Reportedly there are about 2500 believers in snake handling and their reasoning is from Mark. There isn't much more to be said, is there? Somebody's right and somebody's wrong.
Second Timothy 4:20 - "Erastus remained in Corinth, and Trophimus I left at Miletus sick."
First Timothy 5:23 - "No longer drink water only , but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent illnesses."
I think whole lot of people there were missing the point of the Gospels.
Mark may have said these signs will follow them.
He did not say they will follow these signs.
You must have read the account of how Satan tempted Jesus to do something supernatural like turn the stones into bread or jump down from the pinnacle of the temple.
Part of defeating Satan was for Jesus to resist the temptation of religious pride.
"Then the devil took him into the holy city and set Him on the wing of the temple, and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down; for it is written, 'To His angels He shall give charge concerning You, and on their hands they shall bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.'
Jesus said to him, Again, it is written, 'You shall not test the Lord your God.' "
Satan was quoting a Psalm from the Old Testament. Jesus responded with "Again it is written ..."
. As people who seek to live through God we follow His example. It is not enough to know that the Bible said. We have to know what ELSE the Bible said. Satan knows what is written. Sometimes we have to resist his temptation by reminding him and ourselves "Again it is written..."
So now you have 2500 people going to see a Christian circus of supernaturalism, they hope, Christians handling poison snakes. There is no divine command that disciple go seek to be poisoned on purpose.
Well, again we see written that Paul left a co-worker in a city because he was sick. And we see Paul advising Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach for a natural healing of his frequent ailments.
Why didn't Paul send Timothy a piece of prayer cloth or one of his garments as a "miracle garment" ? Why did Paul leave one of his co-workers sick somewhere rather than pray for a miraculous healing?
It is because he was a mature man of God. He was not on a one line only fanatical fringe.