Monday, February 25, 2008

Pot and Salvation

Pastor Mike,

Introducing The Missoula Project, a PCA church planting approach in Missoula, Montana. Have you ever thought about having a beer with Jesus? Shocked? That's nothing. In one of his posts, church planter Ryan Sutherland says, "there is a very real sense where it doesn't matter one whit whether or not you are smoking pot. The only thing that matters is this: Do you have Christ as your big brother?"

Have you heard about this new approach to church planting? And no, I am not against drinking in moderation.


Wondering Bill

Click here: The Missoula Project

Hi Wondering,

We have a church plant in Missoula, but they aren't nearly as hip as these folks. It reminds me of the "relevant" church leaders in the early 70's. When youth pastors grew their hair long and learned to play guitars so they could be “with it” for the young wannabe hippies in their congregations. It is also a lot like the Calvary Chapel movement, only in our generation.

God uses all our silliness to increase his kingdom; and who knows, maybe it will be a great boon to the kingdom in Missoula. I'm for rejoicing over anything that brings honor to God.

I don't think I would do it this way, but I've tried to start a couple of churches and neither one made it. So, I guess I'm not really an expert in how to start a church. I do wonder where these folks would put the antithesis between Christianity and non-Christianity. They are trying so hard to be liked by the non-Christians that it might be hard to stop the slide into acting like the non-Christians.

As for the quote, there were a lot of things in the post that I thought were immature, but much that was very true and insightful. The quote itself was in one of the insightful and helpful sections. There is a sense in which Jesus is our big brother (Heb. 2:11-13) and it is in this same context that Joe pastor was using the term. It sounded pretty irreverent in the blog post, but wasn't the point he was making the same point as the author to the Hebrews? Jesus went through all the same things we've gone through and thus he is able to set us free from the sin that binds us. He is our older brother and he's done it all before us so that we can know that it can be gone through.

With regard to smoking pot, I agree with a lot of what our brother has written. I don't think a Christian should ever smoke pot; in fact, I think it is sin for a Christian to smoke pot. But Joe pastor is correct when he says that smoking pot and not smoking pot have nothing to do with whether God is pleased with us before we come to Christ. If a guy smokes pot out of rebellion he is just as much in sin as the one who castigates smoking pot out of a rebellious self righteous heart. Both are in danger of Hell fire.

On the other hand, and this is something that was not all that clear in the post, after coming to Christ and being freed from the of sin, the Christian will not want to smoke pot because pot is an escape from life, not a celebration of life—not to mention that it is against the law. It kills joy; it doesn't give joy. So a Christian who smokes pot has a problem with being a Christian, but this is a very different thing than being saved.

That's what I think about that. I hope it helps.

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