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Source: (consider it) Thread: They shall take up serpents
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
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The passage says that they will handle snakes and not be hurt. It doesn't say "every time".

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
The passage says that they will handle snakes and not be hurt. It doesn't say "every time".

That seems weaselly. Surely that is implied. "Sometimes some Christians will handle snakes and not be hurt" is hardly worth saying. It doesn't say LIVE snakes.

quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
quote:
Originally posted by Barefoot Friar:

That's an interesting point about the phenomenon being a socio-economic one. I'm going to have to mull that over a bit.

If that were a significant reason it seems there would be far more people doing it in that area and could probably be expected all over the world where ever you find poor Christians.
Not sure why you'd think the manifestation of frustration at powerlessness would be the same everywhere. A lot of very particular local happenings presumably went into this phenomenon, and those would not be the same in other places where poor people are ghettoed.

quote:
Originally posted by Felafool:
Snake handling.....great idea for selecting future ordinands!
[Devil]

[Big Grin]

quote:
Originally posted by Adeodatus:
Some things Our Lord gave us for our edification and growth in the faith.
Some things he gave us so that we might approach our Heavenly Father with awe and trembling.
Some things he gave us to inspire us with the beauty of the Lord.
And some things, he just gave us to weed out the idiots.

Quotes file.

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
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So the Bible tells us that if we take up serpents or drink deadly things it won't hurt us. But some of you are saying if we actually do those things we are "tempting God." I don't understand that.

It can be very dangerous to do missionary work in hostile countries. Is it tempting God to do that?

Why is the first part of the verse a metaphor but no one is saying that laying hands on the sick is a metaphor? Is asking God to heal someone tempting God?

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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Why is the first part of the verse a metaphor but no one is saying that laying hands on the sick is a metaphor? Is asking God to heal someone tempting God?

Laying hands on the sick is a metaphor too.

While faith healing is more mainstream than snake handling, it's not generally accepted. People go to jail for refusing treatment for their children in favor of faith healing.

Tempting God has nothing to do with it.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Mere Nick
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Not sure why you'd think the manifestation of frustration at powerlessness would be the same everywhere. A lot of very particular local happenings presumably went into this phenomenon, and those would not be the same in other places where poor people are ghettoed.

I've yet to see any reason why snake handling is a manifestation of frustration. Is that the rational for what goes on at your church?

--------------------
"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
So the Bible tells us that if we take up serpents or drink deadly things it won't hurt us. But some of you are saying if we actually do those things we are "tempting God." I don't understand that.

It can be very dangerous to do missionary work in hostile countries. Is it tempting God to do that?

Why is the first part of the verse a metaphor but no one is saying that laying hands on the sick is a metaphor? Is asking God to heal someone tempting God?

Twylight, it's very straightforward. What most of us think scripture is saying, is that if you serving God, he will protect you from all sorts of surprising hazards, like being bitten by a snake which wriggles out of a fire. What it is not saying, is that that entitles you deliberately to do something that would otherwise be crassly stupid, like picking up a poisonous snake. That is putting God to the test, saying 'prove yourself; endorse me'. That is a different version of the third of the temptations in the wilderness.

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pydseybare
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That is quite a narrow call to make, though, because everyone who ever 'stepped out in faith' is essentially testing God.

Was not Peter testing God when he walked on the water?

Explain to me the difference between being obedient and testing God.

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"If you act like an illiterate man, your learning will never stop... Being uneducated, you have no fear of the future."

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TurquoiseTastic

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It's a matter of initiative and control, isn't it?

If God takes the initiative, and indicates that we should do something, that's obedience.

If we take the initiative, and indicate that God should do something, that's "testing God".

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pydseybare
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quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
It's a matter of initiative and control, isn't it?

If God takes the initiative, and indicates that we should do something, that's obedience.

If we take the initiative, and indicate that God should do something, that's "testing God".

That's true, except that the person concerned might say that God was telling them to do it.

We might all agree that someone claiming that God was telling him to kill his children was delusional and dangerous and in need of some serious help. But then the bible tells us of stories of people who, apparently, did hear such things from God.

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"If you act like an illiterate man, your learning will never stop... Being uneducated, you have no fear of the future."

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EtymologicalEvangelical
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch
Twylight, it's very straightforward. What most of us think scripture is saying, is that if you serving God, he will protect you from all sorts of surprising hazards, like being bitten by a snake which wriggles out of a fire. What it is not saying, is that that entitles you deliberately to do something that would otherwise be crassly stupid, like picking up a poisonous snake. That is putting God to the test, saying 'prove yourself; endorse me'. That is a different version of the third of the temptations in the wilderness.

Well said, Enoch.

Absolutely right.

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You can argue with a man who says, 'Rice is unwholesome': but you neither can nor need argue with a man who says, 'Rice is unwholesome, but I'm not saying this is true'. CS Lewis

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
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quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
It's a matter of initiative and control, isn't it?

If God takes the initiative, and indicates that we should do something, that's obedience.

If we take the initiative, and indicate that God should do something, that's "testing God".

I guess that's why I'm confused. To this man in Kentucky, God took the initiative when he said that the Holy Spirit would be demonstrated in Christians by their ability to handle snakes and drink poison without harm and their ability to heal the sick. So he's doing that in a spirit of obedience, he's not jumping off a cliff, this is what he understands the passage to mean.

This thread along with the suggestion by another current thread, that we delete passages about divorce from services because divorced people like me might feel uncomfortable, all seem like a bit too much picking and choosing to me.

I don't think we need to worry about every word of the Old Testament, but if we get to scrap any part of the New Testament we don't like, under the "it's just a metaphor" clause, or "it was added later," then why bother with any of it?

I'm divorced, I wouldn't dream of picking up a rattler, I've run miles from water moccasins, and I'm not going to give up everything I own and go off to spread the gospel in a tunic and sandals, but I read these passages and think how far I come from the ideal, not, this must be here to weed out the idiots. I wouldn't be surprised if Heaven has a lot more idiots than Mensa members.

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tclune
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
I'm divorced, I wouldn't dream of picking up a rattler, I've run miles from water moccasins, and I'm not going to give up everything I own and go off to spread the gospel in a tunic and sandals, but I read these passages and think how far I come from the ideal, not, this must be here to weed out the idiots. I wouldn't be surprised if Heaven has a lot more idiots than Mensa members.

I'm with you, Twilight. I tip my hat to anyone who truly steps out in faith, even (especially?) when the world calls them crazy. RIP with the Lord, pastor Coots.

--Tom Clune

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This space left blank intentionally.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Not sure why you'd think the manifestation of frustration at powerlessness would be the same everywhere. A lot of very particular local happenings presumably went into this phenomenon, and those would not be the same in other places where poor people are ghettoed.

I've yet to see any reason why snake handling is a manifestation of frustration. Is that the rational for what goes on at your church?
If you've not seen any reason for such, why not argue about that instead of dragging in this "everybody should do it everywhere" nonsense? And what the hell does it have to do with what goes on at my church, which isn't in an economically downtrodden area and so doesn't have shit-fuck to do with it?

Black-or-white thinking much?

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Mere Nick
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Not sure why you'd think the manifestation of frustration at powerlessness would be the same everywhere. A lot of very particular local happenings presumably went into this phenomenon, and those would not be the same in other places where poor people are ghettoed.

I've yet to see any reason why snake handling is a manifestation of frustration. Is that the rational for what goes on at your church?
If you've not seen any reason for such, why not argue about that instead of dragging in this "everybody should do it everywhere" nonsense? And what the hell does it have to do with what goes on at my church, which isn't in an economically downtrodden area and so doesn't have shit-fuck to do with it?

Black-or-white thinking much?

See? There you go again with the premise that a religious belief has something to do with economics for these folks but not for you. I don't see it having anything to do with their religious beliefs or yours.

--------------------
"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
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I don't think it has anything to do with economics either and I thought the Fred Clark quote was cloyingly patronizing:
quote:
First, it means that we’re not dealing with wealthy, powerful people here. This is a practice that is found almost exclusively in poor communities — places that have had their land and their people strip-mined, exploited and poisoned for generations. So we need to be very careful here about punching down (see also Ari Kohen on this point).
Spare me. Snake handling was introduced to the Holiness church in 1910 and strip mining didn't get started in the Appalachians until the mid 1960's.
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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Snake handling was introduced to the Holiness church in 1910 and strip mining didn't get started in the Appalachians until the mid 1960's.

Yeah, and there was no exploitation of poor Appalachians by coal mining companies before strip mining, so bite Twilight!

(wanders away singing: I owe my soul to the strip-mining store...)

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LutheranChik
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I have to admit feeling sympathy for the snakes, who by all accounts are mistreated by their human handlers in order to render them less inclined to strike.

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Simul iustus et peccator
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Freddy
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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
I have to admit feeling sympathy for the snakes, who by all accounts are mistreated by their human handlers in order to render them less inclined to strike.

Or the other way around.

When I lived in Pennsylvania Dutch country we had a local snake man who would bring rattlers around to our school in a bag, empty it out on the floor and talk about them as they roamed around. The children were kept at a safe distance. He picked them up freely, and said that they lived harmlessly in his home, free to go wherever they wished. They were his pets. He said "They're safer 'n women." [Paranoid]

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
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The school Freddy? Unbelievable.

Yes, Mousethief, the regular coal miners were exploited but that's not what Mr. Condescending said. Factory workers in the north were exploited and God knows, cotton pickers in the south were exploited. People are poor, ignorant and exploited all over the world. Those of us from Kentucky and West Virginia just get a little tired of being talked down to as some sort of pitiful sub-humans.

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Bullfrog.

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
I don't think it has anything to do with economics either and I thought the Fred Clark quote was cloyingly patronizing:
quote:
First, it means that we’re not dealing with wealthy, powerful people here. This is a practice that is found almost exclusively in poor communities — places that have had their land and their people strip-mined, exploited and poisoned for generations. So we need to be very careful here about punching down (see also Ari Kohen on this point).
Spare me. Snake handling was introduced to the Holiness church in 1910 and strip mining didn't get started in the Appalachians until the mid 1960's.
I grew up in Appalachian mining country. I knew folks whose grandparents died of black lung.

Mining is one of the crummiest industries to labor in. Been that way since the Roman Empire, at least. Strip mining, I'd imagine, was a vast improvement from the average laborer's perspective, since you don't have to spend hours underground breathing coal dust while the profits all go to the owner.

Rural poverty and isolation goes back generations.

[ 21. February 2014, 14:22: Message edited by: Bullfrog. ]

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Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
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And I will never, ever, ever call someone in that position "sub-human." They're poor, yes, often ignorant for want of education and opportunities. But sub human is...no, Just no. [Mad]

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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Bullfrog.

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Though, looking at the Mark proof text. I wonder why snake handling is more popular than, say, taking deadly nightshade.

Maybe it's some kind of gambling thing, the fact that you're playing the odds makes it more exciting. A snake might well decide not to bite you, while an ingested strong poison will always give you a very consistent result. Someone gets lucky and survives, and then you can ascribe your accidental fortune to Almighty God, then you get the power trip of feeling God's hand upon you.

I do think ignorance is part of it, and perhaps a lack of empowerment though as stated, I hope with abundant clarity, I do NOT regard ignorant or people of limited means as sub human, just people who don't know what they're doing and derive enjoyment from taking a stupid risk. At some point that could be any of us.

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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TurquoiseTastic

Fish of a different color
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quote:
Originally posted by Bullfrog.:
Though, looking at the Mark proof text. I wonder why snake handling is more popular than, say, taking deadly nightshade.

Actually one of the things I discovered from reading the links up-thread is that some snake-handlers do, also, drink strychnine for exactly this reason.

It's generally diluted though. Which seems rather like chilling the snakes to make them less aggressive. Doesn't this show "lack of faith" on their terms? I don't know whether/how they justify this theologically.

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Hedgehog

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I am not comfortable with using the term "ignorance" except in the most literal sense: ignoring something. "Misguided" seems to fit better.

Let's take the situation away from a religious practice. Many TV shows that have stunts go to pains to state "DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME"--but people still do. They "ignore" the caution in the misguided belief that they will be okay trying the stunt themselves. After all, the people on TV survived...

Or, personal example, the other day I sliced my thumb open on a tin can. Now, my intellect thought "Gee, Hedgie, you have not had a tetanus shot in, ummmmm, decades. Four decades, to be precise. Maybe you should call the doc and get a booster shot." But I have "ignored" that intellect and thought, "Nah, the can was pretty clean and the water was running and I am sure I will be fine..." And I am fine. This time. But, eventually, I am going to guess wrong. I am getting complacent about potentially-dirty metal cutting open my skin. And if I get tetanus, people will probably think that I was really stupid. And that will be fair. I am "ignore-ant" but it really is just a misplaced complacence.

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"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."--Pope Francis, Laudato Si'

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
I am not comfortable with using the term "ignorance" except in the most literal sense: ignoring something.

That's not the most literal sense. The most literal sense is "not knowing" or "lack of knowledge". The word "ignorance" with the meaning I give here predates "ignore" by some 500 years. You're going the wrong way in your etymology.

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Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
I am not comfortable with using the term "ignorance" except in the most literal sense: ignoring something.

That's not the most literal sense. The most literal sense is "not knowing" or "lack of knowledge". The word "ignorance" with the meaning I give here predates "ignore" by some 500 years. You're going the wrong way in your etymology.
This is also my common usage. Though if you prefer, I can use ill-informed, misinformed, or uninformed.

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
# 11014

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quote:
Originally posted by TurquoiseTastic:
quote:
Originally posted by Bullfrog.:
Though, looking at the Mark proof text. I wonder why snake handling is more popular than, say, taking deadly nightshade.

Actually one of the things I discovered from reading the links up-thread is that some snake-handlers do, also, drink strychnine for exactly this reason.

It's generally diluted though. Which seems rather like chilling the snakes to make them less aggressive. Doesn't this show "lack of faith" on their terms? I don't know whether/how they justify this theologically.

Really reminds me of Russian Roulette. It's like you want to see just how much God loads the dice in your favor, so you can persuade yourself that God is still at your back.

Guessing here, but it makes sense to me.

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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pydseybare
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I was reflecting a while back about the development of ideas. We were travelling in Scotland, and I was thinking about how the forms of non-conformist church there are very largely influenced by presbyterianism, whereas those in Cornwall are influenced by Methodism and in East Anglia they're mostly calvinist Baptist.

I'm not sure there are anything other than historical reasons for this geographical difference. Snake handling being a 'thing' may just be due to geography rather than complicated economics.

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"If you act like an illiterate man, your learning will never stop... Being uneducated, you have no fear of the future."

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Hedgehog

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Hedgehog:
I am not comfortable with using the term "ignorance" except in the most literal sense: ignoring something.

That's not the most literal sense. The most literal sense is "not knowing" or "lack of knowledge". The word "ignorance" with the meaning I give here predates "ignore" by some 500 years. You're going the wrong way in your etymology.
It is a poor day when you don't learn something new! Thanks!

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"We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it."--Pope Francis, Laudato Si'

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Bullfrog.

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quote:
Originally posted by pydseybare:
I was reflecting a while back about the development of ideas. We were travelling in Scotland, and I was thinking about how the forms of non-conformist church there are very largely influenced by presbyterianism, whereas those in Cornwall are influenced by Methodism and in East Anglia they're mostly calvinist Baptist.

I'm not sure there are anything other than historical reasons for this geographical difference. Snake handling being a 'thing' may just be due to geography rather than complicated economics.

These are not mutually exclusive categories.

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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LutheranChik
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# 9826

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I'm sorry, but I find nothing meritorious in someone whose faith leads them to play with rattlesnakes. To me that belongs in the same category as the earnest but addled fellow in my state several years ago who threw his children into an iron smelter to "protect them from Satan." It's loony. And to me it's patronizing to excuse looniness in economically disadvantaged people. I live in a county arguably as poor and underedcuated as parts of Appalachia, and I don't see my neighbors tossing lethal snakes around or drinking rat poison in order to demonstrate their piety.

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Bullfrog.

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
I'm sorry, but I find nothing meritorious in someone whose faith leads them to play with rattlesnakes. To me that belongs in the same category as the earnest but addled fellow in my state several years ago who threw his children into an iron smelter to "protect them from Satan." It's loony. And to me it's patronizing to excuse looniness in economically disadvantaged people. I live in a county arguably as poor and underedcuated as parts of Appalachia, and I don't see my neighbors tossing lethal snakes around or drinking rat poison in order to demonstrate their piety.

True. There is something else going on here. Maybe start looking up the history and spread of Pentecostalism?

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Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

Posts: 7522 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
pydseybare
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# 16184

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quote:
Originally posted by Bullfrog.:
True. There is something else going on here. Maybe start looking up the history and spread of Pentecostalism?

Hold on, you are saying that Pentecostals are loons that tend towards playing with snakes...?

Seems to me that we've no real evidence that this behaviour is linked to economics, that it might not even be directly linked to the historical form of religion it sprang from. Some crazy person started doing it, the idea stuck. The end.

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"If you act like an illiterate man, your learning will never stop... Being uneducated, you have no fear of the future."

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Bullfrog.

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# 11014

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quote:
Originally posted by pydseybare:
quote:
Originally posted by Bullfrog.:
True. There is something else going on here. Maybe start looking up the history and spread of Pentecostalism?

Hold on, you are saying that Pentecostals are loons that tend towards playing with snakes...?

Seems to me that we've no real evidence that this behaviour is linked to economics, that it might not even be directly linked to the historical form of religion it sprang from. Some crazy person started doing it, the idea stuck. The end.

No, I don't think so. But I do think that
the practice emerged out of Pentecostalism.

I'm a Methodist, Wesleyan. We're also part of this long chain of theological and social development. My intent isn't to try to humiliate Pentecostals, but to look at how this practice evolved.

I do think it's a Pentecostal or Holiness tendency, but that doesn't mean that every practitioner or Pentecostal church or member of the Holiness movement should be held responsible no more than pietism is solely and uniquely responsible for prohibition.

[ 21. February 2014, 16:43: Message edited by: Bullfrog. ]

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Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

Posts: 7522 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Bullfrog.

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The world is full of crazy ideas. Why did this one stick?

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Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

Posts: 7522 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
pydseybare
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# 16184

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quote:
Originally posted by Bullfrog.:
The world is full of crazy ideas. Why did this one stick?

Seems to me that your first part (the world is full of crazy ideas) explains the second (a crazy idea is very likely to be found in any given space on the earth).

Why this crazy idea is found in this space is very likely only something that can adequately discussed sensibly by anthropolgists. I'm not an anthropologist, I'm not sure anything I can say on this would a) be fair or b) fair on the people in question.

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"If you act like an illiterate man, your learning will never stop... Being uneducated, you have no fear of the future."

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Organ Builder
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# 12478

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I'm not sure how or why it first started--I could see that perhaps the sense of power in an otherwise dismal existence may have its appeal to some. Others may initially have gotten a charge from the sense of danger--the thrill that leads to skydiving, car racing, and extreme sports. Initially, there were probably as many motivations as there were practitioners. I'm not really inclined to question their faith--while misguided, it is probably quite strong.

At this point, though, I suspect a lot of them do it because they were brought up with it and this is just normal church. They don't view it as anything "unusual", any more than a Eucharistically-centered Christian would think hearing the words of institution means a cannibalistic rite is about to take place.

So I think they are misguided--sometimes tragically so--but the attitudes so often expressed towards them by mainstream America (and represented by some on this thread) are never going to induce them to change. It will just make them feel more like a purified, persecuted group of True Believers.

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How desperately difficult it is to be honest with oneself. It is much easier to be honest with other people.--E.F. Benson

Posts: 3337 | From: ...somewhere in between 40 and death... | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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I don't see why it's wrong to express an attitude of frustration and revulsion, especially considering that there are presumably children being initiated into this practice as well. "Oh, you poor mis-educated dears, how sad that you have such a faulty hermeneutic," doesn't adequately convey most sane people's reaction to playing cat's-cradle with a venomous snake.

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Simul iustus et peccator
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Posts: 6462 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Organ Builder
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I don't mean to suggest it's wrong, LutheranChik. I do mean to suggest it is fruitless.

They will never be changed by people who look at them as horrible monsters who can't possibly know what is best for their children. IF they are changed they will be changed by people who see them as people and talk to them as such.

It's really easy to all be horrified together here on the Ship where we haven't had someone from that tradition telling us anything at all about it. In such instances, though, I think we sometimes feed on ourselves in a way which just reinforces our own viewpoints. I don't know that that is unhealthy, exactly, but I think it can be unhelpful.

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How desperately difficult it is to be honest with oneself. It is much easier to be honest with other people.--E.F. Benson

Posts: 3337 | From: ...somewhere in between 40 and death... | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged
Mere Nick
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# 11827

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Here's the wiki

Other pentecostals don't have anything to answer for here any more than they do Benny Hinn. I'm in the Church of Christ and I was just as troubled by Kip McKean as anyone else, I suppose. I won't ask the Orthodox here to answer for Putin, either.

[ 21. February 2014, 18:45: Message edited by: Mere Nick ]

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"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
The passage says that they will handle snakes and not be hurt. It doesn't say "every time".

That seems weaselly. Surely that is implied. "Sometimes some Christians will handle snakes and not be hurt" is hardly worth saying. It doesn't say LIVE snakes.

Yes it's weasly. What else do you expect from a lawyer?

Also I wasn't being entirely serious.

But at the same time I think the point stands: why do people read this as some kind of guarantee for all time, instead of as a description of certain situations? Why read it as an eternal promise?

One preacher I used to know had a favourite saying that "a narrative is not normative" - that people had a habit of reading stories in the Bible and assuming that they would get the exact same outcome, or that they should do what a Bible character did because it was in the Bible.

Now, this isn't a 'narrative' as such, but it's written a statement: 'they will do this'. Well, who's "they"? Even putting aside the whole issue of the text probably being added on to the end of the Gospel at a later point and having a different origin, to me it's not written as a general promise or as some kind of instruction. In keeping with Enoch's post, I think it's written as a description of events that will happen. The fact that an event DOES happen at a particular time in no way guarantees that the same event will repeatedly happen. Especially not when the event is in some way miraculous.

And yet people somehow manage to read it as "you can force God into creating this miracle for you over and over again on cue, when there's no reason for the miracle to occur other than you showing off".

[ 21. February 2014, 21:15: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Jahlove
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# 10290

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cE0gsrCzbnU

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“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like its heaven on earth.” - Mark Twain

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Bullfrog.

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# 11014

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quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
Here's the wiki

Other pentecostals don't have anything to answer for here any more than they do Benny Hinn. I'm in the Church of Christ and I was just as troubled by Kip McKean as anyone else, I suppose. I won't ask the Orthodox here to answer for Putin, either.

Agreed. I was establishing a historical pattern, not intending to blame Pentecostals for this, just observing that it's an outgrowth of Pentecostalism. Heck, being a Wesleyan, I could arguably share some participation in this particular error.

[ 21. February 2014, 22:34: Message edited by: Bullfrog. ]

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Well, who's "they"?

Well, let's look and see if any groups of people have been mentioned in the verses just prior to this notapromise.

"And these signs will accompany those who believe:"

I believe the answer to your question is, "those who believe."

quote:
to me it's not written as a general promise or as some kind of instruction.
I think you're weaselling again. It is clearly meant to be a description of "those who believe." Not "SOME of those who believe." True it's not worded as a promise. It's worded as a prediction.

quote:
In keeping with Enoch's post, I think it's written as a description of events that will happen.
There's nothing in the passage that in any way restricts this prediction to a certain time or place. It's about "those who believe." Not "those who believe in Carthage in the next 20 years" or any other such restriction. Simply "those who believe."

quote:
The fact that an event DOES happen at a particular time in no way guarantees that the same event will repeatedly happen.
This is irrelevant as this verse isn't history it's prediction.

quote:
And yet people somehow manage to read it as "you can force God into creating this miracle for you over and over again on cue, when there's no reason for the miracle to occur other than you showing off".
I would agree that this is an improper reading. But not for the reasons you give.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
I won't ask the Orthodox here to answer for Putin, either.

If you could also forgive us for Kirill being Putin's bootlicker, that'd be great.

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...

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Freddy
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# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
The school Freddy? Unbelievable.

Don't worry, he wasn't a religious fanatic. Just a herpetologist.

He wasn't as kooky as I'm making him sound. All the local schools had him come lecture about snakes.

Rattlesnakes are extremely common in that area and people, including the children, encountered them frequently. So they needed to know about them. I never heard of anyone getting bit.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg

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Mere Nick
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# 11827

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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
I won't ask the Orthodox here to answer for Putin, either.

If you could also forgive us for Kirill being Putin's bootlicker, that'd be great.
Well, Jesus did wash feet, albeit with a different technique. Maybe it is his influence that keeps Putin from getting just plain nasty on everyone.

--------------------
"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

Posts: 2797 | From: West Carolina | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged



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