His death is tragic. More tragic, however, is the stupidity he promulgated that led to it. A SEMESTER in a good seminary would have kept him alive. The unbridled ignorance filling so many pulpits in America is doing immeasurable harm to the Kingdom of God here. But what killed him was not the snake that bit him. What killed him was far deadlier. What killed Coots is killing the influence of Christianity in this nation, and, by proxy, killing the nation. The real killer was a deadly, venomous cocktail of ignorance and arrogance. Jamie Coots was a snake handler because he did not know some things that a decent seminary education would have taught him. He did not receive such an education because he believed he did not need one. He thought God spoke to him. Hear it from his own lips: “You feel that anointing and then the Lord speaks to your heart telling you what to do. It is a feeling of power, but it is a feeling of peace,” he said then. “You’re in your body and you know what you’re doing and you can’t control it. There is such a power coming over you and you are obedient to the Spirit of God and you compelled to do what He tells you and you know it will be all right.”- Jamie Coots Who needs to know the original languages when the God who gave the Bible interprets it in one’s own head for him? Who needs hermeneutics (science of proper interpretation of texts) when the Holy Ghost gives you powerful emotional experiences, trances, in which he reveals the meaning of texts? Thinking that God does that keeps one from pursuing the education he needs and puffs one up with unfathomable pride. Ignorance and arrogance- these mingle to make the deadly cocktail that killed this Christian and is killing Christianity in this culture. This kind of arrogance and ignorance is not limited to snake handlers. It is coursing through the veins of every Christian who spurns education, who thinks God speaks to him and he does not need teachers. This kind of arrogance and ignorance is the truly deadly venom in this culture today.