At the opening session of a pastors’ conference several years ago, the audience broke into laughter when Dr. Todd Miles announced his breakout topic: “Marijuana and the Minister.”
When the time for his session finally arrived, after he had endured a lot of jokes and worried about a low turnout, eager listeners packed the room to overflowing.
In the intervening years, as marijuana has been legalized in more and more states, he has spoken about the topic many times and has always been bombarded by questions.
Now he has written a book, Cannabis and the Christian: What the Bible Says about Marijuana, to provide some answers.
Does the Bible talk about marijuana?
Miles, a theology professor at Western Seminary, draws on biblical principles, including the prohibition against drunkenness, in reaching his conclusions.
“The Bible may not mention marijuana specifically, but it has a lot to say about addiction and intoxication,” he writes.
He offers scientific evidence for the addictive and mind-altering qualities of marijuana.
He notes that the Bible forbids anything that would impair our witness, citing 1 Peter 3:15: “In your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”
Issues involving the medical use of marijuana are more complex.
“Components of the cannabis plant have a proven medical benefit, and there are approved drugs from those components,” Miles writes. “But the claims of medical marijuana advocates far outpace the hard evidence.”
He includes a chapter with biblical teachings to consider before using marijuana for medical purposes.
CBD, one of the chemical compounds in cannabis, has a number of medical uses but is not mind-altering.
“There is no reason to feel CBD is off-limits,” he writes. “If it helps you, then use it. But also be warned: it is rather expensive.”
Cannabis and the Christian is easy to read but has a wealth of scientific and legal information. Miles also includes a helpful list of questions and answers for pastors and parents in an appendix.
Why Christians should read this book
It provides a biblical basis for answering a multitude of questions about the recreational and medical uses of marijuana.
The big takeaway
Although the Bible clearly approves of moderate drinking, it forbids drunkenness. Similarly, using marijuana to get high is wrong.
In their own words
“There might have been a time when the Christian could lazily look to the civil law of the land as a guide to what is good and right. If those days ever existed (which I seriously doubt), they are certainly over now.”
“Unless something drastically changes in public perception, marijuana advocacy has a momentum that is most likely going to eventuate in federal legislation and acceptance in all fifty states in America.”