In November of 2012, Colorado became the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. This decision has been met with praise throughout the country, and as of January 2014, the Rocky Mountain area has seen legalized pot shops spring up like weeds. Demand for cannabis has actually become so high that images on CNN have showcased people coming out in droves to purchase, like something out of Black Friday. For Christians, this new legislation has created a small but troublesome rift in the community of believers. Most conservatives are disgusted with the idea of legalized pot, but others are curious about the forbidden weed.
If marijuana is now legal, what’s to stop Christians from using it? How is it any different from other legalized drugs such as caffeine? Theologian John Piper, sees this is a serious issue facing young Christians today, and believes there are significant reasons why individuals should continue to reject marijuana even after its legalization. According to a recent article in The Christian Post, Piper began his arguments by siting 1 Corinthians 6:19-20,
"’Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?’ states the passage. And that has been ‘an immovable barrier between me and self-destruction,’ Piper shares. Christians need to ask, ‘Is this making Jesus look like the treasure He is?’ Piper adds. ‘I would ask this that about smoking, about drunkenness, about recreational marijuana, about sedentary indolence, about overeating, about banal TV watching, and lots of other things.’"
For many, the legalization of marijuana represents another symptom of our current culture. As younger generations become more and more invested in the world of technology, important values and beliefs start to change. John Stonestreet of Breaking Point noted that the sexually-charged lifestyles of actors and pop stars is redefining how children see the world, while Christian writer, Guy Hatcher, stressed the need to build ourselves around God’s standards.
“Regardless of what generation you are from or what mindset you have, it is important for you to understand that God has already defined your legacy and called you to a specific purpose here on earth. He has also blessed you with his legacy through the covenant he made with Abraham. All you have to do is claim it. So as far as the need for instant gratification goes, consider yourself served.
Galatians 3:29 confirms, ‘If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.’”
With 2014 has just starting, we do not know what awaits us in the year ahead. Regardless of what comes though, we can still take heart in the knowledge that God is in control. However this world of ours may change, Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
*Ryan Duncan is the Culture Editor for Crosswalk.com