(notes from my Bible study in 1st Timothy)
“…everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5)
Jesus declared all food clean (Mark 7:19, see also Acts 10:10-16), as a prelude to the opening of the Kingdom of God to all people.
Even food sacrificed to idols was clean if the conscience of those partaking and those witnessing was not violated (see Romans 14).
We have people today who advocate abstinence from various types of food.
Vegans, Legalists, Excessive dieters.
Understand, all food is not equally healthy. Your diet should be balanced. However, it is not wrong to eat or drink certain things, unless your conscience or that of observers is violated.
There is extensive discussion by Paul regarding the practice of eating meat sacrificed to idols, which is an example of food that was branded unacceptable due to its negative association. The Apostle’s assessment was, so long as the individual’s conscience was okay with it, then they could eat. However, if partaking of this meat offended the conscience of another, then it should be avoided. This applies to alcohol today, assuming one is not drinking to excess and/or getting drunk.
You don’t have to avoid pork, or shellfish, or meat or alcohol or coffee/tea to be holy.
If your conscience allows it and you remain healthy, you may eat or drink what you please.
Be filled with the Holy Spirit, who will speak to your conscience.
So, what about marijuana?
So long as it is illegal and obtained from drug dealers and criminal cartels, it is absolutely wrong.
What about in states where it is legal?
If it carries a stigma of offense, then it should be avoided.
I’ve never partaken of marijuana. However, I don’t believe it to be any worse than cigarettes, or any better. To inhale anything other than clean air into your lungs is not healthy.
“it is made holy by the word of God”
I believe another biblical teaching applies to intoxicating substances of all types.
“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.”
(1 Corinthians 6:12 & 10:23)
Is it profitable for you personally? Does it help you be more like Jesus?
Does it really improve your life? Do you perform better at work, school, home?
Does it make you lethargic, lazy? Does it cloud your thinking?
Does it gain mastery over you as an addiction?
Does it gain mastery over you by influencing your thinking and actions, ie. Does it get you high? Are you a different person when you are under the influence of this drug (Hint: ask others; you are not a good judge of this)?
Does your use of this build up other people?
Does it improve and strengthen your relationships?
Does it promote healthy, positive fellowship, or does it encourage you and others to do wrong, loosen your morals, violate your conscience, and to neglect your duty to help others do good.
Does it promote a better reputation for you among good people?
Does it give you creditability to share the Gospel with people who haven’t heard?
Can you pray in the Spirit while under the influence of this substance?
Do you rely on it rather than praying?
Do you give thanks to God for it, or does it cause you to forget God?