I “googled” the news stories (from February, 2014) about the misguided preacher in Middleborough, Kentucky, the late Jamie Coots. He, his son, and a few other grossly deceived people believe that if anointed by God they can pick up deadly snakes and play with them and, if bitten, will suffer no ill effects. Well, according to this preacher’s own well publicized beliefs (He had a reality show), he evidently wasn’t anointed by God, because after being bitten he died!!! Surprise, surprise, surprise. I was surprised to learn he was the third generation snake handler in his family. You would have thought there wouldn’t have been a second and third generation if the first generation played with deadly rattle snakes. It spoke of their “small” congregation. It’s now, of course getting smaller as they continue handling deadly snakes during their “services.”
The article said “snake handling has dwindled in recent years.” Surprise, surprise, surprise. Keep it up, folks, your congregation will continue to dwindle as you bury one another following these “anointed” services. His son said his father’s last words were, “Sweet Jesus.” If he had not fallen unconscious at that moment, I imagine his next words would have been something like, “How could I have been so stupid?!” They called their tiny little denomination, or church, the “Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus’ Name..” They should have called it the “Fully Deceived Brethren of Satan’s Camp.” It’s deceived individuals like this that give true Christianity a bad name and cause “Christians” to be looked upon as backwoods, ignorant clods. It is their MIS-understanding of a passage in Mark’s gospel (Mark 16:17-18), plus a MIS-understanding of several other clear Bible passages that cause them to play the fool and die prematurely an excruciatingly painful and somewhat slow death. How do you reach minds like that. You don’t! Of this sort, Jesus said, ” Leave them alone. They are the blind leading the blind.
These poor fellers mean well. They are simply deceived by Satan into thinking they are showing great faith and trust in God when they pick up a rattlesnake. Matthew 17:20, records these words of Jesus Christ: “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, ‘Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove…” It’s a wonder, as you drive through Appalachia, that you don’t see a bunch of these fellers standing at the base of one of the mountains, commanding it to go jump in the lake. Bless their heart, gotta love those mountain folk.