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Jan 17 2013

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God and Marijuana

imagesShould Christians smoke Marijuana? That was the title of a recent news article on TheBlaze.com where they reported that Mark Driscoll, Seattle-based pastor of Mars Hill, claimed that not everything is a sin, some things are just foolish.

If you’ve followed CryofWorship.com you already know we don’t stray from the tough issues or the controversial topics. We aim to Worship Jesus and Love People and anything that is related to that mission can be approached Biblically, including marijuana. We’ve already approached topics like sex-trafficking, loving porn stars, is alcohol OK for Christians, abortion, and what God says about homosexuality.

So here we go, God and marijuana. You may call it Cannabis, pot, weed, smoking a doobie, using a dub, happy brownies, or whatever, but what I want to know is what does God say about it? I agree with most of Pastor Driscoll’s analysis. But I’m going to recap and share a little more on the subject.

Marijuana has always been something people have used both for medical reasons and entertainment. It is no new thing, but our culture is fighting a debate about whether it should be legal and who it should be available to.

Marijuana is controversial for many reasons, and one is because many believe it is a gateway drug leading to destructive behaviors and addiction to more harmful drugs like heroin and cocaine. Another is because of the effects on the human body. It slows the mental and physical motors and can cause damage let alone danger for the user and those around. Yet another reason it is controversial is the debate of how much control individuals should have over their own choices. There’s plenty we could argue about in these thoughts and more but let’s go to a Bible verse:

1 Corinthians 10:23-25, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being. Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake.”

Christians are called to set an example, a standard of living, while being clothed in grace not hypocrisy. Smoking marijuana for the ‘fun’ of it, the high, because of peer pressure, or for cultural approval is not going to point anyone to Christ and it doesn’t benefit others. Besides that, marijuana used for the wrong purpose is a sin because of the wrong purpose. It is the motive, the heart, that God judges. I doubt using pot for true medical purposes is a sin or even foolish at all in God’s eyes, though I strongly suspect using it for any other reason may be a sin, and is especially foolish.

The motives or purposes that I think may cause the use of marijuana to be a sin are  doing it because someone else pressures you into it, the poor influence it can be on kids, the desire to get a physical high to relieve emotional distress or using a high to have fun, and there’s a few others. It is very similar to the use of alcohol or nicotine in some ways; it depends on the person and the motive and how it is used. What may be sin for one may not be a sin for all. That applies to what God left up to personal conscience, not to what the Bible clearly says is and is not sin. But the best way to tell if it is wise is it to see if it benefits someone else, if it is a real blessing to another person.

Cannabis leaf on grunge background, shallow DOF.So when you hear someone say smoking marijuana is a sin, question it. And the next time you hear someone say smoking marijuana is not a sin, question that. Think of this as well, that abusing anything is certainly a sin and damaging your mind or your body is certainly foolish.

Here’s another two scriptures I’ll close this post with that may be applicable to the subject:

“Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22

“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” Romans 14:19

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