Christian Drug Culture

“‘I am a youth pastor at a large church, and I smoke weed everyday that I am not at service (Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday). My lord still loves me.’ That quote reveals a bizarre phenomenon that couldn’t have existed even thirty or forty years ago—a ‘Christian’ drug culture. Today, this drug culture not only exists, but it extends far beyond marijuana. That’s partly because, unlike any other drug, a broad social movement already promotes and glorifies marijuana. Unfortunately, many Christians seem to join in it. ‘Weed is so normalized in America that it’s hardly cool anymore.’ If you think marijuana is rare or couldn’t be in your Christian community, think again. Pot communities and pot churches are on the rise nationwide, spreading bizarre forms of spirituality and taking advantage of religious freedom laws to act as medical dispensaries and avoid tax laws. Big Weed’s deceptive campaign promotes pot as harmless and medicinal, and the big profits entice Christian businesspeople. Furthermore, pastors generally don’t understand marijuana’s negative spiritual effects. Sad to say, the drug culture is everywhere, and it’s here to stay. As one youth said, ‘All you have to do is listen to a lot of popular music to hear about marijuana. All you have to do is watch TV or movies to see marijuana. And just attend a concert if you want to stand around inhaling it secondhand. It’s everywhere.’ Minimizing the biblical teachings about holiness and sanctification can invite lawlessness and drug use by Christians. Furthermore, some popular pastors and leaders encourage the culture of rebellion (e.g., John Piper’s philosophy of ‘Christian hedonism’). The words ‘Christian’ and ‘hedonism’ are opposites because hedonism is the ethical theory that pleasure is the highest good. By 2021, 18 states and Washington, DC, had legalized recreational marijuana, and 36 states had legalized medical marijuana. Now, more than a third of Americans live where marijuana is legal, and it’s becoming part of mainstream American culture. Marijuana’s dangerous THC content (tetrahydrocannabinol) has skyrocketed from around 3% in the 1970s to as high as 99% available in a huge variety of products today. And more teenagers are smoking pot and all its derivatives than cigarettes.”

Psychedelic Seduction: Drugging the World and the Church by Richard and Linda Nathan, available from