By David Ruzicka
So a CNN reporter was riding the bong bus, marveling at a stoner gas mask and offering a hit on New Year’s Eve – but should a Christian smoke weed?
A: Obviously not, David. It’s illegal in Texas. Dude!
OK. What about California? It’s legal in California now. And Colorado! So it’s OK, right? I mean, “legal” means “permissible,” so it’s OK. Right? Check out the Wordage: Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work (Titus 3:1).
SEE! SEE! “Submissive to the rulers!” Since it’s legal in PROC (People’s Republic of California), let’s be godly submitters. And don’t bogart that joint, my friend! Pass it over to me!
Now, wait just a minute. Don’t get so excited, my doobie brother. Let’s think this through a little bit.
First, a social observation:
Smoke cigarettes? Culture says (I definitely do NOT say this) you’re a demon, a devil and a deplorable, and even if you smoke in your own home, we’ll hunt you down and put you in jail! OK, not yet, but give us time! For now, we’ll just tax your smokes into oblivion – which means we really can’t outlaw it because it’s such a great source of government revenue.
And your cancer-causing second-hand smoke is killing the world! (Full disclosure: smell of cig smoke on a cold, crisp morning fills my mind with great memories of deer hunting with my dad pre-fifth grade.)
I’ve never personally seen a modern movie/TV show where the smoker was the most loveable character in the movie. Maybe the toughest (fire in his mouth, gotta be tough), but not the most loveable.
Smoke weed? You freedom lover! You’re a cool dude who talks while holding your breath! You’re funny and the darling of pop culture – famous to millions like Cheech and Chong and Spicoli! Smoking weed is the subject of humor, and the pothead in a movie is always the most likable, with his “dude” and “tubular” and “gnarly.” I’ve never personally seen a pot smoker in a movie who was deplorable.
It’s perfectly acceptable to say you smoked weed as a kid because even presidents do it (Obama and Clinton). Everyone has done it, right (just for the record, I haven’t)?
So, if smoking a cigarette is so horrendous, and the anti-smoking crowd would love to outlaw it completely, it’s completely illogical that smoking cannabis would be looked at as acceptable in any way! It’s all smoke, carcinogenic and polluting! In fact, the logical response to the legalization of marijuana anywhere would be outrage, panic and hand-wringing. But no, the popular culture largely says it’s a beautiful thing, cute thing, freedom thing … dude. Unless you’re a killjoy, fun-hating narc.
Conclusion? Our crazy world is not the “go-to” for wisdom, logic, consistency or clarity on smoking weed.
What does the Bible say about it?
- The Bible doesn’t mention marijuana. Or doobie. Or maryjane. It does mentions grass! Darn! Wrong kind of grass. Just the kind cows eat.
- The Bible doesn’t mention “getting high.” Nobody in the Bible ever said, “When I get high I see Jesus.” But I heard someone say that at some time in my life. That is some kind of crazy.
- The Bible does say no to drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18). The reason is simple. It robs the individual of the ability to control himself. If you’re “controlled” by drunkenness, you can’t be “controlled” by the Spirit.
- Unlike alcohol (you can drink and not get drunk), you can’t smoke a joint (or eat a brownie) and not get high. The whole point is to get high.
- Getting high impairs you like getting drunk. “That’s totally bogus man!” Really? Consider this: In Colorado it is illegal to drive while drunk OR under the influence of MJ. Why? Because you are unable to control yourself. You may kill someone.Colorado governmental authorities (and ski resorts) see drunken folks and doobie brothers (or sisters) as equally impaired. (Smoke a joint on the slopes and you’ll be escorted off the mountain.) In this case Ephesians 5:18 (God says no to drunkenness) would come into play. Don’t be controlled by anything (like marijuana or drunkenness) but be controlled by the Spirit of God.
So, besides the fact that smoking weed is:
- a poor witness of a person who exalts Christ as King and Lord over all of life,
- a stumbling block for folks (nobody ever said, “I got a scholarship to college because of marijuana”),
the Biblical principle in Ephesians 5:18 of not being controlled by anything but the Holy Spirit of God would dictate abstinence from the use of marijuana.
Can I smoke weed and be a Christian? Sure. Faith in Christ is the only thing that saves me. But looking at Scripture, I’d have to say I’m a disobedient Christian. I’d be hard-pressed to say in any way that I’m really looking out for No. 1 (Jesus) in my life.
David Ruzicka is a pastor of Fort Bend Fellowship in Katy, Texas. He holds a BBA, MBA and M.Div degree. He’s a hunter, father to two daughters, married to his first wife and writes from an admittedly unique and off-center perspective. Ruzicka has written several columns for The Christian Post, and he blogs at ilikemycoffeeblack.com.