A Friend with Weed is a Friend Indeed?

We Christians love setting the world straight on what Jesus would or would not approve. I don’t think it hurts to remind others of the word of God, but sometimes I wonder if we’re doing this effectively or if it’s even our place to judge. If we are going to render condemnation, we should at least aim for the right target.

I’ve suffered from sleep deprivation for many years now. I’ve seen a handful of doctors and have tried just as many prescriptions. The medicine either never worked or worked in such a way as to leave me groggy, disconnected, and who wants to be addicted to that state of mind? So, I stumbled upon an old habit that, just like Goldilocks, hit the spot just right, or so I thought.

Accepting Jesus into my life chased away many demons more than 15 years ago. It was enough for me to let Him take the wheel and let Him do as He saw fit with my life. One evening, however, I was hanging out with an old friend, and in one of those casual innocent moments, he suggested we go out back and ssmoke a dooby, you know, just for old times’ sake. I’ve never been prone to peer pressure, but I didn’t make much of it and went along. That night I slept like a baby. Wow! What a great thing! It’s natural! And it’s not addictive? After a while I even felt that God was making it okay by providing me options to have it prescribed by a doctor. Wow what a blessing! NOT!!!

The devil’s trickery is like a pendulum. In one swing I felt good. I felt justified in my use of the herb to help me get some rest. Where’s the harm in using a little, quietly, before bedtime if I’m not harming anyone else? But when the ball swung the other way, I would feel like a loser. I felt weak and ineffective against this latest attack on my spiritual walk! In these moments of guilt, I knew better than to believe that evening had been a casual encounter. But, I continued. After a while I found myself justifying and even stretching the boundaries of truth by saying that it was prescribed so “it was okay if I used for something besides what I originally returned to it for.” After all “god understands. Right?”

Sin is a funny thing. It’s like the boiling a frog syndrome. Drop a frog into a hot pot of water, and it’ll instinctively hop out, but drop a frog into the same pot with warm water and steadily increase the heat, and the frog will be boiled to death because the warm water lulled it into a false sense of security. For me, what began as the medical response to a neurophysiological issue returned me back to a World where it became a constant crutch. Weed was not just the answer to sleepless nights. It became the key to relieving stress, blowing off steam, and in time it took its place as just one more habit at social functions. By the time I truly became conscious of what had happened, I was already in deeper than I’d ever anticipated.

Marijuana users, like so many other segments of society, are painted in distorted stereotypes. There are a lot of people who conjure up images of the slow talking idiot who just barely has a hang on reality. I’m not saying these people don’t exist, but I was an example of a high functioning pothead who went about the business of running a company, raising a family, and yes even teaching the Bible as if nothing was deteriorating my soul and keeping me spiritually dull. There are Christians who would scoff at my deeds. Am I somehow supposed to be commended for being able to lead a normal life despite my drug issues? Of course not. What I did was wrong. I’ve accepted full responsibility, but the same misconceptions that shape our views about the so-called victims of the evil are the same misconceptions that twist our perception of what the evil really is.

After being on both sides of the fence, I am saddened at our collective wars on social evils. In other words, sin. Take your pick. The war on drugs, the war on pornography and so many other culture wars being waged in today’s landscape are aiming at the wrong target. People who hate guns probably hate the reality that guns don’t kill people, people do, and do you know what? People are equally responsible for all the other afflictions that are tearing the moral fabric of our society. It’s not as if my vaporizer would jump out of my desk and flip into my palm of its own accord. The idea that I could lay blame at the feet of an inanimate object is so astonishing as to be ridiculous. I can just imagine myself on judgment day pointing to a joint and proclaiming my innocence because it, the joint, had made me smoke it.

To be fair, we live in a fickle society. After all, we live in a world where the girl down the street can get an abortion in the morning and more or less walk out a free woman, but the guy next-door might go to jail if he were caught with a $10 bag of pot. Where do we draw the line? We can’t, because morality cannot be legislated. If we want to do something as a Christian community to confront the problem, let’s see the problem for what it is.

The problem is our sin and our attitude about that sin. More specifically, it is our weak and unrenewed mind that surrenders to the battle between flesh and spirit. It’s a heart condition that compels us to justify worldly behavior with worldly explanations, and it is something from which the only escape is full deliverance by committing every aspect of our lives into the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, I know there are people who will sneer at my “playing the Jesus card.” They will even say that I am trampling the Blood and putting Christ to open shame by admitting where I have fallen short publicly. Sorry you religious types but, isn’t that what HE died for? As I wrote this piece and shared with friends that I was going to publish my sin for the entire World to read on the Internet, you can’t believe how some of them even suggested that I should keep it quiet because after all I am a public figure and the fact that I am a sinner that fell in to temptation might close doors for me. Well, my Bible tells me that I am forgiven for all sins past present and future. It also says that I am saved by grace and not by my own works. By the way this is the case for any person that accepts Jesus Christ as savior. I am so far from perfect but instead of trying to be perfect I would rather try to be surrendered an submitted. I think it pleases God more for me to admit, that even though I have been walking with HIM for over 15 years, I still need HIM to guide my steps evry minute of every day. Jesus said it best: “without me you can do nothing.” Boy was He right! You see, I needed to learn the lesson that anything that separates me from God, yes is a sin, but more than that it keeps me from hearing his voice in my spirit, allowing HIM to love others through me, and understanding HIS purpose and direction in this new life that HE has given me. A life that, had I continued on the path I was on before Christ, would have ended up not only in physical death but spiritual death as well. Today I do things that I would have never ever dreamed of accomplishing before HE gave me this life. A life where HIS vision has directed my steps to lead our community of the blind out of digital and spiritual darkness. Where I can inspire others with my personal testimony of what HE has done for me. A life with a wonderful family and friends that love me and so much more! The fact that HE knew I was a sinner and forgave me anyway never ceases to amaze me, humble me, and make me feel so loved like never before. I can’t describe in words the emotions I have experienced in the last few weeks as I have been able to reevaluate HIS purpose in my life without the dullness of spirit and overall lethargy that the drugs created in me. You see dear reader, religion says “I will or won’t do this or that and maybe HE will love me!” relationship says “I won’t do this because HE loved me first and still does in spite of my falling away.” In my own humanity I can’t even begin to comprehend such a love. So, I understand when people that haven’t experienced the true love of Christ, personally, seek first to condemn me for my behavior and can’t comprehend of a love so vast!

So many people out there say that we Christians just use Jesus as a crutch to solve all our issues. Well, I’ll tell ya, I hope Christians become as hooked on the Word of God and as blindly addicted to their Bible as junkies are hooked to their drugs. Take it from a seasoned but no longer using pothead; Jesus is the one high that never let me down. I will gladly lean on His grace to help me get through my battles, because in my weakness, He is at His strongest.

Part of my reason for confessing the errors of my ways is to be an example to my fellow brothers and sisters who struggle with their own fleshly desires. The scriptures call upon us to confess our sins to one another as part of our repentance, but not as some kind of fulfilling of a ten-step process to get back in God’s good graces. In fact, I don’t believe I ever fell out of His grace. I don’t believe that God slapped HIS head in frustration and said to HIMSELF, “wow! I didn’t expect him to do that!” I certainly don’t believe that my actions were His will for me, but, I know that what the devil wanted to use to harm me, God will use both to bless others and me. We learn from our mistakes, but it is difficult to confess these mistakes in an environment that comes down hard on transgressors.

Is smoking weed a sin? I don’t think God meant for his plants to be rolled up or put in a pipe to be used in the recreational ways we have created to provide a brief escape from reality. That said, who are we to say what God allows for any of our brothers and sisters with terminal illnesses? I have determined for myself that drugs are an area where I need to be extra vigilant, but I would not look down my nose at my fellow man who is still struggling to discover what the vision is God has placed in their heart. The Bible says that the good work HE has begun in us HE will bring to completion in HIS time. So, you see folks it’s all about HIM. Is that hard for you to swallow? That you have so little to do with your own salvation? IF that bothers you then you might just be a little religious.

Is marijuana an evil tool of the enemy? If you buy into the concept of pharmakeia, and I do, that is a subject for an entirely different article. Remember people anything that denies God HIS place first in your life is an idle and is a tool of the devil. While I agree that drugs have a spiritual component, much more than farmakia is at work here. I mean, if we are going to blame pharmakeia and ancient religious rituals for all of our behaviors, you might suggest that the use of forks, spoons and bowls are evil because they were once used in spiritual rituals. Yet, if we follow that logic, we may as well lobby to change the names of the days and months and ban Christmas and Easter because of their dubious origins. We should exercise unconditional love on our fellow man, but let’s not misplace blame here. There is a problem with drugs not because the herbs are grown but rather because the herbs are grown and abused and sold to consumers eager to use them. Man has a problem and it’s called sin. I know that our current society doesn’t like to hear that every single person on the face of this Earth is a sinner. Even so called Christians would rather blame the devil for their inability to confess their behavior to one another and then submit it to the Lord so HE can deliver you from it.

I don’t know what will become of my sleep deprivation now that the so-called remedy has been removed. I trust God will direct me as to how to deal with my current obstacle, but I wanted to share this portion of my testimony to encourage others to have an honest dialogue with the Lord about what ever is challenging you in your walk. Fill in the blank. After all, the root of all sin is not a blunt. It’s us putting anything’s ability to fix a problem including our own rationalizations first instead of God in our lives. In short our issue is idolatry. Whatever the cause of your discomfort, take responsibility for it and take the first step toward making things right. I, and hopefully many others, will respect you no matter where you are and pray alongside you that you may have His spirit to guide you.

Great article about Marijuana and pharmakeia
Should Christians Smoke Medical Marijuana?
From Christianity Today (June 2011):

April 06, 2012 by Mike Calvo | Comments (3) | personal | testimony | religion | weed | marijuana | pharmakeiasin | flesh | morality

Here’s a great little story a good friend of mine wrote. I think it really puts the term “religion” in the proper prospective. Religion quenches the Holy Spirit. It is also a product of the enemy.

Luke 16:13 “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other.

Religion is man’s way of appeasing God and meeting a standard that man believe’s is favorable to God. But God wants to have a relationship with us not based on our works but on the Blood of His Son Jesus Christ shed for us at Calvary. He already accepts us. Not because of what we do but because of what He did for us.

The parable of the Bean

Once there was a man who had a remarkable bean plant. The fruit of this plant was extremely nourishing and those who ate it thrived. The man, fearful that other plants might contaminate this precious plant, built a huge wall around it. He only let in those who promised to eat only this bean and nothing else. The man was very suspicious and he devised all sorts of special rules for those who could eat the bean. And so among all people everywhere only a small group was able to partake of this nourishing vegetable and all others were kept outside the wall. The legend grew outside the wall that the bean was magic and that those who ate it were demons. Inside the wall it was felt that all outside were no better than unclean animals and were to be shunned at all cost and could be killed at will if they should interfere with those who ate the bean behind the wall.
And thus the world remained for about 1000 years. The fortunes of the bean-eaters rose and fell in cycles as do the fortunes of most small groups of people. But they held to their beliefs even in the worst of times, looking to see how they had offended the bean-plant and thus become unworthy of its blessing. It good times they lorded it over those outside the wall, slaughtering them without a second thought if it allowed them to expand the wall and grow more bean plants.
But one day, a man born inside the wall, became disenchanted with the whole idea that the precious bean plant was only for a few. He took some seeds of the bean plant and wandered outside the wall and wherever he went, he planted the bean until if flourished in many gardens. He preached that this precious bean was for all that no special rules were required. Eat of the bean and enjoy life-everlasting he said. And many were attracted to this man, and followed his example, eating the bean and sharing it with whoever was hungry.
Those who hoarded the bean-plant behind the wall were outraged. They considered this wandering gardener to be a heretic and they had him killed. But the open garden message lived after the gardener had died. It was almost as if the gardener was resurrected each time and place a bean-plant sprouted and grew. And those who ate the beans believed like the gardener that this nourishment was for all and his fame and his gardens appeared in many places throughout the world and wherever a garden grew there were those who came from far and wide and browsed, eating the beans and spreading love for one another.
But there were some who looked on this uncontrolled sharing and were angry. “Look at that,” they cried. “We’ve been tending these gardens for years and those others just come in and help themselves. It isn’t fair.” One by one the tenders of gardens began building walls around their gardens to keep out those who hadn’t done their share in tending the fields. An emperor, seeing the strength of these many walled gardens and their potential as forts, embraced them all, raised up the head gardeners as little kings within their gardens and set standard rules for all who could come into the gardens to feed. The rules oddly looked a lot like the rules that worked to make the emperor secure on this throne.
Those who controlled the new walled gardens weren’t content with controlling their own patch. Wherever they found a garden growing wild, they ripped it up less those others feast on the beans. Thus was the vision of the gardener, who freed the beans and made them available to all, perverted and then lost.
Strangely, while in the wild the beans had become stronger and even more nourishing, now that they were cultivated and packaged for controlled sale to the select few, they began to lose their nutritional value and most important, the love that sharing the beans engendered, was replaced by hatred and war.
Isn’t it time again for some brave soul to take the seeds and begin once again to sow them in the wild where they can nourish whoever passes by? I think so. And wherever you see a person building a wall around their plot of beans, encourage that the person to tear down the wall. The beans don’t need to be protected. The more who feed on them, the more there will be.

October 19, 2007 by Mike Calvo | Comments (0) | bean | parables | Jesus | religion