The Bible and the Recreational Use of Drugs
It is a Biblical principle that any medicine (drug) which saves or facilitates human life should be used for the benefit of mankind. Jesus stated in Luke 5:31, “Those who are well have no need of a physician; but those who are sick.” We know that Jesus would not approve the sick seeking the services of a physician and then not following his directions which would enable them to overcome their illness. Medicines (drugs) which have a legal, scriptural use are often abused when they are used for a nontherapeutic purpose, i.e to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure illnesses. When a legal or illegal drug is used for the purpose of producing a state of euphoria or intoxication for amusement or fun, it is referred to as the recreational use/abuse of drugs.
While we appreciate all the efforts being put forth by various organizations in drug education, these groups miss a foundational point which is necessary to deal with the recreational use of drugs. The recreational use of drugs will create problems in the user’s life, destroy the user’s ability to function mentally and physically in a productive manner, and put the user at odds with school officials and law enforcement personnel. However, the basic problem is that the recreational use of drugs is wrong because it involves a MORAL problem.
When the Christian seeks the answer to the problem of drug abuse (or any other problem) he goes to the Bible for guidance. The Bible is God’s inspired Word to man (I Corinthians 2:6-13; [bible I Corinthians 14:37; I Thessalonians 2:13), furnishing him unto every good work (II Timothy 3:16-17), and granting unto him all things which pertain to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3) The Bible, God’s Word, will be His standard at the day of Judgment (John 12:48).
These are ten outstanding Biblical principles which deal with the recreational use (abuse) or drugs.
1.) Romans 13:1-7
To govern man’s life on earth God has set forth a plan of unity for society. Without such, society would be a state of anarchy, chaos, and ruin. From the passage under consideration four important truths are evident:
· Powers (governments) are ordained of God
· Every soul is to be in subjection to these powers
· To resist the powers is to withstand the ordinance of God
· Those who withstand the powers shall receive judgment (Daniel 4:17,25,32).
While we must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29), any action which violates the law of the land is a sin. A Christian cannot engage in any drug traffic which is forbidden by law. The drug scene is associated with lawlessness.
2.) Romans 13:13-14
Christians are not on earth to live for the lusts of the flesh, yet the recreational use of drugs is for the very purpose of “getting high” or fulfilling the lust of the flesh. Christians are to seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), and to be a shining example for others (Matthew 5:16).
3.) Galatians 5:21
Among the works of the flesh condemned by the apostle Paul is drunkenness. From the Greek METHE it is defined as being intoxicated. While it includes intoxication by alcohol it is not limited to this one chemical substance. This term embraces intoxication from any chemical substance. Paul states of those who engage in the works of the flesh, “…of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
4.) Galatians 5:20
Another work of the flesh identified by the apostle Paul is sorcery (witchcraft – KJV). From the Greek PHARMAKEIA which is defined as, “the use of medicine or drugs, the use of drugs for magical purposes, magic, sorcery.” The recreational use of drugs falls within the scope of this definition (Fritz Rienecker, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, Zondervan Pub. House, 1976, p. 517).
5.) Galatians 2:20
Christ is to live in the faithful Christian. This is impossible if the Christians are disobedient to the laws of the land, making provisions to fulfill the lusts of the flesh, intoxicated, or if the violate other principles found in God’s revelation.
6.) Ephesians 6:1-2
In this passage, as others (Colossians 3:20), children are admonished to obey their parents. To disobey parents is a sin. (Romans 1:30). When parents teach and admonish their children to avoid certain business establishments (because drugs are sold on the premises), groups of people (drug users and dealers), and drugs, their lover for the children is evident. For children to disobey his guidance given by their parents is a sin. Not only do children sin by disobeying their parents, but they also sin against God because He clearly teachers that children are to be obedient to parents. This disregard for God’s will is a transgression of His will, therefore sin (I John 3:4).
7.) I Corinthians 6:12
A very important principle in God’s Word is that the Christian is to be God controlled (II Corinthians 5:17; Titus 1:1; Romans 1:1; Matthew 6:24). The Christian is not to be controlled by any chemical substance (legal or illegal), food, drink, habit, person, etc. The Christian is God controlled!
8.) I Corinthians 6:19-20
The Bible teaches that the Christian’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. The Christians cannot harm his body with ANYTHING, but is to use it to glorify God.
9.) James 2:8
The Christians is taught to love himself (also Matthew 22:39). This love is not an egotistical love but a love which considers the value of a human being and desires the very best for that being. One cannot love self while destroying mind and body with drugs.
10.) Matthew 5:16
The Christian is to love in such as way that men will observe his purity and glorify God. This is not possible when one is using drugs for recreational purposes, violating the teachings of God’s Word. The Christians must follow Christ, walking in the light as he is in the light (I John 1:7).
While these principles govern the child of God in the area of drug abuse, they can also be applied to any other problem or question faced by God’s children.
The Christian and Marijuana
The Christian, a new creature in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17), is governed in all phases of his life by the Word of God (John 14:15). If the Christian uses marijuana he violates Biblical principles and sins (I John 3:4).
To grow, possess, smoke, or sell marijuana is against the law. Disobedience to the laws of the land violates Romans 13. A Christian cannot be a part of the “pot” generation and be a faithful child of God.
One who smokes marijuana harms his physical body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), and this falls into the same category with those who abuse their bodies with alcohol, tobacco, or any other substance or act which destroys God’s temple.
There are other principles which are violated failure to set a godly example for others to follow (Matthew 5:16), in some cases, disobedience to parents (Ephesians 6:1-2), lack of proper respect (love) for self (Matthew 22:39), and for parents who set the improper example for their children, the lack of parental love (Ephesians 6:4; Titus 2:4) and possibly a failure to provide the physical necessities of life (1 Timothy 5:8).