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Author Topic: Mark 16:18 Take Up Serpents  (Read 999 times) Average Rating: 0
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JoeS2
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« on: February 13, 2014, 05:34:13 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 08:25:34 PM »

I do not know how they see it, but you seem to have it correct.

As far as self inflicting pain , I do not see that as part of Jesus ministry, and what his actions said were to help others while denying ourselves, so how does hurting oneself which does not benefit others do what he taught, It has no reasoning to being a servant to others, in fact it puts a burden on others when you run into problems caused by doing that.

He never did either, nor taught us to do them according to the Gospels, that passage seems IMHO to be saying that he will protect you in dire straits, not to go looking for trouble or pain which does not serve others needs..
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 08:26:48 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 02:52:51 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service... How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
First, I think they will be ultra-Fundamentalist, believing only in the Textus Receptus and the King James 1611 English Bible. Not all manuscripts and translations of the New Testament have this passage.

Secondly, it seems to me they are breaking the commandment, "thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." It is true that God can and does protect his people, watching providentially over them when danger approaches. But that does not mean one should put oneself in danger in order to attract special divine intervention. It would be like Jesus jumping from the pinnacle of the Temple, because of the promise that God would give the angels charge of him to protect him. He did not succumb to that satanic ruse.
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 03:36:36 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service... How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
First, I think they will be ultra-Fundamentalist, believing only in the Textus Receptus and the King James 1611 English Bible. Not all manuscripts and translations of the New Testament have this passage.

Secondly, it seems to me they are breaking the commandment, "thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God." It is true that God can and does protect his people, watching providentially over them when danger approaches. But that does not mean one should put oneself in danger in order to attract special divine intervention. It would be like Jesus jumping from the pinnacle of the Temple, because of the promise that God would give the angels charge of him to protect him. He did not succumb to that satanic ruse.

Well that's pretty much what I was thinking but would not these "ultras" realize that they are tempting God when they do this or are they trying to prove that by NOT being injured they have God's protection and by this proves their faith is real?   Has anyone of note confronted this practice?
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« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 05:46:52 PM »

would not these "ultras" realize that they are tempting God when they do this or are they trying to prove that by NOT being injured they have God's protection and by this proves their faith is real?   Has anyone of note confronted this practice?

I is probably impossible to answer your first question. It is obviously a form of religious extremism, what was called "enthusiasm" in the 18th century - religious experience divorced from reasonableness and not submitted to tests of accord with scripture, and contribution to progress in humility and holiness. I cannot imagine myself into their mindset. Regarding the second question - whether such practices have been challenged: there have been challenges from John Wesley onwards, if not before, to fanaticism or "enthusiasm", but I have not followed the snake-handlers so as to know whether any more balanced Christian has focussed on that practice.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 05:47:19 PM by David Young » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 06:06:10 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.
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« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2014, 07:22:53 PM »

I have heard that the 'serpents' in that verse were analogous to sin, as in the temptation (and serpent) in the Garden of Eden. This is why St. George is shown in his icons as killing a dragon or great serpent - it is a physical representation of sin, which he defeated by holiness; I'm not sure there was really a monster out of an Anne McCaffrey novel crawling around in 3rd-Century Lydda. Wink
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 07:25:50 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2014, 07:27:48 PM »

It's interesting to wonder, how much harm is harmful? I'm not trying to be weird here. If a person eats some dessert and then goes running to burn off the calories, that should be okay. If a person does some minor act of self-discipline, such as Peter mentioned, as long as they don't pummel themselves into a bloody pulp, then I don't see the problem with it.
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2014, 07:35:04 PM »

Matthew 20:27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave--
... And whoever has a desire to be first among you, let him take the lowest place ...
And he that will be first among you, shall be your servant. ...

So how does beating yourself accomplish this, and the slave owner will be mad if you hurt yourself, since you will not be as healthy as others who do not.
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 07:46:17 PM »

It's interesting to wonder, how much harm is harmful? I'm not trying to be weird here. If a person eats some dessert and then goes running to burn off the calories, that should be okay. If a person does some minor act of self-discipline, such as Peter mentioned, as long as they don't pummel themselves into a bloody pulp, then I don't see the problem with it.
Yeah, I don't see what is ascetical about amateur herpetology.
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2014, 07:49:36 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
I don't know. Why don't you ask St. Herman that question? How does wearing heavy chains cause bodily harm? How does wearing a hair shirt cause bodily harm? How does taking a roll in the blackberries cause bodily harm, except maybe for some minor cuts and scrapes from the thorns? (I have to do that every summer in my back yard, though I will never do it naked.) For that matter, how does fasting cause us bodily harm if done properly? How does intense physical training done properly--e.g., weight training, long runs, etc.--cause bodily harm beyond minor aches and pains and momentary exhaustion?
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 08:26:32 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2014, 08:21:29 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
I don't know. Why don't you ask St. Herman that question?

EDITed out already answered
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 08:22:49 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 05:45:57 PM »

Another reason this is a bad idea:



Reality show snake handler dies from snake bite

http://usat.ly/1eF9STx
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2014, 06:43:40 PM »

Another reason this is a bad idea:



Reality show snake handler dies from snake bite

http://usat.ly/1eF9STx

Yeah, I saw that show. Rest in peace. I doubt others in his group will learn from the example.
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« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2014, 06:47:47 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
I don't know. Why don't you ask St. Herman that question? How does wearing heavy chains cause bodily harm? How does wearing a hair shirt cause bodily harm? How does taking a roll in the blackberries cause bodily harm, except maybe for some minor cuts and scrapes from the thorns? (I have to do that every summer in my back yard, though I will never do it naked.) For that matter, how does fasting cause us bodily harm if done properly? How does intense physical training done properly--e.g., weight training, long runs, etc.--cause bodily harm beyond minor aches and pains and momentary exhaustion?

Yes, but the first post mentioned flagellation specifically, which is what we were talking about.
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« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2014, 06:50:14 PM »

Ahem: the 'featured episode' of 'Snake Salvation' at the National Geographic channel website is called "Deadly Legacy."  Undecided

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/snake-salvation/episodes/deadly-legacy/
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« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2014, 07:51:15 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
I don't know. Why don't you ask St. Herman that question? How does wearing heavy chains cause bodily harm? How does wearing a hair shirt cause bodily harm? How does taking a roll in the blackberries cause bodily harm, except maybe for some minor cuts and scrapes from the thorns? (I have to do that every summer in my back yard, though I will never do it naked.) For that matter, how does fasting cause us bodily harm if done properly? How does intense physical training done properly--e.g., weight training, long runs, etc.--cause bodily harm beyond minor aches and pains and momentary exhaustion?

Yes, but the first post mentioned flagellation specifically, which is what we were talking about.
Of course! I was talking about flagellation, together with a list of other practices like it.
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« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2014, 08:06:55 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
I don't know. Why don't you ask St. Herman that question? How does wearing heavy chains cause bodily harm? How does wearing a hair shirt cause bodily harm? How does taking a roll in the blackberries cause bodily harm, except maybe for some minor cuts and scrapes from the thorns? (I have to do that every summer in my back yard, though I will never do it naked.) For that matter, how does fasting cause us bodily harm if done properly? How does intense physical training done properly--e.g., weight training, long runs, etc.--cause bodily harm beyond minor aches and pains and momentary exhaustion?

Yes, but the first post mentioned flagellation specifically, which is what we were talking about.
Of course! I was talking about flagellation, together with a list of other practices like it.

Flagellation, unlike the other examples has only one purpose, to cause bodily harm. Christ said to deny yourself , that fasting and poverty would help your faith, he never mentioned beating yourself.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 08:12:22 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2014, 09:09:14 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
I don't know. Why don't you ask St. Herman that question? How does wearing heavy chains cause bodily harm? How does wearing a hair shirt cause bodily harm? How does taking a roll in the blackberries cause bodily harm, except maybe for some minor cuts and scrapes from the thorns? (I have to do that every summer in my back yard, though I will never do it naked.) For that matter, how does fasting cause us bodily harm if done properly? How does intense physical training done properly--e.g., weight training, long runs, etc.--cause bodily harm beyond minor aches and pains and momentary exhaustion?

Yes, but the first post mentioned flagellation specifically, which is what we were talking about.
Of course! I was talking about flagellation, together with a list of other practices like it.

Flagellation, unlike the other examples has only one purpose, to cause bodily harm.
Really? It seems to me from my understanding of the practice that its purpose is to mortify the flesh by causing minor pain and minimal bodily harm, not to maim oneself. Some sects like the Flagellants took the practice to its extremes, but this is more a reflection against them than against the practice of self-flagellation itself. FWIW, I believe they were so extreme that the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated them.

Christ said to deny yourself , that fasting and poverty would help your faith, he never mentioned beating yourself.
He left that to St. Paul.

but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  - 1 Corinthians 9:27


I think, though, that the OP made the mistake of associating snake handling with self-flagellation as if they're the same thing. They're not related, as far as I'm concerned. One is about tempting instant death, while the other is merely about practices that mortify the flesh by causing oneself temporary pain. If we're going to talk about putting God to the test, then I think we should only discuss the snake handling and address such practices as self-flagellation on another thread. Otherwise, we confuse things by talking about two unrelated practices.
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« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2014, 09:23:01 PM »



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« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2014, 09:34:50 PM »



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« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2014, 09:59:48 PM »



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What are you trying to communicate with this picture?

Have a look at the bishop's staff.
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« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2014, 10:03:08 PM »

quite thankfully, unless something went -really- odd, they wouldn't bite him!


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« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2014, 09:26:45 AM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?

Just came across this News today:

http://tv.yahoo.com/news/natgeo-snake-salvation-star-dead-snake-bite-175410245.html

Jamie Coots, one of the stars of National Geographic‘s reality show Snake Salvation, died Saturday of a venomous snake bite. According to reports he refused medical attention after being bitten in his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name in Middlesboro, Kentucky and died shortly thereafter in his home. The show debuted last Fall centered on two Pentecostal preachers who handle deadly snakes as part of a century-old Appalachian practice originating from a Bible passage that suggests those anointed by God will not be harmed by a poisonous snake bite. Coots had previously been bitten nine times and lost a finger to a rattlesnake bite. He starred on Snake Salvation alongside Tennessee Pastor Andrew Hamblin, both of whom claim serpent handling is their First Amendment religious right. The pair have come under fire from authorities for hunting and collecting deadly snakes for their church services. Last year Coots pled guilty to illegally possessing and transporting three rattlesnakes and two copperheads in Tennessee after the state seized them in a traffic stop as he was driving them from Alabama to Kentucky.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 09:28:20 AM by JoeS2 » Logged
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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2014, 06:20:49 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
I don't know. Why don't you ask St. Herman that question? How does wearing heavy chains cause bodily harm? How does wearing a hair shirt cause bodily harm? How does taking a roll in the blackberries cause bodily harm, except maybe for some minor cuts and scrapes from the thorns? (I have to do that every summer in my back yard, though I will never do it naked.) For that matter, how does fasting cause us bodily harm if done properly? How does intense physical training done properly--e.g., weight training, long runs, etc.--cause bodily harm beyond minor aches and pains and momentary exhaustion?

Yes, but the first post mentioned flagellation specifically, which is what we were talking about.
Of course! I was talking about flagellation, together with a list of other practices like it.

Flagellation, unlike the other examples has only one purpose, to cause bodily harm.
Really? It seems to me from my understanding of the practice that its purpose is to mortify the flesh by causing minor pain and minimal bodily harm, not to maim oneself. Some sects like the Flagellants took the practice to its extremes, but this is more a reflection against them than against the practice of self-flagellation itself. FWIW, I believe they were so extreme that the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated them.

Christ said to deny yourself , that fasting and poverty would help your faith, he never mentioned beating yourself.
He left that to St. Paul.

but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  - 1 Corinthians 9:27


I think, though, that the OP made the mistake of associating snake handling with self-flagellation as if they're the same thing. They're not related, as far as I'm concerned. One is about tempting instant death, while the other is merely about practices that mortify the flesh by causing oneself temporary pain. If we're going to talk about putting God to the test, then I think we should only discuss the snake handling and address such practices as self-flagellation on another thread. Otherwise, we confuse things by talking about two unrelated practices.



Quote
purpose is to mortify the flesh by causing minor pain and minimal bodily harm

How does this serve others, and in what Gospel do you see a mention, there is a reason that the Gospel is read only by the priest and the epistles by a reader. The symbolism is also part of the quote from Paul, it is a metaphor for what can be done by fasting as Jesus did in the desert, quite different than beating yourself.

Many things can go wrong when causing wounds, especially back in those days when microbes were not understood, and there were no antibiotics.


Quote
I think, though, that the OP made the mistake of associating snake handling with self-flagellation as if they're the same thing. They're not related, as far as I'm concerned.

Since you are not the creator of this thread , so you are not the one to state what we should be discussing within it.Your opinion is just as valid as his.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 06:26:59 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2014, 06:42:14 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
I don't know. Why don't you ask St. Herman that question? How does wearing heavy chains cause bodily harm? How does wearing a hair shirt cause bodily harm? How does taking a roll in the blackberries cause bodily harm, except maybe for some minor cuts and scrapes from the thorns? (I have to do that every summer in my back yard, though I will never do it naked.) For that matter, how does fasting cause us bodily harm if done properly? How does intense physical training done properly--e.g., weight training, long runs, etc.--cause bodily harm beyond minor aches and pains and momentary exhaustion?

Yes, but the first post mentioned flagellation specifically, which is what we were talking about.
Of course! I was talking about flagellation, together with a list of other practices like it.

Flagellation, unlike the other examples has only one purpose, to cause bodily harm.
Really? It seems to me from my understanding of the practice that its purpose is to mortify the flesh by causing minor pain and minimal bodily harm, not to maim oneself. Some sects like the Flagellants took the practice to its extremes, but this is more a reflection against them than against the practice of self-flagellation itself. FWIW, I believe they were so extreme that the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated them.

Christ said to deny yourself , that fasting and poverty would help your faith, he never mentioned beating yourself.
He left that to St. Paul.

but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  - 1 Corinthians 9:27


I think, though, that the OP made the mistake of associating snake handling with self-flagellation as if they're the same thing. They're not related, as far as I'm concerned. One is about tempting instant death, while the other is merely about practices that mortify the flesh by causing oneself temporary pain. If we're going to talk about putting God to the test, then I think we should only discuss the snake handling and address such practices as self-flagellation on another thread. Otherwise, we confuse things by talking about two unrelated practices.



Quote
purpose is to mortify the flesh by causing minor pain and minimal bodily harm

How does this serve others, and in what Gospel do you see a mention, there is a reason that the Gospel is read only by the priest and the epistles by a reader.
I don't think that reason is what you think it is.

The symbolism is also part of the quote from Paul, it is a metaphor for what can be done by fasting as Jesus did in the desert, quite different than beating yourself.
But there's nothing in the text of St. Paul's epistle to support your interpretation that this passage is merely a metaphor for fasting. The service my asceticism provides others is that I acquire the self-discipline to cast aside all those sins and distractions that keep me from being the most effective witness to others that I can be.

Many things can go wrong when causing wounds, especially back in those days when microbes were not understood, and there were no antibiotics.
But are we talking about now or back then?

Quote
I think, though, that the OP made the mistake of associating snake handling with self-flagellation as if they're the same thing. They're not related, as far as I'm concerned.

Since you are not the creator of this thread , so you are not the one to state what we should be discussing within it.Your opinion is just as valid as his.
Since you are not the creator of this thread, if you are to follow your own logic, you are also not the one to state what we should be discussing within it. police I stated my opinion, which I am entitled to do as long as I don't violate any forum rules, that the OP conflates the tempting of instant death with asceticism, and I stand by my opinion. If the OP doesn't care about my opinion, than that's his prerogative.
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« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2014, 06:43:43 PM »


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St. Basil is great!

Wonder if he drank goat's milk . . .

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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2014, 06:49:04 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
I don't know. Why don't you ask St. Herman that question? How does wearing heavy chains cause bodily harm? How does wearing a hair shirt cause bodily harm? How does taking a roll in the blackberries cause bodily harm, except maybe for some minor cuts and scrapes from the thorns? (I have to do that every summer in my back yard, though I will never do it naked.) For that matter, how does fasting cause us bodily harm if done properly? How does intense physical training done properly--e.g., weight training, long runs, etc.--cause bodily harm beyond minor aches and pains and momentary exhaustion?

Yes, but the first post mentioned flagellation specifically, which is what we were talking about.
Of course! I was talking about flagellation, together with a list of other practices like it.

Flagellation, unlike the other examples has only one purpose, to cause bodily harm.
Really? It seems to me from my understanding of the practice that its purpose is to mortify the flesh by causing minor pain and minimal bodily harm, not to maim oneself. Some sects like the Flagellants took the practice to its extremes, but this is more a reflection against them than against the practice of self-flagellation itself. FWIW, I believe they were so extreme that the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated them.

Christ said to deny yourself , that fasting and poverty would help your faith, he never mentioned beating yourself.
He left that to St. Paul.

but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  - 1 Corinthians 9:27


I think, though, that the OP made the mistake of associating snake handling with self-flagellation as if they're the same thing. They're not related, as far as I'm concerned. One is about tempting instant death, while the other is merely about practices that mortify the flesh by causing oneself temporary pain. If we're going to talk about putting God to the test, then I think we should only discuss the snake handling and address such practices as self-flagellation on another thread. Otherwise, we confuse things by talking about two unrelated practices.



Quote
purpose is to mortify the flesh by causing minor pain and minimal bodily harm

How does this serve others, and in what Gospel do you see a mention, there is a reason that the Gospel is read only by the priest and the epistles by a reader.
I don't think that reason is what you think it is.

The symbolism is also part of the quote from Paul, it is a metaphor for what can be done by fasting as Jesus did in the desert, quite different than beating yourself.
But there's nothing in the text of St. Paul's epistle to support your interpretation that this passage is merely a metaphor for fasting. The service my asceticism provides others is that I acquire the self-discipline to cast aside all those sins and distractions that keep me from being the most effective witness to others that I can be.

Many things can go wrong when causing wounds, especially back in those days when microbes were not understood, and there were no antibiotics.
But are we talking about now or back then?

Quote
I think, though, that the OP made the mistake of associating snake handling with self-flagellation as if they're the same thing. They're not related, as far as I'm concerned.

Since you are not the creator of this thread , so you are not the one to state what we should be discussing within it.Your opinion is just as valid as his.
Since you are not the creator of this thread, if you are to follow your own logic, you are also not the one to state what we should be discussing within it. police I stated my opinion, which I am entitled to do as long as I don't violate any forum rules, that the OP conflates the tempting of instant death with asceticism, and I stand by my opinion. If the OP doesn't care about my opinion, than that's his prerogative.

You said his opinion was a mistake, and that we should change the thread likewise.

And make no mistake about that symbolism meaning the Gospel has much more weight in our religion than the epistles. You can find that taught in the Orthodox study Bible.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 06:51:41 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2014, 08:54:48 PM »

I do not know why we are arguing this really, because I do not think you're advocating flagellation .

I just do not think it is in the spirit of being a good Christian servant, anymore than tempting fate with a snake.
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« Reply #30 on: February 17, 2014, 09:22:12 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
I don't know. Why don't you ask St. Herman that question? How does wearing heavy chains cause bodily harm? How does wearing a hair shirt cause bodily harm? How does taking a roll in the blackberries cause bodily harm, except maybe for some minor cuts and scrapes from the thorns? (I have to do that every summer in my back yard, though I will never do it naked.) For that matter, how does fasting cause us bodily harm if done properly? How does intense physical training done properly--e.g., weight training, long runs, etc.--cause bodily harm beyond minor aches and pains and momentary exhaustion?

Yes, but the first post mentioned flagellation specifically, which is what we were talking about.
Of course! I was talking about flagellation, together with a list of other practices like it.

Flagellation, unlike the other examples has only one purpose, to cause bodily harm.
Really? It seems to me from my understanding of the practice that its purpose is to mortify the flesh by causing minor pain and minimal bodily harm, not to maim oneself. Some sects like the Flagellants took the practice to its extremes, but this is more a reflection against them than against the practice of self-flagellation itself. FWIW, I believe they were so extreme that the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated them.

Christ said to deny yourself , that fasting and poverty would help your faith, he never mentioned beating yourself.
He left that to St. Paul.

but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  - 1 Corinthians 9:27


I think, though, that the OP made the mistake of associating snake handling with self-flagellation as if they're the same thing. They're not related, as far as I'm concerned. One is about tempting instant death, while the other is merely about practices that mortify the flesh by causing oneself temporary pain. If we're going to talk about putting God to the test, then I think we should only discuss the snake handling and address such practices as self-flagellation on another thread. Otherwise, we confuse things by talking about two unrelated practices.



Quote
purpose is to mortify the flesh by causing minor pain and minimal bodily harm

How does this serve others, and in what Gospel do you see a mention, there is a reason that the Gospel is read only by the priest and the epistles by a reader.
I don't think that reason is what you think it is.

The symbolism is also part of the quote from Paul, it is a metaphor for what can be done by fasting as Jesus did in the desert, quite different than beating yourself.
But there's nothing in the text of St. Paul's epistle to support your interpretation that this passage is merely a metaphor for fasting. The service my asceticism provides others is that I acquire the self-discipline to cast aside all those sins and distractions that keep me from being the most effective witness to others that I can be.

Many things can go wrong when causing wounds, especially back in those days when microbes were not understood, and there were no antibiotics.
But are we talking about now or back then?

Quote
I think, though, that the OP made the mistake of associating snake handling with self-flagellation as if they're the same thing. They're not related, as far as I'm concerned.

Since you are not the creator of this thread , so you are not the one to state what we should be discussing within it.Your opinion is just as valid as his.
Since you are not the creator of this thread, if you are to follow your own logic, you are also not the one to state what we should be discussing within it. police I stated my opinion, which I am entitled to do as long as I don't violate any forum rules, that the OP conflates the tempting of instant death with asceticism, and I stand by my opinion. If the OP doesn't care about my opinion, than that's his prerogative.

You said his opinion was a mistake, and that we should change the thread likewise.
No, I said his conflation of snake handling with self-flagellation was a mistake, and that we should refocus our discussion accordingly.

And make no mistake about that symbolism meaning the Gospel has much more weight in our religion than the epistles. You can find that taught in the Orthodox study Bible.
But we don't understand the Gospel apart from the Epistles. The Gospel has greater weight, but the Epistles guide us into a proper understanding and application of the Gospel. You can't separate the two and set the one against the other.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 09:23:13 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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Great googly moogly!


« Reply #31 on: February 18, 2014, 05:17:39 PM »

"They will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Some Protestant Pentecostal groups use poisonous snakes in their service and also do healing services as well.  Both services are highly charged and claim they invoke the Holy Spirit to keep them safe.  While God can protect believers from both physical and spiritual harm, to test God by deliberately committing harmful acts against oneself is a grave sin.

as a foot note, "harmful acts" would this also include those Catholics who use flagellation in their quest for the forgiveness of sins?

My question:  How do these groups view this passage in Mark?
I think there's a difference between snake handling and flagellation, though. With the former, you're actually tempting snakes to kill you, while with the latter you're merely causing yourself pain that will likely not kill you. I liken the latter practice of flagellation with St. Herman of Alaska's practice of wearing heavy chains under his garments, the common--at least in the West--monastic practice of wearing irritating hair shirts, St. Benedict of Nursia's practice of rolling around naked in the briar bushes to ward off sexual temptations, etc. None of these practices run the high risk of causing death to the practitioner as snake handling or jumping off the highest point of the Temple do.

But how does that serve others as he told us to be a servant to all, if you intentionally cause yourself bodily harm, that will end up causing others pain as well.
I don't know. Why don't you ask St. Herman that question? How does wearing heavy chains cause bodily harm? How does wearing a hair shirt cause bodily harm? How does taking a roll in the blackberries cause bodily harm, except maybe for some minor cuts and scrapes from the thorns? (I have to do that every summer in my back yard, though I will never do it naked.) For that matter, how does fasting cause us bodily harm if done properly? How does intense physical training done properly--e.g., weight training, long runs, etc.--cause bodily harm beyond minor aches and pains and momentary exhaustion?

Yes, but the first post mentioned flagellation specifically, which is what we were talking about.
Of course! I was talking about flagellation, together with a list of other practices like it.

Flagellation, unlike the other examples has only one purpose, to cause bodily harm.
Really? It seems to me from my understanding of the practice that its purpose is to mortify the flesh by causing minor pain and minimal bodily harm, not to maim oneself. Some sects like the Flagellants took the practice to its extremes, but this is more a reflection against them than against the practice of self-flagellation itself. FWIW, I believe they were so extreme that the Roman Catholic Church excommunicated them.

Christ said to deny yourself , that fasting and poverty would help your faith, he never mentioned beating yourself.
He left that to St. Paul.

but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.  - 1 Corinthians 9:27


I think, though, that the OP made the mistake of associating snake handling with self-flagellation as if they're the same thing. They're not related, as far as I'm concerned. One is about tempting instant death, while the other is merely about practices that mortify the flesh by causing oneself temporary pain. If we're going to talk about putting God to the test, then I think we should only discuss the snake handling and address such practices as self-flagellation on another thread. Otherwise, we confuse things by talking about two unrelated practices.



Quote
purpose is to mortify the flesh by causing minor pain and minimal bodily harm

How does this serve others, and in what Gospel do you see a mention, there is a reason that the Gospel is read only by the priest and the epistles by a reader.
I don't think that reason is what you think it is.

The symbolism is also part of the quote from Paul, it is a metaphor for what can be done by fasting as Jesus did in the desert, quite different than beating yourself.
But there's nothing in the text of St. Paul's epistle to support your interpretation that this passage is merely a metaphor for fasting. The service my asceticism provides others is that I acquire the self-discipline to cast aside all those sins and distractions that keep me from being the most effective witness to others that I can be.

Many things can go wrong when causing wounds, especially back in those days when microbes were not understood, and there were no antibiotics.
But are we talking about now or back then?

Quote
I think, though, that the OP made the mistake of associating snake handling with self-flagellation as if they're the same thing. They're not related, as far as I'm concerned.

Since you are not the creator of this thread , so you are not the one to state what we should be discussing within it.Your opinion is just as valid as his.
Since you are not the creator of this thread, if you are to follow your own logic, you are also not the one to state what we should be discussing within it. police I stated my opinion, which I am entitled to do as long as I don't violate any forum rules, that the OP conflates the tempting of instant death with asceticism, and I stand by my opinion. If the OP doesn't care about my opinion, than that's his prerogative.

You said his opinion was a mistake, and that we should change the thread likewise.
No, I said his conflation of snake handling with self-flagellation was a mistake, and that we should refocus our discussion accordingly.

And make no mistake about that symbolism meaning the Gospel has much more weight in our religion than the epistles. You can find that taught in the Orthodox study Bible.
But we don't understand the Gospel apart from the Epistles. The Gospel has greater weight, but the Epistles guide us into a proper understanding and application of the Gospel. You can't separate the two and set the one against the other.

Who guided Paul?
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« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2014, 05:50:08 PM »

But we don't understand the Gospel apart from the Epistles. The Gospel has greater weight, but the Epistles guide us into a proper understanding and application of the Gospel. You can't separate the two and set the one against the other.

Who guided Paul?
Why do you keep trying to set the Gospel against the Epistles?
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« Reply #33 on: February 18, 2014, 05:56:01 PM »

Who guided Paul?

Gal. 1.12, 15-24.
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« Reply #34 on: February 20, 2014, 06:11:22 PM »

But we don't understand the Gospel apart from the Epistles. The Gospel has greater weight, but the Epistles guide us into a proper understanding and application of the Gospel. You can't separate the two and set the one against the other.

Who guided Paul?
Why do you keep trying to set the Gospel against the Epistles?

If you do not accept the Gospels having more authority then I cannot argue with you if you refuse to accept the basis of our faith.Without the life, teachings , and resurrection of Jesus you have nothing, Paul is just a man like you, whereas the sayings of Christ are in red, and even the word Gospel has come to mean without fault.
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« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2014, 08:15:07 PM »

If you do not accept the Gospels having more authority then I cannot argue with you if you refuse to accept the basis of our faith.Without the life, teachings , and resurrection of Jesus you have nothing, Paul is just a man like you, whereas the sayings of Christ are in red, and even the word Gospel has come to mean without fault.

This is an exceptionally weak argument. 
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« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2014, 08:25:57 PM »

If you do not accept the Gospels having more authority then I cannot argue with you if you refuse to accept the basis of our faith.Without the life, teachings , and resurrection of Jesus you have nothing, Paul is just a man like you, whereas the sayings of Christ are in red, and even the word Gospel has come to mean without fault.

This is an exceptionally weak argument.  

That is good , I would rather be weak, especially in other men's eyes,, but the Orthodox Study Bible does have a section on the subject, too bad they are too cheap to have it online so we can use it more often, but I will check it tonight.

Jesus life was the example which everything else in our faith is based, so it is useless to say that what is said later is more important.
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« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2014, 08:43:56 PM »

But we don't understand the Gospel apart from the Epistles. The Gospel has greater weight, but the Epistles guide us into a proper understanding and application of the Gospel. You can't separate the two and set the one against the other.

Who guided Paul?
Why do you keep trying to set the Gospel against the Epistles?

If you do not accept the Gospels having more authority then I cannot argue with you if you refuse to accept the basis of our faith.
Except for one little detail you've overlooked. I stated explicitly my agreement with you that the Gospel has greater weight--greater authority, if I were to use your terms--than the Epistles. That means that you're arguing with me over a non-issue. Wink

Without the life, teachings , and resurrection of Jesus you have nothing, Paul is just a man like you, whereas the sayings of Christ are in red, and even the word Gospel has come to mean without fault.
Where I take issue with you is in what appears to be an attempt to set the Gospel against the Epistles. ISTM that for the sake of this debate you wish to disregard the Epistles because they disagree with the interpretation of the Gospel you wish to put forward here. Whereas the Gospel does have greater weight than the Epistles, because it presents to us the life of Christ to which even the Epistles bear witness, the two cannot be separated from each other in such a way that sets the one in opposition to the other. The Gospel sets forth for us the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Christ to which everything else in the Church, even the Epistles, bears witness, but the Epistles set forth for us the apostolic understanding of the Gospel apart from which we cannot interpret the Gospel properly.
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« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2014, 08:53:11 PM »

No I did not mean to set it against one another just as I also said earlier that it made little sense for us to argue about self flagellation since I doubt that anyone here is advocating it, which is what this is all about , my thing was to use as the supreme example Christ life and words, which did never indicate to anyone(even in the apocryphal Gospels) that we would serve any good by doing that to ourselves.

And his instructions were to go and tell all who would listen about his life and resurrection, so where self flagellation does any good is debatable, I hope we can agree at least that it is not definite whether it is proper , and also not to condemn those who do or have practiced it.
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« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2014, 08:57:35 PM »

Jesus life was the example which everything else in our faith is based, so it is useless to say that what is said later is more important.

It is true that, in the tradition of the Church, there is a "hierarchy" within Scripture.  In that sense, you can say that the Gospels are "higher" than the Epistles.  But this does not mean that we choose the Gospel when there seems to be a conflict with an Epistle.  That's not what the "hierarchy" is intended to do because we also believe that Scripture is to be interpreted in light of the other Scriptures.  If we're seeing a conflict between two passages, the solution is not to throw out the "lower" passage, absolutely not.  We must interpret Scripture with Scripture and with the entirety of ecclesiastical tradition.  If we throw out anything, it is our erroneous thinking.  

You are right that Jesus' life--his person--is the source from which our faith flows.  But it does not follow from this that the Gospels overrule the Epistles.  The earliest Gospel was still written after the earliest Epistle, and both are later than the oral preaching of the apostles.  We know Christ ultimately within and through the Church.  Ss Luke and Cleopas walked with the risen Christ, but only "knew" him and recognised him in the breaking open of the Scriptures and the Eucharist.  After this, he disappeared, but he remained with them in the Eucharist.  Similarly, Jesus extraordinarily intervenes in the life of Saul of Tarsus, but he still needs Baptism and Communion within the Church in order to understand what was revealed to him (and St Paul definitely seems to regard at least some of his letters as "Gospel" and "Scripture" as we would understand them, and not just in terms of kerygma).  

The primacy of Jesus doesn't give us licence to nullify some Scripture with other Scripture, but points to the necessity of being incorporated into his Body in order to understand any and all of it.  And from within the Body, we do not limit ourselves to what was said before, but also how it was interpreted later, because wherever in time a writing pops up, it is still popping up in one and the same Church.  

And you can be weak in the eyes of the world without having weak arguments--in fact, we must combine humility with truth.  If the apostles preferred weak arguments to accompany their humility, I'd still be worshiping idols and so would you.  So let's avoid false humility.        
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« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2014, 09:26:07 PM »

Jesus life was the example which everything else in our faith is based, so it is useless to say that what is said later is more important.

It is true that, in the tradition of the Church, there is a "hierarchy" within Scripture.  In that sense, you can say that the Gospels are "higher" than the Epistles.  But this does not mean that we choose the Gospel when there seems to be a conflict with an Epistle.  That's not what the "hierarchy" is intended to do because we also believe that Scripture is to be interpreted in light of the other Scriptures.  If we're seeing a conflict between two passages, the solution is not to throw out the "lower" passage, absolutely not.  We must interpret Scripture with Scripture and with the entirety of ecclesiastical tradition.  If we throw out anything, it is our erroneous thinking.  

You are right that Jesus' life--his person--is the source from which our faith flows.  But it does not follow from this that the Gospels overrule the Epistles.  The earliest Gospel was still written after the earliest Epistle, and both are later than the oral preaching of the apostles.  We know Christ ultimately within and through the Church.  Ss Luke and Cleopas walked with the risen Christ, but only "knew" him and recognised him in the breaking open of the Scriptures and the Eucharist.  After this, he disappeared, but he remained with them in the Eucharist.  Similarly, Jesus extraordinarily intervenes in the life of Saul of Tarsus, but he still needs Baptism and Communion within the Church in order to understand what was revealed to him (and St Paul definitely seems to regard at least some of his letters as "Gospel" and "Scripture" as we would understand them, and not just in terms of kerygma).  

The primacy of Jesus doesn't give us licence to nullify some Scripture with other Scripture, but points to the necessity of being incorporated into his Body in order to understand any and all of it.  And from within the Body, we do not limit ourselves to what was said before, but also how it was interpreted later, because wherever in time a writing pops up, it is still popping up in one and the same Church.  

And you can be weak in the eyes of the world without having weak arguments--in fact, we must combine humility with truth.  If the apostles preferred weak arguments to accompany their humility, I'd still be worshiping idols and so would you.  So let's avoid false humility.        

Yes but calling others arguments weak is not being very nice either, it is better to explain why, just as you did above, but I call myself weak, as did St. Paul I think, and most Saints. Not that I consider myself in their company as such. One could also accuse St. Paul of the same in many parts of his letters.

 But I did not intend to set the two against each other , what was being argued about, self flagellation is not necessarily normal Orthodox practice . And it is never been something I was ever told by any GOA Priest or Bishop, or any material pertaining to our faith.
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« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2014, 01:30:19 AM »

Actually snake handling of a sorts does exist in the Tradition of the Orthodox Church so to speak. Unlike Protestant snake handlers though...we don't go looking for the snakes...they join us in Church...and while quite venomous, while at Church are docile enough for children to pet. To my knowledge no one has ever been bitten or poisoned by these snakes...though some who have killed the snakes carelessly have been visited by the Theotokos who called them to task for their deed.

Take a look and see for yourself:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5Za9-uX4b8

There are other videos as well...one where a bishop speaks about them.

To me, this event of the island of Kephalos is more a miraculous glimpse of the peaceable kingdom than a demonstration of personal piety or "anointing" with the Spirit.
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« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2014, 04:30:15 AM »

Well if one believes that to be literary true I see no problem why he/she would not put it to test. Either Matt 16:18 lied or not.

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« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2014, 04:38:04 AM »

Personally I don't see any point in a literal handling of snakes and how that would be spiritually edifying.
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