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Cannabis Prohibition and the First Amendment
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Tue Jan 13 2009, 07:59
Registered Member #11
Joined: Sun Sep 18 2005, 10:18
Location: Hemet, Ca
Posts: 965

Cannabis prohibition and the First Amendment

Often times I have been instructed that, as long as "it's the law", the possession or use of cannabis by a Christian would be viewed as sin by God. This is generally the second argument presented by the Christian bent on defending cannabis prohibition. So I would like to take the time to bring this issue into context.

-I will only mention here a few simple examples, like, all of the Apostles save one, was killed for disobeying the Government, or that Christians in North Korea have Bibles even though they're illegal there, or that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself was killed by the "powers that be", just to kind of illustrate how out of context this notion that we blindly submit to the "powers that be" really is.
"the Law" in this case, is a reference to Civil law, or an ordinance of a ruler or a king- not a reference to God's Law given to Moses. Specifically, in this case, "the law" is a reference to the American ordinance better known as cannabis prohibition.

A quick study in American History shows that our Nation was founded with the principles of religious freedom put forward first. We can see this clearly by the First Amendment of the Constitution; we as Americans hold this first amendment as the highest rule, one in which no other laws can supercede-- if any law violates this First Amendment, it is deemed unconstitutional and void.

" Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. "

Textbook Evangelical theology clearly puts forth the Bible as the final, infallible source of Truth for matters pertaining to the Christian Faith (Sola Scriptura).
This Understanding of the Authority of the Written Word of God, split the Church 500 years ago, and is foundational to Protestant theology. Evangelical Christians are a "by the Book" people. We are to adhere to the Truths presented in the Bible, rooted in the fact of the resurrection, and are to recognize that those Truths are final, written in our existence, infallible, and impossible to be found as a lie. If you want to know the Truth of a matter, you go to the Bible and search it out. The Christian can rest his soul upon it's Truth
This "Sola Scriptura" doctrine was certainly in the minds of our Founding Fathers, and we can see the First Amendment as a Protestant Theology, just universalized in it's language. The majority of North American settlements were communities that had fled Europe due to persecutions pertaining to the Faith.
Keeping this in mind, we can recognize that any law or ordinance passed by our Nation's government that infringes upon this liberty of the citizen, would certainly be nullified by the Constitutional authority.

As a Christian, -believing the Bible to be the final, infallible authority for matters pertaining to the Faith, and the salvation of our souls; one can trust that, given the protections provided by the First Amendment, we are free to follow the commands and instructions and reproof and guidance of the Bible, without reprimand or condemnation.
This first rule of our Nation garauntees the citizen the freedom to come to intellectually defensible conclusions as to what is True, and to act according to the burdens and convictions that the Truth presents to us in our lives and conscience- the freedom to believe, and the freedom to speak concerning those beliefs.

What a glorious thing! To be free to obey God; Truly, that would be Heaven. What Promise America had for mankind in it's conception! If Heaven could be a place on earth, the order and structure and design of our Nation's Government was certainly to build that place. The very first rule acknowledges the personal relationship between a man and his Maker, and protects that relationship.

-Now, understanding the principles of rule and authority in the First Amendment, and in reference to cannabis prohibition, look at the following two passages, and consider how the Evangelical Christian has been put in the position of being forced to either, obey the Ordinance, or obey God:

1. Genesis 1:29 Then God said, "I now give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food."

2. Colossian 2:16 "Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – 2:17 these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ!"

From these two passages alone (not including all the other passages I got), I must ask, "how does one obey God, and the ordinance which runs contrary to it?"
How do I let someone judge me by my foods, drink, or diet, and still remain Faithful to God and His explicit command for all Christians for all time?
-Read carefully, this command of God does not say "do not judge" in these things; this is a proactive command to the Christian- "do not let them"!!! If we allow them to judge us by these standards, then we are not obeying God.
-I will quickly point out that, beyond these two passages, there are also warnings given in the Bible about false doctrines and the signs of a false Church, specifically an example of commands of abstinence from foods in 1 Timothy 4, and also a warning in Revelation 2:12-17 about the Body of Christians becoming complacent with governments in this area of the Christian life, -and the eternal rewards for the ones who overcome them. (see Thompson Chain Reference 4308-j, the Seven Churches in Asia, or any Evangelical study on the passage, they should all read the same).
Observing now, that this cannabis prohibition requires the Christian to give up the Liberty to believe, and act according to the command of God in the Bible; one need not be a Scholar in Constitutional Law to also observe that this cannabis prohibition as an infringement upon our Civil Rights. Cannabis prohibition requires the Christian, when put into the situation, to either obey God, or obey Government- or more fearfully presented, to disobey God, or to disobey the Government.
Unfortunately, our Nation's Senate and House of Representatives have failed to acknowledge this infringement on the First Amendment, and I really doubt they will make any effort to change it via Supreme Court. (Supreme Court is screaming for the Congress to deal with it). Put simply, our Governors can only see an ordinance as a violation of Constitutional law when they themselves believe it. It is difficult to recognize Free Faith when you're trying to streamline and herd men like cattle.
Simple things that do not really test the Faith of a man- "under God" on our dollar bills, or a cross on a hill; matters quite insignificant to the Faith, ones that do not require any real change are what they respect as the Free Faith of a man.

The Bible clearly states that we, as Christians, will be put into positions and situations by the "world", places where we suffer because of our defense of the Gospel. A quick reading of Hebrews 11 illustrates a number of examples of people who were persecuted for what they believe to be True. It's called "Faith", and it is a very powerful force. Faith is what allows the witness to lay his head down on the chopping block. Faith is what enables a man to drop everything, take up his cross, and follow Him. Faith is what strengthens a man to say, "I'll submit to your persecutions, but I will never turn my back on God or the instructions and commands given to me in His Word."

For me, by the Word of God, by two thousand years of Christian Tradition and Ecumenical history, by a clear and concise and accurate,- and HONEST- study of the matter, and by the Love of God poured out into my heart by Holy Spirit;
I know that it is lawful for me to consume cannabis by the command of God, and that it is unlawful for the United States of America, or any governing body underneath their authority, to violate that Liberty by their own First Amendment.

I also know that I will suffer for believing that.

Lost home, lost family, lost church, lost opportunity, lost hopes, lost dreams, I cannot even begin to count the loss, and I no longer care to reflect on them, as the persecutions will surely continue.

Even though the Free Faith Promise to America's citizens, that was given in it's conception, was noble, I also recognize that "These having died in their faith" is the end of the Christian life here. Our victory isn't here, it's in the city not built by the hands of men. The real Heaven, the True Kingdom of God, the place where we are free to obey God.

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith without receiving the things promised, but they saw them in the distance and welcomed them and acknowledged that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth. For those who speak in such a way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. In fact, if they had been thinking of the land that they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they aspire to a better land, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

The LORD is my strength, I will not faint from exhaustion.
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Wed Jan 14 2009, 12:32
Registered Member #11
Joined: Sun Sep 18 2005, 10:18
Location: Hemet, Ca
Posts: 965
If a man sins against a man, one may appeal to God on his behalf. But if a man sins against the Lord, who then will intercede for him?

[ Edited Mon Feb 09 2009, 04:34 ]

The LORD is my strength, I will not faint from exhaustion.
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Wed Jan 14 2009, 06:54
Registered Member #11
Joined: Sun Sep 18 2005, 10:18
Location: Hemet, Ca
Posts: 965
"Awake, awake, put on thy strength, put on thy glory! Shake off the dust and arise. Sit thee down, loose the bands of thy neck.’
‘Lift up thine eyes round about and behold thy children gathered together; behold they are gathered together and are come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt clothe thee with them all as with an ornament, and gird thyself with them as with the ornaments of a bride. For thy waste and corrupted and ruined places shall now be too narrow by reason of those that inhabit thee, and they that swallow thee up shall be far from thee.

For thy sons whom thou hast lost shall say in thine ears, The place is too narrow for me, give place to me that I may dwell.

Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these? I am childless and a widow, and who hath brought up these for me? I was left alone, and these, where were they for me?

I don't know about you guys, but I see it. I see Home.
The place where we are at now is too narrow; it is evident by our own lives.
But I see Home, And I know we'll be there soon!

The LORD is my strength, I will not faint from exhaustion.
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