Sudden Death: The Spider, the Slayer and Me


About a month ago I woke up and looked like this!

spider me
My first thought was, Well, if this is how I have to look the rest of my life, I will praise God. My second thought was: I need to take a picture of this and post it on Facebook. I did.

My wife said she didn’t know if I was being prideful or humble.

Fortunately, after a few days, the swelling subsided and I returned to my normal features, for better or worse.

What happened? I’m not entirely sure. Was it a food allergy?

To eliminate the peanut option I ate a few handfuls to no effect.

Then my daughter noticed a little bump behind my ear. “Daddy? Is this a spider bite?” I don’t know if it was or not, but several days later all the blame was placed on a nasty,  hairy critter with long yellow fangs that was found hiding in the corner of our living room.

I survived.

Sadly, according to The Washington Post,

Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman thought he was on the mend after a spider bite was followed by an infection. He’d been writing songs with the band in anticipation of recording a new album later this year.

Was he a Christian?  I can’t be sure, but here’s a sample of the band’s lyrics:

From a life I live
Is what I give
Is what I love
The down fall,
Of the heavens above

I am the Antichrist
All love is lost
Insanity is what I am
Eternally my soul will rot (rot… rot)
(From Slayer’s “The Antichrist”)

But in an unusual chain of events, a representative for the band said the bite may have contributed to Hanneman’s death more than two years later.

Brothers of the Prince of Night
By bargains we have made
Allies with the darkened souls
Our legions we must save
(From Slayer’s “Show No Mercy”)

It’s not for any person to determine absolutely where Jeff Hanneman may be in eternity, but it’s never too late for you to repent and put your trust in Jesus…before the Slayer keeps his date with you.

“…because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ (Romans 10: 9-13)


  1. Thanks Pastor Steve for posting this on your blog. After reading the article about Mr. Hanneman’s demise because of a spider bite, I told my family to kill all spider’s found in the house. No exceptions.

    And as you so beautifully stated it’s never too late to humble oneself and repent.

  2. Many of the heavier Christian bands playing today were influenced by Jeff H’s. musicianship and I thank you for taking the tragedy and turning it back to the Gospel. A much better reaction than the people at Westboro.

  3. I listened to your message called “Sudden Death”on your church’s
    podcast. Thanks for having it there. It is encouraging!

  4. Slayer released a statement that he died not of a spider bite, but of cirrhosis of the liver. The spider bite and the poison with it could have accelerated things, but it’s pretty likely that Hanneman was living on borrowed time already.

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