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Snake Salvation Pastor Dies from Rattlesnake Bite during Worship Service

Reality TV star refused hospital treatment as ‘totally against his religion.’
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After sustaining numerous snake bites over the years, a prominent serpent-handling minister and co-star of Snake Salvation died Saturday night after a rattlesnake bit him during a Kentucky church service.

Jamie Coots, 42, died two hours later in ...

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Displaying 1–5 of 35 comments.

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Doranna Cooper

February 28, 2014  10:45pm

Many "religions" are started because someone took a phrase in the Bible out of context. I have family who are missionaries in areas that have weird fevers and malaria. If they become bitten and ill they certainly don't sit down and wait for Gd to heal, they seek the best medical treatment available, in other words they use common sense. God doesn't expect us to act stupid over a phrase in the Bible. I remember a professor at BIOLA say that many churches/religions got their start from misinterpreting the Old King James.

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Rick Dalbey

February 24, 2014  1:35pm

Van, I'll never give up my snakes. You'll have to pry them from my cold dead hands. Of course, being from the theologically liberal wing of the church, I prefer garter snakes....Just kidding. The rest of the church? Like all six of them. These folks are so far beyond the pale. The founder believed you weren't saved unless you could dance around and do the Hokey Pokey with a rattler. George Went Hensley (1880–1955) introduced snake handling practices into the Church of God Holiness in 1910. Winters are long in Appalacia and you have to think of something to do to stay entertained. He later resigned his ministry and started the first holiness movement church to REQUIRE snake handling as evidence of salvation. Is that not heresy? Should he even be considered part of the church? Hensley died of...a snake bite in 1955. Death by snake bite has never stopped these folks.

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Van PastorMan

February 24, 2014  11:37am

The best thing to come from this death is for the rest of this church to abandon this idiotic practice. Even in the Christian world you just can't fix stupid. Sure I sound harsh,but think about what this man was doing. He was playing with fire. Snakes are poisonous!!!!!! Helllllllllooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!

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audrey ruth

February 22, 2014  2:13pm

Wow, David, it sounds like you fall on the 'pride' side, judging everybody else here. Do you really think it is not possible for believers to be genuinely sad for these guys, and wish they could read those verses without seeing an implied commandment there for believers to do life-threatening things? Sheila, I missed that show (the woman handling a snake) - as I said, I only watched one or two. The National Geographic channel is definitely jumping on this story; they had a program on the air this past week which focused on this guy, and had a "memoriam" at the end. I watched part of it, enough to realize that the woman I mentioned earlier (who threatened to leave her hub if he didn't quit handling snakes because she was afraid he would die) is not this guy's wife. His wife was featured on this past week's show (an interview from an earlier show) backing him up and saying she was proud of him. I wonder if she still feels that way now.

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audrey ruth

February 22, 2014  12:54pm

ITA with what Rick said about Paul's experience. I have often thought that his experience on Malta gives insight on the scripture passage in Mark, which does NOT command believers to do life-endangering things on purpose (handling snakes or drinking poison.) As someone else here said, Jesus said we are not to test the Lord our God - He said this when the devil told Him to jump off a cliff, quoting an OT verse out of context in the process. It is very revealing that the devil did not quote the next verse.

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