COMMENTARY ON BIBLES VIEW OF USE OF DRUGS--
"For evidence of marihuana’s detrimental effects on one’s mind, morals, life and body, let the reader consider with us some concrete facts as submitted by medical doctors whose findings are reported in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.
“A 16-year-old girl in whom there was no prior psychiatric difficulty smoked cannabis derivatives (marihuana and hashish) . . . for a period of two years. She began to lose interest in academic work . . . From a quiet and socially popular girl, she became hostile and quite impulsive in her inappropriate verbal attacks on teachers and peers. . . . After withdrawal from the drug, . . . Ten months of follow-up showed continued impairment of memory and thought disorder . . . she . . . could not transform her thoughts into either written or spoken words as she had once been able to do quite easily.”
Marihuana a harmless diversion? Rather, a ruination of mental health and soundness of mind.
“A 20-year-old man developed delusions of omnipotence and grandeur six months after starting to smoke marihuana. He believed that he was in charge of the Mafia and that he was an Eastern potentate of the Ku Klux Klan. He began to collect guns and knives in addition to training his German shepherd dog to attack others.”
This individual’s mind was greatly damaged. It became unsound, sick.
Was he obeying God’s command to ‘beat swords into plowshares’ and to love his neighbor? Whom was he approaching—Jehovah or the demons?
“Shortly after a 14-year-old boy began to smoke marihuana, he began to demonstrate indolence, apathy, and depression. . . . his condition worsened until he began to hallucinate and to develop paranoid ideas. Simultaneously, he became actively homosexual. . . . he attempted suicide by jumping from a moving car he had stolen.”
We ask: Marihuana, ‘an approach to paradise’? Homosexuality and suicide—instant paradise?
Often only a short period of marihuana use has ruinous effects, as experienced by another young man:
“A 19-year-old boy smoked marihuana for four months, . . . Believing he had superhuman mental powers, he felt that he was able to communicate with and control the minds and actions of animals, especially dogs and cats. . . . [he believed] that he was the Messiah.”
Communication with dogs and cats and presumptuously thinking one is the Messiah makes approach to Jehovah impossible.
“An 18-year-old boy who smoked marihuana and hashish regularly for a three-year period became progressively withdrawn, confused, and depressed. His interest in astrology and Eastern religions increased. He became a vegetarian and practiced yoga. He had the delusion that he was a guru and eventually believed that he was the son of God. . . . he moved to the west coast and continued his unproductive, aimless life, supported financially by his parents.”
Again, we face the question: Approach to Jehovah or the demons—which? These two last-cited cases definitely show that a form of spiritism was involved.
In connection with the use of drugs as in other matters affecting us spiritually we should turn our ears away from the counselors of this world, which is sick in mind. We should recognize this counsel for what it is: the wisdom of this world whose god is Satan the Devil. Weigh the value of such counsel given to a college student.
“A 19-year-old boy entered college with an ‘A’ average. He began smoking marihuana early in the freshman year, and within two months of starting to smoke cannabis, he became apathetic, disoriented, and depressed. At the semester’s end, he had failed all courses and lacked judgment in most other matters. . . . As with so many of our patients, this young man told his psychiatrist that he had observed changes while smoking marihuana; he even went to a college counselor and told the counselor that he felt he was having a thinking problem due to smoking marihuana. The counselor reassured him that the drug was harmless and that there was no medical evidence of difficulties as a consequence of smoking.”
However, this boy quit smoking marihuana, and gradually his apathy disappeared, his motivation returned, and his personal appearance improved. He found employment and later enrolled at another university.
Many other cases could be cited. It might be added that a marked characteristic of marihuana users, particularly females, was the unusual degree of sexual promiscuity, both with individuals of the opposite sex and of the same sex. This was true among those who had engaged in no sexual promiscuity before using marihuana. The incidence of venereal diseases was high.
DRUGS, SPIRITISM AND DEMONISM
Whom, then, do drugs help us to approach? Who is it that is in favor of degradation of men, of filth, both physical and moral, of insanity and an early death? It is the powers of darkness that drug users are approaching and with whom they are cooperating. In fact, as to the terrible addictive drug heroin, one user says: “It has all the advantages of death without its permanence.” Yes, drug abuse leads to the deadly danger of spiritism, demon practices, demon worship, and can even result in obsession by demons. Far from godly spirituality and closeness to God, it brings closeness to the demons.
Either we are doing what the demons desire of us or we are obsessed and possessed by them, if we use the hallucinatory drugs. Notice this, that, in many cases, there is a leading of the person to astrology or to occult pagan religions that practice a form of spiritism and communication with the demons. There is a direct connection. One drug user said it was a thing commonly recognized among the drug users with whom he associated that (as they said) they ‘knew a guy had gone too far when he began thinking that he was a god.’ So the boys who thought they were the Son of God were no isolated cases. Now, which were they getting to be like—Jehovah God and his Son Jesus the Messiah, or the demon gods?
Following their approach to the demons by the use of drugs, these young persons whose cases we have just considered did not stop there. No. They followed through and displayed the works of the demons: hostility, a disposition toward violence, sexual perversion and attempted suicide.
SPIRITISM A WORK OF THE FLESH
But we do not have to have examples to know these things about drugs. We already have the word of the most important authority of all, Jehovah God. At Galatians 5:19-21 we read of the works of the flesh: “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, and they are fornication, uncleanness, loose conduct, idolatry, practice of spiritism, enmities, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, contentions, divisions, sects, envies, drunken bouts, revelries, and things like these.” Which one of these things does the use of drugs not lead to?
These degrading things are not the fruits of the spirit. They are not spiritual. Spiritism itself is not spiritual, but is classified by the Bible as a work of the flesh. As an illustration: A person who commits bestiality (having sexual relations with a beast) is a human performing the act, but it is not a human act. It is the act of a beast, perverted, degraded for a human to do. Similarly, spiritism, while claiming to be spiritual, while being promoted by spirit creatures, wicked demons, is perverted, debased, a work of the flesh, not of the spirit.
The demons pervertedly desire fleshly connections. Reflect on the pre-Flood account. The Bible reports: “Now it came about that when men started to grow in numbers on the surface of the ground and daughters were born to them, then the sons of the true God [angels] began to notice the daughters of men, that they were good-looking; and they went taking wives for themselves, namely, all whom they chose.”—Gen. 6:1, 2.
This act of the angels was a perversion because they were not created for this purpose. The Christian writer Jude compares their action with the sex perversion of Sodom and Gomorrah, writing: “The angels that did not keep their original position but forsook their own proper dwelling place he has reserved with eternal bonds under dense darkness for the judgment of the great day. So too Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities about them, after they in the same manner as the foregoing ones had committed fornication excessively and gone out after flesh for unnatural use, are placed before us as a warning example by undergoing the judicial punishment of everlasting fire.”—Jude 6, 7. [Everlasting destruction-see 2 Thess.1:9 ]
These angels who sinned cannot materialize now as they did before the Flood, because of God’s restriction. Nevertheless, by controlling the minds and bodies of persons they feel that, to some extent, they are having fleshly connections.
It is of interest to us that the Greek word used in the Bible for “practice of spiritism,” “sorcery” or “witchcraft” is phar·ma·ki'a, which is very closely related to our word “pharmacy.” Phar·ma·ki'a means, literally, “druggery.” Why is this word used for spiritism or sorcery? One authority says:
“PHARMAKIA . . . (Eng., pharmacy, etc.) primarily signified the use of medicine, drugs, spells; then, poisoning; then, sorcery, . . . See also Rev. 9:21; 18:23. . . . In sorcery, the use of drugs, whether simple or potent, was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers, with the provision of various charms, amulets, etc., professedly designed to keep the applicant or patient from the attention and power of demons, but actually to impress the applicant with the mysterious resources and powers of the sorcerer.”—Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.
Is not the situation parallel today? Many drug users claim they are ‘approaching God,’ they are ‘expanding their minds.’ But actually it has to do with impressing the user with mysterious hallucinations and feelings, leading them to the demons, under the idea that the drug is freeing their minds for higher, broader thinking. If one is led into the practice of spiritism he is open to all sorts of wrong practices, demon influence, insanity and everlasting death. Spiritism, a work of the flesh, will prevent one from entering God’s kingdom, say the Scriptures at Galatians 5:21.
The apostle Paul describes what people are doing when they engage in any religious act or practice that makes an approach to anyone aside from the true God, Jehovah. He says: “The things which the nations sacrifice they sacrifice to demons, and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers with the demons. You cannot be drinking the cup of Jehovah and the cup of demons; you cannot be partaking of ‘the table of Jehovah’ and the table of demons.” If we use drugs, we should very soberly consider Paul’s next words: “Or ‘are we inciting Jehovah to jealousy’?” he asks, then warns, “We are not stronger than he is, are we?”—1 Cor. 10:20-22.
Jehovah provides those who approach him sincerely with everything they need to be happy. Of approach and service to God, the apostle says: “To be sure, it is a means of great gain, this godly devotion along with self-sufficiency.” Seek godliness through obedience to the only One who can provide it, and be happy “along with those who call upon the Lord out of a clean heart.”—1 Tim. 6:6; 2 Tim. 2:22. "