Saturday, April 05, 2008

Just Wondering...

I know there are churches (particularly in the south) which include snake handling as part of their worship service. The practice stems from that peculiar statement in the so-called "long ending" of the Gospel According to Mark.

"And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they
will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes
with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at
all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." - Mark
16:17-18


Now, I'm not interested in making fun of this practice (though I question whether breaking out the box of timber rattlers every Sunday is really the intent of this statement.) My real, honest question here is: Do any of these folks also practice poison drinking? If they pick up venomous serpents to demonstrate that they truly believe, do they also pass around bottles of, say, strychnine to swig from?

3 comments:

Paul Cat said...

I spent a summer in West Virginia selling books door to door. I discovered that it is one of the few states that allows the snake handling churches to practice. Crazy if you ask me.

Angela said...

Yes, actually they do often have mason jars of poison as well as the snakes.

Allen's Brain said...

Thank you, Angela!
I figured they probably would, but I had never heard about it.