A BIBLICAL LOOK AT A SERIOUS ISSUE!! MY FRIENDS BE HONEST WITH YOURSELVES!! PLEASE KEEP AN OPEN MIND!!
Intro: Gal 5:20 Sorcery/witchcraft, is from the Greek word, “Pharmakia” the same word we get pharmacy from. it means the general illicit use of drugs (same application as today) and the use of drugs to cast spells etc.
1. Ask for discussion: “Who are the two drug dealers of the Bible?” Elymas and Simon: Acts 13:6 ; Acts 8:9
a. Notice this is illustrative of what Gal 5:20 condemns. These men, called sorcerers, magicians, witchcraft.
b. Harper’s bible dictionary says: “On the lowest level were the ‘imposters’ (2 Tim. 3:13) who played their tricks as do circus magicians today. Between these were the sorcerers, enchanters, and charmers who could cast spells and knew how to use herbs, potions, and drugs.”
c. W. E. Vine says, “In sorcery, the use of drugs, whether simple or potent, was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers, with the provision of various charms, amulets, etc., professedly designed to keep the applicant or patient from the attention and power of demons, but actually to impress the applicant with the mysterious resources and powers of the sorcerer.”
d. So like a witch that stirs her pot of secret brewing herbs, who then takes a small bottle of the potion and gives it to someone, so too with Elymas and Simon. The witch was a drug dealer. Simon would give hallucinogen drugs like “THC” (cannabis) “Psylocibin” or “Cybelcyblin” (magic mushroom) “Cocaine”, “Heroin” (poppy plant) to someone, wait a few minutes then as the drug starts to set in, start waving his hands around giving the impression that HIS POWER is causing all the pink elephants to fly.
2. Ask for discussion: “Where was Jesus offered drugs and refused?”: on the cross “Gall” Mt 27:34.
a. The Jerome Bible commentary says at Mt 27:34: “It was the practice of Jewish women to offer a strong narcotic drink to men condemned to execution; Jesus refused this.”
b. Matthew Henry comments: “By the drink they provided for him before he was nailed to the cross, v. 34. It was usual to have a cup of spiced wine for those to drink of, that were to be put to death, according to Solomon’s direction (Prov. 31:6, 7), Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish”
c. Lensky says at Mt 27:34, “34) Regarding the actual crucifixion Matthew and Mark report only the offer of doped wine which Jesus refused. Matthew calls it wine mixed with Gall. This was not actual gall, but the drink was so called because of its bitter taste. Mark reports that the drink was wine mixed with myrrh, and this tells us what the bitter substance was. Myrrh was added to the wine in order to give it a stupefying effect. This was not an evidence of mercy on the part of the executioners; it was quite the opposite, for it was intended to make their labor of crucifying easier. A man who had been heavily doped with this drink could be easily handled. After one taste of this Jesus refused to drink more of this stupefying drink, and the imperfect [Greek] reads as though he was repeatedly urged to drink and as repeatedly refused. He intended to go through the final ordeal with a perfectly clear mind; he intended to endure all without avoiding a single agony. After a generous drink of this wine Jesus could not have spoken as he did and made his death what it was.
3. Ask for discussion: “Where was a preacher ordered by God to drink alcohol?”: Timothy the evangelist: 1 Tim 5:23 But notice that was for medical reasons. This verse proves that Timothy was in fact an abstainer, otherwise, he would already have been drinking wine… God had to tell him to stop being an abstainer for his health. The argument of a glass of wine a day as a reduction in heart problems, is invented by wine companies who fail to tell you that you get 10 times the positive effect by just drinking straight grape juice!
4. Illicit drugs destroy the body and are condemned: 1 Cor 3:16; 6:19.
5. Illicit drugs are condemned because its fruit is rotten. Matthew 7:17ff. Frequent drug users are losers with messed up lives constantly shooting themselves in the foot. Eventual loss of family, wealth, jobs, friends and life itself. Drug users are associated with biker gangs, going to bars, immoral sexual activity, illegal activity. Successful people do not use drugs. Take a look at the people who use drugs and line them up with people who do not… big difference! Look at the lives of 5 people you know who use drugs. Generally they have many chums, but few close friends, high rate of changing jobs and are often unemployed, are absentee parents who party all night while their teens are left home unsupervised, are irrational in their logic and thinking pattern being plagued with poor judgement. They have many sexual partners, are often unfaithful to their spouses and are violent and irrational with their children. They tend to be selfish and unable to exercise self control in any area of their lives. When confronted with such facts, they simply deny the truth and accuse you of being crazy, when in fact they are the crazy ones. They are hurting and unhappy but they don’t know why… just as the Bible says:
Proverbs 4:18 perfectly describes the difference between drug users and Christians who do not: “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know over what they stumble.”
6. Drug use is outright condemned in the Bible: Gal 5:20.
7. (Draw a chart with one to 7 beers, then ask the class where the line of drunkenness is. Answer will vary, but the law is 2 beers in one hour exceeds .08. Then extent the chart to the right for other drugs. Since drunkenness from alcohol is condemned in the Bible (Gal 5:21) we offer the following: Society has determined that drunkenness is .08 blood alcohol content, compare the same kind of impairment by various drugs. If two beers is .08, what about a single joint, a hit of ecstasy, a single mushroom, a single snort of coke. While you can drink one beer and not be DRUNK, one “dose” (the smallest portion) of a drug puts you way over the impairment of .08. So while some might argue that it is ok for one beer, no such argument can be made for drugs.
Notice that any drug use exceeds the line of drunkenness of the Bible
The chart below gives rough estimates of comparison between drug dose as it compares to the number of beers consumed. Example: one joint is equal in impairment to drinking 3 beers.
The chart: (Note: Only 2 Beers to be drunk for .08 which is the line of sin in the Bible)
- One joint is equal the impairment effect of 3 beers.
- One shroom is equal the impairment effect of 5 beers.
- One dose of is Mescaline is equal the impairment effect of 5 beers.
- One snort of Cocaine is equal the impairment effect of 7 beers.
- One Ecstasy pill is equal the impairment effect of 6 beers.
|Marijuana, hash pot one joint, Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC||Magic mushroom, one mushroom, Psylocibin, Shrooms, (Amanita Muscaria plant)||Mescaline (peyote cactus plant)||Cocaine or Heroin (one snort or injection)||Ecstasy, “E”, one pill, Rave drug, MDMA,
An experienced user wrote us to say that the above chart underestimates the power of drugs compared to beer:
Experienced users know that 1 shroom is much much much stronger than 5 beers. Stronger to an extent that I cant even describe. 1 dose of mescaline and 1 pill of ecstasy are also extremely stronger than even 7 beers. These drugs are very strong and should not even be compared to beer. Doing so could be dangerous for someone that has drank beer, reads this and then thinks, “oh I can handle 7 beers so I can handle this drug”. That is just not so. Just for an example. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate 7 beers at a 2 or 3 compared to 1 ecstasy pill possibly being a 9 or 10. Not to mention the fact of these drugs affecting your mind just as much as your body. The same with the other drugs you have listed here. I strongly suggest you change your information. Even letting people know the effect of these things compared to something else may give them a basis on which to try it. It could be very dangerous for a naive teenager. Just a friendly suggestion from a person with experience in these things.
Drugs and the Bible
We live in a drug using society. Many people have turned to chemicals as a way of life. They may have started out of curiosity or experimentation or escapement but after a period of time they find themselves enjoying the experience. The drug is making them feel the way they want to feel! Now, they’re trapped!
There’s no use trying to “con” anyone. Drugs do make people feel good and provide a means of escape. However, that good feeling and escapement is only temporary. It doesn’t last. No matter how high we get, when it is over we still must come down to the real life with its real problems. Running from a problem never solved it. We may prolong it or make it worse, it won’t go away.
I’m not just talking off the top of my head. I’ve been associated with too many people who have been in the drug scene. I’ve dealt with these problems first hand. You may have reached that lonely time in your life when you feel empty, useless, unloved, unwanted and unnecessary. So, what are you going to do about it? Bury your head in the sand and hope the feeling will disappear, try an artificial filler such as drugs, or stand on your own two feet and deal with things realistically.
Everyone gets that vacant feeling at some time in his or her life. You are not the only one to go through this. The only difference is that some people know where to turn for help. They manage without that artificial filler provided by drugs, You must learn that solutions to any of life’s problems do not come from the “far-out” world of chemicals. The answer can come through a four letter word that isn’t spelled D-R-U-G , but is spelled L-O-V-E. It is through God’s love that people like yourself have come to grips with their problems. They’ve learned that it’s the “greatest thing in the world to be a Christian”, because in Jesus you and I can find the love, care, concern and understanding necessary to fulfill our human needs.
The Bible itself is the most valuable source of help in facing the problem of drugs in our lives. It really can be a good life if we want it to be despite all the problems it presents. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that God hath given us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness”.
Look at the potential physical and psychological danger that drugs present to the abuser. The physically addicting drugs deteriorate the body and overdose can result in respiratory failure and death. Psychologically, drugs can cause us to lose all sense of control. We switch our entire dependence and reason for living to the chemical. The Bible teaches in I Corinthians 6:19-20 that God has given us our bodies; our bodies belong to Him. We are also told in Romans 12:1 that we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God”. Can we do this and be drug dependent?
Let’s put the blame where it really belongs. What we-are actually talking about is a PEOPLE problem, not a drug problem. People make the drug problem what it is by letting the drug gain control of their lives, thus, they lose control and are unable to face reality with these artificial fillers to bridge the gap.
In my years of working with drug dependents and alcoholics, I have developed a set of guidelines which I stress to each one and which I try to live by myself. I know that these things can help if you will use them in your life as you face the temptation to use drugs or misuse your life in any way.
- Think Positive: Life is not dull. Everything that is fun is not a no no. You can enjoy life and feel good about it by using the Word of God as your guideline. A negative attitude can destroy you, but tell yourself you can do whatever you set your mind to, including being drug free. If you are not sure of yourself, you are in trouble.
- Fill Your Life With Joy: Don’t go around with your chin dragging the ground. Hold your head up with enthusiasm. Don’t let life drag you down.
- Get Involved: You get out of anything exactly what you put into it. If you are not willing to sacrifice, don’t expect life to be a rose garden. That’s why religion is dull to some people, they don’t put anything in it.
- Discipline Yourself: Bring your body in subjection. Control your own life. Don’t allow a chemical to rule you.
- Be your own person not a reactor to others.
- Handle everything with prayer.
By applying these guidelines to your life you won’t need drugs. If you have any doubts about the right or wrong of drug abuse, answer these questions honestly.
- Are you always asking others opinions about it?
- Do you feel guilty when you do it?
- Can you thank God for the privilege of doing it?
It’s your life, no one can force you to do anything against your will. Do you really want to use drugs or do you want the good life? It’s up to you.
A message from a medical doctor:
The message below was written by a medical doctor who is also affiliated with the College of Medicine with one of our better known universities.
You hear people say, “Legalize Pot! Marijuana is not an addicting drug. Pot does not lead to hard drugs.” On campuses, from students, from other adults these statements are heard. But are they true? Does marijuana lead to other drugs? Can a person enjoy marijuana safely with no fear of escalation to more harmful drugs? These questions about marijuana cannot be answered without some insight into the nature of the drug and of the people who use it. It is not uncommon to hear the following defense of marijuana: that it is not addicting, that it does not produce the tolerance, the need for increasing amounts of the drug to produce the same effect, that it is less harmful to the body than a tobacco cigarette. These statements ignore a very important subject – the person using the drug. Both these factors – the drug and the user must be explored to find out if marijuana leads to other drugs.
Is the drug itself harmful? Well, until recently, even scientists knew of only a few harmful effects of the drug. It produced irritation of the nose, the eyes and the lungs; it produced a state of intoxication similar, but not identical with alcohol; people on marijuana lose depth perception and critical judgement earlier than those using alcohol. Marijuana does not produce psychological dependence, nor does tolerance develop. Scientists are quick to state that very little is known about the drug. Recently THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, has been isolated and this has enabled scientists to learn more about this drug. The information from many centers studying marijuana indicates that the drug is not as harmless as was assumed. At the Texas Research Institute for Mental Sciences at Houston, experiments have shown that
large doses of THC in laboratory animals have an effect very similar to LSD. So the apparent difference in danger between these two drugs would therefore seem to be only the difference in the amount commonly taken. Other experiments have shown that THC, when given to a pregnant monkey, can be found in the blood of the unborn baby. That is to say that the placentas, normally a barrier between the mother and the baby, will not stop the passage of THC in the blood stream of the offspring.
In addition to the effects of a physical nature, there are increasing reports of disturbed behavior, mental illness, in people using marijuana. Although these behavior changes usually follow prolonged use, there are cases on record of acute psychosis, or insanity, produced by very limited exposure to marijuana. As more research is done, further harmful effects of this drug may be discovered.
But what about the other side of the coin, the person who uses marijuana. It is theoretically possible for a person to smoke marijuana under laboratory conditions and not be inclined to follow this with other drugs. But this is not the way that marijuana is used. In an atmosphere of furtive experimentation, the marijuana is passed from person to person, each competing with the other for a larger effect, each pressuring the other to “get higher”, each trying to be bolder than the other. Peer group pressure, the desire for new experiences, the desire to out-perform ones associates – all these exert the most powerful influences on the user of marijuana to go on to stronger drugs.
It is also important to consider that possessing and using marijuana is a crime, in most states a felony. One is, therefore, in violation of the law to use the drug. It is a known fact that people who are supplying marijuana are usually suppliers of other drugs: amphetamines, LSD, heroin. So when a person puts himself into contact with a pusher of marijuana, he is likely encountering the whole spectrum of drug abuse. Marijuana has been called the door into the drug sub-culture. Even though psychological dependence does not develop to marijuana, a very strong psychological dependence on the drug commonly develops. The nature of this is uncertain, perhaps influenced by peer group pressure, perhaps an indication of personality instability in the person who would use marijuana, but it is probably related to the tendency of some young people to resort to the use of drugs to solve or escape their problems. Adolescence is a time of turmoil and of personality development in any child. Since the use of drugs creates problems for the user, the use of drugs as a problem-solving technique greatly increases the likelihood of habitual use and of escalation.
Finally, the factor of negative value scales causes many young users of marijuana to go on up the ladder to other drugs. Many of the young people in the drug abuse community subscribe to a set of values which places a premium on self-destruction. It is common to hear a person in the drug scene boast about almost killing himself with an overdoes of drugs. Others brag about the physical discomfort they experienced while on a speed trip. When a young person in using marijuana surrounds himself with people whose value judgements are warped to this degree, the chances are very great that these negative values will result in his moving up to heroin, amphetamines, or other drugs.
Does the use of marijuana lead to the use of other drugs? With the information available you can’t afford to bet your life that it doesn’t. We believe it does. This underscores. the reasons for God’s condemnation of drunkenness, whether it is produced by alcohol or drug abuse. The Bible says that “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” Galatians 5:19-21. Repentance and correction of life, however, is always possible if we are willing to turn to God on his terms. (II Peter 3:9,10).