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01/14/2003: "Did Jesus Use Cannabis?"

Ever since Chris Bennett's article ran in High Times and was quoted in the Guardian, many CforC visitors have come here to find the answer. While the answer may not be the one sought, it should bring comfort none the less.

While I applaud Mr. Bennett's untiring research efforts, I have been part of the conservative Christian community long enough to know that unless Jesus comes down from Heaven and tells them himself, no amount of evidence will sway them to believe it.

Bill and Annabelle Gillum, a lovely and very wise couple that I used to listen to on the local Christian radio station gave this advice, "Only act on what you know to be true". What do we know to be true about Jesus?

When questioned by The teachers of the law and the Pharisees in reference to the woman who had been caught in the act of adultery, a crime carrying a sentence of death by stoning, to those that brought the accusation against the woman and brought the woman to Jesus, he wisely said to them, "He who hath no sin, cast the first stone." They left with nothing to say. He then asked the woman where her accusers were and if anyone had condemned her. She said no to which he replied, "Then neither do I condemn you. Go and leave your life of sin." -John 8:1-11

Based on his response to a person that had broke a God given law, would his response to someone accused of breaking a man-made rule, that did not violate God's law, be anything less?

While the question of Jesus using cannabis may remain unanswered, he would never support the war on drugs. This we know to be true and and this we should act on.

Replies: 15 Comments

Rev. Dr. Abington said @ 01/15/2003 11:39 AM CST

What God gave us no man may call 'evil'--remember Peter's dream of the sheet coming down from heaven with all of creation on it? God gave us the herb of the field to eat. He wants us to be happy. He tells us to drink wine and feel happy about our work because our days are few. Although I am in favor of legalizing marijuana, I have a hard time stretching this or any other point to mean Christ used marijuana in his ministry and to heal the sick. His power came from the Father, not Mary Jane.

Rev. Dr. Walter Abington

jini said @ 01/15/2003 01:11 PM CST

Reverend Abington-
Thank you for your comments, it is good to see the participation. All I can add to it is my agreement on all points. God bless.

love and peace,

[email protected]">Drug War Vigil Memorial Group said @ 01/16/2003 04:44 AM CST

Mr.Bennett's research shows without a doubt that cannabis played an active role in the history of Christianity.Please visit us at Peace. George Bailey

[email protected]" >Interesting to Learn said @ 01/20/2003 11:26 AM CST

It is interesting to dig up dirt and such from various sources and then do the research yourself with the Holy Spirit working inside of you to lead you to the path of rightousness and christianity (being Christ-Like). If seems to me that the ONLY reason for the illegality of Marijuana is the "Power's that Be" want it to be illegal. If cannabis were legal and free for anyone to experience without fear, they would come to the conclusion that most of us have come too... That God is Perfect and Man is not. What God has made good, Man has made bad, and vice-versa, what man has made Good, God has made bad. Man did not "invent" cannabis, Cannabis was a creation of God, and God said, All things that were made by him were "Very Good". I object to "Man-made" drugs when God has provided us with EVERY cure to any of "Man's" disease's. We are free to live our life without persecution from God when we are in a constant walk with him. If we are not breaking God's law, then man's law is nothing but a "Man-made" idea.

[email protected]">Mike Corrente said @ 01/20/2003 02:46 PM CST

While Chris Bennett's suggestions that the oils of annointing used by Christ and His disciples contained cannabis is interesting and certainly not impossible, his ignorance of Hebrew history and Jewish custom allows him to come to a conclusion about the modern orthodox Christian view on marijuana that is far from accurate.

What must be understood first about Christ is His philosophical affiliations. While many people may be unaware of this, Jesus was most closely akin to the sect of Judaism known as the Pharisees. He differed on certain points, but the fierce debates recorded in the gospels lead some to incorrectly believe that Jesus was the opposite of the Pharisee. In fact, the words used by Jesus and the Pharisees were extremely mild to someone who is familiar with Jewish sects and Talmud.

The Pharisees had written opinions on perhaps every tiny detail in the Law of Moses. They had specific regulations for amounts and types of food and drink the Jewish people could consume and still be "righteous." Jesus was almost without exception a practicing Pharisee. While He may have used oil that contained cannabis, the effects of such use would have been noticed long before and regulated by the Pharisaic sect. While people are correct in understanding the New Testament allows them to eat any food or consume any beverage, it is clear that the emphasis in Scripture is moderation. Jesus would most certainly be no exception. In fact, later New Testament theology is far more liberal than the theology expressed in the person of Christ Himself. If we are to assume anything, we must assume Jesus was more of a conservative than His followers.

What the end question comes down to is, "Should Christians support marijuana?" I will not argue that, biblically, our beliefs allow us to partake of cannabis in moderation, but the scriptures are clear on one point that must be at the forefront - if the laws of the state are not in contradiction with the commands of God, the state is to be obeyed [Romans 13:1-2]. We may attempt to change state policy, but until such a time, we must follow the laws before us.

A practicing Christian cannot support dealers over the officials of the state placed by God in authority over us. These people who illegally distribute marijuana are criminals. They are not deemed so by the state based on their religious views [something that a Christian in good conscious could and should object to], but instead are deemed criminals due to their decision to make money by engaging in activity the state has declared illegal.

Until the laws are changed, Christians must obey and support both our elected and appointed officials. While Jesus would have forgiven criminals, He would not support their criminal behavior as the words and actions of this organization most certainly do. In another comment to this article, someone mentioned the passage in which Jesus tells the Jews "whoever is without sin, let him cast the first stone." This person conveniently left out the emphasis that Jesus in fact did see the woman as living in sin, and told her to "Go, and sin no more." His forgiveness was not an invitation to continue her life of sin. Forgiveness never is.

[email protected]">Reply to Mike Corrente said @ 01/20/2003 03:46 PM CST

Didnt Moses' mother perform an "illegal" act according to the Bible when she placed Moses in a basket to escape the authorities from death? Or when Joseph and Mary snuck the baby Jesus out of Bethlehem to escape Herod's killing of ALL male children under the age of two years old, wasnt that illegal, and the Angel himself for bringing the message to Joseph and Mary would have been an illegal act as well. You should read Acts 5 and 12 to find out about how God himself orchestrated a great jail-break for Peter. The list goes on and on concerning "Christians" going against the LAW... Christ himself was crucified for treason... DOES this ring a bell to anyone??? The only "Law" that I am subject to as a human being are the "Laws of nature" and the "Law of God". The first commandment says "have no other gods before me". If you read the Hebrew definition for the word "gods" you will see that it refers to judges, magistrates, and MAN...I refuse to listen to ANY law made by a man, and if that leads me to persecution for my faith and beliefs then so-be-it...Jesus paid the ultimate price for my soul, so the least i can do is Give my life to serve Him...and Him only...Choose whom you serve today...God or Mammon?

[email protected]">Mike Corrente said @ 01/20/2003 07:42 PM CST

Each of the above examples fits perfectly into my understanding of Christians and state law. In each of the cases, the law-breakers were so because the law in question violated the law of God. In the case of the babies Moses and Jesus, God's law of the sanctity of life outweighed the law of death at the hands of Pharaoh and Herod. Peter was being persecuted for his beliefs - a situation which I specifically mentioned in my first comment as something that we as Christians should oppose. And yes, Jesus was executed on a charge of treason - a charge of which He was falsely accused. Had He truly been a traitor, you might have a point. As it stands, you do not.

As to the comment, "I refuse to listen to ANY law made by a man," - that may be the most un-Christ-like comment I have come across in quite a while. Apparently you have chosen to gloss over the passage in the letter to the Hebrews in which the writer specifically commands us to obey the authorities placed over us [I believe I mentioned this in my first comment as well].

What puts all of this in perspective for me is your apparent motive for supporting the criminals you do. You are not being persecuted for your religious beliefs. You are not being persecuted in any way, shape, or form. If you think you are, talk to the persecuted Church in third-world countries around the world. Oh, wait - you can't. They have paid with their lives for their RELIGIOUS beliefs. That's persecution.

You speak so strongly about this topic, as if it is your Christian duty to support the legalization of marijuana. All you are concerned with are your rights. You consider it to be a right for people to smoke up. Great. If you can pass a law that supports it, I will back you to a wall. But don't claim for a moment that your Christian beliefs demand that you oppose anti-drug legislation. You cannot, with any responsible use of scripture, present the view that it is a Christian responsibility to support the legalization of marijuana. Your motives are at the best political - at worst, selfish. I have no problem supporting you politically - I have a grave problem when you claim it is my Christian duty.

[email protected]">Tsk Tsk Tsk said @ 01/20/2003 11:19 PM CST

I agree with you on some points but only when the "law makers" are in line with Gods law. If you read Genesis 1:29 and the verses before it you will see that
God himself called everything he had created "Very Good" and told man it was to be used for the original Hebrew translation of the word meat which is 'akal - aw-kal' means: to eat at all, burn up, consume, or devour... when a "law" says that a plant has no medicinal value and is worse than crack they are calling a creation of God a mistake. You are so clouded by religious propaganda, created by this government so that people could not partake in the Glory of God's creation and be enlightened to the point of self-realization. We do not need a MAN to tell us what to do, or how to live our life, God has Given us our instructions and our guidelines and told us to enjoy ourselves and endure till the end.

[email protected]">Mike Corrente said @ 01/21/2003 02:19 AM CST

First, I object strongly to the statement that I am "so clouded by religious propaganda." Before I truly accepted Christianity, I was an atheist. Since my conversion, I have built my worldview from the ground up, accepting nothing that I couldn't logically accept as factual given the evidence. To say that I am the victim of some government conspiracy against the "Glory of God" insults my intelligence and my belief. Let's clear something up - I have no problem with marijuana or its use in and of itself. My point is that you cannot responsibly use scripture to support POLITICAL action against lawmakers. The Holy Bible is not a political work. It is a moral, ethical, spiritual, religious work. I am not arguing about whether marijuana use is right or wrong. I am arguing against your self-seeking use of scripture.

As to your other comments. Yes, 'oklah can be used to refer to something being consumed in fire. I am assuming that you are using this as a reference to smoking cannabis. However, this is not the sort of consumption 'oklah is used to imply. I took the time, just to be sure, to go through every Old Testament use of this word (all 18 references) and, without surprise, the word was never used to describe consumption through smoking. It was used three times to describe something being consumed by fire - but it is the fire that is doing the consuming, not a third party inhaling the smoke. I hope this matter is clear.

You also condemned the government for outlawing marijuana by lying about it being worse than crack. I won't argue the government's point, only if you will recognize the clear hypocrisy in your statement. Marijuana is a product of cannabis. Cannabis is a creation of God. Crack is a product of the coco plant. The coco plant is a creation of God. Both require a degree of processing. If you want to make the argument that the government should allow you to eat raw cannabis (or boiled - I could understand that), you may. I doubt that this is your desire. Seeing as this is the purest form of "God's Glory," it would make sense, but I'll leave that. If you oppose the government's treatment of marijuana by claiming that it somehow limits man's ability to experience the glory of God, you must also oppose legislation that outlaws cocaine or any other drug derived from natural sources (which is all of them, actually). From the views I have seen expressed on this site, a person with similar views would be unwilling to go that far.

The most significant problem to your rebuttal is your failure to accurately interpret the role of a Christian in regards to human law. You imply that you will obey the laws of the land "only when the 'law makers' are in line with Gods law." This is a bit ambiguous. Will you obey the law of man only when it matches exactly what you perceive the law of God to be? Alternatively, will you obey the law of man only when it does not stand in contradiction to God's law? Can you see the difference?

If you would stand by the former option, I have to ask you - what place does the law of man hold? It is completely useless. Therefore, there should be no laws made by man, because God's law has given us everything complete, correct? Why then does the writer of the letter to the Hebrews command us to follow the laws of the human authorities placed over us? He or she could have simply commanded us to follow God's law (a no-brainer in a letter to a Christian church), and we should have been fine. The writer obviously makes a distinction between God's law and man's law, and we must therefore choose the latter option above - that we must obey the laws of men unless they contradict the laws of God. God does not COMMAND us to consume cannabis. I have no problem with admitting that He ALLOWS it, but their is a distinct difference between those two terms - one that I hope is evident enough that I don't have to explain it.

Also - a minor point, but one worth bringing up. You mentioned that you don't need a MAN to tell you want to do - that God has given you guidelines and that is all you need. May I ask you this - what guidelines are you speaking of? If you mean the natural revelation of God through nature, fine. That would be extremely subjective and could not even loosely be described as "Christian," but it would fit your argument. However, if by "guidelines" you mean the Holy Scriptures, then let me throw out a couple of words for thought - Moses, Paul, Peter, John, Matthew, Mark, Luke. If you follow Holy Scripture, then you are most certainly allowing MEN to tell you what to do. They were inspired by God, granted - but they were still men. The only fact that gave them authority was that God Himself had granted them authority. This is exactly the language the writer of the letter to the Hebrews uses when he or she gives reason for his or her command that we follow the human authorities placed over us.

Wait, that doesn't make sense said @ 07/31/2003 06:02 PM CST

This Quote "Marijuana is a product of cannabis. Cannabis is a creation of God. Crack is a product of the coco plant." doesn't make sense. How is marijuana a product of anything? Marijuana is a slang mexican word from the 20's used to describe the dried leaves of the cannabis plant. Crack is a chemically made "more pure" form of cocaine (which is extracted from coca). Are you trying to compare the natural process of plant matter drying with that? Cause that's kind of silly.

[email protected]">VERSES said @ 02/29/2004 09:19 PM CST

Im doing a research paper for my christian school about legalization of marijuana.Could some one send me a few verses out of scripture that support marijuana?

[email protected]">VERSES said @ 02/29/2004 09:19 PM CST

Im doing a research paper for my christian school about legalization of marijuana.Could some one send me a few verses out of scripture that support marijuana?

[email protected]">VERSES said @ 02/29/2004 09:19 PM CST

Im doing a research paper for my christian school about legalization of marijuana.Could some one send me a few verses out of scripture that support marijuana?

Mike Corrente said @ 03/02/2023 08:50 PM CST

Good luck, Verses. Whatever you get will be ambiguous and taken out of context.

josh said @ 04/10/2022 01:32 AM CST

Mike, your arguments are well-structured and precise. If I were you I'd probly be extremely infuriated by these self-contradicting arguments that others are posting. I wish people would sometimes sit back and listen to what others have to say, before deciding to disagree.

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