You may have heard about hyper-grace extremists "tokin' the Ghost" (pretending to smoke the Holy Spirit) but this half-baked Bible study may take blasphemy to a mind-numbing level.
Dubbed "Stoner Jesus," the Colorado group invites "students of the Word" to inhale weed, ganja, marijuana, pot—or whatever the going slang for the depressant drug is these days—while they hash out what the Lord is trying to say through the Scripture.
Clearly, this is the fruit of Colorado legalizing recreational marijuana use. Deb Button, a 40-something mother of two, never dreamed of inhaling the THC until Colorado gave the nod. She tried an edible at the counsel of a friend while she was going through a divorce.
"I expected to see unicorns," Button said. "But when I started smoking I just got so connected to God."
Apparently hoping to share the revelation, Button turned to Craigslist to advertise the Stoner Jesus Bible Study. Cynthia Joye showed up to her house, only to find Button "so baked out of her head she forgot she'd invited me over."
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Nevertheless, the group has added a diverse mix of faiths to its stoned-out-of-your-mind-Bible-study, including a Mormon, a Catholic, a Greek Orthodox believer, and an atheist who is there for reasons unknown. In one meeting, they studied the Beatitudes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and pondered what it meant to be "poor in spirit."
"When I'm stoned, I can't read fast, so I look at every word," said Joye. "Like, what does each one of those words mean? Who's 'poor'?"
This Stoners Jesus Bible study is standing on the word, but not the right word. Button is on a slippery slope, not to mention the example she's setting for her kids at a time when they are probably also struggling with the emotions that accompany divorce.
I started smoking marijuana when I was 15 years old—and it didn't take long for this gateway drug to open the door to many other immoral behaviors.
Smoking weed opened the door to under-aged drinking. We had fake IDs and a good friend at the local liquor store that got us anything we wanted any time we wanted. Smoking weed opened the door to frequent LSD use. Watching my friends take a few "bad trips" failed to scare me enough to stop dropping. Smoking weed opened the door to using ecstasy, which caused my best friend to go into violent convulsions at a party. Of course, that didn't stop me from trying it again and again.
Smoking weed opened the door to a short-term cocaine addiction. One drug dealer I knew ended up with a bullet in his head picking up his supply and another landed in the hospital with an overdose that almost killed him. Smoking weed opened the door to smoking crack with petty criminals in Key West that would end up on America's Most Wanted. Smoking weed opened the door to snorting and shooting heroin in a studio apartment in New York's Hell's Kitchen for a solid week until I was on the brink of addiction.
Yes, smoking weed opened the door to all that and more. It is only by God's grace that I survived—and did not end up struggling with lifelong addictions. It's only by God's grace and prayer and a determined will that I was set free from the demon of pharmakeia. That's why it grieves me to read stories like Button's. The enemy came in at a vulnerable time in her life—while she was in the midst of a divorce—to tempt her to take a legal drug to ease her pain. She could wind up addicted.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse writes, "Long-term marijuana use can lead to addiction; that is, people have difficulty controlling their drug use and cannot stop even though it interferes with many aspects of their lives. It is estimated that 9 percent of people who use marijuana will become dependent on it.
"According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana accounted for 4.5 million of the estimated 7.1 million Americans dependent on or abusing illicit drugs. In 2009, approximately 18 percent of people aged 12 and older entering drug abuse treatment programs reported marijuana as their primary drug of abuse; 61 percent of persons under 15 reported marijuana as their primary drug of abuse."
Whether you roll it in a joint, smoke it in a blunt, put it in a bong, a ceramic pipe or a crunched up soda can, bake it into brownies or mix it into tea, we should dread the ripple effect legalizing marijuana will have on our nation. Or better yet, we should take authority over the spirits that are working to usher this harmful drug into mainstream American culture.
We have authority in the name of Jesus. Yet we have not been faithful in enforcing the rule of God in this nation. We allowed prayer to be taken out of public schools. We allowed abortion to be legalized. We allowed same-sex marriage to become "normal." And now we are allowing the legalization of marijuana. God help us!
We need to rise up in the name of Jesus with the Word of God in our mouths and bind the assignment over the next generation of youth. Otherwise, we'll see this adopted in churches from coast to coast. Mark my words. This is just a sign of things to come. The good news is, it's not too late to turn this around. We won't win every soul for Jesus, but through intercession we can do plenty of damage to the kingdom of darkness and see an awakening in our land.