I am honestly not surprised that this happened, but it is sad that there was a loss of life. It seems that Mark Wolford, went to the Lord in the same manner as his father, died from a snake bite that he was handling during a Pentecostal service.
I am not going to blame Pentecostals for this tragedy, as not all of them follow the practice of handling snakes. It is true that most Pentecostal believers look for an outward manifestation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but I think most know that you do not want to pick up and demonstrate your God given power over the “serpent”.
These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and whatever poison they drink will not harm them; they will place their hands on the sick and they will be well.”
I could say something about believers need to pick and choose which verses they need to take literally, but then that argument is used against any practice that someone either wants to prohibit or enable.
I could say that there is evidence and thought that the last 12 verses of Mark were added at a later date and could very well not be the words of Jesus, but then if the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God, does it matter? If it matters, does one begin discounting a part of or even the entire Bible?
I could say that common sense should tell people that you do not tempt God and should only be handling snakes when needed to and not as a demonstration of power to others.
Regardless of how someone takes it, this was a tragedy but hopefully the events that transpired did not change someone’s view as to if God was real or not.