“It’s Natural, Man!” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

Many years ago in Hawaii, I attended a neighborhood church. One Sunday morning, I was surprised to find two visitors, casually lounging on the lawn in front of the church entrance. Most of the regular church members politely nodded and exchanged perfunctory pleasantries as they passed by. As I approached, I wondered if they wanted to worship with us. 


“Good morning!” I said. 


“Good morning, Brother!” Both of the men extended their hands in greeting. 


“Would the two of you like to join us in church this morning?”


“Yes, that would be cool!” They lit a joint and were sharing it with each other. The familiar sickeningly sweet scent permeated the air. “Here, have some.”


I politely declined. “No thanks, but I appreciate the offer.” This was 1983, long before marijuana was legal. Sensing my hesitation, they both chimed in, “It’s natural, man! God provided it for us!”


I nodded. Yes, so is strychnine, that doesn’t mean it is safe or legal for us to use it, I thought to myself. “Well, you are welcome to join us for worship, but there is no smoking inside the church.”


“No problem, man!” As they finished the joint, the two of them joined me as we entered the church sanctuary. The congregation uneasily eyed the three of us as we sat down in an empty pew. Thankfully, the rest of the service was uneventful and the two thanked me and left. I never saw them again.


It is regrettable how some people will twist God’s Word to make it align with their own values. God gives His children great freedom to exercise their faith. However, all faith must be grounded in the Word of God. There is nothing in the Bible that states that if it is natural then God has given it to us to freely use it with abandon. Furthermore, God also commands all believers to obey the laws and authorities of the land as long as it does not contradict His Word.


For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (ESV)


We must be responsible stewards of God’s Word and not use it to cater to our carnal passions. God’s Word is perfect and internally consistent. It is never contradictory and will not direct us to sin or disobey His commands.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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