Sunday Worship
8:00 AM  &  10:30 AM 
Sunday School   9:15 AM
1300 Kent Drive
Lebanon, Mo 65538
Phone: (417) 532 - 2717

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church

Missouri Synod

The Church Is One Foundation
Steven Anderson (101 Classic Piano Hymns Vol 1)
0:00/1:31


Pastor's Message


February 2016


Legalize Marijuana?


Dear Members and Friends at Trinity Lutheran Church,

Is it time to legalize marijuana?  Honestly I have to tell you I know very little about drugs.  I have never used illegal drugs and have not been close to those who do use it.  That has its advantages.  While all of us have problems, drugs was not something with which I had to struggle.


The disadvantage I have is a good knowledge base having not interacted very much with those on drugs.  That is likely to be  true for many of our members.  When I do hear about marijuana it is often from the pro-legalization side.  You hear it too, "pot is better than smoking or drinking alcohol".


I was listening to an interview with a neruropsychiatrist recently.  She also works with addictions.  She was giving a side I haven't really heard.  Here are some bullet points from her interview:


     

    • Marijuana is particularly bad for the brain development of those in their teens and possibly on up to 24.  It lowers one's potential IQ and drops IQ levels by several points.
    • 1 in 10 become addicted.  1 in 6 become addicted if they start smoking as teenagers.  Now that was new to me.
    • 30% of those who use marijuana go on to use other drugs.
    • For those prone to mental illness it increases the risk of psychosis.
    • It damages the pre-frontal cortex which is the self-observing part of the brain.  Hence, even if a person's mental ability is suffering due to pot, they wound not necessarily be able to perceive the problem.
    • This one was hard to catch, but I believe she said 50% of those in drug rehab started with pot.

     

    This is a story I haven't heard before, at least not by anyone credentialed as a doctor.  However, does it matter?  Should it matter for the Christian?  Should it matter when people consider legalization?  And, let's be honest, medical marijuana legalization is in essence the legalization of its recreational use.


    Legalization is a big issue because legalization will inevitably lead to more drug use in society and among children.  I believe in Colorado, the first cigarette most teens smoke is a joint.

    Legalization also posses challenges to the church.  Many Christians have simply been relying on the fact that marijuana has been illegal in order to dissuade other Christians from taking it.  While legality is an important issue for a Christian, so are other items such as: 

     


    • Why do you take pot?
    • Does this glorify God in your body?
    • Is your primary reason in order to get high?
    • Does smoking pot give you a sober mind as the Bible commands us to keep?
    • Does getting high give evidence of being filled and directed by the Spirit of God?


    Society is changing at a fast rate,  Some changes can be good.  Others can be destructive.  Whether we like it or not, the coming decades will reveal just how bad the legalization of marijuana has been for society.  The world will always run to hell.  Hopefully we won't follow.


                            Blessings,

     

                            Pastor Dave



    P.S.  If you are interested in a brief discussion on marijuana from various Christian pastors, search You Tube - "Is it a sin for a Christian to smoke pot?  Episode 1345".