Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal

Washington State has become the second state to legalize marijuana. Christians need to be prepared to speak to this issue. Reasons to oppose marijuana are here given in the form of Questions and Answers.

1. Marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol, and alcohol is legal.

Alcohol is America’s number one drug problem. Why should we now unleash another harmful drug on America? When marijuana has been legalized, it has led to an increase in crime and societal problems.

Alcohol and marijuana have been classified as “gateway drugs,” drugs that often lead to harder drugs. Isn’t one legal gateway drug enough?

2. We have not won the war against drugs, including marijuana. So why not legalize it?

We haven’t won the war against murder either. Should we therefore legalize murder? Should we just tax murder? Of course not. Passing a law against a harmful practice does not eliminate the practice. But it does limit it, stigmatize it, and punish the abusers.

3. Medical marijuana should be legalized.

The argument for medical marijuana usually is just a way of opening the door to the recreational use of marijuana. When a state legalizes smoking marijuana for pain, you can expect the next push to be for legalizing recreational marijuana. Christian abstainers, however, do accept the use of drugs for medicinal necessity, rather than recreational purposes.

For some the pain-relieving aspects of marijuana loses appeal when you take away the idea of smoking a joint and getting high. Marijuana is already available in drug form that does not get you high, yet can be used for pain or other medical conditions.

Barrett Duke of the ERLC explains, “Marijuana’s pain-relieving ingredient has been available by prescription for years. A person can purchase Marinol—right now—with a doctor’s prescription. The plain fact of the matter is that there are better and safer drugs [for pain]” (bpnews.net; 8-6-2012).

4. People have a right to smoke marijuana if they choose.

Our rights must sometimes end when a practice or substance becomes too harmful to ourselves and others. I know there is a fine line that sometimes has to be drawn, but dangerous drugs that harm the user and innocent others should be severely limited. Isn’t it strange that just as society is turning against smoking tobacco, it is now moving toward sanctioning smoking marijuana?

5. We can get taxes from the legal sales of marijuana.

We could also get taxes from legalizing other harmful practices. Invariably, when we allow and tax a practice that is harmful to society, we end up paying more to control it and deal with its consequences than we receive in taxes. Government would do better to get their taxes up front and honestly, not by legalizing destructive behavior.

6. You can’t legislate morality.

Yes you can. Our laws against murder and theft legislate morality. The question is where you draw the line. Some things need to be criminalized, limited, and stigmatized.

7. Penalties for marijuana should change.

Perhaps this is true. Barrett Duke has suggested, “A system of increasing fines, penalties and requirements, like substance-abuse counseling, can be developed. Penalties even could include the loss of one’s driver’s license. Jail could be a last resort for habitual offenders” (-BP).

8. Marijuana is not that bad.

Rather, when marijuana has been legalized, it has magnified an existing problem. Marijuana has multiple toxic chemicals and gives a higher risk for cancer, psychosis, strokes, respiratory damage and heart attack. It causes impaired memory, difficulty concentrating, impairs driving and reaction time. It lowers the I.Q. of teenage smokers.

Acceptance of another mind-altering recreational drug always changes things for the worse.

Biblical reasons to oppose marijuana

Every biblical injunction against alcohol is also a condemnation of marijuana and other recreational drugs.

  1. Scripture describes in detail the dangerous effects of alcoholic wine and says not to even look at it (Proverbs 23:29-35). It’s not much of a leap to take the same low view of other dangerous drugs.
  2. Scripture directly says wine is a mocker (Proverbs 20:1).
  3. Scripture commands us to be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:6-8, 1 Peter 5:8, etc.).
  4. Kings are commanded not to drink wine lest they pervert justice (Proverbs 31:4-5). Believers are called kings and priests (Revelation 1:6; 5:10) and neither should we take drugs that would cause us to do things we’d never do in our right minds.
  5. A Christian is to honor God with his mind and body (Matthew 22:37, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Both are adversely affected by alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs.
  6. Drinking hurts your Christian influence and leads others astray (1 Corinthians 8:9, 10:23).

One very big problem Christian social drinkers have is if they are justified in taking one mind-altering recreational drug (alcohol), then they have no legitimate argument against another legal mind-altering recreational drug (marijuana). The wise thing for Christians is to have nothing to do with either drug.

It should also be remembered that legal and moral are not synonymous. Whether alcohol, marijuana, or other harmful drugs are legal, a Christian answers to a higher standard.

Let’s not legalize another destructive drug.

David Brumbelow bio


David R. Brumbelow is pastor of Northside Baptist Church, Highlands, Texas and a graduate of ETBU and SWBTS. David is the author of “Ancient Wine and the Bible” and “The Wit and Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow.” He writes at gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com.

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jeremiahsa's picture

As a preface to my comments, let me clarify a couple of things. First, I oppose the recreational use of marijuana and think that even its medicinal use is unwise. For that reason, much of what you say resonates with me.

Legalization or non-legalization, however, is (a) not a biblical way to deal with the abuse of drugs and (b) not an American way. There is also a point which you have not addressed, which I believe must be addressed in a treatise on the ethics of any legislation, namely the cost of enforcement.

A. You have given ample reason why marijuana should be off-limits for a Christian and why it is harmful to the individuals using it. This, however, does not explain why even among literally hundreds of Old Testament laws God wouldn't have made alcohol illegal in Israel. Deut 14:26 indicates that the purchase of strong drink was legal and one was not punished for purchasing it. Just because something is unwise, does not mean that we should make it illegal. Otherwise, we ought to make it illegal for consumers to incur debt or a host of other things. There are biblical ways of dealing with drug abuse, including, but not limited to admonishment, rehabilitation, and self-restraint. To use the law to accomplish this end is without biblical precedent.

B. The Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution assigns the power to legislate matters not contained in the constitution to the people or to the states. Not, however, to the federal government. For the federal government to make the possession or use of a substance illegal is an abuse of federal power. The reason for bringing this up is that the discussion should never be about whether it should be legalized at the federal level, but at the state level. It is the right of the state to decide whether or not to legalize drugs.

C. The cost of enforcement is something which needs to be brought up. With the US already Trillions of dollars in debt, we are adding about $15 Billion per year to that debt with the cost of enforcement for drug use. The Scriptures say much about the foolishness of being in debt, and our children will suffer when they are forced to pay off what we owe. The roughly half million people put in prison each year for marijuana offenses are typically non-violent, meaning that their only crime was marijuana.

This brings me to the real point that bothers me about the article. I strongly oppose the use of government to protect the people against themselves. Government is rightly used to protect the people against each other and against foreign invasion, but when it protects us against ourselves, there's no telling where it will stop. If society decided fundamentalism is bad for us, they could imprison people for practicing fundamentalism. A government powerful enough to protect you against yourself is a government powerful enough to take away everything you have. Freedom is, for better or worse, the freedom to make a wrong choice for yourself. Otherwise it is not freedom at all.

And in case anyone missed it before, I firmly believe that a Christian should not use marijuana. We should use the power of the Word, the Holy Spirit, and personal influence to help our neighbors see the wisdom of abstaining from marijuana. Let's not relegate our personal responsibility to the government.

Mark_Smith's picture

to consume as long as you don't get drunk, why not take a puff or two from a joint? I sssume of course that you live in a state/country where it is legal. Hey, God gave us the herbs of the field, and one writer here at SI specifically argued once that the "joy" of alcohol was to be taken advantage of. In other words, SEEK THE BUZZ! All for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). What defense could possibly be made to oppose legalizing marijuana?

Jim's picture

Dave said:

One very big problem Christian social drinkers have is if they are justified in taking one mind-altering recreational drug (alcohol), then they have no legitimate argument against another legal mind-altering recreational drug (marijuana). The wise thing for Christians is to have nothing to do with either drug.

You are against legalized marijuana. Of course the proverbial horse has left the barn  big time in Washington State and Colorado. Do you favor a return to prohibition of alcoholic beverages? Why or why not? 

One could be opposed to legalized marijuana for any number of reasons: To cite several:

You continue to state that alcoholic beverages (even drinking in moderation) are mind altering. In another thread you cited the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). But the CDC does not take a total abstinence policy.

One could favor legalized marijuana for a number of reasons (reflecting on Jeremiah Sandal's post above):

  • One could cite the high costs of the "war on drugs" and specifically the legal, regulatory, and policing costs associated with this particular battle OR
  • One could be more of a libertarian bent and see that the government should not be involved in it's prohibition.

For me:

  • From my own studies about the prohibition era, I've concluded it was a disastrous mistake. It brought about more crime including the rise of the mobsters, it brought about the income tax and the rise of big government
  • I see the value of allowing research into the medicinal benefits of the  marijuana (a la recent Minnesota legislation)
Jim's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:
one writer here at SI specifically argued once that the "joy" of alcohol was to be taken advantage of. In other words, SEEK THE BUZZ! All for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). 

Correction: You mean "one poster". There have been no S/I articles advocating getting buzzed. And while I'm not sure which post(s) you are referring but I've never seen anyone on S/I advocate drunkenness 

David R. Brumbelow's picture

First, Prohibition was not nearly the failure many today make it out to be.

“One of the clear lessons of Prohibition is that when we had laws against alcohol there was less consumption, less alcohol-related disease, fewer drunken brawls, and a lot less drunkenness. And contrary to myth, there is no evidence that Prohibition caused any big increases in crime.”

-William Bennett, a graduate of Williams College, has a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Texas, and a law degree from Harvard. He was director of the National Drug Control Policy under President George H. W. Bush, and Secretary of Education under President Reagan.

Second, what many do not realize is that America still has prohibition. It has prohibition against heroin, meth, cocaine, etc.

I don’t think there is much public support for bringing back Prohibition of Alcohol. But he question could be asked,

“Are there any dangerous drugs you think should be prohibited?”

Third, is alcohol mind-altering? Of course. The first drink affects your mind and judgment. Most drinkers will admit a drink relaxes them, calms them, gives them a buzz, etc. That is why they drink (and maybe to fit in). That is why nonalcoholic drinks that taste like alcohol are not nearly as popular with drinkers as the drug of alcohol.

The government is putting out ads emphasizing “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.” Many traffic accidents re caused by drivers who are not legally drunk, but are intoxicated enough to impair their reaction time and their judgment.

Many who drink will freely acknowledge the first drink does affect you. A Defensive Driving instructor who admitted to drinking in moderation said,

The first drink affects your judgment. Therefore if you have had any alcohol, you are unqualified to judge whether you are fit to drive.

Jerry Vines said, “Moderate drinking is moderate intoxication.”

David R. Brumbelow

Jim's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:
If you think alcohol is ok to consume as long as you don't get drunk, why not take a puff or two from a joint? 

Response:

  • I've actually had many opportunities to smoke a joint and have not. (I was in college from '67=71 @ the University of Cincinnati)
  • My reasoning then: 1.) Illegal; 2.) Wasn't impressed with the lifestyle of "heads" as we called them then (think "pot-head"); 3. My M&M argument. If there were a full bowl of M&M's next to my chair I would eat them all. Didn't want to start and see where pot lead me
  • Re alcohol vs marijuana ... it's apples and oranges!
    • 1st people don't drink alcohol. They drink beverages that contain alcohol. Some regard (it's their preference) those beverages as tasty, refreshing, or enhancing a meal. 
    • An alcoholic beverage is processed through the stomach / liver / kidneys
    • Marijuana is processed through the lungs. See Health Hazards of Smoking Marijuana: "Marijuana smoke contains a greater amount of carcinogens than tobacco smoke. In addition, marijuana users usually inhale more deeply and hold their breath longer than tobacco smokers do, further increasing the lungs exposure to carcinogenic smoke. "

 

David R. Brumbelow's picture

From the CDC:

“Note: Legal limits do not define a level below which it is safe to operate a vehicle or engage in some other activity. Impairment due to alcohol use begins to occur at levels well below the legal limit." 

"According to the guidelines, people who should not drink alcoholic beverages at all include the following…Individuals who plan to drive, operate machinery, or take part in other activities that require attention, skill, or coordination.”

http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm

David R. Brumbelow

James K's picture

Jim, it was your resident reformed reviewer of books who advocated the buzz.

1 Kings 8:60 - so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other.

Mark_Smith's picture

It was that Reformed reviewer of books. But, to be fair, I think he said it while responding as a "layman", not an SI thread starter. Either way, that doesn't bother me, other than to reinforce that if you think alcohol is a gift from God to be taken carefully and responsibly, why would you not think the same thing about marijuana in states where it is legal to use it?

 

So, Jim is correct. I meant "one poster" rather than implying that it was an official position of SI in some way.

Jim's picture

Is this article about being against marijuana legalization or against beverage alcohol? Or both? I ask because the thread has gone the way of against beverage alcohol. 

Thanks

 

Pastor Doug H's picture

Though processed differently an alcoholic drink (via the stomach and small intestine) or marijuana inhaled (via the lungs)  both enter the blood stream and affect the brain/nerve cells of the body.

Those who argue for legalization of marijuana can make the case that both drugs have a similar affect upon the brain.  Though marijuana lingers longer in the body, both can cause health issues for the user.

*For the record I am an abstainer and advocate such for both one's personal health and avoiding being a stumbling block.

 

 

Jim's picture

I think I've demonstrated that the M/J issue is not identical the beverage alcohol issue. One can not be opposed to beverage alcohol and still be opposed to M/J. 

Mind-altering is such a vague term. I really think that some are ignorant of the practices of some who drink. I know many. A glass of wine with pasta; a beer with pizza. I have a brother-in-law who drinks HARD LIQUOR ... he splashes some rum in his coke. I know many drinkers (Christian and otherwise) who absolutely limit themselves to no more than one drink a day. Might be an aperitif before a meal

The Womens Christian Temperance Movement crowd among Baptists want to lump all drinkers together. The gutter drunk is the same as the old lady who has a glass of wine with dinner (my 94 year old Mom). Be an unnuanced fool and paint with a broad brush if you want. But your arguments have failed to sway me to:

  • Demand that a Christian brother must abstain because of your own preferences
  • And make beverage alcohol a divisive issue among believers!  

 

alex o.'s picture

In the Calvinist/Arminian (some might even be semi-pelagian) debate, a feature characterizing the Arminian side seems to be a man-centered worldview. The Calvinist (generally more scholarly and biblically oriented) view consistently sees that God is totally superintending His creation in the most minute details. It is the same with folks who advocate total abstinence: they seem to be very "man centered" while those who see the bible allowing responsible alcohol enjoyment see this as a blessing and part of God's created order.

Most Calvinists are more than merely moralists, instead they are spiritually empowered by God through the Holy Spirit (right theology and practice seem to go hand in hand). Semi-pelagianism is characterized, in my opinion, as hyper moralists who tend to self-righteousness. Just my observation (I have observed plenty). 

Another observation: I have never encountered an total abstentionist who is a competent bible scholar. Sorry, but the bible teaches moderation and control to say otherwise is outside of the bounds of acceptable biblical study.

I will defend what I said here but I am busy the rest of the day today. See you tomorrow (or not).

"Our faith itself... is not our saviour. We have but one Saviour; and that one Saviour is Jesus Christ our Lord.  B.B. Warfield

http://beliefspeak2.net

David R. Brumbelow's picture

“I hope they will be full of spirit against evil spirits, stout against stout, and hale against ale.” -Charles H. Spurgeon, letter to temperance society, March 19, 1884.

http://gulfcoastpastor.blogspot.com/2010/04/charles-h-spurgeon-on-alcoho...

“A man who is a drinker has no place in the ministry.” -John MacArthur; 1 Timothy.

I might add they would also be considered competent Bible scholars.

Many other examples could be given of Calvinist and non-Calvinist / Moderate Calvinist Bible scholars who oppose alcohol.

David R. Brumbelow

Bert Perry's picture

The argument for the legalization of medical marijuana has mostly to do with the fact that certain medical treatments make it really difficult to keep food down, and somehow smoked or eaten (brownies, etc..) marijuana does this better than Marinol.  Dope has also been found useful for those who have suffered concussions, for some reason.  So the medical argument does appear to be legitimate, though certainly a lot of people want it to be a prelude to full legalization.

So really I'd argue the question is whether one puff, or one joint, gets a person "intoxicated" by Bible standards, and whether the usual user can, or can not, cease using the drug if he so desires.  From what I've seen, the answers are "no" and "no."  A person does not get falling down drunk (this is the Bible definition) with one joint, and many users walk away from it.  So it's really failing the public health test for banning it.  If you wanted to ban something that really is deadly, that would be the "American diet and lifestyle" that kills something like 700 thousand of us annually.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

Quick correction; the answers are "no, the person is not flat out stoned" and "yes, the person can stop using it without withdrawal symptoms".  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

alex o.'s picture

John MacArthur is not a scholar but a "popular-level" preacher and writer. He is wrong on some things and right on some things.

My contention stands: godly Israelites and Jesus used intoxicating beverages responsibly from the record of the scriptures. To construe the record in any other way is false teaching in my book.

For those who are unaware of alcohol: the one drink of wine I have daily is not really noticed as I have my meal with it. Alcohol's effects are not static: every breath expels alcohol from the system. In one hour, through breathing, all alcohol of one drink is removed from the body. So, if at a celebration where there is feasting and dancing, there would be a need for large quantities of wine which Jesus produced at the wedding in Cana.

"Our faith itself... is not our saviour. We have but one Saviour; and that one Saviour is Jesus Christ our Lord.  B.B. Warfield

http://beliefspeak2.net

Bert Perry's picture

It's worth noting that Creech's "excellent article" about wine predominantly uses Brumbelow as a source, and Brumbelow's writing about marijuana simply cites a Southern Baptist lobbyist, Barrett Duke, without proper citation or any peer reviewed work.  When you take a look at the real data, you quickly find that marijuana is well behind legal things like the U.S. diet in terms of negative influence.

It's also worth noting that the "addictive" nature of marijuana is not a physical addiction like that for opiates, painkillers, alcohol and nicotine, but rather is more of a compulsive behavior--like my trips to the coffee pot throughout the day.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/almost-addicted/201311/is-marijuana-...

Now given that lots of things are compulsive behaviors--eating, washing, drinking, smoking, sex, coffee, and even marijuana--I've got to wonder whether we do better to ban the substance, or to address the reasons for the compulsive behavior.  Given that I'm not about to give up eating, bathing, and coffee, I'm leaning towards the latter.

Lots of great reasons not to use marijuana--I start with being allergic tot he stuff and not particularly feeling the need to get "high"--but those do not automatically translate to a reason to ban it.  Really, a lot of the "keep it illegal" faction are more or less recycling "Reefer Madness", and we do not honor God by doing this any more than if we recycle Carrie Nation's WCTU rhetoric in the face of contrary evidence.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

You'll note that the people who endorsed recreational alcohol have no problem with toking a joint! At least they are consistent.

Mark_Smith's picture

What is a scholar alex o. If John MacArthur is not one, is any pastor? What makes one a scholar?

 

Also, you say you drink one glass of wine nightly. Why? Health reasons? You say you hardly notice it, so there must not be much joy in it.

jeremiahsa's picture

Not everyone who enjoys a moderate amount of alcohol consumes marijuana. In fact, I would imagine that most moderationists when it comes to alcohol abstain from marijuana. For me, it comes down to a simple reason. Most marijuana users seek a high. Many people who enjoy alcohol in moderation drink for the enjoyment of the flavor. I've done a lot of reading from all angles on marijuana and have yet to hear people talking about the nuances of flavor. It's all about the experience of being high. Being high isn't acceptable for a Christian anymore than being drunk. Now is it possible to enjoy marijuana in moderation and without getting high? I don't know, but I'm not going to be the guinea pig. I certainly haven't found documentation on it.

Having said this, my original point has not been addressed in this thread. Just because an activity is not suitable for a believer, does that give us a right to forbid unbelievers from doing it? Especially when we don't have a "Thus says the Lord" on the matter. Even more so when we consider that marijuana users rarely harm people besides themselves. What marijuana users need is the Gospel, not jail time. Putting them in jail seems like it would make them harder to reach with the Gospel.

alex o.'s picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

What is a scholar alex o. If John MacArthur is not one, is any pastor? What makes one a scholar?

 

Also, you say you drink one glass of wine nightly. Why? Health reasons? You say you hardly notice it, so there must not be much joy in it.

Johnnie Mac writes "popular" books, his readers are folks who barely know the bible. Do you think any college or seminary professor reads his books for insights? I do not believe I have disparaged him, his strength is dealing with a more general audience. If MacAurthur says a pastor is disqualified because they drink from 1Tim. 3, he gets it wrong. The idea is of "being beside the wine" having it next to oneself in order to partake more of it. A pastor needs more self-control than that.

The bible speaks against the wrong use of intoxicating drinks often but not against the nature of the drinks themselves. This is how Hosea needs to be read when the drunkards are renounced. Part of the sacrifices was pouring out wine next to the altar. When an Israelite brought freewill and peace offerings they ate part of the offering as an act of "eating with the Lord" thereby showing peace and fellowship. These products (grain, oil, wine, animals) were the staples of Israeli everyday fare. It is crazy to think the ancient Israelites reconstituted raisins into a beverage to pour out to the Lord. Actually a person would get sick doing so since the water would not be sanitized by raisins.

This discussion is really on the fringe of reality as I don't know what some are smoking to come up with these crazy ideas. I won't have discussions with KJV only types either as it is a waste of time.  I am beginning to feel some in this discussion are hopelessly biased and not worth my time.

Why I enjoy wine? Certainly not for the effect alone but I do enjoy the relaxation alcohol provides sometimes. It is the whole package: the aroma, taste of a nice NZ Sauvignon Blanc (my current favorite) is really nice. Sometimes I notice the effects if I am not hurrying (like most Americans when they eat). At my age any more than one drink would hurt my body since it doesn't digest alcohol very well after 60. One drink is good for digestion I would say and provides good components for health. I drink it more for enjoyment than trying to live longer because of it though (I believe it does provide long term benefits). 

 

"Our faith itself... is not our saviour. We have but one Saviour; and that one Saviour is Jesus Christ our Lord.  B.B. Warfield

http://beliefspeak2.net

David R. Brumbelow's picture

No man should be made the pastor of a church who drinks intoxicating liquors as a beverage.” -B. H. Carroll, founding president of SWBTS

“The bishop (pastor) is to be free from wine (1 Timothy 3:3).  One would presume that this admonition, at least in part, is for an example.  If so, here again the ideal would be total abstinence for all who make up the body of Christ, i.e., the church.”

“Not only is it imperative that a preacher abstain from strong drink altogether, but in this day in which the liquor industry grips modern society with such violent tenacity, the preacher ought to take his stand firmly against the use and sale of beverage alcohol.” -Dr. Paige Patterson, current president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

David R. Brumbelow

Bert Perry's picture

John MacArthur's comments on alcohol are something of a sidetrack here, but they do have the good purpose of illustrating how far afield mainstream evangelical and fundamental thought is on the subject.  That is, if we are to take seriously his exegesis of the word "paroinos" (his comments on this can be Googled), we must assume that Christ, the apostles, and Timothy were not qualified to be in ministry because they were known to drink wine.

Unless we accept David' hypothesis that Timothy was drinking raisin juice (which would have done nothing for his frequent illnesses), that cannot be true.  And hence we need to go beyond mere prooftexting to understand wine in its ethical and unethical use--a merry heart and drunkenness as defined by the Scriptures.  I think such wisdom would be welcome with marijuana, too.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

1 Timothy 5:23 has often been misused.

No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities. -1 Timothy 5:23

1. The wine referred to could have either been fermented or unfermented. The Bible and ancient writing often refer to unfermented wine by the name wine (Isaiah 65:8; Matthew 9:17; etc.).

Modern English translations do so as well.

Ancients knew and practiced multiple ways of preserving unfermented wine. It was available throughout the year.

Unfermented wine or grape juice has many, probably more, healthy properties than alcoholic wine; without the harmful side effects.

However, even if Paul was recommending alcoholic wine:

2. He said a little.

3. Strictly for medicinal purposes.

At most, this is only justifying a little alcohol for medicinal reasons.

It is also interesting that as a pastor, Timothy, for good reason, had been abstaining from wine.

David R. Brumbelow

alex o.'s picture

Bert Perry wrote:

John MacArthur's comments on alcohol are something of a sidetrack here, but they do have the good purpose of illustrating how far afield mainstream evangelical and fundamental thought is on the subject.  That is, if we are to take seriously his exegesis of the word "paroinos" (his comments on this can be Googled), we must assume that Christ, the apostles, and Timothy were not qualified to be in ministry because they were known to drink wine.

Unless we accept David' hypothesis that Timothy was drinking raisin juice (which would have done nothing for his frequent illnesses), that cannot be true.  And hence we need to go beyond mere prooftexting to understand wine in its ethical and unethical use--a merry heart and drunkenness as defined by the Scriptures.  I think such wisdom would be welcome with marijuana, too.

What are you doing at SI?

Seriously, God created Cannabis. It should never be referred to as "the devil's weed." To proscribe substances is the height off folly and has ruined many lives. The laws against substances have ruined lives much more than the substances themselves. The mindset of prohibition of substances including alcohol is one of the major faults of America's history (another one is racism). But all countries have their faults as do individuals. The idea should be to become better: an upward walk. What society is reflects what the government is to a large degree. As Christians we are to serve the Lord in our corner of influence.

With that I am done with this thread.

"Our faith itself... is not our saviour. We have but one Saviour; and that one Saviour is Jesus Christ our Lord.  B.B. Warfield

http://beliefspeak2.net

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