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July 5th, 2012
04:52 PM ET

Pastor dances with venomous snakes

Also check out our story on a West Virginia serpent-handling preacher who recently died of a snakebite.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity

soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Sam Yaza

    soo,.. still no one

    "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 16:18

    come on true believers drink up after all Jesus doesn't lie

    come one first person that post a video of them self drinking ar.senic (or other deadly poison) gets a free one way ticket to paradise

    come on guys drink up

    July 6, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • truth be told

      you don't have a ticket to paradise.

      July 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sam, I forgot which apostle this passage was written for ...but, it was for him to prepare himself.

      July 7, 2012 at 3:45 am |
  2. AverageJoe76

    Look, until they raise the dead, heal the sick (legitimately), walk on water, and/ or turn water into wine (my fav)...... I'm not entertained.

    July 6, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  3. BittyKitty

    First and foremost, on behalf of East Tennessee, I apologize. I was raised in a Pentacostle church, we weren't snake handlers, but oh man did they speak in tongues and pass out and all that good stuff. Looking back now, I see how utterly insane it all was. What kept me a believer for so long was the fact that I saw my mom speak in tongues. It was a crazy sight to behold to say the least.

    July 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  4. Buddist

    "If humans could just muck about with his truth without being struck dead it would mean he doesn’t actually exist"

    TR6

    They can and did, and there is no reason to think god does exist.

    July 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  5. No Truth, Just Claims

    Mark 16:18 (ESV)
    18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, ...

    Shouldn't they be drinking poison too?

    July 6, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • Huebert

      They do. read the linked article.

      July 6, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Buddist

      Wow, missed that. Would they let me pick the poison and the amount?

      July 6, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  6. godisimaginary.com

    Catholic priests like to dance with little boys trouser snakes...

    July 6, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  7. derp

    Dude is just one snake crazier than regular christians.

    July 6, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  8. Kebos

    And that is why religion is so useful. Because it tends to weed out and get rid of the weak-minded in society. Keep on handling those snakes!

    July 6, 2012 at 6:42 am |
  9. doctore0

    This wasn't in the original bible, the handling of serpents, drinking poison and stuff; This was added later by Mr. WhoKnowsWho... and these rednecks are following the bs

    July 6, 2012 at 5:46 am |
    • Kebos

      There was no "original bible". It's been added to all along by man. The greatest scam ever!

      July 6, 2012 at 6:43 am |
      • doctore0

        I know the original is gone. If you don't have the original, just copy's of copy's of copy's. You have nothing

        July 6, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • Unknown

      They actually have the first copy..its called The Dead Sea Scroll..

      July 6, 2012 at 10:29 am |
      • doctore0

        Not so... And even it was, it would be nothing but the ramblings of primitive people, they had an excuse, they didn't know what we know today.
        Believing in gods in this day and age is at best willful ignorance.

        July 6, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Huebert

      The dead sea scrolls are some of the oldest christian writings we have. That does not mean that they are the first editions.

      July 6, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • godisimaginary.com

      Unknown spewing more half truths on subjects that can easily be Googled and thrown back in his face.

      July 6, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Huebert

      The dead sea scrolls are some of the oldest christian writings we have. That does not mean that they are the first editions.

      Interesting, when after Christ were they written?

      July 6, 2012 at 11:05 am |
    • Huebert

      Their are a lot of scrolls. They were written between 385 BCE and 85 CE and contain the oldest manuscript of the book of Mark ever found. They also contain numerous old testament writings.

      July 6, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • godisimaginary.com

      Jesus is never in or even mentioned in the dead sea scrolls.

      July 6, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • TR6

      @doctore0: “This wasn't in the original bible, the handling of serpents, drinking poison and stuff; This was added later by Mr. WhoKnowsWho”

      NO! The bible is the immutable word of god. God protects his holy word and nothing has been added to it or taken away from it since it was first written.
      If humans could just muck about with his truth without being struck dead it would mean he doesn’t actually exist

      July 6, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Judaism God was stolen from Sumerians

      TR6

      @doctore0: “This wasn't in the original bible, the handling of serpents, drinking poison and stuff; This was added later by Mr. WhoKnowsWho”

      NO! The bible is the immutable word of god. God protects his holy word and nothing has been added to it or taken away from it since it was first written.
      If humans could just muck about with his truth without being struck dead it would mean he doesn’t actually exist

      .
      I guess you really don't knwo the origins of your bible. lol

      July 6, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Huebert

      "NO! The bible is the immutable word of god. God protects his holy word and nothing has been added to it or taken away from it since it was first written. If humans could just muck about with his truth without being struck dead it would mean he doesn’t actually exist"

      Then how come the catholic bible has more books than the protestant bible? Which one is correct? Why is the incorrect denomination still living....oh wait you answered that last part.

      July 6, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Judaism God was stolen from Sumerians

      The bible is the immutable word of god.
      .
      NO It is the word of man and more useful as TP

      July 6, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • derp

      "The dead sea scrolls are some of the oldest christian writings we have"

      there is nothing Christian about the dead sea scrolls. Approximately 22% were biblical in nature, but none of it is New Testament. There is nary a mention of christ, or christianity anywhere in the thousands of pages of the scrolls.

      July 6, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Heavensent

      Typical worshippers of satan phony heavensent. First, you trash my handle when stealing it, now you write that I'm asking who scribed the Bible. Go back to your Talmud reading junk, written by man under the guidance of satan.

      Only Christians are true Israel. Everyone else follows the anti-christ.

      July 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Sorry, I forgot the capital S in HeavenSent in my last post.

      I was busy shoving things up my anus, and I failed to hit the shift key.

      Amen.

      July 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I purposely wrote my name with the small "s" phony ....since we can't both use the handle at the same time and when you are using it, I can't send my post.

      July 7, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • HeavenSent

      You really need to get over the obsession you have with me phony. While you are at it, get over obsessing with utilizing multiple handles on this blog. I usually run into one of your dummy handles and hence, why your obsession began. I respond to the dummy handles as I do your original handle. Maybe you should use the handle "Sybil".

      July 7, 2012 at 1:16 am |
    • Bob

      "NO! The bible is the immutable word of god. God protects his holy word and nothing has been added to it or taken away from it since it was first written."

      Then why does the Pentateuch describe the death of Moses and the hiding of his body, when in the NT, it says that Moses wrote it? Only two things are possible....the writing of Moses was added to, or the whole thing was written centuries after the time it claims to tell about. Either option proves your point incorrect.

      And what about the verses added at the end of Mark? Even fundamentalist scholars agree that those verses were added later.

      I'd do some research before I defended something with such certainty.

      July 8, 2012 at 1:32 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I see you evil ones are still looking for the body of Moses.

      July 8, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  10. Nicole

    "We're not crazy. We're not some kind of sideshow freaks. We're Christians, we're Christian people ... that are trying to reach the lost people," said Hamblin.

    What can dancing-with-snakes and snake-handling do to save the lost souls??? Lost souls are supposed to be saved by showing love, by having that Christ-like personality towards them. AND NOT by showing off snake-handling skills to amaze them.

    There was a bible verse that says: "they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all;" (Mark 16:18) But there was none in church history that tells that they took snakes during Church Worship in order to evangelize others and get them to baptize and join in. I do not know where this church get that idea that it is part of what Christians used to do!!!... They misinterpreted again the Scriptures in order to justify their crazy stunt. I believe that what it only meant to say was that when the lives of the true, Holy Spirit-filled believers are hangin on the line or in some trouble, death will not hurt them, they would not fall into the traps and venomous fangs of the serpent (symbolic for Satan).

    God gave us common sense, I don't understand what's wrong with the minds of these people. These are one of those told in the bible who distort and misinterpret the word of God and made up for themselves a new set of doctrines which are not really taught or commanded by God. God wants us to worship Him in spirit, truth and love and not with some show-off snake dance stunt. A worship and prayer focused on God Himself and not on the serpent (Satan)

    July 6, 2012 at 4:52 am |
    • Kebos

      God didn't give us common sense. God gave us religion. It's our common sense that will recognize religion for what it is and is not and be rid of it.

      July 6, 2012 at 6:45 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      god made us right after we made him. god is a fairy tale, a myth. all you have to do is understand you are only 1 god away from being an atheist. you accept that all other gods are made up, a myth, but you don't apply the same standards to your own god - or you would come to the same conclusion. all gods are made up, fictional characters.

      you don't need religion to be a good person. you know killing is wrong. you know stealing is wrong. you know lying is wrong. child molestation is wrong. r.ape is wrong. physically attacking someone is wrong, unless in self defense. hurting people is wrong.

      be a good person. let reason and compa.ssion guide you. let go of childish myths. go outside and make a difference.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:06 am |
    • Scott

      @Nicole "We're not crazy. We're not some kind of sideshow freaks. We're Christians”

      I would never insult sideshow freaks by comparing them to christians

      July 6, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  11. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    July 6, 2012 at 4:23 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      actions cause change; prayer wastes valuable time.

      July 6, 2012 at 5:09 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!! .

      July 6, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • Buddist

      Meditation makes me levitate.

      July 6, 2012 at 11:09 am |
  12. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    You don't have to know much more than about this insanity to understand why the USA is slip sliding into stupidity.

    July 6, 2012 at 3:16 am |
  13. Flamespeak

    Can you imagine the size of the 'faith' on that guy?

    July 6, 2012 at 3:07 am |
  14. Bootyfunk

    christianity is a cult. when a cult is accepted by society, it becomes a religion. when a religion has no more cult members, it becomes a mythology. christianity is at step 2.

    most fundamentalists are lost. but i know there are a lot of you that have doubts. perhaps lots of doubts. things about religion just don't make sense. the bible has talking snakes and donkeys (like in shrek). a guy lives in a giant fish for 3 days (like in pinocchio). there are dragons, unicorns, saytrs and c.cokatrice in the bible. there are literally hundreds of biblical contradictions. and then you get to the evil stuff. god drowns everyone on earth in his great flood – including babies, pregnant women, the elderly, the physically disabled, mentally challenged, every man, woman and child except one family – hard to justify the murder of millions, including infants. god specifically murders the first born of egypt to punish the pharoah. he sends bears to kill 42 children that make fun of one of his bald prophets.

    you know god isn't real. stop obeying and start questioning. look up the facts yourself. use the internet, look up studies, research the answers on your own. follow logic to its conclusion. you've been taught not to question anything – that's exactly opposite of what you should be doing.
    QUESTION EVERYTHING.
    it can only bring you closer to the truth. you don't need religion to be a good person. you know what's right and wrong. we all do, on a basic level. murder was illegal in every civilization that existed long before christianity ever reared its head. just think it through. look at the evidence. look at arguments from the other side and then decide for yourself.

    realize that yahweh is just one of thousands of gods created by the imaginations of humans, a social construct. now unclasp your hands. get up off your knees. go outside and make a difference. let logic, reason and compassion lead you. you will be a better person and will lead a more fulfilling life.

    July 6, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Booty, either you personally belong to your cult, or your teachers/professors did/do. Take your choice.

      July 7, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Commenter

      Heaven Sent,

      You obviously do not know what a "cult" is. Look it up.

      July 7, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • HeavenSent

      I know what a cult is ... atheists are a cult.

      July 7, 2012 at 1:31 am |
  15. Jack

    Hello folks. Everyone is always welcome to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    July 5, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • Jack

      I've posted this for weeks, but my click count is still one (thanks mom!). I pray and pray that people will come and adore me, but it doesn't happen. If I didn't know better, it would almost seem exactly like there is no god.

      July 6, 2012 at 1:18 am |
  16. Fred Kenderman

    Yuck! Can you imagine touching a slimy slithering creepy beast like that, much less dancing with it?

    Poor snake!

    July 5, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Sam Yaza

      hahahahahahahhh i see what you did there

      July 5, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Freak.

    July 5, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      statistics show atheism is much healthier than christianity.

      atheists have a lower divorce rate, higher education rate and lower prison/crime rate.
      atheists also don't let their children die trying to pray a sickness away
      atheists don't dance with poisonous snakes
      atheists don't run an organization that protects child molesters
      atheists don't follow a book that says to murder non-virgin women, disobedient children, all g.ays and anyone working the weekend

      seems pretty clear atheism is much healthier.

      July 6, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Booty, Jeffrey Dahmer belonged to your group.

      July 7, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • tallulah13

      Heave Scent: John List belonged to yours.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/25/nyregion/25list1.html

      July 7, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • HeavenSent

      It's obvious Tallulah, John List was a wolf in sheep's clothing as he pretended to be a church follower. He proved himself a liar and a coward, hence, belonging to your group.

      July 7, 2012 at 3:50 am |
  18. A neat test for Christians!

    Hey guys, why don't you ask with a pure heart and perfect faith for Baby Jesus's protection, then drink a quart of nitric acid, light yourself on fire, and jump off a 20-story building?
    Better yet, why don't every single one of you do this, and thereby greatly improve the dignity and intelligence of the human species?
    kthxbai!

    July 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Polergiest

      ^^ No why would we do that when, according to research, regular church attending Christians enjoy a 20% lower mortality rate. Nah, it'd be better to just hang around and keep stressing militant atheist into early retirement.

      July 5, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Bet

      It just seems 20% longer because it's so boring.

      July 6, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • jwt

      The mortality rate of christians is 100%. Exactly the same as non-christians.

      July 6, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • Judaism God was stolen from Sumerians

      Polergiest

      ^^ No why would we do that when, according to research, regular church attending Christians enjoy a 20% lower mortality rate. Nah, it'd be better to just hang around and keep stressing militant atheist into early retirement.
      .
      Ah I see someone quoting BS stats. Here is a stat that cannot be denied. Christians are responsible for majority of ALL crime in the United States.

      July 6, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • HeavenSent

      Jude, those statistics most likely occurred after 1962. Results of what happened when atheists had God's truth removed.

      July 7, 2012 at 1:40 am |
    • jwt

      Which god and which truth. Not that it matters to anything.

      July 7, 2012 at 7:09 am |
    • Polergiest

      Hey Jude, the Soviet Russia pushed for the elimination of religion. Yet they have three times the US murder rate. So are you really sure you want to start pointing that finger?

      July 7, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • truth be told

      There are at least two of Gods people who never died.

      July 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Neat test, Jesus told us we have to endure your nonsense to the end.

      July 8, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  19. Unknown

    This doesn't take balls to do..it takes stupidity to do it..

    July 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
  20. Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes nothing.

    July 5, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • godisimaginary.com

      Prayer is as useful as a pile of sh•t.

      July 6, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Judaism God was stolen from Sumerians

      Same goes for Zombie Jesus..about as useful as a pile of dead flesh

      July 6, 2012 at 11:18 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.