Here is Introduction: Mishandling Snakes and Scripture Part 1.
The pastor that got bit by the snake in the story last post lived, but the doctors said it was almost too late. He is a fourth generation snake handling pastor. His dad died four years earlier when he got bit on the hand. It only took ten minutes. You would think this would have caused him to doubt this supposed promise of God. He would either doubt God or reinterpret the text! He did neither. Now that it has happened to him, he is reportedly reevaluating his life.
I recently heard about a snake handling church here in the U.S. They carry snakes while they sing and preach based on Mark 16:17-18, which reads: “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, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
I feel a little like Jude must have felt. I have wanted to write for a long time, but not about this. I feel compelled to write for believers to contend for the truth. Certain persons or ideas have crept in and Jesus Christ is being denied. Some do not even know it is happening.
There is a new religion in town, in our country and in our churches. The gospel message varies a little in this new religion. Sometimes it is all whites are racist and only a lifetime of conscious effort and repenting of that privilege will heal you. The problem is you actually can’t do it. It is a “do this and live” principle that you can never do. Sometimes the message is our country is full of systemic racism. So everything needs to go-statues, the confederate flag, even the American flag, the cops, history- we need to start over. The gospel is humanity and it improved instead of Christ and Him crucified.