Can Christians Smoke Marijuana?
Over the last decade, there has been a surprising number of changes in the laws regarding marijuana. We’re seeing a growing trend in the United States of America to make marijuana legal in some sense; not every law is the same. Not every intention for every law is the same. But there’s no denying that the last decade has seen a growing liberalization with regard to the legality of smoking marijuana. What that does is if you live in a place where it is legal to smoke marijuana, it raises a question for a Christian. And the question is, if it’s legal to smoke marijuana where I live, then am I allowed to smoke it? So that’s the question this week on the podcast, can a Christian smoke marijuana if it’s legal where you live? And the answer is no. Christians cannot smoke marijuana, even if it’s legal, where you live. And I’ll tell you why.
Christians Must Obey the Government
There are a couple of different reasons. The first reason has to do with Romans 13. This chapter commands that Christians have to obey the government. It says in Romans chapter 13:1, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities for there’s no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” So, the Bible is clear that God raises up the government to be his instrument and to be his agent. One of the ways that we can obey God is by obeying the righteous authority that he has put in place in government. You say, well, hold on a second, though. The question is not, do I obey the government? But can I smoke marijuana if it’s legal where I live, and if it’s legal where I live, then now all of a sudden, it’s not a problem. I wouldn’t be in violation of the governing authorities to smoke it. But here’s the problem with that. It might be legal in the state or the city, or the jurisdiction where you live. But according to federal law, marijuana is an illegal drug; it is a federal crime to possess or sell or use marijuana. It’s an illegal drug federally. So now look, here’s the thing. This creates all sorts of legal problems. What’s going to happen when federal law is at war with state law? And that creates all sorts of problems there. By the way, this conflict probably isn’t going to last forever. The reality is the growing liberalization of marijuana smoking is likely to include federal laws at some point in the future, as well. But here’s the point. Wherever you live in the United States of America, it’s against the law to smoke marijuana. So, here’s the thing, if you don’t smoke marijuana, you will never break any law. But if you do smoke marijuana, you will always violate federal law, and you will violate Romans 13, and you will sin against the Lord. So, for that reason, you know, you’re not allowed to.
Christians Must be Full of the Holy Spirit
There’s another reason, though, and that has to do with another passage of Scripture. It’s, it’s a text of Scripture, in Ephesians 5:18, and Christians are commanded, “Do not get drunk with wine for that is debauchery but be filled with the Spirit.” This is a command in Scripture against using intoxicating substances. The Apostle talks about wine here, that’s because that was the intoxicating substance that was available in those days. It was the intoxicating substance that he was aware of and knew to write about. That the Bible says wine doesn’t mean well, okay, I can’t get drunk on wine, but I am allowed to get drunk on Jack Daniels. I can’t get drunk on wine, but I can get drunk on tequila. It doesn’t mean that. It doesn’t mean that any more than that fact that it says don’t get drunk with wine doesn’t mean you’re allowed to get high on marijuana. The reality is the command in the Bible, when you take away the contextual language, is a command against getting drunk and getting high with an intoxicating substance. And the reason why is that it is debauchery. It is wicked; it is corrupt. Instead of pursuing those sorts of corruptions, you are to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Here’s the thing. You don’t need marijuana; you don’t need the high of marijuana. What you need is to be filled. You need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. You need the Holy Spirit to fill you with so much of Jesus that there is no more room in your heart for anything else, that you wouldn’t be tempted by wine or any drug, not even marijuana, because you are filled with the Holy Spirit. You are not debauched. You are holy. So regardless of what the rules are in the United States, regardless of the rules in the jurisdiction where you live, God’s rules in your life are clear. You are not to be high on marijuana, for that is debauchery, but instead, you’re supposed to be filled with the Holy Spirit.