War on Drugs?

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Trent,

You said in the OP, “While drugs are bad and immoral… in what way should the government combat it in a Biblical way considering their widespread use?”

As was answered by Rich, it’s essentially legal now, and where it’s not will be soon enough. The world has opted to allow and even promote these drugs. You didn’t specify which drugs, so I’ll answer as regards those that are recreational and in the psychedelic class—marijuana, hashish, peyote, magic (psilocybin) mushrooms, mescaline, LSD, DMT, and others with like properties. What properties? What the Scripture calls sorcerous drugs, allowing interaction between the human sphere of consciousness and the demonic sphere, the barrier between the two realms able to be breached by sorcery, aka witchcraft.

Perg in post 6 says, “But the Church is imbalanced on this issue.” How so? He says, “They prefer synthetic addictive opioids which cause many deaths to a little THC or CBD oil which tends to sooth a person and mellows out their anxieties.”

So now at PB we have a Christian promoting THC (the active sorcerous ingredient in marijuana and hash).

From a paper I wrote on the topic, part of which touched on the medicinal use for Christians, I said,

Let me share concerning a New York State Supreme Court Justice, the late Gustin L. Reichbach. He made headlines, while a sitting judge, that is, still practicing in the Court, by writing an op-ed piece for The New York Times in which he acknowledged smoking marijuana to ease the side effects of his treatment for stage 3 pancreatic cancer. Without it he couldn’t eat or sleep. He wrote this in May of 2012, and died 60 days later. His plea for the legalization of its medicinal use was both courageous and heart-wrenching. To a non-Christian it might seem almost a no-brainer.

However, I am a Christian—and I am speaking to those of you who also are—and must spiritually consider, what is the cost of doing as the judge did? I do not believe Justice Reichbach was a disciple of Christ, but for a disciple what would the issue be? It would be opening the heart and mind to demonic activity. Let me put myself in his place: without some grass—inhaled or ingested—I cannot eat (my appetite has failed), and cannot sleep, both of which I need to sustain my life. But with it, I could do both. The pain of the cancer—if I tried to steer clear of the opioids which might make me groggy—could also be slightly diminished by smoking the grass. Would it be worth it to me? To the world this dilemma would be false, delusional, and inhumane! To the spiritual man or woman it is vital and actual: would I allow my communion with Christ and communion with other disciples to be open to influence or infiltration by demonic beings? Just for the ability to eat something, or sleep, or to relieve pain? No, God giving me strength I would retain my integrity of being before Him and my friends. I would refuse to smoke or ingest the “medicinal” marijuana for the sake of keeping my spiritual health and integrity. Especially if I were in terrible pain with advanced, terminal cancer, I would not use marijuana for relief. I would rather have morphine or the like. Would anyone in their right mind, when on the very brink of death and entrance into eternity, open their hearts and minds to demonic influence? That would be sheer destructive madness!​

This will be my first post in this thread. No doubt more to follow.
 

Romans830

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello Trent,

You said in the OP, “While drugs are bad and immoral… in what way should the government combat it in a Biblical way considering their widespread use?”

As was answered by Rich, it’s essentially legal now, and where it’s not will be soon enough. The world has opted to allow and even promote these drugs. You didn’t specify which drugs, so I’ll answer as regards those that are recreational and in the psychedelic class—marijuana, hashish, peyote, magic (psilocybin) mushrooms, mescaline, LSD, DMT, and others with like properties. What properties? What the Scripture calls sorcerous drugs, allowing interaction between the human sphere of consciousness and the demonic sphere, the barrier between the two realms able to be breached by sorcery, aka witchcraft.

Perg in post 6 says, “But the Church is imbalanced on this issue.” How so? He says, “They prefer synthetic addictive opioids which cause many deaths to a little THC or CBD oil which tends to sooth a person and mellows out their anxieties.”

So now at PB we have a Christian promoting THC (the active sorcerous ingredient in marijuana and hash).

From a paper I wrote on the topic, part of which touched on the medicinal use for Christians, I said,

Let me share concerning a New York State Supreme Court Justice, the late Gustin L. Reichbach. He made headlines, while a sitting judge, that is, still practicing in the Court, by writing an op-ed piece for The New York Times in which he acknowledged smoking marijuana to ease the side effects of his treatment for stage 3 pancreatic cancer. Without it he couldn’t eat or sleep. He wrote this in May of 2012, and died 60 days later. His plea for the legalization of its medicinal use was both courageous and heart-wrenching. To a non-Christian it might seem almost a no-brainer.​
However, I am a Christian—and I am speaking to those of you who also are—and must spiritually consider, what is the cost of doing as the judge did? I do not believe Justice Reichbach was a disciple of Christ, but for a disciple what would the issue be? It would be opening the heart and mind to demonic activity. Let me put myself in his place: without some grass—inhaled or ingested—I cannot eat (my appetite has failed), and cannot sleep, both of which I need to sustain my life. But with it, I could do both. The pain of the cancer—if I tried to steer clear of the opioids which might make me groggy—could also be slightly diminished by smoking the grass. Would it be worth it to me? To the world this dilemma would be false, delusional, and inhumane! To the spiritual man or woman it is vital and actual: would I allow my communion with Christ and communion with other disciples to be open to influence or infiltration by demonic beings? Just for the ability to eat something, or sleep, or to relieve pain? No, God giving me strength I would retain my integrity of being before Him and my friends. I would refuse to smoke or ingest the “medicinal” marijuana for the sake of keeping my spiritual health and integrity. Especially if I were in terrible pain with advanced, terminal cancer, I would not use marijuana for relief. I would rather have morphine or the like. Would anyone in their right mind, when on the very brink of death and entrance into eternity, open their hearts and minds to demonic influence? That would be sheer destructive madness!​

This will be my first post in this thread. No doubt more to follow.
JB, I agree. However, there are also many other things that Christians do that open them up to demonic influence and the demonic realm like watching silly movies, bad music, yoga, aimless meditation, idols, and reading harry potter books.....ha. but the drugs are the worst.
 

gjensen

Puritan Board Freshman
Unfortunately, I have a lot of experience with cannabis (and other drugs). I was smoking it regularly by the time I was ten years old. I smoked it well into adulthood. I am not proud of this. I admit this here to say that I am no stranger to these drugs.

My extensive experience is that cannabis users are very unproductive people. They rarely do more than smoke their problems away. I was an exception and a workaholic. Still, the habit had a detrimental effect on my productivity and ability. Its use stole years of my life away.

Marijuana is a sneaky drug that drains the life out of people. Using it becomes a way of life and it is an idol for most regular users. It is not a harmless drug. This is not a drug that you want a loved one to use regularly.

I would support its use in extreme cases. An example would be Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. A very rare and extraordinarily painful condition. In this case, it would not be good at treating the pain, but as an add-on, it may help the patient tolerate the extraordinary pain.
The drug may be helpful for those with intractable seizure disorders.

I do not support its use as a sleep aid, or something silly like that. There are plenty of better options.

I do agree that our system desperately needs reforming. I just wanted to speak to the idea that THC is harmless.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
An interesting approach by Portugal: decriminalizing drugs.

"...Portugal became the first country to decriminalise the possession and consumption of all illicit substances. Rather than being arrested, those caught with a personal supply might be given a warning, a small fine, or told to appear before a local commission – a doctor, a lawyer and a social worker – about treatment, harm reduction, and the support services that were available to them." (reference).
For what it is worth, possession of any controlled substance is, for now, decriminalized in the State of Washington.

https://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/pdf/968730.pdf

Our State Supreme Court found the possession statute unconstitutional (after decades of being on the books and thousands of defendants going to prison) because it did not have an express mens rea (criminal intent) element. In other words, it lacked the requirement that the State prove that possession was "knowing."

When I first came to this state as a lawyer, I thought it was an odd statute, but as a practical matter, "knowing possession" was easily proved anyway. Court cases before the most recent one either read into the statute a knowledge element or decided it wasn't needed.

It's caused all sorts of problems, including the question of who is going to repay all the fines that were unconstitutionally taken from convicts? Drug treatment centers are losing money instantly because courts cannot continue to make drug possession felons go to treatment. And many other permutations too long to list here.

But, hey, no social workers needed. No drug counselors. It's still a crime to possess with intent to distribute. You can have your personal amounts of meth, heroin, PCP, whatever, just don't share it.

We will see how this unfolds.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Hello Trent,

You said in the OP, “While drugs are bad and immoral… in what way should the government combat it in a Biblical way considering their widespread use?”

As was answered by Rich, it’s essentially legal now, and where it’s not will be soon enough. The world has opted to allow and even promote these drugs. You didn’t specify which drugs, so I’ll answer as regards those that are recreational and in the psychedelic class—marijuana, hashish, peyote, magic (psilocybin) mushrooms, mescaline, LSD, DMT, and others with like properties. What properties? What the Scripture calls sorcerous drugs, allowing interaction between the human sphere of consciousness and the demonic sphere, the barrier between the two realms able to be breached by sorcery, aka witchcraft.

Perg in post 6 says, “But the Church is imbalanced on this issue.” How so? He says, “They prefer synthetic addictive opioids which cause many deaths to a little THC or CBD oil which tends to sooth a person and mellows out their anxieties.”

So now at PB we have a Christian promoting THC (the active sorcerous ingredient in marijuana and hash).

From a paper I wrote on the topic, part of which touched on the medicinal use for Christians, I said,

Let me share concerning a New York State Supreme Court Justice, the late Gustin L. Reichbach. He made headlines, while a sitting judge, that is, still practicing in the Court, by writing an op-ed piece for The New York Times in which he acknowledged smoking marijuana to ease the side effects of his treatment for stage 3 pancreatic cancer. Without it he couldn’t eat or sleep. He wrote this in May of 2012, and died 60 days later. His plea for the legalization of its medicinal use was both courageous and heart-wrenching. To a non-Christian it might seem almost a no-brainer.​
However, I am a Christian—and I am speaking to those of you who also are—and must spiritually consider, what is the cost of doing as the judge did? I do not believe Justice Reichbach was a disciple of Christ, but for a disciple what would the issue be? It would be opening the heart and mind to demonic activity. Let me put myself in his place: without some grass—inhaled or ingested—I cannot eat (my appetite has failed), and cannot sleep, both of which I need to sustain my life. But with it, I could do both. The pain of the cancer—if I tried to steer clear of the opioids which might make me groggy—could also be slightly diminished by smoking the grass. Would it be worth it to me? To the world this dilemma would be false, delusional, and inhumane! To the spiritual man or woman it is vital and actual: would I allow my communion with Christ and communion with other disciples to be open to influence or infiltration by demonic beings? Just for the ability to eat something, or sleep, or to relieve pain? No, God giving me strength I would retain my integrity of being before Him and my friends. I would refuse to smoke or ingest the “medicinal” marijuana for the sake of keeping my spiritual health and integrity. Especially if I were in terrible pain with advanced, terminal cancer, I would not use marijuana for relief. I would rather have morphine or the like. Would anyone in their right mind, when on the very brink of death and entrance into eternity, open their hearts and minds to demonic influence? That would be sheer destructive madness!​

This will be my first post in this thread. No doubt more to follow.
Do you think heroine opens your mind to demonic activity too?
 

gjensen

Puritan Board Freshman
But the over-the-counter cannabis, such as that which @Pergamum uses, does not have THC in it, correct?

I cannot speak to what he uses. Usually "gummies" do have THC in them. I have never seen CBD oil sold in "gummies". That does not mean that it isn't. I am only saying that gummies are usually sold with THC in them and are meant to be enjoyed as a recreational drug.

This is why I specifically mentioned THC. I understand that many use CBD oil for various purposes. I consider this a different product.

I must admit that I question the usefulness of CBD oil too. I am convinced that its usefulness is overstated, and it has become a money-making fad that will eventually fade away. Maybe not entirely, but mostly. The perceived benefits will wane, and people will stop giving away their money for something that is not really doing them any good. On the other hand, the products with THC in them will only be used more and more. As the stigma fades, the laws lift, more and more people will return again and again to what they are really getting a benefit from. They will spend more and more, and more and more people will become less and less productive.

THC use, except in rare cases, has no place in the believer's life.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
Not correct. At least not in the pot shops around here.
I cannot speak to what he uses. Usually "gummies" do have THC in them. I have never seen CBD oil sold in "gummies". That does not mean that it isn't. I am only saying that gummies are usually sold with THC in them and are meant to be enjoyed as a recreational drug.
Thanks for the clarification. I really am ignorant of these things.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Why would opiods in small amounts be ok, but THC in small amounts be the devil's substance? Medicine is to be judged by its effects upon the patient. It is hard to make a case that any is intrinsically and inherently sinful just because of what it is. Like alcohol, it's morality comes with its purpose and use. Even drunkenness can be excused in the case of the Wild West Bullet Removal, giving the patient whisky to ease the pain as a bullet is pulled out, or other meds given before hospital procedures to mentally calm the patient (even high doses of valium or xanax).

The morality of a substance depends upon its purpose and use, not upon its intrinsic properties.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I would like to add to what I wrote above: I think Perg is a godly and fruitful follower of Jesus, who has suffered a lot as a missionary, with a large family, in a primitive area of the world. Likely most of his illnesses result from his exposure to malarial insects and other tropical diseases. So I have high respect and affection for him. The issue is fidelity to Scripture.

Apart from the thread title "War on drugs?" and OPC'n's remark that this "War... hasn't really worked, has it?" — except to say that it is a government's responsibility to enact laws that protect its people, although in this instance other factors have entered into the equation making its' current form moot — it would be more edifying to look at "what drugs" and why they are harmful.

Perg said is his post #18 "Define 'high'." Good question. After my open heart surgery in 1996 (quintuple bypass) I was given Tylenol 3 (with codeine) for the pain of the major incision. There came a point when instead of reducing the pain (which was almost gone) it became a euphoriant, and I said, "Okay, enough, I have no need to get high." "High" in that context meant producing euphoria, relaxation, anti-anxiety or anti-depression, as well as diminishing pain. I don't have any problem with that resulting from standard medications. After I had my gall-bladder removed I was given opioids for the pain, which I used very briefly, and then quit using — for their addictive properties are well-known, and I am afraid of addiction, and ardently seek to avoid it.

The "high" of marijuana, or hashish, or — more potently, though the grass of today is very potent — psilocybin mushrooms, peyote, mescaline, LSD, et all, are of a different order altogether. It is not just an altering of consciousness (for coffee can do that, or alcohol), but the kind of consciousness change is the issue. After all, the essential definition of sorcery — Biblically defined — is giving one's consciousness entrance to the demonic realm, and not necessarily for occult reasons, but also for intensifying the sensation of pleasure, or for making the sensibilities (or artists, musicians, writers, etc) more acute. We clearly may have no awareness at all of the demonic in this.

In this definition the "high" specifically refers to a sorcerous expansion of consciousness into the demonic realm, rendering the subject vulnerable to demonic presence or influence. In the sixties we thought this "presence or influence" was — in most cases, but not all — a sort of divine illumination. In actuality it was, as it turned out, a demonic counterfeit of illumination, of the Holy Spirit's presence and influence.

So I would say, that any "high" from sorcerous agents — whatever the intent of the user — is sorcery, that is, exposing oneself to demonic influence. Can this be proven exegetically, from Scripture? I say it can, though others deny it, not knowing, experientially, what sorcery is, although it should be evident that, given enough understanding, we do not have to enter into sinful experience to know a thing sinful.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Legit Medical uses of Marijuana that have been used medically and which I cannot find sinful:

1. It is very effective as an Anti-emetic (anti-nausea) for use during cancer chemotherapy.
2. Multiple sclerosis.
3. Glaucoma.
4. Analgesia (pain relief for cancer patients).

Medical literature abounds as to the efficacy of medical marijuana for these uses, as well as alleviating chronic pain and the insomnia associated with it. If the substance is cheap and effective and less addictive than other options such as opiods, then why not?

It is hard to target cannabis when there are so many other worse drugs out there... unless you are a cultural remnant of the 60s and your Christian beliefs are influenced by your revulsion of hippies/70's pot culture, etc. As more studies emerge I believe Christians will free themselves from the cultural associations of cannabis and treat it as other substances and evaluate it thusly instead of through the lens of the last generation's Fundamentalism.

The majority of Christians now favor the use of cannabis/marijuana for medical uses. God gave us dominion over all the earth and even the vilest poisons also have alternate medicinal uses if we prepare and dose these substances correctly.

Lots of Christians use Ambien, and yet this causes hallucinogenic effects more than medical marijuana. Where is the anti-Ambien lobby? Is it demonic also? The classic psychedelics include LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin. Marijuana is never listed among this group. Several non-hallucinogenic meds also can cause hallucinations for some people and under the right conditions, but are similarly not listed as hallucinogens. If your argument is that hallucinogens are inherently demonic, then we must scrap all meds that have any history of side-effects of hallucinations, because even a little bit of demonic contact is no good. But for this we must argue that, 1. hallucinations necessarily mean an entrance into contact with the demonic, 2. all hallucinations then, even from malarial fever, must now be linked to the demonic, and 3. any med that ever causes these side-effects is demonic. Sure, I support cautions with regards to classic hallucinogens such as LSD and DMT. But to call Ambien use demonic because some people hallucinate while on Ambien is a fringe argument. And it happens even less with cannabis gummies.

People who suffer from chronic and severe pain and insomnia associated with it often have few non-addictive choices. Cannabis is a better choice than Ambien or Opiods or Xanax. I support pain relief for those who suffer most and would not favor denying this option to the afflicted. It is mercy and love to provide the best pain relief options for patients.
 

Romans830

Puritan Board Freshman
Legit Medical uses of Marijuana that have been used medically and which I cannot find sinful:

1. It is very effective as an Anti-emetic (anti-nausea) for use during cancer chemotherapy.
2. Multiple sclerosis.
3. Glaucoma.
4. Analgesia (pain relief for cancer patients).

Medical literature abounds as to the efficacy of medical marijuana for these uses, as well as alleviating chronic pain and the insomnia associated with it. If the substance is cheap and effective and less addictive than other options such as opiods, then why not?

It is hard to target cannabis when there are so many other worse drugs out there... unless you are a cultural remnant of the 60s and your Christian beliefs are influenced by your revulsion of hippies/70's pot culture, etc. As more studies emerge I believe Christians will free themselves from the cultural associations of cannabis and treat it as other substances and evaluate it thusly instead of through the lens of the last generation's Fundamentalism.

The majority of Christians now favor the use of cannabis/marijuana for medical uses. God gave us dominion over all the earth and even the vilest poisons also have alternate medicinal uses if we prepare and dose these substances correctly.

Lots of Christians use Ambien, and yet this causes hallucinogenic effects more than medical marijuana. Where is the anti-Ambien lobby? Is it demonic also? The classic psychedelics include LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin. Marijuana is never listed among this group. Several non-hallucinogenic meds also can cause hallucinations for some people and under the right conditions, but are similarly not listed as hallucinogens. If your argument is that hallucinogens are inherently demonic, then we must scrap all meds that have any history of side-effects of hallucinations, because even a little bit of demonic contact is no good. But for this we must argue that, 1. hallucinations necessarily mean an entrance into contact with the demonic, 2. all hallucinations then, even from malarial fever, must now be linked to the demonic, and 3. any med that ever causes these side-effects is demonic. Sure, I support cautions with regards to classic hallucinogens such as LSD and DMT. But to call Ambien use demonic because some people hallucinate while on Ambien is a fringe argument. And it happens even less with cannabis gummies.

People who suffer from chronic and severe pain and insomnia associated with it often have few non-addictive choices. Cannabis is a better choice than Ambien or Opiods or Xanax. I support pain relief for those who suffer most and would not favor denying this option to the afflicted. It is mercy and love to provide the best pain relief options for patients.
Perg, I like your answers. I hate pain and will take whatever I need to in order to stop it. All due respect to Pastor JB, but like I said earlier, the devil is always around the corner and will use anything to attack Christians. It's one thing to take drugs in order to try and cast spells, engage in withcraft, sorcery, try to connect with the dead and demons or take it solely for entertainment purpose. However, it's another thing to take a drug that has been medically approved, legalized, and given in a controlled way in order to cope with pain and so on.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Perg: "Legit Medical uses of Marijuana that have been used medically and which I cannot find sinful:"

This is when on a scale Utility is balanced against Righteousness — where the weight of one or the other comes from the heart of the weigher.

I do not doubt the effectiveness of the four classes Perg lists. And its legitimacy in worldly minds.

Then there are your statements about hallucinogens, such as, "If your argument is that hallucinogens are inherently demonic, then we must scrap all meds that have any history of side-effects of hallucinations..." I do realize that early on the drugs in question were called hallucinogenics or psychotomimetics (mimicking psychosis), but as the use widened the name was changed by Humphrey Osmond to psychedelics. Hallucinations are certainly not a necessary indicator of the demonic!

Perg, you say, "The classic psychedelics include LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin. Marijuana is never listed among this group." Perhaps you're too young to remember! It was always listed as in this class! Just not as potent, though nowadays it is extremely potent.

These drugs just mentioned as the psychedelics (mind expanders), are also euphemistically called entheogens (God manifesting within). It is necessary to ground this matter in an understanding of Biblical terms. In scripture they are referred to as sorcery, pharmakeia (φαρμακεία), and its cognates are found five times in the New Testament, and more in the Greek Old Testament. In Revelation it means “drugs that induce magic spells” (Simon J. Kistemaker, New Testament Commentary: Revelation, p. 302); it belongs to “a magical tradition of herbs gathered and prepared for spells, and also for encouraging the presence of spirits at magical ceremonies” [emphasis added] (The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, Vol 2, p. 558); and from The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, by Spiros Zodhiates, we have: “Pharmakeia means the occult, sorcery, witchcraft, illicit pharmaceuticals, trance, magical incantation with drugs” (pp. 1437, 1438).

Besides the testimony of the commentators and Greek scholars who exegete the Scripture, showing that these drugs encourage the presence of spirits in trance states and induce magic spells—that is, awareness in the spirit realm, and of the powers therein—pagan spiritualists and shamans (occult practitioners) also know well what these drugs do. For example, among the Hindus in India, Nepal, Sikkim, and Tibet, the ability to send users of marijuana and hashish into the realm of spirits is well known. In Benares, the main Indian city of Shiva worship, cannabis is such an important part of the religion it is sold in government-run shops. Marijuana helps its users make contact with the spirit entities—demons—of its pagan religion. It also has a long history of use in ancient China, Japan, Iran, ancient Europe, and in Africa—mostly for shamanistic purposes—that is, for facilitating communion with spirits or the heightened spiritual states these spirits can produce.

I have to leave this discussion for a little while to attend other matters, but when I return (likely tomorrow) I'll comment on the aspect of Utility mentioned above, and the very real issue of pain management, and other medicinal uses, some indeed legitimate—but only when the THC does not enter into the bloodstream and trigger its sorcerous properties in the human system.

An interesting consideration: were there no demonic realm, say in pre-Fall Eden, ingesting marijuana (were it found there) would not be at all sorcerous, for it is the entrance into that realm that makes it "sorcerous". But there is a demonic realm now.
 

Boreal

Puritan Board Freshman
A
And here is the crux of the matter. We steep in the belief (esp in America) that life should be grand, painless and easy. And it isn't for anyone, for long. Medications are sometimes necessary, for sure. But also we need to see this world rightly, as a place of enemy territory, so to speak.

We'd be a lot less miserable if we expected difficulty, hardship and loss. We'd be a lot more grateful for the good, too.

Our minds have been so warped by our materialism (in all senses). Trying to make this place our 'continuing city' leads to all sorts manifestations of need and greed and consequent pain.
Amen
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I use the word Utility carefully, that is, to indicate the concept that if somethings works — regardless of its being moral or immoral — we are to utilize it. This is the doctrine of utilitarianism: that an action is right insofar as it promotes happiness, and that the greatest happiness of the greatest number should be the guiding principle of conduct.

I do know that marijuana, and hash, as well as other psychedelics, have the property of enabling the sufferer to psychically detach from the sensation of physical pain, making it more bearable. Such drugs even have the ability, for some souls, to remove the fear of death from terminally ill patients — ostensibly by showing them that death is merely part of the mysterious design of a benign universe, and that it is actually well with their souls, such is the peace and glory they experience under the influence of these agents. Yet we who belong to the true God in Christ know that this is a deception and delusion — a counterfeit of the peace of God.

Even the lesser relief of relatively minor pain, or discomfort or affliction of various sorts, can be remarkable, and thought highly desirable. As I indicated in the report of the late NYS Supreme Court Justice, Gustin Reichbach (post #33), the apparent healing / pain-relieving properties of cannabis can be quite dramatic.

I counter-balanced Utility with the concept of Righteousness, which latter is that which is right in the sight of God, which we are able to know by means of His word properly exegeted and exposited in the linguistic and historical context meant by the writer of that Scripture.

I do know that this is a huge thing! Pain may be excruciating, and utterly debilitating. I tread carefully here, as I do not know what may lie in store for me in my own life. I have a friend, thought a true follower of Christ, who, after becoming afflicted with M.S. (Multiple sclerosis) began to smoke grass with a legal prescription for relief of the MS's afflictions. It apparently worked to some significant degree. But this person's faith — and testimony of Christ — has seemed to radically diminish. I know this is anecdotal, and I am out of personal touch with the person, so I am not up to speed on their state, save that they do not publicly talk of Christ or God anymore, to my knowledge. Previously they were fervent to uphold His name.

We had a woman on this board who died of cancer in Feb of 2019, by name of Anne / CedarBay, who contacted me to talk of her reluctance to use medical marijuana for pain relief due to bad experiences with the drug when she was a younger woman, and she opted not to avail herself of it for her present pain — by her own choice. Her dying was painful, and she used other drugs, I gather morphine and/or opioids, to help her. Her primary concern was fidelity to Christ, and to her family gathered around her.

When it comes to cannabis use to relieve pain or affliction in a younger person not in a terminal condition, it is a different story. I cannot but tread softly in the presence of the pain of others. But as a minister of Christ (now retired, but still active in the care of souls) my first and foremost responsibility is to faithfully uphold His word of life in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation (Phil 2:15,16).

The bottom line, when all is said and done, is something Perg said in post #43: "Medicine is to be judged by its effects upon the patient." We are not only to look on palliative effects (relief of pain), but holistically — the whole person, which includes the soul at present, and the eternal realm to which they will go when the life is over. Given that sorcery — enchantment through the use of drugs — can seal a person against receiving Christ through the strong delusion that may attend their use of cannabis, such means are strongly contraindicated! To bring a soul into the presence and influence of the demonic realm — be they young or old — would be to me, a great sin.

The ultimate message of the sorcerous drugs, grass included, to our generation is that truth resides within man and not outside; and whatever deity whatever God is to be known likewise resides in man and not in some external “God”. This is the legacy of these drugs. This is the experience many users of them come to know: an experience of benign power and peace, indicating that they are okay without the Christian God.

The underlying basis for disbelief in what I am talking of may simply be a disbelief in demonic power and witchcraft in our present time, the testimony of Scripture notwithstanding.
 

Romans830

Puritan Board Freshman
Pastor Steve,

"The underlying basis for disbelief in what I am talking of may simply be a disbelief in demonic power and witchcraft in our present time, the testimony of Scripture notwithstanding."

I have noticed this about many Christians that I have spoken to. They are quick to tell you that the devil is attacking you, but when I tell them about paranormal activity, demonic attacks and influence, apparitions, dreams, visions that I have dealt with, I get laughed at. THC or any other conscious altering drug(which apparently only happens in high doses) is not the only way that the devil and demons can attempt to infiltrate or penetrate a person's mind/body/spirit.

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." ST. Paul
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
Does the Bible ever refer to someone accidentally committing sorcery? From what I see in Scripture, sorcery is a deliberate spiritual experience, and drugs may be used to help facilitate or enhance that experience. Sorcerers intend to interact with the demonic realm and, in my opinion, likely use drugs to try to enhance their perceptions of the unseen spiritual reality. It is as though they are trying to make their demonic faith become sight, even if their drug-induced trip is a hallucination. I do not doubt that demons seize the opportunity to influence their willing victims, and the practice is sure proof of the sorcerer's sin-entrenched, God-hating heart.

With that said, I think "sorcery" is entirely different than someone using THC to ameliorate suffering. Yes, someone may use marijuana sorcerously, but that does not mean marijuana is inherently sorcerous. As previous posters have "hashed out", marijuana or a derivative may be intentionally and carefully used for medicinal purposes that, to my reading, are completely unlike the "sorcery" and "witchcraft" discussed in Scripture. Consequently, to say any and all medicinal uses of marijuana are unrighteous and sorcerous is, most importantly, a claim beyond the scope of God's Word. It may be well-intended, but it binds peoples' consciences, produces unnecessary guilt or shame, and may drive people to more dangerous drugs (e.g., opioids) to manage their ailments. Framing this issue in terms of "utility" versus "righteousness" only adds insult to injury, as it were.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
It is a strange case to make that one inanimate object is ok as a med, but another inanimate object is inherently sinful to use as a med, even when it is more effective. I don't buy it. We tame nature for our own use. We take dominion over the whole earth. Even poisons such as digitalis found in nature can be harnessed for heart medication. Cannabis is no different.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
"Help. I thought I was only taking a highly addictive opiod to sleep, but instead accidentally took cannabis and now the demons are talking to me!" I'll take things that will never happen for 100, Alex.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
Our dear brother Mr. Rafalsky and I have gone around on this topic before. I think the exegetical case that links "sorcery" in Scripture to a particular class of drugs is not proven. And after seeing how diligently Mr. Rafalsky has worked to make that case, I'm inclined to think that if he can't demonstrate it, probably no one can.

I also have significant reservations about the idea of substances with direct spiritual impacts. If THC is welcoming to demons, is the scent of burning sage also repulsive to them? But I will say this, for the other side of the debate. Although users of ayahuasca, psilocybin, DMT, and so forth sometimes have different interpretive frameworks for their experiences, many will say that the drugs are a gateway into the spirit world. It's perfectly possible that they are wrong. But even if so, their intent is bad. And even if they explain it poorly, their reports of experience should be taken seriously. If I'm going to be introduced to Pachamama after inhaling some substance, that probably is something I want to avoid. Nightmares about an exotic meats taco truck with golden fried armadillo served whole on the side are bad enough; I don't need more fodder for horror.
 

Romans830

Puritan Board Freshman
Does the Bible ever refer to someone accidentally committing sorcery? From what I see in Scripture, sorcery is a deliberate spiritual experience, and drugs may be used to help facilitate or enhance that experience. Sorcerers intend to interact with the demonic realm and, in my opinion, likely use drugs to try to enhance their perceptions of the unseen spiritual reality. It is as though they are trying to make their demonic faith become sight, even if their drug-induced trip is a hallucination. I do not doubt that demons seize the opportunity to influence their willing victims, and the practice is sure proof of the sorcerer's sin-entrenched, God-hating heart.

With that said, I think "sorcery" is entirely different than someone using THC to ameliorate suffering. Yes, someone may use marijuana sorcerously, but that does not mean marijuana is inherently sorcerous. As previous posters have "hashed out", marijuana or a derivative may be intentionally and carefully used for medicinal purposes that, to my reading, are completely unlike the "sorcery" and "witchcraft" discussed in Scripture. Consequently, to say any and all medicinal uses of marijuana are unrighteous and sorcerous is, most importantly, a claim beyond the scope of God's Word. It may be well-intended, but it binds peoples' consciences, produces unnecessary guilt or shame, and may drive people to more dangerous drugs (e.g., opioids) to manage their ailments. Framing this issue in terms of "utility" versus "righteousness" only adds insult to injury, as it were.
Andrew, very well said. I'm sure I will refer to your reply if ever needed:) All due respect to Pastor Steve, but my contention is that Paul's list contains more than a condemnation of sorcery. Not that Pastor Steve is wrong, but to be fair the whole list of sins mentioned by Paul need also to be discussed. To engage in any of those behaviors is also to give a place to the devil and demons.

"Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings
, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." St. Paul
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
One great flaw — a fatal one? — in the view of opponents to the idea of sorcery involving a particular class of drugs is that no one can positively identity what the sin of sorcery is in Revelation 21:8 and Rev 22:15; likewise in Rev 9:21. A sin warranting eternal punishment if unrepented of — in the class of cowardice, faithlessness, murderers, sexually immoral, idolators, and liars — that cannot be clearly known? And the reason it cannot be is because there are some who simply won't believe the reality the word sorcery depicts. My gracious brother Ruben says "the exegetical case that links 'sorcery' in Scripture to a particular class of drugs is not proven" to him, that is, it does satisfy his disbelief. He also beings up "the idea of substances with direct spiritual impacts" — a worthy consideration. I have written of such in my book (A Great And Terrible Love) in the chapter, "The Fate of Babylon":

Analysis of pharmakeia nature and action. To preemptively address a possible objection: no, the pharmakeia drugs do not contain demonic power. This would be the negative mirror-image of Rome’s claiming the wafer actually contains God’s grace, that having been infused in it by Him, and that it confers grace apart from any motion – faith or devotion – on the part of the recipient. Such, along with Francis Turretin, I would deny. Both views err. In Turretin’s words, “nothing corporeal can by its own power effect anything spiritual or act upon the soul” (Elenctic Theology, Vol 3, p 365), that is, evil or good do not inhere in physical objects; even alcohol or tobacco are not evil in themselves – it is their misuse that results in damaging effects on the human body and soul. Or Turretin again, “the sacraments do not work grace physically and ex opere operato [produce of themselves] as if they possessed a force implanted and inherent in them of conferring and effecting grace” (Ibid., p 363). The same inability to contain and/or confer evil applies to the drugs.

So at this point please note that I do not assert that demonic power is in the substance of marijuana or LSD, etc. It is simply a plant – or, with respect to LSD, a synthetic mix of chemicals – derived from the created order of things. Their effect is upon the physical body, particularly the brain and neurological system.

Whence then, the sorcerous power of the drugs? Perhaps this may illustrate my view: I was wondering a while ago, reflecting on this topic, what if (indulging briefly in the “if – then fallacy”) there were no demonic realm, no demons, just God and His creation in a holy state; and if someone inhaled the smoke of marijuana, or ate psychedelic mushrooms or peyote buttons, and the affect from ingesting these substances was to make them very aware of their inner being and of the outer physical and spiritual worlds? If there were no demons, this would not – in that context – be sorcery, nor would those substances be categorized and prohibited as pharmakeia agents. There would be no demonic influence at all. But this conjecture presupposes a blessed state greater than original innocence (for there was a devil lurking about the garden), rather the pristine holiness of the eternal state. Perhaps it can be seen where I am going with such thoughts.

Suffice it to say that the drugs act upon the brain and nervous system of humans in some way that they become open to spiritual phenomena, both within themselves – their own human spirits (the depths of their being) – and whatever spiritual is without, which in our world today includes other humans and demons. The demonic agency is not something inherent in the drugs, but is in the world (“the whole world lieth in wickedness” 1 John 5:19; cf. Eph 2:2), and the drugs open one to that. They don’t open one to God, because God has forbidden using those drugs, and using them incurs His displeasure. I would think that sins of this sort done unwittingly incur less [or no] guilt, though the damage to the human soul is not lessened thereby. And damage done to the human community – whether the world or the church – continues, as demonic influence pours in through contact with the consciousness, activities, and works of those partaking the forbidden and unclean thing at issue here.

The pharmakeia agents are unusual – in comparison with other recreational drugs – in this regard: instead of infusing powerful energy (speed/amphetamines) or euphoria (cocaine) into the system, they disable the controlling mind and will of the user and render the consciousness exposed to its own energy and depths of being, and to the presence of other beings in their vicinity, human or otherwise. It is this making the consciousness naked and immeasurably more sensitive in its apprehension of what is, that is the distinctive of these sorcerous drugs. I do not wonder that some may be incredulous that such things might be. Who could imagine it, such a thing happening? I mean, we see reference to such in movies like Matrix, with the blue and red pills – the red pills actually truncated in their consciousness expansion by virtue of the reality-level of the movie – yet showing the concept of taking something that generates awareness. I don’t mean to buttress my argument by this reference, just to show a popular version of the concept.

Back to reality: there are drugs that act upon the brain and nervous system, infusing – as I noted above – energy or euphoria into the nervous system, whereas the unique properties of the pharmakeia agents bring an element into their effect on the brain and nervous system and then on the soul that renders it open rather than acted upon with infusion of power or euphoric sensation. One assesses pharmakeia drugs by their properties, their effect on the human system.

This is getting into that mysterious interaction / interrelationship between the physical brain and the immaterial spirit or soul of man, and as this is hard to define or delineate, so it is hard to define or delineate the actual affect of the pharmakeia drugs on the brain, and how this affects consciousness. Even scientists cannot measure immaterial substance such as the soul or spirit of man, or love between humans, and thus they could not – at least scientifically – explain such things as we are seeking to discern.​

[to be continued]
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
[free digital copies of my book on my Google Drive: https://goo.gl/EQ9L9d ]

Andrew, you said, "Framing this issue in terms of 'utility' versus 'righteousness' only adds insult to injury, as it were." I can appreciate your dismay here. It is a grievous thing that a drastically harmful drug also contains a beneficial palliative effect. Perhaps, as noted in what I wrote just above, there is no guilt at all in one accidentally taking a sorcerous agent, yet there can be damage done — serious harm — nonetheless.

You say the opioids are more harmful than marijuana (although I have been helped by opioids in short-term use after operations). You may hold that opinion, but it does not negate the spiritual harm done by the exposure to the spirit world.

Disbelief in something — sorcery here — does not make it go away. It actually makes it worse, for the danger sign posted on it is removed, and souls fall into an abyss.
 

Romans830

Puritan Board Freshman
Our dear brother Mr. Rafalsky and I have gone around on this topic before. I think the exegetical case that links "sorcery" in Scripture to a particular class of drugs is not proven. And after seeing how diligently Mr. Rafalsky has worked to make that case, I'm inclined to think that if he can't demonstrate it, probably no one can.

I also have significant reservations about the idea of substances with direct spiritual impacts. If THC is welcoming to demons, is the scent of burning sage also repulsive to them? But I will say this, for the other side of the debate. Although users of ayahuasca, psilocybin, DMT, and so forth sometimes have different interpretive frameworks for their experiences, many will say that the drugs are a gateway into the spirit world. It's perfectly possible that they are wrong. But even if so, their intent is bad. And even if they explain it poorly, their reports of experience should be taken seriously. If I'm going to be introduced to Pachamama after inhaling some substance, that probably is something I want to avoid. Nightmares about an exotic meats taco truck with golden fried armadillo served whole on the side are bad enough; I don't need more fodder for horror.
py3ak,

How about the rest of Paul's list? Think it has spiritual impact? Witchcraft is linked to drugs no way around that. It's the intent and the heart that matter. Marijuana for fun and entertainment are bad and yes withcraft...ha.
 

Romans830

Puritan Board Freshman

Medical marijuana - what does the Bible say?​


What does the Bible say about sorcery?​

 
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