Far-out philosophies often backfire

By Judy Brandon: Local columnist

Several years ago, I scanned a news story headline that read, “Woman considers poisonous snakes brothers.” This piqued my interest, so I read on.

Apparently a woman was worried about the environment and especially concerned for venomous snakes and their survival. She felt that society was wrongly killing poisonous snakes, even when one was in danger, because, as she said, “We just did not understand them.” She explained that poisonous snakes really don’t intend to harm anyone. With an experiment she wanted to prove that these vipers were our “friends.”

Her theory was that people ought to try and develop a relationship with poisonous snakes. She called them our “kindred spirits,” and claimed that we could all live in harmony together if we claimed them as brothers in the universe. She asserted that when “one’s spirit bonded with the snake’s spirit,” snakes would realize that we accept them for who they are and then they will not bite anyone.

She challenged the media to be present on the day she would start a 30-day living relationship with these poisonous snakes. She went to great lengths to prepare the setting. She had a glass-like cage constructed so the media could chronicle her endeavor. In it she put a portable stove, a hammock and bathroom facilities that were enclosed with a curtain for privacy.

She bought supplies, food and water for 30 days and chose the snakes for the event: a cobra, rattlesnake, coral snake and water moccasin. The water moccasin was to live in a little shallow pool in the end of the cage.

For two weeks before her descent into the cage, the woman “prepared her spirit for the great journey.” She consulted her psychic, read her crystals, gazed at the stars and talked to her dead grandmother (who had spent time in the African bush) through a channeler.

The day came when she felt prepared. A crowd had gathered and representatives of the news media were there taping the event. The woman was hoisted up and then moved over the glass enclosure. Slowly she was let down in the cage with the snakes.

The woman was surprised at the next event. The snakes began to strike at her so quickly she signaled to be hoisted up out to safety. When she was back to safety a reporter asked her what went wrong. She answered: “The vibrations in the atmosphere are too intense. The snakes are getting a hostile message. I will try again next month!”

Ridiculous? Of course! Yet sometimes we tend to discredit only “way out” things like the woman with the snakes and forget that we may be dabbling in other areas that are just as deceptive. Paul warned Christians about being carried away by false teachings. We may not go so far as to try to live with poisonous snakes, but we test other things. Some consult the stars regularly, engage in all kinds of psychic predictions and rely on means other than for advice and future direction for lives.

Paul specifically said: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8). So that is our measurement for sound advice.

If we put our trust and faith in anything other than Christ, we may be in for some trouble. Christ is the head over every power and authority. Why get mixed up with the deceptive philosophies at all?

Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: