National Geographic had a reality show called Snake Salvation which followed the snake-handling adventures of Pastor Jamie Coots. Snake handling is an old Pentecostal Appalachian practice, drawn from a couple passages in the Gospels, that recommends holding venomous snakes as a test of faith. Well, this particular snake-handling Pastor, who had already lost a finger from snake bites, has now died… from a rattlesnake bite.
Aside from the obvious object lesson this provides in practical cause and effect (you know, like: “Sleep with dogs, rise with fleas.”), this will also, I’m sure, be used to discredit Christianity.
It’s always the outliers that are under scrutiny. Let’s not make normal average churchgoers the source of our general perspective on Christianity. That would be too obvious. Instead, let’s take a really close look at duck-call millionaires, homeschoolers with three hundred children, or snake handlers. That’s a fair representative sample, right?
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