Long before I became a Christian, as I was coming to age around the tail end of the 60’s, and having a dad who was a high school coach there were plenty of older high school guys around our home who helped “open” my eyes as it were. O yes, perhaps my dad didn’t realize it, but the times they were a-changin’ and a new breed which would come to be known as “hippies” came–dare I say it–well, emerging, and I first began to recognize “the look.”

It is simply beyond question that the smoking of marijuana was a large part of this new bohemian and often communal lifestyle. Most anyone who was around and involved will most likely know what I mean by the look. We’ll just say that many people who use marijuana on a regular basis often will have a less than diligent interest in maintaining what might be termed a more conservative personal appearance.

Fast forward to the early 2000’s in rural New Hampshire where I was coaching high school football and many of my players were getting into the hip hop scene. I had witnessed it begin in Los Angeles back in the early 90’s when Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre came out of the LBC (Long Beach-Compton) right near where I was living at the time. “Chronic” (aka marijuana/pot) was an integral part of that scene, just as it was in the music scene I was involved in when I was with a reggae band in the 80’s.

Both times I saw the look emerge yet again. And then as the Lord led me into the study of the new cult of liberal theology which is the Emergent Church oddly enough much of the bohemian and communal talk reminded me of the 60’s. So I got to thinking, many of these Emergent leaders would have been studying under professors who were also growing up in the late 50’s and early 60’s. I’m not preaching anything here, but rather simply musing as I personally notice the look emerging around things Emergent.

So I felt led to do a little digging and I found the article Bill Clinton Stole My Line or The Perils of Hippy Lettice on the appropriately named website of the emerging church called the Ooze. My thought here was so many of the Emergents I have studied and dialogued with make much argument for culturally accepted issues like going to secular bars and the consumption of alcohol to also be a part of the life of the so-called “Christ-follower” as well.

Now I’m not going to chase rabbit trails here so I’m not arguing about this. No, I simply began to wonder: If those in the emerging church so much want those things to be a part of their lives, could some of them also begin to argue in favor of smoking a plant which grows naturally as a part of God’s allegedly “restored” creation. After all, the Rastafarians I had been friends with in the 80’s were also very religious and they told me that Jah (God) had given this plant to man for “wisdom.”

Well, sure enough in the comments section of that above referenced article a “Simon” begins his particular comment by asking, “I’m not sure that I get how this article fits into the ‘emerging conversation’.” I readily admit, truthfully, neither do I. However that said, I do think it wise to read the following comment from one who asks, “Does smoking pot negatively effect my love of Jesus?” He will also tell us he prefers, “a small ‘hit from the bong’” over “a glass of wine or beer.”

And you know; oddly enough, I knew many “back in the day” who would say the exact same thing:

First off, I make 50k+ a year, I’ve held the same job for 8 years…and I am one of only a handful of people in the country that are qualified to do what I do. I miss an average of 1.5 days of work a year…and yes, I’m sick when I call in…not blowing it off to go to a concert. I provide for my family, own my home outright, and love Jesus with all my heart. Some people unwind after particularly bad day at work with a glass of wine or a beer when they get home. 1 glass, every couple of days after work…is that what you would consider a problem?

I wouldn’t. I just happen to prefer a small “hit from the bong”(by the way, if you are trying to sound authentic with your use of the “hip pot smoking lingo”-you missed the mark, it sounds way too contrived-speaking from the heart in your own words would have a greater impact). I don’t “get stoned”-i don’t put pot before anything else in my life. Does smoking pot negatively effect my love of Jesus? Does a person that has an occasional alcoholic beverage love Jesus less to the same degree as me, or does pot take you further down on the “Jesus love-o-meter”?

I will be the first to admit that alcohol and marijuana can both lead to harder drugs. If I were a youth pastor, I’d do my best to try and steer my flock into a a [sic] more positive outlet…but I would not make it a point to speak out and point the finger at any adults in my congregation that I knew were occasional smokers-unless I knew that it was interfering with their lives and faith in a negative manner. Just about anything has the potential to be abused, I dare say that even the Christian faith has the potential to lead people down the wrong path.

You said “Every person I know that has done hard drugs did marijuana too. Though every person who did marijuana doesn’t do hardcore drugs, you can’t argue against the connection”. I find your logic flawed. The reason that people that use hard drugs have also used pot is that they have an addictive personality, and will do just about anything to get high. You could pretty much exchange “marijuana” with “alcohol” in your statement and it would be just as true.

So I ask you again…is an occasional light drinker that does not let it interfere with their life, family, and love of Christ still a sinner? Your statements are a bit too broad regarding smokers. Go back and read what you’ve written…a disclaimer that maybe there are some that are perhaps capable of “maintaining” a normal life, followed by sweeping generalizations of those that smoke. Pot can ruin lives, so can drinking, so can many things that we think of as “good”…just about anything taken to an extreme can be detrimental to ones life and faith. If you don’t like pot-don’t do it. Simple as that. If pot(or any other substance) is having a negative effect on a friend, speak up. Lumping all smokers into the slacker, lazy, of little faith camp does nothing for any of us. -Yours in Christ-Simon