Are you a Christian? Do you smoke pot? Do you think it is right or wrong?
These discussions are happening more and more today as we see marijuana becoming more accepted and legalized in our country. Up until the late 1990’s, marijuana was essentially an illegal street drug. But now with the legalization of medical cannabis and loosened restrictions for recreational use, smoking pot is no longer taboo. What does this mean for Christians? What does God have to say?
Here are a couple of perspectives to help you think through the issue:
1. The Illegal Perspective
As long as smoking pot is illegal in the U.S., Romans 13:1-2 ends the discussion.
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted. (Romans 13:1-2)
Christians are called to be law-abiding citizens and to obey the laws of the land. This means that if a Christian is breaking the law by smoking pot, then they are in sin. This perspective isn’t just limited to smoking pot but also holds true for many other illegal activities (e.g. speeding, tax evasion, curfew violation, etc.). When something is illegal, the Bible says don’t do it! So as long as smoking pot is illegal, God’s word says don’t do it. But what if smoking pot becomes legal? It is certainly headed that way.
2. The Getting High Perspective
It’s often argued that smoking pot is no different than drinking alcohol. In fact, some would say smoking pot is physically better for you than drinking alcohol. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t speak to the issue of one being healthier than the other. However, the comparison of smoking pot to drinking alcohol does have validity when talking about getting drunk.
As I wrote in a prior blog post, Do You Want a Beer?, there are many Bible passages that identify drinking to the point of getting drunk as sin. It is important to clarify that the sin isn’t simply drinking alcohol but being “intoxicated”. God does not condemn drinking as long as you are not getting drunk.
On the other hand, most would agree that the only reason for smoking pot recreationally is to be intoxicated (i.e. get high, experience a euphoric feeling, etc.). This is where the distinction lies. The problem isn’t simply smoking pot but the result of it. This also holds true for any other way of getting intoxicated for recreational purposes (i.e. illegal drugs, prescription drugs, sniffing glue, huffing, etc.). God’s word says don’t do it!
Today, the smoking pot debate continues on many platforms that may or may not have validity (i.e. politics, taxation, medical, etc.) but my goal in this post is to explore it from a biblical and recreational perspective so we can better understand how to live out our Faith in the Real World.
I would love to hear your comments, so feel free to shout it out!
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