1. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    03 Sep '10 14:24
    And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. 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. (Mark 16:17-18)


    Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. (Luke 10:19)


    It is my understanding that the Pentecostal rituals of snake handling and speaking in tongues are derived from these two passages.

    Having grown adults take these rituals as a serious undertaking and invoking the spirit of God while performing these acts buggers the imagination. Am I missing something? Is there some basis in reality for justifying these institutionalized acts of insanity? Every Sunday thousands of seemingly normal and presumably rational people participate in these gong shows. Does this cheapen Christianity? By virtue of being completely bug nuts bonkers, do these carnival side shows erode the validity of the faith itself?
  2. Territories Unknown
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    03 Sep '10 14:37
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. 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. (Mark 16:17-18)


    [quote]Behold, I give unto you power to tread on s ...[text shortened]... ompletely bug nuts bonkers, do these carnival side shows erode the validity of the faith itself?
    These snake handlers don't have faith, they have superstition. Powerful, but deluding.
  3. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    03 Sep '10 14:42
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    These snake handlers don't have faith, they have superstition. Powerful, but deluding.
    Superstition based on the words of the bible?
  4. Standard memberPhlabibit
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    03 Sep '10 15:44
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    Superstition based on the words of the bible?
    Religion is a shorter way to say that.
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    03 Sep '10 19:37
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. 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. (Mark 16:17-18)


    [quote]Behold, I give unto you power to tread on s ...[text shortened]... ompletely bug nuts bonkers, do these carnival side shows erode the validity of the faith itself?
    Sorry for the paste but it would take me forever to type this...Thanks.

    The Bible’s Viewpoint
    Does the Bible Condone Snake Handling?
    IN SMALL churches, the faithful gather. They play electric guitars and sing gospel music. They offer prayers for healings. They listen to homespun sermons and babble ecstatically in what they call the “new tongues.” In all of this, they are not too different from any number of Pentecostal or charismatic groups in Christendom. Then they get out the poison, the fire, and the snakes.
    The poison is usually strychnine, dissolved in water. The fire might be that of a flaming kerosene-soaked cloth or an acetylene torch, and the snakes could be rattlesnakes or copperheads, not too hard to find in the Appalachian Mountains of the United States, where these groups are the most common. When they feel called by “the spirit” to do so, they will drink the poison and hold their hands in the fire. They may also handle the snakes, draping them over their arms and shoulders, holding them against their bodies, passing them from one to another. Why?
    “I handle serpents because it’s in the Bible, like a commandment,” says Dewey, the leader of a small West Virginia church. Dewey claims to have been bitten 106 times, and he has scars to prove it. Does the Bible really command such things?
    “Thou Shall Not Tempt the Lord”
    “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love,” says the Bible at 1 John 4:8, King James Version. Would a God of love require his worshipers to inflict needless pain on themselves? “A bite hurts,” says Dewey. “It’s a pain about 100 times worse than a toothache . . . You feel like you’re on fire.” Although most snakebite victims survive, scores of deaths have been documented, including the death of Dewey’s sister in 1961.
    Of course, Christians have always been ready to die for their faith, but their deaths have usually been inflicted by others because of refusal to compromise Bible principles. On the other hand, when Satan invited Jesus Christ to endanger his life needlessly and deliberately by jumping off the battlement of Jerusalem’s temple, “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matthew 4:7, KJ) Is it not tempting God, or presumptuously challenging him, to play with snakes, fire, or poison? Does not such testing indicate a gross lack of faith on the part of the worshiper, an attempt to force God to prove himself true to his Word by spectacular deeds?
    What Do the Scriptures Command?
    Members of snake-handling groups claim that their practices are commanded by God’s Word, and they cite Mark 16:17, 18 as proof. According to the King James Version, these verses read: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 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.”
    First, it should be noted that almost all Bible scholars agree that these verses were not originally part of Mark’s Gospel. “The doubtful genuineness of verses 9-20 makes it unwise to build a doctrine or base an experience on them (especially vv. 16-18),” points out noted commentator Charles Ryrie.
    However, those who handle snakes in their worship are not often impressed by what Bible scholars think of the genuineness of Mark 16:9-20. The verses are in the King James Bible, which is the only Bible most of them trust, and for them that is the end of the matter.
    But even if these verses were authentic, they do not command the handling of serpents or the drinking of poison, and they say nothing of fire. So they cannot be read as a requirement for worship. In fact, the apostle Paul did encounter a serpent on the island of Malta (Melita, KJ) but only by accident because it was in a bundle of sticks he was laying on a fire. Although Paul was bitten and was divinely protected from harm, he did not pass the viper around for others to hold. Instead, he “shook off the beast into the fire.” Far from feeling a burning pain as modern snake handlers do, he “felt no harm.”—Acts 28:3-6, KJ.
    A Test of Faith?
    According to The Encyclopaedia of American Religions, snake handling is a relatively recent phenomenon. “In 1909,” it says, “George Went Hensley, a young resident of rural Grasshopper Valley, Tennessee, became convinced that the references in Mark 16:17-18 to snakes and poison were, in fact, a command. He captured a rattlesnake and a few days later at nearby Sale Creek, in the midst of a worship service, he brought out the snake for participants to handle as a test of their faith.” But there is no evidence, Scriptural or historical, that early Christians required any such ‘tests of their faith.’
    In addition, consider this: Paul was used by God to resurrect the dead; yet he took reasonable precautions regarding his own health and the health of his companions. (1 Timothy 5:23; 2 Timothy 4:13) Paul did not try to create opportunities to resurrect people.
    Thus, rather than having bodies racked with pain or scarred from snakebites, Christians are exhorted to ‘present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is their reasonable service.’ (Romans 12:1, KJ) Instead of commanding that Christians test their faith by reckless acts, the apostle’s reasonable counsel is: “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” (2 Corinthians 13:5, KJ) Test your beliefs against God’s Word. Honest self-examination, comparing your beliefs with the Scriptures, will help you determine if your faith will pass the all-important test of God’s approval.
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    03 Sep '10 19:59
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    Superstition based on the words of the bible?
    Absewfreakinlutelee. Superficial application of anything is bound to produce all manner of error. Try it yourself and see!
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    03 Sep '10 20:191 edit
    "Having grown adults take these rituals as a serious undertaking and invoking the spirit of God while performing these acts buggers the imagination."

    I think you mean "beggars" the imagination. Unless you have a very vivid imagination...
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    03 Sep '10 20:261 edit
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. 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. (Mark 16:17-18)


    [quote]Behold, I give unto you power to tread on s ...[text shortened]... ompletely bug nuts bonkers, do these carnival side shows erode the validity of the faith itself?
    At least it makes going to Church interesting.

    It's interesting how handling snakes ( "They shall take up serpents" ), which may or may not bite, is a more popular activity than drinking known poison ( "if they drink any deadly thing" ), which does harm with greater certainty.
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    03 Sep '10 20:35
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. 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. (Mark 16:17-18)


    [quote]Behold, I give unto you power to tread on s ...[text shortened]... ompletely bug nuts bonkers, do these carnival side shows erode the validity of the faith itself?
    Perhaps this is the case in America, not in the UK.

    If you ever become genuinely interested read a little more of the bible (suggest John) instead of looking to the examples of the sad, lost and misguided to prop up your justification for unbelief.
  10. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    04 Sep '10 00:41
    Originally posted by IshDaGegg
    "Having grown adults take these rituals as a serious undertaking and invoking the spirit of God while performing these acts buggers the imagination."

    I think you mean "beggars" the imagination. Unless you have a very vivid imagination...
    "Buggers" was deliberate. Buggering has a position of long standing tradition in the church afterall.
  11. Donationkirksey957
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    04 Sep '10 01:12
    If you want to read a very good book about it, read Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington. It's a fascinating look (sometimes sympathetic) into their culture. I met one of the characters in the book a few years ago.
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    04 Sep '10 01:38
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. 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. (Mark 16:17-18)


    [quote]Behold, I give unto you power to tread on s ...[text shortened]... ompletely bug nuts bonkers, do these carnival side shows erode the validity of the faith itself?
    "...do these carnival side shows erode the validity of the faith itself?"

    IMO yes, but not mine.


    I know why they do it though.
  13. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    05 Sep '10 15:56
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    If you want to read a very good book about it, read Salvation on Sand Mountain by Dennis Covington. It's a fascinating look (sometimes sympathetic) into their culture. I met one of the characters in the book a few years ago.
    You spend a fair amount of time going to different churches don't you? Maybe you should start a holy vacation tour service.
  14. Standard memberHand of Hecate
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    05 Sep '10 15:59
    Originally posted by josephw
    [b]"...do these carnival side shows erode the validity of the faith itself?"

    IMO yes, but not mine.


    I know why they do it though.[/b]
    While I'm obviously a bit of a prick, I've taken my personal spiritual quest seriously. Visited all manner of churches and explored different religions. I've come up with few conclusions other than Man has so polluted religion and spirituality that any quest for truth is damn near doomed to failure. Speaking in tongues and other obvious BS just compounds this.
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    05 Sep '10 16:031 edit
    Originally posted by Hand of Hecate
    You spend a fair amount of time going to different churches don't you? Maybe you should start a holy vacation tour service.
    A fair amount of time on the Web is more like it.

    How about a virtual holy vacation tour service?
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