Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Cosmic FacePalm

If you aren’t a Christian, you can still read this, but it will make very little sense to you. I mean, the words will, obviously, but the concepts presented won’t. Fair warning.

Ah, Marijuana. Mary Jane. Reefer. Pot. No matter what you call it, it is the fantastic substance that has inexplicably managed to find it’s way onto the DEA’s S**t list.

For the record, I think we need to legalize marijuana, if for no other reason than to get the potheads to shut the eff up. That aside, it’s an amazing rotation crop, a phenomenal building material, and an incredibly strong fiber. It is a potential miracle crop; it’s sustainable, fast-growing, and has myriad purposes other than recreational. As far as its recreational use goes, it is by far one of the least dangerous drugs on the market, including tobacco and alcohol. No one ever went into a marijuana-induced rage and tried to kill someone. It hasn’t been conclusively linked to lung cancer, though not for lack of trying on the part of the DEA. Furthermore, as much as the D.A.R.E. programs of the world try to label it as an addictive hallucinogenic, it isn’t. Pot isn’t addictive, for one thing. You may really enjoy smoking it, but nobody ever sat in a room with the shakes because they were withdrawing from pot. It’s also not a hallucinogen, and don’t let anybody tell you it is. Enough of it might alter your perceptions a bit, and if it’s got something weird in it that isn’t pot, you might hallucinate, but strait cannabis? I think not. Doctors in California are prescribing this stuff for headaches. If our medical professionals think it safe enough to give for such frivolous reasons, I think we may be go for legalization.

So now you know where I stand on legalization. You’ll notice, however, that I don’t smoke pot. Ever. For any reason. I have no problem with the drug itself, but, though I enjoy it, I don’t choose to partake. Why, you may ask? For the simple fact that it is illegal.

My belief system, or Christianity, as some would refer to it, includes the mandate from Christ to obey the laws of the land, insomuch as they do not cause you to go against God’s laws. In other words, don’t steal, but if your leader makes it a law to kill Jews, don’t do that either. I don't smoke marijuana, not because I think it's wrong, but because my government has decided to make it illegal.

I had a discussion with a Christian pot-smoker though, in which they justified to me why they still allow themselves to smoke, even though they know the whole “law-of-the-land” rule. The first excuse they hit me with was “Jesus also said not to get tattoos” I sighed and answered, “Jesus didn’t say that. That’s in the Old Testament and it’s a Judaic law. It doesn’t apply to you and me because we aren’t Jewish. Like Kosher.”* He paused for a moment, then said “But our government thinks it’s alright to bomb civilians” For the record, they don’t, but I let it pass and said “If you feel that joining the military would cause you to sin, then by all means, don’t. The mandate was to follow all the laws that do not cause you to sin. God’s law comes first.” After that, he just said “I’m just stating my opinion, and I’ve never been convicted* by the Holy Spirit to stop smoking pot” Our conversation ended there, but I couldn’t help but think that the Holy Spirit shouldn’t need to convict us when something is spelled out for us in God’s word.

This post isn’t really about Marijuana. That’s just the conversation that got me thinking. It made me realize how often I have heard the excuse, “God hasn’t convicted me”. Yea, but, if it’s in the Bible, should he have to? If Christ specifically said, and he did, “Don’t allow yourself to become angry to the point of hatred”*, it’s a sin whether you are specifically convicted of it or not. I’ve heard this logic applied to lying, broken promises, disobedience to parents, ect ect ect, and it doesn’t hold water then, either. You don’t get to sin and then wait, as a naughty child, for daddy to come slap your hand, and then assume, if he doesn’t, that you must be special and the rule doesn’t apply to you. Christ’s teachings apply to everyone who chooses to follow them, and to pick and choose which commands are convenient to you is the very definition of a lukewarm* faith. Don’t get me wrong, I sin too, and often. Much more often than I would care to admit, but here it is. I admit it. Every day, multiple times. I am a bonafide, tried and true sinner. I’m prideful, spiteful, manipulative, and a terrible gossip. The point here is that it would still be wrong of me to beat my husband with a 2X4, even if I didn’t feel convicted afterward. I have a feeling that sometimes God just says “Convict you? But I already convicted you! I gave you the rules, right here in the book! They aren’t even hard rules!*” And then he does a cosmic facepalm and has to sit down for a moment because we humans are just so dumb sometimes.

*For those of you who don’t know, There are three kinds of laws in the Old Testament. There’s the Judaic laws, which deal with cleanliness and Kosher. If you aren’t a Jew, those don’t apply. Then there are Civic laws, which deal with crime and punishment. Unless you’re a Hebrew, those don’t apply either. Then there are moral laws, like the Ten Commandments, the laws against Bestiality, that kind of thing. Those were typically repeated in the New Testament and apply to everyone. We don’t pick and choose these. The wording in the Hebrew and Aramaic is different and helps us differentiate.

* For those non-christians who are reading this and are confused about the use of the term “conviction”, it’s sort of, but not really, the same as a court conviction. Basically it means to feel guilty for what you’ve done, but we believe that the guilt comes from God rather than ourselves.

* This is what I call Rai-phrasing. The passage is in Matthew 5:21-26

* Revelation 3:15-16

* They aren’t really. Don’t steal, don’t kill people, be honest. Basically just stuff most of us know to do anyway.

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