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Offline Odysseus

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Some people never learn...
« on: May 31, 2012, 02:28:56 PM »
http://uk.news.yahoo.com/pastor-killed-in-rattlesnake-attack-during-church-service.html

Quote
Pastor killed in rattlesnake attack during church service

A Pentecostal pastor famed for handling snakes during church sermons has died after being bitten by a rattlesnake.

Mark “Mack” Wolford, 44, was well-known across the US state of Virginia for his lively church services, which included handling dangerous snakes in a ‘test of faith’. But the pastor died after being bitten by a rattlesnake he had owned for years, mirroring the death of his own father in 1983.

Holding an outdoor service in which serpents where passed around among church members, Wolford was bitten in the thigh by a yellow rattlesnake as he sat on the floor next to it. The service was quickly disbanded as the pastor was taken to family member’s house to recover, but he later died in hospital from poisoning.

Wolford had been bitten on three previous occasions, but did not seek medical attention as he regarded the injury as a test of faith.

“He helped me to understand the faith instead of just documenting it,” photographer and eyewitness Lauren Pond told the Washington Post. “He was one of the most open pastors I’ve ever met. He was a friend and a teacher.”

“I didn’t see the bite, I saw the aftermath” she added.

The group of serpent handlers follow the gospel of Mark, which states: “And these signs will follow
those who believe...they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

I wouldn't wish any harm on the guy but I find it difficult to be sympathetic with someone who fails to learn from his previous experiences and the experiences of others.  Hopefully he didn't get to pass on his dumbass genes to any kids....  ::)

Offline Orbert

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2012, 02:39:02 PM »
I believe in a God who wants us to do well, and be well.  He loves us, so it makes sense.

I do not believe that that means we're free to do all kinds of stupid shit and He'll just save us from it.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2012, 02:45:39 PM »
I believe in a God who wants us to do well, and be well.  He loves us, so it makes sense.

I do not believe that that means we're free to do all kinds of stupid shit and He'll just save us from it.

Basically this.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2012, 03:01:56 PM »
Shoulda asked Derek Roddy!

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Offline bosk1

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2012, 03:27:01 PM »
Shoulda asked Derek Roddy!

rumborak


WWDRD?  :roddy:
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline El Barto

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2012, 03:54:55 PM »
In terms of pictures of antiquity, this is one of my very favorites.  Just wonderful.  Linking so it'll show in full size.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Snakehandling.png

Onto the matter at hand.  I'm always amused at how people scoff at the scriptural interpretations of others, when their own is no more or less valid.  Out of curiosity, what makes their interpretation invalid?  The passage actually seems pretty clear, and it's NT, so it isn't something you can just blow off like the OT.  Did Mark tack on some fine print that these guys overlooked?  Like Professional driver on closed course. Do not attempt?
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Beowulf

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2012, 03:58:58 PM »
Nice pic.  Is it coincidental that the one guy just right of center is missing an arm?
You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 04:02:03 PM »
Nice pic.  Is it coincidental that the one guy just right of center is missing an arm?
Nope.   :rollin
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline j

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 04:05:23 PM »
In terms of pictures of antiquity, this is one of my very favorites.  Just wonderful.  Linking so it'll show in full size.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Snakehandling.png

Onto the matter at hand.  I'm always amused at how people scoff at the scriptural interpretations of others, when their own is no more or less valid.  Out of curiosity, what makes their interpretation invalid?  The passage actually seems pretty clear, and it's NT, so it isn't something you can just blow off like the OT.  Did Mark tack on some fine print that these guys overlooked?  Like Professional driver on closed course. Do not attempt?

I'm with you, but you're going to regret asking that question.  Because "the clear meaning of the text" and "that was a part of the old covenant," etc.

And great picture.

-J

Offline Orbert

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2012, 04:25:01 PM »
I'm always amused at how people scoff at the scriptural interpretations of others, when their own is no more or less valid.  Out of curiosity, what makes their interpretation invalid?  The passage actually seems pretty clear, and it's NT, so it isn't something you can just blow off like the OT.  Did Mark tack on some fine print that these guys overlooked?  Like Professional driver on closed course. Do not attempt?

Fair point.  But I still think there's a difference between interpretating a passage in the Bible to say that believers will not be harmed and actually doing things which would normally get you killed as a "test of faith".  So you passed the test of faith, congratulations, now you're dead.  Isn't there also a passage in the Bible that says not to test the Lord?  When Jesus was in the wilderness and Satan showed up, he told Jesus to throw himself off a cliff or something, no biggie, the angels will catch Him.  Jesus wouldn't do it because that would be testing or tempting or something.

Offline yeshaberto

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 04:31:56 PM »
it is important to add, though, that the text in Mark 16 is one of only two in NT that are missing from earliest mss (the other is first section of John 8).  more than likely, this was added later by who knows, but based on the earliest mss we have access to it was not written by original authors.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 05:01:32 PM »
Luke 4:12.  And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, You shall not test the Lord your God.

OK, fine.  How does that supersede they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them, though?  Barring a later verse that says "oh yeah, I was just joshing about that whole poison thing in Mark 16," it should still remain valid. 

How bout we just cut to the chase here.  Are true believers immune to poison or not?
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Ħ

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2012, 05:04:51 PM »
I have an idea that maybe the "taking up serpents" thing means "casting out demons".
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline bosk1

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2012, 05:24:02 PM »
Luke 4:12.  And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, You shall not test the Lord your God.

OK, fine.  How does that supersede they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them, though?  Barring a later verse that says "oh yeah, I was just joshing about that whole poison thing in Mark 16," it should still remain valid. 

How bout we just cut to the chase here.  Are true believers immune to poison or not?

Not sure whether this is 100% correct, but here's how I see it:  Even assuming that passage is supposed to be there (Yesh's point is that that was not included in the original manuscripts, so wether it is truly supposed to be part of Mark is a dubious claim), and leaving aside for a moment the question of whether miraculous signs exist today, this passage does not say that ALL believers will be able to do this.  As with any of the miraculous signs that are recorded in the New Testament, not all believers can perform miracles at all, and not all who could perform some types could perform others.  So unless God has specifically told ME that I have the miraculous ability to handle poisonous snakes without being harmed, I shouldn't go out looking to do something that is otherwise dangerous just because.  Add to that the fact that there is not a single example of anyone in the NT handling snakes as part of worship.  The only example that seems to maybe fit what Mark is talking about is where Paul is inadvertently bitten by a snake, and nothing happens to him.  (Acts 28:1: Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. 2 And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. 3 But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. 4 So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, “No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live.” 5 But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm.)  But, again, it is something that happened while they were sitting around a campfire minding their own business.  He wasn't acting stupid and looking for trouble from the snake.
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Offline Ħ

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2012, 05:26:55 PM »
Bosk, when Jesus tells his disciples that he is giving them authority over demons, sickness, etc, is that passage for all believers or is it just for those individuals?
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline bosk1

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2012, 05:35:13 PM »
Bosk, when Jesus tells his disciples that he is giving them authority over demons, sickness, etc, is that passage for all believers or is it just for those individuals?

I read that as only applying to those individuals.  I assume you are referring to Matthew 10:1.  That passage specifically mentions that he is talking to the twelve.  The context of it is that he is sending them out for a specific mission.  However, he has other disciples both before and after this event that apparently did NOT have such authority.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2012, 05:38:26 PM »
this passage does not say that ALL believers will be able to do this.  As with any of the miraculous signs that are recorded in the New Testament, not all believers can perform miracles at all, and not all who could perform some types could perform others.  So unless God has specifically told ME that I have the miraculous ability to handle poisonous snakes without being harmed, I shouldn't go out looking to do something that is otherwise dangerous just because.
Seems to me that this is applicable to pretty much everything in the bible.  Isn't the NT is full of promises and assurances that aren't directed to anybody in particular, but are inferred upon all? 

And if your interpretation is correct, then it would be hard to fault these people for wanting to find out where they stand.  Under that interpretation, it seems to me that they're testing themselves, and not the lord their God. 
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2012, 05:42:41 PM »
And if your interpretation is correct, then it would be hard to fault these people for wanting to find out where they stand. 

Mileage may vary.  But to me, no.  Believers are never told anywhere in scripture, either by way of command or by way of example, to perform such "tests."  Again, there simply is no Biblical precedent for going out and looking for trouble.
"The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie."

Offline Rathma

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #18 on: May 31, 2012, 05:50:25 PM »
It's sad that Christians will be the first ones to call this guy out as an idiot when their faith will probably never even come close to what this guy had. R.I.P.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2012, 05:56:59 PM »
Aside from that, I disagree with the thread title.  He got bit three times and survived without medical treatment.  I'm not so sure those were lessons to be learned insomuch as reinforcement to be gained. 
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2012, 07:07:54 PM »
I have an idea that maybe the "taking up serpents" thing means "casting out demons".
Why?  There is plenty of demon talk in the Gospels.  If the author meant "demons" he would have written "demons."

But it doesn't matter, because that part of Mark is not original to the text in any verifiable way.  It is a later addition.  Not to be trusted as historical or doctrinal.
Hef is right on all things. Except for when I disagree with him. In which case he's probably still right.

Offline Ħ

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2012, 09:34:26 PM »
I have an idea that maybe the "taking up serpents" thing means "casting out demons".
Why?  There is plenty of demon talk in the Gospels.  If the author meant "demons" he would have written "demons."

But it doesn't matter, because that part of Mark is not original to the text in any verifiable way.  It is a later addition.  Not to be trusted as historical or doctrinal.
That's disputed. It might be a part of the original, it might not be.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2012, 11:14:43 PM »
I have an idea that maybe the "taking up serpents" thing means "casting out demons".

Yeah, but ... daemons. When I hear that word I have to think of goblins and kobolds.

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Offline Ħ

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2012, 11:15:19 PM »
It's not a far-fetched interpretation. There's demons all over the NT.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2012, 11:18:47 PM »
My personal opinion is, no matter whether there is a God, no matter whether Jesus is the Messiah ... daemons are a ludicrous concept.

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Offline Ħ

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2012, 11:22:40 PM »
Why? If the spiritual realm is real, than why are demons/daemons/whatever a ludicrous concept?

I don't know how you could believe Jesus is the Messiah and not believe in demons. Jesus himself believed in demons.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2012, 11:37:05 PM »
Jesus was man of his time too, just like the sailors who believed in kobolds on their ships. I'm sure Jesus believed that leeches helped with diseases.
While God is omniscient, Jesus isn't. He mademistakes like the rest of us.

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Offline Ħ

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2012, 11:42:26 PM »
Yeah but if he was the Messiah and had perfect connection with God, I doubt his teaching would be based on false precepts.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2012, 12:16:46 AM »
A Messiah who apparently had to ask "God, why have you forsaken me?". I think you are heavily downplaying his human side.
Because,let's face it, what sacrifice would it be if Jesus was just a hollow shell that God sent down? Without a solid human element I don't see how it would be a sacrifice at all that could ever redeem humans.
I think you're somewhat stuck between your dislike of ever associating anything flawed with Jesus, and the fact that such a being wouldn't really redeem humans.

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« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 12:22:27 AM by rumborak »
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Offline Adami

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2012, 12:18:48 AM »
A Messiah who apparently had to ask "God, why have you forsaken me?". I think you are heavily downplaying his human side.

rumborak

To be fair Rumby, I'm pretty sure you're heavily downplaying his Vulcan side.
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Offline Ħ

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2012, 12:21:14 AM »
His knowledge was limited. His teaching, though, came from God. So while I see that some of the things he had to say were clearly incorrect (a mustard seed is not the least of all seeds, for example), he's right when it comes to core doctrinal ideas, and the activity of demons is one of those core ideas.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2012, 12:23:27 AM »
That's a lot of detailed things you know about him. Impressive. Can't remember reading any of that in the gospels. I remember reading though how Jesus threw a pretty human hissy fit in the temple.

And if course that "why have you forsaken me" part. Don't exactly get how a part of a Trinity needs to ask the other parts for clarification.

rumborak
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 12:28:51 AM by rumborak »
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Offline Ħ

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #32 on: June 01, 2012, 12:31:27 AM »
That's a lot of detailed things you know about him. Impressive.
Come on.

Quote
And if course that "why have you forsaken me" part. Don't exactly get how a part of a Trinity needs to ask the other parts for clarification.
I don't really know how that applies to that discussion, but there's lots of interpretations of why Jesus said that. But he probably said it because God did forsake him.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges

Offline rumborak

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #33 on: June 01, 2012, 12:41:25 AM »
You don't see a problem with your theory that Jesus was omniscient if he had to ask that question?
And again, where is the redeeming factor if Jesus' human part was nothing more than mere flesh?

Theologically, the more powerful you make Jesus, the less worth his sacrifice becomes.

rumborak
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Offline Ħ

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Re: Some people never learn...
« Reply #34 on: June 01, 2012, 12:42:40 AM »
I didn't say that Jesus was omniscient. Sorry if that was implied. I think that he knew all he needed to know.
"All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursors, the followers, the Master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night." - A. G. Sertillanges