The following thread is something that I have written to help others who find themselves struggling with the moral issues related to Marijuana. It is written from a Christians point of view. If you don't believe in Jesus or the Bible you will most likely not believe the things below. Never the less I encourage you to read it anyways. The essay allows you to draw your own conclusions. I simply give you the scripture and a little insight into why it was written. It is a rather long read, but I think you will find it very interesting. So here it is. Enjoy Marijuana and The Bible What Does God Say? I, as I am sure many who will read this, at one point or another has wondered, “What does The Bible say in accordance to the use of marijuana?”. The Bible never speaks directly of any drug except alcohol which leads many of us to wonder what God’s actual intent was for this plant. In this essay it is my intent to present you with actual scripture according to the New International Version of The Bible. I will present the scripture to you and let you make your own decisions from it. There are a couple of things one needs to understand about scripture before you should use it to argue a point. First, scripture is very contextual, meaning, to understand scripture you need to understand the context in which it was written. You can’t just quote a passage or part of a passage without first understanding the things that precede and come after the passage. Where possible I will give you the background behind each passage to help you further understand the context in which it was written. Second when it comes to the subject at hand scripture can be rather vague. The passages commonly used to argue for the use of marijuana are few and far between and are often taken out of context. You may ask yourself, “Who is this guy anyways that he thinks he knows so much?”. I’ll give you my background so that you can see that I know a little about what I am writing. For the better part of my life it was my intent to become a pastor in the synod that I was a member of. I attended private schools through High School where I studied scripture in depth on a daily basis. I am by no means an expert, but I know and understand more about scripture than most. The following are passages commonly used to argue for the use of marijuana. After each passage I will go into more depth on how it pertains to the subject at hand. 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. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so. 31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. (Genesis 1:29-31) The passage above comes from the first book of the Bible, Genesis. The passage is taken from the account of the creation of the earth. From this passage we can see that God gave man everything on the face of the earth to use. God also says that everything that he created is “good”. The use of the word good here is an understatement. Good in this sense is perfect. If God created something and it met his standards of being “good” it was perfect. 22 Then the LORD said to Moses, 23 "Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels [a] of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane, 24 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. 26 Then use it to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony, 27 the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy. (Exodus 30:22-29) At first glance the above passage doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the subject at hand. The relevance lies in the fact that some argue that the “fragrant cane” found in verse 23 is actually a mistranslation of the original Hebrew text. The actual Hebrew translated into English looks like this “qanenbosm” or Cannabis. The things that were being anointed with this oil were the most Holy of Holy instruments in the Israelites temple. 2One man's faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. 8If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. 11It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' "[a] 12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. 14As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. 15If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. 16Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. 17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, (Romans 14:2-17) The passage above was taken from the Book of Romans. Romans was one Paul’s epistles. Epistles were letters that Paul wrote to various bodies of Christians throughout the Roman empire. Romans is considered by many the chief epistle. The passage above was written through Paul to God’s church. The passage was written because some in the Church were accusing each other of having a lack of faith because of the foods they consumed. Some believed that the Old Testament ceremonial laws still needed to be obeyed while others believed that since Christ’s coming the ceremonies of the Old Testament were no longer necessary. In fact Christ had been the fulfillment of the Old Testament laws and the old laws were no longer necessary. Because some believed that the old laws still needed to be followed they would not eat pork and other meats. What Paul is saying in this passage is that we are no longer bound to the ceremonial laws of the old testament and that all of God’s creation is ours to use. But if one feels in his heart that he should still abstain from such things and that he would be sinning by doing otherwise one should still abstain. Once again how does this all fit in? God gave us everything on the earth to use. If one believes that the use of Marijuana is a sin he should not partake. If another believes that it is okay for that person it could be okay. The point of the matter is that in all that we do we are to do it to the glory of God. 11What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "…15Peter said, "Explain the parable to us." 16"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 17"Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' " (Matthew 15:11, 15-20) This passage is once again about Old Testament laws. The Pharisees (priests) still believed in the ceremonial laws and were slandering Jesus disciples for not following the laws. At this point Jesus stepped in and made the statement above. We can see from this statement that it isn’t the things of which we partake that makes us evil, but rather the thoughts and feelings from within. This concludes the section on passages that could be used to argue for the use of Marijuana. This is by no means an exhaustive collection of passages used to argue for the use of Marijuana. These are only the ones I come across most often and that seem to have the most relevance. Other passages are taken too much out of context or are obviously not related to the discussion at hand. Now, on to some passages that are commonly used to say that the use of Marijuana is spiritually wrong. As I did with the passages that are used in the argument for Marijuana I will give you the passage and a little background on it and let you make your own decisions. 12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. 13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:12-14) Ecclesiastes is a rather short book in the Bible. The main point of the book is that a life not centered on God is purposeless and meaningless. The passage above tells us that on the last day all the things that we do both good and bad will be judged and we will be held accountable. We may not even know that some of the things that we are doing are bad but never the less we will still be held accountable. 16Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17) Corinthians 1&2 were also epistles written through Paul to God’s Church in Corinth. This passage is pretty self explanatory. Our bodies are sacred and harming or misusing them in any way is worthy of punishment. 1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:1-5) The above passage is talking about how before one has faith he leads a life that follows the ways of the world and not that of Christ. It is only by the grace of God that we are saved and without that grace we would surely be damned. Faith in Christ causes us to turn from the ways of the world and focus on Christ. Even after writing this I still do not know if what I do on a daily basis is right or wrong. There are some that will say without any doubt that it is wrong and others who believe just the opposite. I hope that this will help others who also struggle with this question. I am beginning to believe that this is something that each person must make a decision on him or herself and be ready to deal with the consequences of that decision. The problem is that the consequences are so great. I, as I am sure some of you will, continue to struggle with this issue. All we can do is pray and search out scripture. God’s blessing to all of you as you continue to unravel this issue.