Rushville Republican

March 7, 2014

Church ain't what it used to be

Dr. James L. Snyder
Rushville Republican

---- — In the news recently was the snake handling church in Kentucky. These people believe that you can pick up a poisonous snake and if it bites you, it will not kill you. I know the Scripture they use for that, but I am not sure they understand what that Scripture really means.

Someone said to a friend of mine, “You mean that if God told you to pick up a snake you wouldn’t do it?”

Without any hesitation, my friend said, “He hasn’t and I ain’t.”

The fact that the minister of that church died from a snakebite might bring into question the validity of what they believe. Go ahead; play with a poisonous snake in church if you want to. Me, I let those things alone and I pray they let me alone.

I would not feel comfortable in that church I am sure.

Then I learned of a church in Virginia. When somebody told me about it, I thought they were saying it was a “Knewest church.” I never heard of such a thing. My question quite naturally was, what is it that these people knew. I am constantly open for any new information so my curiosity went up.

Then my friend pulled out his smart phone and showed me a videotape that was on the news about this church. It was not a “Knewest church” but rather a nudist church.

He finally convinced me that this was a real news story of a real nudist church in Virginia. Fortunately, the people who produced this video for the news strategically blurred out certain parts of the video of which I am everlastingly thankful.

Then a brilliant idea sloshed its way through the corridors of my mind. What if these two congregations had a convention together? The snake handler’s and the nudist churches get together for an annual convention. Can you imagine the craziness of such a thing as that?

I remembered what Jesus said to Peter referring to the church. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

The church does not belong to men or any one man. It belongs exclusively to God. The more churches look like the world around it the less pleasing it is to Jesus, the head of the church.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail His web site is