By Pastor Mark Christopher
should come as no surprise that there are those who claim that Jesus healed with
marijuana. Those who assert this, maintain Jesus
healed with oil made from cannabis extract. They further contend Jesus burned
incense made from a similar extract.
what verifiable proof do proponents of pot-theology have for making such
outlandish claims? None. It is pure, unbridled speculation blended with a
copious measure of wishful thinking that drives this dagga dogma. Even if there
was some validity to the claim, it is still an astonishingly long leap from
anointing someone with oil to promoting smoking a joint.
can laugh, but given the mass appeal of all things hemp, Christians need to be
able to biblically answer whether or not Scripture endorses the recreational
uses of dagga. After all, there are professing believers who think that Genesis
1:29’s appeal for humanity to eat all seed-bearing plants is somehow tantamount
to a green light for lighting up a joint — Never mind that this context is
pre-fall and pre-curse (Rom. 8:18-23), and that eating, not smoking, is in
of whether or not the state sanctions the recreational use of marijuana, the
Christian needs to consult the Bible first and foremost to honestly answer the
questions related to dagga as a liberty issue. If the SA government should ever legalize the drug, does that mean it is permissible, under the guise of a
liberty issue, to imbibe in moderation?
order to answer this, there are host of questions that must be asked and
transparently answered before a categorical answer can be given:
What is the motivation for smoking dagga? Scripture is quite clear on
what the ultimate goal of life is about — to glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31). So can
one light up a joint for the glory of God? Well, unlike the person who has the
occasional drink, the motivation for smoking dagga is to get wasted. Even those
who smoke occasionally do so to get stoned and feel the buzz. The motivation is
to escape reality through momentary psychological and physical euphoria. This
hardly agrees with the biblical mandate to find one’s joy, peace, and love by
walking in the Spirit of God (Gal. 5:16, 22-23).
that today’s THC in a joint is at much higher concentrations than a few years
ago, it only takes about four
puffs of a joint (7mg. of THC) to reach
research-tested levels of intoxication. So the notion that one can exercise
their liberty and enjoy a joint in moderation is quite frankly a pipe dream.
Will smoking marijuana promote the Ephesians 5:18 command to avoid being
controlled by any external influence beyond the Spirit of God? When one is in
Christ, their life is to be one of being Spirit controlled, Spirit driven, and
Spirit submitted. Since the Spirit of God inspired the Word of God, whatever
else a Spirit-filled life is, it will be in keeping with the very word the
Spirit inspired. All throughout the Bible drunkenness and intoxication is
divinely condemned. In final analysis,
to be Spirit filled means one walks in the Spirit displaying some measure of
fruit with its whole basket of ripened virtues. On this basis, Paul declared (1 Cor. 6:12c), "... I will not be mastered by anything."
3. Are mind-altering drugs associated with
godliness or ungodliness? In Galatians 5:20 one of the deeds of the flesh
mentioned is “sorcery”, which according the Greek text speaks of witchcraft
that is coupled with mind-altering substances of whatever kind. The Greek word
for “sorcery” is pharmakia which addresses pagan religious magic practices that
were aided by intoxicants in various magical potions or mutis. These
concoctions were thought to put one into contact with the spirit realm. Interestingly,
the book of Revelation uses the related terms several times (Rev. 9:21; 18:23;
21:8; 22:15), indicating the twin evils of the occult and getting loaded will
increase prior to the return of Christ.
the Talmud, the Jewish commentary on the Old Testament, the commentary on
Numbers 22-25 on the story of Balaam and Balak explains that the Moabites used
marijuana-laced pastries to seduce Jewish men into cubicles with young Moabite
maidens. While the story is probably apocryphal, it nevertheless illustrates the
rather than tending toward godliness, intoxicating substances, like dagga, lead
one to the threshold of the occult, even if that is not the intended goal.
Will smoking dagga encourage the disciplined mind required for living out one’s
faith? We have already established that the pot of today is much stronger than
in previous generations. Yet, the New Testament promotes a sober mind. The exhortation
in the epistles is to be “sober minded”:
In relation to one’s sin and
conduct (1 Cor. 15:34).
In relation to end times and
return of Christ ( 1Thess. 5:6, 8).
In relation to all things (2
In persecution and trials (1
Pet. 1:13; 4:7; 5:8).
term itself, “be sober”, references a self-controlled thinking that approaches
reality reasonably and biblically, rather than responding irrationally and
straight thinking and unclouded judgment are requirements for the Christian. If one is
honest, the use of dagga is antithetical to the sobriety being a Christian
Will it harm my body? Paul reminds the Corinthians that as blood-bought
believers, the body is a temple (1 Cor. 6:19-20) housing the indwelling Holy
Spirit. As such, the body is reserved for glorifying God, not for doing as one
pleases. Temple maintenance is, therefore, necessary. Given both the negative short
term and long term effects of marijuana, use of the drug violates the temple
principle and destroys that which is meant to be a vessel for God’s glory.
Is using dagga for medicinal purposes okay? The Bible does record instances where
the use of drugs for medicinal purposes is condoned (Ezekiel 47:12; Rev.
22:2). The balm in Gilead (Jerm. 8:22; cf. 46:16; 51:8) was a drug used because
of its healing properties. In 1 Timothy 5:23 Paul tells Timothy to take some
wine for his stomach’s sake. Thus, when the motivation for using a drug is
palliative (alleviating the ill effects) or curative, it does not pose the same
ethical dilemma as recreational drug usage does. This does not imply care
should not be exercised when legitimately using prescription drugs.
Finally, the Christian must ask himself/herself what the goal of the Christian
life is. As stated in the previous article, we are called to be holy, not high.
The child of God should strive by grace to imitate Christ, not conform to the
drug-laden culture. The believer is to be characterized by the transforming
grace of God rather than conforming to the spirit of the age. For in this is found
the sum of being in the world, but not being of it!