Today, my home state of Washington legalizes the recreational use of marijuana. This decision, of course, leads to a host of pastoral questions and issues. I have been asked these questions for years, as Mars Hill Church has always reached out to a high (pun intended) percentage of single young guys living typical, irresponsible urban lives. These guys are generally not very theological, but curiously they tend to know at least two Bible verses:
Genesis 1:29 (NIV): “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth.’”
Luke 6:37, the catch-all, in-case-of-guilty-emergency-break-glass verse, (paraphrased): “Thou shall not judge.”
Over the years, my default answer has been Romans 13:1–7, which basically says that believers must submit to the laws of government as long as there is no conflict with the higher laws of God in Scripture. This was a simple way to say “no” to recreational pot smoking. But now that recreational marijuana use is no longer illegal (according to my state laws, at least), the guiding question is now twofold:
Is using marijuana sinful, or is it wise?
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