*With all due respect, you have to wonder if someone like pastor Jamie Coots was trying to commit suicide anyway.
Coots, a star of the National Geographic TV reality series “Snake Salvation,” died Saturday after being bitten by a snake and refusing medical treatment.
His Middleboro Kentucky Pentecostal church is part of a sect of Christian churches, where congregants believe that faith will protect them from the venom of poisonous snakes.
Raise your hand if you, too, wonder how many are questioning their faith following this tragedy.
On Sunday the National Geographic Channels issued this statement confirming Coots’ death:
“National Geographic joins his family, friends and community in mourning the loss of Pastor Jamie Coots. In following Pastor Coots for our series Snake Salvation, we were constantly struck by his devout religious convictions despite the health and legal peril he often faced. Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith. We were honored to be allowed such unique access to Pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”
Coots was bitten on his right hand Saturday night by a snake, according to Kentucky’s Lexington-Herald Leader. An ambulance crew and firefighters tried to talk Coots into going to the hospital, but he refused treatment, according to the report.
Coots told the Herald-Leader that he nearly died in the early 1990s when a large rattlesnake bit him on the left arm, and in 1998, a rattlesnake he was handling suddenly struck the middle finger of his right hand.
The snake wrangler refused treatment even then.
“It’s a victory to God’s people that the Lord seen fit to bring me through it,” he said the day after the bite in 1998.
This is not the first death seen by those with this dangerous belief. In August 1995 Melinda Brown, 28, of Parrotsville, Tenn., died after she was bitten on the arm by a large rattlesnake. Coots was almost charged in her death, under Kentucky’s law against handling snakes in church, but a judge said the pastor should not be prosecuted for practicing his faith.
Hmm…I wonder if the judge was a member of the church. And if this was ever considered by the law.
Brown’s husband, John Wayne “Punkin” Brown, 34, later died after being bitten by a rattlesnake in church in Alabama.
I swear, this is sounding more and more like suicide!
Kentucky has outlawed handing poisonous snakes in religious services since 1940, but the law is rarely enforced because of reluctance by authorities to prosecute people for their religious beliefs.
At this time, anybody, please feel free to add a scripture on using WISDOM. I refuse to believe that God expects you to do something like this to prove you have faith in Him…Are you kidding me?