The death of Jamie Coots is very sad. Not just because a man has died but because what his church and others do in handling serpents is representative of a much larger problem in most of what is called Christianity today. Other churches may not handle serpents or do other seemingly bizarre things, but what they are guilty of is as dangerous. And that is not rightly dividing the word of truth, as the Apostle Paul tells us, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in 2 Timothy 2:15.
We need to realize what today's instructions are and follow those only. It's not that Mr. Coots' snake-handling was unbiblical (it is found in the Bible), but rather it is not information for us to follow today. Otherwise, Mr. Coots' parishioners could have laid hands on and healed him, according to the passage in Mark and later in James 5:14-15.
This leads to disillusionment when promises for other times are deemed to be for us and then don't come to pass; or worse yet, not rightly dividing Scripture may very well lead people to a misunderstanding of the gospel message of salvation for today and loss of eternal life.
ANGELA SHADOIN, Ooltewah
Now that the UAW/VW vote is over, organizations like Southern Momentum can fade into the night mist. But to paraphrase Tom Joad from John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath," they will be there whenever a banker's stomach rumbles, when his offshore accounts are in jeopardy, whenever a hedge fund manager frets over his bonus being 400 percent instead of the usual 500 percent. Whenever corporate interests are threatened by the working man wanting "his money" to spend frivolously on things like fuel to heat his home, money to feed himself and his family, money to clothe, house and educate his children.
These groups will be there with their new bank accounts, their bought-and-paid-for politicians and their silent backers. They will be there because without them, the lazy low-life louts would begin to think that they are as good as them. How can I even say those words?
A great thinker once said: "Never underestimate our ignorance."
BENJAMIN E. LONG
If editors and reporters were geographers, we would be told that the world consists of mountain peaks and abyssal valleys. If there is no sensation, there is no news, and no news means no jobs for reporters and editors ... or at least, no pay increases.
If there is a word that inflames, use it. If there is a word that derides, use it. Throw caution to the winds - caution doesn't sell.