"Snake Salvation" is a reality show on the National Geographic cable TV channel. The show is about 2 churches that practice a very controversial tradition of handling poisonous snakes in their services. This century-old practice stems from a passage in the Bible found in the 16th chapter of Mark. The show centers around the two pastors of these churches and all they do to keep this practice going. They say that the Bible (Mark 16:18) suggests those anointed by God will not be harmed by a poisonous snake bite. If someone does get bit, mainly the preachers, they usually refuse medical treatment and resort to prayer.
This is exactly what happened on Saturday, February 15. Jamie Coots, one of the pastors, was bitten during the service. He had been bitten 9 times in the past and survived, but this time was different. After refusing any medical attention, he soon passed away that same day.
This is all very disturbing to me. First of all, let's not put this on God or the Bible. I believe the Bible, whole-heartedly, but this is NOT what that passage in Mark is referring to. Secondly, why refuse medical treatment? Is it a lack of faith to go to the hospital? No. In most cases, it's wise to do so, especially when you get bitten by a poisonous snake! After seeing many clips of these 2 pastors and their members, I am convinced that they are very sincere... but also very sincerely wrong!