Snake-charming pastor got bit by the law

Posted: July 19, 2008 in Above the Fold, Denominational Fun, Keep it real, Testify
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Once and for all, here’s this age-old argument for kooks like this pastor in Middlesboro, Tenn. and those of you who believe he is the personification of all Christians.

Meet Gregory James Coots (not him pictured, but probably as attractive), pastor of the [big breath] Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Jesus Name.

He is one of those infamous “snake handling pastors” who believe this verse in Luke 10:18-20 gives them theatrical license to be, well, completely brain dead.

In addition to adding a box of deadly venomous vipers to the usual Sunday festivities, Coots here gets put in the pokey because they are illegal in his home state. You think a law-abiding holy man would have looked into that one.

In a blessed twist of fate, Coots becomes part of a Kentucky sting operation by wildlife officers on the popular snake trade in them thar parts of the country. Get this:

Most were taken from the Middlesboro home of Gregory James Coots, including 42 copperheads, 11 timber rattlesnakes, three cottonmouth water moccasins, a western diamondback rattlesnake, two cobras and a puff adder.

It’s a good thing he thinks he knows Jesus, because with those kind of house pets, he’s going to get to meet the Son of God REAL SOON. Now I love this part of the story:

The snakes, plus one alligator, were turned over to the nonprofit Kentucky Reptile Zoo in Slade. Most appeared to have been captured from the wild, with some imported from Asia and Africa.

The brood of vipers we will get to in just a minute, but where in 66 books of the Holy Bible do you see anything about a friggin’ alligator, Rev?! Now, on to the star attraction of this post…

And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

There is such a thing as taking a verse too literally. This is one of those times. For example, Psalm 91:13 tells the believer “you shall tread upon the lion.” How come you don’t see nitwits like this in a “lion-handling” church? It’s because they don’t want to be Siegfried & Roy’s farewell stage act, that’s why.

So, why snakes? Because people make their own limits with the Bible. The only challenge man would be for a lion would be making room for dessert. So, man in all his wisdom derides the whole ‘stepping on a lion’ thing and CHOOSES snakes instead. No bueno, you persnickety theologians out there. It’s Texas Hold-em. All or nothing.

That’s proof of literalism with the Scriptures. If you are going to be that black and white with one verse, do it with all of them. If you realize God may have inspired allegory, metaphor and aphorism with his writers, then you may want to learn to read between the lines. Much like the ‘Writing on the Wall’, the truth lies in the ink.

Oh, one last thing, you think PETA knows about this yet? IJS.

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Comments
  1. KRIS says:

    HELLO, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT EVEN THOUGH MY COUSIN GREGORY JAMES COOTS WOULDN’T COMMENT ON HERE BECAUSE HE THINKS U SHOULD PRAY ABOUT PEOPLE WHO LIKE TO GOSSIP. I’M NOT A HOLY GIRL YET. SO WHO EVER WROTE ALL THAT STUFF ABOUT SERPENT HANDLERS U NEED TO READ UR BIBLE. THERE IS MORE THAN ONE VERSE ABOUT SERPENT HANDLING. U ONLY POSTED ONE THE DEVIL IN U FORGOT THE REST. OH I ALMOST FORGOT THERE WAS NOT AN ALLIGATOR AT HIS HOUSE NORE DID HE HAVE ONE. U NEED TO GET UR FACTS RITE. SO HERE IS A VERSE U CAN READ IF U WOULD LIKE TO. MARK CHAPTER 16 VERSES 15-18. PLEASE DON’T SLANDER PEOPLE. IF U DON’T KNOW SOMEONE U SHOULDN’T WRITE NEGATIVES THINGS ABOUT THEM. IF U WOULD LIKE TO FIND UNDERSTANDIND IN THIS RELIGION U CAN COME TO THE CHURCH. IT’S LOCATED ON EVENS DRIVE. GREG IS A VERY GOOD PERSON AND WOULD HELP U WITH ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT CHURCH OR GOD HE WILL HELP U. REMEMBER THE SERPENTS ARE NOT THE ONLY PART OF THIS CHURCH. THERE IS ALOT OF LOVE THERE.

  2. hiscrivener says:

    Keith,

    Thanks for the ethical note. Regretfully, I don’t have some cool story about the picture. The information is all my commentary, but the picture is a random shot (royalty-free no less) I found on Jupiter, Fotosearch, Acclaim or Corbis or something like that.

    Use it up until your heart’s content. You’ll keep it ethical from there. Would love to see what you end up with, if you fancy.

    Peace & blessings,

    HiScrivener

  3. keith bell says:

    Hello,

    I’m Keith Bell. I am an interpreter at a state park in Arkansas. I came across your snake handlers sections while researching for a snake program. I am doing a segment about snake myth and lore and I was wondering if I could use the images and information about snake handling from your site? Where did the pictures come from? They are great, with the rules i the background and the snakes in the front ready to punish any non-compliance.

  4. […] Fun, Follow up and On Your Wall Tags: bible, pastor, Religion, snakes Recently, we introduced you to “Pastor” Gregory James Coots, who turns out is an old coot that loves to dance […]

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