Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Sermon Warning Against Marijunana/Cannabis? Seriously?

Well my emotions got the best of me again today.  And it is not even dinner time!  You see, last night our plumbing went out, again.  We had a flood in our garage, again, and everything is stopped up.  We had brand new external plumbing put in last summer after owning our home for just 1.5 months.  The previous owners (a pastor none-the-less) did not disclose that the pipes in the back yard had collapsed.  So we had our entire yard dug up, cement torn up, and new pipes put in…all during a deployment.  We are still fixing the walls and fixtures that were broken due to the pressure back up that caused a sewage back up throughout a portion of our home.  So why is it still backing up?  Your guess is as good as mine and our home warranty company has nobody that is available to come help us so we have to keep calling back every two hours to see if they have found someone yet….

So to escape this and to worship the Lord and focus my eyes and heart on HIM and HIS PLANS instead of Hospice, and seizures, and all that has transpired in the past week we eagerly sought refuge at our church.  It is one of many churches that we have bounced around to since we have been in Oklahoma and it is one of two that we really love.  The one that is right across the street from us is fabulous and close.  However, the one that we went to today is much farther away but has a room specially for special needs and medically fragile children.  The caregivers are trained, the room is sanitized and safe, and the church loves and welcomes God's special children in an active and purposeful way.  But today I went to church wounded and raw really seeking the atmosphere of understanding that comes with such a purposeful ministry.  Avagrace loves going to this church and I love to see her socially involved and safe.

When the worship time was over we sat down and the pastor began to talk.  He went over a few announcements and told use that about next weeks sermon.  He said something along these lines.

Next week we will be focusing on Proverbs, and specifically the verses that tell us not to get drunk with wine and we will be equating that with pot or marijuana or whatever you want to call it.  But even though the Bible does not say anything specifically about pot we can gather that we are not meant to be using a drug that makes us high much like we are not supposed to be drunk.

So, when he was done it was the meet and greet time.  I took that moment to ask the pastor if I could talk to him before next weeks sermon because this is a topic that hits very close to home.  He said that he would mention that there are some cases where medical marijuana is ok but that medical marijuana is also a crutch or excuse for people who just want to use it to get high.  He said that He understands that I have a different position but that he encouraged me to look at it from a Biblical perspective.  (notice there are no quotes because I cannot remember his exact words but that this is the just of the conversation).  When I was done talking to him I thanked him for hearing me out but when I sat down with Brendan the tears just began to flow.

We have left a church because they said that the Bible teaches that seizures are demonic possession and that we needed to pray over our daughter more, anoint her with oils, cast out this evil spirit, etc.  We also left a church that said that Avagrace is struggling because we have unconfessed sin and that if we would just repent from whatever it was, she would be healed.  Lastly, we have been told that she is struggling with this because she was conceived out of wed-lock and this is a curse.  So hearing one more pastors judgement on our daughter or her treatment was just something that I could not handle today.  We left church and even though I am still curious to hear what he has to say I cannot help but share a few things that I have learned in my studies on this topic.

First and foremost while the Bible speaks about not getting drunk with wine, Jesus also turns water to wine and serves wine to many.  He tells us to drink it in remembrance of him, and to do so frequently (i.e. communion).  Even if you were to argue that he turned water into grape juice there was no refrigeration back then, so grape juice would ferment and be wine in as little as a few days.

Secondly, the Bible says: Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food." Gen 1:29

Genesis 9:3 - Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

Genesis 1:11 - And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

And then there is this verse, 

Exodus 30:23 - Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred [shekels], and of sweet cinnamon half so much, [even] two hundred and fifty [shekels], and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty [shekels],

This verse is very intriguing because there are several camps of people who believe that "sweet calamus" is referring to "cannabis."  Some of those camps are activists for the legalization of Marijuana that appear as "hippies" or "pot-heads"  but some of those are biblical scholars who are merely studying entomology of words and scripture.  Call it what you will, the Bible clearly states that all seed bearing plants were created by God for our use and that they were not strictly for communion or health but also for "joys."   

Yet the simple joys of drinking were also sung. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man and oil to make his face to shineth. (Psalm 104:14-15)

The one argument that is trumps all of this is that it is illegal.  And the Bible is very clear that you should obey the laws of your land.  There are many examples when God would move His people if they were oppressed or in a land that had laws prohibiting His children from using His creation and gifts.  So if you are in a state/country that says it is illegal, well then it is illegal and you can't just break the law because God says it is ok…..this point I agree with. 

However, the continual speaking out against a plant that God created, that has proven healing properties, and is no more dangerous than over the counter medications (and is in fact more dangerous than some over the counter medications) needs to stop.  If we do not educate ourselves and others on the truth behind this plant it will never be available for those that need it and there will always be someone who is dying because they do not have access to natural-healthy-organic-God-given-plants.  

Can you imagine if aloe were illegal because someone found a way to abuse it?  What would we do when we get sunburned?  What if poppy seeds were illegal because people found ways to overdose on them and get the affects of the medicines made from them i.e.  percocet/oxcodone/hydrocodone and other narcotic pain medicines that are widely overused in this country…Or what if coffee beans were illegal because of the caffeine that is so highly addictive and can cause heart attacks, anger, agitation, etc etc….

Using scriptures as generalizations without understanding what it is you are talking about is a very dangerous thing.  Believing that "Pot" is such a terrible psycho active drug that according to "Nancy Grace-causes people to kill whole families" is so incredibly ignorant.  If someone is so addicted to "pot" that they "wipe out whole families" there is obviously something laced with that pot or some other drug involved because the rest of the research does not match what she is saying.  Unless of course she is reading the research that is funded by the DEA, prisons, private prison systems, and the law makers that have a vendetta against this medicinal herb.  What we need to do is to stop spreading ignorance and start teaching the proper way to use Marijuana.  Obviously smoking causes diseases of the lungs.  Mixing alcohol with narcotics and sleep medicines can be fatal….on the same note, mixing certain drugs with cannabis/pot/marijuana is not a good idea.  

Also, saying that pot/marijuana is addictive is a moot point.  Anything has the potential of being addictive if you do not use caution and moderation.  If we want to go back to the Bible for this one, there are numerous scriptures about food being addictive.  People can even become addicted to exercise.  But who is to say that this is a bad thing?  Well, if we are looking at it from a scriptural stand-point we remember in 1 Timothy 4:8 God tells us that "For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come."  You see, it is all about moderation.

Sharing any of the false information that has circulated our countries education system and political agenda without doing the proper research and understanding the different properties of the marijuana plant is just furthering the ignorance, fear, and lemming-mentality in our society against a plant that can cure cancers, epilepsy, and various other conditions that otherwise have no other treatment options.