Use of marijuana hasn’t traditionally been a “gray area” for Christians. The drug was illegal, so it was off-limits to those who are “subject to the governing authorities” (Rom. 13:1). But as recreational marijuana becomes legal in more states, some Christians are having conversations about whether there could be an acceptable use.

Pastors Joshua Ryan Butler and Thomas Terry offered thoughts on how they shepherd members of their churches in this area. They agree that while the Bible never mentions marijuana, it does prohibit intoxication. If one hit of marijuana makes you high, there’s no way to smoke it and obey the Bible’s commands against drunkenness.

Further, the effects of marijuana work against the kind of community we should seek in the body of Christ. Butler says that getting high “pulls you within yourself, causes you to become more disengaged, not only from people, but also from life in general.” Terry agrees and speaks from experience: “Before I was a Christian, I smoked marijuana to . . . disengage from both people and issues.” By causing users to disengage from life, marijuana works against the love of neighbor Jesus commands. Christians seeking to honor God with their lives would do well to avoid it.

Listen to this episode of The Gospel Coalition podcast or watch a video.