How would you respond to someone claiming that marijuana or other drugs help some one become closer to God.  While there is no example of anyone in the Bible needing to use drugs to get close to God, is there any scripture that explicitly says that this is incorrect or even sin?


To be honest with you, if a person comes to me claiming that a Christian would be perfectly OK to be smoking marijuana, I will find it hard to believe that this person is taking the question seriously.   I would be tempted to move on to someone who is actually serious.

Are there any scriptures which say it is sinful to take heroin?   Are there any scriptures which say it is sinful to use someone else’s identity?   We do not have to have a specific scripture on a sin which did not even exist at the time the Bible was written to know that certain things are wrong.

Is it OK to take a mind-altering drug which destroys our memory over time?  Do we need a scripture to tell us that mind-altering drugs are sinful?  I think not.  Numerous studies have shown that there is long-term brain damage caused by those who habitually smoke marijuana, especially at a younger age.  Nevertheless, if this person wants a passage you can use Galatians 5:20 which specifically states that “witchcraft” is sinful.  The Greek word is pharmaceo which is the word from which we get pharmacy or drug from.  This use of drugs to create an altered mental state is sinful.  By the way, in Galatians 5:21, after listing a number of sins, Paul says “and the like.”   He assumes that the list of things which are sinful are fairly obvious.  Lying and stealing are not on the list.  Neither is shooting up heroin or smoking marijuana to “get closer to God.”   All of these are obviously sin and, to be honest, I would be hard pressed to want to spend any time in a debate with someone over this question.

I do not want to pretend that this is a totally closed question.   I believe that it is at least conceivable that a person might have a diagnosable condition which is so debilitating that, under the care of a medical professional, a Christian might take a cannabinoid drug for medical reasons without sinning.   However, this is not the question that you raised.  The answer is NO!  It is not acceptable for a person to use a mind-altering drug in order to maintain a close relationship with God!

John Oakes

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