The origin of pentecostal serpent handlers

Pentecostalism grew out of Wesleyan Holiness movements at the turn of the 20th century in the United States. Denominations that were known for revivalistic fervour became subdued. Lecture centres and elegant sanctuaries replaced camp meetings and crude wood-frame tabernacles.

The origin of pentecostal serpent handlers

The show is bound to stir interest in the unique—and mysterious—Christian sect. There are about snake-handling churches in the United States, and almost all of them are found in Appalachia. Snake handlers like Hamblin do not worship snakes.

Instead they use snakes to show non-Christians that God protects them from harm. In church services, when they feel the anointing of the Holy Spirit come upon them, these Christians reach into boxes, pick up poisonous snakes and hold them up as they pray, sing, and even dance.

The Hispanic Churches Transforming Religion in America Spiritual signs like speaking in tongues, holding venomous snakes, and even drinking poison or playing with fire may seem radical to many Christians.

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All Appalachian states except West Virginia outlawed the snake-handling ritual when it first emerged because it too often left people maimed or dead.

Chronologically, the Gospel of Mark was the first of the four gospels, and the last twelve verses of Mark are absent from the two earliest manuscripts.

Early third-century theologians like Origen and Clement of Alexandria also make no mention of them. That does not deter devoted serpent handlers.

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Ralph Hood, psychology of religion professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and an expert on the Christian snake-handling tradition, says that serpent handlers truly understand that nobody gets out of this life alive.

What bothers people about snake-handling, Hood explains, is that it is a high-risk behavior. People may find the practice unsettling, but the shows stars, including Hamblin, find comfort, reassurance and strength in the ritual.

The origin of pentecostal serpent handlers

His spiritual mission is big. For now he has one main concern for Snake Salvation viewers—he hopes people experience not just snakes, but God when they witness his church.Sep 09,  · Snake Salvation: One Way to Pray in Appalachia. By Elizabeth Dias @elizabethjdias Sept.

09 Tenn., a Pentecostal church that practices a rare, century-old Christian tradition of worshipping God with venomous snakes like timber rattlers, cottonmouths, and copperheads.

says that serpent handlers truly understand that nobody gets. 48 The earliest references to serpent handling appeared in non-southern He took exception with serpent handlers because they were “using the Church of God as a medium to advertise and other major pentecostal groups, serpent handling emerged as a distinguishing feature of a distinct form of worship over and against which all other.

The origin of serpent handling sects is disputed. Oral histories of handlers suggest that serpent handling has always occurred in Appalachia (Hood ). As part of the Pentecostal tradition, serpent handling sects, split as other Pentecostal groups do on the issue of baptism.

The Serpent Handlers: Three Families and Their Faith. Snake handling or serpent handling is a religious ritual in a small number of Pentecostal churches in the U.S., usually characterized as rural and part of the Holiness movement.

The practice began in the early 20th century in Appalachia, spreading to mostly coal mining towns. The practice plays only a small part of the church service of churches that practice snake handling.

Snake handlers are essentially fundamentalist Christians who follow a literal interpretation of the Bible.

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Their key text is the King James Version of Mark , which indicates that Jesus' followers "shall take up serpents" and not suffer harm. Jun 01,  · Pentecostal serpent handlers - they use "serpent" over "snake" out of deference to the Bible - are known for collecting dozens of snakes expressly for church services.

At church, they’re also known to ingest a mixture of strychnine - a highly toxic powder often used as a pesticide - and water, often from a Mason jar.

Snake Handlers | New Georgia Encyclopedia