I was asked recently to convince someone that alcohol and marijuana use are a sin. This is a difficult topic because like most of life it’s not so black and white. Here is the questions I was asked followed by a scriptural foundation I think will be helpful in this discussion.
Is it a sin to take substances like alcohol and marijuana can you convince me that it is so i can quit? I have a request Bryce. Could you write something on the topic “Drugs and Jesus” i think readers would really benefit i disagree with the stanndoint that says drugs are witchcraft. in Acts it says that some “witches” repented and took all their witchcraft writing ect.. Nowhere in this passage does it mention them getting rid of any drugs…i hate it when Christians don’t know the answer o a question and make up stuff from their own minds instead of just saying “I don’t kow’ There’s certain questions facing modern Christians today that challenge us not to simply give a routine answer. Peace. – Anonymous
Scripture has much to say regarding the drinking of alcohol (Leviticus 10:9; Numbers 6:3;Deuteronomy 29:6;Judges 13:4,7,14;Proverbs 20:1;31:4;Isaiah 5:11, 22; 24:9; 28:7; 29:9; 56:12). However, Scripture does not necessarily forbid a Christian from drinking beer, wine, or any other drink containing alcohol. In fact, some Scriptures discuss alcohol in positive terms.Ecclesiastes 9:7 instructs, “Drink your wine with a merry heart.” Psalm 104:14-15 states that God gives wine “that makes glad the heart of men.” Amos 9:14 discusses drinking wine from your own vineyard as a sign of God’s blessing. Isaiah 55:1encourages, “Yes, come buy wine and milk…”
If it’s not apparent Scripture has a lot to say on the topic of alcohol. However, before you make up your mind and decide to go on a bender it’s important to keep Ephesians 5:18 in the back of your mind “do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” This states pretty clearly against the idea of drunkeness is a sin because it is against the standard that God has set for us. So is drinking a sin? No! Certainly not! Is getting drunk a sin, according to The Bible, yes.
Moving on to marijuana, honestly, anything I could say would be based solely on my opinion. The Bible also is silent on the topic of marijuana use. Marijuana was not so much a “thing” when Scripture was being written.
So what do you we do with this? It’s clear that alcohol and drugs are widely condemned within the church and practically speaking there is good reason for this. Speak to any addict or alcoholic and they’ll tell you the truth about the effects of using these substances.
But how do we as Christians make wise decisions when it comes to things like this? For Christians our measure of right and wrong, sin and no sin needs to be something located outside of our culture. It needs to be based on something that does not change and remains constant. If you’re not picking up what I’m laying down, that thing is the Bible. Here are 4 scriptures that I believe speak to this predicament we find ourselves in.
1 Corinthians 6:12 (ESV)
12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (ESV)
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
2 Peter 2:19 (ESV)
19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.
1 Corinthians 8:9–13 (ESV)
9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
Can you truthfully look at your actions, whatever they may be and say they fall in line with this criteria.
- Just because you can, should you? Is this thing in your life starting to dominate your life, your conversations, your thoughts? If so perhaps it has become unhealthy and hurtful to you.
- Can you legitimately say that your actions are done to the glory of God? Is it in line with what the Bible says?
- Very few people would use the term “addict” in a positive light. An addict is dependent on a substance or habit for personal satisfaction, joy and peace of mind. As believers we should steer clear of anything that would seek a place of power like that in our lives. Anything that becomes the “reason we live” becomes an idol in our hearts and takes the place of God.
- Your actions effect not only yourself but others. As believers we should strive to live in a way that does not cause other people to trip up in their faith. If one day a student of mine in the youth ministry saw me stumbling down the street drunk and then heart me preaching about drinking the next day don’t you think that would cause them to trip up? We should strive to live our lives in a way that there is no doubt that God is the centerpiece of our lives.
I will leave it up to you and God where you decide to fall on this topic. However, I will challenge you to not use your own opinion, feelings or culture to make your decision. If you are believer in Christ let Scripture be your yardstick.