Hey Pastor? Those snakes bite.
“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19 KJV)
That is a verse in the Bible. It’s meant to be a metaphor highlighting the power of the Cross in a Christ-follower’s life. It wasn’t said for fools to walk out in the desert, see a cobra, grab it by the tail and start dancing like a freak. Nonetheless, that happens, which is what gave this guy a reality show on the National Geographic Channel.
And today, he’s dead. Surprised?
It’s been a “tradition” for some non-orthodox sects in Christianity, which is why NatGeo was so fascinated when they met Pastor Jamie Coots. To this guy, it’s more than confusing a scripture to believe his blood would be the antidote against a snake’s venom. He actually believed that if he didn’t do what he did, he would be destined for hell.
So, how do you think the Kentucky minister feels now that he’s dead because of his 12th snake bite? Hell bound? Ashamed to walk in the Pearly Gates?
Before he was bit on his right hand, Coots told NPR:
“I enjoyed the feeling that moved on me to take up the serpent,” Coots said. “Handling the snake, it’s indescribable. You have a peace to know that you’re holding something in your hand that could kill you. And yet, you have no fear of it.”
It’s that lack of fear, common sense and true understanding of the Bible that gives the entire Church bad PR. People like this encounter a fate like that and then folk like me get questions like, “So, about that? WTF?!”
To wit, I have no clue. Most Christians don’t. What’s important for most people is when someone who fits the unfortunate stereotype of any group acts up, do not paint the rest of said group with the same dirty, broad brush. Some things in life are just outside the realm of question. Take this:
His son, Cody Coots, who is also a snake handler in church, told a local newspaper that the snake that gave his father the fatal bite was a 2-and-a-half-foot timber rattler.
Ya’ think he will learn? Lord, have mercy.