Marijuana Ministry

The Stanleys, a family of Christian pot farmers, are trying to be good stewards of “God’s plant”

Growing up in Colorado Springs, Jesse Stanley heard many of the same faith messages affirmed at home, at church, and at the private evangelical Christian school he attended.

            Stay close to Jesus.

            Serve your neighbor.

            Seek God’s guidance for your life.

            Change the world.

People who know Jesse say those messages found a home deep in his heart. But some doubt the purity of his commitments since he and his brothers have become major players in Colorado’s rapidly growing marijuana industry, operating medical marijuana dispensaries and a large growing and processing operation in the mountains west of the Springs.

Satan didn’t create this plant,” says Jesse. “Satan doesn’t create anything. This is God’s plant.”

Some call the Stanleys drug dealers. Others accuse Jesse of doing “Satan’s work,” even though a unique form of medical marijuana he developed — an oil called Charlotte’s Web — has brought relief to over a hundred families with epileptic children. (See “Pot pilgrims,” OnFaith’s story on the Charlotte’s Web families.)

Now, in their first media interviews about their faith journey and theology of marijuana, Jesse, his mother, and his pastor offer some surprising insights.

Cannabis-based Christian compassion

“This is not a rebellion story,” says Jesse, 32. “This is not the story of the Prodigal Son. This is a story about doing what’s right, no matter what kind of opposition you are dealing with. All the people who knew me, particularly those who knew me well, should’ve known that I was doing this for the right reasons.”

A greenhouse worker chats with patients inside the Stanley's cannabis operation
Chatting with a Charlotte’s Web family inside the Stanley cannabis operation

Jesse believes God has called his family to pioneer a form of cannabis-based Christian compassion that offers a positive alternative to the pharmaceutical industry’s expensive and often ineffective medications.

At a time when a majority of Americans favor legalization and pot is shaking off its 1960s-era hippie-dippy image to emerge into the mainstream of American life, Jesse encourages evangelicals to stop demonizing a drug that he says is far safer than alcohol, a substance that increasing numbers of his Christian friends consume.

For the Stanleys, their work isn’t about Cheech & Chong. It’s about What Would Jesus Do?

“Satan didn’t create this plant,” says Jesse. “Satan doesn’t create anything. This is God’s plant. And God is moving in the hearts of men and women and children around the world about this plant in ways that I never would’ve imagined five years ago.”

Stanley family values

Jesse’s teachers at Colorado Springs Christian School and pastors at his church encouraged Jesse to emulate heroes of the faith. He didn’t have to look far for inspiration.

“After Jesus, my role models were my grandmother and my mom. They were the two most selfless people I’ve ever met.”

Jesse’s father abandoned the family in 1997, a few weeks after the last of seven boys and four girls were born (Jesse was the fourth-born child). Things were tough, but the family pulled together. Mom, who taught math and science at CSCS for over a decade, tried to make ends meet by working as a server at a restaurant, a wedding planner and florist, and in real estate.

Cultivating cannabis
Cultivating cannabis

Two events in 2009 changed the family’s destiny. Jesse’s cousin, Ron Fortner, was diagnosed with cancer and given only a few weeks to live. And the federal government said it would not prosecute marijuana cases if buyers and sellers complied with local medical marijuana laws.

Josh Stanley, an older brother who had been researching the medical benefits of marijuana, said the family should open a medical dispensary and treat cousin Ron with pot. Mom was surprised.

“Josh called because he knew he needed mom on his team,” said Kristi Stanley Fontenot, who remarried in 2008, “but I didn’t know that marijuana had any medicinal benefits. I have never smoked marijuana, but I grew up in the hippie generation and always associated it with love and peace and all of that.”

Everyone saw marijuana help cousin Ron, easing his pain, increasing his appetite, and improving his quality of life for the last six months he was alive. But Stanley Fontenot remained skeptical about the medical marijuana industry. “I assumed it was a bunch of snowboarders who said they hurt their backs,” she said.

She decided to do further research by volunteering at Josh’s Denver dispensary, Budding Health, so she could talk with patients and hear their stories.

“I met some of the most amazing people — cancer patients, people with MS, elderly people dealing with pain issues, patients wanting to control migraines,” said Stanley Fontenot. “There were a few snowboarders, too, but most of the people I met had legitimate medical issues and were so grateful they could now get marijuana legally. Seeing what I saw, I couldn’t help but change my opinion.”

The Stanleys founded a charity called Realm of Caring for their ongoing research and experiments in plant cultivation. While many Colorado growers concentrated on increasing levels of THC, the chemical that gives marijuana its “buzz,” the Stanley brothers were trying to dial down the THC and dial up levels of cannabidiol, a chemical compound that has shown promise in a variety of medical applications.

indispensaryProfits from their medical dispensaries, including two Indispensary centers in Colorado Springs, fund the research. “It’s like Robin Hood,” said Jesse. “Patients at our dispensaries support the work of the charity.”

But cash flow was tight. In 2010 the brothers couldn’t afford to hire people to trim their marijuana plants and prepare them for sale. The family volunteered to help out.

“My two youngest daughters were under 18, and one son was away at college, so they didn’t go, but the rest of us trimmed marijuana for days and weeks,” says the marijuana matriarch. “We were their workforce.”

Charlotte’s miracle

“Mom, you’re never going to believe this one.” It was 2012, and Joel Stanley was on the phone seeking maternal guidance.

“We have a mother here who wants to give marijuana to her five-year-old daughter who has epilepsy. What should we do?”

The mother was Paige Figi, and her daughter Charlotte suffered from a severe form of epilepsy that caused hundreds of seizures a week. Figi had been talking to Colorado growers, who told her to contact the Stanleys and ask for “Hippie’s Disappointment,” a strain of marijuana that was so low in THC that nobody wanted to smoke it.

Buds from the plant were blended with olive oil so Charlotte could swallow a small dose. Her symptoms improved immediately. Today Charlotte averages one seizure a week, and her quality of life is vastly improved.

“It’s divine intervention,” says Jesse.

charlottes web patient
A patient smells the plant used to make Charlotte’s Web

Paige Figi began telling everyone she knew about the oil, now called Charlotte’s Web. Converts include CNN medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta. After filming a program called “Weed” about the Stanleys and Charlotte’s Web, he published an article on apologizing for his previous opposition to medical marijuana.

“We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that,” he wrote in a piece titled “Why I changed my mind on weed.”

Last December, the New York Times published a story on 100 families who have moved to Colorado from around the country to treat their children with Charlotte’s Web.

“Their migration is one of myriad ways that a once-illicit drug is reshaping life here in Colorado, which now stands at the forefront of the national debate over legalizing drugs,” wrote Jack Healy.

Today, Figi serves as a volunteer roving ambassador, pleading with legislators around the country to reform federal laws that classify marijuana, heroin, LSD and ecstasy as Schedule I drugs with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

When you ask Charlotte’s Web moms what they think about the Stanley brothers, they use terms like “godly,” “humble,” “caring” and “compassionate.”

LBA_7143Dara Lightle, who moved to Colorado Springs with her daughter Madeleine last fall, says they are a godsend.

“I took Madeline to four different neurologists and none of them even made eye contact with her,” she says. “They treated her like another case. The Stanleys look Madeleine in the eye and they sit in the snow while they talk to her about ‘High School Musical.’ They’re amazing!”

“We love kids severely,” says Jesse. “When dad left, I had to pitch in. I was forced to act like a dad, and like a mom. I joke about it, but I believe I’ve changed more diapers than moms who only have one or two kids.”

Four Christian views on marijuana

Different denominations and traditions have staked out varying positions on the theology and morality of marijuana use. When you analyze Christians’ views, they tend to land in one of the following four ethical camps.

It’s a question of stewardship,” says Jesse. “It is a plant that needs to be respected, not abused. And if used with discernment, it can help people a lot.”

Pot Prohibitionists oppose any and all consumption of marijuana and dismiss medical claims as bogus and morally suspect. Comments by Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, articulate the prohibitionist position.

“This is not something that is being given to people with terminal cancer,” said Moore in a “Questions and Ethics” podcast that was transcribed and posted by the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It is something that is being given very indiscriminately with a substance that has a long cultural history in this country of essentially inducing a kind of immediate drunkenness which is of course prohibited in Scripture for a believer: ‘Be not drunk.’”

Trimming marijuana buds at the Stanley facility
Trimming marijuana buds at the Stanley facility

Medical Exceptionalists are suspicious of most medical claims but grant exceptions in certain cases. Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family since succeeding founder James Dobson in 2008, seems to be in this camp.

Daly, the son of a single mother, told me at a recent Focus media gathering that he had been reading articles in the Colorado Springs Gazette about families moving to Colorado to treat epileptic children with Charlottes Web marijuana oil. In a follow-up statement, Daly explained his position:

“To be clear, my primary purpose in addressing the subject was to concentrate on the issues specific to recreational use. Medical marijuana is not always good medicine, especially since it’s often abused. In fact, it’s unsettled science with strong opinions on both sides. I respect and appreciate the ongoing dialogue. But what is absolutely certain is that there are no benefits to recreational marijuana use that are worth its cost to society.”

People in the Pro-Medical Marijuana camp, including most of the Christian parents who have moved to Colorado Springs for Charlotte’s Web, support medical marijuana but oppose full legalization for recreational use.

Finally, Legalizers favor full legalization for adults. Conservative Christian broadcaster and former presidential candidate Pat Robertson supports legalization, as he explained to The New York Times in 2012:

“I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” he told the Times. “I’ve never used marijuana and I don’t intend to, but it’s just one of those things that I think: this war on drugs just hasn’t succeeded. . . . I believe in working with the hearts of people, and not locking them up.”

Jesse Stanley is a Legalizer. And while he supports both medical and recreational uses, he does not revel in stoner culture and routinely declines invitations to 4/20 events held in Colorado every April where people gather and smoke pot in public, in violation of state law.

“It’s a question of stewardship,” says Jesse. “It is a plant that needs to be respected, not abused. And if used with discernment, it can help people a lot.”

Pastors and pot

Classes on “Christian ethics and marijuana” aren’t offered at most seminaries or Bible schools, but Pastor Rob Brendle knew pot was a topic he would have to address after leaving New Life Church in Colorado Springs (the suburban church founded by Ted Haggard, who left the church amid a scandal in 2006) to start a new church in Denver.

Drugs for some, medicine for others
Drugs for some, medicine for others

Brendle says that he was yearning launch a church in the inner city at a time when many evangelicals were fleeing the city for the suburbs. In 2008, he founded Denver United Church in an area of the capitol city that is home to plenty of marijuana dispensaries, antique stores and adult bookstores — but few churches.

Among the church’s 800-900 regulars are Jesse Stanley and his wife.

I asked Brendle to comment on marijuana, Jesse’s involvement in the industry, and the implications of legalization for believers. In a series of phone calls, e-mails and texts, here’s what Brendle told me:

“I am not too troubled by marijuana, and it is not an issue that I am interested in combating. I value the democratic process and respect the laws permitting marijuana use in Colorado as the legally expressed will of the people. And creating a Christian theocracy that outlawed marijuana, alcohol and same-sex marriage would never change the hearts of people. Only Jesus can do that.

“I love Jesse. He is a tenderhearted, intelligent, godly and ethical man. I respect his ardent belief in the value of medical marijuana and love his passion to help people.

“I know a number of people who feel they have found health benefits in medical marijuana, and I don’t have any moral qualm with that. I am a pastor, not a medical professional, so I defer to the judgment of patients and their doctors in those matters.

“At the same time, I am hearing increasing numbers of Denver’s Christian community say that God made marijuana, so it must be good for recreational use. I’m not convinced by that rationale. God made cyanide, too.

Preparing seedlings of Charlotte's Web
Preparing seedlings of Charlotte’s Web

“I have similar pause with the notion that marijuana can be like having a glass of wine in the evening to relax. People can have a glass of wine and stop short of getting drunk. I’m not sure the same can be said of smoking pot.

“As Jesus’ followers, we recognize that we must be good stewards of our bodies because they are God’s home through the indwelling of his Spirit. I am continuing to seek God’s wisdom in this complex matter because it’s here to stay.”

Jesse Stanley says one of the best ways to understand marijuana is through a popular joke that has circulated for years in Christian circles:

            There’s a man treading water in the ocean, trying desperately not to drown, and the man prays to God, saying, “Please save me!”

            A few minutes later a boat goes by, but the man ignores it and keeps praying.

            “Oh, God, please save me.”

            Then God speaks up and asks a question.

            “What do you think I was doing when I sent the boat?”

“The way I look at it,” says Jesse, “marijuana may be that boat for some Christians, but they just can’t believe it.”

Photography by  Lisa Anderson

Steve Rabey
Written by

  • Rev. B Baker

    If you would like to see how cannabis plays into all faiths and religions (science cant disprove it) just like Christianity, please let me share greenedfaith with you! or 307-221-2180

    • Randall

      Your statement makes no sense at all. I am very pro cannabis for healthy alternative to our pathetic pills for everything medical system. As for science not being able to disprove christianity,of course it can’t Christianity if your point was to say science can’t disprove “god/Jesus” it doesn’t need to.that would be a waste of time science can’t disprove the tooth fairy but we rational thinking humans understand it isn’t real. Christianity cannot prove it’s self or anything else for that matter..falling back on the empty word faith or pointing to the bible which is a book written by men translated and rewritten hundreds of times.trying present that as fact or evidence of anything is just really bad parlor tricks that only works on the sad,desperate and ignorant.

      • Rev. B Baker

        Ill break it down much simpler for you:

        1) science can not dispute (disprove in scientific theory/terms aka falsify) that “cannabis is the healing of the nations and tree of life”;
        a) science can disprove/falsify the toothfairy unlike religion as it has shown we all share one single females DNA;
        2) so science cant falsify religion or cannabis being part of religion….
        a) thus science even backs religion;
        b) Ini dont know about the bible, i dont believe stories.
        3) Ini work of actions and righteousness/truth, but i can prove cannabis in the bible, or any other religions mandates/scripture/texts… thus proving its roots in religions

        Who is ignorant and desperate? look inside before the judge. 😉

  • ColoradoSprings Freeforeclosur

    King James Bible
    It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. ROMANS 14:21

    • Name

      Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. MATTHEW 15:11

      • Doug Wilkening

        This verse only says mouth. What about nose?

        • Jeff Lucas

          Mark 7:6 He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:
          ‘This people honors me with their lips,
          but their heart is far from me.
          7:7 They worship me in vain,
          teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.’

          Acts- Paul made one last statement:
          “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah 28:26 when he said,
          ‘Go to this people and …say,
          “You will keep on hearing, but will never understand,
          and you will keep on looking, but will never perceive.
          28:27 For the heart of this people has become dull,
          and their ears are hard of hearing,
          and they have closed their eyes,
          so that they would not see with their eyes
          and hear with their ears
          and understand with their heart
          and turn, and I would heal them.”

    • MamaDusty1111

      Romans 14
      New King James Version (NKJV)
      The Law of Liberty

      14 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

      5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord;[a] and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose[b] and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.[c] 11 For it is written:

      “As I live, says the Lord,
      Every knee shall bow to Me,
      And every tongue shall confess to God.”[d]
      12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

      The Law of Love

      14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things[e] is acceptable to God and approved by men.

      ***As far as I can tell this scripture is actually telling us to NOT put the stubbing block of condemnation onto our brothers regarding what they feel is sin or not. In verse 15 it makes a point to say “YET…” indicating that its telling us something new—- which in that case is to be kind & compassionate with other people so don’t just smoke marijuana or eat your meat around someone who you KNOW is grieved by it. But the rest of this chapter is focused on realizing that sin is personal. And NOTHING is unclean of itself. If one person smokes pot giving thanks to God, then it is not sin for him. I personally believe that it’s a sin for me to smoke pot, I live in a state where it’s not legal, and I simply don’t think it’s beneficial for me to be intoxicated. But if someone feels alright about it, sincerely loving God and seeking the kingdom, then that’s between them & God.

    • Jeff Lucas

      Genesis 1:29 Then God said, “I now give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

      1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the later times some will desert the faith and occupy themselves with deceiving spirits and demonic teachings, 4:2 influenced by the hypocrisy of liars whose conscience…s are seared. 4:3 They will prohibit marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4:4 For every creation of God is good and no food is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. 4:5 For it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.

      Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you with respect to food or drink, or in the matter of a feast, new moon, or Sabbath days – 2:17 these are only the shadow of the things to come, but the reality is Christ!
      2:20 If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world? 2:21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!” 2:22 These are all destined to perish with use, founded as they are on human commands and teachings. 2:23 Even though they have the appearance of wisdom with their self-imposed worship and false humility achieved by an unsparing treatment of the body – a wisdom with no true value – they in reality result in fleshly indulgence.

      Romans 14:3 The one who eats everything must not despise the one who does not, and the one who abstains must not judge the one who eats everything, for God has accepted him. 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on another’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

      The Expectation of Justification

      Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. 5:3 Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 5:4 and endurance, character, and character, hope. 5:5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

    • Dominique Griffin

      god gave us the herb for our needs it say so in the bible

    • stuckintree

      Really? Really? Did you even read the article? Did you miss the fact that compassion is what has motivated this family? Did you miss the part that children are being released from the horrible effects of their medical conditions? If you were to jump off of your fundamentalist, scripture slinging, galloping high horse long enough you might just come settle down long enough to learn to know the Father’s heart a little better. Unbelievable.

  • Jeff Lucas

    There is a certain contrasting quality between judgments within the world view of the proponents of the war on cannabis and Christian theology.
    The “everything is toxic” philosophy embraced by the ONDCP toxicologists and controlling offices such as the FDA and DEA is the exact opposite of sound Christian theology [1,2], and the corollary truths built upon it are not Biblically founded, and can b…e proven to be Biblically incorrect. -And if it’s not Theologically true, if it’s not true in the Bible, than it isn’t true at all [3].
    No Bible believing Christian can accept any “toxicology” studies or reports from the ONDCP in good conscience, when they consider the axioms that were used to build their studies. Do Christians adhere to “scientific” theories about big bang and evolution? No, and we can also reject the observations of the ONDCP about cannabis on similar grounds when all things are considered in a clear systematic theology. One must “Test The Evidences” that come from outside Scripture.
    Scripture, tradition, and reason imply that all things are good, and that substance (such as foods and drinks) only becomes toxic in it’s misuse, that is, in the uses that are not in order with the purposes God created them [4]. The Scripture’s warnings against these philosophies are traditionally viewed as warnings about the Gnostics of the second century. It was a blending of Jewish, Greek, or Eastern philosophy with Christianity. These Gnostic errors are widespread, they appear century after century, and shows itself in many forms of religion, not merely in distorted forms of Christianity. In life application today, we can see that same Gnostic germ resurface in our society in the influence of modernism and postmodernism.
    The war against cannabis is a frightening illustration, in that it is successful in stifling Evangelism within the local Church, and not many Leaders recognize what’s going on, despite the fact that it devastates the lives of millions in perdition. This ascetic teaching is unnatural, contrary to the constitution of the world as that has been arranged by a holy and wise Creator, and it is also subversive of Christian liberty. Nothing can be esteemed common or unclean without throwing a reproach upon the Creator. [5] To further discover the long term consequences of these unnatural teachings, we can observe the characterizations and acts employed in the war on pot have a resemblance to the warnings in Scripture regarding the signs of false teachers (which are directly linked to signs of the coming Rapture of Christ’s church). The war on cannabis shares at least 2 key qualities as the Gnostics. In the presence of the negative implications of statements such as “there is no way to teach this to you in a brief, ” and, “everything is toxic, there is no harmless substances. “, the Christian should be reminded that encouraging formalism and asceticism as the result of false teaching is traditionally known as the activities of demons [6]; and the acknowledgment of liberty of conscience in a free moral agent is the formation of evangelical theology- for this very reason the Reformers left the Roman Catholic Church! [7]. The binge drinking phenomena we see in the just say no generation, as well as the licentious rebellion in the 60’s, is evidences of the “fleshly indulgence”, or antinomian development that results from these ascetic teachings. [8,9,10]

    To summarize; The Christian world view and the ONDCP world view can be sharply contrasted. In the ONDCP world view, the Truth is “everything is toxic” and application is “just say no”. In the Christian world view, the Truth is “God’s creation is good” and application is “be ye sober”. The Scripture provides us a sharper, more accurate understanding and response to the subjects of cannabis use in society than the secular drug use prevention community. And as Biblical passages are weighed and discovered as this more accurate Truth, it should bear witness that the Gospel message of Jesus Christ is Truth. We should lend thought to this greater spiritual Truth for which the Bible is compiled as evidence of; That Christ made atonement covering and salvation for our souls. “For God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that he world through him might be saved. God publicly displayed him as the mercy seat accessible through faith, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, but by grace are you saved through faith, and it’s not of yourselves, it is a gift from God. For whosoever believes in Him will not perish. If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

    • Jeff Lucas

      [9] Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology
      The Sufficiency of the Scripture
      #5. With regard to the Christian life, the sufficiency of the Scripture reminds us that nothing is sin that is not forbidden by scripture either explicitly or by implication. To walk in the law of the Lord is to be “blameless” (Ps. 119:1). Therefore we are not to add prohibitions to those already stated in scripture. From time to time there may be situations in which it would be wrong, for example, for an individual Christian to drink Coca-Cola, or to attend movie theaters, or to eat meat offered to idols (see 1 Cor. 8-10), but unless some specific teaching or some general principle of Scripture can be shown to prohibit these (or any other activities) for all believers for all time, we must insist that these activities are not in themselves sinful and they are not in all situations prohibited by God for his people.
      This also is an important principle because there is always the tendency among believers to begin to neglect the regular daily searching of Scripture for guidance and to begin to live by a set of written or unwritten rules (or denominational traditions) concerning what one does or does not do in the Christian life.
      Furthermore, whenever we add to the list of sins that are prohibited by Scripture itself, there will be harm to the church and to the lives of individual believers. The Holy Spirit will not empower obedience to rules that do not have God’s approval from Scripture, nor will believers generally find delight in obedience to commands that do not accord to the laws of God written in their hearts. In some cases, Christians may earnestly plead with God for “victory” over supposed sins that are in fact no sins at all, yet no “victory” will be given, for the attitude or action in question is in fact not a sin and is not displeasing to God. Great discouragement in prayer and frustration in the Christian life generally may be the outcome.
      In other cases, continued or even increasing disobedience to these new “sins” will result, together with a false sense of guilt and a resulting alienation from God. Often there arises an increasingly uncompromising and legalistic insistence on these new rules on the part of those who do follow them, and genuine fellowship among believers in the church will fade away. Evangelism will often be stifled. For the silent proclamation of the gospel that comes from the lives of the believers will at least seem (to outsiders) to include the additional requirement that one must fit this uniform pattern of life in order to become a member of the Body of Christ.

  • Ginamarie Pezzi

    Using sacred text as a weapon is not faithful to the promise God give’s all of creation – In/through Love – All things have context – a set of circumstance or setting within which they are placed – including our sacred texts – God -for God’s own reasons that I often fail to comprehend – has chosen to utilize us in our weakness, vulnerabilities, arrogance, self-repetitiousness, piety – for the sake of receiving, living and returning that love that brings new life – Easter. The promise is for ALL – we don’t get to judge – pick or choose who’s in or who’s out – That’s left in God’s jurisdiction – our call is to follow Jesus – who rather than defend his “religious” theology, heritage, history, law – went instead and died to free us from it’s trap – that some how by our efforts make life – he did not free us so we could create a new trap based on the christianized version of the same law – Jesus fulfilled the law – cause we can’t..

  • Darryl Muse

    Hi. Long story short… I have an inoperable non cancerous brain tumor, diagnose 2001. Since I have depended on medication to help control neuropathic facial pain. The only option offered is a cortex motor stimulator, whis is complicated by an aorta and aortic valve replacement 2 years ago. I am at the end of the road in treatment options. I need some information about cannibas treatment. Outside of the box for us… Can you help? Not sure where to start. End of my rope in Oklahoma.
    Thank you
    In Christ
    Darryl Muse

    • Ryan Borger

      You should be on heavy doses of cannabis oil sir. Do what you need to do.

  • Dominique Griffin

    God says in the bible the herb from the land I give to you for your need

    • blair

      They used marijuana as an incence in the holy temples….

  • Dominique Griffin

    I think a lot of the people that are opposed to marijuana most of them probably are involved in the pharmaceutical industry some type of way pharmaceutical drugs have killed more people there is always a recall after a few thousand or more people die on the industry drugs