Proverbs 28:7- The one who keeps the law is a discerning child, but a companion of gluttons brings shame to his parents.
1 Cor 6:10… “drunkards shall not inherit the Kingdom of God”…
Does this include a person who uses recreational cannabis? Let’s test the evidences.
Consider a person on his deathbed, who is being administered morphine. Is that going to have an intoxicating effect on his mind? Absolutely! And, if drunkenness speaks directly to the effects that substances have on our minds, wouldn’t that person be deemed a “drunkard”?
ok, so we make an exception and say “for medical uses it’s ok. It’s the recreational use that constitutes a drunkard.”
But let me ask; does our Bible read “drunkards, excepting for medical use, shall not inherit the Kingdom of God” ?
No, it does not. If “drunkenness” is defined by an intoxicated or altered state of mind, that’s explicit. There is no exception. If an impaired mind defines the “drunkard”, it is sin, whether it’s a guy using an intoxicating medicine on his deathbed, or the guy who has a few beers, or a guy who consumes cannabis. There’s no “grey area” when dealing with sin. God does NOT look upon sin. It is as black and white as it gets.
So then, how do we reconcile this inconsistency?
Do we say that, the Christian who has served faithfully his whole life, and then at the end of his life, fell short because doctors administered morphine to him and made him a drunkard and is now hopelessly lost forever? Of course not.
And, if we make an exception for an intoxicated mind in the case of medical use, why then not for recreational use? And if we cannot make an exception for recreational use, then we also cannot make exception for medical use. The Scriptures are explicit. The drunkard shall NOT inherit the Kingdom of God. There’s no watering it down. There’s no “grey area”. If it’s a sin in one case, it’s a sin in the other as well.
See what I’m getting at? We’re missing something here…
And herein is what I suspect we’re missing; we have forgotten what the meaning of what a “drunkard” is. Drunkenness speaks of far more than simply an intoxicated or altered state of mind. David Wilkerson once preached “The Bible mentions many ways of being drunk: with fury, with bitterness, with bloodthirstiness. The main alcohol in our society—the sedative that most people drink from today—is prosperity. And Christians indulge freely in this drink.”
The fundamental difference between early Christian fullness of the spirit and the orgiastic enthusiasm of Hellenism is indicated in Eph. 5:18. The life and liturgy of Christians are not marked by sensual ecstasy or Bacchantic frenzy (μεθυσκεσθαι οινω) but by infilling with the Spirit (πληρουσθε εν πνευματι). The distinction could hardly be more succinctly expressed: orgiastic enthusiasm on the one side, and on the other the fullness of the Spirit which finds liturgical expression in praise and thanksgiving (5:18-20) and practical expression in αγαπη (5:21- 6:9). In this respect Paul emphasizes explicitly that the fact that μεθυσεσθαι is not the result of αγνωσια, as the Hermetic writings and Philo suppose, but of ασωτια, i.e. a corrupt and profligate nature.
Basically what that speaks to is our lack of self- control, our overindulgence in things, whether it be alcohol, cannabis, anger and wrath, etc etc. Our excessive use and a failure to bring our minds and bodies into subjection; the things that pull us away from a sober lifestyle.
Lifestyle. That speaks to the heart of it as well. One cannot live the lifestyle of a drunkard and still maintain right legal standing before the Father. And whatever it is that we overindulge in expresses that lack of sobriety and self control coming out of our hearts. Remember, the Biblical history is one long protest against conceiving of sin in an external fashion. When Christ said “it is not what goes in the mouth that defiles a man” he was speaking to the fact that sinful acts have their roots in the heart. Drinking too much wine or using too much cannabis or being excessively angry or stressed, eating too much food… all of these speak to a drunkenness that has it’s root in the heart. “Profligate nature”. Gluttony. Excess. Lack of self- control. These are the things that define a drunkard as Paul used it in scripture.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The word drunk in koine greek has that literal, inebriated sense, and almost always in greek litertature. But the Christian sense as Paul used it goes deeper than the external expressions. The Christian sense of the word takes it to the heart.
John the Baptist came neither eating nor drinking. They called him demon possessed. Christ came eating and drinking. They called him a “glutton and a drunk”.
Does consuming cannabis cause you to live a profligate life? It’s not the cannabis. It’s not the alcohol. It’s not the anger. It’s not the candy bars, or whatever it is that moves you in a self destructive, overindulging behavior. That profligate nature is already in your heart. It’s just being evidenced through these things.
Just a rough draft here, but “drunkenness” should not be defined by the Christian by a “buzz”. We can’t. That makes the guy on his deathbed taking morphine a drunkard, when in fact using that mind altering substance is the sober thing to do. We’ve got to dig deeper, and take it to the condition of our hearts.
I’ll clean this up when I can. But I wanted to get this out there for you all to think on a bit.