Drug Dealing and the Bible: continuing debate

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Nazaroo, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo
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    I started a few threads long ago on the question of whether drug dealing was mentioned in the Bible, either in ancient times or as a prophecy concerning the End Times.

    To re-cap my starting-point for that discussion, here are my essential Scriptural references, which I have found no reason to significantly alter at this point:

    ___________________________


    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Drug Dealers In the Bible? Where?

    Drug dealing is treated gravely and severely condemned in the New Testament: 5 times.

    (Gal.5:20, Rev.9:21, 18:23, 21:8, 22:15, original Greek)

    Paul Spoke out against Drug Dealing:

    Gal 5:20 "Now the works of the flesh are OBVIOUS: sexual immorality, uncleanness, ... DRUG DEALING ( pharmakeia )...and things like these I am warning you, THOSE WHO DO THEM WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD!"

    John also Speaks out against Drugs:

    Rev. 9:21 "Nor did they even repent of their murders or their DRUG DEALING (ton pharmakon) or their sexual immorality or their robbery."

    Rev 22:15 "OUTSIDE (heaven) are the dogs and the DRUG DEALERS (hoi pharmakoi), and everyone who practises falsehood."

    Rev 18:23 Babylon the Great City has fallen...All nations were deceived by your DRUG DEALING (en te pharmakeia)"

    Rev 21:8 "But as for the ...DRUG DEALERS (pharmakois) their place will be in the Lake of Fire, which is the Second Death!"



    Why Should we translate 'pharmakoi' as Drug Dealers?

    The Greek word ‘pharmakeia’ has been used since 500 years before Jesus’ time to refer to the buying and selling of drugs for both recreational and medical purposes, and also to refer to quacks selling ‘miracle cures’ etc. This is the very word we get our modern English word ‘Pharmacy’ from, to refer to a dealer or supplier of drugs, a drug store.

    Why isn't this in my English Translation?

    It has been known since ancient times that the word means ‘drug dealing’. Abundant references in Classical literature show this beyond dispute. In English bibles the term ‘drug dealing’ was deliberately avoided and a completely different word, ‘sorcery’ put in its place. This is was not just due to superstitious ignorance.

    During the Middle Ages the Church became the largest manufacturer and supplier of the most popular drug on earth: ALCOHOL. The church sold out to the drug dealing industry, and God’s Word was intentionally kept obscure.

    To this day, the Western Church not only makes its own wine for religious use, but also sells it commercially through various monasteries and companies.

    There may have been some 'excuse' for this sorry state of affairs in the 16th century, before drug dealing was widely understood and formally criminalized. However, in the 21st century there really is no excuse for failing to properly render the original Greek, and make the truth plain.



    Are Drug Dealers Really Going to be Destroyed?

    This is the million dollar question! In recent times, some Universalists have tried to re-interpret the bible to support the idea that all people are ultimately saved. When Revelation says,

    Rev 21:8 "But as for the ...DRUG DEALERS (pharmakois) their place will be in the Lake of Fire, which is the Second Death!"

    ...the Universalists would have us believe it should be rendered,

    "...their PART will be in the Lake of Fire, ..."

    In this interpretation, a person's 'part' or 'portion' refers to his works and/or collected earnings for good and bad deeds. From this idea they want you to believe that only their 'bad works' will pass through a kind of testing fire, but the drug dealers themselves (and other extreme criminals) and their souls will be saved, thus 'fulfilling the scriptures' in a humane way.

    But can this interpretation hold up? Sadly, NO. For safeguarding the meaning here and removing any ambiguity, the action of the Lake of Fire is plainly identified by the following phrase:

    "...the Lake of Fire, which is the Second Death!"



    Ordinary Death versus the Second Death

    Now ordinary death is horrifying enough: it is often inconvenient, humiliating, slow, painful, and terrifying, especially if the death is a crime being perpetrated upon an innocent victim. We may hope in an afterlife, but death is quite serious, even for sincerely spiritual people. And the New Testament doesn't avoid the issue, or flower it up with euphemisms. Instead it warns seekers of God that bad things can happen.

    "you (disciples) will be persecuted: handed over to courts and imprisoned... betrayed even by friends and relatives, and some of you put to death... and hated by all for My name's sake, ...but not a hair of your head will ultimately be lost!" (Luke 21:12f)

    Of course we shouldn't be surprised. The very existance of 'sin' can mean that innocent or at least undeserving people can suffer. By definition, murder is killing someone who shouldn't be killed. Experience shows that even children can be victimized, and even good people can still make mistakes that cause injury or cost lives.

    Yet we should not exaggerate ordinary death: there are things more terrible than death:

    "Don't be afraid of those who kill the body and afterward can do no more.
    I will tell you who to fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed,
    has the power to cast into hellfire!" (Luke 12:4,5)

    This is clearly the Second Death, and is to be feared far more than death.


    According to Revelation it is applied against criminals, and evil men. And yet it is also clear from all the warnings, that all men are at risk: that any man could find himself facing the Second Death, if he committed a serious enough sin.

    Even John, the Apostle of Love warns us of the gravity of certain sins. He says there is a 'sin that leads to Death', and actually tells Christians NOT to pray for those who commit such sins!

    If anyone sees a brother commit a sin that is not a deadly sin, he can pray, and God will extend life to his brother, ...provided it is NOT a deadly sin: There is sin that leads to death: and I am NOT saying that you should pray in that case! (1 John 5:16)

    Wow, not only are some people going to be destroyed, but we aren't even supposed to pray for them.



    Ordinary Judgement versus Special Judgement: The Second Death

    How could the Universalists get it so wrong? Simple: what they are talking about is the common Judgement that everyone faces. All people will have their works, good and bad, judged by God on Judgement Day. Of all the works and deeds, whatever is built upon sand will pass away. (James 5:1-4).

    But every sincere Christian or seeker of God believes in God's fair judgement, and certainly doesn't need to fear it. (1 John 4:18) Even if my earthly deeds may turn out to be of little value, I will certainly be grateful to at least be judged fairly, and I'll be happy to make it to heaven, even if I am not much of a hero.


    The Horrific Second Death:

    But ordinary judgement simply CAN'T be what every Apostle was frantically warning us about! What they are talking about can only be the ultimate penalty for evil works: Pain, self-pity and horror, ending in utter destruction without appeal, as God hands out His Final Devastating Judgement. It makes sense to fear this!

    John: "You are well aware that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him."

    Peter: "If the righteous are scarcely saved, what will happen to the wicked?"

    James: "Faith without deeds is useless!...it is by deeds, not just believing, that someone is justified."

    Hebrews: "Whoever breaks the Law is ruthlessly put to death...and you may be sure that anyone who tramples on the Son of God, and who treats the blood of the Covenant as unholy, and insults the Spirit will be condemned to a far more severe punishment."

    Paul: "...I am warning you, THOSE WHO DO THESE THINGS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD!"

    Jesus: "No one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven."

    1 John 3:15/1 Peter 4:18/James 2:20-24/Heb 10:28-29/Gal. 5:20/Luke 12:10

    Obviously what these apostles are talking about is NOT ordinary Judgement of men and their works, where the chaff is burnt off, and the wheat remains, or the slag is removed, from true gold through a cleansing fire. Instead, here we are warned of a dire consequence worse than death, an irreversible and violent destruction.


    The Book of Revelation is supported by every apostle and leader of the New Testament, although its detailed description of God's Final Judgement is unique. Some who suffer the Wrath of God clearly do NOT repent, and so are NOT saved, but are cast into God's garbage can:

    "When it happens, those people will long for death but not find it anywhere!"

    "But the survivors of the first plagues refused to repent, or stop their murders, DRUG DEALING, sexual immorality, or robbery."

    "This is the Second Death: the Lake of Fire. And anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was thrown into the Lake of Fire."

    "And the Demon (Diabolos) who had deceived them was also thrown into the Lake of Fire and Sulfur, where the Beast and False Prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night, aeon after aeon." (Revelation 9:6,21, 20:15 20:10)

    This makes it clear that the doctrine of Universal Salvation is bankrupt, and is not supported by the New Testament as a whole.

    Anyone can be saved, but not everyone will be.
     
    #1 Nazaroo, Apr 6, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 6, 2011
  2. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo
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    Of course God doesn't wish anyone to perish, but wishes that all might have Eternal Life. (John 3:16-17)


    God is not Mocked

    But according to the New Testament view, God's Divine nature, which gives men everywhere ample opportunity to repent, has a complimentary side which ultimately requires justice and fairness, and results in a Final Judgement for some.

    God won't force people to repent,
    but He will certainly destroy them if they refuse to.



    No Hope for Drug Dealers?

    We have seen that some people are not saved but are thrown into the Lake of Fire, and some of those who are thrown into the Lake of Fire are DRUG DEALERS. But is God referring to ALL drug dealers, or just some of them?


    Jesus made it clear that there are 'small' sins and 'large' sins (Matthew 23:23). We have already seen that some sins lead to death, or worse. (1 John 5:16, Heb.10:28-29), and horrific punishments are prophesied in Revelation. Now please note again that Paul doesn't hesitate grouping DRUG DEALING alongside the worst sins that lead certainly to death and exclude Eternal Life also.

    Gal 5:20 "...DRUG DEALING...and things like these I am warning you, THOSE WHO DO THEM WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD!"

    And Paul is not just talking about a handful of ringleaders, or some international drug lords only: He warns ordinary church goers that committing these sins leads to death and disqualifies you for Eternal Life! That's pretty much EVERY DRUG DEALER, since it even includes backsliding Christians!

    But wait, there may still be hope for a repentant DRUG DEALER: God is not an unjust Judge. We can hope He will make some allowance for ignorance, poverty, deception, or unreasonable circumstances. And indeed, Jesus gives us some hope here:

    "The one who knew what his Master wanted, but didn't do it will get a severe beating, but he who did NOT know and earned a beating will get a lighter beating."
    (Luke 12:47-48)

    A DRUG DEALER who is STILL ALIVE, and capable of repenting and stopping his crimes, could receive forgiveness and be saved:

    "As I live," says the Lord God, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but prefer the wicked turn back from their evil and live. Turn back! Repent of your evil, for why should you die?" (Ezekiel 33:11)

    On the other hand, a Christian who falls away from his faithfulness and commits crimes like DRUG DEALING and murder is in danger of the severest Judgement:

    "But the righteous won't be able to count on their righteousness if they sin: If they trust in their righteousness and commit sin, none of their righteous deeds will be remembered! But in the sin they have committed, they will die." (Ezek 33:12-13)


    "Don't be deceived, for God is not mocked: Whatever you sow, you will reap." (Gal. 6:7)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    For the most part, I have only seen two basic responses to our position.



    (1) Many Christians understand and substantially agree with these arguments.





    (2) Some Christians not only continue to support recreational alcohol abuse, but also attempt to argue that drugs are 'okay' too, based on two basic arguments:

    (a) We are no longer 'under the Law' and can do anything we like.

    (b) "Herbs" were good, and given to Man to use any way he wants.

    (c) The original 'incense' of the O.T. was Cannabis.


    What are your thoughts?
     
  3. billwald

    billwald
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    Then you don't take any prescription drugs? How about OTC drugs? Coffee or tea? Chocolate?
     
  4. InTheLight

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    I don't accept your definition of 'pharmakoi' as drug dealers.

    Pharmakeia is the Greek word and it means to use potions or drugs in idolatrous worship. Literally 'witchcraft'.


    So I didn't read much more of your post.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    I think you've grossly limited the meaning of the word. And you thrown all medicinal concepts and influential chemicals in the same mix as one would throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    You have made the word to be "drug-dealer", but as I understand from studying it and reading other's opinions, it has more to do with the "drug-consumer" and the one exploiting substances in an idolatrous connection.


    In context of the five passages you cited, the King James words are "witchcraft, sorceries, and magical arts". Here's what a few others have to say about the word.


     
  6. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo
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    Lets have a serious go at the issues you raise:
    Is there a distinction in Holy Scripture between recreational drug use for pleasure,
    and prescription drugs for treatment of illness?

    I'd say yes, in both the Old Testament (where Isaiah recommended a fig ointment to cure a skin cancer),
    and in the New Testament (where Paul recommended
    some grape juice to heal Timothy's stomach).

    The second scriptural reference has been used to justify all kinds of general permissions for recreational alcohol use,
    but of course it is nothing of the kind. Paul's words are
    a specialized prescription for an individual. Since we don't know
    the diagnosis, it would be foolish to copy someone else's prescription for an unknown illness.

    I doubt you seriously propose that there is no difference
    between medical applications of effective relief like leprosy treatments,
    and free abuse of alcohol and drugs.

    Lets take a look:

    "On 9 May 1960 the United States Food and Drug Administration
    approved the world's first birth control pill,
    a drug that has reshaped the cultural landscape in much of the world.

    Debate continues to rage on the Pill's health effects. In addition to worrisome side effects such as weight gain and nausea, the use of the Pill has been linked to a greater incidence of blood-clotting disorders. Researchers are also exploring possible links between hormonal contraceptives and cancer, infertility and sexual dysfunction.

    By 2002, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11.6 million American women were on the Pill.

    The Pill Causes Cancer:

    In a related story, The World Health Organization has just released a Cancer warning for the Birth Control Pill:

    http://www.prlog.org/10922665-birth-control-pill-shown-to-be-carcinogen.html


    Lets talk coffee.
    Most of the over the counter coffee in North America comes from Arab countries.
    Its well known that they hate us, and they periodically put poison in the coffee shipped overseas to kill us, in the same way that the Chinese ship toys to North America painted with lead-based paint. These people are organized crime, and don't have a moral fibre in their bodies.

    I'd recommend only buying Colombian coffee, but I suspect that the profits get diverted to cocaine trafficking and guns.
    Vote with your pocketbook if you want to make an impact.

    Now lets talk Tea:
    Aside from extra side-effects, like kidney failure and tooth decay from tannin (tannic acid), an added ingredient in Tea as opposed to Coffee, there's the little matter that India, the major supplier of same essentially still runs a racist caste-system based upon the old British model, only worse. On top of that, the muslims in India and the "Whatever-stans" constantly murder Christians and converts, showing that religious tolerance is impossible with some religions and cultures, namely Islam.
    My recommendation? Chew on some licorice. That will satisfy your oral fixation, combat herpes, and stain your teeth just as yellow as tea or coffee. If you need a stronger buzz, chew on some nutmeg.

    Again, vote with your pocketbook.
    Call me when you are done.


    Its well known that chocolate is a monopoly market essentially run by the Europeans (i.e. Nestle etc.) using the Congo and West Africa as their major source.
    This area is run essentially on the Southern plantation model,
    only with a twist: They exploit and enslave children to grow
    cheap cocoa. They even go so far as to hack off their toes
    with machetes to keep the kids from running away.
    If you love the worse forms of slavery, pig out on chocolate,
    and put your money where your heart is.

    Any questions?
     
  7. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo
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    Well, which is it?

    (a) the use of potions or [sic] drugs...in idolatrous worship

    (b) literally "witchcraft"

    (c) both (?!)

    Which definition do you apply in the context of Revelation,
    where the Harlot of Babylon enslaves whole nations?

    Is this the RC church enslaving people with wafer-rituals?
    or is it the International drug cartels, guilty of murdering over 20,000 people in the last five years alone, next door in Mexico?

    Inquiring minds want to know if:
    (a) You apply Revelation literally, to a future or past historical event,
    (b) You apply Revelation figuratively to some gay nonsense,

    (c) You reject Revelation entirely as babbling fiction.

    Your statement is pretty vague and fuzzy.
    Try putting out your joint before responding.

    Not much of a Berean then, are you?
     
  8. Nazaroo

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    Go ahead, try and come up with a meaning that can make any sense at all out of Revelation,
    and one that can properly account for North America's and the world's biggest social problem: DRUGS.


    Do you have any idea how stupid this sounds?

    Drug victims and drug addicts,
    enslaving the world, whole nations with their "drug buying?"


    Smarten up.


    Uh, yeah, the King James was made in 1611. It has needed some serious updating since then, as most people acknowledge, even those who defend and support the KJV.

    Is it surprising that those living in the 17th century could not foresee the 100 Billion Dollar Industry of International Drug Trafficking back when people could hardly make enough 'mead' to make the wife look attractive?

    Brew some coffee with your friend of the previous post,
    and wake up to the 21st century nightmare of drug abuse.
     
    #8 Nazaroo, Apr 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2011
  9. billwald

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    Well, let us agree to disagree. I have already outlived my warrantee (70) years consuming most of the things you mentioned and have no intention of quitting.
     
  10. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo
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    Just to make it very clear what we are talking about:

    Does "pharmakoi" (drug-traffickers) mean drug-dealers (sellers), or drug-buyers (addicts)?

    You decide who the enslavers are and who are the enslaved:

    Choice A: Modern businessman
    [​IMG]

    Choice B: 14 yr old runaway addict
    [​IMG]


    And they did not repent of their murdering,
    nor of their drug dealing (φαρμακειων),
    nor of their fornicating, nor of their robbery.' (Revelation 9:20-21)
    "...till there was no remedy." (2nd Chron. 36:16)
     
    #10 Nazaroo, Apr 9, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2011
  11. Nazaroo

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    Good, I don't want to misquote you here and mislead others.
    Just so its clear who is opposing my interpretation of "pharmakeia":
    You're confessing to recreational drug abuse, and remian unrepentant.

    'And they did not repent of their murdering,
    nor of their drug dealing (φαρμακειων),
    nor of their fornicating, nor of their robbery.'
    (Revelation 9:20-21)
    "...till there was no remedy." (2nd Chron. 36:16)
     
  12. billwald

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    Only the legal ones thus nothing to repent.
     
  13. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo
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    Your standard of morality is also skewed.
    Its now legal to commit sodomy in most states.
    Gay marriage has been foisted on us.
    The "is it legal" test is a total failure for what is right.
    It only defines what the 'law' isn't interested in according to special interest groups.
     
  14. Scarlett O.

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    Now this sounds like something that you would say to me over at the FFF. I'm JayneR over there, by the way. Recognize me now, brother?

    I'm not defending drug use, the KJV Bible, nor down-grading the devastation of drug abuse, both illegal and legal, in this country.

    I'm just merely reporting what I found when I studied the word and I've studied this particular word more than once.









     
  15. Amy.G

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    I think Nazaroo is on drugs. :laugh:
     
  16. billwald

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    >Gay marriage has been foisted on us.

    A skewed concept of marriage has been foisted on you. When were Isaac and Rebecca married?
     
  17. sag38

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    Where is my tin foil hat when I need it? I have to have it on when I read threads like this. "Earth to Nazaroo, this is reality calling, please report back to planet earth."
     
  18. Nazaroo

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    When her father agreed and entered a contract.
     
  19. Nazaroo

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    Still waiting for your votes...
     
  20. billwald

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    >When her father agreed and entered a contract.

    Bingo! Before they went into the tent and performed their private marriage ceremony. Nothing to do with "holy" anything.
     

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