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Christians with balanced view of cannabis a rarity?

Submitted by Djadja on Sat, Oct 23, 2010 - 11:05 pm

This is only one of two Christian sites I found with a balanced view of this god-created herb, the other being Christians for Cannabis. Neither sees much traffic. There are more Christian naturists out there.

I think cannabis, used responsibly, like a little wine, is good for the soul. But I think it would be easier to convince my pastor that it's okay to be naked than stoned.

I found, by the way, one other site that does as good a job explaining the Greek meanings of pharmakeia:

There's a lot of info in the comments. Worth reading them all. As you stated, it meant using poisons or the services of one who mixed potions (drugs) to kill. They were thinking assassination in the comments (common in Roman times!), but I expect abortion was the most common use of pharmakeia.

I'd also recommend this booK Paul Among the People:

The author is a scholar of Greek, with a wider understanding of Greek and Roman literature, common writings, and Greco-Roman culture in general than is often found in Biblical Scholars. She brings a very refreshing take on some topics that are often associated with Paul and that have gotten him branded a misogynist (among other things).


Hi Djadja, Please have a look at the Drug War Tree & Fruit flyer which I made to help unenlightened Christians see how abominable the Drug War is. You can print it out for your pastor or email it. :-)

In general I agree there don't seem to be many Christians with a balanced view, like you say. But my sense is there are a significant percentage who do not vilify cannabis, mainly because they've used it, continue to use it, or know others who have used it or continue to use it; let alone the more educated among them who recognize the plant has a multitude of beneficial uses, medicinal as well as industrial.

The main problem, as I see it, is the Christians who are afraid to speak up and put down this evil Drug War situation. Those who are not afraid to speak up are a rarity, in my experience.

Mainly, my guess is, they are afraid of what other people will think and say. Frankly this makes me angry since Jesus tells us often to ignore the scorn of people in favor of standing up for righteousness. In fact Jesus even takes it a big step further, not only does he say to not be afraid of insults from the ignorant, but he says do not be afraid of dying; and he points out on many occasions that there are wolves in sheep's clothing.

Actually, my sense of the Ol' Pharmakeia Situation is in line with most Bible translations: witchcraft, trying to manipulate and shove others around via the spirit world (spells and curses), perhaps using potions, charms and trinkets.

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.

Also, I encourage you to broach this with your pastor and fellow congregants! I have an essay in mind which should help with the most common hang-up people have.

I took a quick look at the reviews. It seems interesting and I'm glad she wrote it.

I majored in Youth Ministry many years ago. And it seems to me I recall hearing similar details in my classes, somewhat surprisingly perhaps was that the school was far more conservative than what I was used to where I grew up. But the teacher I recall made no bones about the writings attribute to Paul, well some of them at least, were probably written by others, maybe signed off by Paul, but maybe not.

But since I don't worship the Bible, I worship God, such revelations do not knock me off the rock or shatter my views. Some people idolize the Bible, even only one particular version of it, and anything which seems to hint at contradicting it (or their own interpretation of it) is immediately derided as "of the Devil." However, history shows this is not a healthy or enlightened perspective to adopt, as we've seen in the life of Galileo and the repercussions from that.

I won't go in to other gory details, but I agree that it's a bit too easy to read the Bible from an ethnocentric perspective. It's also a bit too easy to get caught up in donning the mantle of needing to "defend" the Bible, or even God, do the death; and subjugate people who disagree; a belief not just limited to some "Christians."

I love religion (and God), but not forcing it on others.

Your timing is ironic. It recently came to my attention a group calling themselves The American Humanist Association is about to launch an ad campaign where they point out some quotes attributed to Paul, and juxtapose them against their own modern-day beliefs.

As your point alludes to, there is really no context within the writings of Paul which indicate the mores of the day.

Here is a link to the page announcing their campaign.

Personally I'd like to see something along the lines of "hey, we believe in the Golden Rule, and your religion says you should too," etc… Hey Humanists, I'm available for consultation, low rates. :-)