such sign gifts and miracles was restricted to the "hands" of the apostles (Acts 2:43, 4:33; 5:12; 6:6)

    When the Apostles died, so did the ability to convey such miracles, signs and wonders. When the last living Christians upon whom apostlic hands had been laid died so did this phenomena.

    What we have today is the common variety of "esctatic" utterances and new age healing techniques.
     
  8. Jon-Marc

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    I would leave since in my opinion the only good snake is a dead one. Handling poisonous snakes isn't faith, it's foolishness. Nowhere in the Bible does it say anything about handling snakes during worship service. In Acts 28:3 a viper latched onto Paul, and he just shook it off--so that tells some people they can handle deadly snakes and not be harmed. I do remember Jesus telling His disciples that if they did encounter deadly snakes that they wouldn't be harmed by them, but I can't find that verse. That verse is where they get the idea of handling snakes during worship service. People tend to take one or more verses completely out of context and build a religion around them.
     
  9. Martin

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    ==I don't think this is a joking matter. Snake handling churches have many doctrinal problems. So it is a very serious matter.

    ==I would probably watch in absolute amazement, ask a lot of questions, then leave and never go back.

    ==No.

    An excellent study on this was done by Dennis Covington in his book "Salvation on Sand Mountain" (LINK). It is certainly an eye opening book.

    Btw, I found a youtube video of the church that Covington studied in his book. You can find it here.
     
  10. HankD

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    Mark 16
    17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
    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.​
     
  11. Bob Alkire

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    There was a show on TV about a church handling snakes around Sand Mountain, Al. and there use to be a few in Tn. if I recall correctly (maybe Clinch River or something near that name).
    No, they should be able to do as they see fit.
    But I'm more like Windy Bagwell, their isn't a selfish bone in my body, so I let you handle the one that is offered to me.
     
  12. Crabtownboy

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    These verses do not appear in the oldest texts. They were probably added at some later date. Why? I have no idea.

    I see no reason to tempt the snake ... or the Lord.
     
  13. Jedi Knight

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    Jesus answered, "It says: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test."Luke 4:12
     
  14. Timsings

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    When I was in college, a friend of mine who was a ministerial student was studying a church that did snake-handling. It was in Cocke County, Tennessee (county seat is Newport). That may be the church that Bob Alkire was thinking about. They had two brothers who were bitten during a service and died. The media descended on that church. For the next few weeks, when they had services, the media people were required to stay inside a roped-off area off to the side of the seating for the congregation since they had had to move outside because of the number of extra people who were showing up. Because my friend had gotten to know these people, no restrictions were put on his movements. He came back with some incredible pictures. There was one man who showed up in several pictures. In one he was shown holding a bottle with some kind of oil or kerosene. The rag in the top of the bottle had been lit. He was holding the flame against the palm of his hand. My friend said that he could see the man's hand turning black from the carbon collecting on it. After a while, he extinguished the flame, wiped his hand off, and offered it to people to examine. My friend said that his hand was cool to the touch and showed no evidence of burning. In the most dramatic picture, this same man was shown holding three snakes in each hand. His eyes were closed, and he looked as though he might have been in some sort of a trance. My friend had no explanation for what he had seen, and neither do I.

    Tim Reynolds
     
  15. AresMan

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    Precisely. This was only for the apostles and their converts in the early church through the special gifts of the Holy Spirit through their laying on of hands.

    The verse was not a command to test one's faith by handling serpents. It merely reflected that God would protect them on their mission.
     
  16. Winman

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    I believe the promises of Mark 16 only apply to the apostles and perhaps others in the early church.

    I would not participate in a service with snakes and think it is foolish. Perhaps it should be regulated to those over 18 years of age.

    I was bitten by a water moccassin when I was a teenager and did not go to the doctor for almost a week. But I wasn't immune to it's effects, my toes turned black like charcoal. When I finally went to the doctor he said I had the beginnings of gangrene, and that if I had waited a few more days they would probably have to amputate my foot. They gave me a tetanus shot and I had to take penicillin for about a month. I couldn't wear a shoe as by foot was severely swollen for weeks.
     
  17. AresMan

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    Well, you obviously did not have one of the signs of a believer, then. ;)
     
  18. wpbarrett

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    I used to be a avid coonhunter and I've spent alot of time and have several relatives that live in the mountians of Kentucky. I used to hunt with a few guys that handled snakes in church. these folks will fast for several days before taking up the serpents as they call it. there is alot more churches that handle snakes here in Kentucky than most people think.

    God Bless, Billy
     
  19. kyredneck

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    Sunday, May 20, 2007
    Snake handling on the rise in Baptist churches

    According to a new report, snake handling is on the rise within Baptist churches across the country. The report, released by NAMB this past Tuesday, says that the practice of snake handling as part of Sunday morning worship services has risen in Baptist churches from 2% in 2006 to 17% this spring.


    Al Wittner, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, LA reported the exciting results of snake handling. According to Wittner, "A few weeks ago, we began with just a few black snakes. The folks in the pews felt a little uneasy at first, but they warmed up to it very quickly. By this past Sunday, we added Rattlers and Copperheads. I think the added dimension of poison really increased interest. We had at least 40% of our members in attendance, which was the highest percentage in years."


    NAMB's report also indicates that some churches are planning on adding snake handling as a third ordinance. Along with baptism and the Lord's Supper, snake handling will be a regular part of church gatherings. Pastor Wittner said, "We haven't yet decided whether or not to make snake handling an ordinance. But, if it keeps bringing the lost in through the front doors of the church, we might just have to do so."


    When asked what has brought about the recent increase in snake handling, NAMB indicated that it can be traced to Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary's recent conference on the last 12 verses of the book of Mark. At the end of the conference, the majority of the scholars said that they believe the last 12 verses are original. This has caused many pastors and laypeople to study those 12 verses.


    Mark 16:17 -18 has caused the stir. In this text, Jesus says, "And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”


    According to Pastor Wittner, "We had never really thought much about that last chapter of Mark . Then, after we heard about what happened at Southeastern, we decided that we needed to take another look. We certainly believe in Jesus, so we thought we had better pick up serpents. We haven't yet drunk any deadly poison, but this is scheduled for our fall revival. No volunteers have come forward, but I have faith that they will."







    http://religionroundtable.blogspot.com/2007/05/snake-handling-on-rise-in-baptist.html







    :) :) :) :)
     
  20. Amy.G

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    "Stupid is as stupid does." (Forrest Gump)
     

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