The Life Foundations Nexus
IS DRUG USE A SIN?
This article also appears on the Pneumiatric Drug Treatment Center website.
Before we begin, note that we are not talking about the medical use of drugs. The Bible teaches that the medical use of drugs is not a sin.
Is drug use a sin? Yes, with two exceptions.
In order to learn the Bible’s teachings on drugs, we need to know that alcoholic drinks are a type of drug. Whatever the Bible teaches about alcoholic drinks it is teaching about drugs. Whatever the Bible teaches about wine and “strong drink” it is teaching about drugs.
The Bible makes a distinction between “wine” and “strong drink.” It is obvious from these terms that wine is not a strong, alcoholic drink. A parallel examination of the Hebrew and Greek texts, of course, reveals the same thing. These facts teach us that the Bible makes a distinction between “weak drugs” (e.g., wine) and “strong drugs” (e.g., strong drink). Before you jump to any conclusions, note that this distinction is only for medical purposes. IN OTHER WORDS, THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT DRUGS (OF ANY TYPE AND IN ANY FORM) ARE ONLY TO BE USED MEDICALLY IF THEY DO NOT IMPAIR ONE’S MENTAL OR MORAL FACULTIES AND DO NOT ALTER ONE’S PERSONALITY.
The Bible does not say that Jesus drank any alcoholic drinks. The Bible does not say that Jesus used any drugs (alcoholic drinks and any other types of drugs). The model of a “holy person” in the Bible excluded the drinking of wine. The model of a “holy person” in the Bible excluded the use of drugs (wine and any other types of drugs). Jesus refused wine when it was offered to him. Jesus REFUSED A DRUG (wine) when it was offered to him.
What are the two exceptions to the ban on drug use found in the Bible? These exceptions apply only if one does not have the benefit of either a certain part of or all of the work of the Holy Spirit and if one does not have a better way to meet the needs involved in these exceptions. They are: (1) to mitigate the pangs of death and (2) when one would otherwise die of thirst. The “thirst exception” refers to the use of an alcoholic drink WHEN THERE IS NO DRINKING WATER AVAILABLE.
We will have more to say later on the subject of drug use.