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  1. #1

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    Pastor Killed by Snake Bite...

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...TTLESNAKE.html

    I suppose in his line of work, it's almost inevitable...
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

  2. #2

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    Snakehandling Pentecostal preachers once were fairly common in certain areas of the US.
    You would read similar stories several times per year.

    My mother's Kentucky family knew some people who believed/practiced this.

  3. #3

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    His dad apparently died the same way.

    Just scary. I hope folks like this never get charge of zoos ("And the lion shall lie down with the lamb...")

  4. #4
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    I just read a novel featuring a fundamentalist church that used snakehandling. A parishoner died, but they covered it up by dumping her in her yard to make it look like she'd been bitten while gardening.

    *shudder*

    People never cease to amaze me ...

  5. #5
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    Is part of being Pentecostal not seeking medical help? When someone is bitten by a rattlesnake there is really no excuse for them to die unless they refused medical care. There is anti-venom, and surgery, and blood clotting factors, etc. A rattlesnake's venom just makes you not coagulate, right? Ten units of FFP could take care of that.

    I hate to sound mean, but this is just another Darwin Award nomination.
    I will not be ignored! -Me

  6. #6

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    For some, perhaps; but, by no means all.

    Here's some background information:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_handling
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...173259662.html

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Forrest View Post
    Is part of being Pentecostal not seeking medical help? When someone is bitten by a rattlesnake there is really no excuse for them to die unless they refused medical care. There is anti-venom, and surgery, and blood clotting factors, etc. A rattlesnake's venom just makes you not coagulate, right? Ten units of FFP could take care of that.
    Is that the mechanism of rattlesnake venom? Is it being harvested to make anti-coagulant medications? I really don't know but am interested.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

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    Quote Originally Posted by IceAlisa View Post
    Is that the mechanism of rattlesnake venom?
    I believe that the venom of some varieties of rattlesnake also has a neurotoxin component.
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    Lady 3: The google is a terrible thing, I mean I don't want anything on there! (Overheard by millyskate on a London train.)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan5 View Post
    I believe that the venom of some varieties of rattlesnake also has a neurotoxin component.
    Thanks, interesting. I am going to look this up when I have the chance.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Forrest View Post
    I hate to sound mean, but this is just another Darwin Award nomination.
    Damn! You beat me to it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan5 View Post
    I believe that the venom of some varieties of rattlesnake also has a neurotoxin component.
    "All rattlesnakes possess a set of fangs with which they inject large quantities of hemotoxic venom. The venom travels through the bloodstream, destroying tissue and causing swelling, internal bleeding, and intense pain. Some species, such as the Mojave Rattlesnake, additionally possess a neurotoxic component in their venom that causes paralysis and other nervous symptoms." I know cobras have a neurotoxic component, never heard a rattler does. Still, seeking medical attention will drastically reduce your likelihood of dying from a snake bite. To like ZERO. Hmmm.
    I will not be ignored! -Me

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Forrest View Post
    Still, seeking medical attention will drastically reduce your likelihood of dying from a snake bite. To like ZERO. Hmmm.
    Hmmm indeed - not handling them AT ALL would help in that regard, too, I should think.

    Without bothering to search online for the passages in the New Testament which refer to being able to pick up and handle serpents without harm, one assumes that this behavior is seen and believed by those who practice it to be evidence of utter faith in one's salvation.

    I will say that such behavior will certainly raise the odds of leaving this mortal coil behind - where the believers of this type go from here is another question.
    "Skating fans are not a patient bunch." Dragonlady

  13. #13
    OmnipresentAdmeanistrator
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    Wolford had been bitten three times before, but never sought medical attention, saying that a bite was a test of his faith.
    Are there congregations where people jump out of planes to prove that faith is stronger than gravity?

  14. #14
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    ^^^Good question. Are there? Seems the logic is the same.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Quote Originally Posted by VALuvsMKwan View Post
    one assumes that this behavior is seen and believed by those who practice it to be evidence of utter faith in one's salvation.
    I don't think that's it. My understanding is this type of practice is taken from texts saying Christians have victory over Satan through Christ, and the serpent is seen as a symbol of evil. By handling the snakes, it illustrates Christian victory over evil and Satan.

    That's my understanding anyway...

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    So in this case is their takeaway that evil won?

    (Personally, I'd vote for stupidity.)

  17. #17
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    To my knowledge, the practice has really waned in recent years. According to the article, most of the parishioners were family members. I think now it's more a cultural artifact not commonly practiced.

  18. #18
    Wandering Goy
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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I don't think that's it. My understanding is this type of practice is taken from texts saying Christians have victory over Satan through Christ, and the serpent is seen as a symbol of evil. By handling the snakes, it illustrates Christian victory over evil and Satan.

    That's my understanding anyway...
    And a perfectly plausible one. I was trying to put into words my understanding of how those who do this might have such a strong belief that they would take the verse regarding handling serpents literally as basis for a faith-based action. Your understanding adds depth and context to acting on such a belief.

    Our understandings are, I believe, not so far apart.

    (Trust me, though - I'm not handling any serpents - no desire here to be a Darwin Award candidate - or, in Tennessee Williams' wonderfully evocative phrase from "The Glass Menagerie", a "Christian martyr").
    "Skating fans are not a patient bunch." Dragonlady

  19. #19
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    Its at the end of the book of Mark:

    "And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”


    The last 20 or so verses (including not only this passage but the part where it was Mary Magdelene was the first to recogize the resurrected Christ) are left out of some of the earlier manuscripts.

    I tend to think this refers to one-off miracles, such as Paul getting bitten when he was shipwrecked, etc., etc.. But some old school Pentecostals use these verses as a litmus test for belief.

  20. #20

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    I don't get it. The man died, so does that mean they think evil won? Or the guy's faith wasn't strong enough?

    Are they testing themselves, God, or Satan? If the man dies, who wins? If he doesn't die, who wins?

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