As a man walking a path to Christ in a modern world, I am often caught in conflict between my religious ideology and the expectations of my community and society. On occasion, I also find my religious community and their ingrained perspectives at odds with socially progressive concepts, that I see as being, founded in the tenants of my Christian faith.
Cannabis is one of those topics that fall into the latter category. I see the uses, therapeutic applications, environmental potential, and emerging medical breakthroughs as clear indications that this is not an evil substance. It is, in fact, a gift from God that has numerous and far reaching positive effects on the world.
Join us on our path as we examine what the bible really says about cannabis in this ongoing series, Cannabis in Christianity. Ok, where do we start? We’ll start with the Bible, and the Bible starts with Genesis. Ok, I suppose everything starts with Genesis. Beyond being a logical starting point, Genesis is one of the least disputed, and most agreed upon, portions from any books of faith based in major, western religion.
You mean, Genesis talks about cannabis? Really? Well, let’s take a look.
“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, [and] the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed [is] in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, [and] herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed [was] in itself, after his kind: and God saw that [it was] good.” Genesis 1:11-12
As with all text in the good book, we endeavor to understand what that text means and how it can be applied to our lives as we walk this path. That being said, yes, when I read the above passage it is clear to me that while not being mentioned by name, cannabis most definitely qualifies as an herb yielding seed after his kind.
Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; Genesis 1:29
Ok, well that seems more direct. “Every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of the earth.” Maybe not an explicit endorsement of cannabis, but it sure sounds like a pretty implicit direction to imbibe and make use cannabis.
Does this scripture provide a compelling argument? For me, yes, for most, debatable. So, let’s look at some compelling information from our modern world. When Dan Buettner published the book Blue Zones, the précis of the book was to examine zones throughout the world where people routinely lived to be over 100 years of age. His book took the media world by storm. A blue zone diet was even developed and aimed at replicating this phenomena. One such zone exists right here in Loma Linda, California. A small community which adheres to a relevant dietary concept. They follow a diet based on the book of Genesis. What is a part of the diet that these folks attribute to their longevity? Wait for it…. that’s right cannabis.
With traditional recognition, based on the founding chapter of my faith, compelling information from a local community, who appear to be doing this “life thing” as well as any others we see. Let’s bookend this argument: I feel well within bounds that God tells us christians, and other western religions, that all these amazing herbs and plants on this planet he gave us are indeed for us, for us to eat, for us to imbibe, and for us to use. This coming from the point of creation of humankind. Then, we take a look at a zone of people who are living by these guiding principles in today’s modern society, including the use of cannabis in multiple forms. The result: They are living longer more sustained lives. Hmm… Let me think about this… Yes! Again I am brought to the conclusion that this amazing plant has been placed on this earth for humankind’s benefit. So, as a Christian I ask my fellow believers to take it easy on me and take a second look at Cannabis.
Stay tuned for our next edition, when we further examine Cannabis in Christianity.