Can You Smoke Pot and Still Be a Christian?

Let’s face it: pot will always be a controversial topic, especially when it’s relevant to religion and spirituality. One of the most popular questions I always hear is if you can smoke pot and still be a Christian. While I usually stay reserved when this question is brought up, I think it’s finally time I voice my opinion. So, here I go:

I’m not going to beat around the bush any longer: I smoke pot. Yes, I know it’s totally surprising that someone my age smokes pot in 2017. But in the Christian community, this is probably a shocking revelation. This also means that a lot of Christian people I know who are aware that I smoke pot often debate whether or not I’m sinning when I smoke pot. In the most simplistic terms, I don’t think I’m sinning. But, let’s explore this a little bit more.

I first smoked pot when I was a teenager. You know how it goes. You hang out with some older kids, want to impress them, and you’re smoking a blunt before you know it. But, there was more to it than that. Okay, that’s kind of a lie. Yes, I was with older kids I wanted to impress. But, I also didn’t feel peer pressured. In fact, I even quickly prayed to God about smoking pot before I smoked for the first time.

That’s right: I prayed before I smoked pot for the first time. What did I pray about? Basically everything. I closed my eyes for a few seconds, and spoke to him in my head. I asked for him to show me a sign if I was about to commit a sin I couldn’t repent for, or if I would regret this decision later. And guess what? He showed nothing but support and love. The rest of my time in high school, I only smoked when I was with friends or at parties. I didn’t start smoking pot by myself until I was half way finished with college. And the reason I started smoking pot by myself might surprise you.

When I was a junior in college, I started becoming anxious about everything and anything. Suddenly, I was afraid to raise my hand during class, let alone present a paper or project. I wasn’t myself. So, I went to my university’s nurse who referred me to a local doctor. After an initial consultation with a local doctor, he prescribed me medicine that was supposed to calm me down. Unfortunately, the medicine did more than calm me down. Suddenly, I wasn’t eating as much, I was always tired, and I felt less like myself than I did when I tried battling my anxiety by myself. I told one of my closest friends this, and he advised me to start smoking more often. Desperate for any solution, I took his advice.

I was amazed at what a little pot could do. Suddenly, I was more energized than ever, and I found myself participating in class again like nothing ever happened. I even flushed my anxiety medicine down the drain. Instead, I simply smoked a few puffs of pot in the morning and evening, and I felt better than ever.

This brings me to my journey with pot and religion. Eventually, I confessed to my priest that I was smoking pot every day. Unsurprisingly, he initially claimed I was sinning and that I had to stop immediately or my relationship with God would suffer. According to my priest, I should have a healthy enough relationship with God for Him to fill my emptiness and rid me of my anxiety. And while I understood and agreed with this, I only agreed with it to a degree. Yes, I should have a healthy and loving relationship with God. And I do believe that God has helped me, and will continue to help me battle anxiety, but I also believe that God provided me with pot as a way to help me. After all, pot is completely natural, and research has shown that it is beneficial for many conditions, like anxiety. And, there is nothing in the Bible that states pot is forbidden.

So, that brings me to my conclusion. How has my relationship with pot affected my relationship with God? That answer is simple: it’s strengthened it. Smoking pot has allowed me to realize that God guides you through experiences that are vital to your life and journey. I believe He introduced me to pot for a reason. And I never feel closer to Him than when I’m smoking.

Spending Time With God: Quality vs. Quantity

praying hands

Time-management seems to be something that a lot of people struggle with. I know I personally do. I always seem to be late for everything. Whoever I’m meeting for dinner seems to already be drinking a cocktail and ready to order by the time I show up, I’m always apologizing for being late to appointments, and don’t even get me started about how much I rush to get to work on time. Long story short, I suck at time-management, or at least I used to.

My lack time-management skills definitely didn’t help my attempt to do activities outside of work and my social life. I used to be one of those people who will skip the gym and dine out instead of cook because I simply ‘don’t have enough time in the day’. Even my relationship with God was beginning to suffer. I wasn’t reading my Bible, praying, or attending church as much as I wanted to. Instead, I was skipping those activities because I ‘didn’t have enough time in the day’.

One day I was scrolling through Pinterest when I came across a motivational post. Basically, the post refuted my excuse that I ‘didn’t have enough time in the day’. Everyone is given 24 hours per day, and they can choose to do what they want with those 24 hours. If you want to sit at home all day and binge Netflix, go for it! If you want to balance work, social life, health, and other things in one day, that’s great too. Not having enough time in the day is an excuse, and a poor one. Time isn’t the issue, it’s your desire, or lack of desire, to do something that is.

That brings be to the age old question of quality vs. quantity. If a wanted to keep my old time-management habits, I could go the quality route and say that it doesn’t matter how much time I spend with God, as long as it’s worth it. So, I could go about my day, and quickly pray for one minute before I settled down for the night as long as my prayer meant something. On the other hand, I could utilize the new time-management revelation from Pinterest and actually make time for God. I could vow to go to church every Sunday, and even once during the week. I could start reading my Bible again on a routine basis, and I could make sure my pray more often.

Choosing between the two options was difficult. I came to the conclusion that both quality and quantity are important. While working on my relationship with God once a week is important, I should care about God enough to give him more time than once a week. On the other hand, I shouldn’t be spending time with God, just to have peace of mind that I did. Instead, I need to make sure I’m giving God my undivided attention every time I read the Bible, go to church, and pray.

Nowadays, I go to church every Sunday. While my weekdays are still busy, I’ve acknowledged that I can make time to go to church Tuesday nights, well most Tuesday nights. I also make sure that I read my Bible at least twice a week and my nightly prayers are more thoughtful and detailed. Now, I have a stronger relationship with God than I have ever had. And that’s something that I attribute to quality and quantity.

The Rapture: Is it Really Going to Happen?

rapture

I’ll never forget the time I went to a service at a Pentecostal church and saw a group of people running around screaming “rapture practice!” When it happened, it got me thinking about the validity of the rapture that so many preachers talk about. Is it real? Does Scripture back it up? Obviously, the word itself is not contained in the Bible, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a real thing.

And then there was the one year I started listening to a bunch of teachers on YouTube and got what’s commonly known as “rapture-itis.” I couldn’t wait for Jesus to come down here and take me up! It really killed my motivation to work or do anything productive as I just wanted to sit, read, worship him, and wait for his second coming. I’d have dreams and daytime visions of being taken up while shopping for clothes or browsing the online inventory of my local car dealership (shoutout to Cherry Road Auto Sales!) God forbid it happen when I’m driving. Hopefully I’m not part of the crowd that gets left behind, right? I can just imagine all the cars crashing into each other and blowing up in the middle of a huge traffic jam…

Alas … it still has not happened.

Recently, though, I’ve come into some new teachings that present the rapture as what Scripture calls the resurrection. It’s where the dead are risen together in Christ and taken up to be with him, along with those who are still living on the earth. If you believe this idea (and I do), the question then changes from is the resurrection going to happen (obviously it is, because that’s what the Bible says) to, when is it going to happen? And what are we to do while we wait?

If you’ve developed a case of rapture-itis, then this post is for you. I know what it’s like to want to do nothing but bask in the presence of our Lord. I’ve been there. I’m still there. Especially after I spend time soaking him in through prayer, worship, and reflection. My desire for him grows even bigger with each passing day. Perhaps you stumbled on this post because you’ve been looking for the rapture and following various people who engage in “date-setting”, and are discouraged because it just hasn’t happened yet. I hope this encourages and inspires you.

See, the rapture is not something we should be dreadfully anticipating, like “ugh, my life is so horrible, I just want to go be with Jesus already!” I can tell you right now that does not make our Lord happy or bring him glory in any way. He blessed you with your life upon this earth and gives you all things. Be thankful! Don’t sit there and look at your watch all day and wonder when you’re gonna see him in the clouds. He will come when he’s ready. There’s obviously a reason why he hasn’t yet, and I’m inclined to believe that reason is his mercy. His Word says he desires that all will come to repentance. Well, that takes time, and he’s allowing that time to pass and giving us even more time to enjoy life upon this earth. He’s preparing a place for us, so that when we are ready and all of Scripture has been fulfilled, he can come for his bride.

The Night God Came to Visit Me

Have you ever had a crazy spiritual encounter? You know, like where you felt like you were visited by a presence outside of yourself? I will never forget the night I had a face-to-face encounter with the Lord himself.

I know it sounds insane. Actually, that’s the very word I’d use to describe it. It happened at night. I was sleeping, and then all of a sudden, I woke up in sweats. There was a dark presence in my room, and I didn’t know how to handle it other than to pray like religious experts tell you to and to rebuke the spirit “in the name of Jesus.” As soon as I said those words, I felt completely calm and at peace. It was as if the presence had left right away, and shortly after, the presence of God was in the room. It was thick and very, very real.

I know what you’re probably thinking. “You were dreaming.” No, I wasn’t dreaming. It was real. In fact, I woke up the next day, and my house had completely lost power. I called an electrician in the area and he came out to take a look. He thought it was pretty bizarre that there had been no other outages reported in my neighborhood and there had not been a storm that night. It was a perfectly clear, starry night, and my neighbors all had power. The electrician could find nothing wrong with our wiring and ended up referring us to another company simply because he was unable to fix our power outage. (The power ended up coming back on just hours later, so we ended up not needing anyone else to come out.)

To this day, I still believe it was the spiritual encounter that caused the unexplainable power outage. A real encounter with God himself.

The reason I believe this is because my entire outlook on life has changed. I grew up in a very religious household. Both of my parents were devout Catholics and we attended mass every Sunday. The ritual nature of the Catholic religion always turned me off and I ended up turning my back on the church as soon as I was old enough to drive. I refused to go to mass with my parents and kind of developed a wild streak. By the time I turned 22, I was a self-proclaimed agnostic—bordering on atheism. It only took a few science classes to convince me there was no God.

Then I lost a very dear friend of mine to a drunk driver in 1998, and things continued to unravel. The night God came to visit me, I fell asleep in a drunken stupor. (I know what you’re thinking—the alcohol made me crazy. But hear me out.) When I woke up and realized what happened, my entire life began to change.

I was eager to find a church and start reading the Bible. I had to know more about this being who visited me. This being who created the whole universe and all the people in it. And my relationship with my Creator and Redeemer has only grown since that night. I enrolled in seminary school the other day, and the application process got me thinking about my personal testimony and how much my life has changed for the better.

Only an encounter with God can do something like that, right?

The Link Between Chiropractic Care and Spiritual Health

Misalignment of spinal chord is the main cause of back pain, neck pain, and other joint pain. It can impact your everyday tasks, and you might even end up being a victim of joint inflammation. To remedy such problems it may be necessary to see a chiropractic doctor.

At first these conditions may seem like minor issues, but if ignored they may intensify and totally destroy your joints. Thus, urgent therapy is essential. If you visit a medical professional instead of going to a chiropractic specialist, it could take even more time to recover, as the medical professional will merely perform a surgical procedure or suggest drugs to cover up your problem. If you desire immediate relief that addresses the problem at its root, then it is necessary to seek the help of a chiropractor.

But a chiropractor is not just good for fixing physical problems. A good chiropractic doctor will implement a holistic care regimen that incorporates mental and spiritual discipline, along with nutrition and exercise counseling, to put you on the path to better health. A positive mindset is an essential component in one’s overall well-being, and can only be achieved through the regular practice of spiritual meditation.

I recently started seeing a Charlotte NC chiropractor, and I’ve been very happy with the results. Not only does she perform routine spinal adjustments each week, which keep my immune system healthy and strong; she has taught me some amazing principles that have helped me lose weight and achieve a more positive mindset. This has greatly improved my quality of life!

Chiropractic physicians do not execute surgical procedures or recommend drugs to cure your health issue. They make use of natural remedies to restore the normal function of your body and give terrific care to ensure that you get total fulfillment from the treatments they perform.

Numerous organic techniques are used by chiropractic practitioners. Chiropractic doctors in Charlotte have years of experience dealing with a variety of clients, suffering from many different health issues and symptoms. Hence they have the ability and maturity to treat disorders related to vertebrae and joints. Chiropractic care offered by these specialists is risk-free as the treatment speeds up your body’s healing, without all the negative side effects often associated with conventional treatments like surgery or medication.

Stress is the leading cause of many health problems. For this reason, in addition to adjusting your spine to relieve the pressure on your nerves that often results from stress, many good chiropractors will also teach you some stress relief techniques that you can apply at home.

The best chiropractors in Charlotte NC are committed to helping you not only recover from pain, but also be the healthiest you can be. They are well-versed in a variety of techniques and experts at healing your illness.

If you want the most effective budget-friendly care in Charlotte, NC, without surgery or medication, look for a natural, holistic chiropractor!