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Are there biblical guidelines that may help Christians decide whether or not recreational marijuana usage should be practiced by followers of Jesus?

Key Points:

  • Because recreational marijuana usage is beginning to be legalized in the U.S., it is important for Christians to know where they stand on the issue and why.
  • God giving us “every seed-bearing plant” (Genesis 1:29) for consumption is not talking about recreational drug  use, but about food.
  • Marijuana use primes the brain to desire more drugs, but this does not guarantee that marijuana use is necessarily a “gateway” into harder drugs.
  • The Bible does not explicitly condemn recreational marijuana use because it was not as readily available as alcohol was.
  • Alcohol is the lense the Bible uses for talking about substance abuse and recreational drug use because it was so readily available in ancient times.
  • Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 5 has broader implications than alcohol abuse. The reason we should not abuse alcohol – or any substance or habit – is that it will “ruin your life.” The Bible literally calls it “un-salvation.”
  • Christians should do all things to the glory of God (Colossians 3:17). This means having an attitude characterized by a desire to honor God and help others pursue him.
  • If we use recreational drugs or engage in other habits that could be “wasteful” in our lives, the key question to ask ourselves is: “why?”
  • Discerning Christ-followers will not “skirt the line” when it comes to sinfulness, wastefulness, and worldly living (Hebrews 12:1).

Quote This:

Ephesians 5:18 (NIV) Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…

See Also: Addiction, Christian Living, Culture, Drugs, Sin

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. Have you ever used marijuana recreationally? If you did, why? If you haven’t, why?
  3. Have you ever known someone who does or did use a lot of recreational marijuana? What is that person doing these days?
  4. Do you think marijuana is a “gateway drug?” Why or why not?
  5. It is often argued that people use drugs for “escapism.” Do you agree? Why or why not?
  6. What things in your life might tempt you to be “escapist?” What are the goods and bads of “escaping?”
  7. “Legality does not equal morality.” Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement.
  8. Is drinking alcohol the same as using marijuana recreationally? Why or why not?
  9. In one scripture, Paul encourages alcohol consumption (1 Timothy 5:23) and in another condemns drunkenness/”dissipation” (Ephesians 5:18). What does this teach us about alcohol consumption versus consumption of other drugs?
  10. Have you ever known someone whose life has been destroyed by an addiction of any kind? Share the story as you are comfortable.
  11. Read 1 Corinthians 10:31 and Colossians 3:17. Is it possible to use marijuana recreationally “to the glory of God?” Explain.
  12. Are you tempted toward “dissipation?” In what ways? How can you avoid being overcome with dissipation?
  13. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.