To Smoke or Not to Smoke, that is the question

 Someone recently asked me, “Can Christians smoke marijuana?”

This question, and many like it, is at the root of man-made religions. This mentality sparked the inception of most church creeds. It’s the mentality of “What must I do to be saved?” It screams what’s the bottom line? What’s the bare minimum I can get away with and still slide into heaven? “Well here’s a list of our church rules.” Did you know, if you leave your church and join one of the twenty thousand other Christian factions, they’ll insist you get re-baptized as a show of faith that you’ll adhere by their rules? Why would their rules differ from your old church? Do they serve a different Jesus?

Was Jesus this black and white? Did He simply lay out a bunch of rules and regulations like Moses? Would He have insisted a person be murdered for picking up sticks on the Sabbath? Many of Jehovah’s old rules back then seemed quite ridiculous and are scoffed at by modern man, like a rule against mixing materials in a garment. Perhaps this is the reason Jesus was heard saying, “You have heard it said…, but I say unto you…” He was constantly trying to make improvements to a primitive religion, but mostly He was calling us to a higher spiritual practice.

This was made obvious when Jesus said, “You have heard thou shalt not kill, but I say unto you that anyone who hates his brother in his heart has already murdered him.” This takes it to a whole new playing field. You can no longer just go to church in fancy clothes, pretending to be pious, while harboring negativity towards others in your heart, and say, “At least I’ve never killed anyone.”

So many fundamentalist think the Ten Commandments should be incorporated into our constitution, yet here is Jesus, two-thousand years ago, pointing out the fundamental flaws of these rules: that they’re not addressing the root of the issue. And that is that all outward manifestations are a direct result of what’s going on inside. Jesus said, “It’s not what goes into a man’s mouth which defiles him, but what comes out; for out of the heart do all evils come forth.” I believe Jesus would agree with atheists like Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins when they say, “It doesn’t require the brains of a deity to come up with regulations like the Ten Commandments; lots of other cultures had similar rules before Moses climbed up Mount Sinai.”

Scientist Karen Wynn of Yale University believes that moral code may be written into us at birth. She has been studying babies for 20 years now. She has devised a puppet show for babies to watch. In the show a puppet is desperately and unsuccessfully attempting to open a box. There are two puppets on either side while this is going on. The gray puppet comes and helps open the box. But in the second act, as the puppet is attempting to open it again, the yellow puppet comes and slams the lid shut. The baby watching looks quite distraught about this. Afterwards, the child is offered either of the two puppets to play with and according to Karen’s research 80-90% of all the babies choose the dull gray puppet that was nice and helped the open the lid. They disregard the pretty yellow one who was mean.

When I caught my son trying to steal a toy from his sister, I asked him if it’s OK for her to steal from him, and he immediately responded, “No.” And he’s never read or even heard of the Ten Commandments. I believe, yes people have a selfish nature and we need laws to govern our bases nature that some haven’t mastered yet; however those laws are already written on our hearts. My son had the selfish desire to take something from his sister, but he had a moral sense of righteousness enough to know it would be wrong if it happened to him. We don’t need a dramatic story about laws written in stone by the finger of God for people to understand what’s appropriate and what’s not.

Jesus made arbitrary statements like, “The meek shall inherit the Earth.” and “The pure in heart shall see God.” Now I ask you: Which rule must I adhere to so I can see God? There’s no hard fast list of “dos and don’ts.” Very little in life can be painted in black and white. He also said forgive your brother 7×70, which implies you should lose count. If He wanted you to offer forgiveness only 490 times, He would’ve simply said that – or better yet, He would’ve rounded it up to an even 500.

Your walk with God is extremely personal, if you don’t dig down deep and find your inner divinity you’ll be forced to wonder psycho-planet looking for the right combination of rules to ritualistically practice in order to please an angry Deity.

Now to the question at hand: Many indigenous tribes used plants like marijuana to help them find God. What are you using it for? Are you using it for that purpose, or rather to help you run away from God, reality, and\or consciousness? The question is one you need to address between you and God.

Michael Blakeslee

 

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