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Mark Driscoll: Should Christians Smoke Pot or Not?

The following article is from the introduction of a new Resurgence ebook by Pastor Mark Driscoll: Puff or Pass: Should Christians Smoke Pot or Not? This content is available for free as a ministry of Mars Hill Church. 

Recently, my home state of Washington legalized the recreational use of marijuana. This decision, of course, leads to a host of pastoral questions and issues.

I have been asked these questions for years, as Mars Hill Church has always reached out to a high (pun intended) percentage of single young guys living typical, irresponsible urban lives.

These guys are generally not very theological, but curiously they tend to know at least two Bible verses:

Genesis 1.29″>1. Genesis 1:29 (NIV): “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth.’”

Luke 6.37″>2. Luke 6:37, the catch-all, in-case-of-guilty-emergency-break-glass verse, (paraphrased): “Thou shall not judge.”

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Over the years, my default answer has been Romans 13:1-7, which basically says that believers must submit to the laws of government as long as there is no conflict with the higher laws of God in Scripture.

This was a simple way to say “no” to recreational pot smoking.

But now that recreational marijuana use is no longer illegal (according to my state laws, at least), the guiding question is now twofold:

Is using marijuana sinful, or is it wise?

Some things are neither illegal (forbidden by government in laws) nor sinful (forbidden by God in Scripture), but they are unwise.

For example, eating a cereal box instead of the food it contains is not illegal or sinful—it’s just foolish. This explains why the Bible speaks not only of sin, but also folly, particularly in places such as the book of Proverbs.

There are innumerable things that won’t get you arrested or brought under church discipline, but they are just foolish and unwise—the kinds of things people often refer to by saying, “That’s just stupid.”

Full disclosure

I have smoked pot as many times as I have been pregnant.

I grew up next to the Sea-Tac airport before the area was incorporated as a city. Practically, this meant there was no local law enforcement. Drug deals took place openly and frequently on Pacific Highway South, which was also legendary for brazen prostitution.

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Pastor Mark Driscoll is the Preaching and Speaking pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. He is one of the world’s most downloaded and quoted pastors. His audience—fans and critics alike—spans the theological and cultural left and right. Follow his updates at twitter.com/pastorMark.