I Know Its a Sin but is it that Bad?
Lesson 3 Recreational Use of Alcohol and Drugs
Though fermented wine was used in Biblical times, it was often mixed with water and not nearly as strong as wine today. It was also possible for grape juice to be preserved unfermented by boiling, condensing or keeping it under 50 degrees. Alcohol use today is a much broader and more dangerous culture issue than in Moses or Jesus time. It is more readily available and much cheaper to buy for the common man than it was in Biblical times as such we need to be much more careful in our use of alcohol.
Bible References to Wine and Alcohol
Warnings against Wine
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Proverbs 23:29-32 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Habakkuk 2:15 Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!
Isaiah 28:7-8 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.
Wine could be used as a medicine
1 Timothy 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.
Pastors were to avoid its use
1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
Christians must be very careful of alcohol in social settings and parties.
1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
Romans 13:13 — Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
1Corinthians 5:11 — But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
1Corinthians 6:10 — Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:21 — Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Baptists historically have abstained from all alcoholic beverages
“To abstain from the sale and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage,” – Baptist Church Covenant.
Anything that disrupts or supersedes the control of the Holy Spirit is to be avoided.
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Galatians 5:19-20 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft (pharmakeia, drug-use), hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
We are a nation of drunks and addicts.
New data reveals that one in every six Americans downs eight mixed drinks within a few hours, four times a month. Twenty-eight percent of young people between the ages of 18 and 24 binge-drink five times a month, putting away seven drinks in one sitting. And 13 percent of those between the ages of 45 and 65 binge drink five times a month.
The consequences of Alcohol can be very dangerous
Alcohol ranks "most harmful" among a list of 20 drugs, beating out crack and heroin when assessed for its potential harm to the individual imbibing and harm to others, according to study results released by a British medical journal. A panel of experts from the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs weighed the physical, psychological, and social problems caused by the drugs and determined that alcohol was the most harmful overall, according to an article on the study released by The Lancet on Sunday.
The Alcohol is destructive to the body and mind
Drinking destroys brain cells and impairs thinking, behavior and speech. Drinking leads to obesity, liver disease, heart disease. It lowers inhibitions and the temptation to sin become much stronger. Alcohol destroys family. Child and spousal abuse, adultery, murder, poverty, and rape are almost always preceded by alcohol use. More than 369 people die every week as a result of alcohol induced causes.
The Dangers of Marijuana the so called “safe drug”
Cannabis 'induces schizophrenia-like symptoms in healthy people'
By Lizzie Parry For Dailymail.com
Smoking cannabis can induce psychosis-like effects, similar to the symptoms people diagnosed with schizophrenia endure, scientists have said.
…A team of scientists at Yale School of Medicine have found the active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) increases random neural activity, known as neural noise, in the brains of healthy drug-users. Yale scientists found at doses roughly equivalent to half or a single joint, the active ingredient in cannabis, delta-9-THC, produces psychosis-like effects and increased neural activity in the brains of healthy people
Dr Deepak D'Souza, a professor of psychiatry at Yale, said: 'At doses roughly equivalent to half or a single joint, delta-9-THC produced psychosis-like effects and increased neural noise in humans.'
Dr John Krystal, editor of Biological Psychiatry, said: 'This interesting study suggests a commonality between the effects on the brain of the major active ingredient in marijuana and symptoms of schizophrenia'
Doctors Link Relaxed Marijuana Laws to Mysterious Vomiting Syndrome
By James Burke December 1, 2017
Heavy users of marijuana are at risk of developing cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome which causes episodes vomiting. (Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images)
Ever since the U.S. states of California and Colorado relaxed their marijuana laws, some emergency physicians are seeing more vomiting episodes brought on by so-called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome.
Doctors in both states spoke with NPR about what they say is a growing problem which affects some heavy marijuana users who smoke the drug multiple times a day.
“Five years ago, this wasn’t something that [doctors] had on their radar,” said Dr. Kennon Heard, an emergency physician at the University of Colorado in Aurora, reported NPR. “We’re at least making the diagnosis more now.”
But Heard co-authored a study with four other doctors that showed a possible tie between a noticeable surge of the condition and Colorado’s relaxed marijuana laws.
“The prevalence of cyclic vomiting presentations nearly doubled after the liberalization of medical marijuana,” the study said in its conclusion.
Marijuana psychosis linked to violence and murder
BRISBANE, Australia – A mother who stabbed to death her seven children and a niece in northern Australia in 2014 will not stand trial for murder because she was suffering cannabis-induced schizophrenia when she lost control, according to a court judgment released Thursday. Raina Thaiday stabbed herself 35 times after killing the children, aged 2 to 14 years, at her home in Cairns on Dec. 19, a month after her delusions began. Thaiday, also known as Mersane Warria, had been smoking up to 20 cones of marijuana a day when she developed severe schizophrenia in late 2014, the court heard. Justice Jean Dalton said there was convincing evidence that Thaiday suffered a psychotic episode and had no capacity to control or understand her actions.
A 2012 paper in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence examined a federal survey of more than 9,000 adolescents and found that marijuana use was associated with a doubling of domestic violence; a 2017 paper in Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology examined drivers of violence among 6,000 British and Chinese men and found that drug use—the drug nearly always being cannabis—translated into a five-fold increase in violence.
The first four states to legalize marijuana for recreational use were Colorado and Washington in 2014 and Alaska and Oregon in 2015. Combined, those four states had about 450 murders and 30,300 aggravated assaults in 2013. Last year, they had almost 620 murders and 38,000 aggravated assaults—an increase of 37 percent for murders and 25 percent for aggravated assaults, far greater than the national increase, even after accounting for differences in population growth
Marijuana much stronger today
Cannabis users today are also consuming a drug that is far more potent than ever before, as measured by the amount of THC—delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical in cannabis responsible for its psychoactive effects—it contains. In the 1970s, the last time this many Americans used cannabis, most marijuana contained less than two percent THC. Today, marijuana routinely contains 20 to 25 percent THC, thanks to sophisticated farming and cloning techniques—as well as to a demand by users for cannabis that produces a stronger high more quickly. In states where cannabis is legal, many users prefer extracts that are nearly pure THC.
Marijuana can be addictive for some. About 10% of all users seem to develop dependence syndrome, and for those who start in adolescence, the number is more like 1 in 6. Withdrawal syndrome is also a real phenomenon, with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and appetite disturbance being the main symptoms, which can often be severe enough to have an effect on daily life.
Marijuana use is linked to adverse cognitive effects. In particular, the drug is linked to reduced learning, memory, and attention. It hasn’t been entirely clear whether these effects persist after a person stops using the drug, but there’s some evidence that it does. One study found a reduction in IQ of 8 points in long-time users, the greatest decline being in people who’d started using as teenagers and continued daily into adulthood. For people who began in adulthood and eventually stopped using, a reduction in IQ was not seen a year later.
Marijuana may change brain structure and function. There’s been an ongoing debate about whether marijuana actually changes the brain, but recent evidence has suggested that it is linked to changes in the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex. It’s unclear, however, how long these effects last, whether they’re linked to behavioral changes, and whether they reverse after a person stops using the drug.
Regular use is linked to an increased risk of psychotic symptoms. That marijuana is linked to increased psychotic symptoms (e.g., delusions, hallucinations, disordered thinking) is fairly clear. But again, it’s been a chicken-and-egg problem, since it’s hard to show whether causation is at play, and which way the connection goes. However, it’s likely that the relationship actually goes both ways: Marijuana may lead to psychotic symptoms, and early psychotic symptoms may increase the likelihood that a person will smoke marijuana (particularly if there’s a family history of psychotic disorders).
Marijuana is linked to lower educational attainment. When pot smoking begins in adolescence, people tend to go less far in school – but again, a causal relationship hasn’t been demonstrated.
Marijuana may (or may not be) be a gateway drug. Regular teenage marijuana users are more likely to use other drugs in the future – but again, researchers don’t know whether the link is causal.
Marijuana is linked to schizophrenia. The study found that marijuana is connected to a doubled risk of a schizophrenia diagnosis in the future. Many previous studies have suggested this connection, but, as always, showing causality is hard. The new study cites a number of well-executed studies that suggest a causal relationship between marijuana and schizophrenia. The authors estimate that marijuana use may double the risk of schizophrenia from 7 in 1000 non-users to 14 in 1000 marijuana users. On the upside, they point out that users who quit using the drug after a first psychotic episode have fewer psychotic symptoms and better social functioning moving forward, compared to people who have a psychotic episode but continue using.
Marijuana may be linked to testicular cancer. Its connection to other forms of cancer is not very consistent, but there’s some evidence of an increased risk of testicular cancer in long-term marijuana users.
Regular users may have cardiopulmonary issues. Regular marijuana users have a higher risk of developing chronic bronchitis. Marijuana “probably” increases the risk of heart attack in middle age, but it’s hard to know for sure, since many users also smoke cigarettes.
Christians are called by God to be his representatives here on earth. We are to show forth Christ in our lives, our choices and our actions. Nothing can destroy that calling faster than giving ourselves to any substance or drug that takes away our mind, lowers our inhibitions and causes us to be identified, not with the God of Heaven, but with the god of this earth.
We are called to higher things in our service to God and therefore should not allow ourselves to ever be brought down by anything that would cause us to lose our testimony or bring shame to the cause of Christ. It’s not just a good or safe idea to avoid marijuana and alcohol, it is a necessary step in dedicating ourselves to God’s service and plan.