Annointing Oil and 1500 hundred years of dogmatic law...
My question is similar to one that was asked before. Is marijuana use a sin?
I'm undecided on the matter, (and to clarify things I'm a user who is trying to
figure out if God is now angry at me again...) especially in light of some new
discoveries about cannabis use in the old and new testament. Apparently
they annointing oils use by prophets was actually made with nine pounds of
cannibis (kaneh-bosom in hebrew) along with several other herbs and an olive
oil base. According to scientific research, the oil would actually be absorbed
through the skin, along with a large amount of the THC, enough that it could
hallucinations. Not only that, but apparently the insence they burned in the
temples (like much of the ancient world) was cannabis based, enough that a
person sitting in the temple, inhaling air in this smoke filled temple would
actually be able to be "stoned" from it. (Please pardon the slang).
Drinking wine is OK, drinking too much wine is not OK.
Using a substance which is illegal is not OK--we are to obey the
governing authorities. (Rom. 13)
There are doctors today who will prescribe marijuana and other
controlled substances as needed.
In general, for a Christian,
1Cor. 6:12 "All things are lawful for me," but not all things are
helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved
1Cor. 10:23 "All things are lawful," but not all things are
helpful. "All things are lawful," but not all things build up.
One extreme in the Christian life is legalism--living by rules on a
performance-oriented basis. The other extreme is disregard for
self-control, discipline and wise choices.
How does your use use marijuana impact those around you? How does
marijuana improve your spiritual life and your relationship with
there Lord Jesus Christ?
The anointing oils, incense and materials used in the Tabernacle of
Moses and the Jewish First and Second Temples very definitely did not
include any marijuana or any mind-altering substances!
I am copying this email to my team of folks who answer email. One or
more of them may write and they may have different views for you to
consider as well.
To answer your question, my use of marijuana really doesn't affect the people
around me. I don't advertise the fact, but I don't hide it either. I
respect the rules of my parents, as I live at home (leaving for school in
August), and in turn they respect my rights as a person. As for you question
on whether it improves my relationship with the Lord, well I'm not sure.
I've never actually thought about it that way. I guess probably not, but
then neither does some of the other things I do. Recently I had an epiphany
and I came to the conclusion that the search for enlightenment isn't bad in
and of itself, elightenment is hollow with god. What good is being at peace
with one's self if one goes to Hell anyways. "Seek ye first the kingdom of
heaven", then seek ye the ten thousand things I guess. I guess marijuana is
really like wine, a little is okay. A lot is bad. Which really can be
prescibed to anything at all. In reference to the other point, you've
researched the recipe for the incense and annoiting oils? Do remember that
cannabis is one of the most proliferant and common plants in the world. (It
used to grow everywhere in the US as well as in the Middle East). And every
ancient culture used it for making rope, sails, and yes incense. Now whether
it being in the incense would have made any difference at all is an entirely
different matter, but realisticly, they would have used it.
Yours in Christ (hopefully),
I'm one of the Paraclete team members who helps with the e-mails we
receive. I read your e-mail conversations and thought I would
add a few comments, since you have some good questions and comments
yourself (got me thinking, that's for sure!). So, my comments to your
comments are below.
> To answer your question, my use of marijuana really doesn't affect the people
> around me. I don't advertise the fact, but I don't hide it either. I
> respect the rules of my parents, as I live at home (leaving for school in
> August), and in turn they respect my rights as a person.
I'm wondering how you came to the conclusion that your marijuana use doesn't
really affect the people around you? Who did you ask? How are you
measuring the affects of your pot use? In other words, what are your
criteria, or your measuring stick, for weather this does or does not affect
I'm also wondering who you are referring to as the "people around me"? Does
this refer to your immediate friends and family, those in your neighborhood,
or at your school, or does this also include the entire city you live in, or
even the state, or perhaps the people you go to Church with?
I don't know where you live, but I'm in Silicon Valley CA, and I can tell
you that your use of marijuana does affect me, even though we've never meet.
Would you like to know why I think so?
> As for you question on whether it improves my relationship with the Lord, well
> I'm not sure. I've never actually thought about it that way. I guess probably
> not, but then neither does some of the other things I do.
I suspect that the reason for asking you this question is to get you to
think about that specific point. If you are not sure about how smoking pot
affects your relationship with God, then there is a good bet that it is not
helping you to grow and draw closer to Him. Our own desires generally don't
run parallel with what God wants for us, when we try to act on our own. Our
own radar on the inside is not enough to put us on the right track. This is
why lots of the time we have trouble relating to God, and many of the things
we read in the Bible. Have you ever noticed that many of the things that
describe God, and His character, and his desires for us, seem so opposite to
what we think is "normal". I bet you've experienced the same thing. Have
you ever wondered why this is?
Consider this from the book of James:
"5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all
without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he
must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea,
blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive
anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he
I try to remember that last part especially, that a double-minded man is
unstable in all of his ways. There are areas in my life that I tend to
rationalize into "being ok with God", but when I remember this verse I
realize that I should check with Him first, before I stamp it as "ok". Do
you see the point here?
It is true that there are lots of areas in our lives, yours and mine, which
do not directly improve our relationship with God. This really is not to
our advantage, because what God wants is to remove those things and replace
them with the things that we are really looking for. This is an ongoing
struggle, what the apostle Paul calls "the flesh". It is not acceptable to
pick and choose the things that we think are OK to continue doing if they
are not improving our relationship with God, without asking God what he
thinks of it. The apostle Paul says this:
"19Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to
mutual edification. 20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.
All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes
someone else to stumble. 21It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to
do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
22So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.
Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23But
the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not
from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin."
> Recently I had an epiphany and I came to the conclusion that the search for
> enlightenment isn't bad in and of itself, elightenment is hollow with god.
> What good is being at peace with one's self if one goes to Hell anyways.
> "Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven", then seek ye the ten thousand things
> I guess.
I agree with you that a search for enlightenment isn't necessarily a bad
thing, but the real issue is WHAT you are searching for, and HOW you try to
And as you mentioned, we are to seek God first;
Matthew 6: 28-34
"28And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow.
They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his
splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the
grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the
fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not
worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall
we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly
Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his
righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about
itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
This passage is really about seeking God for everything we need in life,
instead of worrying about what we won't get, or won't have, or don't have,
and in turn taking it upon ourselves to get those things for ourselves,
> I guess marijuana is really like wine, a little is okay. A lot is bad.
> Which really can be prescribed to anything at all.
I have to strongly disagree with you on this point, for several reasons.
First, the active ingredients in alcoholic drinks like wine and in marijuana
are not the same. These are not equal comparisons. These also do not
affect the body in the same way, in the same doses, at the same rates, for
the same amount of time, and do not exit the body at the same rate. This
specific comparison you are making does not fit, though I think I know what
you are getting at - comparing marijuana use with other "legal" drugs.
But, let's take this comparison of wine -vs- marijuana. We know that Jesus
drank wine (remember the miracle of changing the water to wine at the
wedding - John 2), and we know that wine was common at Jewish celebrations.
We also know that although wine was used, it's overuse was not ok. Now,
there are many scriptures that warn against being drunk, but here's one:
"15Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, 16making
the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not
be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. 18Do not get drunk on
wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak
to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music
in your heart to the Lord, 20always giving thanks to God the Father for
everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
So, in the Bible wine was acceptable in some situations, but getting drunk
was not. Wine is still used in similar situations in our world today,
however marijuana is not, with the single exception of the use for medical
reasons, which is medically prescribed and licensed for specific situations.
I suppose there could be a wedding where everyone smoked a joint as part of
the celebration, but I'd say that's hardly the tradition of our time. And,
as far as I can tell, your own use is not for medical reasons.
As Christians we are to respect the laws of our government, just like you
mentioned that you respect your parents:
Romans 13: 1-2
"1Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no
authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist
have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the
authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so
will bring judgment on themselves."
Jesus obeyed the laws of his time. There are also no recorded instances of
Jesus ever smoking anything, and no recorded instances of Jesus being drunk
(if He had he would not be sinless).
However, this core issue here is not about the amount of use ("a little is
ok, a lot is bad"), or is simply a matter of crossing the line between legal
and illegal behavior. I mean, would all of your questions just disappear if
tomorrow the US government legalized pot like tobacco and alcohol? If pot
was legal tomorrow, would smoking it all of a sudden help to improve your
relationship with God? I think not. I think that the real issue here is
about why someone choose to uses these things in the first place, especially
for the Christian.
When drugs or alcohol are misused there is always a reason. Even if it is
"just to get drunk", there is always an underlying cause. Getting drunk or
overusing drugs makes you feel good temporarily, and is a means of escape
from some sort of underlying reason: pain, worry, anxiety, fear, loneliness,
sorrow, anger, feelings of inadequacy, etc. As you pointed out, any drug
can be overused; aspirin, valium, beer, wine, pot, but even things like
money, exercise, sex and love can become overused and distorted too.
However, I don't think that the answer is trying to control the amount, and
this theory can't be "prescribed for anything at all" as you put it.
For example, how much cheating on your wife is "OK", a little or a lot? How
much violence on TV is "OK", a little or a lot? How much sex in advertising
is "OK", a little or a lot? Or, how much telling a lie is "OK", just a few
to get out of a sticky situation or a lot to cover a bigger issue? When is
it OK for me to think bad things about that stranger who cut me off on the
freeway? Or better still, how are we going to tell when we've done "a
little" or "a lot"?
If I made you a big batch of your favorite cookies, fresh and hot out of the
oven, how many would you eat if I told you that there was just a little cat
poop in each one? ;-)
> In reference to the other point, you've researched the recipe for the
> incense and annoiting oils? Do remember that cannabis is one of the most
> proliferate and common plants in the world. (It used to grow everywhere in
> the US as well as in the Middle East). And every ancient culture used it
> for making rope, sails, and yes incense. Now whether it being in the
> incense would have made any difference at all is an entirely different
> matter, but realisticly, they would have used it.
It sounds like you've done some research on this yourself. I'd like to read
more about this, as I've never heard this theory before. Can you point me
to where you learned this information?
I hope I didn't write too much, and we can talk some more about this. I'd
like to know what you think about these thing.