"I'm a pastor who smokes marijuana"

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 (All day)

What does God think of the recreational use of pot?

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[Steve Myers] Legalizing recreational use of marijuana is in the news again.  Now recently, Colorado and Washington approved that – they legalized the recreational use of pot. And of course, many people are coming out in support of that, and it's become a controversial issue in quite a few states. In fact, on one of the internet websites, people are putting up posters in support of smoking pot. In fact, here is one that I copied off the internet. And it says, "I'm a youth pastor at a large church, and I smoke marijuana every day that I'm not at service (Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday)." And it says, "My Lord still loves me."

Well, that brought a question to my mind. What does God really think about smoking pot? What does He really think about the recreational use of marijuana? Is that something that God approves of? Or do we not even bother to think about what God's perspective on it is?

Well, there's an interesting passage over in the book of Galatians, in Galatians chapter 5, beginning in verse 19. God talks about the deeds of the flesh – the normal, everyday, human way of thinking and actions that are a result of that. And here's what He says. He says, "Those deeds of the flesh are evident. They are immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery" – and the list goes on. And then he says, "Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians:5:19).

Now, the interesting thing – the word for "sorcery" here is the word – let's get that C out of there – for sorcery, is the word " pharmakeia ". Pharmakeia . It's the same Greek word that we get the word "pharmacy" from. It literally means "drugs" – the use of drugs, the administering of drugs. And you might think, well, why does sorcery have anything to do with drugs? Well, the context was taking into account the fact that witches, or those that would practice sorcery or witchcraft would either smoke the drug, they would rub the drug all over them, they would eat it, and then they would become in a state of mind, where that – evil spirits then could affect them. And so, that became associated with the drug use. And so, when you read this in the New Testament, he's not just talking about being a witch, he's not just talking about sorcery, he's talking about the effects of that drug.

Well, drugs can have good effects. You can go to a pharmacy and you can get a painkiller that is a necessary thing for a medical situation. And that's not what he's talking about here. But here, we're talking about recreationally using drugs. Do you want to be in stupored state of mind? Is this relaxed, open mind the kind of thing that God wants you to have? Well here, he points to the fact that this is something that could keep you out of the kingdom.

In fact, it's not the only section of scripture where this is mentioned. There's even another section over in the book of Revelation where it talks about the same type of thing. Revelation chapter 9. It says, "Mankind didn't repent of their sorceries" (Revelation:9:20-21). And once again, that's that word for pharmakeia . They didn't repent of, what we could say, their use of drugs – the kind of use of drugs that's going to put them in a state of mind that they don't have full control of themselves. Because that's exactly opposite of what God wants for us. God says He's given us a spirit of love and of a sound mind – a mind that is in control of our senses, a mind that is going to be a thinking mind that can control circumstances, and what's going to come in and what's going to go out of our minds. And so God says, "Think about that". Don't lose control of your mind, take control of your thoughts and your heart. God says that's a very important thing.

In fact, in the proverbs, I think this whole concept is also talked about. When you look at what it says in Proverbs:23:21 – in God's Word Translation it says, "Drowsiness will clothe a man with rags." Do you put yourself in that kind of state of mind? It's not a good thing. The results will not be good. He says, "Later it bites like a snake, and strikes like a poisonous snake." You read that down to verse 32 and verse 33, "Your eyes will see strange sights, your mouth will say embarrassing things" (Proverbs:23:32-33).

Does that sound like anything associated with recreational drug use? You see, God says that's a problem. That is a problem, because that's not the spirit that God has given us. So I think you should keep that in mind – the recreational use of pot or other drugs is something that God despises, because we lose full control of our thinking, and God says that's not the way he wants us to be. He wants us to have a spirit of love and of a sound mind.

That's BT Daily . We'll see you next time.


Marcus5221's picture

Very well articulated perspective. Something, overlook by the world as a whole, in this debate over legalization. Seems to be the way our world is going though, wanting to escape the problems, issues, concerns. I can understand that, because some of the problems, issues are "very" tough and difficult, with no real easy answers at times. Thanks.

linda effenberger

linda effenberger's picture

Thanks for this BT Daily Classroom lesson. I never thought of the use of drugs in combination with sorcery, but as I was reading this BT Daily, I pictured a witch stirring a soup mixture in a big iron caldron under an open fire. Now what was that soup that she made, I thought. Could it have been a mind-enhancing drug potion? I think it was!


davourak's picture

Great post, useful information. Anything that alters the mind is very dangerous. I had noticed already the use of pharmakeia in Revelation 22 where it is translated as sorcerers (who will not be in the Kingdom of God) and concluded it is the root of pharmacy. Interesting connection with the drugs you mentioned as well. Best to avoid all pharmaceutical drugs as well as the recreational drugs that people smoke, which alter their minds and allow the demons in.


OLD JR's picture

Can marijuana or other plants found in nature designed by our creator be used for medicinal purposes like pain or rashes fever ect

Lena VanAusdle

Lena VanAusdle's picture

There are natural substances that can be used for pain, rashes, etc. that are widely available (aspirin {for pain, thinning the blood, and as an anti-inflammatory} is derived from willow and myrtle trees; aloe vera is great for burns; quinine (from tree bark) for malaria, and so on); and none of these substances affect your mind in a negative manner. God created many things that are useful and helpful, but when used in the wrong context or in an improper manner can cause problems and be sinful (i.e.: drinking too much alcohol, sex outside of marriage, eating too much or unhealthy foods, etc.). Marijuana is a useful plant that can be used to make rope, paper, etc. It does not need to be used "medicinally" to be useful, and certainly shouldn't be, as this video shows.

Sherrie G

Sherrie G's picture

There are medicinal properties contained within the plant. When those properties are extracted they can be very helpful. These medicinal properties have been known to stop seizures in children, fight against cancer, and even help in reducing symptoms from radiation poisoning as well as fight against chronic and painful diseases. Some companies are now in the process of growing plants that are high in the medicinal properties and extremely low in THC, the chemical responsible for the "high." There is hope that it can be used to create a string of drugs to help in areas that the medical community has had limited success in.

Of course the true Healer, is aware of our aches, our pains, and our diseases. He should never be over looked in our struggle for a healthier life style.


fair64's picture

I have done my own study of what God thinks about using drugs. I understand that drug use and sorcery go hand in hand. I have followed this use of drugs all the way back to the Pharoah's magicians and how "sorcery/drug use" HARDENS THE HEART TO GOD'S TRUTH. I have been in the struggle for my eternal life concerning this issue. I kept wondering why was I having such a hard time staying away from weed. It wasn't until I studied long & hard & prayfully that I came to understand that every time I smoked pot I was allowing demons into me, my heart could not grasp the import of this problem because my heart/mind was UNSOUND. I suspect that I get demon possessed when this happens. Now it's up to me to OBEY GOD or NOT ENTER THE KINGDOM. PERIOD. Just as it should be. This work of the flesh WILL keep me out of God's Kingdom, but God said this is MY TRIAL that I MUST OVERCOME TO ENTER INTO HIS KINGDOM. Our Father has ALREADY GIVEN ME THE WAY OUT OF THIS TEMPTATION so I can bear it!. And I AM NOT GIVING UP NO MATTER WHAT. I still have a crown waiting for me and an invitation to help Him recreate this earth. It is up to me to do what God says and believe Him. My very eternal life is at stake.


fair64's picture

I have found out from a brother in the faith, all the way back to Mr. Armstrong's day, that I am wrong in the understanding of drug addiction and sorcery. I was corrected that sorcery has to do w/ incantations and what one usually understands to be 'witchcraft and sorcery'. I was told that drug addiction is a terrible disease, to be sure, and something to be overcome with the power of God, but one's weakness in this area is not the same as witch/magician conjuring their craft with incantation and the such. I am happy to say that I am much more educated, moving forward in my walk to enter into the Kingdom with tribulation, knowing that it is to be counted joyful when the opportunity arises to fight against the human nature and willingly choose God's way over satan's way.

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