Marijuana and Christianity

Morally wrong? is it sinful? Is it a form of sorcery? To some this seems straight foward, to others a grey area. To me there are just as many wrong questions as wrong answers. As with anything people who ask, want to be right before God, or justify themselves to their peers thus justifying themselves in their own minds for doing something others disapprove of. Likewise those who answer swiftly I believe entirely miss the point of what truly is or isn’t a sin to align with there beliefs they may or may not grew up with.

To identify if something is a sin or not a sin biblically; first we must establish that all sin is defined by the ten commandments. You can reason that all things come back to these simple but unobtainable laws given. In the nature of man apart from God, we can try to obey them and miserably fail. Have no other gods? We love ourselves too much to not look to others to justify ourselves thus making gods out of people, things, pleasures that others aspire us to do what we want to do anyway. Only through true surrender to the will of the father by the blood of Christ can the Holy spirit work his the fathers will in you.

I will not digress. The question; is weed a sin? Is it morally unacceptable? The best answers are given questions as to make you the reader better understand. Is alcohol a sin? Not necessarily but when you give into it what comes forth from within? How many commandments are broken in your altered state? Can you hold to your convictions or are you seeking escape from them? Interesting line of thinking we come to. I would argue that in exercising of self control, alcohol is harmless but becomes a destroyer of the best of men yet is widely consumed without the defiling the faith of many who can responsibly consume it.

Another question is it sorcery? Does it alter perception? Does it cause you to do things that otherwise would not be possible? Maybe but would not caffeine fall into this category? Or pain medication? Or chemotherapy? Most of what we call medicine today would better understood to be a potion is in pill or liquid form which would be picked up by most Christians today at a pharmacy, which many a faithful believer of older age has a plethora of pharmaceutical prescriptions that alter the body and mind in good and bad ways to live longer. So I ask where is the thin line which we say, here no further? Interesting. Furthermore while to the person with ADHD caffeine and stimulants such as adderall or even cocaine can cause clarity that another person would only be high. Where is it medicine and when does it become witchcraft? Is it when you consult false gods and demons? Is it when you make it into an idol? Can you glorify your creator in body, mind and spirit?

Not so black and white. But written in red,

Mark 7:18 ESV
And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him,

So when does weed, alcohol, caffeine, and pharmaceuticals become sin and or sorcery? This is the better question that society has not been asking itself. Its a hard question to ask. When you do it is like a mirror into your own soul and the state of our society. Rebellion, lying, adultery, idolatry, lying, false witness, coveting, and hypocrisy. When do you become a prisoner to it verses partaking in moderation as Jesus himself showed us when he came to earth with a pure spirit and partook in drinking wine?

In closing thoughts, can you have no other gods before Yahweh when you partake? Can you bare his name without hypocrisy? Can you have a sound mind, apart from rebellion? Can you love your neighbor as yourself? Does your freedom defile your weaker brothers faith?

Food for thought

Genesis 2:9 Restoration Study Bible

And out of the ground made Yahweh Elohim to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and veil.


And Yahweh Elohim commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

Genesis 2:17 KJVS
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

When God created all living things, he saw that it was good. A question some ask themselves is, is it good to eat meat? (Acts 10) Is our freedom to kill and eat as Peter was told to do, good? Should we continue to end the lives of animals for the support of our own lives? I bring this up as the drummer and guitarist from one of my favorite bands, Tourniquet, are both vegan and have been as a band much outspoken against animal cruelty. Which is a real honest issue in my opinion.

The question that I ask, does it cause sadness to the father in heaven that we eat meat? It certainly does show in creation that we were not meant to eat meat and in punishment we are given hard labor to gain food from the land. However in the Torah God himself does Institute laws for the sacrifice of clean animals for eating. In my mind these things are given to us in fact to show us the very sacrifice that our father in heaven made for man in that he gave us his one and only begotten son to be brutally beaten, deprived of his glory, taken into mockery and mutilation eventually sacrificed so that we may live. So you ask why we no longer sacrifice animals? Because Yeshua the messiah was sacrifice enough for all of our sins. Why was Peter told to kill and eat unclean animals? why did Peter not want to obey? Because something unclean could not be sacrifice for something unclean to become clean and because now we have the real sacrifice for sin. Not merely a picture of coming perfection, but the real sacrifice made we have freedom through relationship to enjoy his salvation for both the Jew first set apart and now the gentile, once believed to be as unclean as swine. The truth being that unfaithful sacrifice for the Jew is as unclean as swine sacrifice and true fellowship from a gentile born again is as much a sweet aroma to our father in heaven.

In close, whether you eat meat, or animal byproducts, or abstain. Whether you eat pork, or abstain. Remember this brothers are to uplift each other removing the plank from within our own eye to better teach each other with whatever faith we have been given. It is not good to tear each other down but to lift each other up for the renewal of our spirit. In the end meat for food will pass away, everything will be given back into purity and that is what we are training for. The end of sin, the day death no longer supports life. All of our tears are wiped away. No longer do we abuse Yahweh’s creation. I work in arboriculture industry and can tell you that plants are as much living as animals and feel as much pain and stress and death for sustaining our sinful desires as much as the animal kingdom. While I do not believe in our condition that it is sinful to eat meat, but I would point out sin alone is responsible for the consumption of animals for food and sin alone is why men are cruel in the keeping of God’s creation which was first given to Adam. This is why I judge neither those for or against eating meat or byproducts but applaud them that have compassion for creation.

Shalom Shabbat.

Agope Love

Perhaps this is by far the hardest commandments Jesus gives (yet it was a spiritual gift to the early church). It is not only good enough to love one another, but we place too much of our own love on converting one another to our own faith, our own moral high ground if you would. In fact I believe most wars fought between catholic and protestants, and division in our country stems from ignoring the core principal, love your neighbor. Not love your brother. It says in this scripture, pray for those who persecute you, but first I would elude to the fact that we can not pray for our neighbors if we do not ask first to be given this gift of love. Or even if we feel the urge to, our flesh wars with our spirit thus the need to ask the spirit to win that battle. Thus the saying you have not because you do not ask. I was told once, fix the hand shake to fix the man. I thought it odd but it lasted with me. We all have fault within ourselves, and we need to fix ourselves (not us doing that work literally, because we lack the capacity). If we would follow this one commandment, I believe the world would be asking what gives you that shine. In the face of what you call a time of sin abounding (in a better context, sin is to the father and follower of christ, offensive or offends our soul as we follow him), your ability to shake hands with anyone who does not profess faith, that is what makes a unbelieving world see and say I want that. Or it doesn’t, and they see your love in the face of it. If there is only love for the brothers, then you no different than the world, and if you are not different than the world then you create occasion for separation from the father. It is good to love that which is good, but we still must love those who don’t do right according to what we know to come from the father, the son and his spirit.

Matthew 5:43-48 ESV
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ [44] But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, [45] so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. [46] For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? [47] And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? [48] You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect..

Shalom shabbat, Restoration Study Bible

It has been a minute since I posted so I thought it would be a perfect time to show of the knew bible I have been gleaning scripture from. Give a little insight to it and offer my personal reasons for picking it up.

RSB with the King James as its source translation, Strong’s concordance and reference to Yahweh’s Restoration Ministry notes.

In short the reason I wanted a bible with out LORD was because while I see no wrong in calling the father Lord I do believe that it has a deeper impact when you read that the father just as the son had a name. Names denote many different things to different people. A friend can call you by a first name, a nick name. In the military the call you by your rank and last name, you call your superior by their appropriate title and rank. When Jesus was on earth he was called Rabbi, teacher, master but he was the first to call us friend. I fully believe whatever name the father and son comes to you, you are his friend if indeed you place salvation in Yeshua the Messiah, or commonly Jesus Christ. There will always be debating over who has the right name. To me it’s better that you know the father by his works and the son by his sacrifice as he knows us by his work through us or our works done apart from him if we don’t know him.

The ability given to man has no bounds of wickedness through disobedience to God by the knowledge of good and evil. For this God saw fit to take away the one language of man and reach out to each person individually in their own language. I say all of this for reference to the discussion of what names are given to us are not important but the friendship that has been extended to us.

I really like this bible, it gives greater insight to those seeking a deeper relationship. I do like the Strong’s in the back and the name Yahweh for the father, and Yahshua for the son. Also in place of God, he is referred to as El, elohim, what ever the original text had for it giving better context.

The only thing I disagree with is the theological foot notes. I do like understanding other churches point of view but we all have to search the scriptures for ourselves. That said as with the commentary in my old kjv they themselves had their own bias. That is why we read for ourselves to show ourselves approved to our father in heaven. As the son has said not to judge one day he will remove the wheat from the chaff and we will be as one again for the glory of his name amen.

Fall of Jericho; redemption, part 1

Joshua chapters 2,5,6,7

Much can be drawn from these chapters, and would encourage anyone to take out your bible to read these chapters before proceedings (though you can read this blog before hand too as it is a good stand alone message for anyone). If you don’t have a bible the Blue letter bible is a great free resource with many different translations for better understanding.

We see that when the children of Israel had sent spies into Jericho, they came to a prostitute named Rahab, and for all purposes Rahab was as some could say the sinner of sinners but what saved her life was not the life she had lived but the faith she had shown. She was condemned by the law of moses as an adulterer, she most likely worshipped false gods. She had heard of the great thing this “yahweh”, elohim (god) of Israel had done through the Hebrew’s and had the same options, the same free will, as any nation God had brought his people against. Instead of a spirit of fear she chose to reach out in faith to a god she had never worshipped, to a people who were not her own and humbled herself before Gods people and saved not only herself but her entire family (who may or may not have held her life choices in high regard). Eventually we see her faith not only rewarded momentarily but in the book of Matthew she was indeed in the bloodline that lead up to another Joshua, who would be known throughout the world as Jesus. Also being named with all of the great people of faith in Hebrew’s 11.

When God uses people he knows them, and he chose her not for her past but for her future. For all of her sins were as great as any other but God knew her before she was born. God had a plan for her, not of destruction but for grace, mercy and a shining example of the kind of woman God loves and uses. Her sins were not what defined her. Her past did not hold to her like a ball and chain. Though she probably still had the memories of her past life before, all of that did not amount to the great rewards she received on earth and notably in heaven. Though she was born a sinner she was reborn that day a daughter of God and as much partook a reward with the children of Israel as a child of Israel.

Now I don’t know what happened to her family afterward but her faith saved them from destruction in Jericho. So when you see family not following Christ you can know without fear that your example of faith can be what saves your family and not have anxiety, because God has preserved us faithful when we ourselves were unfaithful. If your life has not been saved by Jesus blood yet, know that all things can be new again, and the latter days of your life can be greater than the former by your faith in his redemption. If you have sorrow, he can heal it. If you have wronged yourself, your family, your friends, he can forgive it and show you to be redeemed before your peers not as a prostitute (literally and figuratively) not as a worshipper of other gods, money, self or whatever have you but a daughter. This is what being saved means. Not simply a redemption in the afterlife as a life insurance, but immediately in this life. Salvation is the redemption of your life immediately from your past and into eternity.

This is a new year, and though it may be better or worse, this year you can be renewed. This year you can see things around you falling apart, but you too can be preserved yourself and those in your family. You may not have to be tried as Rahab, the redeemed and faithful woman by Gods grace (true hero) , but in 2021 you can lay down your burden, you can reach out to God. You can be redeemed by faith in Jesus and his blood, and be sealed with his name on your life. Today is the day you can find redemption while the walls fall around you.

A Servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ

Leviticus 25:47-49 ESV
“If a stranger or sojourner with you becomes rich, and your brother beside him becomes poor and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner with you or to a member of the stranger’s clan, then after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem him, or his uncle or his cousin may redeem him, or a close relative from his clan may redeem him. Or if he grows rich he may redeem himself….

Leviticus 25:53-55 ESV
….He shall treat him as a worker hired year by year. He shall not rule ruthlessly over him in your sight. And if he is not redeemed by these means, then he and his children with him shall be released in the year of jubilee. For it is to me that the people of Israel are servants. They are my servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

In the book of Leviticus we find imagery of servitude or slavery and redemption. The simplicity of the terms of it was that in Israel there was not to be any forced servitude among themselves but if one became destitute that you could in a way contract yourself out to another man who would treat you as a servant in his house with a wage paid toward your contract. However ownership wasn’t given to said master because god had brought them from forced labor and slavery in Egypt. The condition of said servitude was that the master had to treat his servants fairly and there were punishments up to death for those who broke the terms.

For us and what it means to christians is ever present today. For we are born into bondage to sin. We have no choice in the matter. To be born means we serve sin until we are served the wages which is death physically and spiritually. We can be redeemed through Jesus Christ through his sacrifice. Now the hairy part of it is we really have free will to accept or remain in our sin. In truth that is all we have. We can no more choose to not sin than choose to be good when we become Christians. We ourselves can do nothing. This is why we must fall in love with the Holy Spirit. This is why we can not boast in our works this is why this quasi free will we have been given must be surrendered. Indeed all that we have must be from Christ.

John 3:26-30 ESV
And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness-look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

John the Baptist knew this indentured servitude all too well. When he came to make way for the messiah, he came in knowledge that one day his ministering would come to an end and his redemption would come. He was but a servant until the end. Much like him we have been called to serve a purpose, to make straight the way of Jesus Christ second coming. To serve within whatever capacity he sees fit but to do so we must decrease so he can increase. How can we do such thing in this flesh? We can not. Our flesh holds onto its free will and uses it to sooth itself with pride. In the same breath that we say, look at what I have done in tour name lord, Jesus will say look at what you have done in my name Jimmy, it is not good. So what can we do? We throw up the white flag of surrender and defeat. This how we become more than conquerors. In failure we are rewarded. John ran his race, lived by denying himself and though he was beheaded for his righteousness that he only had because he received it from God himself, he found paradise.

Free will is both a gift and a curse. A gift to those who surrendered to the will of the father and a curse to those who cling to it. Once you have waived the white flag you can start your life. When we give free will away then we can be filled with the richness of heaven. If we choose to follow Christ and don’t give it away then we become poor and in essence sell ourselves to the sojourner and strangers though we have been taken out of Egypt. In his faithfulness Christ will give you to them until you return to be redeemed. If you never truly gave yourself to him then you will not feel his pull back to him, for the chastens those who he loves.

Do you love me?

John 21:17 ESV
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.

After Jesus had been resurrected and was coming to his disciples; he began to prepare them for his departure once more. One of Jesus favorite things to do was to feed his followers. Peter was destitute and malnourished by the time Jesus came back from denying his messiah, his mentor, his own brother and best friend. He actually needed this starvation of spirit to know how much he needed to be fed and for his new need to feed those whom he was entrusted to bring into the kingdom. It is not simply enough to bring people to the cross, to convince those dying to call on the blood of Jesus sacrifice but for us to feed each other with spiritual food found in the word of God.

Not everyone can have the ministry of Billy Graham. Not everyone will be great soul winners. Not everyone will be gifted with a pastors speech. However I believe whole heartedly that if you ask to be given opportunity and ability to recognize when the time comes the spirit will lead you when you have come to the Lord’s table and have food to give. The greatest thing to me is that if the holy spirit leads those who read this blog will be fed. It is the greatest thing to me that even if I’ve made one friend and one disciple that I may not speak with daily or often that if that one person comes to me that I can feed their spirit in need. And if it pleases the lord he will bring more to me. It is not I who feeds but my willingness to let the lord do his great work through me. There is no greater thing in life to be called on by the lord and to be willing to be chosen. Let God feed you, allow him access to him, let Jesus dine with you. Love one another.

Having All things in common

Acts 4:32-34 ESV
Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold

The early church had a real grasp on ownership in Christ. This new grace to all of those who gladly heard the good news of Jesus our messiah being crucified and risen from the dead; they were freed from the spiritual and mental chains of satisfying their own needs by giving everything they had and never needing again. Obviously they still worked and still had gifts that brought forth wages to the body of the new church but their goal was no longer to merely survive nor acquire monetary wealth which held no value in the kingdom of God. They sought out unity and to bless each other as they themselves had been blessed to have receive physical ability, knowledge or birth right to acquire the wealth they possessed. For them this was true freedom from the chains society and physical needs had put onto them

Acts 5:1-5 ESV
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?  While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.

Another truth those who came into the early church learned quickly was they could not come to steal glory for themselves. That which God had given to you is truly yours to possess until he decides otherwise but you could not use him to fool others into thinking you are better then you really are. While some would point to such scriptures as reasoning for capitalism or against socialism. I would caution that there is no such notion as God both blessed those who had and gave, those who worked by faith and received as Paul said “If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10. Which is not to say we should not be willing to give to those in need but work so that we can do as Jesus said to Peter “do you love me?…Feed my sheep.” John 21:17

When you give, give as you are giving to our father in heaven. If you give to receive riches you receive none because you give amiss. If you give with the knowledge that you have been given; You will receive rewards in heaven and if it pleases God you will receive more so you have more to give. If you give in the knowledge that God will sustain you then you walk in faith. He always knows how much we need, and in what spirit we give. When you give it is good to give to God in church but make no mistake, when you give in church you give in the sight of the church, when you give to an individual secretly as to God he is more glorified and he sees you and those who see you see his work in you and there is no hypocrisy in your giving and all glory is given to God.

Proverbs 30:8-9 ESV
Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.

Their condemnation is just

But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?

And why not do evil that good may come?-as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.

Romans 3:7-8 ESV

1 Corinthians 1:18,27 ESV
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God….

…..But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

Truth can not be furthered by lies. Humility can not stand with arrogance. One can not seek freedom within God by the way of seeking worldly freedom. God chooses foolishness to show man that it is not man who builds kingdoms. If God chooses to grant authority, and man says it was built on his own, God will remove that man from authority. If a man is found to be a liar God will expose his lies. If we choose to follow lies for the furthering of God’s kingdom; God sides with truth to show that he can not be defended by wickedness.

Romans 2:24 ESV
For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

Romans 3:3-4 ESV
What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”

Thanksgiving 2020

1 Timothy 2:1 ESV
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

If 2020 has been teaching us anything it has been this, we have much to be thankful for. You may be skeptical at such a notion. You may look at 2020 in a way of how much has been lost. I look at it in a humbling way. It shows me that everything is indeed a gift. We can no more be successful without good teachers, we can not be strong and hardworking without good health and sound mind. We can not be unified without being humbled enough to submit to the will of the next person. You can no more be alive without the gift of drawing breath. As a firm believer in Christ I can no more be thankful for what I have than to be thankful for that which he takes away.

While 2020 has taken away much of the normalized ways of of life, we can choose to cling to pride of what we have built and lost or choose humility and ask what we have gained. I know from experience that you can earn something on your own and not see that it was never on your own but built on submission to others who came before. For in faith and life great works are built not on ones own abilities and knowledge but those who come before and the ability to acknowledge that without the lessor the greater can not do great things. Also without the greater the lessor can not learn to do great things. Everything that is built must be built together from the foundation up in harmony. In 2020 I am rebuilding my life with a foundation on the rock of Jesus Christ in faithfulness in thankfulness for he was faithful to me when I was not. I look to 2021 to be thankful for both that which is lost as much as what is gained.

Happy Thanksgiving