Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is it a sin to smoke weed? What does the Bible say about using other drugs? Can a Christian Get High? What if it is legal?


Here in California it is common to see “Medical Marijuana Dispensaries” or corner medical clinics advertising “Medical Marijuana Cards”. As with most narcotics, when used under the close observation of a legitimate doctor they probably can meet a medical need. For example Vicodin is commonly prescribed for pain. If used properly it can provide relief to a patient recovering from an injury, however, it is commonly abused too. Although there is still an ongoing debate about its use, Marijuana could probably meet a medical need, however many “Medical Marijuana” users are not taking it for medicinal needs, but instead just to get high.

The question under consideration is not the legitimate medicinal usage of drugs, but instead, is it okay for a Christian to recreationally use drugs for the purpose of being stoned? What does the Bible say?

1. Christians must obey the law.
  • (Romans 13:1) “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities”. Most illicit drug use is against the law in this country. 
    • For a person to use an illegal drug or even prescription medication in a way other than its intended purpose is violating the law and sinning. 
2. Christians are to have good self-control.
  • (Proverbs 25:28) “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls”.
  • (Galatians 5:22-23) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law”.
  • (1 Peter 4:7) “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers”.
    • When a person is under the influence of drugs whether cocaine, pot or even alcohol, their inhibitions are lowered and they are in less control of their actions.  God wants us to be “sober minded” and to be in control of ourselves. If a person is high, they are more likely to sin. 
    • Our task as Christians is to live pure lives and make good choices. Many times people do things while on drugs that they normally would not do. When stoned, a person’s judgement is impaired and harm may befall them and others because of their intoxication.
    • Another point to consider in regards to “self-control” is the addictive properties of most drugs. It is easy to become dependent and addicted to most drugs. 
    • Although some drugs might not be physically addicting, the feelings of euphoria  and temporary pleasure associated with their use can be. Many times a person becomes dependent upon drugs to get through stress, relax or even just function on a daily basis. God is to be our master, but when addicted to drugs we are often servants of a “high” and not our Savior.
3. Sorcery and Witchcraft in the Bible 
  • (Galatians 5:19-20) “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions...”.
  • (Revelation 21:8) “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
    • There is a good possibility that drug use was associated with the sorcery mentioned in the Bible and that the so-called “spells” that people implemented were actually the affects of ancient drugs.
    • Concerning this point the Christian Courier writes: 
      • The Greek word, pharmakeia (Gal. 5:20) derives from the term pharmakon. The original term had to do with “medicine” (like an ointment), or “a potion,” whether for good (as used by a physician), or for “evil” (as in the administration of poison).
      • The term could signify a drug. Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, tells of a man named Arcesilaus, who “fell sick,” and while “under the influence of a drug [pharmakon] which he had taken, was strangled” by one of his own brothers (IV.160).
      • With the passing of time, the term came to be associated with pagan ceremonies, sometimes in connection with the use of drugs. The term could simply take on the sense of charm, spell, incantation, or enchantment (Liddell & Scott, Greek-English Lexicon,1741).
      • In principle, the term might well apply today to those who use drugs as mind-altering substances for recreational (or even religious) purposes. (Jackson).
    • Although there are other sins associated with sorcery (pagan and idolatrous worship, the occult etc.), it seems that drug use (whether personal or in attempt to poison others) may have been inferred when discussing the sin of “sorcery”.
4. Drunkenness is a sin.
  • (Ephesians 5:18) “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery...”.
  • (1 Corinthians 6:10) “Nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God”.
    • In numerous passages in the Bible being drunk is condemned. Why is this? Because when intoxicated, one no longer has “self-control” (see point #2). (Proverbs 20:1) “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise”.
    • Without a doubt it should be assumed that the mind altering state that drugs produce would be sinful just like “drunkenness”. In the same way that alcohol lowers inhibitions and impairs judgment, drugs do as well.
Conclusion:
  • Many of the plants created in nature or chemicals created by man are not inherently good nor evil. 
  • There are legitimate medical uses for many of the drugs in use today and there is also a great opportunity for abuse.
  • The Bible does not condemn medicine, in fact Paul told Timothy to “use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” (1 Timothy 5:23).
  • Legal Doctor prescribed drug use for a legitimate condition would not be in violation of Scripture. (Although one should still be cautions with medicine that alters judgement, mood or can be addicting).
  • Using drugs in order to chase a buzz, forget problems, get high or just “feel good” is not only usually against the law, but would also be against the teachings of Scripture.
CS
Scripture Quotes from ESV Bible. 
Christian Courier. Wayne Jackson - https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/473-does-galatians-5-20-condemn-the-use-of-all-drugs