By Kirby Robinson
We ran the following story on October 24, 2013.
The world is running out of ideas for reality shows we’ve seen every version of real housewives short of Real Housewives of Skid Row. A production company kicked around the idea of one set in the paranormal field but got no takers from the network. Just about every combination of reality show has aired short of people killing each other. Lately, the Christian faith has become a fertile field for shows of this type.
In the case of the two newest offerings, we end up with show that exposes us to a world most of us have only read about or seen on TV and film. And the other just confirms what many suspect -- fakes and frauds have taken over the church.
Snake Salvation from the National Geographic Channel focuses on two churches, one in Tennessee, and the other in Kentucky, that practice snake handling.
Snake handling has been around for years mostly in the Appalachian area. It’s a very small fringe movement in what is often referred to as the Holiness Movement, a sub group of the Pentecostal church. They draw their spiritual authority from the book of Mark chapter 16 v18.
“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.” NIV
The services that feature handling venomous snakes will also feature poison drinking [lye or strychnine] and fire handling.
They claim that their faith must be tested and as they pass each test, their faith grows stronger, even if they are bitten, burned, or become sick from the consumption of poison. They reject the medicine of man and depend solely on faith healing.
You’ll never find such churches on your Main Street, nor will they advertise, but they are out there.
Is Snake Salvation staged and fake like your common paranormal reality show such as Ghost Adventures or Ghost Hunters. Well, in one episode a cottonmouth snake bites a preacher while he is out snake hunting.
They are on solid spiritual ground for thinking the way they do. No one holds a gun to anyone’s head to attend their church or think the way they think. It’s their spiritual path and the world, and the law, should allow them the freedom to practice their faith. As to anything being faked, the scenes featuring snakebites are real. Yes, we took very close look at those scenes and could find nothing fake.
We recommend that you watch this show as it’s worth your time.
Sadly, we must share this update to the story:
Unfortunately, at times like these God haters, atheists and members of the new age use such events to mock God and question the faith of some of God's followers.
Pastor Jamie Coots has done nothing wrong. He simply lived a faith that took God at His word. Many ask for healing but die without being healed. That doesn't mean there is no healing. It simply means that God chose to call them home for reasons we can never understand.
This should be an example that matters of faith never should be turned into a reality TV show, as vanity could creep into a believer's heart.
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