Saturday, June 2, 2012

It's fatal if you don't read the footnotes!!!

I was cycling late this afternoon when something caught my eye and I knew I just had to turn back.  I had seen the name "Pentecostal" on top of a building.  There were a lot of men wearing ties placing notices outside the church telling motorists not to park by the roadside.  I took a pic of the church from across the road.  I must confess I felt a little uneasy and I did look at the road beneath my feet to see if there might be some slithering creature not far from me.

This is the pic I took:

The reason why I took the pic of the building that says "Pentecostal Church of Singapore" and the reason for my apprehension can be explained by merely referring the reader to this link on ABC News:

Click here

Here's an excerpt from the link:

The report goes on to say: "Snake-handlers point to scripture as evidence that God calls them to engage in such a practice to show their faith in him. Mark 16: 17-18 reads, "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."

But this is one of those sections in the Bible that are disputed and today, even the most evangelical scholars believe that they shouldn't be a part of the original Bible.  Just look at any modern translation of the Bible and you will see a footnote that says of a large chunk of the end of St Mark's Gospel that includes those verses quoted by the snake handlers that "older and more reliable manuscripts do not contain these verses".

The Bible can be fatal if you believe it wholeheartedly and you don't read the footnotes.

Anyway, I wanted to ask the church attendants what they thought of Pentecostal pastor Mark Wolford but I didn't have the courage to ask anyone in the church.  I wouldn't dare trifle with them.  There may be no rattlesnakes in Singapore but if any one of them gets mad at me, he might just throw a King Cobra at me and I have too little faith to claim the promise in Mark 16:17-18.  Besides, I have read the footnotes!

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