woman fatally bitten by a snake in church

8 11 2006

This sad story calls for discernment. Apparently this woman attended a church that believed that believers would demonstrate their saving faith in the practice of snake handling. This is truly sad. No doubt they are referencing Mark 16.17-18 which says:

“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

These signs were promised to the apostolic community (Matt. 10.1; 2 Cor. 12.12) and served to authenticate the preaching of the word (cf. v.20). These ‘signs’ were not intended to become normative for all ages. For even a generation after the apostles we see the writers looking back in describing these miraculous signs (Heb. 2.1-4; cf. also 1 Cor. 12.29, 30).

This is truly sad because of the sufficient preciousness of fellowship with Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit without the trumped up drama of handling snakes. Does not a story like this compel Paul’s words to Timothy to your own hearts:

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth 2 Timothy 2:15

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3 responses

9 11 2006
Brian

That is truly sad.
Even if I did pick up a snake and successfully handle it, even get bitten and survive the poison, that would rate as perhaps a single candle compared to the awesome brilliant sun of standing daily in God’s presence and intimately knowing Him. Just daily walking with Him is so vastly superior.
But don’t we so often miss it ourselves? The foolish little things we let get in the way of truly abiding in Christ.

9 11 2006
erik

Amen Brian.

12 11 2006
diana

I read a story about an evangelist who drowned while trying to walk on water. It would be good for us all to keep our eyes off ourselves and on the Lord.

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