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Snake, rattle and roll in the aisles (standard:other, 899 words)
Author: GodspenmanAdded: Jun 02 2012Views/Reads: 1390/741Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
I would agree with the idea that religion comes in all shapes, sizes and temperaments. It is quite obvious that sanity is not a prerequisite of religion. If it were, most religions would go out of business within the 30-day money back guarantee period.
 



I would agree with the idea that religion comes in all shapes, sizes and
temperaments. It is quite obvious that sanity is not a prerequisite of 
religion. If it were, most religions would go out of business within 
the 30-day money back guarantee period. 

Every religion has some sort of litmus test for faith. It is in this
area of religion that smacks so loudly of insanity. Superstition, 
regardless of the basis, is one great common denominator of all 
religion. It is not that I mind superstition; I just do not want it 
associated with my religion. 

I read in the newspaper headlines just this week a pastor was killed by
a rattlesnake bite. I had almost forgotten this sort of thing went on 
in our sophisticated, "enlightened" world. 

As a young preacher, I was visiting a congregation in Kentucky as the
guest speaker for that Sunday. Never mind the town or the church that 
is beside the point. 

I got to the church a little early and was escorted around the church
looking at the facilities. Then they took me into the sanctuary where I 
could look at the pulpit and the sanctuary where I would be preaching. 

Being the observant person that I am, I noticed a basket next to the
pulpit. I had never seen such a basket before him all my life. I really 
did not know too much about the church and now I cannot remember 
exactly why I was invited to preach there. Be that as it may, I was 
greatly curious about the basket next to the pulpit. I did not know if 
it was a wastebasket or if perhaps it was the offering basket and the 
congregation would fill it up before the service was over. 

So, I ask my host what the basket was next to the pulpit. 

"That's where we keep the rattlesnake," he said rather passively. 

"Say what!" 

"That basket there is where we keep the rattlesnake that we use in our
service." 

I can take a joke and give it joke back with the best of them. I
responded with a hearty laugh. 

"Ha, Ha, Ha," I said good-naturedly. "Really, what is that basket for?" 

I could see my host was not the least bit amused with my persistent
inquiry. 

"I said," he said rather sternly, "that's where we keep our rattlesnake
for our church service." 

He then stared at me for a few moments and then said, "I don't think
we'll need it in our service today. You don't look like you have enough 
faith." 

Inside me, I sighed a deep sigh of relief. There is a time when I want
to bolster my faith, but in the circumstance before me, I did not want 
enough faith to handle some rattlesnake. One of the tenants of my 
religion is to run as fast as I can away from any and all rattlesnakes. 
It is one part of my religion I take rather seriously. 

My host tried explaining to me what was going on. He pointed to a
passage in Mark 16:17-18 (KJV) , "And these signs shall follow them 
that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak 
with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any 
deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, 
and they shall recover." 

My first reaction was to think he was pulling the wool over my eyes, so
to speak, and I almost laughed out loud. I caught myself in time when I 
realized this man was serious. According to him, he could have enough 
faith in God to pick up the poisonous rattlesnake and if it bit him, it 
would not hurt him at all. 

According to their religion, when they are truly "in the Spirit," they


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