Skip to comments.Snake-handling preacher killed by rattlesnake
Posted on 02/16/2014 3:53:48 PM PST by traumer
Jamie Coots, who starred in the 'Snake Salvation' reality TV show about Pentecostal preachers, has died after being bitten and refusing treatment
A "snake-handling preacher" who believed that he was following a Biblical command by picking up snakes has died after being bitten.
Jamie Coots, star of an American reality television show Snake Salvation, which profiled Pentecostal snake-handling pastors, died at his home in Kentucky after refusing to go to hospital.
Coots had been bitten nine times before, losing part of his finger in the process.
"It's a victory to God's people that the Lord seen fit to bring me through it," he said the day after a previous bite, in 1998.
Coots was killed by a rattlesnake, dying less than an hour after he ordered doctors away from his home. Followers of his sect frequently refuse mainstream medical care.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
I believe God gave us doctors, nurses and medicines. It is God working through these avenues that heals us.
nevertheless, it is this man’s right to practice his religion, unless it hurts others.
These snake handlers are used in college sociology classes to convince students to rethink their relationship to God.
Killed by bad hermeneutics. Full Gospel? As if there is a 1/2 Gospel.
Jackass, sorry but he’s a jackass
Look at it this way: the average IQ in the USA just went up a bit.
Hope that at least the poor snake is doing well.
One should get walking on water down before they do the snake thing.
They showed Holy Ghost People (1967) in one of my undergrad anthropology classes. The documentary was about a West Virginia church (Dolly Pond Church of God with Signs Following) which practiced snake handling.
Lots of lib responses on this thread.
It’s totally kooky, but he lived free and committed to the constitution and his beliefs. Died that way too.
Funny how the folk making Darwin comments don’t even understand what they are saying.
What a dumb ass!
God gave us a brain to have the good sense to avoid Rattlesnakes. Then he went double strong by giving the snake a tail that rattled so you could get away from it.
What more you need?
He may have been “living free” as you put it, but he was clearly tempting God.
I fear God too much to fool with snakes. Herpetology’s one thing, but I suspect this Coots fella’s gonna have some explaining to do.
Yet more evidence that we are just semi- intelligent apes.
I have all the faith in the world that a rattlesnake won’t bite me if I don’t pick it up and dance around with it.
Rattlesnakes are one of the things which they invented shotguns for...
George Went Hensley may have been the first snake handler. I was watching a documentary, “Hillbillies,” narrated by Billy Ray Cyrus, and after talking about bootleggers, coal mining, and feuds, he had a segment on Religious Practices. In it he focused on George Went Hensley.
A former bootlegger, he was saved, and one day while walking in the woods, he pondered on Mark 16:18, “They shall take up serpents and it shall not hurt them.” Finding a rattlesnake, he picked it up and was not bitten. He then brought a rattlesnake to the next service and challenged the congregation to handle them like he did.
They mentioned he died while handling a snake in 1955, and they showed a brief newspaper article about it. Imagine my surprise when the town mentioned was Altha, FL. My relatives live in Altha and have since the early 19th Century, so I was surprised I hadn’t heard my relatives talk about it.
I emailed my cousin and asked her if she knew anything about it. She said my grandfather married his widow, and they were there.
My grandfather and a friend had caught the snake several days before and didn’t feed it or give it water. I guess my grandfather felt guilty.
I was only four at the time, so I don’t remember her at all. The marriage didn’t last long. I asked my mother about her, and she gave the highest praise a country woman could give to another, “She kept a clean house.”
I thought most serpent handling churches use copperhead snakes which are known to be mild natured when compared to other venomous species.
Anyway, nothing to rejoice at. My faith is only just strong enough to know that my Redeemer liveth.
When harmonicas go bad.
Providing the water isn’t more than chest deep....at least until you get the hang of it.
“He may have been living free as you put it, but he was clearly tempting God.”
1Cor 10:9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;
(I saw this verse in a comment at a KY newspaper article about his death. Seems quite appropriate).
Tempting God and misleading well meaning simple sheeple. Deceiving himself. Making a fool of God.
Someone was ragging a friend of mine about handling snakes. Telling him that “they” say if you have enough faith the snake won’t bite you. His reply: If “they” believe that, then let “they” do it.” I’m not going to.
I personally think that whole scene was covered by Christ when He answered one of Satan’s enticements with, “Though shalt not tempt the Lord, thy God...”
Well at least he died doing what he loved./sarc
Really bad it gives the left a way to ridicule christians
I also saw that in an undergraduate social studies class.
I think it was anthropology of Religion, so it was somewhat appropriate.
Yet, indeed, the snake handlers are used as examples to destroy childhood faith the students may come in with.
It’s not really a sound logic to destroy the faith, but young students have not developed the intellectual skills to see that.
“1Cor 10:9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents;”
You found the perfect verse for this situation.
It is uncanny.
>>>They showed Holy Ghost People (1967) in one of my undergrad anthropology classes. The documentary was about a West Virginia church (Dolly Pond Church of God with Signs Following) which practiced snake handling.<<<
I saw that film in a Sociology class in the mid 70’s. The film can be found on Youtube at:
The minister got bit near the end of the film, about 48:15.
Maybe it was a female snake trying to tell him, “Not tonight, dear.” He should have listened.
Guess he just wasn’t feeling anointed that day.
I suspect there may have been a Church of Great Heights, where the membership believed they would be saved upon the wings of angels. Sadly, they may have been inspired by the free fall, but that sudden deceleration as they slammed into God’s earth ended the inspiration.
Thou shalt not be a sloppy typist, either.
Evolution in action!
I tried to shoot a rattle snake once, I had a .25 semi auto. Afraid to get too close, I was missing every shot, dad came out onto the porch, told me to stand back, one blast from his 12 gauge...........end of rattle snake.
Thought they put the snakes in the icebox before handling them.
What was this unfortunate believer’s nick on the Religious Forum here? He will be missed!
“It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
Jimmy Coots and his foolish snake-handler congregation tempted ‘the Lord thy God’ every time they did this kind of evil.
Just another false preacher.
Actually it's understood this behavior and snake handling did not occur in the Holyness churches until around the late 60’s to 70’s when the Hindu Gurus made a huge push to infiltrate the USA as a revenue source much larger than they could imagine possible in India.
The Beatles and various Flower Children were all into this stuff throughout the 60’s and 70’s and it spread like wildfire. Eventually seen in many of the Charismatic churches when thrashing about, speaking in Tongues, and a host of other “sensational” behaviors became prevalent. Some continue to this day.
This behavior generally is not voluntary ,from within the individual as they are often led to “believe” ...rather they're initial motive is to communicate with a power outside themselves....and is more often times than not a Demonic force masquerading as the Holy Spirit.
That’s a plectrum banjo. Don’t see those much these days.
That's pretty clear. It says those are the signs of those who believe. If it doesn't mean that, what does it mean? Does it mean that they won't drive out demons, won't speak in new tongues, won't pick up snakes and drink deadly poisons, and won't heal the sick by laying on their hands? And by what far-fetched interpretation do you derive that meaning?
Based on what that passage says, persons "destroyed by serpents" do not believe. Persons who do believe, though, can do those things without harm (at least often enough for them to be signs of belief).
You counter with what Paul (not Jesus) said: “1Cor 10:9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents”. Sounds to me as if some persons had been trying to do what Jesus plainly said in that passage that believers do, and had died in the process. Jesus doesn’t say that doing so is to “tempt him”. He says it’s what believers do. Apparently Paul wasn’t seeing those results, though, and neither are modern persons (not if the snake is venomous enough, or the poison strong enough).
I think the truth is that — along with sublime passages and good moral principles — the Bible contains some untruths and harmful moral principles (and contradictions, both of fact and principle). Best to look for the good — as, you hope, the Holy Spirit guides you — rather than pretend that it’s all true, and strain to explain away plain statements like the snake-handling one. (I think most nominal believers just ignore such passages. It’s easier than trying to explain them.)
[By the way, I notice that the Bible Gateway online site says, “The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 920 [in Mark 16].”]
For those who sincerely believe that God will give those signs to identify believers, a wiser procedure than taking up snakes first would be to start by speaking in new tongues (real languages that others understand, as is implied in other passages, not just babbling that others pretend to understand). If you can do that, without having studied those languages, then move on to snake handling. Otherwise assume you’re not a believer, and don’t try.