Friday, October 16, 2009

Wendy Bagwell is best remembered for 'Here Comes the Rattlesnakes'...

Driving to work Wednesday morning, I was listening to a local Christian radio station instead of a podcast or music on my iPod. I like to keep it mixed up people. Some mornings- radio, some mornings- podcast from The Economist or a Bud Beverly sermon, and even a little classic rock on occasion. Variety is the supposed spice of life...although vanilla is considered a spice....I'm pretty sure.

Anyway... the morning personalities posed the question if listeners were avoiding hand shaking at church due to the Swine Flu scare. Some of the responding calls were quite intriguing. One in particular resulted in my pulling over on the super speedway called Interstate I-26 to clean my inside window...

Caller (paraphrased for artistic liberties): I think Christians shouldn't cave in to the fear. We should shake hands in church as much as we want because we're under an umbrella of protection from God when we're in His house. You can't get sick in church.

...and there goes the last drink of my morning beverage spewing from my mouth all over my windshield...


The radio guys were really polite and thanked him for the call, as I'm sure protocol requires, but they had to be laughing their behinds off during the break. Did the caller really believe what he said? What scripture did he base his comment? Just what the heck does that mean?

Hears a newsflash sidebar...I'm a research fanatic. Those of you who know me are chuckling right now for sure. I'm addicted to Google Search, Bible Gateway and Wikipedia like Ronald Reagan to jellybeans. We can't watch a TV show in my house without my laptop or BlackBerry spinning into action to find some obscure fact. Is it really that important to know that the name for Oz in the Wizard of Oz was thought up when the creator, Frank Baum, looked at his filing cabinet and saw A-N and O-Z... hence the name OZ? Most people would be perfectly content departing this life for eternity without knowing that tidbit of information...but not me. Please don't judge (and continued apologies to Mrs. Tony C).

So, I get to the office and immediately break into research mode on divine protection provided to people in church. Surprise! Nothing of any credible sourcing, and a few websites I most surely won't be visiting again. Where did the caller get that? Then the light finally went off...

Mark 16:17-18 (New International Version)
17And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.

I know what you're thinking...and you're wrong. I'm not going to discuss snake handling in church at this point. Yes...I know it has origins in Tennessee, and for the record is not something done where I attend church or anywhere I would attend church, but I'm leaving the subject alone. The words in that verse were spoken by Christ to the disciples as a rebuke for not believing those who had seen Him alive after His crucifixion, and I have a personal opinion on the context it was spoken, but my intent is not to offend or portray a superior opinion. Moving on...

So, should we succumb to the threat of a pandemic outbreak and suspend the cultural tradition of hand shaking in and out of church? I've documented on Tony C Today that I'm not the most touchy-feely type anyway, so my vote is...what would a hiatus hurt? I'm going to conduct an experiment on human reaction, and I will report back when I have enough data to form a solid conclusion. That may only take one Sunday. I've ask the guy I work with from China to give me pointers on proper bowing techniques as a possible greeting alternative...this should be fun. Stay tuned.

By the way...vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron (Wikipedia)...just so you know.

As for the title of this blog, here's the classic bit...enjoy!


David said...

Funny - nice work my friend!

I think that together we probably have the greatest collection of useless and trivial facts. And when I don't know the answer-- Balderdash I say -- great game.

I love this verse not because of the snakes-- but because of the mandate to Christian to operate in the supernatural. By the way Paul was confronted by a snake that came from the fire in the story in Acts.

As we look at what God wants to do-- and what He wants us to do- we need REVELATION. God does heal- and he will keep us from many things. But the Bible also says, do not tempt the Lord thy God. Jesus quoted it to the devil in the desert.

I have a quick story... in the 80's I had a friend from church who's BC lifestyle gave him AIDS. I just want you to know that I decided to hug him every time that I saw him until he died.

Did you know that seahorses are the only animal where the male actually gives birth to the babies?

Dave said...

Another great post Tony. Sometimes, we Christians are our own worst enemy. It's when believers make ridiculous statements like that, that people outside the church look at us and wonder if we are crazy enough to believe that, then what about all the other stuff we believe. I really don't know where some people come up with this stuff.

photogr said...

It is a scientific fact you can catch germs in any environment no matter where you are or how healthy you are. Some poeple are more susceptable if their imune system is low. Best to keep it pumped up

Aids can only be spread through exchange of bodily fluids.

As a precaution I would suggest wearing of surgical gloves when shaking hands, a face mask or respirator when breathing in a crowd, and abstain from exchanging of bodily fluids.

With those safety tips, one should be able to remain disease free.

As an added safety precaution, one should not handle rattlesnakes unless you are an apostle of God.

David said...

@Photgr - In the 80's we didn't know that about AIDS.