Illegal drugs, smoking and such

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Helen, Dec 6, 2001.

  1. Helen

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    Finally Matthew, in the introduction to the BB above, mentions smoking cannabis and cigarettes. The comment was made that it was not up to the government to tell us what to do with out own bodies.

    That may or may not be true. Someone may take that up here, but, as a Christian, that is not what I want to approach myself.

    Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit if we are born again. Why cause damage to the temple? We KNOW that cannabis, cigarettes, and hallucinogenic drugs of all kinds cause damage -- often permanently. That seems to me to be an insult to God. When we read in the Old Testament the care God required for His Tabernacle and then His Temple, shouldn't we take that as an example of the basic care we should take of our bodies?

    Please understand I am not promoting a 'buff' body or any kind of perfection or attempt at it. But it seems to me to be very, very wrong to do what you know will cause damage to the only body you have -- the body the world sees when you tell them you are a Christian, a Christ-follower.
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Helen,

    Would you please post a link to the original discussion here so that we can get the context of this conversation.

    Thank You,
    Joseph Botwinick

    [ December 06, 2001: Message edited by: Joseph Botwinick ]
     
  3. Helen

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  4. Brian

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    Helen I was just up there and FM is a very misguided young man. There is another thread about extemes and some of this came up. To do something knowingly that is as damaging most drugs are is sin. Keep in mind that if tobaccoo and alcohol were discovered last week they would be illegal now.

    Lastly what does it say about Jesus if we get all stoned and stuff? It makes us no different than the rest of the world. And by definition being different than the world is what being a Christian is all about.
     
  5. Finally Matthew

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    Brian, it would be my recommendation, for the benefit of your growth as one of God's children, that you refrain from telling your judgements on my character. I cannot ask that you not judge me, the affairs of your thoughts are not my concern, but honestly i don't want to hear them.

    I am here for polite discussion, not to be called Satan. I am no father of lies, and have spoken only what I know as truth. If you find me in error, then provide information to better educate me.

    But calling me misguided, especially without citing anything pointing to that conclusion, is not going to ever get me to consider your position. I consider positions other than my own when they are presented to me with respect, not contempt.

    I apologize, but if you continue to post to me in such a manner I will be forced to simply ignore anything you say until you agree to be civil.

    [ December 07, 2001: Message edited by: Barnabas ]

    Matthew,

    This post is being edited for vulgar language. That kind of language is not allowed here. If it continues, you will be suspended for a week.

    Joseph Botwinick
    Moderator

    [ December 07, 2001: Message edited by: Joseph Botwinick ]
     
  6. Helen

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    Matthew, one of the things that is really interesting about the way people respond to others is how they take seeming criticism.

    In the Bible we are commanded to judge actions and words. We are forbidden to judge people themselves. The entire legal system is a judgment on actions if you want to look at it from that point of view.

    But we are told to be discerning. From Brians's post, it seems he is trying to do that, as am I. At 53, and having taught high school and raised six children, and being friends with so many of their friends, I have seen what drugs do to a person. Including cannabis. I have seen what cigarette smoking does.

    If someone gave you a precious, irreplaceable gift, would you consciously and volitionally tear it up? Your body is that gift. From God. How should you treat it?

    Please keep in mind that, in the introductory forum above, you were the one who brought up these things. Are you then immune from any discussion of them?

    Do you feel that what you are doing in regard to these substances is honoring God? Does it help people to better understand who He is and how much He loves us? We live in a sick and dying world, and people are desperate to know they are loved and that there is an answer to this confusion and pain. My dad used to challenge us with the following:

    If you are not part of the answer then you are, by nature, part of the problem.
     
  7. Finally Matthew

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    as for your body being a temple.

    i could go into the following.

    most of the daily air you breath contains so many polutants as to make it damaging in the long run to breath.

    or

    that eating a big mac from mcdonalds is likely more damaging than smoking a joint (i'm in the middle of moving right now, or i could give you a list of all the symptoms of eating fast food. they aren't pretty. i'll find them when i get settled)

    but in either case that's just diverting the attention from the subject at hand.

    it comes down to weighing the good with the bad.

    if our world were perfect, then one could conceivably put nothing harmful into one's body at all, but in our world as it is, even eating healthy foods puts all sorts of nasty chemicals in your body.

    so then what, do we just take in what we need to continue on to the next day?

    just do what you need to stay alive?

    I find that there is more to life than just eating, breathing, and sleeping.

    I enjoy listening to music.

    I spend time with friends, family.

    I take walks, spend time in the natural world.

    I meditate and pray often.

    All these things enrich my life, make it more full, more vibrant.

    And I use marijuana for the same reason. Not to escape reality, but to savor it.

    Every time you hear something, every time you listen to music, or to a friend's voice, you do a small amount of damage to the small bones in your ears. They become a little more worn.

    Every minute, the chromosome in each of your cells that controls cellular growth gets shorter, till they eventually are to short to allow your cells to divide. Every second, you die a little more.

    Living in this world where our original sin introduced death means that every action, and every inaction, does a little damage to your temple.

    It then becomes a matter of weighing the good benefits, how your life is enriched, with the bad.

    My conclusion has been that the enrichment in my life from occassional usage of marijuana outweighs the harm done to my body by smoking it.

    And indeed, I eat it more often than I smoke it, as it is more healthy.

    Others may come to a different conclusion about whether its good effects outweigh its bad ones, but who among us can say with certainty that we are right?

    Someone in the other thread mentioned that one joint contains more carcinogens and tar than one cigarette.

    This is entirely true, but unfortunately their implied arguement, that pot is more harmful than smoking cigarettes, is not.

    The average cigarette smoker smokes a pack a day.

    The average pot smoker, if smoking the joint by himself, smokes half a joint every other day, or would, if it were legal.

    The average joint contains about twice the tar and carcinogens as one tobacco cigarette.

    I don't think I need to insult your intelligence by doing the math for you.

    As one final note, about marijuana's legallity.

    I have a hard time respecting a law that has its origins in the suppression of a race of man.

    Pot was made illegal in the US because, before the law was passed, businesses were finding mexican immigrants to be more effective workers than white americans, because while most americans drank often, and often came to work drunk, most mexicans came to work sober or stoned (marijuana, when taken responsibly, and only once the user is physically matured, actually allows the user to work harder in most cases).

    Some very "good ole boy" rich whites didn't like that, being rather racist and wanting the jobs to go to american citizens.

    So they pulled strings until the drug was mad illegal.

    And propaganda, much of which is still in circulation today, was spread to give the drug a bad name.

    As I said, I find it hard to respect such a law.

    For more information about marijuana, visit the link I have provided below.

    And I urge anyone thinking about trying the drug, if they are really responsible and mature, to discuss it with their doctor first. That is, if you are serious about weighing things out and making a mature decision.
     
  8. Finally Matthew

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    &gt;&gt;&gt;Matthew, one of the things that is really interesting about the way people respond to others is how they take seeming criticism.

    By interesting, you mean you find my reaction to being called Satan to be poor.

    You are welcome to have whatever opinion you like, but please, speak plainly.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;In the Bible we are commanded to judge actions and words. We are forbidden to judge people themselves. The entire legal system is a judgment on actions if you want to look at it from that point of view.

    Verses please. I'm quite well aware of what you are referring to, but for the sake of the discussion I'd like to see the actual verses, with their verse numbers.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;But we are told to be discerning. From Brians's post, it seems he is trying to do that, as am I. At 53, and having taught high school and raised six children, and being friends with so many of their friends, I have seen what drugs do to a person. Including cannabis. I have seen what cigarette smoking does.

    And he discerned me as being of Satan. Tell me, would you take that well? What if I told you raising children was of Satan?

    The two aren't of the same caliber, obviously, raising children and smoking cannabis. But I think you are intelligent enough to see my point.

    His discernment, however commanded, is not necessarily correct. And I don't care to hear any discernment that is handed down to me from another human as if from on high.

    It has long been my belief that you should never tell another your opinion of their actions unless you can do so knowing that you could be wrong.

    And I just don't see that in his posts to me. Quoting Jesus at me, and calling me Satan in the same sentance smacks of a superiority complex, as if he is pure enough to judge me fit for condescending words uttered by christ himself.

    I don't even think the event with Peter, and my partaking of cannabis are of the same caliber. In Peter's sake he was telling God himself not to save the world, although Peter obviously didn't comprehend what Jesus's death would mean.

    I'm merely taking something into my body. And I think Paul made it quite clear that nothing you take into your body affects the eternal destination of your soul.

    He was speaking of eating meat, but I think it's applicable to more than that. For example, each of you every day take in many chemicals that aren't food, merely put on the food. I don't think you're going to be sent to hell for that.

    Marijuana does have the distinction of being "mind-altering" according to the medical definition (although perception altering might be better. your perceptions are sharper and clearer, if anything). but so does codiene, a common pain reliever.

    You may argue that codiene has a purpose, but I feel marijuana does too. I enjoy using it, and in doing so I do not harm anyone else. It enriches my life.

    I use it, I do not abuse it. Abuse is a totally different monster, and does not have to be a controlled substance for the abuse to be detremental. Too much food or TV is just as bad (or, actually, probably worse. the long term effects on the body from marijuana usage far exceed the long term effects of overeating, or spending too much time in front of the tv)

    &gt;&gt;&gt;If someone gave you a precious, irreplaceable gift, would you consciously and volitionally tear it up? Your body is that gift. From God. How should you treat it?

    You stop eating anything but plants you raise yourself, and animals you raise yourself, and I'll stop doing marijuana.

    My point is that completely undamaging intake in this day and age is impossible. And it becomes a matter of weighing the good and the bad.

    One can of course argue that one should strive to minimize damaging intake, but in that case then you should do what I listed above. Oh, and also be on pure oxygen at all times, instead of breathing real air.

    And don't go outside for long periods of time.

    And live by candlelight, the positively-charged ions from artificial lighting are harmful.

    And live in a sterile bubble, there are germs everywhere.

    Point being, a human in a sterile cheerless enviroment will either lose his mind or die of despair.

    So then where do you draw the line? You draw it at one level of damage, I draw it at another. Who between the two of us can say for sure?

    &gt;&gt;&gt;Please keep in mind that, in the introductory forum above, you were the one who brought up these things. Are you then immune from any discussion of them?

    Excuse me? I did not say I would not discuss it. I said I would ignore any comments insulting me. I'll bite my tongue rather than start a fight. Blood on my lips beats blood on the ground.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;Do you feel that what you are doing in regard to these substances is honoring God?

    Weighted question. If I say yes, the manner in which you asked that makes it seem as if I am either misguided or lying. Please try again, from a more objective point of view.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;Does it help people to better understand who He is and how much He loves us?

    It actually makes little difference. The only people who can tell I am high are those I tell.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;We live in a sick and dying world, and people are desperate to know they are loved and that there is an answer to this confusion and pain.

    I will agree with that.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;My dad used to challenge us with the following:

    &gt;&gt;&gt;If you are not part of the answer then you are, by nature, part of the problem.

    Not necessarily true. Humans are typically both, and honestly I get tired of most Christians who seek to help the world while pretending as if they aren't a part of it.

    As much as you can be a part of the solution, by God's grace, until you are made perfect in Him at the End, you are also always going to be part of the problem.

    As Socrates said, "The man who wishes to move the world must first move himself."

    A Pastor once pointed out to me that the evangelical work handed down to us by Christ was more for our benefit than the world's. If we miss out on the opportunity to share the Good News with someone, we have not damned them to hell by that. Redemption is God's work, which we take part in for our benefit alone. If we don't share the Gospel with someone, then another child of God surely will. But we miss out on something very special when we pass it up.
     
  9. Helen

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    I respect what you have said, Matthew. Let me add what I have seen in students I have had.

    Just one joint, one experiment, seems to change something in the chemistry of the brain. I don't understand it, but I know this happens. Kids who were eager to become adults and learn and do more lose something of that with the first smoke.

    That is just something I have seen. I can't quote you any studies, but I can tell you that when a kid comes for tutoring, I can tell you in five minutes if that kids has EVER tried pot. That is how profound the effects are.

    "Savoring life" and 'enriching' your own experience is something you are doing for yourself -- and something that is the world's message to you. I'm not sure that is what we are here for. We are told to love God and love others -- and that seems more outward directed to me. I savor life, too. In fact I spent so much time on pain-killing drugs in my earlier years that I REALLY savor having my own senses operating in the normal way! And my life is vastly enriched by my interactions with others as well as the walks in the woods or on the beaches.

    I was driving along one spring day, a number of years ago, and I was looking at the hills and trees and a funny prayer entered my mind to pray: "Lord, please show me all the colors of green." It was like my eyes were opened far more than any drug helps could have ever done. Quietly I began to see shades and nuances of green in the spring growth and the older pines I had not noticed before. And what is even better is that the answer to that prayer has lasted for years. I never needed another 'hit.'

    Why not ask God for the true reaction to life HE wants you to have?

    Also, about 'wearing out' your ears or whatever -- it is what your brain discerns that counts far more than the actual sounds you hear. And pot harms the brain. Unlike cigarette smoke and the lungs (to an extent) or alcohol and the liver (also up to an extent), there is no way back for the brain.

    Regarding the law, we are NEVER told in the Bible to judge a law, simply to obey the authority God has placed over us. Despite the rampant abuses of human life, morality, decency, justice, and everything else in the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus and the Apostles, you will never read one word from them about anything in that area. The most we read is their reaction to the request to be quiet regarding the Gospel -- they say they can't do that. Other than that we are to obey the law. That is an order and it is not negotiable.

    In short, your decision is not mature if you are smoking pot. You are deliberately harming yourself (vs. the inescapable breathing in of pollutants, etc.), thus tearing up God's gift to you. You are excusing bad behavior with arguments of 'how bad is bad,' when all of it is wrong. You are defying the law consciously and that is a horrid Christian witness. And you are doing all this in the name of yourself and your own enjoyment of life.

    I urge you to seriously take all of this to the Lord and ask HIM what HE wants of you. And I pray you have the heart to follow Him.
     
  10. Finally Matthew

    Finally Matthew
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    &gt;&gt;&gt;I respect what you have said, Matthew. Let me add what I have seen in students I have had.

    Alright.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;Just one joint, one experiment, seems to change something in the chemistry of the brain. I don't understand it, but I know this happens. Kids who were eager to become adults and learn and do more lose something of that with the first smoke.

    Again, marijuana is not for everyone. It has different effects on different people, same as any drug. Seeking the advice of your doctor is an excellent step toward making an informed decision about the drug.

    However, marijuana is NOT, I repeat, NOT a drug to be taken by anyone still developing physically and mentally. During adolescence humans develope their motivational habits and marijuana can stunt that growth. It is a sad fact that while marijuana is illegal, it will remain a drug easily bought on playgrounds. Were the drug legal, most current drug dealers would not be able to beat pharmaceutical prices, and then the drug would no longer be available on playgrounds, and the only way to purchase it would be to prove you were old enough. granted, this isn't a perfect plan, but it's certainly the lesser of two evils as far as children go.

    If I hadn't stressed that yet, that the drug should not be used by anyone still going through the throws of adolescence, then I apologize. It was irresponsible of me.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;That is just something I have seen. I can't quote you any studies, but I can tell you that when a kid comes for tutoring, I can tell you in five minutes if that kids has EVER tried pot. That is how profound the effects are.

    Again, see above. As another observation, would you be able, had I not said anything, to tell whether I used marijuana?

    &gt;&gt;&gt;"Savoring life" and 'enriching' your own experience is something you are doing for yourself -- and something that is the world's message to you. I'm not sure that is what we are here for. We are told to love God and love others -- and that seems more outward directed to me. I savor life, too. In fact I spent so much time on pain-killing drugs in my earlier years that I REALLY savor having my own senses operating in the normal way! And my life is vastly enriched by my interactions with others as well as the walks in the woods or on the beaches.

    We are all different. Something I have adapted as my own policy toward mind-altering substances is, once I have tried them, to try to reach that same mental state without using them. It's a part of bettering myself, really.

    I am by no means a habitual user, I only use it when I want to, and can go weeks with it in my possession without even thinking about it.

    It all comes down to the person, and this is why it's so important to make an informed decision.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;I was driving along one spring day, a number of years ago, and I was looking at the hills and trees and a funny prayer entered my mind to pray: "Lord, please show me all the colors of green." It was like my eyes were opened far more than any drug helps could have ever done. Quietly I began to see shades and nuances of green in the spring growth and the older pines I had not noticed before. And what is even better is that the answer to that prayer has lasted for years. I never needed another 'hit.'

    That's a good description of one of the side-effects of pot. You see things more vividly, brighter, more shades.

    And that's what I meant about trying to get back to that same place.

    In effect, growing closer to God. I don't think smoking pot is any different than listening to an uplifting song, so long as the act, be it getting high, or listening to uplifting music, does not surplant that relationship with God in your life.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;Why not ask God for the true reaction to life HE wants you to have?

    I do. And this becomes the conundrum, either my conversations with God are false, and I am being misled, or using ranks up with eating meat, as something that varies from person to person.

    I'll not ask you to make that judgement call, it's a burden no person should want. But if you find me in error, then pray for me out of love, and your prayers will surely be answered.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;Also, about 'wearing out' your ears or whatever -- it is what your brain discerns that counts far more than the actual sounds you hear. And pot harms the brain. Unlike cigarette smoke and the lungs (to an extent) or alcohol and the liver (also up to an extent), there is no way back for the brain.

    Yet.

    However, pot's effects on the brain differ from person to person.

    Albert Einstein was a pothead. He did it daily. He was actually high when he did most of his influential work.

    Most of the information on pots affects on the brain come from either the propaganda spread when pot was made illegal, or from the effects on teens, the section of society that does the most pot. But I believe I already addressed both of those.

    Pot used responsibly is far less damaging (if at all, baring the effects of smoking it) than it has been maligned to be.

    Pot can cause damage in some cases where the potential for that kind of damage already exists (people with relatives who have alzheimers, schizophrenics).

    Again, I must maintain that it depends on the person, and using it should be an informed decision. It IS a drug, and dangerous if abused.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;Regarding the law, we are NEVER told in the Bible to judge a law, simply to obey the authority God has placed over us.

    Didn't someone earlier mention something about not obeying laws that were against God's law?

    Wouldn't that require judging? Or discerning, take your pick of words, they mean the same thing really, in conventional use.

    I don't mean to say that not using pot is against God's law. Far from it. But we live in a democracy, wherein it is my DUTY to my government to have opinions about it's laws. And while I am not in the majority, I am still a part of the power of this government, and I will continue to have my opinion about marijuana and continue to use it. Consider it civil disobediance.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;Despite the rampant abuses of human life, morality, decency, justice, and everything else in the Roman Empire at the time of Jesus and the Apostles, you will never read one word from them about anything in that area. The most we read is their reaction to the request to be quiet regarding the Gospel -- they say they can't do that. Other than that we are to obey the law. That is an order and it is not negotiable.

    It served no purpose to disobey.

    I think, for me, using marijuana does serve a purpose.

    If I was commanded to stop listening to my favorite band, Our Lady Peace, by our government, I still would, because I feel it serves a purpose in my life.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;In short, your decision is not mature if you are smoking pot. You are deliberately harming yourself (vs. the inescapable breathing in of pollutants, etc.), thus tearing up God's gift to you. You are excusing bad behavior with arguments of 'how bad is bad,' when all of it is wrong. You are defying the law consciously and that is a horrid Christian witness. And you are doing all this in the name of yourself and your own enjoyment of life.

    What happened to being respectful? Try again, please.

    &gt;&gt;&gt;I urge you to seriously take all of this to the Lord and ask HIM what HE wants of you. And I pray you have the heart to follow Him.

    If you are praying about it, then what are you worried about?

    If you are expecting God to change my mind, then why are you trying to do His work for Him?

    Let it be enough that you disagree. Telling me I'm a horrible witness when you have no more means to discern this than the next person smacks of playing God, to be honest.

    If you wish to discern the spirit withing me, then look at my fruits, not my roots.

    I am full of what Love I have been alloted by the Source of Love.

    I have joy every day, whether on marijuana or not.

    I have peace, regardless of the chemicals running through my veins.

    I am patient.

    I am kind, as a general rule.

    I am as good as I can be, washed in Christ's blood, but still human.

    I am faithful, all my worry stops in its tracks and turns to prayer.

    I am gentle, I do not reproach anyone without considering their feelings, without love.

    And I have self-control, I do not throw wild parties or smoke pot incessantly or binge eat or drive like a maniac or rape or steal or follow any other dark desire in me.

    I'm not trying to brag. How can I?

    None of those things are my doing.

    My fruits are exactly what they should be, if growing in me were the spirit of God.

    So you tell me, then. What spirit lies within me.

    For a point of reference, check out, Gal 5:13-26

    I'm sure you knew what verses I was refering to, but for the benefit of the general discussion I thought I would cite them anyway.

    Peace be with you
    Matthew
     
  11. Finally Matthew

    Finally Matthew
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    I feel I must apologize in general. I am not going to be able to continue this debate until late next week.

    Sunday I am moving, and I am cancelling my internet service in a few minutes.

    Until I get settled in and wired again, I fear I won't be able to continue here.

    So, my apologies. But I will be sure to post and reply as is due as soon as I return.

    Until then, I pray you all fare well in everything you do.

    Peace of the Father be with you

    Love
    Matthew
     
  12. Armageddon's Child

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    I see no problem with recreational drug-use. I don't enjoy it personally, but pot isn't hurting anyone either.
     
  13. donnA

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> if our world were perfect, then one could conceivably put nothing harmful into one's body at all, but in our world as it is, even eating healthy foods puts all sorts of nasty chemicals in your body <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Well oir world certainly isn't perfect is it. But as christians we are to seek to glorify God. The bible say our body is God's temple, and it ia hazerdous to eat some foods, and breathing whatever it they are allowing in our air. But eating and breathing aret wo things we have to do, we were created to need to breath and eat. Purposely putting farmful junk in your body, that your body in no way needs to have (such as water, food, air) then it is sin. Pure and somple, and I don't really care how much you cry "your judging". God gave us the ability to discern what is good from what is evil. If you aren't living a christian life nor want too, you need to be asking youeself why.
     
  14. donnA

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    cricket,
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> If she has, she has reeeally been pulling the wool over my eyes. I think she is squeaky-clean <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    She probably is squeeky clean. But if she wasn't you probably would know either.

    I have boy(20 now) who was the picture of clean, never any trouble at all, no problem in raising him,. A great kid, everyone loved him. Went to church all the time, active in the youth group, had concern for unsaved kids, sereved in out church, he was in there.
    We thought he was squeeky clean too.
    Whe he lost a lot of weight, we thought it was because he was working a lot, and sleeping too much because of the work, and staying out a lot,and was trying to go to college at the same time, and he was often too tired to eat. He would come home sleepy,saying he had stayed up real late and had only slept a few hours.

    But it wasn't any of those things. We didn't know what was really happening to him. I wish I'd had some clue. I'd have taken him out in the yard and beaten him silly, knocked some sence into him.

    Every kid is as able as any other kid. We all want to say not my kid. But why not my kid? If any kid would, so would mine, so would yours. It's just one of those dangers out ther for our teens.
    Like I said, probably yours is squeeky clean. But do yourself and your kid a favor, always beware,and don't do what I did, and make excuses about their behavior, and symptoms.
     
  15. Helen

    Helen
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    Cricket,

    It's not something that is apparent in a classroom so much as on a one-to-one basis. I have done a lot of tutoring of kids through the years. We live near the local high school and kids will walk over for help after school. When I sit down with a young person for the first time, I look for attitude first of all. Give me a dummy with a good attitude and we can go much farther than an intelligent but surly kid. The intelligent ones with good attitudes rarely need tutoring, so that's not a combination I see too often.

    But when I sit down with them and start asking them questions about what they are having trouble with, and that sort of thing, if the kid has stayed clean, there is an edge to their frustration, a sort of sharpness to their anger with the system or with themselves, or whatever, that comes from a mind that is clicking. But sometimes I will sit with someone whose attitude is lacking that sharpness -- it's a kind of "oh well, gotta get through this somehow so I'm here and you can help me, right?" sort of thing.

    A few years ago, I started asking questions after the first few minutes, just to see what the answers would be. It was so weird, because the kids which had that sharp edge were almost always clean and had never tried drugs, and the kids who had that lack of caring, that lack of an edge, had almost always at least tried something -- usually pot. I would ask how many times, and the answer was often "oh, just once", or "a couple of times with friends." They weren't what the kids call 'dopers' at all -- no habitual use.

    It is always possible that it was their initial lack of caring that led them into drugs, but I kind of doubt it. We had many foster kids for a number of years and I never yet met a kid, not matter how horrid the background, who didn't WANT to succeed, somehow!

    Unless they had gotten on drugs. Then, even a little bit seemed to have done something. They just didn't care as much anymore.

    If I am wrong about this, it then becomes a startling coincidence that borders on the HIGHLY improbable. That difference was just there too many times and every time it seemed to be related to even a small amount of drug use.

    All teens tend to turn inward, and become very self-absorbed. And there's actually a good reason for that -- they are changing and they want to find out who they are! Their brains are being re-wired (literally) and their worlds are changing and besides, there are the pimples not only on their faces but in their lives! It takes concentrated effort to grow up out of the teenage years.

    Some never make it. They stay self-absorbed forever. There seems to be a strong connection to pot, or cannabis, here, from what I have seen.

    Yes, like Katie's son, people can be fooled by their kids. I almost lost my oldest son to suicide when he was fourteen because I didn't recognize the signs. I thought he was just becoming a teenager and I hadn't raised a teen before! God bless the camp counsellor who walked with him through two or three days of constant crying and prayed with him and helped him come to terms with his own emotions -- which he had never done up to that point.

    We do the best we can with our kids. Some kids are so determined to rebel that they will end up in serious trouble. All we can do then is keep loving them and give them a place, emotionally, where they can turn and repent if that is what is going to happen. It can be so hard.

    Cricket, if your daughter seems clean, and if her friends are just as open and fun -- then they are probably all OK. Ask her! Ask her about her friends, though, and see what she says about them. That will give you a clue about her. Girls travel in packs more than the guys do, so it is sometimes easier to see where a girl is headed by her way of dressing and the friends she hangs around with.

    My youngest daughter started going WAY off the deep end at fourteen and I was so angry with her (she was sneaking out at nights, had tried cigarettes, pierced her own ear three extra times, was starting to write to her friends -- yes I looked -- about trying pot and sex soon) I shipped her off to my brother and sister-in-law's for a semester. That was a marvelous break for us both. But it took her another six months of counselling when she came back to allow the Lord to really change her. It was about last April that she came up to me and said, "Mom, I can't believe what a dork I was!" Today she is trustworthy, cheerful, her grades are way up (finally a gpa over 3.0!), and taking responsibility more and more. She's going to make it.

    She has an older brother, though, who I had to call the cops on when he was sixteen, three years ago. It wasn't drugs, but the pain of having a kid go so wrong, no matter what the problem, is ripping.

    I sure got off on a tangent here. I'm sorry. It's late and I get to running off at the fingers...

    If your relationship with your daughter is open and if her friends and grades all look good, I would say from my own experience that you are doing fine -- both of you. Keep communications open and enjoy her. She needs you to like her! Even when you want to kill her, she needs to know you still like her as well as love her!
     
  16. Helen

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by froggie:
    I was just wondering how far the 'body is a temple' explanation goes. Is it a sin to take any medical drug which has potentially harmful side effects? How harmful is too harmful? Do benefits of a (legal) drug ever outweigh the risks? Or if there is a risk, is it better to suffer and die than take a drug which harms the temple?

    Many doctors such as radiologists are exposed to more radiation than is probably good for them. Are they sinning by subjecting themselves to an increased risk of cancer?

    Many physical labor jobs put stress on certain portions of the body. Is this a sin?

    Is tanning a sin?

    What about extreme sports? If scientists find that brain damage is induced more from motorcycle racing, extreme snowboarding, etc, than marijuana, would the Baptists be required to protest these sports, according to the 'body is a temple' idea?

    I guess what I'm asking is, how do you deal with actions that are not specifically in the bible? What sorts of criteria do you use to determine whether things are sins or simply risks associated with living in the modern world?

    froggie
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hi Froggie,

    First of all, it's not a matter of any church or denomination declaring something a sin. Sin is rebellion against God, not against a denomination!

    And, in that line, it is then a matter of one's response to God Himself and the knowledge one has of one's own body. To deliberately harm yourself because of wanting some kind of experience (or adrenaline rush) is to abuse what you have been given. To expose yourself to danger, or potential danger, because you are helping people is the stuff of which the best of humanity is made, in my own personal opinion.

    And tanning? Don't we tan so we will be more beautiful? Or seemingly so? Aside from the known risks now, isn't that sort of opposite the kind of life we should be living if we are Christians? Now, please don't get me wrong -- I tan working in the yard, or walking on the beach, although, being pretty blond, I try to expose relatively little of myself to direct sun. Tanning in the process of doing work or having a good time with family and friends, or just walking to be by yourself with the Lord and your own thoughts -- that's not the same, at least in my mind, as spending hours trying to give oneself a 'perfect color'.

    I know I'm stamping on thin ice here, but oh well.... [​IMG]

    I think the idea, in the long run, is to take as good care of yourself as you can without being paranoid about it. Christ has given us plenty to do. We need to maintain as well as we can without fussing about the whole thing. At least, that's the way I see it.
     
  17. John Wells

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    Finally Matthew,

    "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." (1 Cor 6:19-20 NIV)

    With all the harmful side effects medically documented regarding the regular use of cannabis, can you be at peace with God regarding the above command?

    "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. (Mat 5:14-16 NIV)

    What about people to whom you reveal yourself to be a Christian? What kind of a “light” are you?

    Genesis 1:29 (ESV)
    29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

    This was before the fall.

    “cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.” (Gen 3:17b-18)

    Before “The Fall,” everything God created “was good.” After it, God made good things into bad things through His “curse!” Had there been no Fall, there would have been no entropy, as that state will be restored in the final heaven and earth. Likewise, before The Fall, the “plants yielding seed” were all good with nothing bad about them. But when God “cursed the ground,” also cursed was some of the plants yielding seed. To say, as you have, that because God made cannabis, it must be good, is ridiculous. God made many plants poisonous after The Fall, but did not intend us to eat or use them.

    If you really love God the way you come across, then you would do nothing intentionally to displease Him; certainly not repeatedly. If you truly think of your body as belonging totally to God (see first scripture verse), and knowing that using cannabis daily or a few times a week can affect the ability to learn and remember things (That’s the most common indicator that tips parents, teachers that a child is using ), you would seek what God desires for you rather than what you desire for you!
     
  18. wishtolearn

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  19. wishtolearn

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by froggie:

    Of course that was not my point. But then again, I don't use the Bible as a source for morality since I'm an atheist. My question is still, how do people here deal with actions that are not specifically in the bible? What sorts of criteria do you use to determine whether things are sins or simply risks associated with living in the modern world?

    froggie
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I accept your stance and opinions. I consider myself a Christian, however I don't feel the need to go and look something up in the Bible everytime I question my intentions. I know what God expects of me and I also know that he forgives my shortcomings. I do rely upon my intuitions, past experiences and common sense to get me by on a daily basis. However, the Words of God and Christ's messages are a welcome thought to my mind when I have difficulties in this life. What do you use to determine right and wrong? I would like to hear your opinions.
    [​IMG]
     
  20. John Wells

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    froggie: how do people here deal with actions that are not specifically in the bible? What sorts of criteria do you use to determine whether things are sins or simply risks associated with living in the modern world?

    It starts with accepting the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on faith that our sins (though they do not completely cease) are forgiven!

    Then one must read and study God's Word to learn what pleases Him and what does not. God knows that believers will not achieve perfection in this life. The sanctification process does result in a new creation, a new creature (regeneration) over time. Prior to making Jesus Lord of my life, my inclination (bent) was toward sin, toward self, toward living my life for me. Now that I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit, my inclination is toward righteousness, toward others, toward living my life for Christ and others. I still sin (fall short of the glory of God) but I'm regenerating in the right direction.

    There are gray areas, no doubt, that the Bible doesn't cover. A discerning spirit, imparted by the Holy Spirit in a believer, along with much prayer, will lead one down most of the right roads (choices) in life. My priorities totally changed when I became a Christian, as part of this “rebirth from above.” What used to be important no longer was, and what I had no interest in suddenly became paramount in my life (like reading the Bible and going to church). I love God’s Word, and I love being in church and a great spirit-filled worship service, or listening to a great sermon. I’d rather be there than anywhere else. Sunday morning with Sunday School and church are the pinnacle of my week! What no longer is important to me is sports and beer! What a change! What regeneration! What a miracle I am! What I once loved, I loathe. What I once had no desire for, I now love.

    When I stumble, I fall into the hands of my Savior, who restores me to the right path with love, understanding, and forgiveness! It is all of this that I use as the underpinning criteria to determine what are sins and risks. Sin, by the way, is anything outside of God’s will for your life, i.e. disobedience to Him. Being disobedient to God doesn’t happen only when we break a commandment! There are sins of omission as well as sins of commission. That’s why when someone claims that this or that is not a sin, what they’re really doing is playing God. That’s a huge mistake and very dangerous!

    Personally I feel that the young man who is trying to convince us (and himself) that getting stoned on cannabis is perfectly within God’s will for him is being deceived (by Satan). Oh, by the way, I was a pot head in the ‘70s, so I know what I’m talking about. The Bible contains strong criticism on drunkenness. Getting “stoned” does not glorify God in our bodies any more than getting drunk does.

    [ December 09, 2001: Message edited by: John Wells ]
     

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