Should Christians smoke (legal) marijuana?

The recreational use of marijuana is now legal in Colorado and Washington state.  So is there any reason why Christians in those states should not use marijuana?

Interestingly, one medical marijuana dispensary in California is run by evangelical Christians, who seem to be using their business as a ministry, witnessing to their customers and giving out Bibles, even as they join the effort for legalized pot:

A medical marijuana dispensary in California expresses evangelical Christian views and is known to hand out Bibles along with the controversial drug.

Canna Care of Sacramento, a family owned dispensary known for supplying medical marijuana and advocating for decriminalization, evangelizes and prays with its customers. Canna Care oversees group prayers in a typical day around 6:00 p.m. and has handed out an estimated 3,000 Bibles to those who come for their services.

Kris Hermes, spokesperson for the nationwide pro-marijuana legalization group Americans for Safe Access, told The Christian Post about its ties to Canna Care.

“Canna Care has been a supporter of Americans for Safe Access as have scores of dispensaries across the country,” said Hermes. “We have also worked with the operators of Canna Care on a number of political campaigns over the years, given their active involvement in advancing medical marijuana policy.”

Hermes also told CP about the building of bridges between ASA and faith communities in the United States in the effort to decriminalize the drug.

via Calif. Marijuana Dispensary Owned by Evangelical Christian Family.

Mark Driscoll, a cutting-edged Reformed pastor says that Christians should stay away from marijuana, making an interesting distinction between “sin” and what the Bible describes as “folly.”

I would add that moral issues are not necessarily just a matter of isolated  individual behavior.   Buying marijuana may well involve a person financially supporting the murderous drug cartels.  So let’s stipulate what is not presently common, the use of weed that is locally and legally produced.

Is there a Biblical difference between marijuana and alcohol?  Isn’t it true that alcohol, according to the Bible, can be used without intoxication, whereas intoxication is the whole point of smoking marijuana?

(Note:  I am not proposing that we debate whether drugs should be legalized.  I am asking whether, if they are legalized, Christians should nevertheless refrain from using them.)

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • James Sarver

    “Isn’t it true that alcohol, according to the Bible, can be used without intoxication, whereas intoxication is the whole point of smoking marijuana?”

    Yes, it is only valid for a Christian to consume an alcoholic beverage if intoxication at any level is not desired or achieved. The time spent in intoxicated foolishness could be more profitably spent in prayer or bible study. The Christian should probably also abstain from alcoholic beverages if they are found to be tasty. Water would serve as well, preferrably lukewarm.

    Isn’t Pietism fun?

  • James Sarver

    “Isn’t it true that alcohol, according to the Bible, can be used without intoxication, whereas intoxication is the whole point of smoking marijuana?”

    Yes, it is only valid for a Christian to consume an alcoholic beverage if intoxication at any level is not desired or achieved. The time spent in intoxicated foolishness could be more profitably spent in prayer or bible study. The Christian should probably also abstain from alcoholic beverages if they are found to be tasty. Water would serve as well, preferrably lukewarm.

    Isn’t Pietism fun?

  • Steve

    So you are equating intoxication and tastiness?

  • Steve

    So you are equating intoxication and tastiness?

  • TE Schroeder

    Consuming entire bottles of Nyquil would also be legal. Both the bad taste and the effects are good reasons not to do it. And I believe it would be sinful — the effects for sure. As for the taste being sinful……

  • TE Schroeder

    Consuming entire bottles of Nyquil would also be legal. Both the bad taste and the effects are good reasons not to do it. And I believe it would be sinful — the effects for sure. As for the taste being sinful……

  • James Sarver

    “So you are equating intoxication and tastiness?”

    As would any good Pietist. :)

  • James Sarver

    “So you are equating intoxication and tastiness?”

    As would any good Pietist. :)

  • Patrick kyle

    A friend of mine took a job at a doctor’s office that specialized in issuing the ‘recommendations’ required by California law to use marijuana medically. Initially she believed the whole thing was a scam, but because of her financial situation, she took the job. She related that after seeing wounded veterans, terminal cancer patients, and people whose livers were ruined by standard pain medications come through the office every day, she changed her opinion, and now believes that medical marijuana serves a valid purpose.

    If it is serving people in this way I don’t see the harm in it.

  • Patrick kyle

    A friend of mine took a job at a doctor’s office that specialized in issuing the ‘recommendations’ required by California law to use marijuana medically. Initially she believed the whole thing was a scam, but because of her financial situation, she took the job. She related that after seeing wounded veterans, terminal cancer patients, and people whose livers were ruined by standard pain medications come through the office every day, she changed her opinion, and now believes that medical marijuana serves a valid purpose.

    If it is serving people in this way I don’t see the harm in it.

  • James Sarver

    T E Schroeder @ #3,

    “Consuming entire bottles of Nyquil would also be legal. Both the bad taste and the effects are good reasons not to do it. And I believe it would be sinful — the effects for sure.”

    So you are saying that vomiting is sinful? :)

  • James Sarver

    T E Schroeder @ #3,

    “Consuming entire bottles of Nyquil would also be legal. Both the bad taste and the effects are good reasons not to do it. And I believe it would be sinful — the effects for sure.”

    So you are saying that vomiting is sinful? :)

  • TE Schroeder

    Patrick @5,
    There is a medicinal use for Nyquil, too. But like so many other things, it can be abused, which crosses over into the sinful realm.

    I don’t have a problem with any drug having a legitimate medicinal use. But the recreational use of these drugs, in this case marijuana, is the issue. Scripture clearly condemns drunkenness, and toking up for recreational use falls into that condemnation.

    If recreational use of marijuana is okay, I think it will be hard to justify having any drug be illegal.

  • TE Schroeder

    Patrick @5,
    There is a medicinal use for Nyquil, too. But like so many other things, it can be abused, which crosses over into the sinful realm.

    I don’t have a problem with any drug having a legitimate medicinal use. But the recreational use of these drugs, in this case marijuana, is the issue. Scripture clearly condemns drunkenness, and toking up for recreational use falls into that condemnation.

    If recreational use of marijuana is okay, I think it will be hard to justify having any drug be illegal.

  • Josh Hanson

    I don’t currently use marijuana, but I have in the past. In my experience, this “intoxication” is of a completely different type to alcohol. Alcohol can quickly lead to disorientation, belligerence, blackouts, dizziness, etc. Marijuana by contrast only left me feeling relaxed, with none of the “side-effects” that scripture associates with alcohol (loss of control, addiction, etc). My immediate reaction upon using it for the first time was, “Seriously? This is what everyone is so terrified of?” I don’t want to be misunderstood as advocating marijuana use, and as I said, I don’t use it anymore. But I’ve always seen the Biblical prohibition of drunkenness as being closely tied to the fact that it causes people to lose control of themselves and therefore prone to sin. If marijuana does not have that effect, I would question how is it ultimately that much different than caffeine, another drug that affects mood and concentration, just in a different direction?

  • Josh Hanson

    I don’t currently use marijuana, but I have in the past. In my experience, this “intoxication” is of a completely different type to alcohol. Alcohol can quickly lead to disorientation, belligerence, blackouts, dizziness, etc. Marijuana by contrast only left me feeling relaxed, with none of the “side-effects” that scripture associates with alcohol (loss of control, addiction, etc). My immediate reaction upon using it for the first time was, “Seriously? This is what everyone is so terrified of?” I don’t want to be misunderstood as advocating marijuana use, and as I said, I don’t use it anymore. But I’ve always seen the Biblical prohibition of drunkenness as being closely tied to the fact that it causes people to lose control of themselves and therefore prone to sin. If marijuana does not have that effect, I would question how is it ultimately that much different than caffeine, another drug that affects mood and concentration, just in a different direction?

  • Michael B.

    “Isn’t it true that alcohol, according to the Bible, can be used without intoxication”

    I guess so. But if you think intoxication is a sin, I can definitely understand why you would think drinking at all is a sin.

  • Michael B.

    “Isn’t it true that alcohol, according to the Bible, can be used without intoxication”

    I guess so. But if you think intoxication is a sin, I can definitely understand why you would think drinking at all is a sin.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Marijuana’s effects last much longer than alcohol. Thus, a gradual increase in impaired cognition will barely be noticed. This is quite different for alcohol. Thus, one of its greatest dangers can be its perceived mildness.

    As a pure practical matter, determining acceptable marijuana levels, as well as practical roadside testing by police, is quite problematic.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    Marijuana’s effects last much longer than alcohol. Thus, a gradual increase in impaired cognition will barely be noticed. This is quite different for alcohol. Thus, one of its greatest dangers can be its perceived mildness.

    As a pure practical matter, determining acceptable marijuana levels, as well as practical roadside testing by police, is quite problematic.

  • dan kempin

    The question isn’t about whether it should be legal, or whether it should be medicinal. The question is whether it is within Christian freedom or not.

    All things are permissible. Not all things are beneficial. Where does Marijuana fall? (Since it is now legally permissible.)

    A very definite case can be made that Marijuana is for the express purpose of intoxication, and there are many cautions against intoxication in the scripture. But for those who answered quickly that all intoxication is forbidden, how then do you render proverbs 31:4-7?

  • dan kempin

    The question isn’t about whether it should be legal, or whether it should be medicinal. The question is whether it is within Christian freedom or not.

    All things are permissible. Not all things are beneficial. Where does Marijuana fall? (Since it is now legally permissible.)

    A very definite case can be made that Marijuana is for the express purpose of intoxication, and there are many cautions against intoxication in the scripture. But for those who answered quickly that all intoxication is forbidden, how then do you render proverbs 31:4-7?

  • Rev. Paul T. McCain

    I agree with those who point out that “intoxication” is the point of marijuana. The Scriptures are very clear that intoxication is not God-pleasing behavior.

    I see this as a rather cut/dry issue.

  • Rev. Paul T. McCain

    I agree with those who point out that “intoxication” is the point of marijuana. The Scriptures are very clear that intoxication is not God-pleasing behavior.

    I see this as a rather cut/dry issue.

  • http://www.christlutheran.net Jeff Samelson

    Scripture is pretty clear in telling Christians not to cede control of their behavior or lives to the desires of their sinful nature (or to the world, or to Satan); in numerous places we are told to be “sober-minded” and “self-controlled”. Intentionally disabling your grip on reality, as is the case with recreational drug use (where the whole point is to alter your state of consciousness) is pretty much by definition choosing to lose control, i.e. leave yourself open to someone or something else’s control. Getting high is hardly what Paul means when he tells us to “be being filled with the (Holy) Spirit”.

    This is not to condemn all drug use, of course, or everyone who ends up “under the influence”. A Christian recovering from surgery, for instance, may require some powerful drugs that will certainly alter his state of consciousness, but in such a case that “high” is incidental, not intentional.

    In the particular case of marijuana use, someone might argue that just one “use” is functionally equivalent, in terms of altering one’s state, to just one drink of alcohol, and that all it really does is make one feel good for a while. Even if we assume for argument’s sake that that is true, there remains the fifth commandment issue of doing harm to one’s body. For most people, one drink is easily metabolized and leaves no lasting trace in the body; marijuana, however, leaves all sorts of “residues” in the system and has been observed to have lasting (and negative) effects on things like brain chemistry. Good stewardship of one’s health — another goal of the Christian — would certainly suggest that recreational marijuana use is not something the Christian would choose, even if legal.

    Finally, there’s the question of living life under the cross. The disciple of Christ recognizes that “feeling good” is not going to be the goal of life on earth, nor even the natural state of affairs for a believer. We are told to take up our crosses and to rejoice in our sufferings because they connect us to Christ and because they are one of God’s gracious means of growing us in faith; to make a habit of evading suffering and pain through drug use, alcohol, or any other form of “escape”, as though those difficulties are only ills to be avoided is to embrace a theology of glory — to deny denying oneself, and decline to pick up one’s cross.

  • http://www.christlutheran.net Jeff Samelson

    Scripture is pretty clear in telling Christians not to cede control of their behavior or lives to the desires of their sinful nature (or to the world, or to Satan); in numerous places we are told to be “sober-minded” and “self-controlled”. Intentionally disabling your grip on reality, as is the case with recreational drug use (where the whole point is to alter your state of consciousness) is pretty much by definition choosing to lose control, i.e. leave yourself open to someone or something else’s control. Getting high is hardly what Paul means when he tells us to “be being filled with the (Holy) Spirit”.

    This is not to condemn all drug use, of course, or everyone who ends up “under the influence”. A Christian recovering from surgery, for instance, may require some powerful drugs that will certainly alter his state of consciousness, but in such a case that “high” is incidental, not intentional.

    In the particular case of marijuana use, someone might argue that just one “use” is functionally equivalent, in terms of altering one’s state, to just one drink of alcohol, and that all it really does is make one feel good for a while. Even if we assume for argument’s sake that that is true, there remains the fifth commandment issue of doing harm to one’s body. For most people, one drink is easily metabolized and leaves no lasting trace in the body; marijuana, however, leaves all sorts of “residues” in the system and has been observed to have lasting (and negative) effects on things like brain chemistry. Good stewardship of one’s health — another goal of the Christian — would certainly suggest that recreational marijuana use is not something the Christian would choose, even if legal.

    Finally, there’s the question of living life under the cross. The disciple of Christ recognizes that “feeling good” is not going to be the goal of life on earth, nor even the natural state of affairs for a believer. We are told to take up our crosses and to rejoice in our sufferings because they connect us to Christ and because they are one of God’s gracious means of growing us in faith; to make a habit of evading suffering and pain through drug use, alcohol, or any other form of “escape”, as though those difficulties are only ills to be avoided is to embrace a theology of glory — to deny denying oneself, and decline to pick up one’s cross.

  • http://www.christlutheran.net Jeff Samelson

    I guess I need to add a caveat to what I just posted: I’m not at all suggesting that any Christian who is experiencing pain just has to “suck it up” in the name of cross-bearing. That would go for believers suffering from things like depression, too. But drug use in such situations has the purpose of *managing* pain and suffering so that the individual is therefore able to live life “sober-minded” and in control — to keep the “demons” at bay — a far different purpose from any kind of recreational or escapist use of marijuana or other drug.

  • http://www.christlutheran.net Jeff Samelson

    I guess I need to add a caveat to what I just posted: I’m not at all suggesting that any Christian who is experiencing pain just has to “suck it up” in the name of cross-bearing. That would go for believers suffering from things like depression, too. But drug use in such situations has the purpose of *managing* pain and suffering so that the individual is therefore able to live life “sober-minded” and in control — to keep the “demons” at bay — a far different purpose from any kind of recreational or escapist use of marijuana or other drug.

  • Patrick kyle

    I am not sure I buy all this anti-intoxication line of reasoning. The Scriptures talk about the gift of wine that ‘gladdens the hearts of men’, and later Jesus creates many gallons of good wine , after John writes that they ‘already had much to drink.’ Sure, drunkenness is a sin and alcoholism is to be avoided, but teetotaling is a grievous legalism. Would not the same apply with marijuana, especially because the Scriptures don’t condemn it?

  • Patrick kyle

    I am not sure I buy all this anti-intoxication line of reasoning. The Scriptures talk about the gift of wine that ‘gladdens the hearts of men’, and later Jesus creates many gallons of good wine , after John writes that they ‘already had much to drink.’ Sure, drunkenness is a sin and alcoholism is to be avoided, but teetotaling is a grievous legalism. Would not the same apply with marijuana, especially because the Scriptures don’t condemn it?

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I think Patrick has a point here. My objections are medical (including psychological) and practical. Not moral.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    I think Patrick has a point here. My objections are medical (including psychological) and practical. Not moral.

  • Eric Brown

    Don’t know enough about the drug to know what and where the effects are. I tend to think more along the lines of all things in moderation — and what is moderation? Well, dealing with pain issues would certainly be moderation. Now, is there an amount of Marijuana that is the equivalent of having a nice glass of scotch (as opposed to having a nice fifth of scotch and waking up someplace strange) – I think there may be – I don’t know. I also think it is foolish to outright condemn and assume total ill intent — that’s the same thing I hear out here in Oklahoma because I will have a beer with dinner.

    I wouldn’t be quick to condemn one who does that which is legal, but I would not be quick to encourage folks to do something just because it is legal. (And I think Patrick Kyle speaks well)

  • Eric Brown

    Don’t know enough about the drug to know what and where the effects are. I tend to think more along the lines of all things in moderation — and what is moderation? Well, dealing with pain issues would certainly be moderation. Now, is there an amount of Marijuana that is the equivalent of having a nice glass of scotch (as opposed to having a nice fifth of scotch and waking up someplace strange) – I think there may be – I don’t know. I also think it is foolish to outright condemn and assume total ill intent — that’s the same thing I hear out here in Oklahoma because I will have a beer with dinner.

    I wouldn’t be quick to condemn one who does that which is legal, but I would not be quick to encourage folks to do something just because it is legal. (And I think Patrick Kyle speaks well)

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yes, I think there is a difference between practicing drunkenness and being intoxicated. One thing that does me is exactly what Kraasie ktalks about. As far as whether Christians can use it? I have a hard time seeing why not. I haven’t ever done it myself. I was always afraid I’d like it too much. People tell me that it stays in your system and effects your work much longer that alcohol does. So on e might , make an argument that it isn’t smart, but I don’t see the point in making up new sins.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Yes, I think there is a difference between practicing drunkenness and being intoxicated. One thing that does me is exactly what Kraasie ktalks about. As far as whether Christians can use it? I have a hard time seeing why not. I haven’t ever done it myself. I was always afraid I’d like it too much. People tell me that it stays in your system and effects your work much longer that alcohol does. So on e might , make an argument that it isn’t smart, but I don’t see the point in making up new sins.

  • Josh Hanson

    Speaking from experience, the “feeling” of marijuana that I experienced (and I admit that this may not be the same for everyone) were roughly equivalent to two or three beers (I’m an occasional drinker with a relatively low tolerance), but without the accompanying dizziness and disorientation. And that was generally the case whether I smoked a little or a lot as it didn’t seem to be conditional on quantity, i.e., there didn’t seem to be a point to smoking more and more as that didn’t lead to increasing degrees of intoxication. If my experience was typical, then we could hardly call the effects of marijuana “intoxication” unless we want to say that a alcohol buzz short of drunkenness is also “intoxication”.

  • Josh Hanson

    Speaking from experience, the “feeling” of marijuana that I experienced (and I admit that this may not be the same for everyone) were roughly equivalent to two or three beers (I’m an occasional drinker with a relatively low tolerance), but without the accompanying dizziness and disorientation. And that was generally the case whether I smoked a little or a lot as it didn’t seem to be conditional on quantity, i.e., there didn’t seem to be a point to smoking more and more as that didn’t lead to increasing degrees of intoxication. If my experience was typical, then we could hardly call the effects of marijuana “intoxication” unless we want to say that a alcohol buzz short of drunkenness is also “intoxication”.

  • Hanni

    Marijuana is frequently used to lessen the effects of chemotherapy. For some reason, it dispels severe nausea in patients undergoing such. Pills help, but not so much, and (experience with elderly relatives) some pills are as much as $400=1000 each. BTW, marijuana comes in pill form too, would that be ok for Christians to take? I wouldn’t smoke marijuana because I was a cigarette smoker for many years, smoke free now for 19 years, and I would be afraid it would trigger my addiction. I saw an interesting interview with the governor of Calif., Jerry Brown, where he said he did not support its legalization. As governor, he had to review all parole requests, and smoking marijuana very young was strong indication of entry to life of crime, or some such., paraphrasing here.

  • Hanni

    Marijuana is frequently used to lessen the effects of chemotherapy. For some reason, it dispels severe nausea in patients undergoing such. Pills help, but not so much, and (experience with elderly relatives) some pills are as much as $400=1000 each. BTW, marijuana comes in pill form too, would that be ok for Christians to take? I wouldn’t smoke marijuana because I was a cigarette smoker for many years, smoke free now for 19 years, and I would be afraid it would trigger my addiction. I saw an interesting interview with the governor of Calif., Jerry Brown, where he said he did not support its legalization. As governor, he had to review all parole requests, and smoking marijuana very young was strong indication of entry to life of crime, or some such., paraphrasing here.

  • SKPeterson

    I’m sure that use of alcohol during Prohibition also had a decent correlation with entry into a life of crime. Most of the indicators for lower IQ from long-term use of marijuana are for teenagers – I expect that the already extant changes in brain and body chemistry could be significantly altered by long-term use. I expect that this would also be the case for long-term use of alcohol by minors. The indicators would be that the long-term use (though I haven’t seen indications of amount – heavy, light, occasional over several years, etc.) of mind-altering substances during that period of life which is rife with naturally occurring mind alterations could have a significant impact.

    Here is an article in Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-truth-about-pot&page=2
    and another from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20120827/pot-use-teen-years-lower-iq which cover the basics.

  • SKPeterson

    I’m sure that use of alcohol during Prohibition also had a decent correlation with entry into a life of crime. Most of the indicators for lower IQ from long-term use of marijuana are for teenagers – I expect that the already extant changes in brain and body chemistry could be significantly altered by long-term use. I expect that this would also be the case for long-term use of alcohol by minors. The indicators would be that the long-term use (though I haven’t seen indications of amount – heavy, light, occasional over several years, etc.) of mind-altering substances during that period of life which is rife with naturally occurring mind alterations could have a significant impact.

    Here is an article in Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-truth-about-pot&page=2
    and another from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20120827/pot-use-teen-years-lower-iq which cover the basics.

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    There is a certain contrasting quality between judgments within the world view of the proponents of the war on cannabis and Christian theology.
    The “everything is toxic” philosophy embraced by the ONDCP toxicologists and controlling offices such as the FDA and DEA is the exact opposite of sound Christian theology [1,2], and the corollary truths built upon it are not Biblically founded, and can be proven to be Biblically incorrect. -And if it’s not Theologically true, if it’s not true in the Bible, than it isn’t true at all [3].
    No Bible believing Christian can accept any “toxicology” studies or reports from the ONDCP in good conscience, when they consider the axioms that were used to build their studies. Do Christians adhere to “scientific” theories about big bang and evolution? No, and we can also reject the observations of the ONDCP about cannabis on similar grounds when all things are considered in a clear systematic theology. One must “Test The Evidences” that come from outside Scripture.
    Scripture, tradition, and reason imply that all things are good, and that substance (such as foods and drinks) only becomes toxic in it’s misuse, that is, in the uses that are not in order with the purposes God created them [4]. The Scripture’s warnings against these philosophies are traditionally viewed as warnings about the Gnostics of the second century. It was a blending of Jewish, Greek, or Eastern philosophy with Christianity. These Gnostic errors are widespread, they appear century after century, and shows itself in many forms of religion, not merely in distorted forms of Christianity. In life application today, we can see that same Gnostic germ resurface in our society in the influence of modernism and postmodernism.
    The war against cannabis is a frightening illustration, in that it is successful in stifling Evangelism within the local Church, and not many Leaders recognize what’s going on, despite the fact that it devastates the lives of millions in perdition. This ascetic teaching is unnatural, contrary to the constitution of the world as that has been arranged by a holy and wise Creator, and it is also subversive of Christian liberty. Nothing can be esteemed common or unclean without throwing a reproach upon the Creator. [5] To further discover the long term consequences of these unnatural teachings, we can observe the characterizations and acts employed in the war on pot have a resemblance to the warnings in Scripture regarding the signs of false teachers (which are directly linked to signs of the coming Rapture of Christ’s church). The war on cannabis shares at least 2 key qualities as the Gnostics. In the presence of the negative implications of statements such as “there is no way to teach this to you in a brief, ” and, “everything is toxic, there is no harmless substances. “, the Christian should be reminded that encouraging formalism and asceticism as the result of false teaching is traditionally known as the activities of demons [6]; and the acknowledgment of liberty of conscience in a free moral agent is the formation of evangelical theology- for this very reason the Reformers left the Roman Catholic Church! [7]. The binge drinking phenomena we see in the just say no generation, as well as the licentious rebellion in the 60′s, is evidences of the “fleshly indulgence”, or antinomian development that results from these ascetic teachings. [8,9,10]

    To summarize; The Christian world view and the ONDCP world view can be sharply contrasted. In the ONDCP world view, the Truth is “everything is toxic” and application is “just say no”. In the Christian world view, the Truth is “God’s creation is good” and application is “be ye sober”. The Scripture provides us a sharper, more accurate understanding and response to the subjects of cannabis use in society than the secular drug use prevention community. And as Biblical passages are weighed and discovered as this more accurate Truth, it should bear witness that the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is Truth. We should lend thought to this greater spiritual Truth for which the Bible is compiled as evidence of; That Christ made atonement covering and salvation for our souls. “For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that he world through him might be saved. God publicly displayed him as the mercy seat accessible through faith, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but by grace are you saved through faith, and it’s not of yourselves, it is a gift from God. For whosoever believes in Him will not perish. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    There is a certain contrasting quality between judgments within the world view of the proponents of the war on cannabis and Christian theology.
    The “everything is toxic” philosophy embraced by the ONDCP toxicologists and controlling offices such as the FDA and DEA is the exact opposite of sound Christian theology [1,2], and the corollary truths built upon it are not Biblically founded, and can be proven to be Biblically incorrect. -And if it’s not Theologically true, if it’s not true in the Bible, than it isn’t true at all [3].
    No Bible believing Christian can accept any “toxicology” studies or reports from the ONDCP in good conscience, when they consider the axioms that were used to build their studies. Do Christians adhere to “scientific” theories about big bang and evolution? No, and we can also reject the observations of the ONDCP about cannabis on similar grounds when all things are considered in a clear systematic theology. One must “Test The Evidences” that come from outside Scripture.
    Scripture, tradition, and reason imply that all things are good, and that substance (such as foods and drinks) only becomes toxic in it’s misuse, that is, in the uses that are not in order with the purposes God created them [4]. The Scripture’s warnings against these philosophies are traditionally viewed as warnings about the Gnostics of the second century. It was a blending of Jewish, Greek, or Eastern philosophy with Christianity. These Gnostic errors are widespread, they appear century after century, and shows itself in many forms of religion, not merely in distorted forms of Christianity. In life application today, we can see that same Gnostic germ resurface in our society in the influence of modernism and postmodernism.
    The war against cannabis is a frightening illustration, in that it is successful in stifling Evangelism within the local Church, and not many Leaders recognize what’s going on, despite the fact that it devastates the lives of millions in perdition. This ascetic teaching is unnatural, contrary to the constitution of the world as that has been arranged by a holy and wise Creator, and it is also subversive of Christian liberty. Nothing can be esteemed common or unclean without throwing a reproach upon the Creator. [5] To further discover the long term consequences of these unnatural teachings, we can observe the characterizations and acts employed in the war on pot have a resemblance to the warnings in Scripture regarding the signs of false teachers (which are directly linked to signs of the coming Rapture of Christ’s church). The war on cannabis shares at least 2 key qualities as the Gnostics. In the presence of the negative implications of statements such as “there is no way to teach this to you in a brief, ” and, “everything is toxic, there is no harmless substances. “, the Christian should be reminded that encouraging formalism and asceticism as the result of false teaching is traditionally known as the activities of demons [6]; and the acknowledgment of liberty of conscience in a free moral agent is the formation of evangelical theology- for this very reason the Reformers left the Roman Catholic Church! [7]. The binge drinking phenomena we see in the just say no generation, as well as the licentious rebellion in the 60′s, is evidences of the “fleshly indulgence”, or antinomian development that results from these ascetic teachings. [8,9,10]

    To summarize; The Christian world view and the ONDCP world view can be sharply contrasted. In the ONDCP world view, the Truth is “everything is toxic” and application is “just say no”. In the Christian world view, the Truth is “God’s creation is good” and application is “be ye sober”. The Scripture provides us a sharper, more accurate understanding and response to the subjects of cannabis use in society than the secular drug use prevention community. And as Biblical passages are weighed and discovered as this more accurate Truth, it should bear witness that the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is Truth. We should lend thought to this greater spiritual Truth for which the Bible is compiled as evidence of; That Christ made atonement covering and salvation for our souls. “For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that he world through him might be saved. God publicly displayed him as the mercy seat accessible through faith, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but by grace are you saved through faith, and it’s not of yourselves, it is a gift from God. For whosoever believes in Him will not perish. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

  • Steve Bauer

    Yea, Patrick @15.

    It seems to me that the syllogism: “intoxication” is the point of marijuana. The Scriptures are very clear that intoxication is not God-pleasing behavior.

    is on the same level of proper application of Scripture as:

    Killing is the point of guns. The Scriptures are very clear that killing is not God-pleasing behavior.

  • Steve Bauer

    Yea, Patrick @15.

    It seems to me that the syllogism: “intoxication” is the point of marijuana. The Scriptures are very clear that intoxication is not God-pleasing behavior.

    is on the same level of proper application of Scripture as:

    Killing is the point of guns. The Scriptures are very clear that killing is not God-pleasing behavior.

  • SKPeterson

    Jeff @ 22 – What exactly are you quoting from? You have some citation references buried in the text, but the citations are unknown. Further, please clarify what ONDCP stands for. I’m assuming NDCP = National Drug Control Policy, but I await your confirmation. If you have a link to your source/sources, please include them.

  • SKPeterson

    Jeff @ 22 – What exactly are you quoting from? You have some citation references buried in the text, but the citations are unknown. Further, please clarify what ONDCP stands for. I’m assuming NDCP = National Drug Control Policy, but I await your confirmation. If you have a link to your source/sources, please include them.

  • Josh Hanson
  • Josh Hanson
  • Cincinnatus

    “Intoxication is sinful.”

    Ok. So what’s the definition of intoxication? After sipping one single-malt scotch–my beverage of choice–I feel certain alcohol-induced effects. My mood becomes more expansive, my vocabulary more capacious, my gait wider, and, to borrow a euphemism from above, “my heart gladdened.” Is this intoxication? If not, why not?

    The difference between this “gladdened” state and my state after, say, three scotches–an inability to drive safely, and a general inurement to the world–is only one of degree. What is intoxication and what is just an acceptable gladdened heart? Proscribing intoxication seems not to avoid the legalism involved in proscribing all drinking.

    Or, in this case, smoking. I know *people* (ahem) who smoke marijuana occasionally to relax after a long week at work. Presumably, they are intoxicated. But where’s the sin?

    Full disclosure: I drink and enjoy it. Moreover, I am an advocate of marijuana legalization, but I have no interest in smoking it.

  • Cincinnatus

    “Intoxication is sinful.”

    Ok. So what’s the definition of intoxication? After sipping one single-malt scotch–my beverage of choice–I feel certain alcohol-induced effects. My mood becomes more expansive, my vocabulary more capacious, my gait wider, and, to borrow a euphemism from above, “my heart gladdened.” Is this intoxication? If not, why not?

    The difference between this “gladdened” state and my state after, say, three scotches–an inability to drive safely, and a general inurement to the world–is only one of degree. What is intoxication and what is just an acceptable gladdened heart? Proscribing intoxication seems not to avoid the legalism involved in proscribing all drinking.

    Or, in this case, smoking. I know *people* (ahem) who smoke marijuana occasionally to relax after a long week at work. Presumably, they are intoxicated. But where’s the sin?

    Full disclosure: I drink and enjoy it. Moreover, I am an advocate of marijuana legalization, but I have no interest in smoking it.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I think marijuana use is kind of like a class marker. I think of users as tacky and decadent and self destructive as opposed to those folks who are more healthy lifestyle oriented and like healthier and cleaner activities like sports and sprouts.

    Drug use and smoking are nasty habits. Limited or occasional alcohol use is relaxing and adds a little fun. Making marijuana use legal may allow the rest of us to more easily identify those we would avoid.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I think marijuana use is kind of like a class marker. I think of users as tacky and decadent and self destructive as opposed to those folks who are more healthy lifestyle oriented and like healthier and cleaner activities like sports and sprouts.

    Drug use and smoking are nasty habits. Limited or occasional alcohol use is relaxing and adds a little fun. Making marijuana use legal may allow the rest of us to more easily identify those we would avoid.

  • Mary Jack

    I’d like to think there is a proper use of every part of God’s creation. That finding it may involve some improper uses seems common enough.

  • Mary Jack

    I’d like to think there is a proper use of every part of God’s creation. That finding it may involve some improper uses seems common enough.

  • SKPeterson

    sg @ 27 – Never, ever, for any reason, attend a professional baseball game. Especially one in the Bay area.

  • SKPeterson

    sg @ 27 – Never, ever, for any reason, attend a professional baseball game. Especially one in the Bay area.

  • George

    Pot-heads annoy me, so no.

  • George

    Pot-heads annoy me, so no.

  • kerner

    One of my favorite exchanges from one of my favorite Quentin Tarrantino movies:

    Ordell: “Girl, smokin’ that sh!t gonna rob you of your ambition.”

    Melanie: “Not if your ambition is to get high and watch TV.”

  • kerner

    One of my favorite exchanges from one of my favorite Quentin Tarrantino movies:

    Ordell: “Girl, smokin’ that sh!t gonna rob you of your ambition.”

    Melanie: “Not if your ambition is to get high and watch TV.”

  • Kirk

    George @31 nailed it.

  • Kirk

    George @31 nailed it.

  • DonS

    I will not be using marijuana, at least while I am healthy. That’s my personal choice.

    As with other activities that are neither prescribed nor prohibited by Scripture, its use falls within the bounds of Christian liberty and is a personal choice, based on our individual understanding of God’s call on our life and the way in which we are to use our time. Medicinal use of the drug to treat genuine illness may have validity — I have not closely studied the issue. Recreational use is more problematic for me, but I would not condemn a Christian that used it legally on a very occasional basis. To use it regularly and frequently would seem to be poor stewardship of the time God gives each of us to fulfill His purposes.

  • DonS

    I will not be using marijuana, at least while I am healthy. That’s my personal choice.

    As with other activities that are neither prescribed nor prohibited by Scripture, its use falls within the bounds of Christian liberty and is a personal choice, based on our individual understanding of God’s call on our life and the way in which we are to use our time. Medicinal use of the drug to treat genuine illness may have validity — I have not closely studied the issue. Recreational use is more problematic for me, but I would not condemn a Christian that used it legally on a very occasional basis. To use it regularly and frequently would seem to be poor stewardship of the time God gives each of us to fulfill His purposes.

  • Matthew Jamison

    Intoxication makes Christian vocation impossible. One cannot study, work or care for children when high or drunk. Instead of caring for others, the user depends on others to take care of him. It is some of the most selfish and wasteful behavior possible.

    I suppose social use of marijuana, where legal, is not necessarily sinful. But on a social level, I think legalization is guaranteed to increase consumption, and I can’t think of anything good that can come from increased consumption. Christian liberty to consume is also Christian liberty NOT to consume, in order to set a good example. Just because one’s state is determined to see more of its people stoned doesn’t mean that Christians should follow suit.

  • Matthew Jamison

    Intoxication makes Christian vocation impossible. One cannot study, work or care for children when high or drunk. Instead of caring for others, the user depends on others to take care of him. It is some of the most selfish and wasteful behavior possible.

    I suppose social use of marijuana, where legal, is not necessarily sinful. But on a social level, I think legalization is guaranteed to increase consumption, and I can’t think of anything good that can come from increased consumption. Christian liberty to consume is also Christian liberty NOT to consume, in order to set a good example. Just because one’s state is determined to see more of its people stoned doesn’t mean that Christians should follow suit.

  • Barry Bishop

    Here’s my thought on Christians smoking pot since Veith brought it up. (Note: I believe my comment is helpful to others but I don’t plan to follow it up. I’ve not had a good experience on this blog commenting about anything from Scripture.)
    You would be amazed at how people argue and rationalize marijuana even in the churches here in Washington. “Where in the Bible does it forbid smoking pot?” Look at Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, AND THINGS LIKE THESE. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” If “drunkenness” is on that list then “things like these” would include other forms of intoxication including (drum roll please). . . recreational pot smoking. Furthermore, you have to worry about the person who smokes because this list includes the “works of the flesh” and says “those who do such things will NOT inherit the kingdom of God.” Stop rationalizing your sin and turn to put your trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ! He will forgive you and make you a new creation. You will find out that there is more to life than just getting bombed on the weekends. You will find true lasting joy and life.

  • Barry Bishop

    Here’s my thought on Christians smoking pot since Veith brought it up. (Note: I believe my comment is helpful to others but I don’t plan to follow it up. I’ve not had a good experience on this blog commenting about anything from Scripture.)
    You would be amazed at how people argue and rationalize marijuana even in the churches here in Washington. “Where in the Bible does it forbid smoking pot?” Look at Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, AND THINGS LIKE THESE. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” If “drunkenness” is on that list then “things like these” would include other forms of intoxication including (drum roll please). . . recreational pot smoking. Furthermore, you have to worry about the person who smokes because this list includes the “works of the flesh” and says “those who do such things will NOT inherit the kingdom of God.” Stop rationalizing your sin and turn to put your trust in the Savior, Jesus Christ! He will forgive you and make you a new creation. You will find out that there is more to life than just getting bombed on the weekends. You will find true lasting joy and life.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, legalism! We just can’t quit you!

    Seriously, it’s downright entertaining to watch Lutherans, somewhat known for enjoying alcohol, suddenly turn in Southern Baptists when it comes to marijuana.

    McCain said (@12):

    I agree with those who point out that “intoxication” is the point of marijuana.

    And, of course, intoxication is also the point of alcohol, according to the same reasoning. Ask any True Baptist. Cut and dry.

    “Intoxication” is of course an English word — I’m not sure what the exact meanings of the relevant Greek or Hebrew words is in Scripture, but let’s assume that the general principle can be sufficiently summarized as: don’t be intoxicated.

    It will pain the legalists so, but that’s just not a hard and fast rule. It’s not something you can measure. It is an area for individual Christian judgment.

    I’ve never smoked marijuana (though I’ve been in enough clouds of its smoke to be familiar with the smell), but I do enjoy alcohol, and my familiarity with the latter only drives home the inexactness of “intoxication”. What does that mean? The nice feeling one gets when relaxing with alcohol? The pleasant warm feeling? The point at which you wax eloquent (or at least prolix)? The point at which the law says you can’t drive a car? The point at which you don’t walk like you normally do? Where’s the “intoxication” line?

    I know that equal amounts of alcohol do not always produce the same feelings. On rare occasions, we’ve had alcohol in the office in the middle of the day (to celebrate something), and I know that even a small glass of wine then has much more notable effects than would a much larger glass at home. This is because of the social situation, of course — I’m not as relaxed in the office, so I drink less. A judgment call based on the context, not a legalistic reading of my BAC.

    I also don’t feel that it’s necessarily wrong for a Christian to drink so that he is legally impaired, provided that he not operate a vehicle. Once the vehicle enters the question, then you have to make a very different judgment regarding your neighbors on the road. Same with marijuana, I’d think.

    But honestly, just yesterday, I passed by a group of teens near the local high school, clearly smoking marijuana. They were nice enough, and none of them could be described as intoxicated. The most objectionable part of the whole encounter was that they were probably skipping school.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oh, legalism! We just can’t quit you!

    Seriously, it’s downright entertaining to watch Lutherans, somewhat known for enjoying alcohol, suddenly turn in Southern Baptists when it comes to marijuana.

    McCain said (@12):

    I agree with those who point out that “intoxication” is the point of marijuana.

    And, of course, intoxication is also the point of alcohol, according to the same reasoning. Ask any True Baptist. Cut and dry.

    “Intoxication” is of course an English word — I’m not sure what the exact meanings of the relevant Greek or Hebrew words is in Scripture, but let’s assume that the general principle can be sufficiently summarized as: don’t be intoxicated.

    It will pain the legalists so, but that’s just not a hard and fast rule. It’s not something you can measure. It is an area for individual Christian judgment.

    I’ve never smoked marijuana (though I’ve been in enough clouds of its smoke to be familiar with the smell), but I do enjoy alcohol, and my familiarity with the latter only drives home the inexactness of “intoxication”. What does that mean? The nice feeling one gets when relaxing with alcohol? The pleasant warm feeling? The point at which you wax eloquent (or at least prolix)? The point at which the law says you can’t drive a car? The point at which you don’t walk like you normally do? Where’s the “intoxication” line?

    I know that equal amounts of alcohol do not always produce the same feelings. On rare occasions, we’ve had alcohol in the office in the middle of the day (to celebrate something), and I know that even a small glass of wine then has much more notable effects than would a much larger glass at home. This is because of the social situation, of course — I’m not as relaxed in the office, so I drink less. A judgment call based on the context, not a legalistic reading of my BAC.

    I also don’t feel that it’s necessarily wrong for a Christian to drink so that he is legally impaired, provided that he not operate a vehicle. Once the vehicle enters the question, then you have to make a very different judgment regarding your neighbors on the road. Same with marijuana, I’d think.

    But honestly, just yesterday, I passed by a group of teens near the local high school, clearly smoking marijuana. They were nice enough, and none of them could be described as intoxicated. The most objectionable part of the whole encounter was that they were probably skipping school.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    As with everything there is a good use and a bad use. Recreational use of marijuana generally is for the purposes of altering ones mental perceptions i.e. intoxication. So yes, Christians should avoid the use of recreational marijuana . Sorry, Josh @ 19, self diagnosis is not solid ground. The problem with intoxicants is you don’t realize how much you are affected. I used to work with people who used the stuff and there is a noticeable difference in their ability to function. There are levels of effect with marijuana ranging from an increased desire for nachos to passed out and very rarely physical aggressiveness.

    @26 Where is the sin? Anything that inhibits our ability to act in our vocations is a sin. Also, as with everything else that sought after release can become a false god.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    As with everything there is a good use and a bad use. Recreational use of marijuana generally is for the purposes of altering ones mental perceptions i.e. intoxication. So yes, Christians should avoid the use of recreational marijuana . Sorry, Josh @ 19, self diagnosis is not solid ground. The problem with intoxicants is you don’t realize how much you are affected. I used to work with people who used the stuff and there is a noticeable difference in their ability to function. There are levels of effect with marijuana ranging from an increased desire for nachos to passed out and very rarely physical aggressiveness.

    @26 Where is the sin? Anything that inhibits our ability to act in our vocations is a sin. Also, as with everything else that sought after release can become a false god.

  • Other Gary

    The question is not, Should Christians smoke pot where it’s been made legal?

    The question is: when the pastor is invited to the New Year’s Eve party thrown by a church member, and the host explains the “bar’s in the den and the weed’s being smoked out on the backyard patio, and by the way, Pastor, help yourself to either one,” how is the pastor to respond?

    If you say Christians should call it a sin, is there, therefore, grounds for excommunication, assuming the members can’t see a single thing wrong with it (now that it’s legal)?

    But let’s just make the problem a bit thornier: Suppose a Lutheran pastor living in one of those states decides he’ll take advantage of the new laws and enjoy a little recreational pot himself. Should he then be drummed out of the ministry?

    Think it can’t happen? I’ll bet the LC-MS DPs of Colorado and Washington are already conferring with St. Louis about what action they should take.

  • Other Gary

    The question is not, Should Christians smoke pot where it’s been made legal?

    The question is: when the pastor is invited to the New Year’s Eve party thrown by a church member, and the host explains the “bar’s in the den and the weed’s being smoked out on the backyard patio, and by the way, Pastor, help yourself to either one,” how is the pastor to respond?

    If you say Christians should call it a sin, is there, therefore, grounds for excommunication, assuming the members can’t see a single thing wrong with it (now that it’s legal)?

    But let’s just make the problem a bit thornier: Suppose a Lutheran pastor living in one of those states decides he’ll take advantage of the new laws and enjoy a little recreational pot himself. Should he then be drummed out of the ministry?

    Think it can’t happen? I’ll bet the LC-MS DPs of Colorado and Washington are already conferring with St. Louis about what action they should take.

  • SKPeterson

    Well from the discussion at hand, I think we might have something along the lines of the following consensus.

    Resolved: There is a proper time and place for sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.

    Further Resolved: Sex – within the boundaries of marriage between a man and woman (need I add married to each other?)

    Furtherer Resolved: Drugs – within the good judgment and discretion of the believer under the admonition that the body is a temple of the Lord, but also within the context that wine gladdens the heart, and also, well, it’s not really as bad as gambling now is it?

    Even Furtherer Resolved: Rock n’ Roll – not on Sunday mornings in the Divine Service unless introducing a really, really awesome sermon series on the metaphors of the Christian journey using Highway to Hell, The Long and Winding Road, and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road with a final denoument of I Can’t Drive 55 to send the audience parishioners home on a high (pardon the pun) note.

  • SKPeterson

    Well from the discussion at hand, I think we might have something along the lines of the following consensus.

    Resolved: There is a proper time and place for sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.

    Further Resolved: Sex – within the boundaries of marriage between a man and woman (need I add married to each other?)

    Furtherer Resolved: Drugs – within the good judgment and discretion of the believer under the admonition that the body is a temple of the Lord, but also within the context that wine gladdens the heart, and also, well, it’s not really as bad as gambling now is it?

    Even Furtherer Resolved: Rock n’ Roll – not on Sunday mornings in the Divine Service unless introducing a really, really awesome sermon series on the metaphors of the Christian journey using Highway to Hell, The Long and Winding Road, and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road with a final denoument of I Can’t Drive 55 to send the audience parishioners home on a high (pardon the pun) note.

  • Matthew Jamison

    tODD,

    An area for individual Christian judgment is also an area where the Church can reason together to provide wise guidance for her people.

    You blast those who disagree with you as legalistic, but then you pipe right up with your own interpretation of the law: intoxication is just dandy as long as you are not driving. . . or skipping school. As usual, legalism and license are two sides of the same coin.

  • Matthew Jamison

    tODD,

    An area for individual Christian judgment is also an area where the Church can reason together to provide wise guidance for her people.

    You blast those who disagree with you as legalistic, but then you pipe right up with your own interpretation of the law: intoxication is just dandy as long as you are not driving. . . or skipping school. As usual, legalism and license are two sides of the same coin.

  • SKPeterson

    I should hasten to add that the rubrics for the awesome sermon series introduction concert allow that one can substitute Fuel for Fire for The Long and Winding Road and Jesus Built My Hot Rod for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road between the Spring equinox and the Summer solstice.

  • SKPeterson

    I should hasten to add that the rubrics for the awesome sermon series introduction concert allow that one can substitute Fuel for Fire for The Long and Winding Road and Jesus Built My Hot Rod for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road between the Spring equinox and the Summer solstice.

  • Steve Bauer

    How about “Highway to Heaven” (which, I believe, combines at least two of the three)?

  • Steve Bauer

    How about “Highway to Heaven” (which, I believe, combines at least two of the three)?

  • Cincinnatus

    Mathew Jamison@40:

    But wait–you still haven’t defined what intoxication actually is! This was the gist of both my comment and tODD’s. Arguing that intoxication is sinful is meaningless without defining what it means to be intoxicated. And as we’ve established, absolute abstinence is not scripturally normative.

    So when have I sinned? When I’m more garrulous and easygoing than usual? When I can walk home, but not drive? When I wake up with a headache in the morning? When I’m blackout vomiting drunk?

    And similarly, what about plump cigars? Caffeine? OTC meds that make me drowsy and unfit to drive? Where is the line? Is there one?

  • Cincinnatus

    Mathew Jamison@40:

    But wait–you still haven’t defined what intoxication actually is! This was the gist of both my comment and tODD’s. Arguing that intoxication is sinful is meaningless without defining what it means to be intoxicated. And as we’ve established, absolute abstinence is not scripturally normative.

    So when have I sinned? When I’m more garrulous and easygoing than usual? When I can walk home, but not drive? When I wake up with a headache in the morning? When I’m blackout vomiting drunk?

    And similarly, what about plump cigars? Caffeine? OTC meds that make me drowsy and unfit to drive? Where is the line? Is there one?

  • Kirk

    @ tODD:

    To celebrate something… riiiiiiiight

  • Kirk

    @ tODD:

    To celebrate something… riiiiiiiight

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith said:

    Mark Driscoll, a cutting-edged Reformed pastor says that Christians should stay away from marijuana, making an interesting distinction between “sin” and what the Bible describes as “folly.”

    Driscoll’s imprimatur is almost enough to make me assume I should do the opposite, but doesn’t this set your legalism alarm ringing? “It’s not sinful, BUUUUT…”

    Driscoll’s example of folly in the article is eating a cereal box instead of the cereal inside. For one thing, I can’t remember the last time anyone bothered to voice an opinion on eating cereal boxes, much less pen an entire article pointing out how foolish it is. I’ve certainly never heard anyone opine on whether it needs to be criminalized. (Besides, have you looked at the ingredients on a box of cereal lately? You might be wiser to eat the box.)

    No, this just smells like legalism through the back door.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Veith said:

    Mark Driscoll, a cutting-edged Reformed pastor says that Christians should stay away from marijuana, making an interesting distinction between “sin” and what the Bible describes as “folly.”

    Driscoll’s imprimatur is almost enough to make me assume I should do the opposite, but doesn’t this set your legalism alarm ringing? “It’s not sinful, BUUUUT…”

    Driscoll’s example of folly in the article is eating a cereal box instead of the cereal inside. For one thing, I can’t remember the last time anyone bothered to voice an opinion on eating cereal boxes, much less pen an entire article pointing out how foolish it is. I’ve certainly never heard anyone opine on whether it needs to be criminalized. (Besides, have you looked at the ingredients on a box of cereal lately? You might be wiser to eat the box.)

    No, this just smells like legalism through the back door.

  • Matthew Jamison

    Cincinnatus,

    I think we should look at the issue through the lens of Christian vocation. Intoxication is sinful when it makes it impossible to do the ordinary good work that we are called to do in our lives.

    No workplace that I can think of allows a person to work while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In many jobs where vehicles or equipment is involved, intoxication in the workplace is downright deadly.

    Likewise, no sane person would trust the care of their children to someone under the influence of marijuana or alcohol. No school tolerates stoned or drunk students. Studying is not possible. Basically, no productive activity is possible while drunk or stoned. Caffeine is, obviously, a different matter.

    So, speaking from my own life, I can only use alcohol when I’m not working, or going to work for a while, when I don’t need to drive for a while, and when I don’t have primary care of my child. In reality, that’s not very often that it is wise for me to use alcohol. In addition, my use of alcohol is an expensive luxury that benefits no one but myself. It is a self-indulgent activity even under the best of circumstances.

    Therefore, in order to serve my neighbor in love, it is best to use intoxicants sparingly and carefully and only when and where legal. A wise Christian very well might avoid them entirely. I hope others follow my example, and I will continue to vote “no” every time legalization comes up on a ballot.

  • Matthew Jamison

    Cincinnatus,

    I think we should look at the issue through the lens of Christian vocation. Intoxication is sinful when it makes it impossible to do the ordinary good work that we are called to do in our lives.

    No workplace that I can think of allows a person to work while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In many jobs where vehicles or equipment is involved, intoxication in the workplace is downright deadly.

    Likewise, no sane person would trust the care of their children to someone under the influence of marijuana or alcohol. No school tolerates stoned or drunk students. Studying is not possible. Basically, no productive activity is possible while drunk or stoned. Caffeine is, obviously, a different matter.

    So, speaking from my own life, I can only use alcohol when I’m not working, or going to work for a while, when I don’t need to drive for a while, and when I don’t have primary care of my child. In reality, that’s not very often that it is wise for me to use alcohol. In addition, my use of alcohol is an expensive luxury that benefits no one but myself. It is a self-indulgent activity even under the best of circumstances.

    Therefore, in order to serve my neighbor in love, it is best to use intoxicants sparingly and carefully and only when and where legal. A wise Christian very well might avoid them entirely. I hope others follow my example, and I will continue to vote “no” every time legalization comes up on a ballot.

  • Cincinnatus

    Matthew@46:

    I can’t help but noting that you just contradicted yourself blatantly and abruptly at the end of your comment.

    For 3.5 paragraphs–that is, for almost the entirety of your remarks–I found myself in agreement. Yes, we ought not intentionally consume substances that would interfere with our vocations. Yes, we ought not indulge personal desires that might be imprudently expensive. Some of your statements are a tad extreme: I, for one, find that a beer or two can unloose a particularly stubborn case of writer’s block (I’m an academic). But, in general, yes, yes, and yes. We seem to agree that moderate, careful consumption of “intoxicants” is perfectly licit for the Christian.

    Intoxicants like marijuana, right? Oh, wait, no. You’ll vote “no” for legalization “every time.” Why? Where in your own argument is that vote mandated, or even coherent? You just got done saying that abuse of intoxicants is ill-advised, but that there is nothing wrong with “sparing” enjoyment of them.

    And then you arbitrarily return to legalism: “But I sure won’t let anyone enjoy marijuana legally!”

    Why? How does that follow from your claims?

  • Cincinnatus

    Matthew@46:

    I can’t help but noting that you just contradicted yourself blatantly and abruptly at the end of your comment.

    For 3.5 paragraphs–that is, for almost the entirety of your remarks–I found myself in agreement. Yes, we ought not intentionally consume substances that would interfere with our vocations. Yes, we ought not indulge personal desires that might be imprudently expensive. Some of your statements are a tad extreme: I, for one, find that a beer or two can unloose a particularly stubborn case of writer’s block (I’m an academic). But, in general, yes, yes, and yes. We seem to agree that moderate, careful consumption of “intoxicants” is perfectly licit for the Christian.

    Intoxicants like marijuana, right? Oh, wait, no. You’ll vote “no” for legalization “every time.” Why? Where in your own argument is that vote mandated, or even coherent? You just got done saying that abuse of intoxicants is ill-advised, but that there is nothing wrong with “sparing” enjoyment of them.

    And then you arbitrarily return to legalism: “But I sure won’t let anyone enjoy marijuana legally!”

    Why? How does that follow from your claims?

  • SKPeterson

    The issue may be somewhat premature. We all “know” what happens when someone smokes marijuana. At least we think we do, and we try to compare that to what we “know” about people when they drink alcohol. Then we try to equate the intoxication levels based upon our own experiences and observations of other people’s behaviors. I will posit this – many people who have smoked marijuana in the past have done so to get absolutely stoned. I will also posit that many people have drunk various forms of alcoholic beverages to achieve a roughly equivalent state. We might then make the argument that those are instances of sinful behavior.

    The problem is that we generally only have a view of marijuana use for the explicit purpose of denying fully functional faculties, while most of us have ample experience of moderate alcohol use falling far short of Cincinnatus’s example of blackout vomiting drunk. As such, we haven’t accumulated the requisite collection of “folk knowledge” about how and when casual use of marijuana is equivalent to the two or three glasses of wine on a Friday evening amongst friends scenario we are using as our standard for comparison. We know drunkenness when we see it and can distinguish that from alcohol consumption; we know stoned stupors, but we cannot yet easily distinguish that from smoking a joint.

  • SKPeterson

    The issue may be somewhat premature. We all “know” what happens when someone smokes marijuana. At least we think we do, and we try to compare that to what we “know” about people when they drink alcohol. Then we try to equate the intoxication levels based upon our own experiences and observations of other people’s behaviors. I will posit this – many people who have smoked marijuana in the past have done so to get absolutely stoned. I will also posit that many people have drunk various forms of alcoholic beverages to achieve a roughly equivalent state. We might then make the argument that those are instances of sinful behavior.

    The problem is that we generally only have a view of marijuana use for the explicit purpose of denying fully functional faculties, while most of us have ample experience of moderate alcohol use falling far short of Cincinnatus’s example of blackout vomiting drunk. As such, we haven’t accumulated the requisite collection of “folk knowledge” about how and when casual use of marijuana is equivalent to the two or three glasses of wine on a Friday evening amongst friends scenario we are using as our standard for comparison. We know drunkenness when we see it and can distinguish that from alcohol consumption; we know stoned stupors, but we cannot yet easily distinguish that from smoking a joint.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matthew (@34):

    Intoxication makes Christian vocation impossible. One cannot study, work or care for children when high or drunk.

    Still leaving undefined what, exactly, “intoxication” is. Which makes your point rather difficult to apply.

    But if your first statement is true, in a necessary and sufficient sort of way, then can we conclude one is not intoxicated as long as one can carry out one’s vocation?

    You mention certain areas of vocation, and those certainly are ones to consider. I will admit that when I read of Washington’s initiative passing, I wondered if, after never having smoked it, I would now try marijuana. I decided likely not, largely because it seemed weird as a parent. Also, I really don’t think I’d enjoy smoking anything.

    Still, I’m aware that alcohol can encourage love of neighbor, facilitating many a fine conversation and sense of bonhomie among friends. That’s part of vocation, too. Can you argue that marijuana should in no way be part of that aspect of vocation?

    You blast those who disagree with you as legalistic, but then you pipe right up with your own interpretation of the law: intoxication is just dandy as long as you are not driving. . . or skipping school.

    I think you’re misunderstanding those points. I wasn’t saying it’s sinful to skip school, as such. I was merely pointing out that their smoking marijuana wasn’t in any way unpleasant socially (though I don’t love the smell). As for drunk driving, it is against the law, you know, so unless you’re going to make a really awkward attempt at working in a “we must obey God rather than man” counterargument, I sort of suspect that you get what I was saying. Even absent that, you should note that what I actually said was:

    Once the vehicle enters the question, then you have to make a very different judgment regarding your neighbors on the road.

    Which is kind of like observing that one should take care when firing a gun to not point it at innocent people. Is that legalism too?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matthew (@34):

    Intoxication makes Christian vocation impossible. One cannot study, work or care for children when high or drunk.

    Still leaving undefined what, exactly, “intoxication” is. Which makes your point rather difficult to apply.

    But if your first statement is true, in a necessary and sufficient sort of way, then can we conclude one is not intoxicated as long as one can carry out one’s vocation?

    You mention certain areas of vocation, and those certainly are ones to consider. I will admit that when I read of Washington’s initiative passing, I wondered if, after never having smoked it, I would now try marijuana. I decided likely not, largely because it seemed weird as a parent. Also, I really don’t think I’d enjoy smoking anything.

    Still, I’m aware that alcohol can encourage love of neighbor, facilitating many a fine conversation and sense of bonhomie among friends. That’s part of vocation, too. Can you argue that marijuana should in no way be part of that aspect of vocation?

    You blast those who disagree with you as legalistic, but then you pipe right up with your own interpretation of the law: intoxication is just dandy as long as you are not driving. . . or skipping school.

    I think you’re misunderstanding those points. I wasn’t saying it’s sinful to skip school, as such. I was merely pointing out that their smoking marijuana wasn’t in any way unpleasant socially (though I don’t love the smell). As for drunk driving, it is against the law, you know, so unless you’re going to make a really awkward attempt at working in a “we must obey God rather than man” counterargument, I sort of suspect that you get what I was saying. Even absent that, you should note that what I actually said was:

    Once the vehicle enters the question, then you have to make a very different judgment regarding your neighbors on the road.

    Which is kind of like observing that one should take care when firing a gun to not point it at innocent people. Is that legalism too?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DLit2C (@37):

    Recreational use of marijuana generally is for the purposes of altering ones mental perceptions i.e. intoxication.

    In all seriousness, if that’s your working definition of “intoxication”, then you’d have to agree that Christians need to be much stricter in their consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Because I know caffeine alters my mental perceptions (I tend to think of them as being improved, but you’ve ruled out “self diagnosis” — which is a curious thing for a Lutheran to do). Remember, feeling relaxed after a drink is also entering a state of altered perceptions.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DLit2C (@37):

    Recreational use of marijuana generally is for the purposes of altering ones mental perceptions i.e. intoxication.

    In all seriousness, if that’s your working definition of “intoxication”, then you’d have to agree that Christians need to be much stricter in their consumption of alcohol and caffeine. Because I know caffeine alters my mental perceptions (I tend to think of them as being improved, but you’ve ruled out “self diagnosis” — which is a curious thing for a Lutheran to do). Remember, feeling relaxed after a drink is also entering a state of altered perceptions.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    tODD,

    One could say that going into a 3d-cinema, or any movie for that matter is temporary altering one’s perceptions. I agree – it is quite frankly a ridiculous argument.

    Also, everyone arguing for intoxication as sinful keeps on shying away from defining what intoxication is. The argument is suspiciously sounding more and more like a Baptist trying to define “worldly music”.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    tODD,

    One could say that going into a 3d-cinema, or any movie for that matter is temporary altering one’s perceptions. I agree – it is quite frankly a ridiculous argument.

    Also, everyone arguing for intoxication as sinful keeps on shying away from defining what intoxication is. The argument is suspiciously sounding more and more like a Baptist trying to define “worldly music”.

  • SKPeterson

    Intoxication is like pornography. We know it when we see it.

  • SKPeterson

    Intoxication is like pornography. We know it when we see it.

  • Stephen

    Does this mean I have to give up coffee? I find it intoxicating, even just the aroma, and it alters my perception of reality. Mornings don’t suck so badly.

    But really I just use it for “medicinal” purposes – headaches, digestion, nausea. And it has never caused road rage. Not for me anyway.

    Hey, wait a second! I thought coffee was part of being Lutheran and proper fellowship. It couldn’t possibly be sinful.

    Genesis 1:29 “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

    Define food. ;)

  • Stephen

    Does this mean I have to give up coffee? I find it intoxicating, even just the aroma, and it alters my perception of reality. Mornings don’t suck so badly.

    But really I just use it for “medicinal” purposes – headaches, digestion, nausea. And it has never caused road rage. Not for me anyway.

    Hey, wait a second! I thought coffee was part of being Lutheran and proper fellowship. It couldn’t possibly be sinful.

    Genesis 1:29 “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

    Define food. ;)

  • Grace

    A medical marijuana dispensary in California expresses evangelical Christian views and is known to hand out Bibles along with the controversial drug.

    Anyone can claim any view, including Evangelicalism, that doesn’t make it true. Oh yes, a Bible in one hand and a joint in another! What a joke!

    I’ve been around people who smoke marijuana, and those who have two glasses of wine – there is a big difference in the way they conduct themselves, and their lifestyles in general.

    I’ve known women who smoke marijuana – it’s impact on their children is NEGATIVE and their own lives. In one case all three kids, who are now adults have had problems, both with addiction, and one who has been incarcerated, and lost their drivers license.

    ER doctors and nurses see the effects of recreational drugs all the time. Those who smoke dope more often than not, lose their inhibitions to do things they would never do otherwise. That would include sex, and other drugs. That is usually how people start down the trail of other drugs.

  • Grace

    A medical marijuana dispensary in California expresses evangelical Christian views and is known to hand out Bibles along with the controversial drug.

    Anyone can claim any view, including Evangelicalism, that doesn’t make it true. Oh yes, a Bible in one hand and a joint in another! What a joke!

    I’ve been around people who smoke marijuana, and those who have two glasses of wine – there is a big difference in the way they conduct themselves, and their lifestyles in general.

    I’ve known women who smoke marijuana – it’s impact on their children is NEGATIVE and their own lives. In one case all three kids, who are now adults have had problems, both with addiction, and one who has been incarcerated, and lost their drivers license.

    ER doctors and nurses see the effects of recreational drugs all the time. Those who smoke dope more often than not, lose their inhibitions to do things they would never do otherwise. That would include sex, and other drugs. That is usually how people start down the trail of other drugs.

  • Grace

    The arguments I’m reading, and the jokes going back and forth like children playing ping pong, giggling as if everything is extremly funny, is very telling – as to what kind of lifestyle they embrace.

  • Grace

    The arguments I’m reading, and the jokes going back and forth like children playing ping pong, giggling as if everything is extremly funny, is very telling – as to what kind of lifestyle they embrace.

  • Matthew Jamison

    tODD,

    Intoxication is in no way difficult to define. I define it the same way the State Patrol does. Marijuana and alcohol are intoxicants, tobacco and caffeine are not.

    Cincinnatus,

    I do not contradict myself. I will vote “no” on legalization because I think it is a very bad idea for society to normalize widespread marijuana use. I don’t think that intoxication is necessarily sinful, but wise people are very careful about the circumstances under which they will become intoxicated, and many avoid it entirely.

    And if its foolish for me and my kids to get stoned, its also foolish for my neighbor and his kids. Our laws should discourage foolish behavior.

    Over the last couple of generations, it has become illegal or socially unacceptable to smoke tobacco in places where it used to be acceptable. Social norms about smoking changed in tandem with the laws: it is hard to determine whether changing norms drove the laws or the laws drove the norms. Either way, the net effect is much less smoking in our society.

    When we legalize marijuana, we send the message that marijuana use is normal and acceptable. I’m not okay with that. Society is a better place when people aren’t smoking dope.

    One other consideration: If you smoke tobacco, you support the tobacco industry. If you smoke weed, you support the industry that is tearing Mexico apart with violence and human trafficking and causing environmental degradation on public lands in Northern California and other places. Are you okay with this? I know you think that a legitimate, regulated and taxed marijuana industry will somehow spring to life; but as for today, how do you know where that stuff comes from?

  • Matthew Jamison

    tODD,

    Intoxication is in no way difficult to define. I define it the same way the State Patrol does. Marijuana and alcohol are intoxicants, tobacco and caffeine are not.

    Cincinnatus,

    I do not contradict myself. I will vote “no” on legalization because I think it is a very bad idea for society to normalize widespread marijuana use. I don’t think that intoxication is necessarily sinful, but wise people are very careful about the circumstances under which they will become intoxicated, and many avoid it entirely.

    And if its foolish for me and my kids to get stoned, its also foolish for my neighbor and his kids. Our laws should discourage foolish behavior.

    Over the last couple of generations, it has become illegal or socially unacceptable to smoke tobacco in places where it used to be acceptable. Social norms about smoking changed in tandem with the laws: it is hard to determine whether changing norms drove the laws or the laws drove the norms. Either way, the net effect is much less smoking in our society.

    When we legalize marijuana, we send the message that marijuana use is normal and acceptable. I’m not okay with that. Society is a better place when people aren’t smoking dope.

    One other consideration: If you smoke tobacco, you support the tobacco industry. If you smoke weed, you support the industry that is tearing Mexico apart with violence and human trafficking and causing environmental degradation on public lands in Northern California and other places. Are you okay with this? I know you think that a legitimate, regulated and taxed marijuana industry will somehow spring to life; but as for today, how do you know where that stuff comes from?

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    @ Stephen #24, my footnotes are as follows. But first, the current ONDCP-SAMSHA related science is based upon a premise that “everything is toxic, there are no harmless substances”. They then determine that there are more and less harmful ways of using substances, some substances being more toxic than others.

    [1] ISBE- Sin Heb: a missing; rebellion; transgression; perversion; evil in disposition; impiety
    GK: missing the mark; transgression; unrighteousness; impiety; lawlessness; depravity; evil desire
    Sin is to be defined primarily in relation to God. It is disobedience, unbelief, ignorance, the positive assertion of usurped autonomy, and the wicked deviation from, or violation of, God’s Righteous Will and Law. The breach of a right relationship with God carries with it the disruption of a right relationship with others and the disintegration of the self. But this is derivative, for it is because of sin against God that there is sin against others and oneself (Ps. 51:4) [MT 6]
    A feature of the Biblical definition is that sin is not just a lack, a failure, or a deficiency. The ignorance that is sin involves not only the lack of True knowledge but also the substitution of falsehood. Sin is commission as well as omission. Yet this must not be pressed too far. Sin has no place in the positive will of God, nor does God allow the existence of another reality alongside and equal to His own creation. In the last analysis sin only has a negative or parasitic reality. It’s positive reality is paradoxical and secondary, as is clearly illustrated by the manner of it’s entry into human life.
    Inwardness of the Moral Law- The Biblical narratives, too, show us the passage over from sin conceived of as the violation of external commands to sin conceived of as an unwillingness to keep the commandments in the depths of the inner life. The course of Biblical history is one long protest against conceiving of sin in an external fashion.

    [2] Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem
    Dualism
    The Biblical account rules out “dualism”. This is the idea that both God and the material universe have eternally existed side by side. Thus, there are two ultimate forces in the universe, God and matter.
    The problem with dualism is that it indicates an eternal conflict between God and the evil aspects of the material universe. Will God ultimately triumph over evil in the universe? We cannot be sure, because both God and evil have apparently always existed side by side. This philosophy would deny both God’s ultimate lordship over creation and also that creation came about because of God’s will, that it is to be used solely for his purposes, and that it is to glorify him. This viewpoint would also deny that all of the universe was created inherently good (Gen.1:31) and would encourage people to view material reality as somewhat evil in itself, in contrast with a genuine biblical account of a creation that God made to be good an that he rules over for his purposes.
    One recent example of dualism in modern culture is the series of “Star Wars” movies, which postulate the existence of a universal “force” that has both a good and an evil side. There is no concept of one holy and transcendent God who rules over all and will certainly triumph over all. When non-Christians today begin to be aware of a spiritual aspect to the universe, they often become dualists, merely acknowledging that there are good and evil aspects to the supernatural or spiritual world. Most “New Age” religion is dualistic. Of course, Satan is delighted to have people think that there is an evil force in the universe that is perhaps equal to God himself.

    [3] “The Danger of Sola Scriptura” by Michael Patton
    http://bible.org/article/danger-isola-scripturai

    [4] “The Doctrine of Divine Healing”, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, Duffield/ Van Cleave, LIFE Bible College. This section was too long to attach here.

    [5] See ISBE- Gnosticism. I have made this section available at http://www.lucashempco.com/cms/node/22

    [6] “The Doctrine of Angels”, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, Duffield/ Van Cleave, LIFE Bible College. This section was too long to attach here.

    [7] Martin Luther, Protestant Reformer,
    “Unless I am refuted and convicted by testimonies of the Scriptures or by clear arguments (since I believe neither the Pope nor the Councils alone; it being evident that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am conquered by the Holy Scriptures quoted by me, and my conscience is bound in the word of God: I can not and will not recant any thing, since it is unsafe and dangerous to do any thing against the conscience.”
    (Phillip Schaff, History of the Christian Church). For a more thorough history, read Luther’s Testimony at the Diet of Worms. I have made a section available at http://www.lucashempco.com/cms/node/36

    [8] Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with
    respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ! Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. He has not held fast to the head from whom the whole body, supported and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
    If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are on human commands and teachings. Even though they have the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and false humility achieved by an unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence”
    [the characterizations employed in the war on pot are striking resemblance to the warnings in Col.2. "goes on about what he has seen... puffed up by a fleshly mind". The binge drinking phenomena we see in the just say no generation, as well as the licentious rebellion in the 60's, is evidences of the "fleshly indulgence", or antinomian development that springs from these ascetic teachings.]

    [9] Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology
    The Sufficiency of the Scripture
    #5. With regard to the Christian life, the sufficiency of the Scripture reminds us that nothing is sin that is not forbidden by scripture either explicitly or by implication. To walk in the law of the Lord is to be “blameless” (Ps. 119:1). Therefore we are not to add prohibitions to those already stated in scripture. From time to time there may be situations in which it would be wrong, for example, for an individual Christian to drink Coca-Cola, or to attend movie theaters, or to eat meat offered to idols (see 1 Cor. 8-10), but unless some specific teaching or some general principle of Scripture can be shown to prohibit these (or any other activities) for all believers for all time, we must insist that these activities are not in themselves sinful and they are not in all situations prohibited by God for his people.
    This also is an important principle because there is always the tendency among believers to begin to neglect the regular daily searching of Scripture for guidance and to begin to live by a set of written or unwritten rules (or denominational traditions) concerning what one does or does not do in the Christian life.
    Furthermore, whenever we add to the list of sins that are prohibited by Scripture itself, there will be harm to the church and to the lives of individual believers. The Holy Spirit will not empower obedience to rules that do not have God’s approval from Scripture, nor will believers generally find delight in obedience to commands that do not accord to the laws of God written in their hearts. In some cases, Christians may earnestly plead with God for “victory” over supposed sins that are in fact no sins at all, yet no “victory” will be given, for the attitude or action in question is in fact not a sin and is not displeasing to God. Great discouragement in prayer and frustration in the Christian life generally may be the outcome.
    In other cases, continued or even increasing disobedience to these new “sins” will result, together with a false sense of guilt and a resulting alienation from God. Often there arises an increasingly uncompromising and legalistic insistence on these new rules on the part of those who do follow them, and genuine fellowship among believers in the church will fade away. Evangelism will often be stifled. For the silent proclamation of the gospel that comes from the lives of the believers will at least seem (to outsiders) to include the additional requirement that one must fit this uniform pattern of life in order to become a member of the Body of Christ.

    [10] Chief points of gnosticism from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
    Chief Points in Gnosticism:
    The following may be regarded as the chief points in the characteristics of the Gnostic systems:
    (1). A claim on the part of the initiated to a special knowledge of the truth, a tendency to regard knowledge as superior to faith, and as the special possession of the more enlightened, for ordinary Christians did not possess this secret and higher doctrine.
    (2) The essential separation of matter and spirit, the former of these being essentially evil, and the source from which all evil has arisen.
    (3) An attempt at the solution of the problems of creation and of the origin of evil by the conception of a Demiurge, i.e. a Creator or Artificer of the world as distinct from the Supreme Deity, and also by means of emanations extending between God and the visible universe. It should be observed that this conception merely concealed the difficulties of the problem, and did not solve them.
    (4) A denial of the true humanity of Christ, a docetic Christology, (which looked upon the earthly life of Christ and especially on His sufferings on the cross as unreal.
    (5) The denial of the personality of the Supreme God, and the denial also of the free will of man.
    (6) The teaching, on the one hand, of asceticism as the means of attaining to spiritual communion with God, and, on the other hand, of an indifference which led directly to licentiousness.
    (7) A syncretistic tendency which combined certain more or less misunderstood Christian doctrines, various elements from oriental and Jewish and other sources.
    (8) The Scriptures of the Old Testament were ascribed to the Demiurge or inferior Creator of the world, who was the God of the Jews, but not the true God.
    Some of these characteristic ideas are more obvious in one, and some of them in others of the Gnostic systems.
    [The war on cannabis shares at least two of the the same qualities as a Gnosticism. (1 and 2). Statements such as "there is no way to teach this to you in a brief, " and, "everything is toxic, there is no harmless substances." etc.
    Other points are applicable, especially #6. But from those two statements alone, the Christian will point out that encouraging formalism and asceticism as the result of false teaching is traditionally known as the activities of demons; and the acknowledgment of liberty of conscience in a free moral agent is the formation of evangelical theology- for this very reason the Reformers left the Roman Catholic Church! (see Luther). ]

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    @ Stephen #24, my footnotes are as follows. But first, the current ONDCP-SAMSHA related science is based upon a premise that “everything is toxic, there are no harmless substances”. They then determine that there are more and less harmful ways of using substances, some substances being more toxic than others.

    [1] ISBE- Sin Heb: a missing; rebellion; transgression; perversion; evil in disposition; impiety
    GK: missing the mark; transgression; unrighteousness; impiety; lawlessness; depravity; evil desire
    Sin is to be defined primarily in relation to God. It is disobedience, unbelief, ignorance, the positive assertion of usurped autonomy, and the wicked deviation from, or violation of, God’s Righteous Will and Law. The breach of a right relationship with God carries with it the disruption of a right relationship with others and the disintegration of the self. But this is derivative, for it is because of sin against God that there is sin against others and oneself (Ps. 51:4) [MT 6]
    A feature of the Biblical definition is that sin is not just a lack, a failure, or a deficiency. The ignorance that is sin involves not only the lack of True knowledge but also the substitution of falsehood. Sin is commission as well as omission. Yet this must not be pressed too far. Sin has no place in the positive will of God, nor does God allow the existence of another reality alongside and equal to His own creation. In the last analysis sin only has a negative or parasitic reality. It’s positive reality is paradoxical and secondary, as is clearly illustrated by the manner of it’s entry into human life.
    Inwardness of the Moral Law- The Biblical narratives, too, show us the passage over from sin conceived of as the violation of external commands to sin conceived of as an unwillingness to keep the commandments in the depths of the inner life. The course of Biblical history is one long protest against conceiving of sin in an external fashion.

    [2] Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem
    Dualism
    The Biblical account rules out “dualism”. This is the idea that both God and the material universe have eternally existed side by side. Thus, there are two ultimate forces in the universe, God and matter.
    The problem with dualism is that it indicates an eternal conflict between God and the evil aspects of the material universe. Will God ultimately triumph over evil in the universe? We cannot be sure, because both God and evil have apparently always existed side by side. This philosophy would deny both God’s ultimate lordship over creation and also that creation came about because of God’s will, that it is to be used solely for his purposes, and that it is to glorify him. This viewpoint would also deny that all of the universe was created inherently good (Gen.1:31) and would encourage people to view material reality as somewhat evil in itself, in contrast with a genuine biblical account of a creation that God made to be good an that he rules over for his purposes.
    One recent example of dualism in modern culture is the series of “Star Wars” movies, which postulate the existence of a universal “force” that has both a good and an evil side. There is no concept of one holy and transcendent God who rules over all and will certainly triumph over all. When non-Christians today begin to be aware of a spiritual aspect to the universe, they often become dualists, merely acknowledging that there are good and evil aspects to the supernatural or spiritual world. Most “New Age” religion is dualistic. Of course, Satan is delighted to have people think that there is an evil force in the universe that is perhaps equal to God himself.

    [3] “The Danger of Sola Scriptura” by Michael Patton
    http://bible.org/article/danger-isola-scripturai

    [4] “The Doctrine of Divine Healing”, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, Duffield/ Van Cleave, LIFE Bible College. This section was too long to attach here.

    [5] See ISBE- Gnosticism. I have made this section available at http://www.lucashempco.com/cms/node/22

    [6] “The Doctrine of Angels”, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, Duffield/ Van Cleave, LIFE Bible College. This section was too long to attach here.

    [7] Martin Luther, Protestant Reformer,
    “Unless I am refuted and convicted by testimonies of the Scriptures or by clear arguments (since I believe neither the Pope nor the Councils alone; it being evident that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am conquered by the Holy Scriptures quoted by me, and my conscience is bound in the word of God: I can not and will not recant any thing, since it is unsafe and dangerous to do any thing against the conscience.”
    (Phillip Schaff, History of the Christian Church). For a more thorough history, read Luther’s Testimony at the Diet of Worms. I have made a section available at http://www.lucashempco.com/cms/node/36

    [8] Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with
    respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ! Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. He has not held fast to the head from whom the whole body, supported and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
    If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are on human commands and teachings. Even though they have the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and false humility achieved by an unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence”
    [the characterizations employed in the war on pot are striking resemblance to the warnings in Col.2. "goes on about what he has seen... puffed up by a fleshly mind". The binge drinking phenomena we see in the just say no generation, as well as the licentious rebellion in the 60's, is evidences of the "fleshly indulgence", or antinomian development that springs from these ascetic teachings.]

    [9] Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology
    The Sufficiency of the Scripture
    #5. With regard to the Christian life, the sufficiency of the Scripture reminds us that nothing is sin that is not forbidden by scripture either explicitly or by implication. To walk in the law of the Lord is to be “blameless” (Ps. 119:1). Therefore we are not to add prohibitions to those already stated in scripture. From time to time there may be situations in which it would be wrong, for example, for an individual Christian to drink Coca-Cola, or to attend movie theaters, or to eat meat offered to idols (see 1 Cor. 8-10), but unless some specific teaching or some general principle of Scripture can be shown to prohibit these (or any other activities) for all believers for all time, we must insist that these activities are not in themselves sinful and they are not in all situations prohibited by God for his people.
    This also is an important principle because there is always the tendency among believers to begin to neglect the regular daily searching of Scripture for guidance and to begin to live by a set of written or unwritten rules (or denominational traditions) concerning what one does or does not do in the Christian life.
    Furthermore, whenever we add to the list of sins that are prohibited by Scripture itself, there will be harm to the church and to the lives of individual believers. The Holy Spirit will not empower obedience to rules that do not have God’s approval from Scripture, nor will believers generally find delight in obedience to commands that do not accord to the laws of God written in their hearts. In some cases, Christians may earnestly plead with God for “victory” over supposed sins that are in fact no sins at all, yet no “victory” will be given, for the attitude or action in question is in fact not a sin and is not displeasing to God. Great discouragement in prayer and frustration in the Christian life generally may be the outcome.
    In other cases, continued or even increasing disobedience to these new “sins” will result, together with a false sense of guilt and a resulting alienation from God. Often there arises an increasingly uncompromising and legalistic insistence on these new rules on the part of those who do follow them, and genuine fellowship among believers in the church will fade away. Evangelism will often be stifled. For the silent proclamation of the gospel that comes from the lives of the believers will at least seem (to outsiders) to include the additional requirement that one must fit this uniform pattern of life in order to become a member of the Body of Christ.

    [10] Chief points of gnosticism from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
    Chief Points in Gnosticism:
    The following may be regarded as the chief points in the characteristics of the Gnostic systems:
    (1). A claim on the part of the initiated to a special knowledge of the truth, a tendency to regard knowledge as superior to faith, and as the special possession of the more enlightened, for ordinary Christians did not possess this secret and higher doctrine.
    (2) The essential separation of matter and spirit, the former of these being essentially evil, and the source from which all evil has arisen.
    (3) An attempt at the solution of the problems of creation and of the origin of evil by the conception of a Demiurge, i.e. a Creator or Artificer of the world as distinct from the Supreme Deity, and also by means of emanations extending between God and the visible universe. It should be observed that this conception merely concealed the difficulties of the problem, and did not solve them.
    (4) A denial of the true humanity of Christ, a docetic Christology, (which looked upon the earthly life of Christ and especially on His sufferings on the cross as unreal.
    (5) The denial of the personality of the Supreme God, and the denial also of the free will of man.
    (6) The teaching, on the one hand, of asceticism as the means of attaining to spiritual communion with God, and, on the other hand, of an indifference which led directly to licentiousness.
    (7) A syncretistic tendency which combined certain more or less misunderstood Christian doctrines, various elements from oriental and Jewish and other sources.
    (8) The Scriptures of the Old Testament were ascribed to the Demiurge or inferior Creator of the world, who was the God of the Jews, but not the true God.
    Some of these characteristic ideas are more obvious in one, and some of them in others of the Gnostic systems.
    [The war on cannabis shares at least two of the the same qualities as a Gnosticism. (1 and 2). Statements such as "there is no way to teach this to you in a brief, " and, "everything is toxic, there is no harmless substances." etc.
    Other points are applicable, especially #6. But from those two statements alone, the Christian will point out that encouraging formalism and asceticism as the result of false teaching is traditionally known as the activities of demons; and the acknowledgment of liberty of conscience in a free moral agent is the formation of evangelical theology- for this very reason the Reformers left the Roman Catholic Church! (see Luther). ]

  • kerner

    I haven’t made any serious comments because I really haven’t made up my mind.

    I guess I’m on board with medicinal marijuana. If we can make medications out of the opium poppy, I don’t see any reason not to do the same with canabis sativa. But only if it is treated like other medications. Opiate based medications manufactured in strictly controlled environments and regulated by the FDA. They are prescribed in measured doses by physicians and patients go to their local pharmacy to pick them up; and they need a new prescription to get more. Selling prescription meds is a felony. What we do NOT do is allow knot heads to grow opium poppies in their back yard and then smoke as much opium as they want whenever they want on an open ended prescription with no limits.

    But we aren’t talking about that now. We are talking about just legalizing recreational smoking. I have ranted before that legalizing smoking marijuana will change the entire culture and politics of the practice. Eventually, it will be marketed and deplored and taxed and regulated pretty much the way tobacco is now. Which is to say legalizing marijuana will simply be an exchange of one set of problems and issues for another. Which I don’t know if I feel like doing right now.

    But, I am definitely buying stock in Kellogg’s (the manufacturer of Cheez-its). I’m pretty sure that stock is going to increase in value in the near future. ;)

  • kerner

    I haven’t made any serious comments because I really haven’t made up my mind.

    I guess I’m on board with medicinal marijuana. If we can make medications out of the opium poppy, I don’t see any reason not to do the same with canabis sativa. But only if it is treated like other medications. Opiate based medications manufactured in strictly controlled environments and regulated by the FDA. They are prescribed in measured doses by physicians and patients go to their local pharmacy to pick them up; and they need a new prescription to get more. Selling prescription meds is a felony. What we do NOT do is allow knot heads to grow opium poppies in their back yard and then smoke as much opium as they want whenever they want on an open ended prescription with no limits.

    But we aren’t talking about that now. We are talking about just legalizing recreational smoking. I have ranted before that legalizing smoking marijuana will change the entire culture and politics of the practice. Eventually, it will be marketed and deplored and taxed and regulated pretty much the way tobacco is now. Which is to say legalizing marijuana will simply be an exchange of one set of problems and issues for another. Which I don’t know if I feel like doing right now.

    But, I am definitely buying stock in Kellogg’s (the manufacturer of Cheez-its). I’m pretty sure that stock is going to increase in value in the near future. ;)

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    “as a believer in Christ, I can have nothing to do with any prohibition law of anything. As a believer in Christ, I am under a strict law of love that prevents me from doing what might harm another” Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse

    “we have showed that in the department of medicine, for healing, and sometimes also for moderate recreation, the delight derived from flowers, and the benefit derived from unguents and perfumes, are not to be overlooked. And if some say, What pleasure, then, is there in flowers to those that do not use them? let them know, then, that unguents are prepared from them, and are most useful.”
    Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus, Book 2, chap. 8

    “Unless I am refuted and convicted by testimonies of the Scriptures or by clear arguments (since I believe neither the Pope nor the Councils alone; it being evident that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am conquered by the Holy Scriptures quoted by me, and my conscience is bound in the word of God: I can not and will not recant any thing, since it is unsafe and dangerous to do any thing against the conscience.”
    Martin Luther, Testimony April, 1521

    “no one would act rationally in avoiding medicine because of its heresies”
    Origen, Against Celsus, Book 2 chapter 12

    “As you interpret it, the thing is incredible. And first I shall not occupy myself with this, though able to say and to hold that every vegetable is food, and fit to be eaten. But although we discriminate between green herbs, not eating all, we refrain from eating some, not because they are common or unclean, but because they are bitter, or deadly, or thorny. But we lay hands on and take of all herbs which are sweet, very nourishing and good, whether they are marine or land plants.”
    Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chap. 20

    “Be assured that nothing is so good for young Christians as the eating of herbs.”
    -Jerome- Letter LIV- to Furia, .10

    “And, for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity, whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation; or, to the power of godliness; or, such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ hath established in the Church, they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against by the censures of the Church”
    Westminister Confession, chapter XX

    “Christian as I am, and by the laws of man a criminal”
    Tertullian, De Fuga in Persecutione, part fourth, V. 12

    “The substances are themselves as creatures of God without impurity, and in this their native state are free to the use of all; but the ministries to which in their use they are devoted, makes all the difference… I burn the Arabian product myself, but not with the same ceremony, nor in the same dress, nor with the same pomp, with which it is done to idols.”
    Tertullian, The Chaplet, part first, chap.10

    “For a certain Alcibades, who was one of them, led a very austere life, partaking of nothing whatever but bread and water. When he endeavored to continue this same sort of life in prison, it was revealed to Attalus after his first conflict in the ampitheater that Alcibades was not doing well in refusing the creatures of God and placing a stumblingblock before others. And Alcibades obeyed, and partook of all things without restraint, giving thanks to God. For they were not deprived of the grace of God, but the Holy Ghost was their counselor”
    The Church History of Eusebius, Book V. Chapter III

    “For it is not the eating that makes unclean, but the intention with which a man eats. If then thou dost not set that aright, you have done all to no purpose, and hast made things worse: for thinking a thing unclean is not so bad as tasting it when one thinks it unclean”
    John Chrysostom, Homily 26 on Romans(Rom. XIV. 14)

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    “as a believer in Christ, I can have nothing to do with any prohibition law of anything. As a believer in Christ, I am under a strict law of love that prevents me from doing what might harm another” Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse

    “we have showed that in the department of medicine, for healing, and sometimes also for moderate recreation, the delight derived from flowers, and the benefit derived from unguents and perfumes, are not to be overlooked. And if some say, What pleasure, then, is there in flowers to those that do not use them? let them know, then, that unguents are prepared from them, and are most useful.”
    Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus, Book 2, chap. 8

    “Unless I am refuted and convicted by testimonies of the Scriptures or by clear arguments (since I believe neither the Pope nor the Councils alone; it being evident that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am conquered by the Holy Scriptures quoted by me, and my conscience is bound in the word of God: I can not and will not recant any thing, since it is unsafe and dangerous to do any thing against the conscience.”
    Martin Luther, Testimony April, 1521

    “no one would act rationally in avoiding medicine because of its heresies”
    Origen, Against Celsus, Book 2 chapter 12

    “As you interpret it, the thing is incredible. And first I shall not occupy myself with this, though able to say and to hold that every vegetable is food, and fit to be eaten. But although we discriminate between green herbs, not eating all, we refrain from eating some, not because they are common or unclean, but because they are bitter, or deadly, or thorny. But we lay hands on and take of all herbs which are sweet, very nourishing and good, whether they are marine or land plants.”
    Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chap. 20

    “Be assured that nothing is so good for young Christians as the eating of herbs.”
    -Jerome- Letter LIV- to Furia, .10

    “And, for their publishing of such opinions, or maintaining of such practices, as are contrary to the light of nature, or to the known principles of Christianity, whether concerning faith, worship, or conversation; or, to the power of godliness; or, such erroneous opinions or practices, as either in their own nature, or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace and order which Christ hath established in the Church, they may lawfully be called to account, and proceeded against by the censures of the Church”
    Westminister Confession, chapter XX

    “Christian as I am, and by the laws of man a criminal”
    Tertullian, De Fuga in Persecutione, part fourth, V. 12

    “The substances are themselves as creatures of God without impurity, and in this their native state are free to the use of all; but the ministries to which in their use they are devoted, makes all the difference… I burn the Arabian product myself, but not with the same ceremony, nor in the same dress, nor with the same pomp, with which it is done to idols.”
    Tertullian, The Chaplet, part first, chap.10

    “For a certain Alcibades, who was one of them, led a very austere life, partaking of nothing whatever but bread and water. When he endeavored to continue this same sort of life in prison, it was revealed to Attalus after his first conflict in the ampitheater that Alcibades was not doing well in refusing the creatures of God and placing a stumblingblock before others. And Alcibades obeyed, and partook of all things without restraint, giving thanks to God. For they were not deprived of the grace of God, but the Holy Ghost was their counselor”
    The Church History of Eusebius, Book V. Chapter III

    “For it is not the eating that makes unclean, but the intention with which a man eats. If then thou dost not set that aright, you have done all to no purpose, and hast made things worse: for thinking a thing unclean is not so bad as tasting it when one thinks it unclean”
    John Chrysostom, Homily 26 on Romans(Rom. XIV. 14)

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    @ SK PETERSON #24, I posted my footnotes but I think some of the links prevented it from being posted. I will present as many as I can right now

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    @ SK PETERSON #24, I posted my footnotes but I think some of the links prevented it from being posted. I will present as many as I can right now

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    some of the footnotes to # 22 for SKPETERSON #24

    [1] ISBE- Sin Heb: a missing; rebellion; transgression; perversion; evil in disposition; impiety
    GK: missing the mark; transgression; unrighteousness; impiety; lawlessness; depravity; evil desire
    Sin is to be defined primarily in relation to God. It is disobedience, unbelief, ignorance, the positive assertion of usurped autonomy, and the wicked deviation from, or violation of, God’s Righteous Will and Law. The breach of a right relationship with God carries with it the disruption of a right relationship with others and the disintegration of the self. But this is derivative, for it is because of sin against God that there is sin against others and oneself (Ps. 51:4) [MT 6]
    A feature of the Biblical definition is that sin is not just a lack, a failure, or a deficiency. The ignorance that is sin involves not only the lack of True knowledge but also the substitution of falsehood. Sin is commission as well as omission. Yet this must not be pressed too far. Sin has no place in the positive will of God, nor does God allow the existence of another reality alongside and equal to His own creation. In the last analysis sin only has a negative or parasitic reality. It’s positive reality is paradoxical and secondary, as is clearly illustrated by the manner of it’s entry into human life.
    Inwardness of the Moral Law- The Biblical narratives, too, show us the passage over from sin conceived of as the violation of external commands to sin conceived of as an unwillingness to keep the commandments in the depths of the inner life. The course of Biblical history is one long protest against conceiving of sin in an external fashion.

    [2] Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem
    Dualism
    The Biblical account rules out “dualism”. This is the idea that both God and the material universe have eternally existed side by side. Thus, there are two ultimate forces in the universe, God and matter.
    The problem with dualism is that it indicates an eternal conflict between God and the evil aspects of the material universe. Will God ultimately triumph over evil in the universe? We cannot be sure, because both God and evil have apparently always existed side by side. This philosophy would deny both God’s ultimate lordship over creation and also that creation came about because of God’s will, that it is to be used solely for his purposes, and that it is to glorify him. This viewpoint would also deny that all of the universe was created inherently good (Gen.1:31) and would encourage people to view material reality as somewhat evil in itself, in contrast with a genuine biblical account of a creation that God made to be good an that he rules over for his purposes.
    One recent example of dualism in modern culture is the series of “Star Wars” movies, which postulate the existence of a universal “force” that has both a good and an evil side. There is no concept of one holy and transcendent God who rules over all and will certainly triumph over all. When non-Christians today begin to be aware of a spiritual aspect to the universe, they often become dualists, merely acknowledging that there are good and evil aspects to the supernatural or spiritual world. Most “New Age” religion is dualistic. Of course, Satan is delighted to have people think that there is an evil force in the universe that is perhaps equal to God himself.

    [3] “The Danger of Sola Scriptura” by Michael Patton Google it and you can read it

    [4] “The Doctrine of Divine Healing”, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, Duffield/ Van Cleave, LIFE Bible College. This section was too long to attach here.

    [5] ISBE- Gnosticism. I can’t present a link so you must google “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia – Gnosticism”

    [6] “The Doctrine of Angels”, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, Duffield/ Van Cleave, LIFE Bible College. This section was too long to attach here.

    [7] Martin Luther, Protestant Reformer,
    “Unless I am refuted and convicted by testimonies of the Scriptures or by clear arguments (since I believe neither the Pope nor the Councils alone; it being evident that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am conquered by the Holy Scriptures quoted by me, and my conscience is bound in the word of God: I can not and will not recant any thing, since it is unsafe and dangerous to do any thing against the conscience.”
    (Phillip Schaff, History of the Christian Church). For a more thorough history, read Luther’s Testimony at the Diet of Worms.
    you will have to google it or find it on Christian Classics Ethereal Library- I have a link but I can’t present it
    [8] Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with
    respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ! Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. He has not held fast to the head from whom the whole body, supported and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
    If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are on human commands and teachings. Even though they have the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and false humility achieved by an unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence”
    [the characterizations employed in the war on pot are striking resemblance to the warnings in Col.2. "goes on about what he has seen... puffed up by a fleshly mind". The binge drinking phenomena we see in the just say no generation, as well as the licentious rebellion in the 60's, is evidences of the "fleshly indulgence", or antinomian development that springs from these ascetic teachings.]

    [9] Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology
    The Sufficiency of the Scripture
    #5. With regard to the Christian life, the sufficiency of the Scripture reminds us that nothing is sin that is not forbidden by scripture either explicitly or by implication. To walk in the law of the Lord is to be “blameless” (Ps. 119:1). Therefore we are not to add prohibitions to those already stated in scripture. From time to time there may be situations in which it would be wrong, for example, for an individual Christian to drink Coca-Cola, or to attend movie theaters, or to eat meat offered to idols (see 1 Cor. 8-10), but unless some specific teaching or some general principle of Scripture can be shown to prohibit these (or any other activities) for all believers for all time, we must insist that these activities are not in themselves sinful and they are not in all situations prohibited by God for his people.
    This also is an important principle because there is always the tendency among believers to begin to neglect the regular daily searching of Scripture for guidance and to begin to live by a set of written or unwritten rules (or denominational traditions) concerning what one does or does not do in the Christian life.
    Furthermore, whenever we add to the list of sins that are prohibited by Scripture itself, there will be harm to the church and to the lives of individual believers. The Holy Spirit will not empower obedience to rules that do not have God’s approval from Scripture, nor will believers generally find delight in obedience to commands that do not accord to the laws of God written in their hearts. In some cases, Christians may earnestly plead with God for “victory” over supposed sins that are in fact no sins at all, yet no “victory” will be given, for the attitude or action in question is in fact not a sin and is not displeasing to God. Great discouragement in prayer and frustration in the Christian life generally may be the outcome.
    In other cases, continued or even increasing disobedience to these new “sins” will result, together with a false sense of guilt and a resulting alienation from God. Often there arises an increasingly uncompromising and legalistic insistence on these new rules on the part of those who do follow them, and genuine fellowship among believers in the church will fade away. Evangelism will often be stifled. For the silent proclamation of the gospel that comes from the lives of the believers will at least seem (to outsiders) to include the additional requirement that one must fit this uniform pattern of life in order to become a member of the Body of Christ.

    [10] Chief points of gnosticism from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
    Chief Points in Gnosticism:
    The following may be regarded as the chief points in the characteristics of the Gnostic systems:
    (1). A claim on the part of the initiated to a special knowledge of the truth, a tendency to regard knowledge as superior to faith, and as the special possession of the more enlightened, for ordinary Christians did not possess this secret and higher doctrine.
    (2) The essential separation of matter and spirit, the former of these being essentially evil, and the source from which all evil has arisen.
    (3) An attempt at the solution of the problems of creation and of the origin of evil by the conception of a Demiurge, i.e. a Creator or Artificer of the world as distinct from the Supreme Deity, and also by means of emanations extending between God and the visible universe. It should be observed that this conception merely concealed the difficulties of the problem, and did not solve them.
    (4) A denial of the true humanity of Christ, a docetic Christology, (which looked upon the earthly life of Christ and especially on His sufferings on the cross as unreal.
    (5) The denial of the personality of the Supreme God, and the denial also of the free will of man.
    (6) The teaching, on the one hand, of asceticism as the means of attaining to spiritual communion with God, and, on the other hand, of an indifference which led directly to licentiousness.
    (7) A syncretistic tendency which combined certain more or less misunderstood Christian doctrines, various elements from oriental and Jewish and other sources.
    (8) The Scriptures of the Old Testament were ascribed to the Demiurge or inferior Creator of the world, who was the God of the Jews, but not the true God.
    Some of these characteristic ideas are more obvious in one, and some of them in others of the Gnostic systems.
    [The war on cannabis shares at least two of the the same qualities as a Gnosticism. (1 and 2). Statements such as "there is no way to teach this to you in a brief, " and, "everything is toxic, there is no harmless substances." etc.
    Other points are applicable, especially #6. But from those two statements alone, the Christian will point out that encouraging formalism and asceticism as the result of false teaching is traditionally known as the activities of demons; and the acknowledgment of liberty of conscience in a free moral agent is the formation of evangelical theology- for this very reason the Reformers left the Roman Catholic Church! (see Luther). ]

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    some of the footnotes to # 22 for SKPETERSON #24

    [1] ISBE- Sin Heb: a missing; rebellion; transgression; perversion; evil in disposition; impiety
    GK: missing the mark; transgression; unrighteousness; impiety; lawlessness; depravity; evil desire
    Sin is to be defined primarily in relation to God. It is disobedience, unbelief, ignorance, the positive assertion of usurped autonomy, and the wicked deviation from, or violation of, God’s Righteous Will and Law. The breach of a right relationship with God carries with it the disruption of a right relationship with others and the disintegration of the self. But this is derivative, for it is because of sin against God that there is sin against others and oneself (Ps. 51:4) [MT 6]
    A feature of the Biblical definition is that sin is not just a lack, a failure, or a deficiency. The ignorance that is sin involves not only the lack of True knowledge but also the substitution of falsehood. Sin is commission as well as omission. Yet this must not be pressed too far. Sin has no place in the positive will of God, nor does God allow the existence of another reality alongside and equal to His own creation. In the last analysis sin only has a negative or parasitic reality. It’s positive reality is paradoxical and secondary, as is clearly illustrated by the manner of it’s entry into human life.
    Inwardness of the Moral Law- The Biblical narratives, too, show us the passage over from sin conceived of as the violation of external commands to sin conceived of as an unwillingness to keep the commandments in the depths of the inner life. The course of Biblical history is one long protest against conceiving of sin in an external fashion.

    [2] Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem
    Dualism
    The Biblical account rules out “dualism”. This is the idea that both God and the material universe have eternally existed side by side. Thus, there are two ultimate forces in the universe, God and matter.
    The problem with dualism is that it indicates an eternal conflict between God and the evil aspects of the material universe. Will God ultimately triumph over evil in the universe? We cannot be sure, because both God and evil have apparently always existed side by side. This philosophy would deny both God’s ultimate lordship over creation and also that creation came about because of God’s will, that it is to be used solely for his purposes, and that it is to glorify him. This viewpoint would also deny that all of the universe was created inherently good (Gen.1:31) and would encourage people to view material reality as somewhat evil in itself, in contrast with a genuine biblical account of a creation that God made to be good an that he rules over for his purposes.
    One recent example of dualism in modern culture is the series of “Star Wars” movies, which postulate the existence of a universal “force” that has both a good and an evil side. There is no concept of one holy and transcendent God who rules over all and will certainly triumph over all. When non-Christians today begin to be aware of a spiritual aspect to the universe, they often become dualists, merely acknowledging that there are good and evil aspects to the supernatural or spiritual world. Most “New Age” religion is dualistic. Of course, Satan is delighted to have people think that there is an evil force in the universe that is perhaps equal to God himself.

    [3] “The Danger of Sola Scriptura” by Michael Patton Google it and you can read it

    [4] “The Doctrine of Divine Healing”, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, Duffield/ Van Cleave, LIFE Bible College. This section was too long to attach here.

    [5] ISBE- Gnosticism. I can’t present a link so you must google “International Standard Bible Encyclopedia – Gnosticism”

    [6] “The Doctrine of Angels”, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, Duffield/ Van Cleave, LIFE Bible College. This section was too long to attach here.

    [7] Martin Luther, Protestant Reformer,
    “Unless I am refuted and convicted by testimonies of the Scriptures or by clear arguments (since I believe neither the Pope nor the Councils alone; it being evident that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am conquered by the Holy Scriptures quoted by me, and my conscience is bound in the word of God: I can not and will not recant any thing, since it is unsafe and dangerous to do any thing against the conscience.”
    (Phillip Schaff, History of the Christian Church). For a more thorough history, read Luther’s Testimony at the Diet of Worms.
    you will have to google it or find it on Christian Classics Ethereal Library- I have a link but I can’t present it
    [8] Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with
    respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ! Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. He has not held fast to the head from whom the whole body, supported and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.
    If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are on human commands and teachings. Even though they have the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and false humility achieved by an unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence”
    [the characterizations employed in the war on pot are striking resemblance to the warnings in Col.2. "goes on about what he has seen... puffed up by a fleshly mind". The binge drinking phenomena we see in the just say no generation, as well as the licentious rebellion in the 60's, is evidences of the "fleshly indulgence", or antinomian development that springs from these ascetic teachings.]

    [9] Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology
    The Sufficiency of the Scripture
    #5. With regard to the Christian life, the sufficiency of the Scripture reminds us that nothing is sin that is not forbidden by scripture either explicitly or by implication. To walk in the law of the Lord is to be “blameless” (Ps. 119:1). Therefore we are not to add prohibitions to those already stated in scripture. From time to time there may be situations in which it would be wrong, for example, for an individual Christian to drink Coca-Cola, or to attend movie theaters, or to eat meat offered to idols (see 1 Cor. 8-10), but unless some specific teaching or some general principle of Scripture can be shown to prohibit these (or any other activities) for all believers for all time, we must insist that these activities are not in themselves sinful and they are not in all situations prohibited by God for his people.
    This also is an important principle because there is always the tendency among believers to begin to neglect the regular daily searching of Scripture for guidance and to begin to live by a set of written or unwritten rules (or denominational traditions) concerning what one does or does not do in the Christian life.
    Furthermore, whenever we add to the list of sins that are prohibited by Scripture itself, there will be harm to the church and to the lives of individual believers. The Holy Spirit will not empower obedience to rules that do not have God’s approval from Scripture, nor will believers generally find delight in obedience to commands that do not accord to the laws of God written in their hearts. In some cases, Christians may earnestly plead with God for “victory” over supposed sins that are in fact no sins at all, yet no “victory” will be given, for the attitude or action in question is in fact not a sin and is not displeasing to God. Great discouragement in prayer and frustration in the Christian life generally may be the outcome.
    In other cases, continued or even increasing disobedience to these new “sins” will result, together with a false sense of guilt and a resulting alienation from God. Often there arises an increasingly uncompromising and legalistic insistence on these new rules on the part of those who do follow them, and genuine fellowship among believers in the church will fade away. Evangelism will often be stifled. For the silent proclamation of the gospel that comes from the lives of the believers will at least seem (to outsiders) to include the additional requirement that one must fit this uniform pattern of life in order to become a member of the Body of Christ.

    [10] Chief points of gnosticism from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
    Chief Points in Gnosticism:
    The following may be regarded as the chief points in the characteristics of the Gnostic systems:
    (1). A claim on the part of the initiated to a special knowledge of the truth, a tendency to regard knowledge as superior to faith, and as the special possession of the more enlightened, for ordinary Christians did not possess this secret and higher doctrine.
    (2) The essential separation of matter and spirit, the former of these being essentially evil, and the source from which all evil has arisen.
    (3) An attempt at the solution of the problems of creation and of the origin of evil by the conception of a Demiurge, i.e. a Creator or Artificer of the world as distinct from the Supreme Deity, and also by means of emanations extending between God and the visible universe. It should be observed that this conception merely concealed the difficulties of the problem, and did not solve them.
    (4) A denial of the true humanity of Christ, a docetic Christology, (which looked upon the earthly life of Christ and especially on His sufferings on the cross as unreal.
    (5) The denial of the personality of the Supreme God, and the denial also of the free will of man.
    (6) The teaching, on the one hand, of asceticism as the means of attaining to spiritual communion with God, and, on the other hand, of an indifference which led directly to licentiousness.
    (7) A syncretistic tendency which combined certain more or less misunderstood Christian doctrines, various elements from oriental and Jewish and other sources.
    (8) The Scriptures of the Old Testament were ascribed to the Demiurge or inferior Creator of the world, who was the God of the Jews, but not the true God.
    Some of these characteristic ideas are more obvious in one, and some of them in others of the Gnostic systems.
    [The war on cannabis shares at least two of the the same qualities as a Gnosticism. (1 and 2). Statements such as "there is no way to teach this to you in a brief, " and, "everything is toxic, there is no harmless substances." etc.
    Other points are applicable, especially #6. But from those two statements alone, the Christian will point out that encouraging formalism and asceticism as the result of false teaching is traditionally known as the activities of demons; and the acknowledgment of liberty of conscience in a free moral agent is the formation of evangelical theology- for this very reason the Reformers left the Roman Catholic Church! (see Luther). ]

  • Stephen

    @ 56

    What if just switched what you said about tobacco with what you said about pot? Because tobacco and booze are legal it sends a message that these things are normal and acceptable. Are they? In what sense?

    “I don’t think that intoxication is necessarily sinful, but wise people are very careful about the circumstances under which they will become intoxicated, and many avoid it entirely. ”

    I think that is it exactly. Wise use of anything is what matters and what tODD was talking about. And without defining intoxication (and drunkenness for that matter) there is really no way to give it definitive “yes” or “no.”

    All things are good, but not all things are useful. There seem to be some uses for pot beyond escaping reality, including social bonding (I sound like anthropologist!) and help for people with cancer and AIDS. In Jamaica they make tea for babies that are teething. Not recommending it, just saying that it has been found to be useful.

    “Society is a better place when people aren’t smoking dope.”

    How would you ever know that? People do smoke it, and as you point out, the worst thing about it is probably how it feeds an enormous criminal enterprise. But then so did booze in the 1930s.

    Is it foolish? I think as long as it is illegal that’s true for pretty much everyone. I know for me it would be foolish even if it were legal for a whole lot of reasons. But then I don’t have AIDS or cancer. That could be a game-changer, don’t you think?

    Pot makes some people mellow and some people paranoid. Some people get really silly and stupid, some philosophical, and still others withdrawn. Some get “addicted” and can’t carry on without it, and others enjoy it once in a while but don’t pursue it. Booze makes people happy, belligerent, stupid, foul, easy going, funny, bold, cruel. And it causes a lot more highway deaths and ruined lives than pot ever did or will. It’s simply much more addictive and hard to quit. Same for tobacco, which is just simply deadly to those who smoke and obnoxious to those who don’t. So . . . ?

    Nothing particularly Christian about this ethical dilemma. Some people are wise and some are not. And some wise up and some never do.

  • Stephen

    @ 56

    What if just switched what you said about tobacco with what you said about pot? Because tobacco and booze are legal it sends a message that these things are normal and acceptable. Are they? In what sense?

    “I don’t think that intoxication is necessarily sinful, but wise people are very careful about the circumstances under which they will become intoxicated, and many avoid it entirely. ”

    I think that is it exactly. Wise use of anything is what matters and what tODD was talking about. And without defining intoxication (and drunkenness for that matter) there is really no way to give it definitive “yes” or “no.”

    All things are good, but not all things are useful. There seem to be some uses for pot beyond escaping reality, including social bonding (I sound like anthropologist!) and help for people with cancer and AIDS. In Jamaica they make tea for babies that are teething. Not recommending it, just saying that it has been found to be useful.

    “Society is a better place when people aren’t smoking dope.”

    How would you ever know that? People do smoke it, and as you point out, the worst thing about it is probably how it feeds an enormous criminal enterprise. But then so did booze in the 1930s.

    Is it foolish? I think as long as it is illegal that’s true for pretty much everyone. I know for me it would be foolish even if it were legal for a whole lot of reasons. But then I don’t have AIDS or cancer. That could be a game-changer, don’t you think?

    Pot makes some people mellow and some people paranoid. Some people get really silly and stupid, some philosophical, and still others withdrawn. Some get “addicted” and can’t carry on without it, and others enjoy it once in a while but don’t pursue it. Booze makes people happy, belligerent, stupid, foul, easy going, funny, bold, cruel. And it causes a lot more highway deaths and ruined lives than pot ever did or will. It’s simply much more addictive and hard to quit. Same for tobacco, which is just simply deadly to those who smoke and obnoxious to those who don’t. So . . . ?

    Nothing particularly Christian about this ethical dilemma. Some people are wise and some are not. And some wise up and some never do.

  • kerner

    Matthew:

    As I was saying. If we legalize, I mean REALLY legalize marijuana, we won’t be supporting Mexican cartels or outlaw farmers in national forrests. The Tobacco industry, or someone like them, will take over the marijuana business in very short order. Before long, the same people who are attacking the tobacco industry wil be attacking “Big Marijuana”, and for the same reasons. For example, New York City wil severely regulate and tax its use, and perhaps Mayor Bloomburg will decree that no one can purchase more than 16 oz. of it at a time.

    All those Humboldt County and East Kentucky farmers will have to get real jobs,.

  • kerner

    Matthew:

    As I was saying. If we legalize, I mean REALLY legalize marijuana, we won’t be supporting Mexican cartels or outlaw farmers in national forrests. The Tobacco industry, or someone like them, will take over the marijuana business in very short order. Before long, the same people who are attacking the tobacco industry wil be attacking “Big Marijuana”, and for the same reasons. For example, New York City wil severely regulate and tax its use, and perhaps Mayor Bloomburg will decree that no one can purchase more than 16 oz. of it at a time.

    All those Humboldt County and East Kentucky farmers will have to get real jobs,.

  • Grace

    Jeff,

    You’re mixed, matched and scrambled quotes have nothing to do with the drug problems we have faced in this country, and continued to observe right now.

    You’ve obviously never observed people who are stoned, unable to work, or drive a car. So high, they wield guns – many times after taking drugs, smoking dope, eating mushrooms, etc. – laying in beds within ER. Sometimes if a crime is suspected an officer sits or stands nearby. Then there is all the times when they don’t get to ER, and the crimes they committ are not caught, or their lives breath their last breath.

    Smoking dope is almost always the first step on the road to stronger drugs. All the quotes in your repertoire have nothing to do with the dangers, their actions which follow.

  • Grace

    Jeff,

    You’re mixed, matched and scrambled quotes have nothing to do with the drug problems we have faced in this country, and continued to observe right now.

    You’ve obviously never observed people who are stoned, unable to work, or drive a car. So high, they wield guns – many times after taking drugs, smoking dope, eating mushrooms, etc. – laying in beds within ER. Sometimes if a crime is suspected an officer sits or stands nearby. Then there is all the times when they don’t get to ER, and the crimes they committ are not caught, or their lives breath their last breath.

    Smoking dope is almost always the first step on the road to stronger drugs. All the quotes in your repertoire have nothing to do with the dangers, their actions which follow.

  • Matthew Jamison

    kerner,

    I’m agree with you 100% in that I’m open to the medical use of marijuana as long as it clears all the hurdles for safety and effectiveness that every other prescription medication has to. Opiates, for example, can be a great gift from God for people in pain but their production and use must be very carefully controlled.

    Jeff Lucas,

    Scripture neither allows nor forbids the use of marijuana, and neither do the church fathers as far as I know. But your long list of misquotations that apparently support the use of marijuana is evil. You know as well as anyone else that these are completely ripped out of context.

  • Matthew Jamison

    kerner,

    I’m agree with you 100% in that I’m open to the medical use of marijuana as long as it clears all the hurdles for safety and effectiveness that every other prescription medication has to. Opiates, for example, can be a great gift from God for people in pain but their production and use must be very carefully controlled.

    Jeff Lucas,

    Scripture neither allows nor forbids the use of marijuana, and neither do the church fathers as far as I know. But your long list of misquotations that apparently support the use of marijuana is evil. You know as well as anyone else that these are completely ripped out of context.

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace is like a walking parody of the classic, stereotypical anti-pot arguments–most of these arguments being completely spurious, of course (or spurious in many/most cases, anyway):

    Potheads as worthless human beings, too incompetent to hold a steady job? Check.

    People who smoke weed as violent criminals and/or dead? (Note that it’s physically impossible to overdose on marijuana.)

    Pot as an inevitable “gateway drug” to “harder” drugs like heroin and meth? Check.

    Please, share with us more cliches from ’80s PSAs, Grace!

    p.s.: I have friends who smoke pot regularly. I also have friends who have died from drug overdoses. I have family members who have been arrested and/or incarcerated for selling drugs and engaging in the sorts of crimes that usually go along with that. So, Grace, don’t act like my personal experience here is missing, as you are so often wont to do.

  • Cincinnatus

    Grace is like a walking parody of the classic, stereotypical anti-pot arguments–most of these arguments being completely spurious, of course (or spurious in many/most cases, anyway):

    Potheads as worthless human beings, too incompetent to hold a steady job? Check.

    People who smoke weed as violent criminals and/or dead? (Note that it’s physically impossible to overdose on marijuana.)

    Pot as an inevitable “gateway drug” to “harder” drugs like heroin and meth? Check.

    Please, share with us more cliches from ’80s PSAs, Grace!

    p.s.: I have friends who smoke pot regularly. I also have friends who have died from drug overdoses. I have family members who have been arrested and/or incarcerated for selling drugs and engaging in the sorts of crimes that usually go along with that. So, Grace, don’t act like my personal experience here is missing, as you are so often wont to do.

  • Cincinnatus

    Matthew@64:

    Sorry, I need to call you out on this one. It could be that Jeff’s quotes are “ripped out of context.” But simply asserting that they are doesn’t constitute proof of your charge. It’s incumbent upon you to demonstrate that the quotes are misstated, decontextualized, or otherwise misunderstood.

    Unfortunately, however, I fear that you might just be reacting in kneejerk fashion to Christian luminaries who contradict your prejudices and presuppositions: “But I like Chrysostom! How could he therefore challenge my political orthodoxy?”

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the Patristics, it’s that they were a fairly easy-going bunch when it came to matters of taste. They had important things like orthodox doctrine to worry about, not having the time to spare for petty legalistic questions like whether one should drink wine with dinner or smoke weed with friends on the porch.

  • Cincinnatus

    Matthew@64:

    Sorry, I need to call you out on this one. It could be that Jeff’s quotes are “ripped out of context.” But simply asserting that they are doesn’t constitute proof of your charge. It’s incumbent upon you to demonstrate that the quotes are misstated, decontextualized, or otherwise misunderstood.

    Unfortunately, however, I fear that you might just be reacting in kneejerk fashion to Christian luminaries who contradict your prejudices and presuppositions: “But I like Chrysostom! How could he therefore challenge my political orthodoxy?”

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the Patristics, it’s that they were a fairly easy-going bunch when it came to matters of taste. They had important things like orthodox doctrine to worry about, not having the time to spare for petty legalistic questions like whether one should drink wine with dinner or smoke weed with friends on the porch.

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @65

    “p.s.: I have friends who smoke pot regularly. I also have friends who have died from drug overdoses. I have family members who have been arrested and/or incarcerated for selling drugs and engaging in the sorts of crimes that usually go along with that. So, Grace, don’t act like my personal experience here is missing, as you are so often wont to do.

    Cincinnatus, don’t flatter yourself, you POOR guy – I didn’t single you out, nor have I read your posts. I rarely bother to read what you post most of the time, for obvious reasons. :lol:

  • Grace

    Cincinnatus @65

    “p.s.: I have friends who smoke pot regularly. I also have friends who have died from drug overdoses. I have family members who have been arrested and/or incarcerated for selling drugs and engaging in the sorts of crimes that usually go along with that. So, Grace, don’t act like my personal experience here is missing, as you are so often wont to do.

    Cincinnatus, don’t flatter yourself, you POOR guy – I didn’t single you out, nor have I read your posts. I rarely bother to read what you post most of the time, for obvious reasons. :lol:

  • Grace

    If marijuana is legalized, other drugs are not far behind.

    DEA
    DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION

    Crime, Violence, and Drug Use Go Hand-In-Hand

    If only marijuana, cocaine, and heroin were legalized, there would still be a market for PCP and methamphetamine. Where do legalizers want to draw the line? Or do they support legalizing all drugs, no matter how addictive and dangerous?

    • Proponents of legalization have many theories regarding the connection between drugs and violence. Some dispute the connection between drugs and violence, claiming that drug use is a victimless crime and users are putting only themselves in harm’s way and therefore have the right to use drugs. Other proponents of legalization contend that if drugs were legalized, crime and violence would decrease, believing that it is the illegal nature of drug production, trafficking, and use that fuels crime and violence, rather than the violent and irrational behavior that drugs themselves prompt.

    • Yet, under a legalization scenario, a black market for drugs would still exist. And it would be a vast black market. If drugs were legal for those over 18 or 21, there would be a market for everyone under that age. People under the age of 21 consume the majority of illegal drugs, and so an illegal market and organized crime to supply it would remain—along with the organized crime that profits from it. After Prohibition ended, did the organized crime in our country go down? No. It continues today in a variety of other criminal enterprises. Legalization would not put the cartels out of business; cartels would simply look to other illegal endeavors.

    • If only marijuana were legalized, drug traffickers would continue to traffic in heroin and cocaine. In either case, traffic-related violence would not be ended by legalization.

    If only marijuana, cocaine, and heroin were legalized, there would still be a market for PCP and methamphetamine. Where do legalizers want to draw the line? Or do they support legalizing all drugs, no matter how addictive and dangerous?

  • Grace

    If marijuana is legalized, other drugs are not far behind.

    DEA
    DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION

    Crime, Violence, and Drug Use Go Hand-In-Hand

    If only marijuana, cocaine, and heroin were legalized, there would still be a market for PCP and methamphetamine. Where do legalizers want to draw the line? Or do they support legalizing all drugs, no matter how addictive and dangerous?

    • Proponents of legalization have many theories regarding the connection between drugs and violence. Some dispute the connection between drugs and violence, claiming that drug use is a victimless crime and users are putting only themselves in harm’s way and therefore have the right to use drugs. Other proponents of legalization contend that if drugs were legalized, crime and violence would decrease, believing that it is the illegal nature of drug production, trafficking, and use that fuels crime and violence, rather than the violent and irrational behavior that drugs themselves prompt.

    • Yet, under a legalization scenario, a black market for drugs would still exist. And it would be a vast black market. If drugs were legal for those over 18 or 21, there would be a market for everyone under that age. People under the age of 21 consume the majority of illegal drugs, and so an illegal market and organized crime to supply it would remain—along with the organized crime that profits from it. After Prohibition ended, did the organized crime in our country go down? No. It continues today in a variety of other criminal enterprises. Legalization would not put the cartels out of business; cartels would simply look to other illegal endeavors.

    • If only marijuana were legalized, drug traffickers would continue to traffic in heroin and cocaine. In either case, traffic-related violence would not be ended by legalization.

    If only marijuana, cocaine, and heroin were legalized, there would still be a market for PCP and methamphetamine. Where do legalizers want to draw the line? Or do they support legalizing all drugs, no matter how addictive and dangerous?

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @Grace, you do realize that cocaine and heroin are already legal.

    @tODD, sorry was typing in a hurry, should be an inhibited state as in impaired ability to function.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    @Grace, you do realize that cocaine and heroin are already legal.

    @tODD, sorry was typing in a hurry, should be an inhibited state as in impaired ability to function.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, Veith said:

    Buying marijuana may well involve a person financially supporting the murderous drug cartels.

    Now that is a can of worms that most right-wing Christians I know would be (indeed, have been) very reluctant to open!

    When you make a purchase, are you responsible for everything done by the groups supported by your money?
    How about when you buy gasoline? Are you supporting all the spills? All the political oppression (up to and including murder) in countries that supply gasoline? Any other shady business that goes on in groups funded by oil companies?

    When you buy chocolate, are you intentionally supporting child slavery?

    I’m not opposed to this line of thinking, but I would like to see it applied evenly, and not just to, you know, bad things like marijuana.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, Veith said:

    Buying marijuana may well involve a person financially supporting the murderous drug cartels.

    Now that is a can of worms that most right-wing Christians I know would be (indeed, have been) very reluctant to open!

    When you make a purchase, are you responsible for everything done by the groups supported by your money?
    How about when you buy gasoline? Are you supporting all the spills? All the political oppression (up to and including murder) in countries that supply gasoline? Any other shady business that goes on in groups funded by oil companies?

    When you buy chocolate, are you intentionally supporting child slavery?

    I’m not opposed to this line of thinking, but I would like to see it applied evenly, and not just to, you know, bad things like marijuana.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I would think drug cartels would be more a reason for legalizing than for prohibiting, just as the mafia was a reason to legalize booze during the prohibition. Not all Marijuana comes from Drug cartels either. I hear it is fairly easy to grow in the back yard.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I would think drug cartels would be more a reason for legalizing than for prohibiting, just as the mafia was a reason to legalize booze during the prohibition. Not all Marijuana comes from Drug cartels either. I hear it is fairly easy to grow in the back yard.

  • Grace

    my, my – the contrary POOR lad, ‘looking for any little NITY PICK. Need attention? – the star is on his way!

  • Grace

    my, my – the contrary POOR lad, ‘looking for any little NITY PICK. Need attention? – the star is on his way!

  • Pete

    “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy”

    W.C. Fields (?) (Not sure they had frontal lobotomies in his day.)

  • Pete

    “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy”

    W.C. Fields (?) (Not sure they had frontal lobotomies in his day.)

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 68 – I find it shocking that the agency responsible for enforcing federal drug laws actually has such a negative stance against marijuana and other illicit substances. I wonder what drives their desire to keep marijuana illegal.

  • SKPeterson

    Grace @ 68 – I find it shocking that the agency responsible for enforcing federal drug laws actually has such a negative stance against marijuana and other illicit substances. I wonder what drives their desire to keep marijuana illegal.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matthew (@56):

    Intoxication is in no way difficult to define.

    And yet, here we are, still lacking a concrete definition from you (or anyone else). Isn’t that funny?

    I define it the same way the State Patrol does.

    Oh? And what is that, pray tell. Because you appear to be referring to the legal limits set on BAC when driving a vehicle. And, indeed, that is a reasonable definition for the limit at which one is able to operate heavy machinery with need of quick reaction times. But those definitions vary from state to state, of course.

    And, what’s more, the definition of intoxication in a more general sense — typically proscribed as “public intoxication” — is far more variable. In fact, in some states, it’s not even illegal. Whereas in other states, merely simulating intoxication in public is illegal. So what definition, again, are you working off of — when it comes to any drug?

    Marijuana and alcohol are intoxicants, tobacco and caffeine are not.

    Oh, is this science by fiat? That sounds fun.

    Our laws should discourage foolish behavior.

    Helloooo, nanny state! Can we ban poorly argued blog comments? What about silly clothes?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Matthew (@56):

    Intoxication is in no way difficult to define.

    And yet, here we are, still lacking a concrete definition from you (or anyone else). Isn’t that funny?

    I define it the same way the State Patrol does.

    Oh? And what is that, pray tell. Because you appear to be referring to the legal limits set on BAC when driving a vehicle. And, indeed, that is a reasonable definition for the limit at which one is able to operate heavy machinery with need of quick reaction times. But those definitions vary from state to state, of course.

    And, what’s more, the definition of intoxication in a more general sense — typically proscribed as “public intoxication” — is far more variable. In fact, in some states, it’s not even illegal. Whereas in other states, merely simulating intoxication in public is illegal. So what definition, again, are you working off of — when it comes to any drug?

    Marijuana and alcohol are intoxicants, tobacco and caffeine are not.

    Oh, is this science by fiat? That sounds fun.

    Our laws should discourage foolish behavior.

    Helloooo, nanny state! Can we ban poorly argued blog comments? What about silly clothes?

  • Grace

    SKP @74

    ASKS this QUESTION: I find it shocking that the agency responsible for enforcing federal drug laws actually has such a negative stance against marijuana and other illicit substances.
    I wonder what drives their desire to keep marijuana illegal.”

    If you don’t know the reason, I doubt anyone can help you.

    But of course you can also claim sarcasm, which ever, it’s lame!

  • Grace

    SKP @74

    ASKS this QUESTION: I find it shocking that the agency responsible for enforcing federal drug laws actually has such a negative stance against marijuana and other illicit substances.
    I wonder what drives their desire to keep marijuana illegal.”

    If you don’t know the reason, I doubt anyone can help you.

    But of course you can also claim sarcasm, which ever, it’s lame!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@62):

    All those Humboldt County and East Kentucky farmers will have to get real jobs.

    Actually, in a very real sense, this has already happened. Due to the prevalance of medical marijuana, industrial farmers are already muscling out tiny operations run by the counterculture of yore.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@62):

    All those Humboldt County and East Kentucky farmers will have to get real jobs.

    Actually, in a very real sense, this has already happened. Due to the prevalance of medical marijuana, industrial farmers are already muscling out tiny operations run by the counterculture of yore.

  • Joanne

    Make a quick PubMed search on marijuana. I think you’ll find several recent articles about the serious effects it can have on the young brain. Adult brains seem better organized to handle the effects of the drug. One article suggests it’s a gateway to schizophenia, for young people.

    I remember when LSD was primarily for entertainment. Some people made a trip from which they never returned. I haven’t noticed many LSD parlors around much anymore, but then, I don’t get out much.

  • Joanne

    Make a quick PubMed search on marijuana. I think you’ll find several recent articles about the serious effects it can have on the young brain. Adult brains seem better organized to handle the effects of the drug. One article suggests it’s a gateway to schizophenia, for young people.

    I remember when LSD was primarily for entertainment. Some people made a trip from which they never returned. I haven’t noticed many LSD parlors around much anymore, but then, I don’t get out much.

  • Grace

    Mechanisms of Disease: Drug Addiction

    The use of marijuana or hashish produces feelings of relaxation and well-being and impairs cognitive function and performance of psychomotor tasks. Overdose can induce panic attack and psychosis. A high incidence of cannabis consumption has been reported among patients with schizophrenia.

    New England Journal of Medicine September 4, 2003

  • Grace

    Mechanisms of Disease: Drug Addiction

    The use of marijuana or hashish produces feelings of relaxation and well-being and impairs cognitive function and performance of psychomotor tasks. Overdose can induce panic attack and psychosis. A high incidence of cannabis consumption has been reported among patients with schizophrenia.

    New England Journal of Medicine September 4, 2003

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    the quotations are real. the axioms of truth that I bring out applied consistently is a reality one cannot escape. These quotes are what Christians have said for the 1900 years they existed before prohibition. Even in mosaic law there was no prohibition on cannabis use. The idea that somehow cannabis is common or unclean is demonic in it’s nature. Nothing can be esteemed common or unclean without throwing a reproach upon the Creator

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    the quotations are real. the axioms of truth that I bring out applied consistently is a reality one cannot escape. These quotes are what Christians have said for the 1900 years they existed before prohibition. Even in mosaic law there was no prohibition on cannabis use. The idea that somehow cannabis is common or unclean is demonic in it’s nature. Nothing can be esteemed common or unclean without throwing a reproach upon the Creator

  • Grace

    Ole smokey,

    You might think that the hemp plant is part of our ancestral inheritance, but that doesn’t make it right, nor do the effects that are evident, when people smoke dope – your arguments smell like some of the stuff most of us smelled, and had nothing to do with, when we were younger.

  • Grace

    Ole smokey,

    You might think that the hemp plant is part of our ancestral inheritance, but that doesn’t make it right, nor do the effects that are evident, when people smoke dope – your arguments smell like some of the stuff most of us smelled, and had nothing to do with, when we were younger.

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    if you knew your Christian history, and studied Christian theology, and your heart was open to instruction and correction from the Word of God, you woul dnot command people to abstain from pot. You woul dknow that it is not what goes in the mouth that defiles a man, it’s what comes out of it, because what comes out of it comes from the heart

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    if you knew your Christian history, and studied Christian theology, and your heart was open to instruction and correction from the Word of God, you woul dnot command people to abstain from pot. You woul dknow that it is not what goes in the mouth that defiles a man, it’s what comes out of it, because what comes out of it comes from the heart

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    [9] Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology
    The Sufficiency of the Scripture
    #5. With regard to the Christian life, the sufficiency of the Scripture reminds us that nothing is sin that is not forbidden by scripture either explicitly or by implication. To walk in the law of the Lord is to be “blameless” (Ps. 119:1). Therefore we are not to add prohibitions to those already stated in scripture. From time to time there may be situations in which it would be wrong, for example, for an individual Christian to drink Coca-Cola, or to attend movie theaters, or to eat meat offered to idols (see 1 Cor. 8-10), but unless some specific teaching or some general principle of Scripture can be shown to prohibit these (or any other activities) for all believers for all time, we must insist that these activities are not in themselves sinful and they are not in all situations prohibited by God for his people.
    This also is an important principle because there is always the tendency among believers to begin to neglect the regular daily searching of Scripture for guidance and to begin to live by a set of written or unwritten rules (or denominational traditions) concerning what one does or does not do in the Christian life.
    Furthermore, whenever we add to the list of sins that are prohibited by Scripture itself, there will be harm to the church and to the lives of individual believers. The Holy Spirit will not empower obedience to rules that do not have God’s approval from Scripture, nor will believers generally find delight in obedience to commands that do not accord to the laws of God written in their hearts. In some cases, Christians may earnestly plead with God for “victory” over supposed sins that are in fact no sins at all, yet no “victory” will be given, for the attitude or action in question is in fact not a sin and is not displeasing to God. Great discouragement in prayer and frustration in the Christian life generally may be the outcome.
    In other cases, continued or even increasing disobedience to these new “sins” will result, together with a false sense of guilt and a resulting alienation from God. Often there arises an increasingly uncompromising and legalistic insistence on these new rules on the part of those who do follow them, and genuine fellowship among believers in the church will fade away. Evangelism will often be stifled. For the silent proclamation of the gospel that comes from the lives of the believers will at least seem (to outsiders) to include the additional requirement that one must fit this uniform pattern of life in order to become a member of the Body of Christ.

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    [9] Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology
    The Sufficiency of the Scripture
    #5. With regard to the Christian life, the sufficiency of the Scripture reminds us that nothing is sin that is not forbidden by scripture either explicitly or by implication. To walk in the law of the Lord is to be “blameless” (Ps. 119:1). Therefore we are not to add prohibitions to those already stated in scripture. From time to time there may be situations in which it would be wrong, for example, for an individual Christian to drink Coca-Cola, or to attend movie theaters, or to eat meat offered to idols (see 1 Cor. 8-10), but unless some specific teaching or some general principle of Scripture can be shown to prohibit these (or any other activities) for all believers for all time, we must insist that these activities are not in themselves sinful and they are not in all situations prohibited by God for his people.
    This also is an important principle because there is always the tendency among believers to begin to neglect the regular daily searching of Scripture for guidance and to begin to live by a set of written or unwritten rules (or denominational traditions) concerning what one does or does not do in the Christian life.
    Furthermore, whenever we add to the list of sins that are prohibited by Scripture itself, there will be harm to the church and to the lives of individual believers. The Holy Spirit will not empower obedience to rules that do not have God’s approval from Scripture, nor will believers generally find delight in obedience to commands that do not accord to the laws of God written in their hearts. In some cases, Christians may earnestly plead with God for “victory” over supposed sins that are in fact no sins at all, yet no “victory” will be given, for the attitude or action in question is in fact not a sin and is not displeasing to God. Great discouragement in prayer and frustration in the Christian life generally may be the outcome.
    In other cases, continued or even increasing disobedience to these new “sins” will result, together with a false sense of guilt and a resulting alienation from God. Often there arises an increasingly uncompromising and legalistic insistence on these new rules on the part of those who do follow them, and genuine fellowship among believers in the church will fade away. Evangelism will often be stifled. For the silent proclamation of the gospel that comes from the lives of the believers will at least seem (to outsiders) to include the additional requirement that one must fit this uniform pattern of life in order to become a member of the Body of Christ.

  • Grace

    OH MY – the smoke got em!

  • Grace

    OH MY – the smoke got em!

  • Patrick kyle

    tODD@78

    From what I understand, the ‘farmers’ in CA are doing very well for themselves while at the same time taking a huge bite out of the Mexican Cartel’s marijuana profits.

    Can someone tell me if Grace is for real. She seems like an overblown caricature fronted by some troll to stir things up.

  • Patrick kyle

    tODD@78

    From what I understand, the ‘farmers’ in CA are doing very well for themselves while at the same time taking a huge bite out of the Mexican Cartel’s marijuana profits.

    Can someone tell me if Grace is for real. She seems like an overblown caricature fronted by some troll to stir things up.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Patrick (@86), depends on what you mean by “the ‘farmers’ in CA”. Is domestic production increasing? Sure. But it’s largely more industrial-scale, at the expense of the little guys who used to grow the stuff in previous decades.

    I base this in part on what I’ve read from Super-Charged: How Outlaws, Hippies, and Scientists Reinvented Marijuana. Which, full disclosure, is published by my employer.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Patrick (@86), depends on what you mean by “the ‘farmers’ in CA”. Is domestic production increasing? Sure. But it’s largely more industrial-scale, at the expense of the little guys who used to grow the stuff in previous decades.

    I base this in part on what I’ve read from Super-Charged: How Outlaws, Hippies, and Scientists Reinvented Marijuana. Which, full disclosure, is published by my employer.

  • JonathanH

    Let me tell you about my life experiences…

    I am currently a freshman at Purdue University, finishing up the semester in a couple days. Right off the bat my impression of smokers plummeted when my random roommate turned out to be a heavy user of marijuana, alcohol, regular cigarettes, and (less often) other assorted drugs (like Adderall). We don’t exactly talk much. But he and the guys he hangs out with all smoke a ton and whenever they’re in the room it smells horrible. What’s really helped with my roommate situation is the fact that I ended up hanging out with my dorm neighbor (literally next door) most of the time. And he also turns out to be a proficient smoker, except he only does hookah and I guess anything else tobacco that isn’t cigarettes. And I can say that still hate the habit of smoking even while I have a best friend who smokes and people I can’t stand who smoke. I just don’t understand why anyone would want to get into the habit. Even if it isn’t necessarily “addictive”, from my experience, it’s still definitely something that the person puts a high priority on. I also get the impression that smokers would rather hang out with other smokers over non-smokers.

    Whenever the topic of morality comes up over marijuana or alcohol, I don’t even bother thinking about it, I just don’t like it and I wish it would go away.

    Of course this is an extreme thing to say apparently, but throughout my lifetime I continually get the reaffirmation that the only way to enjoy life is to dabble in a little alcohol and marijuana/tobacco/related thing.

    Is this true? My sister was one of those rare few who did not drink (I assume based on what she’s said, and I believe her) until she was 21, and now that she is 21, it’s like you can’t have a good time without alcohol. I’ve noticed that she now places a much higher priority on “going out”. And she doesn’t even drink that much. It’s just that it seemed to be such a huge life event for her.

    I’m by no means vocal about not drinking/smoking (marijuana or otherwise), but I’m severely bothered by the way most people regard anything mind altering. Heck, I feel like I listen to music too much because I almost always do so before I fall asleep. I think it does provide a kind of relief in the same way that my friend feels the need to go smoke before we play a match of Halo (video game in case you didn’t know).

    It is my opinion that no one needs any of these drugs unless they’re used for medicinal purposes. Why can’t the company of other human beings be sufficient? Another thing I’ve noticed is that people who smoke often get quite indignant if someone makes any kind of suggestion that they don’t like smoking.

    So YES, fine, smoke all the weed you want, but I will never find any good in it (other than med. purposes). I do not want to join in either, no matter how awesome it is.

    To address some things said above: I certainly know that these substances are not inherently bad or toxic or whatever. There are a lot of uses for them. I know firsthand the power and benefit of drugs when used to treat serious mental illness. That is wonderful. It is an effort to normalize already corrupted states of mind/body.

    But for an already normal mind/body? I can’t think of a worse way to use these otherwise beneficial substances than to give yourself a little buzz for no reason at all.

    What will I do when I’m 21? I probably will drink. Nowadays you’re required to right? Or else you’re a damned legalist? I know I’m being overly harsh; I really don’t have any problem at all with people who drink a little. It’s just I have a huge fear of losing control. Again, firsthand experience. As a naive college student I am shocked by the way that some people consider blacking out FUN (Can anybody say “what the fuck???”). Please continue to enjoy your drinks, but I am just a little sensitive to the ATTITUDES people have towards it. Nonchalance, when widespread, scares me. Part of the reason I have not tried any form of smoking or drinking is because I know that I will probably enjoy it in some way. But to what end? So that I can enjoy myself MORE than normal? Ok, but what’s the point if I was already enjoying myself in the company of my friends/family?

    If anyone managed to read to the bottom of this, feel free to respond directly (to anything or all) so that I can make more concise/coherent statements.

  • JonathanH

    Let me tell you about my life experiences…

    I am currently a freshman at Purdue University, finishing up the semester in a couple days. Right off the bat my impression of smokers plummeted when my random roommate turned out to be a heavy user of marijuana, alcohol, regular cigarettes, and (less often) other assorted drugs (like Adderall). We don’t exactly talk much. But he and the guys he hangs out with all smoke a ton and whenever they’re in the room it smells horrible. What’s really helped with my roommate situation is the fact that I ended up hanging out with my dorm neighbor (literally next door) most of the time. And he also turns out to be a proficient smoker, except he only does hookah and I guess anything else tobacco that isn’t cigarettes. And I can say that still hate the habit of smoking even while I have a best friend who smokes and people I can’t stand who smoke. I just don’t understand why anyone would want to get into the habit. Even if it isn’t necessarily “addictive”, from my experience, it’s still definitely something that the person puts a high priority on. I also get the impression that smokers would rather hang out with other smokers over non-smokers.

    Whenever the topic of morality comes up over marijuana or alcohol, I don’t even bother thinking about it, I just don’t like it and I wish it would go away.

    Of course this is an extreme thing to say apparently, but throughout my lifetime I continually get the reaffirmation that the only way to enjoy life is to dabble in a little alcohol and marijuana/tobacco/related thing.

    Is this true? My sister was one of those rare few who did not drink (I assume based on what she’s said, and I believe her) until she was 21, and now that she is 21, it’s like you can’t have a good time without alcohol. I’ve noticed that she now places a much higher priority on “going out”. And she doesn’t even drink that much. It’s just that it seemed to be such a huge life event for her.

    I’m by no means vocal about not drinking/smoking (marijuana or otherwise), but I’m severely bothered by the way most people regard anything mind altering. Heck, I feel like I listen to music too much because I almost always do so before I fall asleep. I think it does provide a kind of relief in the same way that my friend feels the need to go smoke before we play a match of Halo (video game in case you didn’t know).

    It is my opinion that no one needs any of these drugs unless they’re used for medicinal purposes. Why can’t the company of other human beings be sufficient? Another thing I’ve noticed is that people who smoke often get quite indignant if someone makes any kind of suggestion that they don’t like smoking.

    So YES, fine, smoke all the weed you want, but I will never find any good in it (other than med. purposes). I do not want to join in either, no matter how awesome it is.

    To address some things said above: I certainly know that these substances are not inherently bad or toxic or whatever. There are a lot of uses for them. I know firsthand the power and benefit of drugs when used to treat serious mental illness. That is wonderful. It is an effort to normalize already corrupted states of mind/body.

    But for an already normal mind/body? I can’t think of a worse way to use these otherwise beneficial substances than to give yourself a little buzz for no reason at all.

    What will I do when I’m 21? I probably will drink. Nowadays you’re required to right? Or else you’re a damned legalist? I know I’m being overly harsh; I really don’t have any problem at all with people who drink a little. It’s just I have a huge fear of losing control. Again, firsthand experience. As a naive college student I am shocked by the way that some people consider blacking out FUN (Can anybody say “what the fuck???”). Please continue to enjoy your drinks, but I am just a little sensitive to the ATTITUDES people have towards it. Nonchalance, when widespread, scares me. Part of the reason I have not tried any form of smoking or drinking is because I know that I will probably enjoy it in some way. But to what end? So that I can enjoy myself MORE than normal? Ok, but what’s the point if I was already enjoying myself in the company of my friends/family?

    If anyone managed to read to the bottom of this, feel free to respond directly (to anything or all) so that I can make more concise/coherent statements.

  • kerner

    Jonathan H:

    Kid, you’re making me very glad I’m no longer in school. Good luck to you though. Life will be where God and your sense of vocation take it. Eventually you will be able to screen out many of the random a$$holes , (at lest from your inner circle) but some will always be with you.

    P.S. I knew what “Halo” is. I’v even played it (badly).

    tODD:

    I am glad to see some confirmation of what I have predicting for a long time. If marijuana becomes really legal, the people who make money off ot will be the same ones who make money from all legal recreational substances. And the liberals won’t like them…and they will cease to like marijuana just as they stopped liking tobacco. In the 1970′s ALL liberals smoked tobacco. There was at least one brand of cigarettes that marketed itself as being a feminist statement to be smoking that brand. 40 years later they all claim to be against it.

    But believe me, if marijuana becomes legal it will be the threat of private litigation, not prohibition, that scales back smoking in the USA. The trial lawyers will fund enough research projects that will discover and or confirm links to schizophrenia, and various lung ailments, and whatever, and they will make a bundle. And there will be restrictions and high taxes, etc.

    But, probably like tobacco, the big producers will export a lot of it to places nobody cares about, and the profits will keep rolling in. Why wouldn’t we trade the problems we have with prohibition now for the rosy future we will have if we legalize this wonderful stuff?

  • kerner

    Jonathan H:

    Kid, you’re making me very glad I’m no longer in school. Good luck to you though. Life will be where God and your sense of vocation take it. Eventually you will be able to screen out many of the random a$$holes , (at lest from your inner circle) but some will always be with you.

    P.S. I knew what “Halo” is. I’v even played it (badly).

    tODD:

    I am glad to see some confirmation of what I have predicting for a long time. If marijuana becomes really legal, the people who make money off ot will be the same ones who make money from all legal recreational substances. And the liberals won’t like them…and they will cease to like marijuana just as they stopped liking tobacco. In the 1970′s ALL liberals smoked tobacco. There was at least one brand of cigarettes that marketed itself as being a feminist statement to be smoking that brand. 40 years later they all claim to be against it.

    But believe me, if marijuana becomes legal it will be the threat of private litigation, not prohibition, that scales back smoking in the USA. The trial lawyers will fund enough research projects that will discover and or confirm links to schizophrenia, and various lung ailments, and whatever, and they will make a bundle. And there will be restrictions and high taxes, etc.

    But, probably like tobacco, the big producers will export a lot of it to places nobody cares about, and the profits will keep rolling in. Why wouldn’t we trade the problems we have with prohibition now for the rosy future we will have if we legalize this wonderful stuff?

  • Abby

    I recently tore a muscle in my shoulder. The pain was very bad. I was moaning to the therapist about the fact that I had done it myself and now had to go through all this. He said, “Well, it gives me a job.”

    This will be good — and /or bad — for the Mental Health Care field. Many mental health patients are drug users. The first point of care is to get the patient to get rid of the illegal drugs they are using. Including marijuana. In order to be treated with anti-psychotic medication there can be no marijuana use. The drugs will not mix. In this state it became recently legal for medicinal use. So, the patients with a “medical marijuana” use card do not return for mental health care because they have to give up marijuana use in order to be treated with anti-psychotic medication.

    Of course we’re free to damage our brains, liver, lungs, heart, . . . etc . . . all we want. People do it all the time, legal or not. It becomes a huge detrimental factor both for families — who will try to help a loved one — and society.

    Instead of people looking for God, they run from Him to all these other things. So the government steps in and says, don’t worry, I’ll take care of you. I will be your God.

    We as a church just need to continue — and continue stronger — to do our job of baptizing and teaching. And when, and if the prodigal comes home, to welcome and forgive.

  • Abby

    I recently tore a muscle in my shoulder. The pain was very bad. I was moaning to the therapist about the fact that I had done it myself and now had to go through all this. He said, “Well, it gives me a job.”

    This will be good — and /or bad — for the Mental Health Care field. Many mental health patients are drug users. The first point of care is to get the patient to get rid of the illegal drugs they are using. Including marijuana. In order to be treated with anti-psychotic medication there can be no marijuana use. The drugs will not mix. In this state it became recently legal for medicinal use. So, the patients with a “medical marijuana” use card do not return for mental health care because they have to give up marijuana use in order to be treated with anti-psychotic medication.

    Of course we’re free to damage our brains, liver, lungs, heart, . . . etc . . . all we want. People do it all the time, legal or not. It becomes a huge detrimental factor both for families — who will try to help a loved one — and society.

    Instead of people looking for God, they run from Him to all these other things. So the government steps in and says, don’t worry, I’ll take care of you. I will be your God.

    We as a church just need to continue — and continue stronger — to do our job of baptizing and teaching. And when, and if the prodigal comes home, to welcome and forgive.

  • Abby

    I forgot to answer the question: “Should Christians use it?”

    Well, abortion is legal, same-sex marriage may soon be legal, after that polygamy may become legal, alcohol is legal, divorce is legal, . . . etc.

    So are we “legally” able to indulge “moderately?” (I do drink wine occasionally.) In fact, there is a certain sex act that is actually encouraged as “healthy” by the medical field!

    How do you “moderately” get a divorce. Or marry someone of your own sex. Or marry 2 or 3 or a 1000 people. Or kill a baby just conceived.

    Our bodies are the temple where God lives.

    We all sin in thought, word, and deed everyday. When we repent, He forgives, everyday. It’s not a good thing to see how far or how much we can sin and get away with it.

  • Abby

    I forgot to answer the question: “Should Christians use it?”

    Well, abortion is legal, same-sex marriage may soon be legal, after that polygamy may become legal, alcohol is legal, divorce is legal, . . . etc.

    So are we “legally” able to indulge “moderately?” (I do drink wine occasionally.) In fact, there is a certain sex act that is actually encouraged as “healthy” by the medical field!

    How do you “moderately” get a divorce. Or marry someone of your own sex. Or marry 2 or 3 or a 1000 people. Or kill a baby just conceived.

    Our bodies are the temple where God lives.

    We all sin in thought, word, and deed everyday. When we repent, He forgives, everyday. It’s not a good thing to see how far or how much we can sin and get away with it.

  • Abby

    “Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include:
    *Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — this can be daily or even several times a day
    *Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
    *Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug
    * Spending money on the drug, even though you can’t afford it
    *Doing things to obtain the drug that you normally wouldn’t do, such as stealing
    *Feeling that you need the drug to deal with your problems
    *Driving or doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence of the drug
    *Focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug”

    “Marijuana and hashish–
    It’s possible to develop a psychological addiction to cannabis compounds including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana and hashish. People who have a marijuana addiction generally use the drug on a daily basis. They don’t actually have a chemical dependence on the drug but rather feel the need to regularly use the drug.

    Signs of use and dependence can include:
    *A heightened sense of visual, auditory and taste perception
    *Poor memory
    *Increased blood pressure and heart rate
    *Red eyes
    *Decreased coordination
    *Difficulty concentrating
    *Increased appetite
    *Slowed reaction time
    *Paranoid thinking”

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-addiction/DS00183/DSECTION=symptoms

    Great, just what we need more of: “paranoid thinking.”

    So if it is legal — there can be no more drug testing on the job or being fired for using while working?

  • Abby

    “Drug addiction symptoms or behaviors include:
    *Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — this can be daily or even several times a day
    *Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
    *Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug
    * Spending money on the drug, even though you can’t afford it
    *Doing things to obtain the drug that you normally wouldn’t do, such as stealing
    *Feeling that you need the drug to deal with your problems
    *Driving or doing other risky activities when you’re under the influence of the drug
    *Focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug”

    “Marijuana and hashish–
    It’s possible to develop a psychological addiction to cannabis compounds including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana and hashish. People who have a marijuana addiction generally use the drug on a daily basis. They don’t actually have a chemical dependence on the drug but rather feel the need to regularly use the drug.

    Signs of use and dependence can include:
    *A heightened sense of visual, auditory and taste perception
    *Poor memory
    *Increased blood pressure and heart rate
    *Red eyes
    *Decreased coordination
    *Difficulty concentrating
    *Increased appetite
    *Slowed reaction time
    *Paranoid thinking”

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-addiction/DS00183/DSECTION=symptoms

    Great, just what we need more of: “paranoid thinking.”

    So if it is legal — there can be no more drug testing on the job or being fired for using while working?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@89), I realize this is a pet argument of yours, but I don’t really get your animus here. No one’s saying — okay, I’m certainly not arguing — that there would be no bad or less-desirable outcomes as a result of legalization. I mean, there are any number of problems one can point to that have resulted from the legalization of alcohol.

    So sure, trial lawyers will be trial lawyers. Okay. And corporations will move to where the money is. Fine. And…?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@89), I realize this is a pet argument of yours, but I don’t really get your animus here. No one’s saying — okay, I’m certainly not arguing — that there would be no bad or less-desirable outcomes as a result of legalization. I mean, there are any number of problems one can point to that have resulted from the legalization of alcohol.

    So sure, trial lawyers will be trial lawyers. Okay. And corporations will move to where the money is. Fine. And…?

  • Cincinnatus

    tOD@93:

    And, to extend your question a bit, since when is a murderous cartel preferable to Phillip-Morris?

    I mean, I’m as anti-big-corporation as the next paleoconservative, but at least Big Tobacco/MJ isn’t going to murder my kids if they were to start smoking and fail to pay up.

  • Cincinnatus

    tOD@93:

    And, to extend your question a bit, since when is a murderous cartel preferable to Phillip-Morris?

    I mean, I’m as anti-big-corporation as the next paleoconservative, but at least Big Tobacco/MJ isn’t going to murder my kids if they were to start smoking and fail to pay up.

  • Cincinnatus

    Put otherwise, America learned in about a decade that accepting the myriad problems attendant to legalized alcohol was far preferable to losing control of Chicago and Appalachia (among other locales) to violent, lawless gangsters and moonshiners.

    At least some semblance of law and order is possible in the former scenario–or, barring that, it’s better to be able to see the devil and know his tactics.

  • Cincinnatus

    Put otherwise, America learned in about a decade that accepting the myriad problems attendant to legalized alcohol was far preferable to losing control of Chicago and Appalachia (among other locales) to violent, lawless gangsters and moonshiners.

    At least some semblance of law and order is possible in the former scenario–or, barring that, it’s better to be able to see the devil and know his tactics.

  • Stephen K

    “Mark Driscoll, a cutting-edged Reformed pastor” This guy is nothing but a power monger, ego driven clown. I am amazed that anyone takes him seriously.

    Of course McCain see this as cut and dry. Just like I see his guns with reformation quotes engraved on them as cut and dry stupid and distasteful. I am sure that those guns help sanctify him however. He is the most sanctified person on this planet you know.
    If God made the plant isn’t it a sin not to use it? Just wondering?

  • Stephen K

    “Mark Driscoll, a cutting-edged Reformed pastor” This guy is nothing but a power monger, ego driven clown. I am amazed that anyone takes him seriously.

    Of course McCain see this as cut and dry. Just like I see his guns with reformation quotes engraved on them as cut and dry stupid and distasteful. I am sure that those guns help sanctify him however. He is the most sanctified person on this planet you know.
    If God made the plant isn’t it a sin not to use it? Just wondering?

  • kerner

    tODD and Cinn:

    I guess I don’t have much of an animus, and I don’t know that this is a true argument in the sense that I have made up my mind as to what should be done, because I really don’t know. I just want it to be clear where we are going if we continue in this direction.

    Maybe Cinn is right. The problems and societal costs we will get when marijuana is marketed by Philip-Morris may be preferable to the problems and societal costs we have now. And letting people do what they want to themselves seems more consistent with libertarian principles.

    I guess I just want the NORML crowd to be aware of what they are letting themselves (and the rest of us) in for. Maybe if they were more aware of that, they would be less enthusiastic about their goals.

  • kerner

    tODD and Cinn:

    I guess I don’t have much of an animus, and I don’t know that this is a true argument in the sense that I have made up my mind as to what should be done, because I really don’t know. I just want it to be clear where we are going if we continue in this direction.

    Maybe Cinn is right. The problems and societal costs we will get when marijuana is marketed by Philip-Morris may be preferable to the problems and societal costs we have now. And letting people do what they want to themselves seems more consistent with libertarian principles.

    I guess I just want the NORML crowd to be aware of what they are letting themselves (and the rest of us) in for. Maybe if they were more aware of that, they would be less enthusiastic about their goals.

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner@97:

    Your concerns are reasonable, of course. I’m not a pothead, nor am I a vociferous advocate of legalization. I do endorse it, but it’s not high on my list of salient issues.

    That said, it’s an imperfect world, as you are correct to recognize. Legalizing pot (or any other currently illicit substances) isn’t going to usher in the New Jerusalem. In fact, it is likely to induce a host of its own problems, many of them likely unintended and unanticipated. But politics is a game of approximation, seeking the better and not the best. Overall, I think the costs and benefits of legalization outweigh the increasing costs and ambiguous benefits of prohibition.

    Think about it: who benefits from prohibition? The cartels, certainly. The law enforcement agencies. The arms dealers and drug dealers. And who does it cost? Considering that pot in particular isn’t really dangerous when compared with a number of legal substances, taxpayers bear a fiscal burden with dubious benefits. And in most places, it’s really easy to obtain as much marijuana as one’s heart desires without legal repercussions. Indeed, who among us doesn’t know someone who smokes (or did smoke) weed with no legal penalties?

  • Cincinnatus

    kerner@97:

    Your concerns are reasonable, of course. I’m not a pothead, nor am I a vociferous advocate of legalization. I do endorse it, but it’s not high on my list of salient issues.

    That said, it’s an imperfect world, as you are correct to recognize. Legalizing pot (or any other currently illicit substances) isn’t going to usher in the New Jerusalem. In fact, it is likely to induce a host of its own problems, many of them likely unintended and unanticipated. But politics is a game of approximation, seeking the better and not the best. Overall, I think the costs and benefits of legalization outweigh the increasing costs and ambiguous benefits of prohibition.

    Think about it: who benefits from prohibition? The cartels, certainly. The law enforcement agencies. The arms dealers and drug dealers. And who does it cost? Considering that pot in particular isn’t really dangerous when compared with a number of legal substances, taxpayers bear a fiscal burden with dubious benefits. And in most places, it’s really easy to obtain as much marijuana as one’s heart desires without legal repercussions. Indeed, who among us doesn’t know someone who smokes (or did smoke) weed with no legal penalties?

  • Stephen

    Kerner,

    I think if I dug around a little I could find spots where you advocated for making the black market legal for the kinds of reasons Cinn is talking about. I think it was in regards to immigration labor. What say ye?

    Can we just admit that people who smoke weed tend to be liberals and we don’t like that type so we’d rather not see them “win?” The fact is pot is generally a great deal less harmful than booze. I worked in the wine business for a few years, and while I have a high regard for winemakers and grape growers, some of whom are real craftsman and artists, the business (like the art business I guess) is full of unsavory characters and debauchery. But it’s not near as bad as cartels cutting off heads so Americans can get stoned.

  • Stephen

    Kerner,

    I think if I dug around a little I could find spots where you advocated for making the black market legal for the kinds of reasons Cinn is talking about. I think it was in regards to immigration labor. What say ye?

    Can we just admit that people who smoke weed tend to be liberals and we don’t like that type so we’d rather not see them “win?” The fact is pot is generally a great deal less harmful than booze. I worked in the wine business for a few years, and while I have a high regard for winemakers and grape growers, some of whom are real craftsman and artists, the business (like the art business I guess) is full of unsavory characters and debauchery. But it’s not near as bad as cartels cutting off heads so Americans can get stoned.

  • larry

    Patrick,

    “Can someone tell me if Grace is for real. She seems like an overblown caricature fronted by some troll to stir things up.”

    I nearly blew my beer out of my nose laughing at this one. Good one. I think she’s for real but pitting her against a hippy is as nearly funny and reminiscent as the “All In The Family Show”, and I include her “old smokey” comments. Man this is better than any comedy I’ve watched…I mean that…that’s not a back handed compliment or side ways “jab”.

  • larry

    Patrick,

    “Can someone tell me if Grace is for real. She seems like an overblown caricature fronted by some troll to stir things up.”

    I nearly blew my beer out of my nose laughing at this one. Good one. I think she’s for real but pitting her against a hippy is as nearly funny and reminiscent as the “All In The Family Show”, and I include her “old smokey” comments. Man this is better than any comedy I’ve watched…I mean that…that’s not a back handed compliment or side ways “jab”.

  • Joanne

    When people ask me what did I do back in the 60s, assuming I was into the seen as most were, I joke and tell them I was at a small religious school in Kansas; we didn’t have the 60s there. I did high school and college in the 60s, the worst of times, but in the best of places. Now there were stinky students that were suspected, but left alone if never caught. At the end of my Junior year of high school, their was a big party, very hush hush with beer. But, so hush hush that I didn’t know about it, and I had always told my friends and roommates that if they ever decided to do something that would get them kicked out of school, I don’t even want to know about it. I was insulted on the few occassions if I was with friends and we were encouraged to come to a party that included alcohol. I just supposed they didn’t notice that “straight arrow” was in the group.

    But, I truely didn’t know about this very big party, but somebody snitched, not me, not the code of dormlife. The next day, 2 weeks before graduation day, the lists were posted outside the president’s office of all the students who would not be attending their graduation day, and all the rest that would also be headed home by that afternoon.

    Both of my 2 roommates were gone in hours as soon as the right bus headed through town. To my greatest pleasure, some of my favorite people and my favorite boyfriend were not on the list. It was a graduation day with a pall over it. Fortunately I wasn’t there to see it. Oh, dancing wasn’t allowed either, but it wan’t a big enough offence to get sent home. Hiding a car in town, a send home offence. No cars allowed.

    From this and many other experiences I’ve learned that you want to draw the line in the sand about a mile back from the cliff. Then you argue and fight over such silly stuff, or minor stuff, you never get near any cliffs. The restriction may have no religious or legal problems, but administrators have to draw lines, and wise ones who can draw them far from real danger.

    Another experience. Many years later and an adult boyfriend, he and all who knew him, knew that his wealthy parents had sent him to Princeton in the early 70s. Whenever, I’d bring up the place figuring there must be fascinating storing about studying medieval English and Chaucer at Princeton, he would shake off the questions. I began to doub he’d ever been there. But, people who knew the family swear, he went, but came home after his B.A. He wanted to write and take pictures.

    Y’all know I’m a history reader and at that time, Barbara Tuchman’s “A distant mirror : the calamitous 14th century” came out. Well, that was Chaucer’s century and Ms. Tuchman explained his career as an English diplomat, especially in Italy, in great detail. She didn’t cover his writings at all. So I mentioned to my boyfriend how much I had learned about Chaucer’s life from the book. Not interested. “But, he was so much more than just a writer…”

    Finaly he told me to shup up about it; he didn’t remember college. All he remembers was drugs and alcohol. I didn’t buy it, still don’t know if I do, but there was a big black hole in his head that had anything to do with college and Chaucer. If he had just taken his parent’s money each semester, lived in the woods and smoked dope and other hallucinogens for 4 years and came home with a fake diploma, I’d believe that faster. But, if drugs can take out your whole college experience (at Princeton), then that was a big damn shame. A waste of money and a waste of brain. But, LSD was the only drug I knew of that could do major stuff like that.

    :

  • Joanne

    When people ask me what did I do back in the 60s, assuming I was into the seen as most were, I joke and tell them I was at a small religious school in Kansas; we didn’t have the 60s there. I did high school and college in the 60s, the worst of times, but in the best of places. Now there were stinky students that were suspected, but left alone if never caught. At the end of my Junior year of high school, their was a big party, very hush hush with beer. But, so hush hush that I didn’t know about it, and I had always told my friends and roommates that if they ever decided to do something that would get them kicked out of school, I don’t even want to know about it. I was insulted on the few occassions if I was with friends and we were encouraged to come to a party that included alcohol. I just supposed they didn’t notice that “straight arrow” was in the group.

    But, I truely didn’t know about this very big party, but somebody snitched, not me, not the code of dormlife. The next day, 2 weeks before graduation day, the lists were posted outside the president’s office of all the students who would not be attending their graduation day, and all the rest that would also be headed home by that afternoon.

    Both of my 2 roommates were gone in hours as soon as the right bus headed through town. To my greatest pleasure, some of my favorite people and my favorite boyfriend were not on the list. It was a graduation day with a pall over it. Fortunately I wasn’t there to see it. Oh, dancing wasn’t allowed either, but it wan’t a big enough offence to get sent home. Hiding a car in town, a send home offence. No cars allowed.

    From this and many other experiences I’ve learned that you want to draw the line in the sand about a mile back from the cliff. Then you argue and fight over such silly stuff, or minor stuff, you never get near any cliffs. The restriction may have no religious or legal problems, but administrators have to draw lines, and wise ones who can draw them far from real danger.

    Another experience. Many years later and an adult boyfriend, he and all who knew him, knew that his wealthy parents had sent him to Princeton in the early 70s. Whenever, I’d bring up the place figuring there must be fascinating storing about studying medieval English and Chaucer at Princeton, he would shake off the questions. I began to doub he’d ever been there. But, people who knew the family swear, he went, but came home after his B.A. He wanted to write and take pictures.

    Y’all know I’m a history reader and at that time, Barbara Tuchman’s “A distant mirror : the calamitous 14th century” came out. Well, that was Chaucer’s century and Ms. Tuchman explained his career as an English diplomat, especially in Italy, in great detail. She didn’t cover his writings at all. So I mentioned to my boyfriend how much I had learned about Chaucer’s life from the book. Not interested. “But, he was so much more than just a writer…”

    Finaly he told me to shup up about it; he didn’t remember college. All he remembers was drugs and alcohol. I didn’t buy it, still don’t know if I do, but there was a big black hole in his head that had anything to do with college and Chaucer. If he had just taken his parent’s money each semester, lived in the woods and smoked dope and other hallucinogens for 4 years and came home with a fake diploma, I’d believe that faster. But, if drugs can take out your whole college experience (at Princeton), then that was a big damn shame. A waste of money and a waste of brain. But, LSD was the only drug I knew of that could do major stuff like that.

    :

  • larry

    On a less controversial note, this reminiscent of the arguments we’d discover in the Baptist church amongst baptist who found out Spurgeon smoked cigars and Calvin lauded wine and Luther lauded beer. The smarter pietist figured out they could not hang on to the old line idiot arguments that a fools fool could figure out such as “Jesus didn’t really make wine at Canaan” and that in the upper room Jesus used not fully fermented grape juice…fruit of the vine meant basically welches grape juice, never mind the grape type and so forth.”

    What was a pietist to do when such idiotic argument are easily dismissed by the heros of the faith such as mouthy Calvin and Luther with support from the Puritans for goodness sake who imported more beer than water. Oh my goodness its all falling apart.

    Well, they reverted to asinine pragmatic arguments. Such as wine is fine for medicinal purposes, ala Paul to Timothy, but not drank with the purpose in mind (purpose in mind – emphasis added) for the affects (i.e. to make one glad and so forth). Now they split the hair and retained the drab use of wine, only drink it if its intent was more or less as a liquid vitamin, no more than that and DEFINITELY NOT with the intent towards its affects. Never mind the references of drinking your strong drink before the Lord and the gladness of wine, we can explain those away the same way we explain away baptism and the LS, metaphore. And whala, pietism retained.

    This is the root argument on pot is it not. See, some say, “Ok for pain” but for effects it’s a sin. That’s the real question at hand. But why not extend that absurdity to beer or wine, or how about food (if your belly is overlapping your belt is it because you ate food too much as a pragmatic necessity – same argument). Or definitely, DEFINTELY, do not have relations with your spouse for the effects that would be sin, oh that’s the pope’s/antichrist’s argument.

    But such reduces the God of glorious creation to the pragmatic god of pietism pragmatic argument. Why did God create us asks such pietist? “Oh he just needed a wall paper hanger”.

    That men abuse things does not = that men cannot use a thing or approach and use it, yes indeed, for its effects.

    Oh, and by the way, one more uncontroversial point of order: To say that one does or imply that one does something that is “pleasing to God” is the exact and absolute heart of idolatry.

  • larry

    On a less controversial note, this reminiscent of the arguments we’d discover in the Baptist church amongst baptist who found out Spurgeon smoked cigars and Calvin lauded wine and Luther lauded beer. The smarter pietist figured out they could not hang on to the old line idiot arguments that a fools fool could figure out such as “Jesus didn’t really make wine at Canaan” and that in the upper room Jesus used not fully fermented grape juice…fruit of the vine meant basically welches grape juice, never mind the grape type and so forth.”

    What was a pietist to do when such idiotic argument are easily dismissed by the heros of the faith such as mouthy Calvin and Luther with support from the Puritans for goodness sake who imported more beer than water. Oh my goodness its all falling apart.

    Well, they reverted to asinine pragmatic arguments. Such as wine is fine for medicinal purposes, ala Paul to Timothy, but not drank with the purpose in mind (purpose in mind – emphasis added) for the affects (i.e. to make one glad and so forth). Now they split the hair and retained the drab use of wine, only drink it if its intent was more or less as a liquid vitamin, no more than that and DEFINITELY NOT with the intent towards its affects. Never mind the references of drinking your strong drink before the Lord and the gladness of wine, we can explain those away the same way we explain away baptism and the LS, metaphore. And whala, pietism retained.

    This is the root argument on pot is it not. See, some say, “Ok for pain” but for effects it’s a sin. That’s the real question at hand. But why not extend that absurdity to beer or wine, or how about food (if your belly is overlapping your belt is it because you ate food too much as a pragmatic necessity – same argument). Or definitely, DEFINTELY, do not have relations with your spouse for the effects that would be sin, oh that’s the pope’s/antichrist’s argument.

    But such reduces the God of glorious creation to the pragmatic god of pietism pragmatic argument. Why did God create us asks such pietist? “Oh he just needed a wall paper hanger”.

    That men abuse things does not = that men cannot use a thing or approach and use it, yes indeed, for its effects.

    Oh, and by the way, one more uncontroversial point of order: To say that one does or imply that one does something that is “pleasing to God” is the exact and absolute heart of idolatry.

  • kerner

    Stephen @99:

    Can’t argue with very much of that, amigo. But I DID admit to being conflicted on this point. I think pot is just one more source of the problem of substance abuse, and I wish it would go away. I doubt seriously that it is really very much less harmful than booze. Once it becomes legal there will be more, and more thorough, studies and we’ll learn more. And I have said before that pot won’t be the pet cause of liberals for very long after it is legalized, because businessmen(probably conservatives) will be making all the money off of it.

    But you, like Cincinnatus, are correct that my free market/libertarian instincts weigh heavily in favor of legalization. And maybe you are right about me not wanting to see liberals win, although I had not considered that true, not consciously. But I do seem to be trying to kill their buzz on the subject. Subconsciously, maybe that’s why. Or maybe I just want to take credit for correctly predicting that their buzz will, in fact, be killed in short order. Being a know-it-all is a pretty strong motivation for me as well…or hadn’t you noticed. ;)

  • kerner

    Stephen @99:

    Can’t argue with very much of that, amigo. But I DID admit to being conflicted on this point. I think pot is just one more source of the problem of substance abuse, and I wish it would go away. I doubt seriously that it is really very much less harmful than booze. Once it becomes legal there will be more, and more thorough, studies and we’ll learn more. And I have said before that pot won’t be the pet cause of liberals for very long after it is legalized, because businessmen(probably conservatives) will be making all the money off of it.

    But you, like Cincinnatus, are correct that my free market/libertarian instincts weigh heavily in favor of legalization. And maybe you are right about me not wanting to see liberals win, although I had not considered that true, not consciously. But I do seem to be trying to kill their buzz on the subject. Subconsciously, maybe that’s why. Or maybe I just want to take credit for correctly predicting that their buzz will, in fact, be killed in short order. Being a know-it-all is a pretty strong motivation for me as well…or hadn’t you noticed. ;)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Kerner (@103), just to toss your argument around a bit, I wonder if it’s instructive to note where both tobacco and marijuana are grown.

    You note that tobacco used to be very popular among liberals, and now is not. Of course, to that, I would note that it very much depends on what type of liberals you’re thinking of. In fact, I’d argue that smoking is less of a political issue, and more a class issue. Poor liberals still smoke it, while middle-class liberals seem to have spurned it recently.

    Anyhow, tobacco is almost solely grown in the Old South, which used to be very Democratic, but in the same time span that smoking has taken a drubbing, has shifted to be very Republican. I wonder if the same shift is working there?

    Along those lines, the biggest pot-growing state by far (roughly equal in production to the next three states) is California. Very liberal, of course. Hawaii and Washington are up there too (after Tennessee and Kentucky). Definitely not a clear-cut geopolitical situation.

    Of course, the reason marijuana is grown where it is right now has more to do with the fact that it is largely illegal to grow. And so people tend to grow it in national forests, far away from prying eyes. And there’s lots of federal land in those states. So perhaps production would shift around were marijuana legalized nationally. And yet, it would almost certainly grow well in liberal states, far more so than tobacco does now.

    Just thinking out loud.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Kerner (@103), just to toss your argument around a bit, I wonder if it’s instructive to note where both tobacco and marijuana are grown.

    You note that tobacco used to be very popular among liberals, and now is not. Of course, to that, I would note that it very much depends on what type of liberals you’re thinking of. In fact, I’d argue that smoking is less of a political issue, and more a class issue. Poor liberals still smoke it, while middle-class liberals seem to have spurned it recently.

    Anyhow, tobacco is almost solely grown in the Old South, which used to be very Democratic, but in the same time span that smoking has taken a drubbing, has shifted to be very Republican. I wonder if the same shift is working there?

    Along those lines, the biggest pot-growing state by far (roughly equal in production to the next three states) is California. Very liberal, of course. Hawaii and Washington are up there too (after Tennessee and Kentucky). Definitely not a clear-cut geopolitical situation.

    Of course, the reason marijuana is grown where it is right now has more to do with the fact that it is largely illegal to grow. And so people tend to grow it in national forests, far away from prying eyes. And there’s lots of federal land in those states. So perhaps production would shift around were marijuana legalized nationally. And yet, it would almost certainly grow well in liberal states, far more so than tobacco does now.

    Just thinking out loud.

  • Stephen

    good point about class. In my very weird city, along with all the college educated, upper class, socialist pot smoking liberals, we’ve got pot smoking, working class people with Ron Paul bumper stickers. The fact is pot is used in a number of settings, and a reefer habit is at least perceived to be far less harmful than too much drinking. Some times they go hand in hand, sometimes pot smokers are tea totlers (sp?). But the idea that weed is for hippies is not completely true. It serves a similar social function I’d say, and it usually leads to some communal dining. ;)

  • Stephen

    good point about class. In my very weird city, along with all the college educated, upper class, socialist pot smoking liberals, we’ve got pot smoking, working class people with Ron Paul bumper stickers. The fact is pot is used in a number of settings, and a reefer habit is at least perceived to be far less harmful than too much drinking. Some times they go hand in hand, sometimes pot smokers are tea totlers (sp?). But the idea that weed is for hippies is not completely true. It serves a similar social function I’d say, and it usually leads to some communal dining. ;)

  • Stephen

    Oh yeah . . .

    Kerner, watch that know-it all-habit. It’s at leas as bad a sin as reefer.

    “Hello, my name is Steve and I’m a Know-It-All . . . ”

    “Hi Steve!”

  • Stephen

    Oh yeah . . .

    Kerner, watch that know-it all-habit. It’s at leas as bad a sin as reefer.

    “Hello, my name is Steve and I’m a Know-It-All . . . ”

    “Hi Steve!”

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    a lot of talk about what people have seen from cannabis use in soceity. But what does the BIBLE say about it?

    Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ! Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. He has not held fast to the head from whom the whole body, supported and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    a lot of talk about what people have seen from cannabis use in soceity. But what does the BIBLE say about it?

    Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ! Let no one who delights in humility and the worship of angels pass judgment on you. That person goes on at great lengths about what he has supposedly seen, but he is puffed up with empty notions by his fleshly mind. He has not held fast to the head from whom the whole body, supported and knit together through its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

  • larry

    What we really need attached to this post is an mp3 that auto plays when you click on it the opening of Hendrix’s “All Along The Watch Tower”. Then Grace’s and other’s parody would be perfect.

    There is a strong parallel with such asinine arguments and the same foolish arguments made during prohibition such as if you drink too much you could spontaneously combust.

    You know one could see an odd combination against this such as drug cartels (clandestinely of course) and moralist. I live in the South where we have this idiotic carry over from prohibition of counties dividing right down the middle of a main street, “wet” on one side, “dry” on the other. I’m not sure if that carried over in other parts of the country. Some of my far northern friends never heard of it. Anyway, wet = sell alcohol and dry = cannot. I kid you not right down the middle of the street (my home town for example). The only time you ever see the local baptist and methodist churches combine together with the local liquor store distributors was ALWAYS during a vote to make a dry side of the street or town or county wet. Of course its obvious why this accidental marriage happens, and completely comical.

  • larry

    What we really need attached to this post is an mp3 that auto plays when you click on it the opening of Hendrix’s “All Along The Watch Tower”. Then Grace’s and other’s parody would be perfect.

    There is a strong parallel with such asinine arguments and the same foolish arguments made during prohibition such as if you drink too much you could spontaneously combust.

    You know one could see an odd combination against this such as drug cartels (clandestinely of course) and moralist. I live in the South where we have this idiotic carry over from prohibition of counties dividing right down the middle of a main street, “wet” on one side, “dry” on the other. I’m not sure if that carried over in other parts of the country. Some of my far northern friends never heard of it. Anyway, wet = sell alcohol and dry = cannot. I kid you not right down the middle of the street (my home town for example). The only time you ever see the local baptist and methodist churches combine together with the local liquor store distributors was ALWAYS during a vote to make a dry side of the street or town or county wet. Of course its obvious why this accidental marriage happens, and completely comical.

  • Stephen

    I had similar suspicions about Grace when I came here. her name was almost too perfect and there were moments when I wondered if I was being had.

    And we have dry counties in Texas. When I was growing up we would go with my dad, and LCMS pastor, to get our hair cut the next county over and we’d stop for a case of Falstaff that he kept in a closet under the stairs. Only way to get some suds back then until a vote when I was teenager changed things to wine and beer only in my town. So we’d still have to drive to get our hair cuts and some bourbon.

  • Stephen

    I had similar suspicions about Grace when I came here. her name was almost too perfect and there were moments when I wondered if I was being had.

    And we have dry counties in Texas. When I was growing up we would go with my dad, and LCMS pastor, to get our hair cut the next county over and we’d stop for a case of Falstaff that he kept in a closet under the stairs. Only way to get some suds back then until a vote when I was teenager changed things to wine and beer only in my town. So we’d still have to drive to get our hair cuts and some bourbon.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Stephen (@109), I’m too tired to go look it all up, but a while back I was reading one of Grace’s infamous copy-paste screeds, and I noticed that another commenter on the World Magazine site was talking an awful lot like Grace, but went by the handle Victoria. But those World Magazine pages seem to have gone away. Oh well.

    And yeah, wet/dry silliness in Texas. I grew up in a dry part of Dallas county (Dallas, for heaven’s sake!) and we had to drive to an adjacent county to buy wine or beer in the grocery store. Restaurants could sell alcohol, but only if they were considered a “private club”, so you ended up having a silly, cheap card in your wallet for every restaurant you enjoyed having a beer at. At least, that is, until the restaurants all joined forces and came up with the UniCard, which declared you a member at all their locations. At that point, everyone was clearly dancing around the antiquated rules, and a few years ago (after I left) they repealed all that silliness — largely because it was robbing my hometown both of needed alcohol tax money, as well as the restaurants that wouldn’t even bother to set up shop in town, prefering to be where they didn’t have to play those games.

    I do remember, though, the tiny enclave in my hometown — a city completely surrounded by our city. I’m sure they had a historical reason for existing, but I mainly noticed the fact that they were a “wet” city, while my hometown was not. This was made clear from the fact that, upon driving entering the tiny 160-acre town, liquor stores suddenly sprouted up, and then just as quickly vanished as you passed back into my hometown.

    Ah, Texas. I’d laugh about antiquated liquor laws, but in my new home of Oregon, all liquor sales are still done through state-run shops. So progressive!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com tODD

    Stephen (@109), I’m too tired to go look it all up, but a while back I was reading one of Grace’s infamous copy-paste screeds, and I noticed that another commenter on the World Magazine site was talking an awful lot like Grace, but went by the handle Victoria. But those World Magazine pages seem to have gone away. Oh well.

    And yeah, wet/dry silliness in Texas. I grew up in a dry part of Dallas county (Dallas, for heaven’s sake!) and we had to drive to an adjacent county to buy wine or beer in the grocery store. Restaurants could sell alcohol, but only if they were considered a “private club”, so you ended up having a silly, cheap card in your wallet for every restaurant you enjoyed having a beer at. At least, that is, until the restaurants all joined forces and came up with the UniCard, which declared you a member at all their locations. At that point, everyone was clearly dancing around the antiquated rules, and a few years ago (after I left) they repealed all that silliness — largely because it was robbing my hometown both of needed alcohol tax money, as well as the restaurants that wouldn’t even bother to set up shop in town, prefering to be where they didn’t have to play those games.

    I do remember, though, the tiny enclave in my hometown — a city completely surrounded by our city. I’m sure they had a historical reason for existing, but I mainly noticed the fact that they were a “wet” city, while my hometown was not. This was made clear from the fact that, upon driving entering the tiny 160-acre town, liquor stores suddenly sprouted up, and then just as quickly vanished as you passed back into my hometown.

    Ah, Texas. I’d laugh about antiquated liquor laws, but in my new home of Oregon, all liquor sales are still done through state-run shops. So progressive!

  • larry

    It’s funny you mention that Todd, state run shops. The wet/dry stuff is more a southern phenom. but my cousins and family in WV had those too, like Oregon, all liquor sales through state run shops. I recall when visiting and my uncle would stop in to get some bourbon. I found it odd going to a state run shop.

    It’s funny. Here in KY, a big tobacco base state agriculturally, ever since the down turn on smoking has begun, many tobacco farmers moved to converting their farms over to growing grapes and producing wine (its a growing thing right now). At least those wishing to stay out of jail and not loose their land, there are the clandestine pot farms here too. But few seem to want to convert over to corn or some such.

    And speaking of hypocritical antiquated laws and such, our main tobacco research university, UK, HUGE tobacco government funded research (a hypocrisy inside a hypocrisy in its own right), passed a law 2 years ago banning smoking on campus outside anywhere. Ironic.

    As governments realize the tax base on say pot (and other things) and their budgets are ever more squeezed, suddenly they’ll have these “epiphanies” about its legalization. It’s not by accident that the front runner states on legal pot are some of the most under the budget gun, like CA. Same thing happened years ago over gambling and the lottery. At first the morality arguments held sway for a while, but budgets got tighter and tighter and tighter, the bills for the state come rolling in. Suddenly, poof, epiphany, and the lottery was legalized in our and many other states. To of course clean up any moral residue we’d say, “But its funding is for the school system, its for the kids, you are not against kids are you!” And then it passes. Of course like SS the “lock box” funds, become rather quickly more like a box with a snug fitting lid on a cookie jar that the politicians then start increasingly dipping into to buy their next elections. I’m not arguing against the lottery or legalization of mary jane, just the hypocrisy that attends it – and the delusion of where the tax dollars “designated” will actually end up a few years after it gets passed. We might want to keep that in mind with new health care and other things the “right and left” sell us on passing.

    What it REALLY boils down is, legalizing this or that, is that money talks and bullshit walks. And EVERYBODY knows it.

  • larry

    It’s funny you mention that Todd, state run shops. The wet/dry stuff is more a southern phenom. but my cousins and family in WV had those too, like Oregon, all liquor sales through state run shops. I recall when visiting and my uncle would stop in to get some bourbon. I found it odd going to a state run shop.

    It’s funny. Here in KY, a big tobacco base state agriculturally, ever since the down turn on smoking has begun, many tobacco farmers moved to converting their farms over to growing grapes and producing wine (its a growing thing right now). At least those wishing to stay out of jail and not loose their land, there are the clandestine pot farms here too. But few seem to want to convert over to corn or some such.

    And speaking of hypocritical antiquated laws and such, our main tobacco research university, UK, HUGE tobacco government funded research (a hypocrisy inside a hypocrisy in its own right), passed a law 2 years ago banning smoking on campus outside anywhere. Ironic.

    As governments realize the tax base on say pot (and other things) and their budgets are ever more squeezed, suddenly they’ll have these “epiphanies” about its legalization. It’s not by accident that the front runner states on legal pot are some of the most under the budget gun, like CA. Same thing happened years ago over gambling and the lottery. At first the morality arguments held sway for a while, but budgets got tighter and tighter and tighter, the bills for the state come rolling in. Suddenly, poof, epiphany, and the lottery was legalized in our and many other states. To of course clean up any moral residue we’d say, “But its funding is for the school system, its for the kids, you are not against kids are you!” And then it passes. Of course like SS the “lock box” funds, become rather quickly more like a box with a snug fitting lid on a cookie jar that the politicians then start increasingly dipping into to buy their next elections. I’m not arguing against the lottery or legalization of mary jane, just the hypocrisy that attends it – and the delusion of where the tax dollars “designated” will actually end up a few years after it gets passed. We might want to keep that in mind with new health care and other things the “right and left” sell us on passing.

    What it REALLY boils down is, legalizing this or that, is that money talks and bullshit walks. And EVERYBODY knows it.

  • Abby

    Larry @111: Last sentence — there you have it.

  • Abby

    Larry @111: Last sentence — there you have it.

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    yes, money has been the driving force behind the advancement of the cannabis industry. Which is why there is only one initiative that i support: the right of citizens to possess and cultivate cannabis on their own private property.
    Everybody has all their regulatory ideas and tax ideas and permitting ideas and all this stuff. And in the process we have created a culture of corruption like you wouldn’t believe. Oakland city councilmember hands his friend a permit to make 24 million dollars in a year, and then denies every other kid a permit.
    I want to make it so that every kid with a dream of making it big in the cannabis industry has the same legal chance at it as the next guy. And the only way to do that is to restore our freedom. Freedom first, then commerce and taxes and all that stuff. but putting taxes and regulation before freedom will surely bring corruption- which we will soon see in Washington state, where the people are not free to grow it for themselves.

  • http://www.LucasHempCo.com Jeff Lucas

    yes, money has been the driving force behind the advancement of the cannabis industry. Which is why there is only one initiative that i support: the right of citizens to possess and cultivate cannabis on their own private property.
    Everybody has all their regulatory ideas and tax ideas and permitting ideas and all this stuff. And in the process we have created a culture of corruption like you wouldn’t believe. Oakland city councilmember hands his friend a permit to make 24 million dollars in a year, and then denies every other kid a permit.
    I want to make it so that every kid with a dream of making it big in the cannabis industry has the same legal chance at it as the next guy. And the only way to do that is to restore our freedom. Freedom first, then commerce and taxes and all that stuff. but putting taxes and regulation before freedom will surely bring corruption- which we will soon see in Washington state, where the people are not free to grow it for themselves.

  • bob

    mark 7:15-23
    mark 12:31
    Love your neighbor people. don’t be hypocrites

  • Jordan

    It’s a case of different drugs for different people. If your relationship with your sins is such that consuming a given drug “x” increases the likelihood that you will fall into temptation then it must be considered folly. Likewise if consuming x leads one gradually to blind their conscience to sin “y”.

    That said different peoples predisposition to certain iniquities vary, and interact variously with each state of mind and body. Also consider the ‘eating meat that was offered to idols’ argument.


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