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What The Bible Has To Say About Drugs

By John Clarke

Awesome. The pope has arrived in the UK. That’s just what this country needs — a bill to the tax­payer of upwards of £10 million so a paedo-con­cealin’ old bloke can pat­ron­ise us all with his out­dated moral code and flag­rant dis­reg­ard for human rights, even though only a quarter of us act­ively support the visit, at a time when science funding is about to face mon­strous cuts. Bril­liant!

To cel­eb­rate, I thought I’d take a look at what the Bible had to say about drugs. Obvi­ously, I’m no theo­lo­gian, so I’m basing this post on the inter­pret­a­tion given by GotQues​tions​.org (GQ from now on), who:

Seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by provid­ing bib­lical, applic­able, and timely answers to spir­itu­ally-related ques­tions through an inter­net pres­ence.

Their website looks to be quite a big deal, prob­ably getting over 100,000 pageviews a day, so who better to spir­itu­ally guide us on our quest for inform­a­tion? Let’s get started…

The Bible doesn’t have any­thing to say about drugs expli­citly, however drug use is covered within the scope of other, broader teach­ings.

“…some­thing some­thing some­thing com­plete!”

Rule #1 - Don't break the law

Every­one must submit himself to the gov­ern­ing author­it­ies, for there is no author­ity except that which God has estab­lished. The author­it­ies that exist have been estab­lished by God. Con­sequently, he who rebels against the author­ity is rebelling against what God has insti­tuted, and those who do so will bring judg­ment on them­selves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in author­ity? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring pun­ish­ment on the wrong­doer. There­fore, it is neces­sary to submit to the author­it­ies, not only because of pos­sible pun­ish­ment but also because of con­science.

Romans 13:1 – 5

So, that imme­di­ately rules out any illegal drug use, lest an “agent of wrath […] bring pun­ish­ment”, so that’s a “No” to can­nabis, LSD, ecstasy, heroin, etc! GQ help­fully offers up this snippet of wisdom, in case we feel the laws are unjust:

Con­trary to popular belief [what?!], simply dis­agree­ing with a law does not con­sti­tute a license for break­ing that law.

Can­nabis should be legal, I hear you scream! But what about alcohol and tobacco, I hear you ask? Hypo­crisy! Well, our friends at GQ have already thought of that:

Many have argued that marijuana does not warrant pro­hib­i­tion. They contend that smoking pot in defi­ance of the law is jus­ti­fi­able on these grounds and in light of (what they per­ceive to be) the hypo­crisy of out­law­ing weed while allow­ing nicot­ine and alcohol con­sump­tion. Those who argue this point may be sincere in their con­vic­tion, but they are mis­taken non­ethe­less. Heart­felt disdain for the law does not justify impun­ity towards it, as our Lord Himself made clear. While rebuk­ing the Phar­isees for turning the Law of Moses into an excess­ively oppress­ive yoke, Christ still required His dis­ciples to submit to their unfairly harsh demands (Matthew 23:1 – 36, espe­cially 1 – 4). Dutiful sub­mis­sion to author­ity and patient per­sever­ance through unjust suf­fer­ing and/​or per­ceived unfair­ness (1 Peter 2:18 – 23 [Partly quoted below]) is God’s high stand­ard for us – even if that means having to abstain from marijuana in com­pli­ance with “unfair” legis­la­tion.

Here’s the coolest bit of the Bible they ref­er­ence to support their point, so you don’t have to go looking it up:

Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and con­sid­er­ate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is com­mend­able if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suf­fer­ing because he is con­scious of God.

1 Peter 2:18 – 19

Right, ok. So break­ing the law is bad, no matter how unjust we think it is. Fair enough. Surely then, we can smoke a bit of weed in The Neth­er­lands or enjoy some coca tea in Bolivia, or consume some legal highs? Right? Right?!

Wrong!

Rule #2 - Don't harm your body

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If 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

Every­one knows drugs are harmful. In fact, here’s an old graph listing 20 dif­fer­ent drugs ordered by the harm they cause. You’ve almost def­in­itely seen it before.

Notice how no drug in that graph has a harm rating of zero, and accord­ing to GQ:

Beyond stew­ard­ship, as Chris­ti­ans, our bodies are not our own. We “have been bought with a price” (1 Cor­inthi­ans 6:19 – 20), not “with per­ish­able things like silver or gold … but with pre­cious blood, as of a lamb unblem­ished and spot­less, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:17 – 19). Having bought us with His own life, Christ has delighted to create in us some­thing entirely new, some­thing some­what bizarre. By indwell­ing us with His Spirit, He has turned us into organic temples of sorts. So now, caring for our health is not just a matter of good stew­ard­ship. It is a matter of rev­er­en­tial piety. To pollute or harm our bodies is to desec­rate the House of God (1 Cor­inthi­ans 3:16 – 17 [The bit I quoted earlier]). This is both won­drous and ter­ri­fy­ing.

GQ also talk about a number of indi­vidual drugs and the damage they cause. Here’s what they have to say about can­nabis:

Marijuana, while being the least harmful of all of the illicit drugs, is still poten­tially lethal. Marijuana enthu­si­asts (“pot­heads”) take comfort in the fact that, unlike most other illicit drugs, it is seem­ingly impossible to fatally over­dose on weed by means of normal con­sump­tion (i.e. smoking it). But this does nothing to dimin­ish the poten­tially fatal risks of lung cancer, emphysema, and other forms of chronic obstruct­ive pul­mon­ary disease (COPD) caused by marijuana smoke. While marijuana can be inges­ted without smoking it, thereby elim­in­at­ing these risks, there still remain neg­at­ive physiolo­gical and psy­cho­lo­gical con­sequences includ­ing damage to the repro­duct­ive system, the immune system, and cog­nit­ive ability.

At this point I was won­der­ing what their guid­ance was on alcohol but they don’t seem to have men­tioned it. That’s odd, what with alcohol being ranked fifth most harmful on that graph above. Looks like I’ll have to come to my own con­clu­sions without GQ’s help then! Let me think for a moment…

Ok, got it. In John 2:1 – 11, Jesus turns water into wine:

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his dis­ciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”

His mother said to the ser­vants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for cere­mo­nial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the ser­vants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the ser­vants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bride­groom aside 10 and said, “Every­one brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

This, the first of his mira­cu­lous signs, Jesus per­formed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his dis­ciples put their faith in him.

John 2:1 – 11

Crikey, how about that then! If Jesus himself not only con­dones drink­ing wine but prac­tic­ally busts out a keg, then alcohol must be the excep­tion to the rule, despite the massive object­ive harm alcohol causes, right? I know what you’re think­ing — one bible quote doesn’t neces­sar­ily mean that’s the case. What about other evid­ence? Well, there’s also the Cath­olic belief in tran­sub­stan­ti­ation, which:

means the change of the sub­stance of bread and wine into the sub­stance of the Body and Blood (respect­ively) of Christ in the Euchar­ist, while all that is access­ible to the senses (acci­dents) remains as before.

Wiki­pe­dia on Tran­sub­stan­ti­ation

For starters, that’s what Cath­ol­ics lit­er­ally believe. The wine they use in church has *lit­er­ally* become the blood of Christ, despite appear­ing to be wine and retain­ing all the prop­er­ties of the wine, includ­ing alcohol content. The fact that Cath­ol­ics not only drink this for­ti­fied Jesus-elixir routinely, and also that wine was selec­ted by Christ to represent/​become/​whatever his blood both support my con­clu­sion that alcohol is fiiiiii­ine com­pared with the rest of the evil drugs, accord­ing to the bible and common church prac­tice.

As I men­tioned pre­vi­ously though, I’m no theo­lo­gian, so I welcome other people’s thoughts on my con­clu­sion in the com­ments.

Here are some final words of wisdom from my spir­itual guides at GQ, this time on addic­tion:

As for drug addic­tion, not all illicit drugs are phys­ic­ally addict­ive. Nev­er­the­less, they are all psy­cho­lo­gic­ally addict­ive. While most people are famil­iar with phys­ical addic­tion – the pro­gress­ive con­di­tion whereby the human body becomes phys­ic­ally depend­ent upon a drug in order to func­tion prop­erly – psy­cho­lo­gical addic­tion is less well-known. Psy­cho­lo­gical addic­tion is an enslave­ment of the mind, often char­ac­ter­ized by obsess­ive tend­en­cies and a lack of desire to quit. While phys­ical addic­tion brings the body into sub­jec­tion, psy­cho­lo­gical addic­tion brings the will into sub­mis­sion. Users tend to say things like, “I could quit if I wanted to, but I just don’t want to.” This atti­tude tends to ensure a long-term pattern of drug use whereby users become devotees in defi­ance of a very poignant bib­lical prin­ciple. The fact is, no one can whole­heartedly serve two masters (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13). Any time spent kneel­ing before the god of drugs [Best god freakin’ ever!!1] is time spent with your back towards the God of the Bible.

Fant­astic stuff.

Finally, be sure to take a look at what neur­os­cient­ist and philo­sopher Sam Harris has to say about Reli­gion & Drugs.

Here’s the link to the GQ page I’ve been quoting from, so you can bask in its glory..

9 Responses to What The Bible Has To Say About Drugs

  1. Dr Philippe K Fenderson, KSC, ASL says:

    I wrote a lot of this a while ago, and the sources are at the bottom:

    The myrrh wine that Jesus was offered on the cross also con­tained can­nabis leaves and buds crushed to make a mixture similar to the ‘bhang’ wine that the Sufis and Zoroastri­ans use. The reason (of course) that he didn’t ingest it was because to do so would have lessened the suf­fer­ing he endured during the cru­ci­fix­ion. As part of the early Jewish Friday night ser­vices in the Temple of Solomon, 60 – 80,000 men ritu­ally passed around and inhaled 20,000 incense burners filled with kanabosom (can­nabis), before return­ing home for the largest meal of the week (munchies?).
    Also, during the time that Jesus and his family spent in Egypt, it was the most com­monly used plant and was used as food, cloth­ing, oil, medi­cine and as a relax­ant. In fact, at that time it was the most used medi­cine in that area for pain relief, sleep­ing troubles, muscle and breath­ing prob­lems, and as a fever reducer. So, it was very pos­sible — and in fact most likely — that Jesus *did* in fact use can­nabis at some point in his life.

    The Bible never expli­citly dis­cour­ages its use. In fact there are many ref­er­ences to the oppos­ite and sup­port­ing the use of herb and other plants. (Gen. 1:12, Sirach 38:4, Matt. 15:11)
    Fur­ther­more, an inter­pret­a­tion of 1 Tim. 4:1 – 5 could lead you to believe that Paul foresaw pro­hib­i­tion. In fact, can­nabis use was extremely common for every­one until around 350 AD when the Cath­olic coun­cils of the time out­lawed its use — along with all other medi­cines, eating forks (“the devils tool”), the idea that the earth was round or the stars were more than 7 miles away from the earth — which even­tu­ally led to the Dark Ages. The motive, of course, being the control of know­ledge since hemp was used to make much of the paper that was used at the time — includ­ing the Bible — and that hemp oil was used for many the lamps of the time. People were some­times put to death for pos­sess­ing this paper without the Church’s express per­mis­sion.

    As for the health claims regard­ing cancer and the other absurd claims, we have only to look to some medical journ­als and research­ers:

    The whole “can­nabis screw­ing your brain” has been dis­proved time and time again. Drs. Unger­lieder and Shaef­fer of UCLA con­duc­ted a test showing that there is no dif­fer­ence between heavy smokers’ brain (an average of over 50 joints a day per person) and a non-smokers brain.

    Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke con­tains a number of irrit­ants and car­ci­no­gens. But marijuana users typ­ic­ally smoke much less often than tobacco smokers, and over time, inhale much less smoke. As a result, the risk of serious lung damage should be lower in marijuana smokers.

    There have been no reports of lung cancer related solely to marijuana. However, because research­ers have found precan­cer­ous changes in cells taken from the lungs of heavy marijuana smokers, the pos­sib­il­ity of lung cancer from marijuana cannot be ruled out. Unlike heavy tobacco smokers, heavy marijuana smokers exhibit no obstruc­tion of the lung’s small airway. That indic­ates that people will not develop emphysema from smoking marijuana. Actu­ally, can­nabis is one of the most power­ful natural expect­or­ants, allow­ing smokers to expel most harmful particles from the lungs. Also, many smokers use such devices as vapor­izers and water pipes which further reduces the harm of smoking.

    Fur­ther­more, accord­ing to the US mor­tal­ity report and Dr. Donald Tashkin (the fore­most lung expert in the field of can­nabis) there has never been a recor­ded case of cancer caused by can­nabis. In fact — Dr. Tashkin reports that the biggest risk to lungs from can­nabis is hypoxia — which only occurs at inges­tion levels exceed­ing that nor­mally pos­sible in a human (around 80 joints a day).

    Sources:
    Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Sci­entific Evid­ence, (Lynn Zimmer and John Morgan, New York: The Lindes­mith Center, 1997)
    Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices, National House­hold Survey on
    Drug Abuse, 1997
    Ganja in Jamaica — A Medical Anthro­po­lo­gical Study of Chronic Marijuana Use (Vera Rubin and Lambros Comitas)
    Can­nabis in Costa Rica — A Study In Chronic Marijuana Use (Insti­tute for Study if Human Issues)
    US Mor­bid­ity and Mor­tal­ity Report
    Marijuana: The First 12,000 Years (Abel, Earnest; Plenum Press, 1980)
    Encyc­lo­pe­dia Brit­an­nica
    “Phar­ma­co­lo­gical Cults”, Marijuana and Medicine(Roffman)
    Harvard Botan­ical (Schultes)
    SOMA, Divine Mush­room of Immor­tal­ity (Wasson, R. Gordon)
    Sacred Mush­room and the Cross (Allego, J.M.; Doubleday and Co, 1970)
    Colom­bia History of the World (Harper and Row, 1981)
    The Bible

  2. Slicedmind says:

    Great article and great comment above also.
    Obvi­ously this is a very timely piece what with God’s mouth-hole arriv­ing in the UK, perhaps in future an article of com­par­at­ive reli­gion would be inter­est­ing, assess­ing the drugs con­demned or encour­aged by dif­fer­ent reli­gions, or Which Reli­gion Will Get You The Highest. A guide for people to make a some­what rational, informed decision of which par­tic­u­lar set of irra­tional, unin­formed belief systems is for them.

  3. Sharayah says:

    Dr Phil­ippe K Fend­er­son, KSC, ASL, can you please tell me where you have con­firmed the inform­a­tion in the first para­graph of your response?

  4. Jay-5th says:

    Ok, so the Lord thought drink­ing alcohol was bad during pro­hib­i­tion, but is ok with drunks now??? Our gov­ern­ment here in the US is far from serving the Lord and that’s a fact. Eating McDonald’s is bad for your health so I guess that sinning also, Tylenol has taken more lives than can­nabis has, and plenty of people depend on can­nabis to main­tain their quality of life. The Bible also says it is a sin to wear cloth­ing of dif­fer­ent mater­ial, so we could go on and on about whether or not many things are accept­able, but maybe you could use some more research.

  5. Gil says:

    It appears to me that attempt­ing to ‘justify’ the use of can­nabis is the theme of the com­ments here. The bible does address the overuse of alcohol “do not be over­come with strong drink” but Jesus did say to his dis­ciples after His resur­rec­tion that he would not taste the ‘fruit of the vine’ (wine) until his return to the Mount of Olives, sug­gest­ing wine is an earthly pleas­ure and not con­sumed (or needed?) in heaven. The bible states clearly that EVERYTHING God made is good and put here for our use, but that we need to use good sense in how we use these things. Paul addresses the break­ing of bib­lical law about eating non-kosher foods in Romans 14 19 – 23

    Let us there­fore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edi­fic­a­tion. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat any­thing that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do any­thing else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

    22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between your­self and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is con­demned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

    About the body being the Temple of the Holy Spirit: I do not dis­agree with good advice about not defil­ing the body, but the flesh is yet unre­deemed and sin still resides in it. How then are we to recon­cile the thought of it being indwelt with the Holy Spirit while being a vessel of sin? Has not God chosen to dwell in our sinful bodies? Since our bodies are corrupt, and nothing we do can change that, do we condemn God for bestow­ing His Spirit upon us? Earlier in his letter to the Romans (Roman Jews) Paul says (Romans 8 9 – 11)
    You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d] because of right­eous­ness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.

    The point is, whatever doesn’t come from faith is sin. Is your faith strong enough to drink in mod­er­a­tion? Good for you. Should you let your freedom be the cause of sin in someone who’s faith is weak and believes ANY drink­ing is sin? Cer­tainly not. I would venture to guess this also applies to can­nabis, fatty foods, white sugar, or any­thing else. Keep it between you and God and your con­science.

  6. Bobby says:

    So much bad inform­a­tion on this site…

    YOU CANT USE MAR­GERIN!!!!

    WEED GIVES NO SIGNS OF CANCER!!!

    YOURFUCK HEAD!!!!!!!!!

    WHY are you quout­ing the bible about laws and justic this has nothing to do with the earbs of the eather. Weed is a plant the grows on its own and is our MOST RENEW­ABLE RESOURCE!!!!!!

    WEED CAN BE USED TO HELP THE HUMAN BODY AND DOES NOT DAMAGE IT IN ANY WAY AND IT CAN BE USED TO MAKE CLOTHES AND SHELTER. It could probaly fuel our cars to

    GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. nedmorlef says:

    Awesome topic with awesome com­ments.
    As an amer­ican pro­fess­ing born again I use both wine and weed. I feel the world has been seduced by the devil into think­ing that any of God’s cre­ation is “evil of itself”. That’s the same ideo­logy that, says “guns kill people”. There are several gun factor­ies all over the world and I have never ‚ever heard of a gun going on a rampage and killing anyone. I guess it could be a coverup or a media con­spir­acy.
    I support the asser­tions that, the bible speaks highly of herbs as food and medi­cine. Gen 1:27,28,29 and ezekiel 46 or 47 :12 give or take a verse.
    Trust me, it won’t hurt one bit to read an extra verse. I have been study­ing the bible close to 20 years and I learn every time I seek to learn. It is mod­ernly con­demned as a book of fables yet, it feeds my soul and mind. It ener­gizes my body. It’s not just a book. There­fore when, the young, blind and ignor­ant and much flawed law of the US.Gov’t [mere man] steps on the prin­ciples laid down for thou­sands of years of human psy­cho­logy as well as history, I tend to lean with the most proof of per­form­ance. God wins.
    If nothing is evil of itself, it’s not what goes into a man’s mouth that defiles him but, that which, comes out . For what comes out of his mouth is what’s in the heart. That’s para­phrased KJV. and herbs are good on then, it is the gov’t which, is wrong and over­stepped it’s author­ity. Com­merce laws are a bs way of taking control of edibles.
    Search abe lincoln. He said in 1840 while running for senate that, pro­hib­i­tion went against the prin­ciples of Con­sti­tu­tional freedom. Again a para­phrase.
    Now the doctor up top there fired off enough truth to slaughter any drug war law based on mor­al­ity or health. Of course we all know it’s just about control. There’s no justice in the enforce­ment. There’s more death and loss than rehab­il­it­a­tion. Whom is being helped? The devil is easy to read. God bless.

  8. Josh says:

    This is ridicu­lous. Where did you find that graph showing the order of rank of how harmful each sub­stance is. Marijuana is not dan­ger­ous at all. You claim it causes lung cancer but there is not a single case of a marijuana only smoker devel­op­ing lung cancer. Yes can­nabis con­tains more car­ci­no­gen­ics than what nicot­ine does, but research­ers claims that the canabin­oids in the can­nabis have anti-tumor prop­er­ties which do not allow celluar malig­nan­cies to form. This is a theory of why smoking marijuana does not cause cancer. As far as cog­nit­ive ability, research shows no long term effects from marijuana use. Sure it affects short term memory and motor skills while the person is under the influ­ence of the drug but these effects are tem­por­ary and only lasts as long as the high. The only long term neg­at­ive effects that have been actu­ally proven is for kids under 16 years old who smoke more than 3 times/​week. In this case research has shown a cor­rel­a­tion between smoking and an increased risk of devel­op­ment or exacer­ba­tion of pshycosis, bipolar dis­order, and other mental health prob­lems later on in life. So yeah dont smoke before the age of 16 as your brain is still devel­op­ing up to this age (atleast that was the theory of the research­ers as to why this only seemed to effect those who started smoking befpre the age of 16.

    As far as fol­low­ing the law or its a sin. I ialso think thats a little extreme. I mean it is against the law to have prayer in school. So if one was to break the law by having a man­dat­ory prayer before each class, would god con­sider that to be a sin? The man is break­ing the law but he is praying to the Holy Father. So whats your opinion on that.

    Hey all I ask id that you dont post things that are incor­rect about marijuana. As a smoker I already have a tough enough time dealing with judge­ment from people who look down on pot smokers because they are ignor­ant closed minded people who dont take the time to educate them­selves on a topic before making a judge­ment. It is all popular belief and it is posts like this that make people have a neg­at­ive outlook are marijuana.

  9. GIB PETERSON says:

    i have been smoking pot and its deriv­at­ives for forty years and have found no neg­at­ives except an occa­sional comment from unen­lightened acquaint­ances. i man­u­fac­ture very high quality ‘green’ butter, and then VERY tasty cookies (no smell of pot and no taste of pot when eaten) . i do suggest not to eat more than one, until the potency is real­ized. my own recipe is quite simple — a quant­ity of leaves and trim­mings, a large pot half filled with water, bring to a boil after mixing well together, then add one+ pound of high quality (low mois­ture content) butter. after all the butter is melted in, stir in 6 to 12 (at least half a mickey) ounces of booze/​food grade alcohol (enables thc to meld into the butter more com­pletely) stir well and simmer for minimum 4 hours, better to cook for eight hours. remove mass of cooked pot sieving and squeez­ing liquid into smaller con­tain­ers and place in fridge until the oils solid­ify on the surface (oils float to the top). i then melt the butter down and store in the freezer in 500ml con­tain­ers (500ml is equal to one cup for recipes — the cookies are IMPRESS­IVE !!!!!

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