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¿Qué tiene que ver conmigo lo que dice la Biblia? ¿Sirve en estos días lo que se cuenta allí? ¿No son anticuadas sus enseñanzas? ¿Qué tengo que ver yo con gente que vivió hace dos, cuatro o seis mil años? ¿Es posible aplicar a mi vida algo de lo que dice la Biblia? ¿O los Diez Mandamientos es todo lo que enseña? En tal caso ¿puedo considerarme "buena persona" si los cumplo? Lo que leemos en la Biblia tiene que ver con todos los seres humanos, sean cristianos o judíos, ateos o agnósticos, budistas, musulmanes o adherentes a alguna de las filosofías o nuevas religiones que surgen en el mundo. ¿Por qué? Ver mayor información sobre este libro dinámico.


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Snake Handling Church

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A few years ago numerous Americans watched the televised presentation of a "Christian" snake handling church. The documentary showed snake handlers who referred to themselves as Christians bravely manipulating what appeared to be poisonous and very dangerous serpents.

The snake handlers sought to visually prove to the world that they were true followers of Christ by demonstrating that they lived under divine protection against harm from the serpents' venom. To add authenticity to their claim, they cleverly misused biblical scripture to support their bold affirmations.

The New Testament scripture of Mark 16:17-18 says, "And these signs shall follow them that believe.... They shall take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them...."

Sadly, most people, including true Christians, are so deficient in their knowledge of the Bible that they are easily convinced by any seemingly amazing thing that appears to be backed by scripture. An evangelist once said that it is no wonder the Bible is a mystery to the majority. It is a collection of sixty-six books. The average person has not read even one of its books, and many of those who have, understood only a fraction of what they read. Unfortunately, with such minute knowledge of God's word, people attempt to use and misuse it to justify their actions. Others establish themselves as teachers and leaders, and many hold very negative opinions of the Bible as a result of ignorance of what it really says.

When presented with scripture as support for sensationalism in "Christianity," it's wise to immediately do two things. First, read the scripture for yourself, and do not rely on the presenter to accurately quote God's word. This, in itself, is scriptural. The Bereans are seen checking the teachings of even Jesus' apostles to make sure they were being given accurate scripture (Acts 17:10-11). Second, ask yourself what else the Bible says about the same subject in question. You might wonder what scriptures speak about snake handling. But, searching for scriptures that speak on a specific activity is not an effective way to search for truth.

The Bible was written for all nations of all time periods (Psalm 100:5, 1 Peter 1:25). Therefore, it does not make sense to expect to find scriptures that use exact terms employed in the activity in question.

What is the message of the "Christian" snake handlers? Ultimately, they sought to convince others that they are true followers of Christ through the display of fearless snake handling in accordance with Mark 16:17-18. Did not Satan attempt to convince Jesus to prove he is the Son of God by putting on a display? How did Jesus respond? Matthew 4:5-7 reads, "Then the devil taketh him (Jesus) up into the holy city and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple. And saith unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down. For it is written, he shall give his angels charge concerning thee. And in their hands they shall bear thee up lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, it is written again (also), thou shalt not TEMPT the Lord thy God."

God's power is never available to anyone to be used at his own whim to bring attention and glory to himself or to a group of people as in a snake handling church. Christians are not to live by some scriptures; they are to live by all scripture (Matthew 4:4). The same Lord that spoke of the signs to be in his followers also said not to tempt him as though his power were a play thing. The conclusion is that there is no scriptural support for willfully engaging in the handling of snakes in order to prove oneself a disciple of Christ.


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