Pastor Convinces Church To Hold Venomous Snakes And Then Dies From Bite, Then Son Takes Over Church And Also Gets Bitten

Snake handling is a religious ritual in a small number of isolated churches in the United States.

Practitioners believe they are protected by God through faith when holding or even after being bitten by venomous snakes. They also touch fire and drink poison during church service.

Jamie Coots was bitten during church service, dropped the snakes but then picked them back up and continued the ceremony. When paramedics arrived his relatives refused medical treatment and he died.

His son, Cody Coots, later became a preacher and was also bitten by a snake during service and was rushed to a hospital.

Between 350 and 400 people die from snake bites in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Categories: Extreme Religious BeliefsTags:


  1. Getting to be pals with snakes? I’ll PASS!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Said ritual is premised on a promise attributed to Jesus in the gospel according to Mark:

    “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” in Mark 16: 17-18

    The last part of the promise (healing the sick) is my litmus test for those who claim to be true believers. Thus far, not a single one has been willing to rise to the challenge of demonstrating their faith by healing the terminally ill patients at their local hospital. I wonder why? 🙂


    • You Stated — “Thus far, not a single one has been willing to rise to the challenge of demonstrating their faith by healing the terminally ill patients at their local hospital.”

      My Response — If that is all you need then you should be a believer now since people have taken groups to hospitals to lay hands and have had full recoveries.


      How would you tell that from the placebo effect or natural recovery which also happens?

      To be fair to the verse you posted: It doesn’t say to hold poisonous snakes it just states snakes can be held.

      Just Saying

      It’s like in India where you are told that you can walk on fire if you meditate but that doesn’t mean you can walk on lava. Oo


      • Although I failed to mention it in my previous comment, that challenge is directed towards my interlocutor and requires them to grant full recovery to every patient within every ward of the hospital — including amputees.

        And while the verse cited does not directly mention the handling of venomous snakes, I think it’s fair to say it’s implied by what follows (i.e. the ability to drink any deadly thing unharmed). Plus, I’ve handled non-venomous snakes, so why would it become special when done by believers? Moreover, how does one account for believers who are deathly afraid of all snakes, venomous or not?

        Liked by 1 person

        • You Stated — “I think it’s fair to say it’s implied by what follows (i.e. the ability to drink any deadly thing unharmed).”

          My Response — It’s only fair to go by what it actually states not by what it does not.

          A better challenge would be to just take a glass of fast acting fatal poison there and let them drink it. That would be fair and covered by what was written. It would also save the congregation time because they would know the truth about the persons faith in seconds. Just saying.


          • Not to belabor the point, but the text should be read in conjunction with what precedes it and what follows. If Jesus promised believers they’d acquire the power to exorcise demons, speak in tongues, heal the sick and drink deadly poisons unharmed, it’s not a reach to conclude he meant they’d also be able to handle venomous snakes — because handling non-venomous snakes is not a remarkable feat. Moreover, Luke 10:19 records Jesus saying, “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.”

            In regards to challenges, I consider it immoral to goad someone into committing self harm to prove a point when a “test of faith” leading to a much more positive outcome is readily available.


            • And yet words still have meaning, what was actually stated is what was meant not what was not. In the military we had those who followed orders and those who liked to interpret meaning. Survival rates are higher for those who do what they are told not for those making assumptions.

              We will have to agree to disagree.


              • Ok. But I’m not the one who needs to be convinced to stay away from venomous snakes; it’s the aforementioned snake handlers who met with bad results for placing trust in Jesus’ promise to keep them out of harm’s way. 🙂


                • I still don’t see a promise about venomous snakes so I can’t agree with you.

                  It’s not difficult to have them do something deadly that’s actually written in the promise. That would be a valid argument… IF they died, but debating about what is not written seems nonsensical.

                  Just call them up and have one of them drink a glass of poison, how hard is that?


        • You Asked — “I’ve handled non-venomous snakes, so why would it become special when done by believers?”

          My Answer — Maybe it has something to do with salmonella since people have been known to die from handling regular snakes. This was the age before knowledge of microbial life forms.

          You Asked — “Since there is no verse Moreover, how does one account for believers who are deathly afraid of all snakes, venomous or not?”

          My Answer — Same as with spiders, people fear what they don’t trust or understand.


          • I understand that people fear what they don’t trust or understand. But that wasn’t the question. The question was: why do believers (i.e. those who claim to have complete trust in their Lord and Savior) continuously betray their stated convictions by displaying a complete lack of trust in the promises made by their Lord Savior?


            • People disobey god, parents, law, etc for a number of reasons. Some out of greed, some fear, etc. It’s based on an individual’s choice, also keep in mind that not everyone disobeys at the same time. People are individuals and make their own choices.


              • The way I see it, you either trust someone — or you don’t. If you continually rummage through your spouse’s personal effects looking for evidence of unfaithfulness, can you honestly say you have complete trust in your spouse?

                Likewise for churches. Steel doors, deadbolt locks, window bars and high-tech security systems scream out “we don’t trust God to protect his own sanctuary from being robbed.”


                • You State — The way I see it, you either trust someone — or you don’t.”

                  My Response — I trust people on a far more granular level, I trust them with what I think they can handle and that’s the limit.

                  As for God and trust, I don’t know of anyone who trusts God so I’m not sure what you’re trying to prove, the Bible is also clear on this.


                  • You’ve already conceded what I’m trying to prove (or more correctly, to point out): that few believers place much confidence in the god they claim to trust.


                    • Almost no believers place trust in God and that’s one of the main messages of the Bible. Whole sections of the Bible talk about this so your point was proven 2000 years ago.

                      Just saying, nothing new here


                    • And what’s the reason for that lack of trust? Could it be that deep down they don’t really believe God exists after all? Perhaps they too realize that “God helps those who help themselves” is not just a trite expression, but a pragmatic necessity when it comes to attaining goals and obtaining results. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • You Asked — “And what’s the reason for that lack of trust? ”

                      My Response — It depends on the individual. Some like to be in power, others are fearful, many don’t care, some favor other people being in power. The Bible provides lots of examples.

                      You Stated — “Could it be that deep down they don’t really believe God exists after all? ”
                      My Response — That would be over simplifying and wouldn’t reflect the usual suspects.

                      Eve for example was a full on believer, since she experienced god directly but just didn’t care to believe… her curiosity of having something forbidden was more important via listening to an opposing argument that favored her desire. Adam jumped on board only to make her happy over listening to god. “Choices” not belief

                      The disciples believed since they saw directly either god or acts of god but when Jesus was punched by a guard one of them threw all that out in a moment of passion.

                      We are the same way with science. Clearly we have seen the benefits of vaccination but some people think the government is out to kill them so they don’t vaccinate. Others think it’s a waste of time and that it doesn’t make a difference. Many are just lazy and don’t feel like getting shoots. “Choices” not reason

                      I’m not convinced by your argument that we can just paint a large demographic of people with one brush and pretend they are mostly doing something for the same reasons.

                      People are complicated

                      Just Saying


                    • I’d say that Occam’s razor applies here. People gradually lose faith because of broken promises; and the more promises that get broken, the quicker your trust in someone dwindles to zero.

                      Do you regard the story of Adam and Eve story as historical fact? Because I view it as a myth — i.e. an alegory to explain why things are the way they are. Can you be certain the authors’ intent wasn’t to warn us of the perils of blind obedience to authoritative figures? Because aside from the fact that obedience does not equate to morality (consider Abraham’s willingness to kill his own son to show his loyalty to God), neither of them possessed the knowlege of good and evil required to evaluate the morality or consequences of their actions prior to eating the fruit. So I wouldn’t chalk it up to a lack of faith so much as a childish naivity to believe and act upon whatever you’re told. And there’s no dispute that the gospels frequently portray the disciples as bumbling idiots. But wasn’t it Jesus who instructed them to sell a cloak and buy a sword in order to fulfill a prophecy? 😉

                      As to your last point: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you. 🙂

                      Science is a process, not a destination. While it’s true that vaccines have their benefits, it’s also true that their contraindications are ignored or downplayed. Ditto for the old USDA food pyramid that promoted refined grains.


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    Liked by 1 person

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