Answering this question is simple in the context of The Village Church because all marijuana use is illegal in Texas. According to the Scriptures, God has ordained all authority, and we are called to submit to such authority (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17). Except in cases where Christian responsibility is at stake (Acts 4:18-21; 5:27-29), we are called to obey the laws of the land in which God has placed us.
If you live in Texas or any other context in which it is illegal, no compelling case can be made for any use of marijuana. A person who uses marijuana (or any other substance) illegally does so sinfully. This is no gray area.
If, however, you live in a context where marijuana is legal, it is still wise and prudent to refrain (with the possible exception of a legitimate and prescribed medicinal use). The reason I encourage abstinence is two-fold.
First, marijuana impairs a user to such an extent that he or she is controlled by the drug. As Paul states in Ephesians 5:18, the problem with drunkenness is that the user is filled with and thus controlled by alcohol rather than the Spirit. As even moderate marijuana use produces a high, the same principle applies.
For those who argue that “excessive use” of marijuana is sinful, while moderate use is acceptable, consider that it is possible to drink without becoming drunk, but a person becomes under the controlling influence of marijuana as soon as he or she inhales.
Second, marijuana use cannot legitimately pass the barrage of questions that passages like 1 Corinthians 10 force us to answer before engaging in any questionable action (again, it is not questionable in illegal contexts). As mentioned in a previous blog on yoga, you must answer the following questions:
- Do I recognize that having the right to do something does not mean that it is the right thing to do (v. 23)?
- Is this both helpful and edifying (v. 23)?
- With whom and around whom would I be smoking marijuana? Will participation hurt the conscience of another (v. 24-28)?
- Can I smoke marijuana in a posture of gratitude and to the glory of God? How is God glorified in this activity (vv. 30-31)?
- Will my participating cause unnecessary offense to others? Will it hinder my opportunities to engage in mission for the kingdom (vv. 32-33)?
For the sake of submission to the authority appointed over you by God, for the sake of your own submission to the leading and controlling influence of the Spirit and for the sake of the conscience of others, Christians should not engage in the use of marijuana.