Holy Snake Oil

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Grinseed's picture
@Jo, you have asked about

@Jo, you have asked about Theological Dominionism. Below are links to articles. I leave it to you to read at your leisure or discretion.

I don't have anything to add to any of the comments made by the contributors, or the atheists at Pathos or the critical christians at compellingtruth other than to say I want theists to minimise their theism in democratic politics, and that all this is the stuff of my nightmares.

Dominionist Theology a Secularist Guide

One of five short-ish articles on Dominionism. I leave it to the reader to follow up the other four articles.

The Effect of Pentecostalism has had on Australian Politics

It's all in the title.

The Seven Mountain Mandate

An uncritical summary of the Seven Mountain Mandate (origins etc) from Cindy Jacobs (formerly of God Knows television)and her Generals International which seems to be a quasi-military boot-camp for spiritual warriors, very OT. and nauseating.

Compelling Truth smacks down Dominionism

A critical look at the seven mountain mandate from the same people who bring us gotanswers.

A fuller look at Dominionism in the US featuring Dr Lance Wallnau, who proclaimed Trump as God's chosen candidate for the presidency (Wallnau also has a thing for OT prophecies) and David Barton who insists the US was created as a christian nation. Worth mentioning that Paula White, Trumps spiritual advisor is also an advocate for Dominionism.

Knock yourselves out.

Grinseed's picture
@ Jo,

@ Jo,

"If a country being more Christian means it is more loving, than I am for that."

That's fine as long as that really means I can continue to live my life as a secular humanist without persecution or discrimination. History and recent news has shown there is no guarantee of that happening.

"If a country being more humanist means more human freedom and progress, than I am for that."

The basic tenet of humanism is the free exercise for everyone to live their life according to their own morals, ethics and reason, while respecting the very same freedoms and rights of all others. I include animals in that protection.
I am not suggesting that a dominantly humanist society would necessarily be perfect but the thing is, we have never had the opportunity to experience such a thing.

Dominionism isn't merely a hope for a more Christian society, it's the stated intention for the establishment of a theocracy, like North Korea and what we are witnessing in Turkey today, where pious Islamic lawmakers have passed legislation in accordance with their faith that rules a rapist must marry his victim. No thanks. That is not "more loving."
And further it is implied within the bible in the Great Commission and also in the OT promises of the ascendency of the Jewish people over all nations.

Delaware's picture
@ Grinseed

@ Grinseed

Can you give me the reference in the Bible where it is "implied" that the "Great Commission and also in the OT promises of the ascendency of the Jewish people over all nations."?

Grinseed's picture
@ Jo

@ Jo

Reference? I'll give you a couple.

The following are biblical references Dominionists might use to support their idea.

You, Jo, might call it 'the spreading of God's love and wisdom to the whole world through prayer, witness, faith and the Holy Spirit' but Dominionists see it more like a global spirtual conquering, and I see it as an attempt for a world wide theocracy.

It seems apparent to me that the Abrahamic God wanted to spread his faith across the entire world he created. I don't know if the word or the concept of 'dominionism' had been coined in the first century AD, maybe it was an obscure word in Greek. From memory it is not in the bible, but Dominionists would tell you their hopes are implied in scripture.

It's not just one promise made, its the same promise made to different people. It involves both the promises Abraham's God made to him and to Isaac, and the continuation of that promise through the faith of followers of Christ.

God's promises to Abraham involves first declaring ownership of what essentially is Israel to him and his descendents and then the spreading of God's word to all the nations of the world in the form of a blessing:

“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3)

The important part here is "in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed".

And later God reinforces the promise to Isaac.

Genesis 26:4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;

In Galatians Paul stresses the promise God made to Abraham and specifically to Issac, has been inherited by Christians as spiritual heirs. He argues that the singular 'seed' that God spoken of to Abraham was Jesus and his followers and that the great commission was to be the fulfilment of the promise to Abraham.

Galatians 3:16. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

And Paul continues

Galatians 3:26. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male of female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29.And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”

And just for the sake of comlpleteness, I incluse Jesus' last directions to the apostles before he ascends to heaven, the "great commission", as per the gospels.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the worldl, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Matthew 29:19. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world. Amen."

Luke 24:44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”

This may not be comprehensive but I think I've covered the bases.

Jo, just out of curiosity how does your Oneness deal with Matthew 29:19. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit ? Don't you folks just get baptised in the name of Jesus? Just curious as I say.

Kevin Levites's picture
(Directed at Grinseed)

(Directed at Grinseed)

A question occurs to me, Grinseed.

Out of curiosity, do Pentacostalists in Australia handle venomous snakes like some of the Pentacostalist churches here in the U.S.A.?

It's my understanding that venomous snakes in Australia should not be underestimated.

Do preachers "down under" handle coastal taipans, eastern brown snakes, and so forth?

I have a healthy respect for the eastern diamond rattlesnake of my country . . . but I have the impression that getting bitten by almost any Australian elapid snake is much, much worse.

Do Pentacostalists get regularly bitten in your country? Does Australia have laws that prohibit snake handling when done for the sake of religion?

Grinseed's picture
@ Kev

@ Kev

Good question. Australia is home to quite a lot of venomous and aggressive snakes, The Brown snake is reputedly the most dangerous (they don't just strike and run, they fight like a boxer in the ring and size up their victims looking for opportunities to get a couple of strikes in.

We have quite a lot of Pentecostals but they seem to ignore Mark 16:18, so no they don't handle snakes

There are laws that protect snakes in Australia.It is illegal to kill any snake, venomous or not.
Most people when they discover a snake in their house and this is usually a news item of interest almost everyday here, most people call for snake catchers who return the snakes to the bush. Snake catchers are registered but I don't know if any are Pentecostals. I'd expect they would advertise that fact if they were, praise the lord.
People are encouraged to leave Aussie snakes alone. Licences are required to keep them privately for whatever reason. I understand you have to have a bloody good reason and I don't think religious beliefs cuts it...for the moment, at least.

Kevin Levites's picture
(Directed at Grinseed)

(Directed at Grinseed)

Thank you for answering.

I have been playing with an idea that I believe could save lives, but I don't know how to advance it.

In the Jewish faith, one "rends one's clothes" as an expression of grief. In modern times, you have a small, black ribbon pinned to your clothes, and the rabbi cuts it as part of the funeral service.

In the Catholic communion, we eat a small wafer and have a tiny sip of wine.

In other words, token materials taking place of the real thing.

What people don't understand is that there are venomous snakes that aren't dangerous to people. The hog-nose snake (the Latin binomial is Heterodon platirhinos), for example, has small, rear fangs, and injects a venom that is largely harmless to humans, as it's intended to paralyze the cold-blooded toads that make up the bulk of it's diet.

My point is that snakes like this one are--technically--venomous. I think they should use snakes like this for the same reason why we substitute a ribbon for clothing, or a small wafer for a loaf of unleavened bread.

If the snake is technically venomous, then it satisfies the requirements of the faith, and nobody need be in any real danger.

BTW, there are many snakes that fit these criteria.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Kevin and Grinseed

@ Kevin and Grinseed

Hey, here's an idea, I would love to see Pentecostalists juggling with spiders....maybe a couple of Sydney Funnel Webs, a Bird Eating Spider from the Kimberley, and a Mouse Spider, and for the kiddies a nice selection of Red Back and Black Window spiders.

Then we could leave the snakes alone.

It would be really great to watch that........TV would snap it up.

It is why pentecostalists don't fuck with snakes, spiders and scorpions in Australia. God apparently overlooked the protections for the happy clappers on this continent.

Grinseed's picture
Throw in a few cockroaches

@ Old Man

Throw a few cockroaches into the juggling and Ilovechloe would be stoked.

@ Kev

I note your humane desire to save lives and at least suffering, but I think they should follow the Ozzie Pentacostalist example and leave the poor animals the hell alone.
I understand the snakes are kept in refrigerated storage before handling which makes their responses slower, but of course they fail to inform children of this little deception. Stop picking up the damn snakes and kids wont bother copying the adults.

One report shows that there have been 91 snake bite deaths among serpent handlers since 1919. To keep that in perspective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in February, 2014, between 350 and 400 people die from snake bites in the U.S. each year.How many were kids pretending to be Pentecostalists. Even the snake charmers of the Middle East have the sense to remove the fangs of the cobras before they start messing with them.

A recent occasion where a US fundamentalist snake handler was bitten involved this guy, Pastor Jamie Coots a Matt Dillahunty lookalike, who was not only bitten, allededly by a rattlesnake, but he also refused medical assistance on religous grounds. And then he died. Incredibly after his funeral some of the congregation went back to church to watch some more of that there thrilling snake handling for the Lord which included the pastor's son. Apparently it was a family obsession. Natural selection will have its way yet.

I don't get it. He got bit and died and completely disproved the claim in Mark 16:18 "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them;" and yet they say it only confirms their faith. Confirms their insanity, more like. I would be more convinced of their faith if they acted on the rest of that verse, "they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." but I guess that isn't thrilling or macho enough as an act of faith for the Lord.

I saw that some US states have made snake handling illegal but of course thats not going to stop the true beleiver from offing himself for Jesus.

Kevin Levites's picture
(Directed at Old Man Shouts)

(Directed at Old Man Shouts)

The only thing I disagree with are any points against the aggressivenes of wild animals.

I have been in multiple situations with unsecured, dangerous animals.

99.99% of the time, whenever a human gets bitten, it's the person's fault.

This was drummed into me as a child, and while I resented it at the time . . . she was, of course, quite correct.

If I was going to travel to Australia, I'd be educated on what snakes are where, places that stock polyvalent antivenom, and any other things I could get my hands on.

This made seem obsessive and nerdish, but it makes a very positive impression when you can tell that someone actually cared enough to learn, and tried to understand that things are different elsewhere in the world.

This has opened doors for me, at least.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Kevin Levites

@ Kevin Levites

don't ever look at a Sydney funnel web wrong when they are a' wandering. Those things chase you and they do not like humans. If you don't get anti venom you are dead

The Western Taipan apart from being the most venomous in Australia is also known as the "quarrelsome snake" or "Fierce Snake", having been chased by one just for being on the same frikking path as him.....if they catch you...say your last prayers unless you are close to a hospital.

Nah mate your mum was right about it in Europe but not here mate. They are some feisty buggers in the bush you just don't want to meet.

And do not get me started on Drop Bears! Even the Platypus is venomous!


MTheory's picture


Yale Bible Study ~ Free To Public

Professor Joel Baden ~ Yale

Harvard Religious Literacy Project ~ Traditions Often Blind Us From The Truth

Yes, I do agree with the attached article. I was a devout Christian for over 40yrs. It wasn't until I started working in Pediatric Oncology that I started to question my faith. I no longer have an imaginary friend. However, I do still attend church. The Unitarian Universalist Church I attend consists of freethinkers, humanists, agnostics and athiests. Last weeks sermon was Good Without God.

You shouldn't appeal to someone over 2,000 years old to do the right thing. You should do the right thing because it's the right thing to do.

Kevin Levites's picture
(directed at old man shouts)

(directed at old man shouts)

We may have to agree to disagree on this point.

I have no doubt that there are animals (including the Sydney Funnel Web) that will chase people, but when I say "It's the person's fault", I incude the idea that a person put themselves in the situation to begin with.

They didn't educate themselves, they didn't read bulletins put out by park rangers, they didn't get protective clothing, they didn't secure garbage into animal-proof containers, and so on.

My only point is that's my job as a human being to take precautions, not an animal's job to go against its own nature and refrain from biting me because I insinuated myself into a place where I don't really belong.

This is why I roll my eyes when I hear about some stupid asshole who gets killed by his pet tiger or lion.

We had, for example, an idiot in California who kept a Bengal tiger as a pet.

This animal lived with this guy's family like a dog. For 6 years there were never any problems. There are videos of the tiger playing with this guy's 7 year old daughter. Tigers like water, and you can see where this animal played fetch with a big beach ball in the pool.

There are also videos of this tiger licking and cleaning a puppy's ears.

Then--after 6 years, and while playing in the pool--this tiger turned around and--out of the clear blue sky--ripped his owner's left arm completely off at the shoulder (and yes, he survived . . . but I'll bet that he looks kind of funny trying to whack off with a hook).

There was talk about euthanasizing the animal, and this got me very irritated. In my mind, it wasn't the animal's fault. Not at all.

If you don't want things like this to happen, then don't keep a tiger as a house pet.

Things like this are what I mean when I say that it's always the person's fault when someone gets bitten.

Kevin Levites's picture
(Directed at Grinseed)

(Directed at Grinseed)

I agree completely that the Pentacoastalists should just leave the animals alone.

In another thread, I explored a subtle aspect of religious hypocrisy that seemed especially relevant here in the States.

There was a time when religious fundementalists were demonstrating against homosexuals. They say that nobody is ever born gay, because God doesn't make mistakes.

So, it's profoundly dangerous for children to be around gay people, because "modeling gay behavior" turns kids gay.

All well and good, but then why aren't these same zealots protesting against churches that do snake handling?

The pastor is a role model for the community, so how come they don't worry about the danger to their kids when children may encounter venomous snakes outside of church? Do they want them to emulate the minister's behavior?

I have transported kids who were bitten by water moccasins (a common venomous snake here in Florida) because of what they saw in church.

A bite from a water moccasin (Agkistrodon picsivorus) is rarely fatal, but it is disfiguring and often requires skin grafts, extensive plastic surgery, and amputation.

boomer47's picture


Fascinating.Had not heard the term "dominionism", but think I understand : EG(?)

Our incumbent happy clapper PM, who prays during catastrophes. Our former PM ,the vulgar little budgie smuggler, whose Catholic principles led him to oppose gay marriage.

However, I think the most egregious in Australia was the Catholics foray into politics with the formation of the Democratic Labour Party in 1955. In my parish, the priest INSTRUCTED his flock to vote for the DLP rather than the godless Australian Labor Party. My Parents were both members of the ALP and were livid. The effect was that the DLP split the vote and kept Labor out of power for 20 years (according to my dad)

Of course today, the god bothers tend to be a bit more subtle.

In finishing, all I'll say is that I hope an airplane falls flaming from the sky and hits Hillsong church, at 10.am on a Sunday morning

Kevin Levites's picture
(Directed at Cranky47)

(Directed at Cranky47)

I haven't heard of priests instructing parishes to vote a certian way, but it doesn't surprise me.

Here in the States there are priests who refuse to give communion and/or hear Confession from certain politicians because of their track record in politics.

Yes, if a politician is a democrat and supports women reproductive rights, then he or she will be refused Communion. See below:


This is something that I find especially dispicable about organized religion.

I almost want to accuse this priest of playing God, but they do that already.

Can it be considered a form of spiritual terrorism if a priest uses the leverage of Heaven vs. Hell to compel obedience for political change?

Also, I find it quite amusing that many mob bosses I that I know and/or heard off have no problems getting Communion even when the priest knows full well who and what they are.

There is an apocryphal story about a Columbian hit man who killed sombody, and ran into a church to escape the police, and gave his confession while there was still his victim's blood on his clothes.

And--to top it all off--the priest couldn't say anything.

Yet they'll refuse to provide Communion to Joe Biden because of his political record.

Organized religion is really fucked up.


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