Question: What’s wrong with using street drugs like marijuana?
Answer: God wants everyone to have a good physical life (John 10:10 John 10:10The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
American King James Version×; 3 John 2) and then, through acceptance of His way of life, receive eternal life (John 3:16 John 3:16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
American King James Version×). The connection human beings make with God is through our minds—the organ that allows us to determine and complete our actions.
Recognizing how vitally important one’s mind is, Proverbs 4:23 Proverbs 4:23Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
American King James Version×says, “Keep your heart [mind] with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” The problem with illegal drugs is that they destroy or impede our ability to think soundly. When we don’t have a sound mind, it becomes much more difficult to have a relationship with our Creator.
Another problem with drugs is that they damage our health (www.news.com.au ). The Bible teaches us that because our bodies are to be the temples (places of residence) for God’s Spirit, we need to take care of them. Doing so glorifies—shows respect to—God who made us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 What? know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?
20 For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
American King James Version×). Then there is the important addiction issue addressed below.
Q: It seems everyone around me is using drugs. What’s wrong with just trying it once to see what it’s like?
A: Many people have gotten hooked on drugs after deciding that they just wanted to try them once. So to chance this at all is utterly dangerous. Some drugs are physically addictive, affecting some people even more strongly than others. In addition, people get hooked on the high—the euphoric feeling they have while under the influence of the drug. It feels so good that they want to do it again and again and will do just about anything—including illegal and immoral behavior—just to get another “fix” so they can again enjoy the effects of the drug. A wise person will not take the chance of getting hooked, which amounts to idolatry—putting other things before God and his laws.
Sadly the character issue is often overlooked. But it is absolutely vital. God wants people to develop righteous character in this life in preparation for the next one. Righteous character is developed by determining right from wrong, choosing to do what is right and then following through with the proper action. It is a matter of character to choose not to do what is illegal, disrespectful of God and potentially damaging to our health and spiritual well-being.
Q: What’s the difference between using alcohol in moderation and drugs?
A: God permits the use of alcohol in moderation and within legal limits (see Romans 13:1 Romans 13:1Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
American King James Version×; Judges 9:13 Judges 9:13And the vine said to them, Should I leave my wine, which cheers God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
American King James Version×; 1 Timothy 5:23 1 Timothy 5:23Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your often infirmities.
American King James Version×)—legal issues being age, driving, location, etc. Christians are not to be “heavy drinkers,” but to be self-controlled and moderate (Titus 1:7-8 Titus 1:7-8 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
American King James Version×; 2:3, New Living Translation). Moderation means using good sense so as to not come close to becoming drunk. Drunkenness is a sin that can keep a person out of God’s Kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 9 Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
American King James Version×).
Studies have shown that the moderate use of alcohol can actually be good for your health (www.hsph.harvard.edu ).
Drugs are a different story. Because their use causes intoxication (similar to drunkenness) and is detrimental to one’s health, their use is inappropriate for people who want to honor God.
Q. Since peer pressure is a major cause of youth trying illegal drugs, how can one resist this influence ?
A. Learning to resist pressures to do what is wrong is an important part of being a Christian. The book of Proverbs, specifically written as advice for young people, says, “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent” (Proverbs 1:10 Proverbs 1:10My son, if sinners entice you, consent you not.
American King James Version×). When we become adults, we are likewise to resist the world’s temptations to sin.
One way to resist negative peer pressure is to spend time with people who don’t tempt us to sin. Choose the right kind of friends and associates. God says not to keep company with a drunkard (1 Corinthians 5:11 1 Corinthians 5:11But now I have written to you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortionist; with such an one no not to eat.
American King James Version×). While we will undoubtedly meet and have to interact with people who break God’s laws, if we are wise, we will spend the majority of our time with those who are also striving to live honorable lives.
Q: Doesn’t God want young people to have fun?
A: God tells us to enjoy things that don’t cause pain to us or others in the long run. He wants young people to enjoy their youth (Ecclesiastes 11:9 Ecclesiastes 11:9Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know you, that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.
American King James Version×) and all that goes with it. This entails the excitement of learning, doing new things and spending time with others who share good values—as well as their knowledge of God (Psalms 5:11 Psalms 5:11But let all those that put their trust in you rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them: let them also that love your name be joyful in you.
American King James Version×), since this knowledge will be the key to getting the most out of life. God also encourages us to enjoy the weekly Sabbath and His Holy Days (Isaiah 58:13 Isaiah 58:13If you turn away your foot from the sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honorable; and shall honor him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words:
American King James Version×; Deuteronomy 12:18 Deuteronomy 12:18But you must eat them before the LORD your God in the place which the LORD your God shall choose, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite that is within your gates: and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all that you put your hands to.
American King James Version×; 16:14).
Godly fun is fun we can tell our parents and, later even our grandchildren, all about. Godly fun is always in harmony with God’s laws and is something one never regrets. Godly fun doesn’t harm our bodies. (For ideas, see the article “Alternative Entertainment 101” from our April-June 2006 issue at www.verticalthought.org/issues/vt11/entertainment.htm.) VT