Co-belligerants with the Devil

I’ve been all over the map when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. Not that I have any question about the sinfulness of marijuana use. When God’s Word says “Be not drunk with wine,” that’s not the only thing it applies to. The effect of drunkenness can be gained with more than just wine. At least the Scripture says that wine can be good when used rightly. Paul never said smoke a little hash for your glaucoma’s sake. There is one main reason for smoking marijuana: to get high. Scripture forbids getting high, therefore smoking marijuana is sin. That’s not legalism, it’s obedience.

But the legalization of marijuana is a different matter. All crimes (as defined by Scripture) are sins but not all sins are crimes (thanks Doug Wilson). In the Old Testament the act of adultery was a crime punishable by stoning (with rocks, that is). Jesus said that lust in the heart was also a type of adultery. Thankfully the latter sin was not a crime. To apply this to the topic, just because smoking marijuana is a sin doesn’t mean there must be a law against it.

Nonetheless there are laws against it. So what’s a Christian to do? In the past I’ve argued that those laws should be removed. It was a part of my “Christian libertarian” platform. After all, isn’t this just another area of the ever-encroaching state dictating what we do? “Down with big brother” I said. But when I look around at the people who are calling for the legalization of marijuana, most of them are, shall we say, on the licentious side. The parades and protests in favor of this drug is made up not of people who have a zeal for the Lord’s Word but a zeal for no brakes. I’ve heard from others and I agree that until I became Reformed I never heard a Christian support legalizing pot. We know the arguments from Romans 14, Colossians 2, and the like. But in our strict, “unless it’s in the text I’m not going to obey it” perspective, we’ve missed a greater command: “Love not the world neither the things that are in the world.”

Part of wisdom means discerning good from evil (Heb. 5:14). Sure it may not be in the text that pot should remain illegal, but it’s time we wake up and take a look at what’s going on. Do we really think our government wants legalized pot because of their respect for godly liberty or is it an even easier way to control the masses (paging Aldous Huxley)? And when you are taking a stand for things, who are you standing with? Is it the godly, albeit rag-tag army of the saints or is it made of orcs, weak-kneed men, and a Saruman or two to make it look respectable (see Tolkien if you’re unsure of those references)? Sure I know about the “guilt-by-association” fallacy, but hear this: if you’re protesting for legalized pot and you’re the only one there whose eyes aren’t half closed, you should really get a clue. The overwhelming majority of people who support this are either in the world (non-Christians) or are moving toward the world (weak Christians). That’s not to say that there aren’t godly men who see it differently, but they are few and far between.

Am I saying that all Christians must rail against legalized marijuana at all times? No. I could foresee a time when laws against it wouldn’t be necessary because everyone understands how stupid it is. But that’s not our time. Our society is made up of immature people who can’t tell light from darkness. Legalization at this  crucial time won’t make that distinction better; it will only make it hazier.