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And they will take up serpents... Snake Handling Churches

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Rainbow Mage, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Dharma Learner

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    [​IMG]


    LOL? :sarcastic
     
  2. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    Snake handlers are nuts, but they fascinate me. You can't say they don't take their Bible seriously. I've never been to one of their services, but I'd love to go -- as long as I can get a spot near the door.

    [youtube]wK0SWvu07Y0[/youtube]
    YouTube - Jolo, WV Homecoming 2008
     
  3. Buttercup

    Buttercup la vita è bella Premium Member

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    I've always wanted to attend a service too. We don't have people that crazy in our neck of the woods though. :D
     
  4. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Dharma Learner

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    I'm willing to go, just to watch and see if anyone gets bit
     
  5. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man.

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    A number of states (most notable Tennessee) have already banned snake handling due to documented deaths and some have restricted this practice to adults. There is obvious danger in handling poisonous snakes, and especially when handled or in proximity of striking distance by children is a recipe for disaster.
     
  6. Breathe

    Breathe Mostly taking a break

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    Religion:
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    Literalistic interpretations of such passages are never a good thing.

    Not only do most early manuscripts omit this verse (signifying it was almost definitely a later addition), but this could be understood in terms of metaphor:

    they will pick up snakes with their hands; = they will encounter sinful people
    and when they drink deadly poison, = they will live and work with them, "drinking" the poison of a "wicked society"
    it will not hurt them at all; = as they are righteous, they will not be tempted to 'poisonous ways
    they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." = they will stop people from doing sinful things, and they will become like Christians.


    It could be an addition, basically explaining how Christians should persevere in Hellenistic Roman society, and they will eventually gain the upper hand, as opposed to literally handling snakes.

    Interestingly...

    1 Corinthians 10:9: We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes.

    Looks like it's their fault if they get bit, for testing God. :D
     
  7. Rainbow Mage

    Rainbow Mage Dharma Learner

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    I agree with this. I think many tend to read the Bible way too literally for being an ancient document, or a collection of ancient documents, rather. The Bible doesn't have to be literal to be true on some level.
     
  8. Breathe

    Breathe Mostly taking a break

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    It's a case of people going by the letter of the text as opposed to the spirit of it. The very thing Jesus is supposed to have preached against in Christianity, and many Christians keep to it.

    Ironic in a sad way, that.
     
  9. MSizer

    MSizer MSizer

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    They are dead serious about it. They think that their faith will prevent them from being dying from a snake bight. Their founder died in the late fifties of a snake bight. It is yet another perfect example of the lunacy of religious faith.
     
  10. Breathe

    Breathe Mostly taking a break

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    That's rather unfair. They are considered lunatics even by the vast majority of religious adherents, and I resent being lumped in with nutjobs because I have believe in something.
     
  11. MSizer

    MSizer MSizer

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    I do respect you, I don't respect your faith. There's no polite way to say that. Some people think I'm a jerk for it. It's not that I don't care about being thought of as a jerk, I sincerely don't want that, but I value reason too much to pretend that I think religious faith can play any constructive role in the future of humanity. It's sincerely not meant as a personal attack.
     
  12. Draka

    Draka Cylon Skin Job

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    You know what my first thought was?




    Those poor snakes. :(
     
  13. Breathe

    Breathe Mostly taking a break

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    Yet my faith is a big factor in who I am as a person, and I mean a big part. My beliefs are an extension of who I am as a person. Therefore, you don't really respect me.

    Reason and faith do not have to be mutually exclusive.

    I accept evolution, the Big Bang, equality of the sexes. I embrace modern medicine and technology. I'm not some young earth creationist who likes beating women, whilst claiming science is evil and running away from medicine.

    I'm not exactly harming anyone with my faith, and acting as though simply because I have a faith that I'm somehow shunning reason is not a nice view that you hold of me.

    Only in a stereotypical world-view where religion equals fundamentalist, literal Christianity and Islam would this be appropriate, and I hardly hold such views.
     
  14. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Ignorant Atheist Capitalist Engineer Libertarian

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    Are they really any more nutty than mainstream believers? I think they suffer from being a very very small group,
    with some dangerous rituals. But look at the things we consider normal: Catholics consuming the faux blood & flesh
    of Jesus, Amish driving horses & buggies on rural highways, Jews buying exotic devices to avoid doing work on Saturday.
    I make fun of snake handlers too, but I don't think they're more crazy than the rest of us....as long as they're careful.

    You want to see crazy? I buy, sell, trade, collect, run, move, restore & exhibit antique machinery. I've suffered a broken leg,
    crushed finders, & funny looks from normal people. (Btw, I like snakes.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  15. MSizer

    MSizer MSizer

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    Absolutely not. It is the moderate religious people who are fooling themselves the most, thinking that by lowering the bar and approaching reason that they validate their faith. IMO, faith is utterly flawed in it's nature, and to water it down is only trickery so as to appease onself by pretending that there is no partition in one's own head who holds faith. Again, it's sincerely not a personal attack. I simply can't imagine any way to word that in a way that it doesn't seem disrespectful. I hope not to hurt your feelings.
     
  16. Breathe

    Breathe Mostly taking a break

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    However, I'm neither Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Amish.

    Who doesn't? :)
     
  17. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    An excellent b/w film, made in 1967, is available free on the internet:

    The Holy Ghost People : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

    You can also watch it on YouTube:

    [youtube]_nX0irC4Bgs[/youtube]
    YouTube - Holy Ghost People (01 of 06)

    A man does get bitten in the movie, toward the end. He says, "And that's God's word, good folks, if I die with this snake bite, it's still God's word, just the same. ... Whether we die by it or whether we live by it, it's still God's word."

    Snake bites aren't that uncommon among them, but you can see in the film that it changes the tone and atmosphere in the meeting. The film doesn't tell you what happened to him, but he apparently survived.

    Two comments on YouTube (both by the same person) say: "The guy who was bitten was Bro Elzie Preast. He died in Gauley Bridge November 6, 2003. This is a fact. I dont know where you get your information from.Rev Michael Lanham pastors the church and he is the son in law of Bro Preast." and "I have the obiturary. Take it from someone from the area and who knows the people. Im not sure who started this 'urban legend' about Bro Preast dying soion after this film, There are no facts to support that."

    I had no trouble locating an obituary for Elzie Preast, published in both the Charleston Gazette and the Charleston Daily Mail:

    Elzie Otis Preast

    GAULEY BRIDGE -- Elzie Otis "E.O." Preast, 85, of Gauley Bridge, W.Va., died Thursday, Nov. 6, 2003, in Montgomery General Hospital, Montgomery, following an extended illness.

    He was the owner of the former Preast Transfer Co. of Gauley Bridge and a Pentecostal Holiness minister for 68 years.

    He was preceded in death by his parents, James Alonzo and Virginia Brown Preast; two daughters, Delina Richardson and Dollie J. Workman; and a son, Nathan Wayne Preast.

    Surviving are his wife, Julia G. Preast of Bushnell, Fla.; daughters, Verna Stringer of Medina, Ohio, Betty Elkins, Dorthy Pritt and husband, Ted, and Brenda Lanham and husband, Michael, all of Gauley Bridge, Levana Dhaoui and husband, Kais of Lakeland, Fla., Iris Mendez and husband, Jose of Tampa, Fla., Helen Salinas and husband, Juan, Cheryl Lennox and husband, Robbie and Melissa Mendez and husband, Carlos, all of Bushnell, Rebecca Reed and husband, Michael of Georgia; sons, Stanley Preast and wife, Nadine of Locust, N.C., Clifford Preast of Gauley Bridge, Carroll Preast and wife, Judy of Swiss, W.Va., Elzie O. Preast and wife, Helen, and Robert Preast and wife, Rebecca, all of Lakeland, William Crouse and wife, Regina, and Raymond Crouse, all of Chester, Pa., Glen Workman of Cocoa Beach, Fla.; sisters, Ethel Humphrey of Alta, W.Va., Lena Marie Anders and husband, Andy of Portsmouth, Ohio, Mazie Mullins of Clendenin, and Frances Clapp and husband, Chris, of Danville, Ill.; brothers, Elbert Preast and wife, Bernice of Chimney Corner, W.Va., Donald Preast and wife, Betty, of Ansted, W.Va.; 39 grandchildren; 42 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren.

    Service will be noon Sunday, Nov. 9, 2003, at Lanham Trailer Court, Gauley Bridge (Scrabble Creek), W.Va., with the Rev. Michael Lanham, the Rev. Bob Elkins and the Rev. Lenny Stringer officiating. Burial will be in Montgomery Memorial Park, London.

    Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Pennington Funeral Home, Gauley Bridge.

     
  18. Draka

    Draka Cylon Skin Job

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    What do you define as "moderate"? There are all colors and flavors of faith and religion in this world. Some have absolutely no issues with science and physical reality whatsoever. Some beliefs people hold affect no one outside of themselves. If a faith can give a person peace and balance then how can that possibly be any kind of a bad effect on humanity? And what do you mean by "water down"?
     
    Breathe likes this.
  19. Breathe

    Breathe Mostly taking a break

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    Religion:
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    I'm a seeker. I've spent my time learning, questioning and rationalizing various theologies. It's how I've been able to exclude certain religions (which I will not mention here) from my path, but not the only manner. I'm hardly 'deluding myself' as I'm not accepting things like the validity of certain people as prophets based on their own words and holy books and so on.

    You wouldn't hurt my feelings (I'm too thick skinned), although you ARE technically attacking who I am, when my belief is such an important part of who I am as a person. You're painting me with a very broad brush by putting me in the same box as whackjobs who adhere to faiths to the letter, and I find that quite insulting.
     
  20. Just_me_Mike

    Just_me_Mike New Member

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    Personally, to me it is akin to a child going out of their way to get attention, or to demonstrate their determination to be the center of attention.

    They feel as a servant of God they should be front and center, so what better way than to mess with snakes. While I believe they believe they are protected, it certainly demonstrates the power of words and indoctrination.
     
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