Doctrinal Mistakes can be Deadly

Some disputes over doctrine are petty and disruptive, but we must agree on the major issues or you don’t have Christianity. If someone is confused on sin, the Gospel, salvation, Jesus, Hell, and so on, they’re not really Christians at all, even if they can spout the lingo at church potlucks.

Occasionally, however, mistakes in doctrine have tragic consequences.

On Sunday, Wolford and other parishioners gathered at Panther State Forest in McDowell County as part of homecoming worship services where he was bitten in his thigh by a timber rattlesnake.

After the services, Wolford was taken to a parishioner’s home in the Plainview Mobile Home Park in Brushfork. Wolford was then transported to Bluefield Regional Medical Center where he died from his injuries on Monday.

… The young man said the type of worship he, Wolford and others believe in comes straight from the Bible and he doesn’t understand prejudices against it. He referenced the Book of Mark, Chapter 16; Verse 18: “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.”

Remember context — context in Biblical terms means Genesis to Revelation, as many times parts you don’t understand are explained elsewhere. The Bible exists as a complete message; taking parts out of the total context causes problems.

In this case they forgot “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

What is Mark 16 about? It’s about service for the Lord. Paul late in Acts again finds himself shipwrecked, and while trying to build a fire a snake comes out of the wood pile and latches on his arm, but he suffers no ill effects.

But don’t ask the Lord to prove His protection, as the practice of snake-handling does.

Whether it’s this snake practice, or social justice, or universal salvation, or other perversions of the text, following incorrect doctrine can have tragic results (physically or spiritually).

Do your own homework, because it’s 2:59 AM.

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