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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Pentecostalism Minus discernment equals to Zombie Christian: 'Snake Salvation' Exclusive: Pastor Says Serpent-Handling Movement Could Be as Mainstream as Southern Baptists



Also see,

When Pentecostals put the lord their God on test: Serpent-handling pastor profiled earlier in Washington Post dies from rattlesnake bite





'Snake Salvation' Exclusive: Pastor Andrew Hamblin Tells How God Led Him to Pick up Serpents (Part 1)



By Nicola Menzie , Christian Post Reporter
September 24, 2013|12:58 pm

  • Pastor Andrew Hamblin pointing with snake in his hand.
    (Photo: NGT)
    Pastor Andrew Hamblin pointing with snake in his hand.
Editors' Note: The Christian Post recently spoke with Pastors Jamie Coots and Andrew Hamblin, stars of the new National Geographic reality show "Snake Salvation" to learn more about their controversial practice of worshipping God with snakes. The extensive interviews with both men, which include questions directly from CP's readers, are featured in four parts.

***
"Snake Salvation" debuted in early September on the National Geographic Channel and viewers, including readers of The Christian Post, have expressed fascination, repulsion and confusion over the sect of Pentecostal Christians who say they are led by the Holy Spirit to handle poisonous snakes while worshipping God.

"Snake Salvation" focuses on the lives and ministries of Pastor Andrew Hamblin of Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, Tenn., and Pastor Jamie Coots of Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church of Middlesboro, Ky. Coots, in his 40s, serves as a mentor of sorts for Hamblin and was the inspiration behind the 23-year-old starting his own snake-handling congregation.

Calling them foolish, crazy, ignorant, or sinful for tempting or testing God (read the remarks here), viewers wonder why Pastors Hamblin and Coots persist in carrying on the 100-year-old practice (read about its history here) that claimed the life of one of their pastor friends last year who refused, until it was too late, to get medical attention after being bit his yellow timber rattlesnake. It is common among serpent-handling Christians to avoid a doctor's care for a snake bite inflicted during worship, but it is not uncommon to seek medical attention for other ailments.

The men and those who practice their faith in like fashion, many of them living in the Appalachian states, say they are compelled by Scripture, particularly Mark 16:17-18 in the King James Version, to pick up serpents. In this Gospel account, Jesus commands his disciples to go to all the world and preach the gospel: " He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 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."



Despite the deaths and injuries resulting from snake-handling and speculation among scholars that the verses foundation to their faith were not included in the original Gospel of Mark manuscript, Pastors Coots and Hamblin say something greater compels them to keep worshipping God this way.

Below is part one of CP's "Snake Salvation" exclusive interview, in which Pastor Hamblin shares how the Lord "moved on him" in his first-ever snake-handling church service.

CP: Please share a little about your faith journey, like how you came to be a Christian and then a pastor, and so forth?

Hamblin: I grew up in a Free Will Baptist church which I still go back at and preach. My grandpa is a pastor there. My grandparents raised me in church. I still go back and preach there, and my grandpa has been to my church and preached.

I got saved I guess you could say when I was about 15, but I didn't live a (Christian) lifestyle. … I've known about the Lord all my life. When I was about 17 I decided, hey, I'm going to live full time for God and about that time is when I heard about serpent-handling churches. Growing up at our church, we spoke in tongues — even at a Free Will Baptist church — we spoke in tongues, we shouted, danced, believed in baptism of the Holy Ghost, just like a Church of God or Pentecostal church would. So I seen these people handling these snakes, speaking in tongues, receiving baptism of the Holy Ghost, shouting and dancing. I thought, hey, they ain't much different that we are and I want to know if this is real or not.

Well, the first weekend of August was Pastor Jamie Coots's homecoming. I found out about the church and I said, 'Hey, somebody take me over.' Like I said I was 17 and we all got together some of us and they took me. I seen Jamie go and pull two rattlers out of a box during a service, and something just clicked right then. It showed me there has to be something more to this. In May of…(Elizabeth) and I got married, we'd been together since we were 15 year olds and we're soon to be 23 now. We got married and I told her I wanted to begin to go, I wanted to go full time to that church, to Brother Jamie's church.

I joined up over there. I played the guitar, and sang, preached, shouted, but I never would mess with no snakes. They'd handle them elbow to elbow with me, and I'd say, 'Hey, I don't know about this.' I would pray, and a year to the day later that I saw it for the first time in real life, the Lord began to deal with me. The Lord dealt with me with going into a box myself and I was 18 then, of course. I begin to just feel the anointing of God begin to move stronger than I've ever felt it before. I was thinking, 'Lord, I know this is you moving...' I prayed and put a fleece before God, so to speak. I said, 'Lord, if this is you moving...' There was a box of three monster copperheads, I'm talking about 44-, 45-inch-long snakes, and I said, 'Lord if this is you moving...' — that's what I felt like to get out, the biggest one is in the back in a box — I said, 'You will let Brother Jamie go to this box...' that had two black, fresh rattlers that have never been handled, they had just been caught. I said, 'You'll let him go and get both of them out and I'll know that it's You moving on me to do this.'
I hadn't much more than prayed that than here he went. He pulled both of them out. And when he did, I just went numb. The anointing got so strong that I went in the box and I pulled it out myself and handled it what seemed like a lifetime, was only 15, 20, 30 seconds (before I) put it back in the box. I've been going strong ever since.

CP: Why did you agree to participate in "Snake Salvation"?

Hamblin: The only reason that I agreed to participate in "Snake Salvation" was to maybe see someone not be converted to snake handling, that wasn't my goal. If people do get converted — well I won't say converted — I'll say maybe believe in it, begin to believe it, that's wonderful, that's good and so forth. My only reason for participating in "Snake Salvation" was to spread the gospel to the whole country, to the world if you will, to tell somebody that they can be saved. They don't have to believe like me, they don't have to dress like me, they don't have to handle snakes like me. But to let them know that the blood of Christ still saves and he is still real.

It just came to my mind — you have all these TV evangelists and TV pastors and they preach, they preach this and that, and that's wonderful. I just wanted to say, hey, you know I'm just a little country boy, I'm nothing in the sight of man. But because of the blood, I'm something in the sight of God, and I wanted to shine a light to somebody.

My goal has been reached. I've had hundreds upon hundreds of people call me, message me different things like, 'Pastor, we might not ever believe alike, but watching this, it restored my faith in God.' I've had atheists write me and say, 'We watched this, we did not believe that there was a God. We didn't believe in no kind of a supernatural being or anything, but after watching this show there has to be a God.' Then I've had people write me and say, 'Pastor, we're Pentecostal believers and we want to learn more about this, we feel the Lord is dealing with us to do this.'

It has amazed me. I had really and honestly thought that it'd be a flop so to speak, and people would look down on us even worse. But so much good has come out of it that I've seen hardly any bad at all. I mean, I've seen bad. Of course with anything good, there's negative. But I've seen more good than I have bad. Like I said, my main goal is to see somebody get saved. I don't care if they handle snakes or … shout and dance or dress like I do or act like I do. They go join First Baptist, it don't matter to me as long as they get saved.

CP: Please tell me a little about your church, such as how many members you have, how long the church has been around, etc. Also, what's your denomination or tradition?

Hamblin: I will go as far as saying that my group...now most snake handlers are stereotyped as Pentecostal Holiness people. My church, the name of it is Tabernacle Church of God and it was built in 1994 as a Church of God. The man who built it is still the landlord and I still recognize him as a founder of the church and so forth. I still treat him good. He's never handled serpents. It was never a serpent-handling church. It was just a regular Church of God and whenever I'd come along...I've been pastor of it, this November will make it two years. He had shut the church down, he had health issues, he had got sick, different things and I took it over. He's handled them [snakes] since I've been there.


'Snake Salvation' Exclusive: Pastor Jamie Coots Defends Serpent Handling as Biblical 'Sign' (Part 2)

 http://www.christianpost.com/news/snake-salvation-exclusive-pastor-jamie-coots-defends-serpent-handling-as-biblical-sign-part-2-106238/



By Nicola Menzie , Christian Post Reporter
October 8, 2013|7:43 pm

  • Pastor Jamie Coots holds a snake while Big Cody plays guitar in the background at his Middlesboro, Ky., church in an episode of Snake Salvation on National Geographic Television.
    (Photo: NGT)
    Pastor Jamie Coots holds a snake while Big Cody plays guitar in the background at his Middlesboro, Ky., church in an episode of "Snake Salvation" on National Geographic Television.
Editors' Note: The Christian Post recently spoke with Pastors Jamie Coots and Andrew Hamblin, stars of the new National Geographic reality show "Snake Salvation" to learn more about their controversial practice of worshipping God with snakes. The extensive interviews with both men, which include questions directly from CP's readers, are featured in four parts. Read part one here.


***
"Snake Salvation" debuted in September on the National Geographic Channel and viewers, including readers of The Christian Post, have expressed fascination, repulsion and confusion over the sect of Pentecostal Christians who say they are led by the Holy Spirit to handle poisonous snakes while worshipping God.
"Snake Salvation" focuses on the lives and ministries of Pastor Andrew Hamblin of Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, Tenn., and Pastor Jamie Coots of Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church of Middlesboro, Ky. Coots, in his 40s, serves as a mentor of sorts for Hamblin and was the inspiration behind the 23-year-old starting his own snake-handling congregation.

Pastor Coots has been a part of the serpent-handling tradition for as long as he can remember, having taken over his grandfather's church to carry on the Holiness Pentecostal faith 19 years ago, and expecting his son to one day take over for him as the church's leader. The minister, who has been bitten nine times (and lost a finger in one instance), insists that if the contested Mark 16:9-20 passage that is used to support the century-old practice was not included in the Bible, he would still handle poisonous serpents.

At the very end of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus commands his disciples to go to all the world and preach the gospel: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 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."



In the following transcript of CP's interview with Coots, the pastor explains that he does not believe Christians can accept exorcisms, faith healing or glossolalia while also rejecting serpent handling as a Biblical sign among believers.

CP: Tell me a little about your church, such as when it was founded, number of members, etc.?
Coots: My grandpa actually built the church in 1978. They were having house meetings at the time, then they built the church. He passed away in '86. I took it in '94 — my dad kind of took care of it till then but he said [he didn't want to pastor]. The crowd of course had been up and down [because people] come and go. Right now, we're standing at about 23 regular members that are there three times a week. You have some come in, maybe strangle in a couple nights a week, or on Sunday… For the most part, we're standing good at about 23 regular members.

CP: Is your tradition Pentecostalism?

Coots: Holiness Pentecostal. The Pentecostal, usually they categorize them as "Trinity." Well, we believe in the Oneness and the Acts 2:38 baptism [in the name of Jesus Christ]. They say we're Holiness and not actually under Pentecostal, but I honestly don't know.

CP: And the church has always done serpent handling?

Coots: Yes, serpent handling been there since it was built.

CP: What's the worst experience you've had with handling snakes? I know you've lost a finger.
Coots: Well, to me personally, yes I've been bitten nine times and some of those were pretty bad. We've had others bit. We actually had a lady bit in 1995 who passed away. So we've seen some pretty rough times.

CP: Of course everyone who attends the church believe as you believe, otherwise they wouldn't be there. But what about your neighbors, other people in town who disagree, do you get conflict once in a while about serpent handling?

Coots: No, for the most part they know who we are and what we do and they just kind of leave us be. We've never had any problems out of neighbors or law, even though they know I have snakes [in another building] out back. No one has ever tried to cause us any problems over anything.

CP: Why did you personally agree to participate in "Snake Salvation"?
Coots: I was actually the one that brought it up to the producer that came...about two years ago a professor down in Chattanooga, Tenn., had caught up with me. He said they wanted to do a piece with me called "Animal Underworld" that had Henry Rollins as the host. While they were here, I spoke with Abigail Rodriguez and told her the only time that we had ever gotten any publicity is when someone was bitten and died (and) it was just 15 or 20 seconds of just snake handling. I said then other times … they put us with people that worship rats, so therefore people say 'Yes, these people are a cult.'

I said, 'I want people to see that there's something to us besides just the snakes, that we're just normal people. This is the only thing that makes us different from all other religions is we handle snakes.' First and foremost, we believe in salvation, people getting saved. So, she went back and talked to them and I think three days being a year, she called me back and told me they were ready to go with the program.

CP: Did other snake-handling Christians have any objections to you doing the program?

Coots: As far as our regular members, everyone was fine. Now we had some people that used to come to the church, and some still do come occasionally, but they didn't come while the cameras were there. And if they did, they requested not to be filmed. That was their freedom, I mean if they didn't want to be filmed that's fine. I told them when they (the cameras) were there, and they didn't have to come when they were there.

Of course we've took some ridicule over it. They've said we've sold our religion and different things. It doesn't matter to me what people say. I've never been a person that had to had popularity …

CP: Your belief in handling snakes is based only on Mark 16:17-18. What do you say to Christians who say you're taking the Scriptures out of context, that Jesus didn't literally command Christians to do these things?

Coots: Most of the people who say that believe in the other signs. They believe in laying hands on the sick and they believe in casting out devils even if they don't do it. And for the most part, some of them believe in the speaking in tongues. They won't just say that those three are not spiritual, but the other two are. I don't see how you can take two scriptures out together and say that two of them are spiritual and three of them aren't. So, we believe that all of them mean exactly what they say.

CP: There are some Christians who say they believe as you do, that Christians have power through the Holy Spirit to do these things. But the question for them in that passage is, is Jesus really commanding that Christians must do this, must handle poisonous serpents, must drink poison?

Coots: Jesus said "they shall." I believe that's as close to a "must" as it can get. But now he did say the believers. There are those that don't believe, and it's not for them.
Watch a clip from "Snake Salvation" in which the Coots familys talk about their Christian tradition (includes graphic scene of Pastor Coots rotted finger).


'Snake Salvation' Exclusive: Pastor Says Serpent-Handling Movement Could Be as Mainstream as Southern Baptists (Part 3)



  • Pastor Andrew Hamblin pointing with snake in his hand.
    (Photo: NGT)
    Pastor Andrew Hamblin pointing with snake in his hand.


Editors' Note: The Christian Post recently spoke with Pastors Jamie Coots and Andrew Hamblin, stars of the new National Geographic reality show "Snake Salvation," to learn more about their controversial practice of worshipping God with snakes. The extensive interviews with both men, which include questions directly from CP's readers, are featured in four parts. Read part one and part two.
***
"Snake Salvation" debuted in early September on the National Geographic Channel and viewers, including readers of The Christian Post, have expressed fascination, repulsion and confusion over the sect of Pentecostal Christians who say they are led by the Holy Spirit to handle poisonous snakes while worshipping God.


"Snake Salvation" focuses on the lives and ministries of Pastor Andrew Hamblin of Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, Tenn., and Pastor Jamie Coots of Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name church of Middlesboro, Ky. Coots, in his 40s, serves as a mentor of sorts for Hamblin and was the inspiration behind the 23-year-old starting his own snake-handling congregation.

The 100-year-old practice is common among a sect of Pentecostal Christians that number about 1,000 and whose adherents believe they are instructed by Jesus Christ in Mark 16:15-18, specifically verses 17 and 18 in the King James Version, to pick up serpents. The specific verses read: "And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." By relying on the "anointing," or empowering of the Holy Spirit, these worshippers believe they will be supernaturally protected from harm when handling snakes.



Pastor Hamblin, who reportedly has been bitten on at least three occasions, once while in the pulpit during a 2012 New Year's Watch Service, explains in the final installment of his interview with The Christian Post that he understands that not every Christian is going to agree with the way he worships God.

"But the one thing that everyone could and should agree on, if they're Christians, is that the blood of Christ is the means of salvation, not serpents, not [casting out] devils, not healing the sick, this and that. It's the blood of Christ," he said. Hamblin also suggested that if others who believe as he does came forward, their group "could be as mainstream as the Southern Baptists," which claims more than 15 million members.
Below is a transcript of CP's phone interview with Pastor Hamblin. It has been edited for brevity.

CP: Pastor Jamie Coots has said that he refuses to seek medical attention if bitten by a poisonous snake. How about you?


Hamblin: This is my personal belief. If I go to my service tonight and God moves on me and I mean the Holy Ghost anoints that place and you got people shouting, you got people getting saved, people getting healed, delivered, and God moves on me to pull out a four-and-a-half foot rattlesnake and it lays fangs into me, if I'm anointed by God, that snake is not going to harm me. I don't care if it bites me 20 times, there'll be no harm. When the anointing of God moves, there is no harm.

But you let me go out in the woods and go snake hunting, or walking through the woods, and I accidentally step on one and it bites me in the leg or something like that, and I begin to get sick and I begin to get hurt, if God don't speak to me and tell me that there won't be no harm, I'm going to the hospital.

I'm a faith preacher, I believe in faith-healing, I believe in walking by faith. Since I was serpent-bit in 2010, I've not been to a doctor since. I've had little colds and different things. I try to live by faith so I can be an example. If I was in a car wreck, I couldn't stand and tell you no, I wouldn't go to a hospital. I don't know what I would do. Same thing with a snake bite. Like I said, if God's anointing is there and He moves and instructs to take up serpents, there will never be no harm in it. But if God don't move and people get bit in services and they get swell and hurt, God couldn't have instructed them to handle it, because there was harm. Our God is not going to harm us.

CP: What do you mean by the anointing, the Holy Spirit?

Hamblin: I do mean the presence of the Holy Ghost. It's just like with laying hands on the sick or casting out devils or anything else, there has to be instruction ... by the Holy Ghost to do it. I can't just walk up to somebody with cancer and say, 'Be healed.' That just don't work. But if the anointing of God, which of course is the Holy Ghost, the power of God, it begins to move, it begins to instruct my heart…that anointing, that will heal the sick. I pray for the people and not every time there is an anointing, and that's when we pray a prayer of faith, have faith believing they will be healed. But when the anointing moves, and the Holy Ghost instructs and God begins to instruct their hearts, that's when…you're led by the Spirit to take up a serpent, or you're led by the Spirit to lay hands on someone and see them miraculously healed and so forth.

CP: Your belief in handling snakes is based on Mark 16:17-18. What do you say to Christians who say you're taking Scripture out of context?

Hamblin: Of course I don't base it off just Mark 16:17-18. All through the Word, we hear about the signs of God. You've got Moses, of course and the rod, we all know the story of the burning bush...and we all know he went to Pharaoh and threw the rod down and the magicians did also. Anyone familiar with Scripture knows that story. Then of course you have where it rains fiery serpents down on the people. Moses made that bronze serpent, they looked up on it and they lived. You've got Paul, of course he did not literally take it up. He was gathering firewood and a viper came out and fastened onto his hand and it was because of the presence of God inside of him, there was no harm. … All through the Book of Acts you can find — and all through the Word — [where] the apostles done signs with their hands, where the apostles went forth and done signs and this and that.

When they ask me if I take it out of context, I explain to them that behind that Word of God is a spiritual and a carnal...Timothy told us to study to show thyself approved, a workman need not be ashamed, rightly divide the word of truth. We have got to pray, and Romans told us that being carnal-minded is death. We've got to pray and ask for spiritual guidance. Like I tell people, I feel the Spirit has taught me through that. If someone feels I take it out of context, I pray that God would help them or help me maybe. But I don't argue with no one on it, of course. But I don't feel I take it out of context, because I feel that the same man Jesus who said … 'And these signs shall follow them that believe. In my name shall they cast out devils...' Of course we don't cast out devils through or by the name of Andrew Hamblin or Jamie Coots, it just don't work that way. … Of course the same man said 'they shall speak with new tongues' and he said 'they shall take up serpents,' we all know the Scripture.

You see, people in this day will say, 'Well that means something else. That don't mean literally take up serpents.' I believe that if Christ, if he had meant that, then he would have broken down each one of the five signs. He would have just said, because you've got people that will believe in casting out devils, speaking in tongues and healing the sick, but yet the other two don't mean exactly what they said. To me, they take that out of context. … I ask (people) do you believe in healing the sick? Do you believe in speaking in tongues or casting out devils? Or do you believe that Peter was able to walk on the water by faith? And they say, 'Yes.' Then why would you think God would not have the power to anoint us, and we have power through the anointing to heal the sick? Why couldn't we have the power through the anointing to pick up serpents?
There are some people, of course, we just don't see eye to eye, but we're able to say, 'Hey, if you've got the blood and I've got the blood, that makes us family.' And we agree to disagree and go on about our way. Of course, there are some people that say 'You're crazy,' and don't want nothing to do with you.

CP: Do you believe Jesus' words in Mark:16:15-18 are commandments?
Hamblin: Some people do believe that it is a commandment from God. To me, it's not for everybody. Not everybody in this world is going to take up serpents. Not everybody in this world is going to lay hands on the sick. Not everyone in this world is going to believe in casting out devils. That's why you have so many different faiths, different denominations, different religions. But the one thing that everyone could and should agree on, if they're Christians, is that the blood of Christ is the means of salvation, not serpents, not [casting out] devils, not healing the sick, this and that. It's the blood of Christ. To me, if God instructs you and He opens your eyes to it as a commandment, you better perceive it to be a commandment, and you better not ever take down on it. That's like whenever a sinner is saved by grace, therefore he learns that Christ is his only means of salvation to heaven. If he goes back on that, he is going back on what the Lord has taught him, and you can't do that.

CP: What is your response to claims by other Christians that you are putting God to the test or tempting God, which the Bible prohibits?

Hamblin: If I expose myself to danger and I go to my church tonight and I run in there without any kind of...without the anointing moving on me, without the instruction of God, [and] I pull out a four-foot rattlesnake [and] hold it in my hands and say, 'God, don't fail me now,' then I have tempted God. I have preached that. I have made snake-handling people, their mouths drop when I preach that. If God instructs you, there is no harm, there is no danger. You don't think about the serpent, it's a peace of mind, it (the anointing) protects you. There is no harm, going by the anointing of God. … Without God instructing you, yes you are tempting God. That would be just like putting a .38 pistol to your head and playing Russian Roulette.

CP: How does handling poisonous snakes while worshipping God help your faith, or your relationship with God?

Hamblin: It don't necessarily help my faith or my relationship with God. Like I've always told [others], my faith don't lie in a snake, my faith lies in Christ. All that it is, is a sign to the nonbeliever of God's power. I always go back to healing the sick or anything else. If someone is miraculously healed, it's not done for the believer. The believer already believes in Christ and already believes in his power. It is done for the sign to the nonbeliever, that there is a God in heaven and that they can experience this same greatness as anyone else can.

CP: So, for you, serpent handling is a form of evangelism?

Hamblin: To me, it would be…just like faith healers, you've got Benny Hinn [as] one, they've got these megachurches with faith healing. We do the same thing, but we don't have people lining up in wheelchairs because it takes, to me — and no offense to nobody — but it takes something real to heal a sick [person], not a scam or a show. This is not done for a show, this is not done to glorify myself. Serpent handling, speaking in tongues, healing the sick, anything that is done, should always be done for the glory of God.
But I would go as far as saying that's what it is (evangelism). It's a sign to the nonbeliever, to say, 'You don't have to do this. You don't never have to do this. But let me introduce you to a man who can let you do it.' And when they begin to learn about Christ, their mind is no longer focused on a rattlesnake as much as it is on 'I want to learn about Jesus.'

CP: Do you think the serpent-handling tradition might grow stronger due to "Snake Salvation?" Or might the tradition eventually die out?

Hamblin: My personal opinion is that it has never died away and it never will. In Bell County, Kentucky, there are probably 60 churches alone that handle serpents regularly like we do.
If every Christian that believed in taking up serpents would step up to mainstream media like me and Pastor Coots have … we could be as mainstream as the Southern Baptists. But because of, whatever the reasons may be, they stayed backward, they stay out of the spotlight. We've had more persecution, not from sinner people or people who don't understand, we've had persecution from other serpent-handlers that we was wrong by doing the TV show, that we're bringing a reproach. My answer to them is this: If you're ashamed of it, don't do it. If you're ashamed of what God has taught you to do, then don't do it. I don't care if there's a camera around or not.

To me, it will never go away. To me, it will only grow stronger. To me, through these TV shows, it's gonna restore faith. People might not never take up serpents, but people...who knows. In a year's time, I may have a church as large as Billy Graham's crusades, you never know. My dream is to be able to convince my fellow Christian pastors, no matter what denomination, let's work together. Let's lay these differences aside. Let's work together to see the lost saved, to see our nation be prayed for, to see our government be prayed for, to see these ones that are bound by drugs, suicide, depression, and alcohol and different things... Let's pray together and believe, 'Hey, that man's a snake handler, that man's a Catholic priest, that man's a Baptist pastor...' Let's all agree together that God can and still does perform miracles in this day and time.

CP: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Hamblin: We welcome everybody, anyone and everyone that reads this...I do have a Facebook page, they are more than welcome to contact me. If they want to come to our services and be with us, they're more than welcome. And if there's anything else I could ever do for anybody in this world, let me know and I'll do my best to go the extra mile.

Watch a clip from "Snake Salvation" in which Pastor Hamblin lets his two sons handle a snake: