‘Snake Salvation’ TV star Jamie Coots dies after being bitten
Feb. 16, 2014, 3:22 PM EST
By Todd Cunningham
Jamie Coots, a star of the National Geographic TV reality series “Snake Salvation,” died Saturday after being bitten by a snake and refusing medical treatment.
Coots was one of two pastors from a Pentacostal church in Middleboro Ky. featured on the show about snake handling at a sect of Christian churches in Kentucky, Alabama, West Virginia and Tennessee, where worshippers believe faith will protect them from the venom of poisonous snakes.
Coots’ death was reported Sunday by Kentucky’s Lexington-Herald Leader.
Coots was bitten on his right hand by a snake. An ambulance crew and firefighters tried to talk Coots into going to the hospital, but he refused treatment, according to the report.
Coots had suffered serious bites twice before. He told the Herald-Leader that he nearly died in the early 1990s when a large rattlesnake bit him on the left arm, and in 1998, a rattlesnake he was handling suddenly struck the middle finger of his right hand.
Coots refused treatment for the excruciating bites in both of those cases.
“It’s a victory to God’s people that the Lord seen fit to bring me through it,” he said the day after the bite in 1998.
The Real Victory Is Truth
1. It is tragic that this man has died.
2. It is even more tragic that he, like some others, are so ignorant of God’s Word. Jesus Christ said the Gospel should be preached to “every creature,” but that the “signs” proving the truthfulness of that Gospel were for “those who believe” (Mark 16:15-20). The “signs” were for the miraculous beginning of its spread, for the Lord was “working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.” By the time the Book of Hebrews was written, the word “which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will” (Hebrews 2:3-4). All believers were never promised these “accompanying signs” because: (1) even though 3000 were baptized on Pentecost, miracles were only done through the Apostles (Acts 2:38-43); (2) even though Samaritans “had received the word of God” and been baptized, the Apostles, Peter and John, travelled to them and “laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:12-18); (3) Paul baptized Ephesians “in the name of the Lord Jesus,” but they only received the Holy Spirit “when Paul had laid hands on them” (Acts 19:1-7). Coots evidently didn’t understand that what Jesus had said about “signs” was not for Coots, but for the early Christians, and that only until the New Testament was completely written. The only example of a serpent bite, which Jesus had said would “by no means hurt them,” is in Acts 28:1-6, and it did not! The clue that Coots was not included in Jesus’ list of “signs” is that the article about Coots said he had had “excruciating bites” twice before! All miracles establishing the claim that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God” are written in the Bible (John 20:30-31), since “the faith” has been “once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). There is no miraculous working of the Holy Spirit today that would “confirm” God’s Word, and “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37).
3. It is even more tragic that the publicity given this incident will associate such ignorance with so-called “Bible-believers” throughout the world. The Apostle Paul rebuked the “spirit of divination” (associated with Python, a serpent or dragon guarding the mythological Delphi), casting it out of the “slave girl” (Acts 16:16-24). She was proclaiming, “These men [Paul and Silas] are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation” (Acts 16:17). The Gospel of Jesus Christ does not need, and should not tolerate, any false teacher’s endorsement, if for no other reason, because it would make a lying connection between Truth and error! “They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:5-6).
Incidents like this that has happened to this ignorant practitioner must not go unnoticed and unexplained, for the Truth leads to God (John 14:6), not to an ignoble end!
—–John T. Polk II