Announcement

Collapse

Unorthodox Theology 201 Guidelines

Theists only.

This forum area is primarily for persons who would identify themselves as Christians whether or not their theology is recognized within the mainstream or as orthodox though other theists may participate with moderator permission. Therefore those that would be restricted from posting in Christianity 201 due to a disagreement with the enumerated doctrines, ie the Trinity, the Creatorship of God, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection of Christ, the atonement, the future bodily return of Christ, the future bodily resurrection of the just and the unjust, and the final judgment may freely post here on any theological subject matter. In this case "unorthodox" is used in the strict sense of a person who denies what has been declared as universal essentials of the historic Christian faith. Examples would be adherents to Oneness, Full Preterists, Unitarian Universalist Christians, Gnostics, Liberal Christianity, Christian Science to name a few.

The second purpose will be for threads on subjects, which although the thread starter has no issue with the above doctrines, the subject matter is so very outside the bounds of normative Christian doctrine totally within the leadership's discretion that it is placed here. In so doing, no judgment or offense is intended to be placed on the belief of said person in the above-doctrines. In this case "unorthodox" is used in a much looser sense of "outside the norms" - Examples of such threads would be pro-polygamy, pro-drug use, proponents of gay Christian churches, proponents of abortion.

The third purpose is for persons who wish to have input from any and all who would claim the title of Christian even on subjects that would be considered "orthodox."

The philosophy behind this area was to recognize that there are persons who would identify themselves as Christian and thus seem out of place in the Comparative Religions Forum, but yet in keeping with our committment here to certain basic core Christian doctrines. Also, it allows threads to be started by those who would want to still be identified as Christian with a particular belief that while not denying an essential is of such a nature that the discussion on that issue belongs in this section or for threads by persons who wish such a non-restricted discussion.


Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Snake handling

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Snake handling

    This topic is in the news right now because a pastor who handled snakes on a reality show died of a snakebite this weekend, http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/16/us/sna...storbitten130p and it also seems relevant because there has been a discussion in another thread about the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20.

    Putting aside the question of authenticity for a moment and just assuming for the sake of the argument that it is authentic (not my personal opinion), I have a hard time seeing how these verses justify snake handling during church services. I have heard that these services tend not to involve poison drinking (which would be a consistent implication of taking the entire passage as prescriptive in this way, see Mark 16:18). Is this actually the case? If so, why don't they? Also, why are the verses taken as a prescriptive directive when they seem to be a description of what will happen to believers such as Paul? Also, why wouldn't this be seen as an example of testing God such as when the devil tried to tempt Jesus to jump off the tower?
    "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

  • #2
    To my mind, your last question is the most relevant. However, the way they phrase it is that they are not testing God, they are testing their own faith (an assessment I disagree with, but work with it for a moment). Even if we assume their assessment is true, what is the only possible conclusion to draw from someone who does this? They are _boasting_ of the quality or quantity of their faith, in direct disagreement of faith being "a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Outis View Post
      To my mind, your last question is the most relevant. However, the way they phrase it is that they are not testing God, they are testing their own faith (an assessment I disagree with, but work with it for a moment). Even if we assume their assessment is true, what is the only possible conclusion to draw from someone who does this? They are _boasting_ of the quality or quantity of their faith, in direct disagreement of faith being "a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."
      Well put.
      "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Outis View Post
        To my mind, your last question is the most relevant. However, the way they phrase it is that they are not testing God, they are testing their own faith (an assessment I disagree with, but work with it for a moment). Even if we assume their assessment is true, what is the only possible conclusion to draw from someone who does this? They are _boasting_ of the quality or quantity of their faith, in direct disagreement of faith being "a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."
        Well, yeah, that.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          It's one thing to trust God to protect us from snakes, if bitten -- it's yet another to grab said snakes and wave them in our faces.
          "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

          Comment


          • #6
            Jesus cleared up the issue in Matthew 4:5-7. Interestingly, Jesus didn't say Satan was misinterpreting the Psalm passage in a literal sense.
            "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

            Comment


            • #7
              Oddly enough my father has a not too dissimiliar snake handling story to Paul's one. Like Paul he was bitten by accident by a pretty toxic snake, and had no ill effects.

              The Story: one day my dad saw a boomslang near where my brothers were playing. he carefully but his foot (in a hiking boot) on the snake, then he carefully ran his fingers up it's body so he could grasp it just behind it's head.
              Now while a boomslang has some of the most toxic venom around, it is a back fanged snake so most bites to humans are non fatal as no venom gets in, so my dad figured he was pretty safe. however, unbeknownst to him the snake had curled around under his boot and in sliding his fingers down it's body he proceeded to shove his index finger down it's throat. The snake could not help but get a decent bite and inject a huge amount of venom. Now there is an antivenin for boomslangs, but my dad is deadly allergic to horse serum, so it would probably have killed him faster than the snake bite.
              He removed the snake from his finger, and squeezed his finger managing to squeeze out most, if not all of the poison and had no side effects.

              SO to him that verse in question has a great deal of personal application

              HOWEVER, there is no way he plans on trying to repeat the process ever again.
              "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
              -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

              Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
              1 Corinthians 16:13

              "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
              -Ben Witherington III

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Raphael View Post
                Oddly enough my father has a not too dissimiliar snake handling story to Paul's one. Like Paul he was bitten by accident by a pretty toxic snake, and had no ill effects.

                The Story: one day my dad saw a boomslang near where my brothers were playing. he carefully but his foot (in a hiking boot) on the snake, then he carefully ran his fingers up it's body so he could grasp it just behind it's head.
                Now while a boomslang has some of the most toxic venom around, it is a back fanged snake so most bites to humans are non fatal as no venom gets in, so my dad figured he was pretty safe. however, unbeknownst to him the snake had curled around under his boot and in sliding his fingers down it's body he proceeded to shove his index finger down it's throat. The snake could not help but get a decent bite and inject a huge amount of venom. Now there is an antivenin for boomslangs, but my dad is deadly allergic to horse serum, so it would probably have killed him faster than the snake bite.
                He removed the snake from his finger, and squeezed his finger managing to squeeze out most, if not all of the poison and had no side effects.

                SO to him that verse in question has a great deal of personal application

                HOWEVER, there is no way he plans on trying to repeat the process ever again.
                Yeah!
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Raphael View Post
                  SO to him that verse in question has a great deal of personal application
                  I can see that.

                  HOWEVER, there is no way he plans on trying to repeat the process ever again.
                  I can also see that. Definitely!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Snake handling is in theory a form of Pentecostalism, we've been known to take gifts to the extremes before. Tongues "preaching" being one. I'm not saying it's justified, but the mindset of testing one's faith can be very common in our circles. But it is illegal and is unnecessary for worship, so they should abandon that ritual.
                    Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
                      Snake handling is in theory a form of Pentecostalism, we've been known to take gifts to the extremes before. Tongues "preaching" being one. I'm not saying it's justified, but the mindset of testing one's faith can be very common in our circles. But it is illegal and is unnecessary for worship, so they should abandon that ritual.
                      Even as a non-Christian, I would posit that snake handling isn't just an extreme form of Pentecostalism, but an aberrant or heretical form. Over-emphasis on one particular doctrinal segment--to the point where that doctrine becomes a "proof" for salvation, or at least for annointing--is dangerous in any faith. And that's completely disregarding the physical danger.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I admit I know little of the group, if snake handling is truly considered a prerequisite to salvation as a minority of Pentecostals consider the gifts of tongues then they are indeed aberrant.

                        If on the other hand they consider it to be an indicator of the Baptism of the Spirit (an a jointing of power) they are making a similar claim as mainstream Pentecostalism but with less evidence to support themselves.
                        Last edited by Pentecost; 02-17-2014, 03:56 PM.
                        Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? -Galatians 3:5

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          From the practitioners I know (only three, and perhaps not representative), there is a LOT of unspoken, and some explicitly spoken, pressure to participate. Comments along the line of "This is how you know you have faith in God" and questions along the line of "Don't you believe God will protect you" are not uncommon.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Outis View Post
                            From the practitioners I know (only three, and perhaps not representative), there is a LOT of unspoken, and some explicitly spoken, pressure to participate. Comments along the line of "This is how you know you have faith in God" and questions along the line of "Don't you believe God will protect you" are not uncommon.
                            The joys of peer pressure.
                            "If you can ever make any major religion look absolutely ludicrous, chances are you haven't understood it"
                            -Ravi Zacharias, The New Age: A foreign bird with a local walk

                            Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
                            1 Corinthians 16:13

                            "...he [Doherty] is no historian and he is not even conversant with the historical discussions of the very matters he wants to pontificate on."
                            -Ben Witherington III

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Outis View Post
                              Even as a non-Christian, I would posit that snake handling isn't just an extreme form of Pentecostalism, but an aberrant or heretical form. Over-emphasis on one particular doctrinal segment--to the point where that doctrine becomes a "proof" for salvation, or at least for annointing--is dangerous in any faith. And that's completely disregarding the physical danger.
                              most of the snake handlers come from where I did, the appalachians, and they are definitely unorthodox pentacostals. Most elevate the "gifts of the spirit" above everything and place too much emphasis on stuff like miracles and snake handling. They routinely roll around on the floor speaking in tongues and basically looking like they are having epileptic fits. Most of these pentacostals are also non-trinitarian.

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by bluetriangle, 09-09-2020, 05:39 AM
                              5 responses
                              164 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post thormas
                              by thormas
                               
                              Started by RGJesus, 11-10-2016, 04:40 AM
                              379 responses
                              72,055 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post thormas
                              by thormas
                               
                              Working...
                              X