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Todd Miles: Why Marijuana Use Is an Issue Church Leaders Must Not Ignore

“It’s not easy following Jesus. We battle the world, the flesh and the devil. We are instructed to worship the Lord with our heart, our strength, our soul, our mind. And so I think we have to ask the question as followers of Christ, is taking a mind-altering substance going to enable me to follow the Lord better? Is that going to aid in my taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ?”

“I would be concerned if someone came to me and said, ‘Todd, I have to drink alone every night just to calm my nerves a bit.’”

“You have to educate yourself as to how marijuana works and then just do some advanced teaching on how mind-altering drugs intersect with the Christian life, if at all.”

“States are legalizing medical and then recreational at a very fast pace.”

“There’s a story out there that marijuana’s not addictive. That’s just patently false. It is absolutely addictive. Now, it’s not as addictive as other substances like alcohol or certainly opioids, but it is still addictive.”

“Underage marijuana use is just a terrible idea because THC demonstrably interferes with brain development, and it’s not something you get back.”

“There’s a strong link between earlier onset of mental illness amongst those who are genetically predisposed towards mental illness…And unfortunately, the message you get from the culture is almost the exact opposite.”

“I think one of the reasons [the church is] not talking about it is we’ve never had to talk about it. And so we don’t really know what to say about it…we have been able to lean on civil government for too long and just use that as our barometer, so to speak.”

“I think there’s an enormous pressure right now to not be legalistic and that there’s a lot of Christians who grew up in maybe a more legalistic context, and they just want to get as far away from that as possible. And so the last thing you want to do as a church pastor is to go give a bunch of rules for what to do and what not to do.”

“How do you equip your church members to think faithfully, to think biblically, to take every thought captive in obedience to Christ about something that is of this significance? Because we’re talking about a mind-altering substance, right? We’re not talking about whether that extra Hershey bar is going to be good for me or bad for me. We’re talking about something that could impair cognitive physical abilities.”