It’s a shame really, but it’s happened again! Some poor soul’s ignorance concerning the scriptures has cost them their life by “handling serpents.” One of the most amazing things to me about it is that this man should have known better. “Why’s that?”, you may ask. Well, other than the obvious, it’s because his father died doing the same thing almost 30 years ago! It goes to show the validity of my last post.
Of course the story quoted that the man, along with the church he belonged to, believed in a literal translation of Mark 16:17-18. The crazy thing about it all is that I believe in a literal translation of Mark 16:17-18 too! But believing in a literal translation doesn’t mean I believe Christians reveal their faith today by handling snakes! I believe if one attempts to do such a thing they are revealing their ignorance in no less than three ways.
One – People need to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). People must realize that what Mark 16:17-18 speaks of is as true as when Paul brought Eutychus back to life through God’s power after he took his deadly second story flight out a window. But the reality is that the days of handling snakes is over as much as people being miraculously brought back to life. Christians are called to crush the snake through our faith in the gospel – not handle a snake to prove our faith!
Two – People need to realize that the protection of God’s Spirit that was given to the early Christians was not meant to be a circus sideshow. It was given to those whom God desired according to His will. It was not given to those whom desired it according to their will.
Three – People need to understand what the scriptures mean when they say, “do not tempt the Lord your God.” People who do such things today, as they have for many generations now, abuse the fact that Mark 16:17-18 says what it says. These people need to read Matthew 4:5-7 again! Jesus was in the wilderness being tempted by Satan when Satan challenged Jesus to prove who He was by setting Him up on the highest point of the temple and telling Him to JUMP! One may very well say that Satan was challenging Jesus’ faith in the scriptures by quoting scripture that said Jesus would be okay if He jumped. Jesus responded by saying, “It is written again, “You shall not tempt the LORD your God.” What was Jesus saying? He was saying a person doesn’t intentionally put themselves in harm’s way and then say, “Okay God, it’s your responsibility to save me; after all Lord, you know Mark 16:17-18 says….” That’s putting God to the test – not putting one’s faith to the test.
A rattler has a rattle for a reason and we’d be wise to recognize it for such!
To be honest, I care very little for the site’s religious section, but I provided the link to where I found the story incase someone wants to read the details for themselves.