When I was a youth pastor one of the most asked question was; “Ryan, what does the Bible say about marijuana? Isn’t it just like any other pain medication but it’s illegal? Once it is legal isn’t it like taking vicodin, oxycodone or any other pain medication?”
This question posed by literally hundreds of high school and college students caused me to think deeply about the question. Now that Marijuana is legal in several states, it seems to be doing nothing but growing in it’s recreational and medicinal use.
There are important considerations to think through when looking at marijuana and your relationship to it. Part of what I want to do in this BLOG is to give you some important principles to consider when making decisions about how you will engage with any substance you might put into your body.
#1- Just because something is “legal” does it mean it’s good:
If I told you that I was leaving my wife, abandoning my 4 children, and leaving my role as the teaching pastor in my church, and someone asked me “Ryan, why are you doing that?” and my answer was; “Well, it’s legal” I think we would have a HUGE problem on our hands.
Just because something is legal doesn’t it mean it’s good, healthy, helpful or what’s best? Eating donuts all day every day is LEGAL but nobody would tell you it’s good. This isn’t a new false way of thinking….in fact, the apostle Paul was confronting this very thing in 1st Corinthians when trying to engage them in some of their unhealthy habits and behavior:
“All things are lawful for me (says the Corinthians)
But not all things are beneficial (Paul)
All things are lawful for me (Corinthians)
But I won’t be mastered by anything (Paul)”
We need a much more robust and enduring ethic than “It’s legal” to make decisions about recreational drug use.
#2- Test your belief
I don’t mean go try smoking marijuana to make sure it’s bad. What I DO MEAN is… that if you are going to say; “Marijuana is good and it’s good for people and good for communities and good for human flourishing” then put your belief to the test and ask yourself this question.
“The position that I claim to be holding (wherever you land) is that something you would want your children and your grandchildren to adhere to?”
It’s hypocrisy to say that you think Marijuana is good and then to be upset or bothered when your kids smoke it (and then end up on other drugs).
There is a modern day resurgence of marijuana use in middle age folks (40-55), and we are kidding ourselves if we think that our kids won’t follow us down the vapor trail.
Test your belief by thinking through what you want most for your kids.
Finally, friends, look deeply into the harmful, long-term effects and ask yourself the same question the Apostle Paul did….”How is weed beneficial to me?”
The abuse of marijuana, regardless if it is legal or not, can still lead to addiction and thus the possible need for an addiction treatment program. After all, alcohol is legal, but how safe is that?
Don’t fool yourself, and don’t pretend. I think you’ll find that marijuana, like so many other drugs, promises so much but delivers so little.
About the Author:
Ryan Moffat is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
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Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 9, 2017
Published on AddictionHope.com