A 60-year-old member of a Pentecostal snake-handling church was bitten on Sunday during a service. He refused medical treatment and soon died as a result of the venomous bite.
John David Brock was bitten while handling a rattlesnake during services at the Mossy Simpson Pentecostal Church in Jenson, Kentucky. Four hours later, at his brothers’s house, he passed away, which is often the result when you are bitten by a dangerous snake and rely on faith to heal you.
County Coroner Jay Steele said that Brock’s death is being investigated, and that the deceased also had other health issues which may have complicated his body’s reaction to the bite.
According to his family, Mr. Brock worked as a miner for 36 years and was an adherent to the Holiness faith. Some Holiness congregations handle snakes as part of their worship, and they do so by quoting a passage from the Bible’s Book of Mark.
Mark 16:18 states:
“(Believers) will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Holiness followers believe that God will stop the snakes from biting them, and if they do bite, then God will save them from the poisonous effects of the venom. Apparently no one bothered to tell Mr. Brock that medical science beats a Bible verse any day of the week when it comes to highly venomous snakes.
Technically, snake handling is against the law in Kentcuky, but legal officials tend to look the other way for those who are dumb enough and wish to dance with serpents or sing directly into their hissing faces.
An estimated 300 churches in the U.S. practice snake-handling as a rite of worship.
I consider myself to be a Christian. I have been a member of the Methodist church my entire life. But as gospel singer turned comedian Wendy Bagwell responded when someone asked him if he would ever handle snakes if the Lord commanded him to:
“I suppose I would, but He ain’t told me to, and I ain’t gonna.”
Can I get an Amen?