Comments about ‘'Snake Salvation' co-star dies after snakebite in church service’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 18 2014 10:25 a.m. MST

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Bill Shakespeare
Salt Lake City, UT

I admire this man's faith.

Hayden, ID

"Thou shalt not tempt the Lord, thy God".

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


How is this tempting God any more than someone who doesn't drink water for 24 hours straight is tempting God?

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

@Chris B

Because abstaining from water for 24 hours isn't likely to be harmful. Snake venom coursing through your veins likely is.

When deciding what is "tempting God" and what isn't, you have to consider the risk.

Hayden, ID

Chris. With all due respect, Jesus fasted for 40 days as an act of obedience and spiritual cleansing. When Satan tempted Jesus to PROVE He was the Christ by jumping off the spire of the temple (kind of like playing with venomous shakes to prove a person's faith), Jesus answered with the words, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

The Economist
Newport, PA

If I'm not mistaken, I think I read where the scriptural passage in Matthew 16:17-18 wasn't in the early manuscripts of the Bible, but were added later. Perhaps that's why these pastors die from snakebites.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


Every scientific information I can find suggests drinking around 8 glasses of water every day.

You could argue that snake venom is more dangerous than not drinking 8 glasses of water a day, and I would agree. But the issue we're debating isn't which is more dangerous. Mountainman is the one who is suggesting that doing something that we know isn't recommended from a health standpoint is tempting God. Both letting a snake bite you and not drinking water for 24 hours would fall into the "not recommended by health care professionals" category."

Mountainman - How does saying that Jesus fasted for 40 days PROVE anything? If you're suggesting that because Jesus fasted for 40 days that somehow invalidates any current recommendations from health care professional on food and water, my response is "Ok(said very sarcastically)"

Phoenix, AZ

Fanatic believe that shuts down common sense reason is just plain stupid. People need to learn to think for themselves and retire unreasonable believes and fanatic teachings by want to be prophets.

provo, Utah

Fasting for 24 hours in the Mormon church is only done when it's NOT considered harmful to you. If you are sick, weak or otherwise not able to fast 24 hours safely, the LDS church recommends that you do NOT do it. That's the difference. When I was a young kid my parents didn't want me to fast either. It's the opposite attitude of snake handling.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT


And yet why would every bit of data on water consumption from health care professionals say we should drink about 8 glasses of water a day unless failure to do so was harmful. If we aren't doing what is right for our bodies, by definition its "harmful"

Now, I'm not suggesting its the same level of harm, but in all likelihood if you had fasted as a young kid you would NOT have been permanently harmed either, and yet your parents told you not to do so.

I just think its hypocritical for believers of a faith that do many things in the name of God(including not drinking water for 24 hours even though that flies in the face of modern science) are criticizing a guy for doing something that doesn't seem very smart, in the name of God.

Is this the attitude Jesus would want you people to have?

sandy, ut

Bill Shakespeare

Why do you admire his faith? He is dead due to it, so don't you think his faith cost him his life? I doubt it was worth it. When your faith in god trumps your common sense then you are in real danger. This is the same as leaping from a 100 story building and saying that if god wants you alive then he will save you. You wouldn't survive a building jump because god wanted you to. So this guy refused treatment so then it was god's will that he die? Unlikely.

casual observer
Salt Lake City, UT

To each his own. RIP

Florissant, MO

My first thought was, this guy had to know that one day this would not work and he could die. But then I do not eat healthy, my numbers are fine, but I am overweight and I know that one day this will not work and I could die. But then I could go on for a long time. Many people take risks, driving a car, smoking, booze, excess eating, under eating, going to a mall, going to a store. Life has dangers and we should avoid them, but we should not hide in our home for fear of life ending. I am sure he had 99.9999% success with the snakes, can't give him 100% anymore. I have had at this point 100% success in not being killed in a car accident or a plane or a mall or store, I don't do malls anymore, but I will drive, fly and shop again. Got to run to the store in my car.

Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

Don't you hate it when that happens?

Phoenix, AZ

Chris B
"How does saying that Jesus fasted for 40 days PROVE anything?"

Mayhaps Jesus fasted like the Muslims during Ramadan... from sun-up to sun-down. I doubt a person could fast forty days without dying halfway through.

Taylorsville, UT

The Bible in Matthew chapter 4 verse 2,says Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. If you believe the Bible is the Word of God, then you believe Matthew. One thing many are leaving out is that Jesus wasn't entirely Mortal - since his mother was of this Planet and his Father was God the Father. So what would work for Jesus Christ, won't work for you and I since we are entirely mortal and subject to death. Jesus Christ had the power to lay down his life and to take it back up again. We don't have that power, therefore, we cannot fast for 40 days and 40 nights as Christ did and expect to live. I also believe that in some instances faithful believers can handle venomous snakes and live, however, we shouldn't tempt God by intentionally handling them.

Fuaamotu, Tonga

Neanderthal, while you are correct regarding the rest of the population, Jesus was no ordinary "person." Nevertheless, even He did not just skate through it. It was an extraordinary ordeal for Him. It would have killed you or me. But we are not a god. At the time, He was all but.

Lindon, UT

Sure, rejecting water for 24 hours is just so comparable to handling snakes. Is it even possible to have a rational debate with someone who thinks these two choices are in the same ballpark? I'll bet not one in 10 people drink 8 glasses of water every day, so I guess we're all at the same risk of death as the snake handler.

I think its insanely absurd for non-believers to make any comparison of an occasional simple fast, which does no short-term or long term harm whatsoever, and which has been proven to be of medical benefit, to venomous snake handling. And to call it hypocritical only exposes the ridiculous lengths some people will go to disparage those with whom they disagree.

Ed Grady
Idaho Falls, ID

I'm fasting for 12 hours today for a blood test tomorrow. Am I 1/2 tempting God?

Aberdeen, ID

We need God's help plenty enough without intentionally putting ourselves in harms way. The advice from Joseph Smith is how I have tried to live my life.

"Martin Harris having boasted to the brethren that he could handle snakes with perfect safety, while fooling with a black snake with his bare feet, he received a bite on his left foot. The fact was communicated to me, and I took occasion to reprove him, and exhort the brethren never to trifle with the promises of God. I told them it was presumption for any one to provoke a serpent to bite him, but if a man of God was accidentally bitten by a poisonous serpent, he might have faith, or his brethren might have faith for him, so that the Lord would hear his prayer and he might be healed; but when a man designedly provokes a serpent to bite him, the principle is the same as when a man drinks deadly poison knowing it to be such. In that case no man has any claim on the promises of God to be healed." (June 16, 1834.) D.H.C. 2:95-96.

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