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Christian Response to the Legalization of Marijuana

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Our world is changing, people are conforming, and so are some perspectives of the legalization of marijuana.  Can Christians use marijuana for medicinal purposes?  Can Christians partake in the leisure use of this drug now that it’s becoming legalized in various states although still considered illegal under the federal law?

While the Bible does not come right out and say, “Thou shalt not smoke pot” it does discuss the use of other mind-altering activities.  True Christians who whole-heartedly follow Christ understand that the Bible provides us with a clear path of understanding and when we read with clear eyes and a heart of discernment, we can use the word of God to help us separate truth and evil.

Here is what the Bible does say about intoxication:

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21

“Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.  Who has needless bruises?  Who has bloodshot eyes?  Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine.  Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!  In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.  Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things.  You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging.” Proverbs 23:20-21, 29-34

“Wine is a mocker and beer is a brawler; whoever is lead astray by them is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1

These versus are very clear on the practices of intoxication of any kind.  It’s to be avoided at all costs.  As Christians, we are urged to guard our hearts.  Alcohol, prescription drugs, and now marijuana in some states are legal.  While we do have freedom in Christ, we are NOT to use our freedoms to sin.  The Bible confirms our freedom:  “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16) and “You, my brothers, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13).

It is true, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1)  Let’s be sure we don’t twist the truth to uphold our sinful desires.  We must remember that we are governed to obey God rather than man when man’s laws are in direct conflict with God’s laws. (Acts 5:29)

It is also true that God said, “’I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it.  They will be yours for food.’” (Genesis 1:29).  However, God also gave us sexual pleasures to have within our marriages with our spouse, not for sexual immorality.  We have weapons to defend ourselves, not murder the innocent.  He has provided hemp to be used for textiles, lotion, fabric, paper, fuel, and wood.

So are Christians free to smoke marijuana now that it’s legalized?  If you find yourself questioning the issue of marijuana use, I challenge you to pray and seek God’s word and His wisdom.  I believe that if God has put this issue on your heart, He is leading you to the answers you know are true and right, and will convict you of this question.

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