The low-down on getting high
Does the Bible say anything about drug use?
The term “Drugs” is used to cover a wide range of substances including antibiotics, aspirin, alcohol, caffeine, tobacco as well as illegal drugs such as cocaine, speed & marijuana. Drugs like paracetamol (which you take when you have a headache), when used correctly can be useful and beneficial to humans. However, problems with “drugs” arise when they are misused.
While there are a number of references to alcohol in the Bible, there is nothing explicit about many of the other substances.
However there are some principles to keep in mind with this issue:
1) Christians are to submit to the laws and authorities of their society
The Bible recognises the authority of governments as given by God, for the purpose of the good ordering of society (Romans 13:1-5). As such, Christians should seek to submit to the rules and regulations set by governments. Thus, if a government determines certain guidelines for the use of specific drugs, (for example, that marijuana is illegal), then Christians should respect the authority and decision of the government and obey that law.
2) Followers of Jesus need to consider the effects of their actions on others
For example, consider a Christian deciding whether to have a glass of wine with their dinner. One glass probably won’t get them drunk, and if they are over 18, then they are legally allowed to have it. But they also need to consider if having the glass of wine would be unhelpful for others – if they were having a recovering alcoholic over for dinner, then having the glass of wine could be unhelpful for the guest – and so the Christian should abstain for the good of the other person. The thinking should not be simply what I can do, but what is the loving thing to do for others.
3) We are to live Godly lives
One of the many problems with drugs is how they affect our self control & behaviour. The Bible encourages us to live "peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness". This kind of life, the Bible says " is good, and pleases God our Saviour" (1 Timothy 2:1-3). Paul talks about a similar issue when he says "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:18)
4) Taking drugs can lead to all sorts of other problems
It doesn't take long to look around society and see the problems that drug taking causes. Drug taking can lead to anger and violence, the need to sustain the habit can lead to burglary and other crimes, and the toll on the body can lead to organ failure, mental illness, and death.
So, there are some priniciples that help us to work out how to live in the specifics of our day to day living. We need to be wise as we make decisions and this wisdom comes from God (James 1:1-27). So let me encourage you to read the Bible, soak up these biblical principles of living and then ask God to help you wisely decide how to live.
(this article is based on a Q&A topic. Thanks to www.christianity.net.au)
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