A Question Which A Friend of Mine Was Asked:

If God created marijuana, then why not just smoke it?”

My Reply:

Nobody has ever thrown that question at me before, and I find it quite an odd one because it appears to dodge all human responsibility!

The reasoning appears to be: 'Since everything out there was made by God, everything out there must be good!' But this ignores human experience and knowledge which has plainly shown us that certain things 'out there' can harm us, therefore the underlying philosophy behind the question must somehow be flawed. I will mention a few other things then come back to the accompanying philosophy behind the question so we can all see how it is flawed.

The questioner mentioned marijuana but the same reasoning could be applied to tobacco, or other herbs or drugs. God created deadly nightshade and it grows in many gardens, also digitalis (foxglove) which can kill in large doses. There is also a blue flowered plant called 'Monkshood' which they often put in bouquets in florists – a great cut flower, but it is a mild poison – but it is not a herb and nobody buys it to eat it.

So some things which grow are great herbs, other things are bad for you and a very few (probably not many) can kill you. Regarding things like cocaine, opium and marijuana, the lesson of human experience is that they ruin lives by affecting the nervous system and the brain and cause psychological damage by triggering dependence upon them whilst tobacco, of course, can ruin your lungs, as well as triggering dependence.

It is very naive to say, 'Hey, God made cocaine and marijuana and put them in gardens so I am going to enjoy them!' Many gardens also have a lot of clay just beneath the surface and mixed with the soil (we have lots here in Penarth), are we going to say, 'God put it there so it must be good to eat, or good for my health.' ??

I used to grow a beautiful laburnham tree - those beautiful long yellow flowers just gracefully hanging down in long chains every June - what a glorious sight in early summer! But one day somebody said to me, 'Should you grow that tree with your children - don't you know its poisonous?' But I replied, 'I would not assume it was not poisonous, but I don't grow it to feed to my kids!! There are lots of things in both the house and the garden which can make them ill but Tina and I teach them never to eat anything they are not sure about.'

God wants people to learn personal responsibility. He could protect us from all sorts of things - He could put a barrier alongside every steep and dangerous cliff or cancel the law of gravity so that people could safely fall off very high ladders. But He says, 'This is how My Creation works - treat it with respect. Carefully learn and then teach your children.' Its part of the way He works with us that He does not protect us from every danger - God just does not work with us that way; He gives us a beautiful world to live in, we can enjoy the fresh air of the countryside, the warm sunshine, the rejuvenating feeling of frost on a bitter winter morning, then all these wonderful plants which we can grow - but in every single thing He allows danger to lurk all around us. He wants us to learn responsibility and also to exercise sensible stewardship towards His creation.

For instance, when entering a totally different country to our own we should always enquire of the local people which animals and plants are dangerous to go near. Our God has given us all a large measure of intelligence which we should utilize! I heard of a guy who went abroad and got bitten by a dangerous spider because he did not understand the danger (all British spiders are completely harmless).

With the Fall of Mankind, the world became more potentially dangerous than it otherwise would have been, because God removed a certain protecting hand over nature at that time – the Creation is still beautiful and great but it can be dangerous – with hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and tsunamis. All of these are quite rare but when they strike they can kill! God (effectively) said to Adam, 'You have rejected Me and rejected the chance to walk with Me every single day, so go ahead and form your own societies without Me, but the world will now be a more dangerous place and there will now be suffering!' (Genesis 3:16-19). Animals also became potentially dangerous from that time with many of them losing their peaceful nature and the natural world – from then on - proceeded with a predatory spirit.

If somebody says, 'Look, God made everything - so if it comes from nature and I like the look of it, I will just eat it' - that person is being reckless and showing naivety beyond measure. It is as though he (or she) is saying, 'I can't be bothered to check whether or not this thing is dangerous or poisonous, I will eat it and if I get ill, just blame God!' No, its more than being reckless – it is showing plain stupidity!

So why is the underlying philosophy behind that man's comment wrong?

Well, I have already alluded to it really: Mankind rejected God and the chance to walk and talk with Him every day. The very first couple who walked upon this earth chose the experimental approach to knowledge and then hid themselves from God. Read it in Genesis 3:2-10. So God allowed His creation to be cut off from His superior knowledge and to use the human experimental approach to acquiring knowledge. But, of course, this can be dangerous. It is simply foolish not to recognize this and to believe that everything in the natural world is harmless. It could have been, but our first parents rejected that way.

So God created a perfect world. But today it is no longer perfect although mostly still beautiful. The main difference is that the Fall of Mankind brought human suffering into this world.

Of course, God has not totally turned His back on us and He offers us redemption through Jesus Christ – that is a spiritual matter but, even as Christians, we must continue to live in a world which is now a more unstable place and we must recognize this.
Robin A. Brace, 2005.

We have a few articles somewhat related to this subject, including:

Are We Getting the Whole Truth?

If God is Just and Loving Why Does He Allow Suffering in this World?


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