21 Mar 2013

So What We Smoke Weed?

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Blog | Pastor Duane

There’s a popular song out right now by Wiz Khalifa (collaboration with Snoop Dog & Bruno Mars) titled, “Young, Wild & Free.” The chorus says, “So what we get drunk? So what we smoke weed? We’re just having fun. We don’t care who sees. So what we go out? That’s how it’s supposed to be. Living young and wild and free.” The bridge continues the theme, “Yeah, roll one, smoke one. When you live like this you’re supposed to party. Roll one, smoke one, and we all just having fun. So we just, roll one, smoke one. When you live like this you’re supposed to party. Roll one, smoke one, and we all just having fun.”

Last time I checked Snoop Dog ain’t so young any more. I actually like the song. It’s pretty catchy. It’s on a lot at the gym where I work out everyday. Yet a discipline I learned early on after becoming a Christian was to not just aimlessly or mindlessly take in things from culture but rather listen to them and consider the message according to a biblical worldview.

Smoking weed has currently become somewhat of a hot button topic in the US with the state of Washington and Colorado now declaring it legal, even for recreational usage. The city of San Diego is currently still in legal and legislative battles over medical dispensaries of marijuana. In the past number of months I’ve had a spike in pastoral questions sent my way about whether it is okay to smoke weed and be a Christian. Here’s my thoughts…

My main issue with the recreational use of Marijuana is what Scripture calls for in being “sober-minded” (1 Thess 5:6,8; 1 Tim 3:2,11; 2 Tim 4:5; Tit 2:2; 1 Pet 1:13; 4:7; 5:8). 1 Peter 1:13 “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Due to the mind altering and moral inhibition reducing effects of THC (the main ingredient of marijuana which gets you high), smoking weed impairs our ability to relate to God, others and His world in the way He created, designed and desires us to. Simply put, we don’t see things rightly.

I also think Ephesians 5:18 has relevance in its call to not be “drunk with wine but filled with the Spirit.” The issue or problem with drunkness spiritually is what I mentioned above…it becomes controlling so that your mind and self-control are overtaken.

Scripture does not prohibit drinking alcohol. Jesus drank alcohol (Lk 7:34) and in some cases the drinking of alcohol is encouraged (1 Tim 5:23). What is clearly prohibited is drunkenness. 1 Corinthians 6:10 “Drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:20-21 “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.” For The Resolved Church’s official statement on alcohol see: Enjoying and Avoiding Alcohol.

The reason drinking alcohol is not sin is because you can regulate its effects based on how much you drink, over what period of time and whether its with food or not. I smoked a lot of weed before I became a Christian. As one who has smoked a lot of weed, I know, you cannot regulate it…one hit (even with crappy shake) gets you high. So it’s 0-60 within minutes, with no ability of gradation.

I make no qualms about the enjoyment of weed…that it is fun. I can catch a whiff of weed walking down the street in OB in an instant. I still think it smells amazing. But I do not think it glorifies God. And even in most medical cases (which I think are a massive minority) there are other medications which can address symptoms/pain that are not mind altering.

Whether or not it should be legalized for recreational use is a whole other issue. I tend to think limited government is a good thing and that the heart is what needs to be addressed in people. More civil laws do not change the heart. What we need is more Gospel…the person and work of Jesus to transform our heart. There is always a motive beneath the surface for why someone smokes weed…usually either escape of pain or the pursuit of pleasure. The Gospel says both pain and pleasure are addressed and fulfilled in the satisfaction of Christ.

This is why from my perspective smoking weed is inconsistent with the pattern and life of a person who is transformed by The Gospel and this is why The Resolved Church exercises church discipline over it and drunkenness. We care too much about people finding hope and joy in Jesus instead of allowing weed to take take the place of the wonderful savior.

So what we smoke weed? It’s damaging to your heart before God, His people and His world…that’s what.

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