Less filling?

Revised to include those  under 21 years of age.

 marijuana-leaf   marijuana1_   bbeer 

New laws have raised some questions in enquiring minds!  Is there anything wrong with use of some “drugs”?

 

 Reading  Proverbs 20 

Dear thirsty ones,

Recently law was changed in Michigan, where marijuana is legal for those who have a medical condition that could be helped by it’s use, are approved by a Physician as having the condition, and pay $100 a year.  (Excuse me, marihuana with an “h”.  Supposedly marihuana with an “j”  is used for recreational uses, as opposed to marihuana with an “h”, which is for medicinal purposes.  At least that is what we are being told by the legislature.  Next time I talk with someone using it illegally I will ask them how they are spelling it.  With an “h” they are okay:) )

 Sorry for the digression.  With this legalization, it has led to a lot of discussions regarding the usage most people use it for and comparing it to alcohol.  Compared to alcohol, it is rather benign, in that most that are using it do not get into car accidents, fight with others, commit other crimes, become incapacitated by it…. 

 Now I am not going to be defending anyone’s use of marijuana for I am concerned about it’s use, nor am I going to condemn the use of alcohol across the board, but I believe Scripture is quite clear on the dangers of alcohol.  We need to prayerfully consider our usage of it.  Whether we eat or drink, we should do all to the glory of God.  You may ask me, “How did that eating of that chocolate chip cookie last night, glorify our Lord?”  Good question.  (Boy, this is starting to go in  a different direction then I intended.)  I do believe that when we enjoy God’s creation without abuse of it, and give Him the thanks He deserves, and can continue to point others to Christ through it, we are glorifying Him.  So the chocolate chip cookie may have qualified, but it was the three oatmeal raisin cookies after it that may have pushed it over the edge. 🙂

 What does our reading in Proverbs tell us?

 Proverbs 20:1 (NASB95)
1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, And whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.

 Right away we see that it is those that abuse it, that are not wise!  I do not think any of us can disagree on the fact that Scripture warns about the abuse of alcohol. 

Look at the New Testament, for a single verse.

Ephesians 5:18 (NASB95)
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

The emphasis here is that we are to be filled, permeated, dominated, controlled by the Spirit of God.  No matter where our discussions lead, hopefully we can again agree on the fact that our desire is for the glory of God, and that we can not do that apart from being filled, or controlled by the Holy Spirit. 

It is interesting to see how “strong drink” was forbidden for priests, Nazarites, and others, in the Old Testament.  Again, we see the clear evidence not to drink to the point of it controlling you, but where is that point, and what does it profit you?  In the New Testament, we see, Paul suggesting to Timothy to have a little wine for his stomach ailment.  I often hear this used as an argument to allow drinking.  How many of us have stomach ailments.  With all that chocolate chip cookie consumption, maybe more of us than I think. 🙂

However, if you are under 21 and you are drinking alcohol, you are clearly in sin.  It is illegal in this country, and that in itself should tell you something about the nature of alcohol.  Here is a list of warnings regarding it beyond the fact that it is illegal.  This is taken from Tips for Teens website regarding alcohol.    (www.ncadi.samhsa.gov/govpubs/ph323/)

 Alcohol affects your brain. Drinking alcohol leads to a loss of coordination, poor judgment, slowed reflexes, distorted vision, memory lapses, and even blackouts.

Alcohol affects your body. Alcohol can damage every organ in your body. It is absorbed directly into your bloodstream and can increase your risk for a variety of life-threatening diseases, including cancer.

Alcohol affects your self-control. Alcohol depresses your central nervous system, lowers your inhibitions, and impairs your judgment. Drinking can lead to risky behaviors, such as driving when you shouldn’t, or having unprotected sex.

Alcohol can kill you. Drinking large amounts of alcohol at one time or very rapidly can cause alcohol poisoning, which can lead to coma or even death. Driving and drinking also can be deadly. In 2003, 31 percent of drivers age 15 to 20 who died in traffic accidents had been drinking alcohol.1

Alcohol can hurt you–even if you’re not the one drinking. If you’re around people who are drinking, you have an increased risk of being seriously injured, involved in car crashes, or affected by violence. At the very least, you may have to deal with people who are sick, out of control, or unable to take care of themselves.

 

 So if I see you as an underage person drinking a beer, I will confront you for sure.  It is sin!  I will continue to caution others because of the serious nature of the beast.  Having seen the direct damage of it through my medical practice, I am very fearful for those becoming involved with it.  Please take the time to look to Scripture and make an informed decision.  How many of you that are drinking or considering it, have really brought this before the Lord, after searching the Scripture?  I do not want to sound judgmental, but I would venture to say it has probably not been done, but has been taken very lightly. 

Make your main concern that of being filled with the Spirit, being controlled by Him, permeated by Him, lead by Him as a wind fills a sail boat’s sails.  I would be very thankful if I would see young and old alike consumed with the passion to be filled by the Spirit, rather than alcohol, or chocolate chip cookies, or sports, or whatever.   Remember, first things first!

Enjoy God’s creation and glorify Him while doing it!  It is in glorifying Him that we fulfill His purpose for our lives, and it is in then we are most satisfied. 

Maybe great taste can be less filling, but is that what we are after?

 

Enjoying the filling, longing to be full,

 Steve

 Psalms 34:8
O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

 

 If you have any thoughts on filling, please  click on “comment” above the post and follow the directions.  Help lead one another on to filling.  It is through “letting the Word of Christ dwell through us richly”, that the filling can happen.  Obviously, I left out so much above, and hopefully you will each do some research.

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4 thoughts on “Less filling?

  1. Steve,

    This is very well put. I appreciate the effort and research you have put into this argument.

    I really enjoyed the cookie illustration because too often we rate our sins on a hierarchy. Gluttony or food indulgence is not rated as bad as drinking or the like.

    But you did not include the answer to the original question, is there something biblically wrong with the use of legalized marihuana?

  2. Thanks Paul for your comments. It is good to hear from you!

    My intent wasn’t really to answer that question. It was kind of a lead in question to discuss the question of alcohol, and the greater topic of who should be filling us.

    A few random thoughts:

    I want each of us to be before God in these questions. It is interesting how many things we use for good, can be quickly abused, which is wrong.

    It is also apparent that just because something is legalized by man, doesn’t mean that it is right. We must obey God rather than men.

    Are medcations that can alter a person’s judgment at times wrong, if it is treating a particular condition? If we are never to be under control of a medicine, then maybe we should not be allowed anesthesia. 🙂

    My dad used to preach a lot on moderation. “Everything in moderation.”

    To me, if something is not in black and white, the discussion always comes back to, is it glorifying to God, or is it the loving thing to do, in God’s greater plan?

    Paul spoke in Corinthans that if it was wrong for him, and if he did it, it would be sin. So……..

    From a medical standpoint, it appears that medical marihuana has a good place for treatment of certain conditions. Is it Biblically wrong if it is legalized, and used for a particular illnesses?

    I would say no.

  3. This takes me back to he eleventh commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.” It is my firm belief that God works through people, including those in the medical profession.

    Should I do anything in excess? No. Should I understand the moral guidelines prior to using what is natural (created by the Creator) to assuage unimaginable pain and suffering? Gotta believe that God’s Love would extend to relieving my suffering. The Lazarus story is a good clue to God’s intent where suffering exists. When Jesus saw the grief of Lazarus’ loved ones He chose to raise him from the dead. Pretty magnificent witness of the degree to which God loves us.

    Marijuana for making merry, I believe, is morally wrong. Marijuana for relieving suffering I believe is right. A glass of wine is enjoyable. A bottle is harmful and excessive. Easy to discern what is God pleasing.

    Finally, there is a dangerous line wherein we risk displaying superior behavior when we begin to judge another’s choice(s). A line I leave to God and the conscience of the individual making the choice(s). Do I believe it’s appropriate to say no to something I don’t understand or agree with; absolutely. Do I presume to understand another’s relationship with Spirit or his or her place on the path to righteousness? No – I have too many sins on my own soul.

  4. Thanks Kim!

    As much as I have convictions about things, I need to remember that they are my convictions, and unless we can see clearly about some issues in God’s Word, it is best to leave it up to the person, praying that he or she will be before God in the matter.

    We are not supposed to flaunt our behavior are we? But I think we need to continue to ask some tough questions. When it comes to serving God, I do not want anything in the way. Through the years I have had too many distractions.

    Am trying to be teachable. Still have a lot to learn.

    So thankful for the Teacher we have and the Textbook He has given.

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