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Religion
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Title: Is It Okay for Christians to Use Marijuana (Cannabis) and Other Drugs?
Source: godandscience.org/d
URL Source: http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/marijuana.html
Published: Jun 22, 2015
Author: Rich Deem
Post Date: 2015-06-22 21:39:36 by Gatlin
Keywords: None
Views: 1075
Comments: 14

A number of young Christians these days use marijuana and other recreational drugs. Some of them write to ask if this kind of behavior is acceptable for Christians.

Click here for the remainder of the article.

Poster Comment:

I think a Christian does not approve of the taking of illegal drugs, including recreational drugs and all those which can alter the mind.

What do you think?

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#1. To: Gatlin, burning bush (#0)

ays use marijuana

Burning the bush was OK for Moses, so from a biblical perspective you're good to go.

Personally I'd recomend that you lay off of the drugs and booze for a while, and try to improve the quality of your posts. But this is America, land of the free, so do as you wish.

Hondo68  posted on  2015-06-22   22:08:37 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: hondo68 (#1) (Edited)

Burning the bush was OK for Moses, so from a biblical perspective you're good to go.

There had to be a reason why a blazing bush (which was not consumed by the flames) appeared in the middle of the wilderness….was so particularly appropriate for the message that God delivered to Moses.

Do you have a specifically Christian interpretation of this spectacular event, when you consider the parallels between the Exodus and the work of Jesus.

I would be interested to hear your opinion…

Gatlin  posted on  2015-06-22   22:14:26 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Gatlin (#0)

Here is what I think:

(1) From a traditional viewpoint, the Catholic Church says that drug use is sinful, so it's sinful to the extent that the Catholic Church has the power to decide such things. If the Church has the power to make moral laws, then it's sinful for Christians to use drugs. If the Church doesn't, then the fact that the Church says it's a sin doesn't make it a sin.

(2) From a Scriptural viewpoint, the question is not answered in the Bible. On the one hand, God gave man dominion over all of the plants, for his use. And he did not give men dominion over other men, so men do not in fact have the authority to restrict other men from exercising the freedoms God has given them, and further, when men DO assert such authority, through lawmaking, the act of making laws that purport to take away the liberties God gave is ITSELF a sin, and everybody who enforces such laws or supports them is a sinner for doing so, but the man who disregards those immoral laws in order to exercise the liberty God gave him is not a sinner.

On the other hand, God warns in several place of the dangers of excess alcohol use, Based on that, some Christians have made up a tradition of morally prohibiting ALL alcohol use. However, those Christians sin by doing so, for they have added a tradition that exceeds what God imposed, and the effect of that tradition would have been to deprive the Apostles of being able to drink of the cup of wine at the Last Supper. (The notion that Christ and the Apostles, Jews at Passover, were drinking non-alcoholic grape juice is risible.)

Drug use is not home free, however, because of a problem arising on the very last page of Scripture, twice! Twice God lists the sins that will result in a man failing judgment, and twice the Greek word that is traditionally (and wrongly) translated as "sorcery" appears. The word, however, is "pharmakeia", and what it MEANS is the particular practice among the ancients of "pharmacons" selling drugs to induce altered mental states which were said to be magical, and were said to channel demons.

Seeing all of the violence that comes with drug use, and all of the mental instability, I personally believe that illicit drugs, and also legal drugs used for psychiatric treatment, DO open up the brain and weaken the resistance, and open up the person to demons. But then, so does alcohol and lust. Drugs appear to be PARTICULARLY potent, however.

So, is illegal drug use "pharmakeia"? I would say probably not, as such. Drug peddlers today sell drugs for money, and people use it to get high. Nobody thinks they're doing magic or channeling demons or casting spells. Mental intent matters when it comes to mortal sin.

Drug peddlers know they're selling things that kill people, though, and the violence inherent in the trade edges such people towards violence that will itself land a man in the Lake of Fire.

But is it a cut-and-dry slam dunk? No, it is not. Fact is, if something is important, God - both YHWH and Jesus - hammer the point home over and over and over again. So if we're trying to find a doctrine by taking one word, a difficult word that is usually translated oddly, and then make a doctrine of Hell out of it, we're working too hard. If it's IMPORTANT, God makes it plain. He wants people to follow him and be safe and happy. He doesn't play "hide the football".

On balance, then, I'd say that Scripture doesn't answer the question definitively. The drug PEDDLER certainly has more to worry about in terms of direct condemnation than the user, but the user needs to worry about being open to demons.

And that brings us to (3) "All is permitted, but all is not good for us." Drug users probably don't go to hell for that alone, but what they do under the influence of drugs may.

And anyway, we know that drugs are bad for us. Cigarette smoking doesn't send anybody to hell, but it's certainly not good for the health. If something is bad for the health, that's a reason in and of itself to avoid doing it.

After all, when God gave the kosher food laws he didn't say that it had spiritual meaning. Rather, he said that if the Hebrews followed those laws he would not afflict them with the diseases they suffered in Egypt. So, God was concerned with their hygiene and physical health, and not simply with their souls.

Bottom line: I think drugs let in the demons and ruin health, and that means that one should not do them. Whether they're a deadly sin or not I cannot say. That they're physically and mentally destructive is self- evident and reason enough to teach against their use.

Teaching hell fire and brimstone is exaggeration and asserting what is not revealed. That's bad in an of itself.

I'd say that people - Christian or otherwise - should avoid strong drugs because they alter the mind, damage it, and open the person up to demons. They don't lead to health or happiness, and they're stronger than the weaker stuff such as alcohol, which isn't a sin in moderation, or tobacco or caffeine.

The reasons not to use drugs are practical and self-interested - will God throw into Hell the miserable addict who uses drugs to mask horrible mental pain from things inflicted on him or her, simply for the fact of using drugs? There is no Scriptural basis for asserting that, and were God to do that under such circumstances he would be very different from the God who revealed himself in the Bible.

It's not a slam dunk issue like, say, murder. It's a facts and circumstances question.

Potatoes and carrots are better for you and me than drugs. So we should stick to those.

Vicomte13  posted on  2015-06-22   22:27:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Vicomte13 (#3) (Edited)

Thank you...

I have read a number of opinions and articles on the net, yours lays everything out the best.

I'd say that people - Christian or otherwise - should avoid strong drugs because they alter the mind, damage it, and open the person up to demons. They don't lead to health or happiness, and they're stronger than the weaker stuff such as alcohol, which isn't a sin in moderation, or tobacco or caffeine.

Good conclusion...

Gatlin  posted on  2015-06-22   22:45:29 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Vicomte13 (#3)

So, is illegal drug use "pharmakeia"? I would say probably not, as such. Drug peddlers today sell drugs for money, and people use it to get high. Nobody thinks they're doing magic or channeling demons or casting spells. Mental intent matters when it comes to mortal sin.

Wrong

¦¬Á¼±º¿½ (pharmakon, magic) can mean “medicine” or even “poison” in certain contexts but here refers to the use of “magic potions” in religious rites in the Greco-Roman world. It is interesting that John did not use the more general term ƱÁ¼±ºµ¯± (pharmakeia) for “sorcery” or “magic” but rather chose the term that describes the potions used in the rites. John wants to condemn not just the general practice of magic but everything involved in it (i.e., the paraphernalia as well as the rite itself).17 Magic was a major problem for early Christianity. One of the signs of victory over paganism occurred when the sorcerers at Ephesus burned their magic scrolls in public (Acts 19:19). Paul listed “idolatry and witchcraft” together as “acts of the sinful nature” (Gal. 5:19–20), for most acts of “sorcery” occurred in the atmosphere of idolatrous worship (note again the connection of idolatry and demonic activity). In the Apocalypse, using magic is how Babylon “led the nations astray” (18:23), and all who practice it will be cast into the lake of fire (21:8; cf. 22:15). In the first century magic was based on the belief that both good and evil spirits (called gods) involved themselves in the affairs of people. Using religious rituals involving incantations and “commands” given to the spirit-gods, people would try to get the “gods” to work on their behalf, such as for success in business or athletics, sexual liaisons, or healing (see Arnold, DLNT 701–4). Aune (1987: 481–501) argues that one of the major purposes of John in this book is to counter the prevalence of magic at Ephesus and the province of Asia and to present Jesus as the answer to all such demonic acts.

Grant R. Osborne, Revelation (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2002), 387.

And the words of the LORD are flawless, like silver refined* in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. Psalm 12:6

GarySpFC  posted on  2015-06-22   22:50:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Gatlin (#0)

CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

2290. The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

2291. The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.

misterwhite  posted on  2015-06-23   9:03:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: hondo68 (#1)

...use marijuana.

... from a biblical perspective you're good to go.

Approval for the use of marijuana is found in the Bible...you say?

Gatlin  posted on  2015-06-23   9:41:34 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Deckard (#7)

Is using marijuana sinful?

Gatlin  posted on  2015-06-23   9:47:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Vicomte13, Gatlin, GarySpFc, liberator (#3)

Drug use is not home free, however, because of a problem arising on the very last page of Scripture, twice! Twice God lists the sins that will result in a man failing judgment, and twice the Greek word that is traditionally (and wrongly) translated as "sorcery" appears. The word, however, is "pharmakeia", and what it MEANS is the particular practice among the ancients of "pharmacons" selling drugs to induce altered mental states which were said to be magical, and were said to channel demons.

Seeing all of the violence that comes with drug use, and all of the mental instability, I personally believe that illicit drugs, and also legal drugs used for psychiatric treatment, DO open up the brain and weaken the resistance, and open up the person to demons. But then, so does alcohol and lust. Drugs appear to be PARTICULARLY potent, however.

That is the crux of the argument up there.

This would include abusing what are considered legal controlled substances as well.

The reasons not to use drugs are practical and self-interested - will God throw into Hell the miserable addict who uses drugs to mask horrible mental pain from things inflicted on him or her, simply for the fact of using drugs? There is no Scriptural basis for asserting that, and were God to do that under such circumstances he would be very different from the God who revealed himself in the Bible.

There is much to say in Scriptures of God's Mercy and Grace. He delivers the worst addicts and sinners. Walk into a Gospel mission home and see the results of His Grace and Mercy and the Peace He gives to those society have cashiered many times over. I'm sure Gary has seen this in prison ministries as well.

On another note, since Gatlin put this thread in the perspective of being a Christian, which is a follower of Christ, a disciple of Christ I will answer with the following:

"Do our actions day to day, hour by hour glorify God?" Do the things we do glorify God and uplift His Name, uplift Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords? That is what we must, as Christians, ask ourselves and reflect on with our every move and action AND thought.

To God be the Glory! That is our mission as followers of the Holy Spotless Lamb of God. "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Eph 2:10)

Our pursuit is to be like Jesus Christ.

"If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." (Eph 4:21-24)

I visit a few Christian forums now and then. I see a lot of questions where some posters are looking for loop holes in God's Law. I think that misses the mark entirely. The mindset should be as lovers of Christ Jesus to uphold/establish the law.

Romans 3:

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. (Psalm 62:1-2)

redleghunter  posted on  2015-06-23   11:19:56 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: redleghunter (#9)

On another note, since Gatlin put this thread in the perspective of being a Christian, which is a follower of Christ, a disciple of Christ I will answer with the following...

Excellent post.

Thank you.

Gatlin  posted on  2015-06-23   11:37:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: GarySpFC (#5)

Gary, I don't think you understood what I wrote.

You said I was "WRONG", but then you went ahead and published an essay that made the very point I did, about biblical "pharmakeia" not being the same thing as simple modern-style drug use.

Vicomte13  posted on  2015-06-23   14:29:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: Gatlin (#0)

The body of a Christian is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Does God sit around smoking joints?

Don  posted on  2015-06-23   15:06:47 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Don (#12)

The body of a Christian is a temple of the Holy Spirit. Does God sit around smoking joints?

No, but he doesn't eat pork or shellfish either.

Vicomte13  posted on  2015-06-24   10:38:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: Vicomte13 (#13) (Edited)

I don't see the connection; however, have you had dinner with God recently?

Don  posted on  2015-06-28   7:06:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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