These days, there seems to be an ever-widening gap between what is right, and what is legal. As Americans, we treasure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As Christians, we seek to serve and glorify God in all things. But what happens when these two ideals come into conflict, particularly when it’s in the “pursuit of happiness”? That’s a question more and more Christians will have to ask themselves as marijuana becomes legal.
With the recreational use of marijuana (or pot as its more commonly called) now legal in Colorado and Washington, most people believe it’s only a matter of time before the substance is accepted nationwide. However, Andy Crouch of Christianity Today believes the new law changes nothing. In his latest article for the website, Crouch asserts that drugs like pot have no place in a Christian lifestyle.
“Why should Christians flaunt their freedom in matters of such grave consequence for the poor?” He writes,“It is hard to imagine a more direct application of Paul's admonition to the Corinthians: ‘Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak’ (1 Cor. 8:9).”
“Is marijuana a cultivated celebration of the created world, one that enhances and sharpens image bearing in all its dimensions? Or does it merely substitute for the consolations and comforts of life lived truly and honestly before God and other people? In our cultural context, the answer seems pretty clear, and the way to true freedom is clear as well.”
Crouch isn’t the only Christian to vocally protest the use of marijuana. Nearly every Christian leader agrees that just because the drug is now permissible is everyday life, it does not mean Christians should partake in it. John Piper, the renowned theologian and author, has been urging Christians to be sober-minded since 2014,
"’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.’"
Meanwhile, Pastor Kenny Luck of Every Man Ministries had this to say,
“Here’s the blunt truth: People who use marijuana for ‘enjoyment’ are dancing with the devil with an addictive drug that compromises your health, vitality and ability to protect and provide for those who rely on you.”
As Christians, our course is clear. As followers of Christ, it is our privilege to live in pursuit of Jesus and not chase after worldly pleasures. Though marijuana may become legal in America, it does not mean that Christians have to partake in it. Christ has given us freedom, let’s be sure we don’t use it foolishly.
What about you? What do you think about legalized marijuana?
**Ryan Duncan is the Entertainment Editor for Crosswalk.com